Karl Denson is the real deal. No joke, his performance and recording roster reads like a Who’s Who of incredible experiences. Having played virtually every festival on Earth, sharing stages with the likes of James Brown, DMB, The Allman Brothers, and D’Angelo, and dropping a multitude of releases in several different genres, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe seem anything but “tiny.”
Forever “Bringing Heat To The Party,” KDTU are gonna warm up the East Coast and beyond this Fall with a host of dates before heading back to the West coast for a bunch more dates, before heading back to the East Coast for even more dates, before bringing in 2014 in the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois. Who needs sleep, anyway?
Prior to their performance in Syracuse, NY, I spoke with Karl on the phone to talk about the upcoming tour, his extensive and incredible performance history, and what a newbie should expect when catching KDTU in concert.
G- Hello and thank you for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! How has everything been going with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe?
K- It’s great! How are you doing?
G- Not too bad. Hanging in there and waiting for the weekend. It’s gonna be fun and music filled, so pretty good.
So, you have an extensive tour coming up, huh?
K- Yeah we haven’t really done the whole country for a couple of years, so we’re going to get out and hit all the nooks and crannies.
G- I guess so… You guys are going to be ping-ponging all over the place! How are the rehearsals going for tour prep?
K- It’s great. The band sounds great, and it’s gonna be fun!
G- Excellent! Can we expect any surprises during the upcoming tour? Special guests or new material debuts?
K- A lot of new material.
K- Yeah we’ve been writing and rehearsing and getting things together. So, it’s gonna be a nice, fresh show and, for those who know us, some nice surprises. For those who don’t, it’ll e a nice dance party.
G- I’m with that.
Now, if I’m correct, your last release was Brother’s Keeper in 2009, correct?
G- So, I think some of the fans want to know if you’ve got anything going on in the studio and when you’re going to drop a new record? Any tentative plans for the studio?
K- Well, the new record is almost done. It’s being mixed right now, and it’s probably going to drop in January on Slightly Stoopid Records.
G- Right on! And can you tell us a bit about where you recorded and who is behind the boards?
K- Well, we recorded in San Diego at a place we work out of a lot called Audio Design, and it’s with the band you’re going to see. We’ve been working on it for about a year and a half, so it’s finally coming together.
G- Very cool. How many tracks are on it tentatively?
K- Right now, we’ve got 12. There is a good possibility that we’re going to put a couple more on before it’s all said and done. But it’ll be at least 12.
G- Very cool, and that’s going to be on Slightly Stoopid Records this January. Starting off the new year with a new release, and your first one in 5 years. We’re looking forward to it!
Now, about your personal experiences… You run the gamut and KDTU the same. Very prolific and a lot going on. The old fans know what to expect: It’s gonna be a party! But in your eyes, for some of the new fans you’ll make up here, what should they expect of the performances when you take the stage?
K- You know, we just try to dance. We’re a dance band, so if people want to dance, they’re going to have fun.
G- Easy peasey!
Now, in all of your repertoire, do you have a favorite song you have ever written or one that’s most fun to perform? Or, if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
K- That’s a really good question.
G- Thank you.
K- I don’t know. I really have no idea. The answer to that question would probably change daily. Today I would give them “The Answer.”
K- From The Bridge. Tomorrow, I might give them “The Dual” off the new record.
G- And how about one more, maybe for a Saturday?
K- (laughs) One more? I’d probably give them “Brother’s Keeper,” the title track off the record.
G- Very good.
Now, another speculative question. Again, you’ve played fests and shared stages, headlined shows, and everything in between, but are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could put together your dream lineup to tour with, who would you want to hit the road with?
K- Corinne Bailey Rae, and maybe… Let’s see. My band, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Herbie Hancock.
G- Stellar! That would be awesome (laughing)!
K- That’d be good, yeah.
And just to finish up today, you’ve been a staple in the biz for quite a long time, and you have a very storied career and still going strong. There are a lot of up and coming musicians and kid who want to play in bands. More everyday.
From your experiences, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
K- Work hard. Work hard, try to work smart, but you’ve gotta put the time in. That’s the biggest deal.
G- I agree 100%.
Well, I want to thank you again for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today. We will see you 9/17 in Syracuse, so travel safe and we’re looking forward to a great time, man!
K- Thanks, Greg. I appreciate it!
G- Not a problem. Have a great day!
K- You too.