Andy Summers rose to fame in the late Seventies and early Eighties as the guitarist of the legendary, multi-million-selling rock band the Police.
Summers’ innovative guitar sound was a key element of the band’s strength and popularity, creating a new paradigm for guitarists that is still widely imitated today.
Summers’ new solo album, Triboluminescence (released today, March 24), is the natural followup to his last album, 2015’s highly acclaimed Metal Dog, which spotlighted the guitarist’s thrilling voyages into new sonic territory. New tracks, including “If Anything,” “Elephant Bird” and “Haunted Dolls,” are clearly the result of a lifetime’s worth of musical digestion and progress—not to mention a search for a distinct new voice.
I recently spoke with Summers about Triboluminescence and more in this new interview.
Triboluminescence feels like a natural followup to your last album, Metal Dog. What was the inspiration behind these projects?
Metal Dog followed Circa Zero, which ultimately didn’t go where I wanted. When that band ended, I started work on music for a dance project that also didn’t come to full realization.
Afterwards, I found myself with all of these pieces of music, which I remodeled into what became Metal Dog. It really got me going in the studio again, and when Metal Dog came out, it went down really well. It got me up and running, and Triboluminescence is the followup to what I had established, which was something different than I had done before.
What was the writing process like?
For this kind of music, there weren’t any fully fleshed-out compositions. One of the guiding principles was to look for very fresh sonic qualities and sounds that came together in various ways. That was the starting point. I then took those ideas into my studio, which is like a giant paint box, and fiddled around with all sorts of guitars and effects. The usual process was to record 16 or 32 or 48 bars of it and then see if it gets me into the next move where I can develop it further. That’s where composition comes into play. You can establish a signature, but then you have to make a whole piece out of it.
What else can you tell me about the recording process?
This was a very free project for me in the sense that I was alone in the studio with only my engineer. I’ve found that at this point in life it’s something that I really enjoy and is very akin to being a painter. It’s just me and all of the colors, and I let my imagination go. I’m always looking to create something that’s intriguing sonically, along with some technical flash.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Andy Summers by Clicking Here