Innerview w/ Nori Kelley


Nori Kelley 3/98

Q. When listening to your album, I notice that you don't stay with one musical style or sound in particular...
A. I grew up listening to lots of music - it's about all I did. I listened to everything from the Beatles to Beethoven, the Stones to Shostakovich. I've never written music in one particular style, so our recording sort of reflects that, I guess...many times my writing will reflect what I'm listening to during that time.
Q. Who are your musical influences?
A. There are lots, but if I try to narrow them down, my music writing influences are people like Al Stewart, Renaissance, Yes, Strawbs & Badfinger on the British side, and maybe people like Bruce Cockburn & Jackson Browne on this side of the Atlantic. On the guitar, my earliest influences as a teenager were people like Mick Taylor & Keith Richards, Duane Allman & Dickey Betts, Jerry Garcia, Steve Howe, Phil Keaggy, Tim Renwick & Peter White (both were guitarists for AL Stewart) ...later there were people like Mark Knopfler & David Gilmour who influenced me. I love Steve Howe's playing - he's so different. It's like finesse, emotion & chaos all at once. Mark Knopfler & David Gilmour to me are so much about emotion & dynamics, they're both great. Bruce Cockburn is also a big influence on the acoustic side.
Q. How do you go about the creative process?
A. Music comes in lots of ways, but one thing I'm sure of - it comes from above. I don't know of many musicians who are atheists - most all of them believe in God, or at least a Supreme Being. I think most atheists tend to be thinkers, people who worship the mind. I could be wrong...anyway, sometimes I hear a melody, and I put some chords with it. Sometimes I think of a line or two of lyrics, and put a melody & chords with that. Some songs come quickly, as though they're pre-written - the taking dictation you hear about. Other times I work for hours crafting an idea into a song. It's always different. But it almost always starts with an idea, some sort of inspiration.
Q. When you & Barbie are not recording or touring & playing, what do you do?
A. We have a project studio where I produce and/or engineer projects for others. I also do recording sessions in other studios - commercials, album projects, demos, etc. I also teach guitar lessons, and have just completed a book on strumming & fingerpicking. We've just heard from the Mel Bay company that they are interested in publishing it, along with a companion CD. They want the final draft & completed recording in late summer or early fall. I just started recording the CD, and I assume the project will be released sometime in early 1999.
Q. Don't you already have one project released through Mel Bay Publications?
A. Yes, a companion recording to their blue book, or, Modern Guitar Method Grade 1. It's available only on CD, and is called, Modern Guitar Method Grade 1 - Pop Version. It came out in 1995.
Q. In listening to your lyrics, it seems you both have a spiritual side, or a spiritual way of looking at things...are you religious?
A. We're not what I would call religious, but we do believe in God and are commited to Jesus Christ. We're part of a church that is very non-religious, or at least we try to be. We believe in being real, and that God isn't necessarily interested in how we dress, or how pious we sound when we pray. He looks at our heart, and in our heart, we realize how desperately we need Him as human beings. And we believe in letting Him know it. We want to come as we are, and be who we are when we get there, realizing that He accepts us as we are. But that doesn't mean we stay as we are - as we commit our lives to Him and walk daily with Him, He begins to change us. He gets the bad stuff out. It's a process that continues throughout the rest of our lives.
Q. Are you guys doing anything to help gain more exposure for WIND?
A. Not much. We've got some stuff on the internet & we're starting a newsletter. We play & record, and we're content. We're not out to become stars. Our needs are met. We're very happy. What else is there?
Q. Is there anything you have planned for WIND in 1998?
A. Yeah, we plan to record an EP of some instrumental music that we're already doing in our live shows, plus a song written by a couple of good friends of ours called Sugar Blues. People love that song when we play it, but it wouldn't really fit in on a WIND album per say. Lots of people ask if it's recorded, so an EP would be the perfect place for it. After we're done with the EP, we plan to start on the second album. Oh, yeah, we're going to Russia in June, and we'll be playing some concerts in Siberia. It will be our third trip over there. We also plan to do some more travelling here, returning to places we've been before, as well making a few new stops...


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1998 Nori & Barbie Kelley