Interview with Andrew Kinsman

7th September 2010 – During Brixton Academy gig and V Festival, Kasabian Italia staff didn’t fail to notice one thing: there wasn’t Gary only, but a whole horn section onstage. One of them is the saxophonist Andrew Kinsman.
Then, we found out he’s a real artist: he can not only play several instruments, but he’s a very good drawer and a painter, too. Besides, he’s a very kind and nice guy. So, we had a brilliant idea: why not asking him to tell us about his career  and his experience while touring with Kasabian?
Andrew answered very kindly to our questions and this is what he told us.

© Andrew KinsmanWhen were you proposed to work with Kasabian? And above all, what does working with them mean?
I first worked with Kasabian earlier this year when i recorded with Gary (trumpet) on some material for the next album. The three gigs (Brixton, and the V Festival) came about on the back of the Brit awards. Serge I think realized the horns gave some of the songs a bigger sound.

Tell us, if you have one, the most funny thing happened during your perform with the guys at Brixton or at the V festival.
Every time we played the stabs in the breakdown of fire, the whole band ,especially serge would look to us and laugh just before it would happen.

What were your feelings on stage?
Just getting it right. It was hard to gage a good sound as we had so much of the keyboards and drums and little else in our in ear monitors.

How was for you playing sax in a rock band? Do you think sax is proper to rock music?
On songs like “Take Aim” I had to almost make my sax not sound like a sax. On the original it’s very much a brass band sound so had to keep my tone very straight, almost classical. No vibrato or accents. On “Fire”, “L.S.F.” and “Shoot the runner” though it was the classic sound, tenor sax, trumpet and trombone, and I think it really worked. The sax has made the crossover from jazz to classical to rock for decades now, I think accompanied with the horn section, the ‘reed’ sound adds that element of ‘soul’.

Andrew Kinsman V FestivalWhat were your feelings onstage while you were performing in front of a pretty huge audience like the V one?
We were lucky as we came on and went off with the band doing the first and last songs with them, so we saw the reactions from start to finish. Seeing people from as far as the eye could see was indescribable! As it was night time, half the audience were just silhouettes.

Telegraphic: an adjective to describe Tom, Serge, Chris and Ian.

Are you going to collaborate again with them in the future? Maybe in their new album?
Well I hope Serge will use the horns we’ve already recorded for the new album, he may want us in to record some more. I would love to do more live gigs with them for sure.

Let’s talk about you now. When did you start to play the sax and why did you choose this instrument?
I first had a sax when I was 17, didn’t actually play it much until my twenties. my decision to choose the sax over any other instrument was down to one song. ‘Your latest trick’ by Dire Straits.

Have you got a band on your own?
I’ve had bands under my own name before but I became frustrated with the organization of rehearsals, so now I just play other peoples music, it’s a lot easier that way.

What kind of music do you like? Do you listen to rock or you prefer other genres of music?
I love all styles of music now. Starting out playing the sax, I was a Jazz purest. I felt no other music compared to it technically. Since playing Rock/Indie, Reggae Scar pop as well as classical I’ve completely changed my outlook on music, and for the better I think.

Andrew Kinsman © Paul Roland WilliamsApart from sax, do you play other instruments?
I also play piano, flute and a little clarinette.

We know that you are also a very talented painter. How did your passion for arts and painting start?
I’ve been painting for longer than I’ve been playing music. I started oil painting when I was 10.

How do you reconcile your passion for music and art? What do you prefer between them?
The only way I felt I could do both professionally was to combine them, I’ve always preferred painting people than any other subject, so much more challenging. People often ask me which I prefer and my answer is always, I couldn’t choose.

Is there a painter who has inspired you the most?
I don’t think I could choose one direct influence, so many artists have inspired me past and present and continue to do so. I think every contemporary figurative artist however has been inspired in some way by painters such as Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Velazquez. Artists that didn’t have modern aids like the camera or computers to help them. Painted with chiaroscuro, they relieved on candle light and working from life with their sketches as their reference.

What are you future plans as an artist and musician? Other important collaborations?
Eventually publish a book of portraits (performers) compiled of paintings, sketches, drawings of different media. The working title is  “Backstage”. A documentation of performers across the board, famous to relatively unknown, artists I come into contact with through my own musical experiences.

We’d really like to thank Andrew for his kindness and we wish him all the best for his musical and artistic career.
And what about you, readers? We hope you’ll remember this interview, when you’ll read, on Kasabian’s new album, the name “Andrew Kinsman” among the musicians list.

Kasabian Italia Staff

Find Andrew Kinsman on Facebook, click here


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