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BowieNet Live Chat Transcription
Page Hamilton - 28/9/00

Session Start: Thurs Sept 14 13:00:51 2000
*** Now talking in #_
*** Topic is 'BowieNet Page Hamilton Chat'
Session Time: Thurs Sept 28 06:01:15 2000 EST

SaintAlphonzo says: Hi everyone - welcome to the BowieNet chat with Page Hamilton! Page is here and we are ready to go - get your questions ready!

Zachary17 asks: "Page are you there?"

Page Hamilton answers: Sure am - hi everyone!

Anthonya asks: "What's your favorite Bowie song?"

Page Hamilton answers: This week, my favorite Bowie song is Station To Station.... it was great to see him play it at Roseland!

Anthonya asks: "Do you as Helmet cover any Bowie songs?"

Page Hamilton answers: No, Helmet never covered any Bowie songs.

Anthonya asks: "Page as I'm not to familiar with Helmet what do you advise for me to buy?"

Page Hamilton answers: I would say Strap It On (the first Amphetamine Reptile release) and Aftertaste (the last album we put out)

Zachary17 asks: "Page are you available to play a festival in Louisville for a radio station/art center on Oct. 18th or do you know people who would be into it if not?"

Page Hamilton answers: Not yet, but maybe in a couple of months...

Bianca asks: "How did you and David meet?"

Page Hamilton answers: David and I met at a festival in Germany in '97 through Reeves who I've known for years. David said he was a Helmet fan which had me excited for the next 2 weeks on the road.

Gilly asks: "Remember me, I'm one of the German girls who went to every show last year".

Page Hamilton answers: Hey, h'ya doin? Thanks for checking in!

Eriekittym asks: "What's your favorite Bowie album?"

Page Hamilton answers: Probably Low, maybe Scary Monsters. Hard choice.

Anthonya asks: "So what was it like to play in David's band?"

Page Hamilton answers: First of all, it was an honor to have him ask me. Then it was incredibly nerve racking at first, and then it was just a blast to play all those great songs!

Zachary17 asks: "Still touch with Glen Branca... do you know what he is working on lately?"

Page Hamilton answers: The last time I saw Glen was at David's show at Roseland. He just did a new piece - a new guitar symphony at a concert in Brooklyn.

Eriekittym asks: "What kind of music do you like?"

Page Hamilton answers: Everything from John Coltrane to the Beatles to Samuel Barber. Also Lounge Lizards and Wild Colonials...I have pretty eclectic taste I guess...

Simone asks: "Page, what are you doing right now?"

Page Hamilton answers: I just started rehearsing in a brand new band, I've got about a dozen new songs. We'll start playing shows in a couple of months.

Violet asks: "Who are some of your musical influences?"

Page Hamilton answers: Killing Joke and Wire, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Glen Branca, certainly Beatles, Stones and Bowie. John Coltrane also, particularly the modal stuff from the mid-sixties.

Gilly asks: "How did you end up in Bowie's band?"

Page Hamilton answers: He called me the day after Reeves departed and asked if I could fill in, and I enthusiastically said "absolutely!"

Bianca asks: "Which Bowie-song was the most fun for you to play last year at the Hours-Tour?"

Page Hamilton answers: I'd have to say Drive-In Saturday, Ashes to Ashes and I'm Afraid of Americans.

SpaceFace asks: "Hi Page!! cool 'page' they made for you!!!".

Page Hamilton answers: Thanks to Saint Alphonzo...

Simone asks: "DB told us a while ago you were working on the soundtracks for some movies....which ones were those?"

Page Hamilton answers: Movies that I've done include my own score for "Chicago Cab," and then performing on scores for Elliot Goldenthal on "Heat," "In Dreams" and "Titus." And a show on HBO which I've never seen and can't remember the name of at the moment...\\;)

Eriekittym asks: "What's your favorite movie?"

Page Hamilton answers: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, probably...also Rear Window (the original, of course). I also really like Reservoir Dogs.

Zachary17 asks: "Here is my voice mail 1-888-890-002/ex-401-08 if you'd like to set a future date - we'd be ecstatic!".

Page Hamilton answers: If you're interested in booking just call Artist Direct in LA

Calle asks: "Your biggest guitar hero?"

Page Hamilton answers: Wes Montgomery

Simone asks: "Have you ever been in Hannover Page?"

