Sunday Spotlight: Andy Tillison

It’s the Red Dog Music Sunday Spotlight! This week in Sunday Spotlight, we meet:

1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.

Hi, my name’s Andy Tillison, I’m from Otley in Yorkshire and I’m a 57 year old Progressive Rock keyboards player and writer. I’ve made more than 20 albums, am signed to Sony via Insideout in Germany and I just about live for music and music making. I also teach part time my specialist subject being Music Technology

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.

Hey. It’s full on Prog Rock. Yep, the full 20-minute-long-songs-with-bonkers-time-signatures-Monty. The band I lead is called The Tangent (I’m also the singer) and despite the prog tag, we’re very much into Funk, Punk, Modern Dance music and Jazz and even flirt with hard technical Metal from time to time.  We’re lyrically diverse and sing everything from optimistic uplifting anthems through to dark political critique – our last piece was a 20 minute long assault on the rise of racism after Brexit. It’s cinematic music that seeks to tell stories and take the listener on a serious journey.. it’s not music for washing up to, clubbing to or dancing to (although you can if you’re in really good shape). It’s about LISTENING and giving TIME to music itself. A big ask for many folks in 2017!

Sunday Spotlight: Tangent

3.When did you start and what made you want to start making music?

Fell in love with the music of Beethoven when I was 6 – in er.. 1965. That’s when I started to play the piano and learn how to write my own music. Got into bands like Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and Pink Floyd when I was in my early teens. The punk explosion happened just as I was leaving school and that was a great way into making music for a newbie. I saw Yes and The Sex Pistols live within the same 2 months back in the late 70s and enjoyed ’em both as much as each other. Never liked the divide that was supposed to exist between these vital musical forms.

4. Stage or studio?

Both, I owned my own commercial studio in Leeds for about 7 years, working a lot with the early thrash/hardcore metal scene as it got going in the late 80s. Did recordings for people like The Membranes, A Witness, Cud, Civilised Society, Sore Throat, Hellbastard, Axegrinder and dozens of others. Live on stage I’ve played all over the place, most of Western Europe, done the States, Canada and even toured in Russia which was amazing. Haven’t gigged in my home town of Leeds for donkey’s years – not much interest here… but who knows?

5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?

I am a PC user and record my stuff using Cubase 7 which I got from The Production Room (Now Red Dog).  I’d been using it since the late 80s (Atari ST version) and have never seen the benefits of changing to another system, So PC not Mac – Cubase not Logic for me – I have no problems with any of the other systems – most are great and I have to work with a lot of cross platform stuff of course.

Keyboards are  – at centre stage my 1965 Hammond T1 organ and its valve Leslie. I Also have a Roland VK7 organ for touring with but nowadays it’s powering a plugin organ which is better sounding for me that’s the amazing VB3. I use a Studiologic Sledge polyphonic virtual analogue polysynth which I love except the bloody colour (screaming Yellow), a Roland FA06 workstation (more Red Dog money) – very useful onstage, a wonderful Gem Promega 2 piano and am currently awaiting the arrival of my Arturia Matrixbrute Analogue synth  – with serious lookingforwardness. Even MORE Red Dog Money…. That will replace the trusty Minimoog I had to sell during a bad year!! (Genesis toured so there was no work for the rest of us)

6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?

The Hammond. No Question. It’s MY instrument, and I rescued it from a Working Men’s Club the day before they demolished the building. No “off the shelf” instrument can have that kind of attachment to a musician – however good. A Hammond does everything. I could gig with JUST that and it would still be good. But my back would break getting it in the van!

7. Where can we check out your tunes?

See me with all my gear playing here:

 

My band’s website is at www.thetangent.org

#RDMSpotlight

Red Dog Music Sunday Spotlight is your chance to get your music in front of the world, and our chance to discover some great new sounds. If you want to be featured in this weekly column, you can get all the details here.

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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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