Ram Site - What are you doing at the moment? Do you still play the drums?
Denny Seiwell – Oh, yes… I’m still playing rock ‘n’ roll and jazz on clubs up here in LA, like Jazz Baker, and many others. Actually, the latest thing I did was playing along classical musicians on the Disney animated film Atlantis-The Lost Empire soundtrack, which was terrific by the way.
RS - Are you drumming on the soundtrack?
DS – I contributed with percussion instruments and stuff, and you’ve got to listen because it sounds great, really. I recently drummed on Dinosaur and Waterworld movie soundtracks as well.
RS – Before joining Paul and playing on Ram, you used to play lots of jazz – even more than rock and roll, right?
DS – Yes, I did have a great time playing in Brazil a long time ago, in 1963. I’ve been in Rio and Salvador cities. Beautiful music and places, by the way. While there I recorded an album with Astrud Gilberto (Astrud Gilberto & Stanley Turrentine- CTI), which was fantastic.
RS - So It seems you are a big fan of Brazilian jazz.
DS – Very much. Milton Bananas is one of my faves. And João Palma along with many others. I am a big fan of Elis Regina’s; Quarteto Novo is one of my favorite records. Of course, (Tom) Jobim, Joao Donato, Oscar Castro Neves, and all the Classic Brazilian acts are very close to my heart and soul.
RS – Have you come back to Brazil since then?
DS – Unfortunately, I didn’t… but It’s always been a dream of mine to come back to Brazil. I’ve told my wife who is French that I’m looking forward to get an opportunity to visit Brazil. Really, I told her many times how much I loved the country. Tell you what…I’d take any offers to perform or speak about music in Brazil. It would be really fatastic.
RS – Of all the work you did with Paul McCartney, it seems that Ram was your personal favourite. Can you tell me a bit about the atmosphere of the recording sessions?
DS - Absolutely. It was really great recording this album. I did realise it would be such a great record in the very moment Paul showed us his songs. After that, everything went very well because we did have very good session musicians, tool (note: Hugh McCracken and David Spinozza, on guitars)
RS - It’s hard to put down in words, but it sounds like you are playing with heart and soul. It feels as you’re playing with a sort of strong spiritual feeling on the tracks.
DS – Yeah, spiritual can be the right word. Actually I tried to use my experience with jazz and Brazilian music while making the tracks. On songs like “Back Seat Of My Car”, “Long Haired Lady”, for example… And I tried to play thinking on the Brazilian beat and its variations. I think it helped a lot doing that way.
RS – You told me you’ve recently been with Paul McCartney at his home. What have you done together?
DS – Oh we did spend a great time together last sunday (June, 18th). In fact, we celebrated his birthday and talked a lot about music and all good stuff.
RS – Did you play something to recall the old times?
DS – No, not really. He’s been in Los Angeles finishing up his new album and stuff. He called me up and then we just met and get together for his birthday party.
RS – Did he show you a few tracks that will be on the new album? (Driving Rain)
DS – Yes, they sound really great!