Still brothers in arms
After their gig, Chris White of The Dire Straits Experience says that their debut in India was an unforgettable experience and discusses how they sustain the group's spirit despite the odds
How do you think the rock / metal music industry has evolved over the years?
It’s very different now to be a musician. The way we started off in the industry and the way I see young musicians progressing today is not the same. Trying to make your own music and owning it is a lot tougher now. But having said that, there are plenty of exciting new things we keep hearing every day and this shows artists are still making an effort and trying to do it.
The Internet has altered everything and the need for immediacy is the power that drives everything and its holds true for the music industry as well. The way people receive music and how bands interact with their fan base has also been affected by the internet in good ways mostly. The ease in communicating with your fan base, reaching out and interacting with them is definitely a positive outcome of the new age.
In the context of record companies as well, things have changed tremendously. The financial support for tours we had when we started off as musicians is not that strong today because a lot of them don’t really make any money but people are finding a way around all of this. Musicians will find a way to continue and make a difference.
As per the recent trend of EDM and Pop music, some say that it has murdered rock music. What are views about it?
That’s just a label. I just don’t think label means a thing, may be, I think, it probably looks good that something's there, something’s new. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. I remember being a student in 80s saying that guitars are finished and no one is going to play guitars anymore. All the music would be done on computers. It doesn’t really interest me if something is called rock or pop. If you see the song book of Dire Straits is a mixture of rock, pop, blues and folk.
How has the journey been for “The Dire Straits Experience” so far?
The Dire Straits Experience originally came together after we received a request to play Dire Straits songs at a charity event concert in Albert Hall, London in 2011. With an increasing demand to hear some of the finest compositions and musical performances in rock history live again — members of Dire Straits, Alan Clark, myself and Phil Palmer formed The Straits and went on to perform in London. Over the next three and a half years we played at more than 150 shows in 25 countries around the world post which we received an invitation to play a series of shows in New Zealand and Australia. This opportunity helped us bring Terence Reis to collaborate and form The Dire Straits Experience.
Ever since that collaboration, we noticed the amazingly loyal fan base that Dire Straits managed to gather over the years. We have been truly humbled by the response we have received specially in evoking memories within those who heard these songs when they first came out and it’s great to reconnect with these people. We also noticed a lot of the younger folks developing interest and enjoying the songs. Unintentionally, we had introduced these classic timeless songs to a whole new generation of music lovers who understood and loved the work of one of the greatest songwriters this industry has seen. These songs have passed the test of time and are interesting to the audience even today because of the body of work and the man who wrote them, the immensely talented Mark Knopfler.
Evolving from an invitation to play at a charity concert a few years ago to now tours around the world, bringing the experience to live audiences once again is the journey we have crossed to reach this day.
nWhat made you choose 100 Pipers Play for a cause to mark your first ever concert in the Indian continent? Tell us more about your association.
The brand has supported causes including helping people affected by natural calamities like “Kashmir floods, Earthquakes in Nepal and India etc.” in the past. This year we join our hands to raise awareness around the importance of the most basic human right - access to sustainable water.
Considering we initially put together this band to support a charity show, associating ourselves with worthwhile causes has been a key for The Dire Straits Experience. We are glad to have been able to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people through our music.
Finally you are in India. It’s been a long while coming. What are you looking forward to?
We are thrilled to be in India. We have heard a great deal about India’s affinity towards music and are excited to experience the country's colorful culture and ambience. We have heard that India’s exuberance is infectious and we totally embraced and experienced it. Our debut here was an unforgettable experience for us.
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