reporting that rising-star heavy blues artist Philip Sayce was told by his manager to cut back on his guitar playing and concentrate on writing pop songs, he’s revealed.
But he made the right decision: he didn’t change his music and instead changed management.
Sayce tells MusicRadar.com: “I was working with a guy who was saying I shouldn’t play so much guitar in my music. He said: ‘We should hide the guitar. Just stand there and look good.’
“Really? I went and wrote a bunch of candy-ass pop songs, and he wanted me to spin more like that. But I realised I wanted to rock out. ‘Maybe you’re not the right guy…’”
Sayce described the experience as a “mindfuck” but was able to rely on his experiences from playing with artists including Jeff Healey and Melissa Etheridge. Even then, though, he had to follow his own musical instincts – and the result was his first solo album, the critically-acclaimed Peace Machine.
He says: “I’d been with Melissa for three years, and man, we were busy. But we were able to record Peace Machine for fun. It was done in a day.
“After that Melissa’s like, ‘We have to record an album, then there’s a tour, then there’s the Grammys and shit like that.’ I was thinking, ‘I have to do it – it’s a stepping stone.’
“But after a time it began to feel like a circus show. So I went to her about a year ago and said, ‘I love you, but I have to do my own thing, and do it now.’ She said, ‘Yeah, you do,’ gave me a big hug and it’s all good.”
Sayce is currently touring the UK in support of new album Innerevolution, which is treating him to the experience of a much smaller budget. He says: “It’s very different staying at the Ritz Four Seasons and staying at the Travelodge in Marleybone. But you either fly the nest or you stay there. While I’m grateful to have played with big artists and learn from it, I was always kind of sad I wasn’t doing my own thing.”