Anil Prasad Gets to the Point with Innerviews: Music Without Borders: a review by J. Hayes
I find myself in the strange position, as a writer and interviewer of musicians, of reviewing a book by a writer and interviewer of musicians. So please bear with what may on the surface feel somewhat incestuous. And while Anil Prasad’s oeuvre reflects a more subdued voice and approach, I am truly inspired by the results of his new volume (released this month on Abstract Logix Books).
Prasad has made a career on his own terms. Writing for Guitar Player, Bass Player and Dirty Linen, he launched his own Innerviews website in the early 90s, proving to be somewhat of an internet pioneer. A music scholar after my own heart, Prasad was seemingly unimpressed with the lackadaisical approach of most music journalism. Starting with research of the first-order and culminating in an informed and perceptive line of questioning that doesn’t simply graze over the generic minutiae, but in fact completely disregards it.
Innerviews doesn’t read like literature, doesn’t editorialize and while, dear reader as you are no doubt aware, I tend to lean toward a somewhat more lotus-eating approach myself, Prasad’s style and genuine interest in the artists he interviews leaves a lasting effect, evident in a fawning foreward by one of the interviewees; Victor Wooten. Prasad’s concise and to-the-point direction leads diverse artists from Bjork and Stanley Clarke to Chuck D and Chris Whitley to expound on the subjects for which they are truly passionate. Each interview features almost essay like responses from the artists that provide an unparalleled insight into their inspirations and creative processes.
It was Dan Whitley, brother of the aforementioned Chris, an extraordinary musician in his own right, that brought Innerviews to my attention just over a month ago and I was particularly eager to read the interview with Whitley from September 2004 (just a year before his passing). Other interviews including the one with Bjork have encouraged me to dig deeper into the catalogs of artists whose music I had only given a passing listen.
Seek out Innerviews where ever you can find it and support the kind of writing that allows our artists’ voices to be accurately heard. Prasad was recently featured in a Jazz Times piece about the future of music journalism and if that is the case, I hope to be a part of it. Along the way…
Live Well & Listen Closely,
read more articles by music writer J. Hayes here and at: http://www.examiner.com/x-4161-New-American-Music-Examiner
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art direction & design by www.hayesmusicdesign.com
special thanks to Anil Prasad, Abstract Logix, Daniel Whitley and my editor Kellee Webb