Interview to Dean Carter

Guitar virtuoso Dean Carter's whirlwind two years continue with his third full-length album 'Out Of The Loop', delicately crafted up by by one man and his loop pedal for perfect live recreation. Delve into nine exceptional acoustic tracks, many of which evolved from a diverse range of experiences and dreams that have resonated with Dean since his 25 year departure from the scene, and combine a series of experimental sequencing and hypnotic chord progressions.

By P. P.

3/21/20244 min read

Hi Dean, welcome to AFX. How did you first start producing the style of music that you are releasing today? I had a 25 year lay-off from music due to illness, ME...I was unable to even listen to music, let alone play, record, or compose, for many years. Gradually through working with sound healing instruments such as crystal and Tibetan bowls and vocal overtoning. I recovered, founding my own form of sound healing, Eventually a little bit of ‘normal’ music, playing and teaching, came back, but not my own compositions, until around 2021, when I started using a loop pedal to look at some of my old guitar duet pieces that never really saw the light of day even when I was functioning as a musician in the 1990s. Working in this way has unleashed a sort of flood of compositions both instrumental and songs, and am now fully re-engaged in the musical creative process...including a good deal of music coming through literally in dream states—I have to then wake up and put the pieces down as much as I can remember them.

Describe your creative process when you write music and how was your experience with a full band. An example of creative writing from dream states—‘Music Box Waltz’ from SONGS WITHOTU WORDS VOL 2. I awoke from sleep with the melody, complete, in my mind, specifically in B-flat, got out the guitar, played it, wrote it down (very difficult to read the next day I have to say), went back to sleep...only to awake a little later with the second part of the tune, now in E-flat, in my mind in the same way. This piece was completely channelled/delivered in this way.

My experience with a full band is such that...I much prefer working as a one man band!

How do you stay motivated and inspired to create new music and what's the difference now from the 80's /90's? Well, it’s now truly amazing that music is coming through after such a long gap for me...once it had gone, it seemed truly gone and there was no point longing for it, I had to completely ‘walk away’ from it with no regrets: ‘The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away’, and I had to accept that. Its return is nothing short of miraculous, and I am ensuring that I record/demo and just generally work at it all faithfully while it has returned...for who knows how long his will last? I’m currently recording the 4th album of original material in two years! The difference between now and then is that I’ve given up notions of needing to work with others or needing a band sound now I can create the whole thing myself, and I use a classical-electric rather than steel string acoustics or electrics, can play in and sing in sitting position rather than be standing up attempting in any phoney way to ‘deliver’ via anything other than the voice and the playing. I’m much happier now with the whole means of delivery and performance—it only took me a lifetime to find the right formula! Loop pedals of course only came into existence during my absence from the fray, though I relied heavily on a delay pedal sound with my 90s releases, the project called PSYCHOMUZAK, for example, and the albums ‘The Exstasie’ and ‘Send’ still available via Cherry Red, I believe. Music then was more a matter of lifestyle than actual music, one might say. Now the music itself is definitely the only thing...

What has been the best performance of your career so far?
Quite honestly I can say that the best gig I ever did was the last one, the launch for my most recent release OUT OF THE LOOP. A great acoustic, a brilliant sound from a sympathetic and actually musically aware sound-engineer, and thus the best live sound I’ve ever had. I could hear myself well enough to be truly inspired in my playing, and I hope all subsequent gigs will give me the same circumstances and satisfaction...therefore I’ll probably be very, very picky about when and where I play live now and try to ensure that the sound crew and acoustics are of a good enough level as to match this. Years of gigging in the 80s/90s left me actually very disappointed and disillusioned with music, due to the generally terrible level of live sound achieved in most venues and with most sound engineers. (Link to live video

Do you have any interesting stories from being on the road in the past as a musician that you can share with us? Any ‘interesting stories’ I have from being on the road as a musician—in today’s world—would have to be heavily censored to avoid offending EVERYBODY. I have written a book, actually, chronicling in fictionalised form those years.

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be? You really don’t want to get me started on that! Ok, let’s just keep it to the most simple: some kind of royalty rate for writers on the digital platforms that would make it feasible to have some amount of reward for one’s creativity?

Are you planning anything exciting that we can look forward to? My current album (almost in the can) is called 'WHEEL OF THE YEAR', the first time I’ve written an instrumental suite with a linking theme, and each piece is based around each ‘statio’n of the pagan Wheel of the Year such as Beltain (May day), Yule/Xmas etc. I‘m excited about this as it means the pieces can be played, now, at each recurring ‘spoke’ of the Wheel of the Year for the rest of human history! As well as the recordings, the pieces are notated, so others can play them when I’m gone. I expect the release to be around either Beltane or the Summer Solstice...if the robots get their act together.

Interview to Dean Carter