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Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is a content man… He is Back Home with his new album and seems to be at peace with himself. By his own admission, this record has been created the hard way... where Eric and four other guitarists tweaked songs constantly till they were satisfied with the results.

In this touching interview, Eric Clapton reveals a whole new side of himself. He displays immense humility, talent and an attitude of a man who is happy and at peace with his life. The Record presents this exclusive interview transcript with the guitar legend Eric Clapton himself…

The Record (TR): What were your feelings when you first went to the studio?
Eric: Umm, (stammers) I was trying to get in touch with what was happening in my life really. I'm not really that proficient at writing those kind of songs. I mean, they always happen fairly accidentally. And so to achieve that, umm, in a deliberate way, I thought was going to be difficult. And, and, at the same time, I had kind of devised this little get-out clause for us… where we, if we had a tough time with the compositions, if it got stuck, we weren't moving fast enough that we could do a Robert Johnson song. And that would clear the air, and then we'd go back and carry on, you know, and so we kind of let off steam. (Laughs) And, the result was, we had a kind of complete Robert Johnson album.
So, we were all kind of working on two records at once. I wanted to make a studio album, not quite knowing how it was gonna be. But, but, I would go and see Simon, my partner and he'd, he'd set up a, a drum loop or something, and we'd just start (stammers) making a little groove. So for about two weeks we did that, and then I started to try and formulate, (stammers) formulate the miracle ideas, and themes, and things.
And then it stopped. Part of that was 'cause I went on the road, and, uh, and, and, my family commitments have taken a good deal of my time, with, having a, starting a new family. But, umm, I also wanted to really get this album done to the point where I didn't think it could be any better, or I couldn't add any more, I couldn't, wouldn't change anymore. So, we, we kind of resigned ourselves to the, to the fact that it was gonna take a long time.
I wanted to go back to that kind of philosophy of like, you just get an idea, and you (stammers) work on it, and work on it, and hone it down, so even if it was like a riff, you'd, you'd, you'd put a version of that down on tape. And then you'd listen to it in the car, and then, maybe three days later, you'd do it again, slightly differently, and so the whole album got that treatment. It's been almost, um, two years, in the making. It was about was just, umm, (stammers) my whole journey, being, being kind of itinerant musician, on the road.
I made one of the earliest statements about myself, um, back in the late '80s with Journeyman, where I started to see that, it was quite important to identify myself in my work, you know? Even, even if it was only just, a title of the album, that maybe the, the content didn't have to carry the message, but the title should. And so this one feels like it's kind of ending that cycle, in terms of talking about where I've come to.

TR: Your personal life has been through its own highs…
Eric: I'm sort of, you know, having started a new family, and, and gotten married again, and trying to settle down into all of that. I mean, I kind of, thought about retirement, and then came away from that. So, this album, kind of represents all of that evolution, really. And now that it's kind of done, I'm to start (laughs) all over again, and go out on the road again, next year. So, as much as it's called Back Home, and it's about coming home and staying home, I mean, that, that in itself has a shelf life, too.
You know, I don't, I don't care too much about making records. And I find, I find it, hard and easy, different kind of things, different projects make different demands, but, but, but I always play. Umm, and I love to play. So, really, the, the making of records, is a kind of excuse to put that into action.
You know, to be able to get umm, together with some great musicians and just jam. Is, is my idea of fun, you know, that, that's why I like to go on the road.
That whole process of creating something from nothing with another musician, um, is kind of what keeps me on. I mean, I love, I love my family life, but it would suffer terribly if I didn't have this to do.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Eric Clapton in the September 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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