Chilly Gonzales tours Boyz Noise collaboration Ivory Tower to UK
- Nicola Meighan
- 8 February 2011
'Jools Holland should shut up. We are in the post-Boogie era.’
Look out Muse and look out Jools: Chilly Gonzales is coming to get you. Following his infamous 2009 victory over Andrew WK in a New York piano battle, the man who is known as Chilly, Gonzales and Jason Charles Beck (he suggests we just call him ‘maestro’) has a couple of other conquests in his sights.
‘That guy from Muse is asking for an ass kicking,’ he nods. ‘And Jools Holland should shut up – pianistically speaking. We are in the post-Boogie era.’
You can’t really argue with ‘maestro’. Here is a Canadian, after all, whose precocious musical talent is equalled only by his incandescent onstage tomfoolery; a man who has collaborated extensively with Peaches and Feist; who has successfully turned his hand to rock, hip-hop, electronica, classical music, minimalism, euro-disco and everything in between.
He is also a man who holds the world record for the longest-ever solo concert. (May 18, Paris, 2009: 27 hours, three minutes and 44 seconds). That’s some feat of stamina – did playing for so long, without any sleep, have any long-term bearing on his creative mind-set or physical endurance? ‘Well, I proved to myself that the ego is stronger than the body,’ he concludes.
Is it true that he started teaching himself piano when he was three? ‘Actually my grandfather showed me the piano. He got me started. I had a lot of lessons, mentors and even have a musical theory degree,’ he says. ‘So I’m well trained and not self-taught at all.’
Gonzales is coming to Scotland to promote his current album, Ivory Tower. Recorded in cahoots with Berlin dance wunderkind Boys Noize, it’s brimming with disco-pop and chilled-out electro. Will we be hearing a lot of it at the show? ‘A full retrospective of my decade in this underground entertainment game’ is what’s on offer, he promises. ‘Well, that and my big mouth.’
Despite his fun-loving disposition, Gonzales is a serious musician, who embraces and adheres to aural classifications. ‘Every genre has its rules and I try to follow them as closely as possible. I live by categories,’ he proclaims. ‘Bring them on!’
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Tue 8 Feb