Comfortably Numb interview with AK

Q: How long have you been together as Comfortably Numb?

A: 1992

Q: What was the turning point that made you decide to start touring with Comfortably Numb?

A:  A desire to bring these shows to as many people as we can and to share the magic of Pink Floyd to all, we also hope to convert people that do not like Floyd to being Floyd fans.

Q: What lead to you being a Pink Floyd tribute band?

A: A genuine love for the music of 70’s Pink Floyd. We have always been amazed at the live concerts Pink Floyd in the 70’s and want to bring these types of shows to our audiences. In the initial stages we had a cover band that focused on different music, Genesis (I am a big fan of Genesis as well) etc. but in the middle of the show we decided to do a big ‘floyd set’ – the reaction was always wonderful so it took off from there. I am a bit of a control freak so I fashioned this band to be the best it can – and still do!

Q: Where have you toured with Comfortably Numb?

A: as far as Panama, Central America

Q: What does Pink Floyd’s music mean to you?

A: Pink Floyd has been with me through thick and thin. I can always turn to this music today and it sounds as fresh as it did the day I first listened to it. It affects me on so many levels that it is hard to pinpoint just one – I do know that it is quite special.

Q: Have you ever seen Pink Floyd perform live? What about any of the band members, such as Roger Waters?

A: Yes I have seen them many times and also I have seen Gilmour and Waters live on many occasions. I saw Waters on Radio Kaos, In The Flesh and Dark Side Of The Moon (3 times) and The Wall (three times) tours. I saw Gilmour on About Face and On an Island tours. I am a HUGE Waters fan and have an IMMENSE respect for his work. Waters is up there with Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Gilmour’s guitar work inspires me to new heights daily. In our Numb shows I am always striving for ‘that tone’. I have gear that Gilmour himself uses as well so as to ‘get that sound’ – as all players know, sound comes from the hands and not just effects, so I am always trying to get it bang on.

Q: What do you enjoy most about doing Pink Floyd concerts?

A: Playing the music and feeling that magic on stage with my band. The interaction between myself and the audience – this is a huge area for me. I am so fortunate to have this amazing group of musicians with me that when we play together it is very special indeed.

Q: Why do you choose to recreate specific concerts?

A: I must explain that we DO NOT recreate shows in the sense that other bands do, note for note, scene for scene etc. Our recreation is the emotion of these shows as it was in the 70’s. We do not re-create the standard PULSE/DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER type shows as our focus is on the 70’s. We spend a great deal of time trying to capture that spirit, not a clone of a show as it were. We do not spend time trying to look a-like or act etc. Unlike most bands that simply perform and let the lights and video take over, we play to our audiences – each person in that audience has chosen to spend their time with us and we know how valuable time is these days, so we take this very seriously, and we want it to be a memorable night. Audience interaction for me is a MUST not an option. Folks that have seen the show know ‘AK’ will interact with the audience.

Q: Have you ever played in Montreal before? What’s your experience like with the audience?

A:  We have several times, Club Soda, Le Spectrum, Le Medley, L’Olympia de Montreal and now L’Astral. The audience are brilliant and the reception we get is very humbling indeed. We have gained some very loyal fans – it is a pleasure and an honour to perform in Montreal.

Q: Do you have any memorable stories to share about Pink Floyd fans?

A: I can share stories of our Pink Floyd fans, we have had some amazing hard core fans that come to EVERY single show and are so loyal – they help promote the shows, support the band and so on. One time I remember a fan was so into the show he had our band logo tattooed – well cool I must say! Another time a fan gave us his shirt in the middle of a winter storm – literally! I have been asked to sign female body parts and at our last show in Toronto a woman yelled out that she wanted to…well you know…I find all this very funny and yet humbling that fans are so into the show.

Q: Your other band, AK Project, this music is your own compositions, correct? Do you think your Comfortably Numb fan’s would also enjoy the music produced by the AK Project? Do you ever do shows in Montreal with the AK Project?

A: The AK Project is ALL original. The first album was entitled ‘Outside The Cage’ and was a very personal album – the music was very much reflective of my Pink Floyd background, in fact many, many Numb fans have bought my albums in very big numbers, especially in Montreal where a group of fans spread the word and spiked up album sales considerably. Our next CD featuring the members of Comfortably Numb will also have some Floyd influence as well. We have not yet toured Montreal with The AK Project but we will for sure – the album will be released in Spring 2012.


~ by Solveig Keshavjee: In loving memory on February 15, 2012.

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