Many thanks to Jason Ritchie of Classic Rock Newswire for providing this short, but informative questionaire with Jeff!
Jeff Kollman, guitar player with amongst others Sign of 4 (along with UFO's Phil Mogg), the instrumental outfit Cosmosquad, rock legend Glenn Hughes and with Mogg/Way.
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)
Playing a show tomorrow (the 5th of nov.) for a live record release with my instrumental rock/fusion band Cosmosquad. Then I'm off Nov 8th to tour the UK with Sign Of 4 with Phil Mogg on vox. It's a new group with a debut release on Track Records. When I get back to LA I'll be starting pre production and writing for the new Glenn Hughes record that I'm producing and playing a bit on. We'll start recording in December.
2. Who was/is your biggest influence on your career?
Randy Rhoads. Also my Father for his support and constant inspiration to keep me motivated and focused...
3. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?
To be honest, never having a job that doesn't pertain to music is my highpoint. I've always played and made my living off music and nothing else. The lowpoint will be working at Fatburger at 45 years old or playing a cruiseship gig. God forbid!!!!
4. Sign of 4 - how did this project come about? How was the writing of the material shared?
Phil and I first collaborated on Mogg/Way. I came to him thereafter with the idea of producing a Phil Mogg solo record. It quickly evolved into a band when ya put the 4 of us into a room together..
The songs started with music first. A riff or chord progression. A bass line, a groove , a vibe....It's always whatever inspires Phil as a singer. He then puts his lyrical magic to work. No one tells a story like Phil. He has such an endearing quality to his voice. It's a rare thing that goes way beyond vocal technique. It's all heart and soul.
5. Your personal highlight(s) on the Sign of 4 album?
The highlight for me is getting it done!!! Dammit , it's hard when the singer lives in the UK and we're here in LA. The cover tune Clap Hands is a highlight because it was such an afterthought and rush job , but it really turned out special. It has such a mood to it. The writer Tom Waits is brilliant!!
6. Cosmosquad - please tell us a bit about this project. What style of music does the band play?
Cosmosquad is a style and sound all of our own. It progressed over a few years of mixing our heavy rock influences with Latin, Blues, Jazz, and African Tribal Rhythms. I believe that the way we blend all these styles, while keeping it heavy, dark and moody, is what defines the sound of Cosmosquad. Particularly on Squadrophenia. This is the record where we achieved the vision.
7. What made you want to play guitar? Any tips for budding guitarists out there on how to make a living out of being a guitarist?
My brother wanted to play drums and I sort of fell into it. Football playing wasn't panning out for a 100 pound 12 year old. The tips for guitarists would be to collaborate with as many singers as possible. Get the business side of music together. Always consult attorney's for contracts. And most important down the road, don't forget why you started in the first place. It's to have a good time and make music!!!
8. Which artist(s) would you like to work with in the future?
Good question!!! There are so many people I would love to work with. The list is endless.
A quick follow-up....Would you ever consider joining a band full time at all?
One full time band is a financial issue because the artist commits to one band, lot's of money or no money, long tours...And worst of all it takes so long between releases.. Tough thing. I love the commitment and the focus of a band. It would have to have creative freedom and the ability to release records more often than once every 18 months.
9. What do you think about the current state of radio airplay in the US? Do you think the Internet has helped music grow or hindered a lot of bands via free downloading?
I love the Internet. It would be nice to spread the word about artists without ripping them off. I've burned a few cd's as well. I live in LA, the capitol of the music biz. I have to go to the Midwest States to learn who the new US bands are. They don't break them in LA. It's weird. Too many cookie cutter bands. I like variety.
10. Message to your Fans...
Fans.. I didn't know I had any...Ha!!! Come say hello on a gig down the road. I've met alot of great people through the gift of music and I'm so thankful of that.