Jen, Be My Escape, had the opportunity to interview Gil Birmingham about his music. Aside from being a talented actor, Gil is a musician as well. Many people who have gone to various conventions, like Eye-Con this weekend in Florida, have gotten to hear Gil perform.
Q: What are the inspirations for your lyrics and music?
My music comes from the emotional place I’m in when I write it. It’s an outpouring of the soul of those emotions through the guitar.
What genre does your music generally fit into?
My music is classic rock and blues for the most part.
What is the most challenging work as far as creating a song?
Writing the music, the lyrics, getting it produced? Writing music is not really challenging because it comes from a place of inspiration. It’s about connecting with what I’m feeling at the time. When you see me play, you understand that the music comes from my heart. Recording music is more difficult because you have to get a clean cut down without letting the technical aspects of recording get in the way of the creative process.
I have seen you perform a few times and it has always been acoustic. Do you play electric guitar or have any interest in playing with a band? I play both electric and acoustic guitar.
My acoustic music is in the rock genre, but is a more subtle texture of my creative expression. When I play electric guitar, the experience is much more aggressive musically. It’s as if I “growl.” Could it be the wolf in me? Both provide deep emotional release and healing.
I’ve played with bands in the past and sit in with some LA bands when I have the opportunity. I’m starting to do some recording and working to put lyrics to some of my songs. I’d love to put a new band together, time allotted. It’s something I plan to do in the not so distance future.
Do you play any other instruments?
Just the guitar.
Who are the artists who have influenced you the most?
My greatest influences have been incredible artists like Jim Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, and Sting.
What is your musical background and how did you come to be a musician? I began playing guitar at age 10. Music was the outlet for some of the discomfort and difficulty in my childhood. Over the years, I’ve played with several bands and have always played my music. Like acting, it’s an expression of my core, and it’s an intricate part of my life.
Is there a song you’ve written that is your favorite?
“A Walk in the Park” [you can hear the MP3 file below]is one of my favorites. It came out of a place of challenge and pain. It gives me strength and hope that we can transcend the suffering of the human condition– the joy of knowing we can shift our minds to a different vibration and the only thing that’s real is love. People have told me the song is mesmerizing. When I play it, they sense the essence of my spiritual state.
What is your favorite band/musician right now?
My musical tastes are so diverse it’s difficult to name just one group. Right now I’m enjoying Kings of Leon, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus,, and Switchfoot. Tomorrow, it may be completely new groups.
You will be hosting the NAMA on Oct 3rd what can we expect to see from you as a host?
Hosting is a natural for me. If you’ve seen my Question and Answer sessions at the conventions, you have an idea of my style. But the NAMMYS show isn’t really about me. It’s about all the wonderfully talented and creative Native American musicians. It will be a tremendous night, showcasing some of the best musical talent out there today. I am honored to have been asked to host this event, since music is such an important part of my life.