Part 1: The Beginning
With Jude Cole
Kiefer Sutherland se lance dans la musique avec « Not Enough Whiskey ». Un titre qui mise sur la mélancolie, et à travers lequel Kiefer évoque son besoin irrépressible de boire de l’alcool pour évacuer son malheur.
« Not Enough Whiskey » est le premier extrait d’un album qui devrait sortir cette année. Baptisé Down In A Hole, ce premier essai est présenté comme le fruit d’une collaboration avec Jude Cole, musicien et ami de longue date de Kiefer Sutherland, avec lequel il avait créé le label Ironworks en 2002. « Lui et moi sommes amis depuis l’âge de 20 ans environ. Nous nous sommes très vite entendus. C’était déjà un joueur de guitare incroyable. Si bien que j’ai fait en sorte de cacher ma guitare pendant trois ans, parce que je ne voulais pas jouer devant lui. » a raconté l’acteur de 49 ans au site Billboard, expliquant que l’idée d’écrire un disque a germé après que Jude Cole est tombé sur une maquette qu’il avait enregistrée. « Jude m’a incité à le rejoindre en studio et m’a conseillé. Puis nous avons bu quelques verres, et là, l’idée semblait plus intéressante. Ensuite, nous avons bu quelques verres de plus, et ça avait l’air encore mieux. Donc, nous avons convenu qu’il fallait enregistrer quelque chose, mais que nous ne le sortirions que si c’était bon » a-t-il renchéri.
Lors de cette interview, Kiefer Sutherland a également précisé qu’il ne cherchait pas à obtenir de « disques de platine » ni à « remplir des stades ». Il donne néanmoins rendez-vous au public américain dans les salles au printemps. Il va tester ses chansons lors d’une courte série de concerts aux mois d’avril et mai. aficia.info
Kiefer Sutherland’s upcoming debut album Down In A Hole partly stems from his long friendship with artist Jude Cole, who produced the project.
“He and I have been friends since I was about 20 years old. We became friends in about 20 minutes. He was an incredible guitar player — so good that I just kind of I hid my guitar for about three years, because I didn’t want to play around him, » Sutherland tells Billboard. « One of the great connectors for him and I both was music. He turned me on to a lot of music that I didn’t know about, and that became a real kind of avenue of communication for the both of us.”
Former ’24′ Star Kiefer Sutherland Announces Debut Album ‘Down In a Hole’
The two would continue their friendship over the years, and work together on videos for artists that Cole was working with. Then, one day, the 24 star bought a building in California when he made quite the discovery — one that he had to share with his friend.
“There were some offices there that I was going to knock down. One of them had a long rectangular window that looked like a control booth window. I made the mistake of calling Jude up and said ‘You’ve gotta come over and look at this building. I’m thinking of turning it in to an art studio.’ He came over and looked at the room, and said ‘We could do some recording stuff there.’ So, we ended up building one of the most state-of-the-art studios, and we started a label called Ironworks.” The two worked with newer artists on the label, in most cases trying to set them up for deals with bigger labels. After a few years of this, Sutherland had finished his run as Jack Bauer and ended up moving to New York.
However, that wasn’t the end of the story. Cole found a disc of a song that Sutherland himself had recorded and called his friend to see if he had any other songs in his stable.
“I had been writing the whole time, and thought about getting some demos done, maybe send them to EMI and Sony and see if anybody would record them,” reflected Sutherland. “Jude talked me into coming into the studio and doing that, and then he said ‘I think you should keep these, and make a record.’ I just laughed at him. We had a couple of drinks, and the idea sounded smarter. Then, we had a couple more drinks, and it sounded even better. So, we agreed to record some stuff, and if we liked it, we would do something with it. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t.”
Kiefer Sutherland Shares Old-Timey Country Drinkin’ Song ‘Not Enough Whiskey’
Before he went into the studio, Sutherland weighed the fact that actors weren’t typically successful as recording artists — and he knew there would be skepticism. However, he decided to roll the dice — and the results can be heard on Down In A Hole, out this summer.
“Something that made it much easier for me is the fact that I’m not trying to sell out stadiums, and I’m not trying to have a platinum record. I love these songs, but there’s no single thing out there that is for everybody, and I’m well aware of that. » Watch a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Down In A Hole, which Billboard is premiering exclusively.
Sutherland will give fans a taste of the music with a tour that begins on April 14 in Milwaukee. He will hit the road heavy for two months, and then will be working on the ABC series Designated Survivor, but he will be continuing to play shows during breaks in filming. « For the people that enjoy the music, if they want to come out and see a show, we’ve worked really hard, and I think we put on a really great show, » he explains. « I can’t promise anything more than that.”
