Character Interview: Robert Silver of Deep Blue

by Kathleen Duhamel

Originally from Music Daily Online, Aug. 28, 2013.

By Demitri Chastain

Deep Blue Does Denver

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Robert Silver and Art Hoffman bring their big band to Red Rocks Amphitheater on Sept. 1 for a sold-out show. From a hotel room in Cincinnati, the voice of Grammy-winning Deep Blue talks about being on the road, the band’s future and his surprising life off stage.

Q. You’re on tour again and we’ve heard rumors that there’s a new album in the works. You guys seem busier than ever. Have you given any thought to slowing down a bit, or retiring?

A. I don’t see retirement in my future. What would I do? I’ve been a professional musician for almost 40 years. This is all I know. I can’t see myself just sitting at home. For one thing, I’d get fat. And bored. I’m a Type-A, or so I’ve been told. I like juggling multiple projects and staying busy.

Q. What are you doing differently on this tour? Are you trying out any new material?

A. We might try out a couple of songs from the new album, but mostly we’ll be playing fan favorites, plus a few tunes from other artists we admire. We almost always include something from Al Green, James Brown, a little Marvin Gaye and John Lennon. Our audiences have certain expectations, so you’re always gonna hear Somewhere to Fall, Minefield and our other hits.

Q. What can you share about the new album?

A. It’s called Touchstone. All original tunes, more of the soul-infused rock we’re known for. I expect it will be out next spring and we’ll promote it during our upcoming European tour.

Q. Tell us what life is like on the road in the 21st century.

A. Man, you are dating me {laughs}. When Artie (guitarist and musical partner Art Hoffman} and I first started out, we spent a lot of late nights riding in a bus, going from gig to gig. Now we have the luxury of flying to our tour dates. It saves wear and tear on an old dude like me.

Touring is a surreal experience, any way you look at it. You live for that two hours when you get to play music and do the thing you love. Then, after all the cheers and applause have died down, you go back to an empty hotel room. And it’s usually too late to call home.

On the road, it’s great to have people do things for you, like bring you food, fix your laptop when it goes down, make sure your wardrobe is taken care of. Then you get home and you still have to take out the trash and buy groceries like anyone else. It’s like being thrown back into an alternate universe.

Q. Other than taking out the garbage, what’s it like when you’re home?

A. Robert Silver goes back in his box and it’s back to being Rob again. I’m actually a pretty quiet guy off stage. I’ve lived alone since my wife died a few years ago (long moment of silence). I’m a basketball fan and I just can’t give up on the Knicks although they’re painful to watch at times.

And I really like to cook. I could spend all day hanging out in my kitchen with some new recipes (laughs) and trying them out on unsuspecting friends.

Q. You and Art Hoffman have one of the most successful partnerships in music history. When most rock duos have wound up hating each other, you still seem friendly.

A. We’ve always gotten along and respected each other’s talent. We may bicker like an old married couple, but we’ve never come across any issues that were serious enough to come to physical violence or cause a split.

I think we both consider ourselves lucky to be able to do this for a living. We thought we’d form a little rock band, write some songs and see what happened. Neither of us ever expected Deep Blue to last so long. And over the years, we’ve become co-dependent. The band couldn’t exist without both of us. I may be the front man and the voice, but when we’re on stage, Artie takes no prisoners. Anyone who’s seen our show knows that.

I read an article recently about a famous rock duo, who will remain nameless. They can’t stand each other. They never communicate unless they’re on tour, and then it’s always through their people. I can’t imagine what that would be like. What if I couldn’t bounce ideas off Artie? He’s more like a brother to me. A sarcastic pest of a brother, but it wouldn’t be the same without him {more laughter}.

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