In 2016, we had the pleasure to have Dominic Miller open the first edition of our project, Jazz in the Street. Together with percussionist Miles Bould, he gave a fantastic concert that had everyone in the venue hypnotised by the energy of his music. Although he’s mainly known for his long-time collaboration with Sting, he has developed a solo career that’s just as impressive. Now, after four years, he will be coming to Cluj for the second time, with a special project: Dominic Miller Group.

Since we’ll be hearing his latest solo album, Absinthe, live in March, we wanted to find out more about his creative universe, the artists and songs that influence him and the implications of a life spent performing. We sent him a few questions via email and he took his time to give us short, yet essential answers. 

1. Your latest album has quite a special name, Absinthe. Although absinthe was very popular in the 19th century and it was the favourite drink of writers and artists like Hemingway, Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Oscar Wilde or Marcel Proust, it was also highly controversial, being considered a drug, and it was prohibited for a while in different countries. So, if we’re to take all of this into account, why “Absinthe”? What element, feature or emotion associated with ”the green fairy” inspired you to create this whole album?

 
It is about colour contrast and even colour conflict. I am very inspired by all those painters and yes, they went quite far using absinthe to help create images and emotions of an almost hallucinatory nature. I tried to create some of these clashes and emotions in this music. Also I live in that area of France so I feel that connection with all artists and writers who create there.

2. People think that professional musicians can make music whenever they want to. Is that so? How does the songwriting process actually work for you? 
 

I think we can make music when we want but to go into the writing zone requires a different kind of commitment. I think it’s different for everyone but for me I don’t turn on the “WiFi” of creativity unless I’m certain I will go on the full journey and take the process to its conclusion. That is my commitment and it’s very energy consuming yet highly rewarding. The way I write is I open my heart fully for all possibilities then do the work with whatever inspiration that falls on my hands.

3. As you previously mentioned in an interview, you grew up listening to Hendrix, and this influenced your career on different levels. If you were to be a child again, which artist would replace Hendrix and why? 

 

I like this question. In today’s musical climate I think I would be influenced by Billie Eilish for various reasons, not just musical. I am so happy my 14 year old daughter Eva has this kind of role model. I am kind of experiencing that influence through her as well.

4. Which song, out of all you’ve ever listened to, wish you had written? Why? 

 

Ha! Gosh, so many. I think Sting’s “Fragile” is a perfect song. I feel blessed to be playing it with him every night we tour.

5. You’ve always dreamed of becoming a musician and now you’re living the dream. How does that feel? What kind of joys and sorrows come with a dream like this? 

 
It is living the dream. The upsides are infinite joy through playing music with my friends and I somehow feel closer to my higher power, whatever or whoever that is. The downside, or price, is I don’t spend enough time with my family.
Grey Paris on tour in Romania

Grey Paris on tour in Romania

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