20 Questions With Phil

JLTT : I believe you are currently recording for an new album – what direction are you taking ?

PB : It’s really very guitar focused more than ever before. Many fans from all around the world ask if I’d ever cut loose. 

It’s time … ok? Here ya go

Are you collaborating with any other musicians or singers this time around ?

PB :  A couple co-writes but for the most part my compositions and arrangements. And yes – there will be several surprise guests

Any songs  you can name or describe to us ?

PB: I’ve resurrected a fave of mine called ‘the QUEEN” –  found upon the one and only MP.TU indie recording – It’s in 12/8 Miles time. 

“The Great Temptation” as well as “Infidel”  and “Cant Stop” – aha … but of course you will have to wait to hear them all

You have a distinctive Angophile / Jeff Beck edge to your guitar playing – how come ?

PB: I am a classically trained violinist since age 7. Mozart is my biggest influence

Why did you record some material in Germany for the last album ? ‘Imagine This ‘

PB : There was a opportunity to work with a fabulous German engineer. 

People often ask who the vocalist is in your tracks  – but of course it’s you !  Maybe Bowie is the closest to your lower-end resonance but do you have any favourite Bowie cuts ?

PB : I’m a crooner at heart …

I had to track down the ‘Black Rose’ album you made with Cher in Italy !  what were the politics of that not being released at the time ?

PB : Cher was next door in an LA studio I was recording in (making her first and only seminal rock album on the Casablanca label) and had snuck in to hear a song of mine – “88 Degrees” – 

She came over, walked right up to me and introduced herself and asked me to cut the song with her band – the next day! I liked her. Incredible person. Huge talent. Still has it today.

What’s the secret behind the vibrato bar low-end guitar notes you throw in here and there ? I don’t use them, but you distinctively do ….

PB : I grab the bar and I KNOW where the octaves and all the squank lives. I do it. It’s my own personal revolution.

When you were helping out Little Feat, was that before you has a custom slide thing going ?

PB : I had the slide thing going on long before

What’s the story behind the Led Boots / PhilBrown boutique pedal and what does it do ?

PB : It’s a distortion as well as a boost pedal. Very ambient sounding personality. I’ve heard it’s among the most sought after pedals among guitarists worldwide.

The ‘Hendrix Project’ album now has legendary status among guitar players worldwide, because you take your own route with the songs and don’t regurgitate the Jimi riffs…what did it do for your reputation ?

PB : Well … I’m sitting here talking with you aren’t I?

Is it true you co-wrote / co-write with Journey’s Steve Perry ?

PB : There’s a Steve Perry/Phil Brown collaboration – “REMARKABLE” – on the new record

My stage acoustics have FishMan pickups but what is this I hear about them working with you ?

PB : There’s a new pickup technology now available – called a Fluence. A stratocaster assembly with a Texas Flood(s)

The vintage sound … and a tap with extra boost – just like me! 

It’s battery powered with a 200 hr lifetime. I’m using the Fluence now in a strat. Exceptional. Dig this: No hum – absolutely NO HUM.

How do you choose a setlist ? I am finding it difficult as I amass more songs with the passing of time…

PB : Of course I have my favorites but I make a surrender to the big Muse and the set lists choose themselves. 

For me, the key is to be in a state of expectancy/big fun. I quit thinking that it must be perfect aeons ago.

One of my prized possessions is the Cream boxset signed by Pete Brown and the late Jack Bruce…surely he was a big influence on you ?

PB : I miss Jack. He gave me my dream. He showed me what it would take to be authentic. What a talent …

Who would you still like to work with, musically ?

PB: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Aretha, Paul Rodgers, James Newton Howard, Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney & Ringo, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry, Rahman, Robin Trower, Steve Miller, Frank Filipetti, Carlos Santana, Mick and Keith and Ronnie and Charlie, Chick Corea, Tony Bennett, Eric Burdon, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Halliday, Daniel Lanose, Jan Hammer, George Martin, Jerry Miller, Sade, Terrence Blanchard, Bryan Ferry, Keith Urban, Ry Cooder, Pink, CSN, Vanessa Williams, Tower of Power, Chris Botti, Journey, Billy Cobham, Neil Young, Dolly Parton, Steely Dan, Larry Carlton, Natalie Cole, John McLaughlin, Joe Cocker, Elton, Adele, Billy Gibbons, Reba, Brad Paisley, Outcast, Yo Yo Ma, Allan Holdsworth,Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Sting, Jerry Goodman, Garth Brooks, Aerosmith, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne, Roger McGuinn. Diane Shurr, Eminem, Valerie Carter, Gladys Knight, Jack White, Tina Turner, AC/DC, Rick Derringer … among a few


Choose a favourite Mahavishnu recording please ?

PB : Visions of the Emerald Beyond

We both like tons of music, but what would you cross the room to turn OFF if it came on the radio ?

PB: I have an artiste temperament and love music and musicians too much to say no

Did Miles Davis leave a mark on you ? any particular era or number ?

PB : EVERYTHING he did – no exceptions

With a live show, what are you hoping to create for your audience ?  do you talk to them ?

PB : Immortality. 

roger nemour