Marty Willson-Piper Nightjar is one of great structure and depth. The songs on this solo release go from pop through melodic with a tinge of some country thrown into it. Here are some questions to get you to want to get to know this solo artist and great guitarist of The Church.
What is the meaning behind the title of your latest CD Nightjar?
It is a bird that likes to be on the ground. It is well camouflaged and rarely seen. The juxtaposition about what you can achieve in relation to your gifts are an interesting question in relation to people. Often people with little ability can go far, whereas those with talent can’t find their way. I thought there was a relationship between the bird’s behaviour and those that could go far but either can’t get there or choose not to try.
What affected you to write the song Lullaby For The Lonely and who are the Lonely your talking about?
I wrote the verse a long time before the chorus and it took a while to get to what the point of the song was. Basically, it’s an interesting idea to write negative concepts successfully. The words speak for themselves.
Song For Victor Jara. Who is Victor Jara and why did they need this song?
He was a Chilean, teacher, poet, singer, songwriter, activist who was murdered by Pinochet’s fascists in 1973. This song is a tragic story of a wonderful man whose humanity poured out of his many recordings.
A Game For Losers. What game should they play? And what’s your favorite past-time board game?
Winning at losing is a recurring theme in this record. Here it is again. Nobody should do anything, most of life’s decisions are simple choices; just try and make the right one.
My favourite board game is Chess.
Feed Your Mind. Which do you like better and why Books to feed your mind, Music, Movies or the new paper?
I buy books, I am reading Ian McKewan’s Enduring Love at the moment. I buy records, I listened to Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi today as well as Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow, Beck-Ola and Jeff. I get NY Times and The Independent UK on line sent to me. I like movies and recently saw three Carl Theodore Dreyer films Vampyr, Leaves From Satan’s Book and Le Passion De Jeanne D’arc. I like all these things.
Who is The Sniper and what are they doing?
The sniper is an ordinary man tipped over the edge. What he is doing is all he feels that is left to do.
I Must Have Fallen. Fallen in Love? Fallen Down. Which one of these has been harder for you to deal with and why?
The ambiguity of the metaphor gives power to a presumed subject. The title achieves this, but actually the simple truth of the lyric is unambiguous. Everything is hard and everything is easy. This is the human paradoxical dilemma.
What is the design of your artwork for this CD about? Two Birds? It’s so different.
It was originally one drawing I did of a Nightjar. It didn’t “fly” until I mirrored the bird and then it became a butterfly. Or at least something to catch the eye and make you wonder; take a second look. People see different things in the same picture. It’s a psychological test.
You wrote a wise pop album this time. Was that intentional?
I rarely plan. To my ears this album has a thread in its diversity. Sometimes it is Pop, sometimes it has some Country tinges. Other times it is dark and dense.
With this interview I hope that it has given insight to Marty Willson-Piper the writer and Marty Willson-Piper the person. This album Nightjar gives a brief look into the psychological of one’s self. And we get to partially see how we deal with the human paradoxical dilemmas of every day life choices we make or have made.
Currently, Marty Willson-Piper is playing with The Church with their 30th Anniversary tour, which kicks off on April 2nd here in the USA through the end of May 2010. It’s an acoustic tour. Intimate and serenity should come of ease for this great show. They will be playing one song from every album that they have released starting from the current release #23 and working back over the many years of their releases all the way back to the first album Of Skins And Heart. See you there.
(Interview by Jonathan D. Wright)
Marty Willson-Piper on Myspace