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Guitarist Carl Verheyen has been a member of multi-platinum band Supertramp since the mid-80's, as well as forging a successful solo career in a jazz/blues/fusion style. His new album, 'Six' has just been released on Mascot/Provogue.

1. What are you currently up to?

Currently I am getting ready to do an East Coast tour and a UK tour with my band. After 2 weeks in the USA we head over to England and play the International Bath Guitar Festival, which is somehow sponsored/connected to Eric Clapton! I look forward to meeting all time idol!

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

High point: Playing some of the European festival dates with my band where the entire front row knows the lyrics to songs I wrote in the kitchen of my first house. Or playing with Supertramp in the Roman Amphitheater in Nimes, France while the full moon comes up behind the ancient archways.

Low point: Still waiting for that one........maybe when the tour bus broke down in Oberhausen, Germany!

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

I started playing at age 10 and never looked back. I never had any other type of job and never took a day off playing (unless I was traveling). First I was influenced by the Beatles, then the other British invasion guys. Then Cream, the Who, Hendrix and then along came James Brown, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Two of my biggest influences have been Paul McCartney and Joe Zawinul of Weather Report. Problem is.....I dig almost everybody!

4. Your new album, Six is just out. Could you take us through some of your personal highlights on the album please?

SIX is our strongest CD to date. My favorite songs are "Place for Me" and "Give a Try." I like the ending guitar stuff in "Hammer" and in concert I enjoy our live version of "Come Down Tonight."

5. Supertramp How did you get the gig with the band and what has been the highlight (so far) of your time with the band?

I auditioned for Supertramp in 1985.....I was the 17th guitar player they heard and the first one that clicked musically and personally with the lads. Some of the highlights, aside from the live concerts before crowds of up to 160,000, has been making the records. It's a lot of fun to track with that band.

6. Why do you think bands like Supertramp, can still do sizeable tours and put out new product after having been going for so many years? What are Supertramps plans for the rest of this year and 2004?

Supertramp is from an era of good songs and a big stage show with a lot of integrity. People know they can expect a high quality performance by strong players. And the catalog bears repeated listening. There are no plans for the rest of the year.....but maybe next year....

7. How did you learn to play guitar and how has your style of playing changed over the years?

I learned to play by listening to records, a method I still employ. But I have a great respect for the instrument and a deep desire to get better. I love to practice, it's where I find my center personally.

8. What would you still like to achieve musically?

I want to keep bringing my own music to get the band more and more well known. And to play high quality material with players I enjoy!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

In my spare with my 8 year old son and drive my cool sportscar!

10. Message to your fans...

If you're a guitar player or a musician: learn everything you dig, it will make you a lot more hire-able! If you're a music lover: keep seeking out the "acceptable listening," even though it's getting harder and harder to find!

All the best, Carl Verheyen, July 2003

Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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