Page Hamilton answers: Wo man hoch deutsch spricht?

Violet asks: "Page, what is the most interesting thing you learned through working with David?"

Page Hamilton answers: The first day I got together with him, we sat on stools with backing tapes and no band and discussed songwriting. I asked him about the changes in Quicksand and said how did you come up with those weird dimished chords? He laughed and said oh, I just thought I was so clever back then. He would mention influences such as Danny Kaye's The Inchworm and mentioned that Ashes to Ashes was influenced by Buddy Holly. This I found absolutely stunning, that you would hear this music of Bowie that's so forward thinking and still sounds fresh, and hear how he went back to old sources for inspiration. A great lesson!

Derek asks: "Page, what's up with the work you did with Charlie Clouser recently? Is Tapeworm happening?"

Page Hamilton answers: One song we wrote together for my new band is called Enemies. The Tapeworm stuff is still hangin out, waiting for a break in the Nine Inch Nails action. I guess I left them with maybe three songs worth of material.

Bianca asks: "Have you changed your guitar-playing on the road with David or is it the same-style as in Helmet?"

Page Hamilton answers: Two completely different animals. Helmet was more sonic slab sculpting and with David I actually had to play guitar! \\;)

Paul asks: "Hi Page! How many guitars do you own and which is your favourite one?"

Page Hamilton answers: I have 35 guitars, my favorite is a 1936 Gibson L double-o, and a 65 Fender candy-apple red electric 12 string from John Entwistle.

Paul asks: "What type of plectrum do you use?"

Page Hamilton answers: Clayton 1.52

Paul asks: "Were you nervous when you played on the 'hours...' mini tour?"

Page Hamilton answers: I was most nervous doing the first soundcheck in Canada. After that, getting up in front of 80,000 people at Wembley and realizing that David was probably as nervous as me gave me some comfort.

Gilly asks: "I must admit I never listened to Helmet. What kind of music is it?"

Page Hamilton answers: God's Metal...

Paul asks: "Q: How many lead guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

Page Hamilton answers: "A: One. They don't like to share the spotlight \\;) LOL

Anthonya asks: "So what is your favorite album of all time".

Page Hamilton answers: Miles Smiles

Bianca asks: "What do you think of chats like this?"

Page Hamilton answers: it's fun!

Gilly asks: "and what kind of music does your new band play?"

Page Hamilton answers: It's still heavy, guitar oriented rock, but possibly less riffy and more harmonically dense. Sort of stuff I learned from Elliot Goldenthal vs. Glen Branca.

Simone asks: "How long did it take you to learn to play all the Bowie songs?"

Page Hamilton answers: It took me 16 hours a day, and I had 10 days to learn the first 15 songs, and then I learned another 15 over the course of the next two weeks.

Simone asks: "What is the name of your brand new band?"

Page Hamilton answers: Funny you should ask. We're working on it at the moment. Actually I was hoping to enlist your help tonight - send your ideas for a band name to the Saint - if we use one, we'll get you an autographed Helmet CD and an autographed Bowie CD!

Eriekittym asks: "Have you ever visited this site before?"

Page Hamilton answers: Yes.

Bianca asks: "Do you have still contact to Reeves?"

Page Hamilton answers: Yep.

BigElectric asks: "Page seem to be having lotsa trouble getting fat distortion guitar sounds in my studio any suggestions on pedals?"

Page Hamilton answers: for a cheap great pedal for distorted rhythm, believe it or not is the Boss Xtortion pedal. The best distortion pedal I think I've ever found is the ZVEX Fuzz Factory, which is more expensive.

Violet asks: "Do you have much background in music theory, and if so, is it self taught or have you had teachers/classes along the way?"

Page Hamilton answers: I have a Masters Degree in jazz guitar from the Manhattan School of Music. Can't you tell? \\;)

Zachary17 asks: "Where are you located now... NY?"

Page Hamilton answers: yes, NYC

Eriekittym asks: "What's in your cd player right now?"

Page Hamilton answers: funny you should ask - Station to Station. The last three weeks I've been obsessing on Heroes, Aladdin Sane and Station to Station.

Slappendel asks: "what is your favourite book?"

Page Hamilton answers: Graham Greene's "A Burnt Out Case" or "The Comedians."

Simone asks: "How comes you named your band "Helmut" at first, and then changed to "Helmet?"