At its heart, Sutherland thinks of his music as telling stories. “There’s a real country base to the record. It’s heavily country-influenced. I’m not from the south, so I don’t have a specific twang in my voice, so some have called it more of a singer-songwriter/Americana feel with a country kick. There’s some old-school country songs on there, and some of that stems from the fact that my interest as an actor and why I got involved in doing a play, film, or TV show, was that I really like the idea of telling a story, » he says. « Any role that I have ever picked as an actor has not been because of the character, but rather, ‘Man, that’s a cool story to tell.’ I don’t think there is another genre of music that does that. In rock and roll, the use of metaphor is really huge, from Pink Floyd on down the line, metaphor is a real strong concept. In country music, it’s not. It’s exactly what it is — ‘I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die,” he said quoting Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues.” “That’s very literal. I just naturally gravitate towards writing like that.”
Of course, never far from the minds of fans of the actor is the future of Jack Bauer and 24. Sutherland is involved in the production of the upcoming Fox revival of the series, but as far as his character goes, that’s unclear. “I have no idea what’s in store for Jack Bauer, » he says. « I certainly have learned to never say never. When we finished season 8, if you would have told me that I would have done season 9, I would have stabbed you in the heart with a pencil,” he said with a laugh.
What was it about the series that captivated audiences for so long? “There were a few factors that registered in the show’s success,” he says. “For me, Jack was a flawed character. He was someone who was trying to the right thing all the time, but as any human does, there are moments where he would fail. There were also moments where what they thought was the right thing might not have been the right thing. I thought there was a real humanity to the character.”
He also says that timing may have played a part. “I think after the events of 9/11, I as a citizen felt helpless. I was so angry and heartbroken to see people jumping out of those buildings, and 3,000 people dying that just simply went to work, » says Sutherland. « It’s still impossible to articulate the depth of that tragedy. You saw it unfold on television, and I think a lot of people were angry. All of a sudden, you saw this show — which we started before 9/11 — with this guy who was going to take on these insurmountable odds and do something good. For a lot of people who felt really frustrated, and there was nothing they could do — to watch someone do it in the context of this show was satisfying, I guess on some level.” billboard.com
Kiefer Sutherland – Not Enough Whiskey Review
When I first heard about this happening I was sceptical at how good it would be. I love country music, what I’ve heard of it anyway, and I love Kiefer Sutherland as an actor. But when I heard of him releasing a country song, I was sceptical to say the least.
I knew I’d end up liking it, but initially thought I would simply because it was Kiefer. But do you know what? I genuinely love this song and am really looking forward to his album this summer. It feels to me like genuine country music, full of that brand of melancholy we know and love of the genre. album-reviews.co.uk
Kiefer Sutherland discusses new country album with AXS
It’s easy to forget that an actor – one who spends his time in the spotlight sharing the humanity of others – has the same emotional needs as his fans.
Unknown to a lot of people, Kiefer Sutherland has spent the last ten years writing incredibly personal music to accompany his already legendary career as an actor. Following in the narrative dedication in music to heroes like Jackson Browne or Kris Kristofferson , Sutherland didn’t just want to tell anyone’s story through song. He wanted to tell stories that had an impact on him. Enter his debut album Down In A Hole, his own exploration into the spiritual territory of country and americana music.
AXS was able to chat with Sutherland to discuss the record, for which he’s currently on tour.
AXS: Your album Down In a Hole comes at the artistic captaining of longtime friend Jude Cole, who oversaw your Iron Works Records outfit to the creative success of artists like Billy Boy On Poison. For AXS readers who are unfamiliar with Jude Cole, who is he?
Kiefer Sutherland: Jude Cole is a Warner Brothers artist at first. He’s done phenomenal records… everything from Start the Car to Baby It’s Tonight. He’s had a couple big hit singles back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He did another record called Falling Home, and he’s been my best friend… gosh, twenty-seven years.
But he’s an extraordinary guitar player. He’s played for everybody from Moon Martin to Al Green. So he’s an extraordinary musician – a session player and a singer/songwriter, and has now been a producer for the last fifteen years. I think the biggest band he had – a band he managed and produced – is called Lifehouse. He’s produced a lot of other stuff, some things for us at Iron Works. When we started the company, he produced Rocco DeLuca’s first record. He produced a really great record for a band called HoneyHoney.
So he’s that. He’s a fantastic musician who works as a producer, as a player, as a writer, and was a Warner Brothers artist. I think he was on Island Records during the 80s and 90s.
AXS: What did he bring to the project for you? In what way did he sort of… fill in the creative gaps?
