Calexico do not need any recommendations as they have earned worldwide recognition for their high quality music.
Joey Burns and John Convertino’s world tour began in the USA, Canada and arrived in Europe, where they will make a stop in Athens, in one of the most important cultural sites, Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Calexico spoke to CITY CODE οn the occasion of their tour, the respect in music, the ethos shown in each one of their live performances as well as their new album “The Thread That Keeps US”.
Photos: George Alexandrakis
In your world tour you will perform in one of the most important cultural and historic venues, Odeon of Herodes Atticus. How do you feel that you are returning to Greece and this time not in a typical concert venue. What are your expectations and what do you know about this historic venue?
Joey: I’m so happy to be returning to Greece. I dream of staying longer and bringing my wife and kids someday. I want to visit the islands and write & record music there. I always feel a lot of inspiration when I return to Greece. Playing the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a big deal. I love the history both modern and ancient. I would say that this is a big milestone in our musical path and career. We are all honored and so happy to play here. We will be tapping into the spirits and the soulful energy of The Odeon and Athens. This truly is a dream to play here.
Is Greece just a business destination or is it combined with something more in your mind?
Joey: playing in Greece always feels like returning to a day dream of positive energy, friends and good times. More pleasure and inspiration than anything else. Always has been and always will be.
A common question in interviews is what piece of advice you would give to young artists. Reversing the question, what is it that you get out of young creators that makes your staying in contact with them so important? In general, are there any elements in particular that are important in your collaborations?
Joey: Be yourself. No need to copy what everyone else is doing. Find yourself and lose yourself. Question authority and the rules and definitions that confine artists and art. Dream big and follow your heart. Surround yourself with people who are similar minded and are on the path for all the right reasons, because they want to help get good art and positive expressions seen and heard. Unplug, unwind and tap into the muse.
I enjoy meeting musicians and artists, writers and painters of all ages. My daughters are 7 years old and have taught me more than anyone. To be free and let go of constraints and old habits is an incredible lesson in itself. I like the way artists who are youthful in heart can remind us of being in the moment and to follow our imagination. There is so much creativity at our fingertips and inside ourselves. Collaborations can bring a spark to light new directions and avenues of creativity. I always love the feeling that these musical and artistic Bridges leave us feeling.
You enjoy worldwide recognition. Is this enough in itself or are you constantly in search of your next steps?
Joey: To be content with and be humbled by the gifts of everyday life is important and the drive to help others is also what fuels our musical paths. I want to continue helping out others in need around the world and especially help be a positive influence back home in Southern Arizona. There’s lots of work to do. I’m in this for the long haul. Music is our vehicle. It brings us to friends all around the world and to places both providing inspiration and needing positive energy.
Your new studio album is called “The thread that keeps us”. What are your own threads that keep you?
Joey: family, nature, music & arts, books, coffee, helping others and taking time for silence and inner peace.
Our magazine’s motto is “Look inside yourself”, because we believe that’s where everything begins. Do you recall any moment when you closed your eyes to dream, to think, to calm down…What is your life’s motto?
Joey: 20 years ago we wrote and recorded the album ‘The Black Light’. Ιt was based on a dream and following a musical passion to bring together an indie rock orchestra that touched on cinematic touches and songwriting inspired by the classic artists. I didn’t question how or why but followed where the music was taking me. It was all based on spontaneity and the inspiration of having just moved to Tucson from Los Angeles. From the Pacific Ocean to the Sonoran Desert.
It was the result of listening to and being in touch with my inner voice. I suppose that is the motto I keep striving for, to be a good listener. Listen to nature, my family, and to gravity of each and every moment.
Thanks very much