Page Hamilton answers: We never named the band Helmut, it was a joke at dinner one night which lead me to the name Helmet.

Simone asks: "Page, are you married?"

Page Hamilton answers: Not any more...

Bianca asks: "When did you started your music-career, Page?"

Page Hamilton answers: I started playing at the age of 17 and began doing it full time at the age of 28.

Slappendel asks: "tell us about Helmet"

Page Hamilton answers: Helmet formed in '89 in NYC and put out a punk rock 7" on Amphetamine Reptile. Then our first album Strap it On came out in '90 and we began touring. It's a four piece band with 2 guitars, bass drums and me singing. We signed to Interscope in '91 and put out Meantime, Betty and Aftertaste before breaking up in '98.

Nalex asks: "People often ask what its like to be around Bowie, but I wonder what it actually feels like during the middle of a song - can you describe it?"

Page Hamilton answers: You can't get over this voice in your ear coming out of the monitors. It's amazing to be playing these songs that you grew up listening to, but you need to obviously be finding the pocket with the band and playing music so you can't sit there too much and shit your pants. But it was AMAZING!

Zachary17 asks: "Have you written any music with Reeves?"

Page Hamilton answers: No, but I love Reeves.

Bianca asks: "Which has been your favourite show you played last year with David? Copenhagen?"

Page Hamilton answers: Yes, absolutely.

Gilly asks: "who is your favourite Bowie guitar player before you?"

Page Hamilton answers: Mick Ronson

BigElectric asks: "Ok again can you describe briefly your effects rack."

BigElectric asks: "pretty please with sugar on it!"

Page Hamilton answers: I've had so many different effects racks and gotten carried away with it, but most recently with David I simply used a Lexicon G2, a Moog phaser and a Ibanez Sonic Distortion and a '74 Vox Wah with an Ernie Ball Volume Pedal. The last Helmet rig was had an Eventide H3000, used an expensive stereo splitter, and a TC2290, and pedals through a patch mate connected to a Rocktron All Access, and I was constantly changing pedals.

Simone asks: "How long did you live in Germany?"

Page Hamilton answers: one year.

DEmerson asks: "Who are some of your favorite guitarists?"

Page Hamilton answers: Besides Wes, obviously Hendrix, David Gilmour, Geordie from Killing Joke, Andy Gill from Gang of Four, Fripp with Bowie, Jim Hall and Grant Green (two jazz greats).

Eriekittym asks: "What do you prefer small gigs or the really big gigs?"

Page Hamilton answers: In general I'd have to say I prefer small gigs, but big gigs can be fun.

SaintAlphonzo says: Just a few minutes left! Please get your final questions in...

Frida asks: "From what song comes your all-time fav guitar riff Page?"

Page Hamilton answers: AC/DC's Back in Black

Simone asks: "Tell us your favorite joke please! \\;0)"

Page Hamilton answers: sorry, it's too dirty...\\;)

SpaceFace asks: "Favourite track on Aladdin Sane?"

Page Hamilton answers: Cracked Actor, which we performed on Conan, but got cut off at the end of the program. It rocked!

KingTommy asks: "Do you have a favorite place where you like to just jam and write with your guitar at home?"

Page Hamilton answers: I have a small studio in my apartment that I work in.

Will asks: "Do you think that a trained musician ie with a degree such as yourself is definitely beneficial to your craft or does it hinder more than it helps?"

Page Hamilton answers: I think all the study and absorption of material you can take is constructive as long as you sit down with your instrument to write and try to forget everything you know, because music still needs to come from a more naive place. It's easy to get wrapped up in guitar nerd fretboard hell, and forget that music basically comes down to rhythm, melody and harmony - not sort of technical, overly self conscious pyrotechnics.....

Anthonya asks: "So why did you break up?"

Page Hamilton answers: 9 years, 1600 shows, 5 albums and we found it hard to look at each other anymore.

Anthonya asks: "Well Page I'm off to bed Thanks for giving up your time for this chat."

Page Hamilton answers: Me too, I'm gettin' hungry! I appreciate you guys sending in such interesting questions - it was fun! Goodbye and goodnight!

SaintAlphonzo says: Thanks for coming out, everyone! Cheers!

Session Close:Thurs Sept 28 7:01:10 2000.

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Created: October 2000 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 6/10/00