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By José Oliveira, Rock At Night Columnist
Bassist John Illsley was the rhythmic pillar of Dire Straits! He traveled the world several times and has lived unforgettable moments. Now, Illsley gets his kicks by playing in small rooms or clubs with The John Illsley Band. When he isn’t touring Europe with the band, you can probably catch him visiting art museums or perhaps painting–or at a renowned UK pub he owns.
After a great concert at Jazzhaus in Freiburg, Germany, Rock At Night was invited to go the next day to Prattein, Switzerland and have a private chat. It was a great honour to speak with this great British rock legend!
On May 20, 2016, Illsley will be releasing his album Long Shadows.
During the interview John Illsley discussed the meaning behind the title of his new album Long Shadows; the music industry today and the new generation; his solo work as well as Dire Straits; his paintings and love of art museums; and even some politics! This is a must listen!
JOHN ILLSLEY – Bass, Vocals
ROBBIE McINTOSH – Guitar
PAUL STACEY – Guitar
JESS GREENFIELD – Vocals
STUART MERCHANT – Drums
STEVE SMITH – Keyboards
Rock At Night’s theme song is “Get On Down If You Feel Up To It” by Billy “Bass” Alford
I was born in Portugal and lived the Sixties exploring the great UK Rock magazines: "The New Musical Express" and "Melody Maker". Ray Charles and Pat Boone were my father’s fav. I became “The Great Pretender”. Cliff Richard was our Elvis Presley. As a beach boy, with my first guitar, I met a beautiful French girl on the beach! It was the Summer of 69!! We got married and rock music was our dowry. In France, I became a Wine Genetic Research Scientist. One of my works contributed to the decoding of the genome of the vine! As a rock journalist, I’ve worked twenty years for the Portuguese and Brazilian Rock Press. I ‘ve interviewed so many great artists. Then, one day I met FRANK ZAPPA! I got into trouble for introducing my wife to "Uncle Meat"!