Andrew Giddings is the keyboardist for Jethro Tull. Not only does he play keys for the band, he's also the webmaster of their official band website, J-Tull.com. He's been with Tull for about eight years and got interested in playing piano at the age of four! Rocknotes was fortunate to spend some quality time with Andrew via email. Read on for the details.
Since you are the webmaster, how long did it take you to put together
the website? How much time do you spend maintaining it?
I put the first website together in a few days over Christmas 1998, and I was so proud of it! Looking back, of course it was hopelessly amateur but it had all the relevant information on it and that was the whole idea. We decided that if there were going to be facts about us on the www, they may as well be accurate. I had a lot of help from Tull fans all over the world who would point out errors in the HTML, suggest ways of making things load faster and so on. I try to maintain it constantly in as much as I check it daily, however, obtaining input from the other band members is a constant struggle.
What's your take on the whole Napster situation?
I would like to wait and see exactly how much revenue is reappropriated by these kind of sites before getting too paranoid. There has always been piracy, and I'm inclined to think that it will all even itself out in the end. After all, there is no substitute for thumbing through the booklet of a CD while you are listening to it for the first time, and I believe people will always want to do that.
Your first recollection of Jethro Tull?
I was born in 1963, and I grew up listening to pop music! I would hear Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield blasting out of my older sister's room, but would still buy records by Gordon Gilltrap, Kraftwerk, The Yellow Magic Orchestra and artists in that genre. The first I ever heard of Jethro Tull was when I got a call from their office asking me to play on Catfish Rising, after Ian had heard a tape of a live gig I played in a pub somewhere in England! Boy, how my life changed that day!
What did you think of the Danbury venue and the band's performance
I prefer the outdoor concerts, for me the venues usually offer nicer backstage facilities and the opportunity to walk around between soundcheck and showtime. That can be anything from 3 to 5 hours! Also, the sound quality is potentially higher, given that there are no acoustic influences in the venue. I had a good time there.
Any chance of seeing a piece of "Passion Play" on the next tour? I was
hoping when that rabbit was jumping around onstage the band would break
into "The Hare who lost his Spectacles".
I'll bring it up at the next board meeting!
What sites do you frequent on the internet?
Surfing requires time I usually don't have, but I like the idea of shareware and freeware, (who doesn't)? and I often download toys to entertain myself with from winfiles.com and softseek.com. The stuff on those site may not be groundbreaking but I have picked up loads of utilities and a few novelty items for free!
Do you have other musical projects outside your work with Tull?
Yes indeed. Later this year I am producing a studio album for a hugely talented singer/songwriter named Vyktoria Keating. She opened for Tull on our 1999 US and UK tours. She is also an accomplished guitar player who's style is as unique as I've ever heard. She has a CD out of her performances with us called "Something About Driving" which is available from her website vyktoria.com. We plan to start work in my studio in England, The Wychwood Recorder, mid October. It will be an interesting project for me in as much as it will be the first in my new studio, and will be recorded, mixed and mastered entirely on Hard Disk. An interesting meeting of acoustic and electronic.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Look after the animals. :-)
Interview questions by Marcus DeCarlo via email to Andrew Giddings (August 8, 2000)