Guitarist Trey Gunn hails from Texas, and he’s traveled all over the world with the famous band King Crimson, with whom he played from 1994 to 2003. But he credits his adoptive hometown with laying the groundwork to his creative process.
“Lack of sunshine in the winter makes me go into my cave and work,” Gunn said. “Without that I’m sure I wouldn’t be as productive. Plus with the wilderness so close to the city, I can go out into the middle of nowhere and recharge with minimal effort. Both have been critical for me.”
Gunn’s latest band, The Security Project, re-creates classic material from the singer Peter Gabriel, going as far back to Gabriel’s days as the original lead singer for Genesis. They also cover many of Gabriel’s post-Genesis solo hits.
Gunn remarked that drummer Jerry Marotta helped come up with the idea. Gunn resisted the notion of playing Gabriel at first but Marotta, a good friend and longtime collaborator with Gunn, wore him down.
“Basically, we try out any [Gabriel] piece that anyone in the group is interested in and we just see how it goes,” Gunn said about the band’s repertoire. “If we can dig deep into and make something convincing, then it goes into the show. If not, we lovingly sit it off to the side. There is an amazing wealth of powerful and unique pieces in his catalog. We have arranged more than what we can play in one night.”
The Security Project’s two CD releases so far, “Live 1” and “Live 2,” feature such well-known Gabriel songs as “Mercy Street,” “Games Without Frontiers,” “Biko,” and “Here Comes The Flood.”
Asked which one was the hardest to nail down, Gunn mentioned “The Family And The Fishing Net,” from Gabriel’s “Security” album.
“There is so much mood to the piece,” he said. “Without the mood there is almost nothing there. But we had to begin working with an arrangement. So we pieced together some sort of rough structure that could work well enough for us while we experimented with nailing the vibe. And we succeeded.”
The band has used three different male singers doing reasonable facsimiles of Gabriel’s original vocals. The latest member to join, however will change the game considerably. Happy Rhodes, a female singer from the East Coast, boasts a four-octave vocal range and a long list of self-masterminded albums. She’ll bring in her own distinct approach.
Rhodes, said Gunn, “sounds like only herself when she sings, and that is how we want it. With her it will be all about how she chooses to approach the songs. What choices she makes.
“And, yes, that is going to change the whole game. For the band and the music. We will be significantly altering some of the arrangements and, individually, rethinking how to approach the parts.”
The Security Project plans a West Coast tour sometime next spring, with at least one Seattle date.