Stuart Svanlund's interview
by Philippe Archambeau - July 2002

Can you introduce the band members and how you met them ?

First I would like to introduce Pat Hamann, our keyboard player. I met Pat back in 1993 when I went to jam with a local Chicago band. Since then we have played in many different bands together in the area. We have also written alot of good music together over the years we've known each other. I would have to say Pat is probably my closest friend in Chicago. Next we have Mike McNicholas on drums. I met Mike around the same time I met Pat, because Mike was playing with the same band Pat was so you might say the three of us have been playing together in different bands since 1993. Last but not least we have Gary Boldt on Bass guitar. Gary had been playing bass in a band with Pat and Mike and when The Tone Generators original bass player moved to Florida, we held auditions and Gary filled the spot perfectly. Everybody in the band seems to click, we all play very well together and that means alot to me. The original bass player, Mike Becker and original drummer Gary Donnely are on three of the cuts from the "Burning Daylight" CD.

You recorded "Burning delight" last year. Can you tell who wrote the songs and how was the recording process ?
"Burning Daylight", along with "Why Can't You Love Me" and "State Street Shuffle" were recorded with the original bass player and drummer in 1999. We did redo some parts on those songs when we started recording the rest of the CD in 2001. Pat and I wrote most of the songs together except for a few that I had written. "Why Can't You Love Me" was orginally on The Marshall Tucker Record "Southern Spirit" released in 1990. Then you have "Sugar Sweet" which is a blues standard done by people like Muddy Waters and Freddie King. Our version is kind of an up tempo style of Freddie King's. "My Jesus told me so" was written by the late Toy Caldwell from the original Marshall Tucker Band. Toy was one of the greatest songwriters that there ever was, and that song is one of my favorites.

This album is more bluesy than what you usually play in Marshall Tucker Band. Is it because you're all from the Chicago area ?
Living in the Chicago area has alot to do with our style of music. This is a great Blues city with alot of great Blues musicians. Also that is my favorite type of music to play.

The songs "Between You And Me" and "Dear Daddy" remind me a bit of Steely Dan or Larry Carlton. Do you like these musicians and the kind of music they play ?
Yes, I do like those musicians and that type of music. I grew up listening to Larry Carlton but I would have to say Robben Ford is the guitarist I've liked the most out of all of them.

Your slide work on "Why can't you love me", "State Street Shuffle" is really great. How did you start playing slide ? Who were, and are, your main influences ?
Thanks for the complement on the slide work. I would have to say my main influences would be "Lowell George" from the original "Little Feat" band lineup and of coarse Duanne Allman. He was one of the greatest. I even listen to some of the old Delta Blues Slide Players from the 1920's and 1930's and still do.

Did you play touring the USA ?
The Tone Generators have not been working very much due to my schedule with Marshall Tucker but maybe towards the end of the year when my schedule slows down, we will be booking some shows here in the Chicagoland area. We do still rehearse whenever we have time.

What kind of music do you usually listen to ?
I would have to say that "Little Feat" is my favorite all time band and of coarse I love listening to the Blues. I also like artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, Level 42, and Go West.

What is the future of The Tone Generators ?
We will probably be booking some shows toward the end of the year and the early part of next year in the Chicago area. Hey Phillippe, How about a European Tour?? Do you know any good promoters? We have had alot of overseas CD sales.

Rusty Milner recently quit the Marshall Tucker Band. Are you gonna search a new guitar player ? If yes, do you have any suggestions ?
After Rusty left the band, we really didn't have to look for another guitar player. Chris Hicks (From the Outlaws) was already in the band and we had three guitar players at the time, since Rusty left, that gave Chris and myself more playing opportunities, which makes for alot better version of "The Marshall Tucker Band."

Imagine you'll spend the rest of your life on a desert island. Which albums would you take with you ?
I would definetly take my whole Little Feat collection, and probably artists like Albert King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins,Howling Wolf, Freddie King and all the great Blues players!



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