Gwilym Simcock: It's All Just Music
AAJ: Those are typical kind of venues for the Acoustic Triangle Trio you play in, right?
GS: Yeah, totally, I've played in churches and cathedrals all round the country and I'd played in Norwich Cathedral before.
AAJ: Is that the kind of venue you'd like to take your trio to play in?
GS: Yeah, they are wonderful places to play in. It's a challenge with drums because it's so reverberant but I've never met a more subtle drummer and I really love that about his [James Maddren] playing. He's such an intelligent musician and he does the right thing for each situation. So I was never worried about him playing in a cathedral but if it was anyone else it would be a little difficult to work in those conditions.
James never, ever complains; whatever the drum kit he'll make something of it. He's played in some really difficult situations but he'll just get on with it and I think that's the mark of a really great musician.
AAJ: Finally; you've been voted one of the thousand most influential people in London, which I'm sure you take with a pinch of salt, but if you had the influence to change one thing about London for the better, what would that be?
GS: That's a very good question. The licensing laws in England are very prohibitive, and there used to be this law that you could only have two musicians and that was fine, you didn't need a license, and the Musicians Union tried to intervene and said it should be a lot more open, but the government changed the law and made it even worse so that you had to have a license for any music whatsoever.
So there used to be hundreds of little duo gigs in bars and restaurants, which may sound like it's not a very important thing but to students, and people coming out of college this is the way you learn tunes and build up musical relationships through these gigs. So all of a sudden these gigs stopped because the places can't afford thousands of pounds for licensing. These gigs just evaporated overnight, which is a real shame.
There are jazz course at nearly all the colleges now and hundreds of people coming out of college each year and there just aren't enough gigs for them. I could name dozens of musicians who are my age or younger and who are great musicians but people don't get to hear them. That's something I would like to change.
Gwilym Simcock, Blues Vignette (Basho Records, 2009)
Yuri Goloubev, Metafor Semplice (Universal, 2009)
Tim Garland's Lighthouse Trio, Libra (Global Mix, 2008)
Neon, Here to There (Basho Records, 2008)
Acoustic Triangle 3 Dimensions, (Audio-B, 2008)
Gwilym Simcock, Perception (Basho Records, 2007)
Tim Garland, Due North (Jazzaction, 2007)
Klaus Gesing, Heart Luggage (ATS Records, 2006)
Acoustic Triangle, Resonance (Audio-B, 2006)
Tim Garland, If the Sea Replied (Sirocco Music, 2005)
Kathleen Wilson, Close to You (Basho Records, 2004)
Acoustic Triangle, Catalyst (Audio-B, 2003)