1. What were your first musical influences and how do they continue to shape your music?
My first influence and an artist who continues to inspire via an album released in 1992, the year I was born (Transition) – is Walter Trout; this got me into the blues and I then explored the record collection.
2. Leading on from Walter Trout being inspirational you then were mentored by him?
I was so fortunate to be invited on tours with Walter who shared with me not only the power of the guitar and how to improve my technique but all about the business. It all made so much sense especially when one of your hero’s is sharing their experiences, it simply can’t get better than that. I was taken to blues gigs when I was young and it is a feeling you get for the music when watching and playing. I started learning classical guitar got my grades but the structure is strict and I loved the freedom of improvisation in the blues.
3. Where do your influences stem from not just Walter but from the other sources that have shaped the Laurence Jones approach to the Blues?
I never copy but yes there are lots of musical influences, Walter Trout continues to inspire as does playing along with Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton. Finding my way back to traditional blues, learning a lot and then gained my own style.
4. Tell us about your recent involvement with Mike Zito et al. and what effect have they had on the Laurence Jones we see on stage today?
In 2014 I opened for Royal Southern Brotherhood on their English Tour, we all got on really well and Thomas Ruf must have been impressed as well as he signed me to his label RUF Records one of Europe’s largest labels and Thomas has a good reputation with bringing young artists on. So as a result I went to Louisiana to record an album, Temptation at the legendary “Dockside Studio”. This studio has an impressive roll-call including BB King and Derek Trucks. Mike Zito was inspirational in his production of the album shaping the sound and a task master when it came to the time frame to write new material.
5. Well now is the time to tell us how big was the rat really that inspired your song? It was truly big Mike Zito came in and it kept hiding under the beds I jumped on chair biggest rat I have ever seen and makes for a good true story to share on stage.
Mike & RUF have really been inspirational touring with Blues Caravan during 2014 my first European Tour with 50/60 shows in 10 countries, there is a different lifestyle in Europe more open to young people, they go out to hear music and we recorded a live DVD. The experience of life on the road has had a big impact and provided a lot of the inspiration for my third album.
6. That leads me nicely on to the next question.. You have a new album coming out soon tell me a bit about the album covers, and your own songs?
The album is really exciting an opportunity to record with my superb rhythm section in the U.K. and to have a couple of special guests. There are two covers; Good Morning Blues a Leadbelly number that I will be performing the at The Leadbelly Festival at The Royal Albert Hall in June this year and Walter Trout will come and jam with my band, what an honour, the first show since his liver transplant, when I have spoken to him he is feeling good and back playing his guitar. The other cover will feature Dana Fuchs and is a Bad Company track, Can’t Get Enough of Your Love where we will duet and is really cool. The other tracks are all self-penned and one has me duetting with Sandi Thom, Don’t Look Back and this is being released as a single. The album, What’s It Gonna Be, will also be available on vinyl and is released on 13th April 2015.
7. Laurence previously I have always thought of you as first and foremost a guitarist but that has definitely changed the last few times I have seen you live with stronger vocals and dynamic stage presence how has that maturing of talent come about?
I see myself as an artist now not just a guitarist, the vocals are equally as important as the guitar I feel I deliver the complete package. I have a fantastic rhythm section, Roger Inniss on Bass and Miri Miettinen on drums we have been together as a band for a year full-time and the experience has been good as they are experienced musicians giving me the confidence and the music just clicks
8. Back on the road again this time with King King looks like the first few shows have gone well?
So far it has been amazing with lots sold out shows and great reception last night someone described it as “.. A great package of British Blues..” The British Blues Awards help, both bands have won awards and it was one of my personal goals to be recognized in the Young Artist of The Year category and last year I won. Life of on the road is part of the deal as a performer and the number of gigs I continue to play just helps me personally and the band to keep getting better.
9. What advice have you had and have you followed any?
I have been so fortunate with the advice I have been given by so many people but the most important one for me was given to me by both Walter Trout and Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Stay loyal to your fans. There are two types of artists the Overnight/X-factor type yes success is quick and sensational but fades away or the hard way gigging building up a fan base stick with the music you believe in and the phalanx of fans will grow and stay loyal to you.
10. What are you planning for the rest of 2015 after touring with King King and a New album?
Keep on being busy entertaining my fans and attracting new ones have my own European and UK tour to promote my new album, Spain in April and launch in Leamington Spa; then some big festivals and touring through the summer. Two hundred gigs already organized so going to be a year where my name should be heard.
Laurence has made a short video talking about how the Album What’s It Gonna Be.
Thanks Laurence for your time, catch him on the road during 2015 currently touring with King King – TOUR DATES
For all other information about Laurence visit his website HERE