KS: Well, first of all, as a great friend, he was the person who I played these songs for just to get a sense of what he thought. As a musician, the fact that he was someone that I have so much respect for and that he liked them as much as he did made me feel confident about going forward. Again, this is a very new process for me, so I would say my confidence is not my great strength. Certainly when we started making the record. So he was instrumental in that.
And being a really great friend… if we got through eight or nine tracks, and at the end of it said “You know, I’m not really liking this,” I knew he’d be alright with that. I think that that was really important to me as well. And his talent as an arranger, his talents as a recording producer, are so vast that he made a record that I’m really thrilled with. The sound of it, the mood of it… I think one of the things that we were really cautious about when we had Iron Works as a label was that we felt very few people were making great albums. That the songs did not have a real continuity from beginning to end. Or that there would be four songs that you would clearly hear on an album that were designed to be singles, and the B-sides were not… they seemed like they were not even cared for at all. What I love [about] working with Jude is that there’s a real… you know, we ended up recording fifteen songs, and the four songs that didn’t make the album “didn’t not make the album” because we were really [unhappy] with those songs. They didn’t make the album because we were trying to really blend something from track one to eleven that made a really nice listening experience. Whether we succeeded in doing that or not is up to the listener, but we certainly made an effort at it.
So for all of those reasons, I certainly could not have made this album the way we did without Jude.
AXS: You’ve previously shared through other interviews that almost all of the songwriting in this album is your equivalent of a diary, and that you really took note of the narrative talents of artists like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings – their ability to talk about things like injustice, etc. Is it fair to say that you’ve seen a lot of injustice, and that that sort of went into the album?
KS: Well, everybody has their own perspective on the way that everything happens or unfolds in front of them and in their life. For me, I’ve always had an issue… if I felt something was really unfair… that’s certainly something (for better or worse) that I’ve reacted to in my life. That certainly is a thing. I think I spent a lot of time as an actor on the road, and I think that that can get kind of lonely. There’s certainly… I’ve had a marriage that didn’t work and didn’t get to live with my kids, and you know, those are all choices that I was part of making. So there’s a sadness in that.
There’s also some songs that are really actually hopeful, and that kind of fantastic moment when you realize that you’ve been looking for someone to fall in love with forever and that they’re standing in front of you. That’s a song called “I’ll Do Anything.” It really rides the gamut of different points in my life that for whatever reason, when I sat down to write popped into my head.
And then there’s a couple other songs on the record that are more observational. Certainly “Shirley Jean” is one of those songs. But yeah, I think thematically… I’ve had “highs,” I’ve had “lows,” I’ve been surrounded by people, I’ve been completely alone at different times. It’s the human experiene, and I’ve tried to write as much about my human experience in this record.
AXS: With your sharing of the various parts of the human experience, were there particular tracks that you almost didn’t share on the album?
KS: Yeah, there’s a song called “Calling Out Your Name” that was really personal and… and what was funny was I think that was like the third song we recorded, or the fourth song we recorded. I always find it ironic is that the one thing you’re thinking is “well maybe I’ll just keep this one in my pocket for myself. I’ll play it at home.” When we ended up recording it, it became my favorite song. That was the one that I wanted people to hear the most, so I found that kind of ironic. There are some other ones that are just sad. “Down In A Hole” is a sad song about a friend that I lost. That just… didn’t do things very differently than I did, he just wasn’t as lucky. He got carried away one night and didn’t make it, you know.
And so, that’s interesting. Recording that, I didn’t feel that way. There’s a great guitar lick on that, and the lyric was personal. It kind of reminded me of that friend, and that was a good thing. When I go to play it live, I’m actually really angry when I sing that song, which I found really interesting. That’s what drives me when I’m singing that song.
AXS: Angry in general, as a displaced emotion or…?
KS: When I was singing the song, I was angry that the guy died. I was angry that my friend passed away. I was angry that he made the dumb decisions that he did that led to that, and I was very kind of surprised. Because that’s certainly not how I felt when I was doing it on the record. But in front of an audience – and you’re kind of finding the energy of a song live – it’s been really interesting how each song kind of affects me differently as a performer. And that one, “Down In A Hole,” I got to let a lot of that out.
AXS: So the album combined with the live touring has put together a cathartic experience for you?
KS: The recording of the album, it’s certainly not… we’re not necessarily chasing anything with the album. We put the album out, and if people like it they can get it. If people don’t, they don’t have to. The great benefit for me is to be able to go and play these songs to two hundred to four hundred people. And yes, its cathartic, it’s visceral, it’s a completely different form of expression that I’ve had for almost thirty years. So for me, its incredibly exciting for that reason. axs.com