Interview - Luis Oliart

Luis Oliart has toured the world, played Carnige Hall to B.B. King's Blues Club. He's played on stage with Brian Setzer, Scott Page (of Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Toto) , Robby Krieger (Doors) and Dennis Quaid. Post-covid Luis has been rockin' venues throughout Southern California with his funk-soul-blues band, The Hinges. His A-lister bandmates include, Norwood Fisher and John Steward of Fishbone and guitarist, Jay O'Keefe. Luis Oliart is also an actor and activist helping the homeless. 

Hi Luis. Tell us about your latest song Rise Up! Fire On The Mountain.
I wanted to write a fight song that had had a sing-along component. A tune that might alleviate tensions and frustration but also give people some sense of hope.
Our band, The Hinges, have been developing our sound jamming during Covid-19. It was clear to us that we needed some additional material to play “full throttle" live. We wanted to turn it up and tear it up. Give the people - and ourselves - what we all need at the moment. A time and place to Rise Up!”

- How would you describe your sound?
My sound is rooted in the Blues, Soul, Rock n Roll. We also have a Funk Punk side...

- What do you write about?
I write personally about my deepest feelings that are my most universal statement.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
I listen to music that I am studying. Meaning I listen to things to learn or escape. Punk, Funk, Blues, Reggae, Latin, Pop, Jazz, Tribal Music, Classical.
I'm also a teacher so new artists and music generally comes through my students.

- Your favourite live performance so far?
I saw Donald Kinsey (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh) play the blues when I was young in the Kinsey Report. His playing sent charges through my body. I knew I wanted to be able to express that kind of emotion through my instrument.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage

I was playing bass with a band called Family Style. The brothers Rodriguez were a great family band and Tony was singing and playing the drums. Some knuckle head in the audience came on stage and hit Vic, his brother on guitar, in the back. Tony stepped off the drums after he finished a verse and punched the knucklehead who then flew off stage like he was catapulted. I kept driving the bass line so that the dancing never stopped. Tony sat down and finished the song and the set. I continued another 20 years on bass with the band after that night. Always keep the music grooving.

- Your favourite albums?
Sly Stone - Fresh
Freddie King - Essential
Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine
Aretha Franklin - Greatest Hits
Bob Marley - Survival
BB King - Anthology

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?

Donald Kinsey

- What would you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
Is the audience safe and set up to have a great experience?

- What are your plans for the next future?
Record a live album with The Hinges

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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