dave kilminster

U.K. guitar hero Dave Kilminster talks about the ups and downs of solo albums, explains why he shuns most effects, and reveals how an unusual altered tuning is the centerpiece of his next album.

Photo by Simone Cecchetti

“I thought it was about time I stopped helping other people with their careers and got on with mine,” laughs Dave Kilminster about the motivation behind his 2007 debut album, Scarlet. After playing the role of über-sideman to a list of rock royalty that includes John Wetton, Keith Emerson, and most notably Roger Waters, Kilminster stepped out on his own with a tight collection of tuneful originals. During a break from Waters’ seemingly never-ending touring production of The Wall, Kilminster decided to revisit Scarlet. “When I finally got time to go back and look at it, I realized it deserved a lot more. So I went back in the studio and had a fiddle with it with a good friend of mine, Jamie Humphries, who is a great guitarist, and we ended up with The Director’s Cut.”

Sonically, the original version was missing something. The drum sound didn’t match Kilminster’s vision, and that led him to strip away some unessential elements and make the album sound more focused. “It was almost like there was a great sounding album underneath all this crap on top of it,” says Kilminster. “When I took the recording to Jamie, he made the drums sound like they should have in the first place. Then I did a few extra vocal harmonies. We were rushed in those initial sessions and I wasn’t particularly confident about singing, but this time Jamie just told me to go for it.”

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