Questa l’intervista rilasciata a musicradar.com da Donna Grantis la chitarrista di origine canadese che, in compagnia di Hannah Ford e Ida Kristine Nielsen, fa parte delle 3rdEyeGirl la band tutta al femminile che da alcuni anni accompagna Prince nei sui concerti. Lo scorso settembre, con la collaborazione del genio di Minneapolis, hanno realizzato il loro primo album dal titolo PlectrumElectrum.
Donna Grantis on Prince, Paisley Park and PlectrumElectrum
How exactly does a guitarist wind up getting the call to be a Prince protégé?
“It was back in November of 2012. Prince had asked Hannah Welton [née Ford], the drummer in 3rdEyeGirl and her husband Joshua [Welton], who co-produced Art Official Age [the Prince ‘solo’ album released simultaneously with PlectrumElectrum, and also featuring Donna and the band] to find a guitarist.
“So they searched the internet and they came across some of my videos and sent them on to Prince. I was invited down to Paisley Park to jam and it’s been full-steam ahead ever since then!”
What goes through your head when you pull up to the gates at Paisley Park?
“I was just excited to have the opportunity to jam with a phenomenal musician. I was absolutely aware of the weight of the opportunity; it was something I had dreamed of, but psychologically I was trying to put all of my energy and all of my focus into the music. I was just trying to fit in, listen to the other players and do my best.”
Is Prince a teacher or a collaborator?
“In rehearsal, when we’re learning things, it’s absolutely teacher/student – and I’ve learned so much – then when we’re on stage, it’s the four of us all together collaborating and sounding like a freight train.”
What was it like recording in Paisley Park?
“We were all set up in one room, Hannah, Ida [Nielsen, bass] and I. It was the same room that we were rehearsing in. Our amps were mic’d, but we didn’t even realise that we were recording an album when we started Plectrum… Prince would come in and he’d teach us some grooves and then he’d say, ‘Okay, let’s record this.’
“A lot of what we were recording was for reference purposes, because we were learning so much new material and we needed something to listen back to, but those jams and those songs, once we started adding vocals to them, it was like, ‘OK, something’s going on here…’
“The vibe was really cool. It was analogue. We recorded to tape and we really wanted to capture the live sound. So we all had to nail the take together. Pretty much, what you hear on there is a true representation of what happened as a band in that one room.”
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3rdEyeGirl & Prince “PlectrumElectrum” (2014)