David Gray about his new producer Ben De Vries and touring with Allison Krauss

Discussion in 'News about David Gray' started by nevermind, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. nevermind

    nevermind Well-Known Grayhead

    Interesting interview! David talked about his new producer Ben De Vries and touring with Allison Krauss!

    By Daniel Durchholz Special to Go! Magazine

    ...It’s still an odd pairing on second and third glance, too. But Gray makes a case for a concert based on somewhat differing musical styles.

    “She has a bluegrass background and has an amazing band; I’ve got more of an English mentality,” he says by phone from a tour stop in Charlotte, N.C. “But there’s a commonality. We’re both very soul-based and singing-based.

    “In a world of homogeneity, it’s been interesting to have two contrasting things together. And it’s been going phenomenally well. I’m just enjoying it. It’s like a musical holiday.”

    It being a holiday for Gray is true in a literal sense. When he got an “out of the blue” call offering the tour, he was in the studio working on a new album, the follow-up to last year’s “The Best of David Gray,” a compilation containing “Babylon” as well as his other hits, including “Please Forgive Me” and “Sail Away.”

    Gray hopes to have the album finished by Christmas and out next year. One track, the shimmering “Hole in the Weather,” has already surfaced.

    As the electronic beats and textures of “Hole” indicate, Gray is looking to shift gears creatively with his new work. “I think it’s the most uplifting thing I’ve ever done, for one thing,” he says of the new album. “I’ve been working with a young producer, and it’s very much a studio record that we’re making. It’s not me playing over the band, it’s me playing off the ideas I’m working on with my producer. It’s got this fresh energy and lightness to it that I’m very, very excited about.”

    His producer is Ben De Vries, the son of Marius De Vries, who produced Gray’s 2005 album “Life in Slow Motion” and worked with artists including U2, Madonna and Bjork.

    “Ben has so much of his father’s musical flair,” Gray says. “They’re such musical people. Music just emanates from them. They have an appreciation for the classical, the experimental, the electronic. They’re a bit out there, really.”

    Gray’s new direction came about in part by discovering that the younger De Vries could be “that partner in crime, that other entity, that other person who can translate your humble idea into something that sounds exciting. Mercifully, I struck upon that person.”

    To this point, Gray is mostly known for songs that project a quiet intensity, and he’s unsure how the new material will be received by the public. But that’s something he’s grown accustomed to over the years.

    “I remember when I released ‘White Ladder,’ I thought, ‘This is so different from anything else we’ve ever done; what if we lose the few thousand fans we’ve managed to find?’” he says with a laugh. “But it went the other way, obviously, and we found lots of new fans. But you never can tell until you put it out there.”

    That will have to wait until he finishes the tour with Krauss and gets back to the studio. But Gray seems up for the challenge.

    “It see it as a long curve,” he says. “I’m acquiring knowledge and skills all the time. I feel like they might get me closer to the Holy Grail. I don’t know what that is for me, but I keep looking for it.”​

Share This Page