10 October 2008
There aren’t enough good space rock violinists in the world.
Thankfully, we have players like Cyndee Lee Rule trying to redress the balance.
Cyndee’s got a pretty impressive C.V., including work with icons of space rock such as Nik Turner, Tim Blake, Harvey Bainbridge, and many others I’m just not totally remembering at this moment. She’s worked with Systems Theory (Systems Theory member Steven Davies-Morris assisted on her debut solo disc, UFOsmosis). She's played with electronic band Radio Massacre International, both in the studio and live. In fact, her contributions to their live set at NEARfest 2008 were some of the highlights for me.
UFOsmosis, her first solo album, was released in 2006. A mix of originals and some inspired choices for covers, the release has served as a bit of a launching pad, exposing her name and impressive instrumental skills to a wider audience. With additional projects in the can, now seemed a good opportunity to catch up with Cyndee to see what’s coming up on the radar…
1) What's the quick and dirty Cyndee Lee Rule CV?
CLR: Classical violinist gone ssssspaceeeeeee!
2) How did you get started playing violin?
CLR: I started in school, in the 3rd grade. We had a demonstration of all the instruments available for lessons. When I saw the violin, I knew that was THE instrument for me!
3) What does the Viper bring to your playing?
CLR: The Viper allows me to plug in and use my Boss GT-6 pedal. I really enjoy using effects with the violin. The combination of the pedal with a bow is really exciting to me!
4) Are you ever worried that your Viper will gain sentience and strike out on its own?
CLR: Oh yeah! In fact, I feel as though the Viper is really playing itself. I am just the one standing next to it!
5) What would you say has been your biggest live playing highlight?
CLR: It would have to be when I shared the stage with Tim Blake in Exeter, UK! It was incredible to get to join Tim on "Selene.” Gong is one of my very favorite bands, up there with the Beatles. I had no idea that I would ever get the opportunity to join one of the members of Gong on a Gong tune in the UK! It was an unbelievable experience!
6) How did you get Daevid Allen to do the artwork for your album UFOsmosis?
CLR: Daevid does commissioned fantasy album cover art pieces. I thought it would be a great idea to get a commissioned cover to use on an actual album. Daevid asked me for some elements to include in the piece. That's my cat Ares on the left corner, with his little "A" medallion and mini-Viper!
7) If you could put together a dream band to back you on album and tour, who would be in the group?
CLR: Definitely Phish! The whole band, as is!
8) How do you select songs to cover?
CLR: I chose songs that are not already violin-heavy. Though I really do like the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby", it is not something I would chose to Viperize. Instead, I chose the more obscure Harrison song "The Inner Light" to add some spacey Indian flavor to the album.
I also chose Hawkwind's "Assassins of Allah" for similar reasons. I really enjoy the very Arabic feel to the song, and wanted to play that up even more. My engineer, Steven Davies-Morris, added some fantastic Arabic percussion to the tune.
9) What's next for you?
CLR: Another solo album is in the works! There are also quite a few collab albums coming out, including several by Mooch and several by Spirits Burning, among others.
10) Any final words for our readers?
CLR: I'd love to thank everyone for such great support! Those who would like to keep in touch with my upcoming projects can join my email list at: www.cyndeeleerule.com, or add me on myspace: www.myspace.com/cyndeeleerule
(Photo from Cyndee Lee Rule's website)