John Medeski Appears On ‘Eric Krasno Plus One’ Podcast
An interview with acclaimed keyboardist John Medeski is featured on the latest episode of JamBase partner Osiris Media Network podcast Eric Krasno Plus One. Medeski chats with host Eric Krasno about his Saint Disruption project, the formation of Medeski Martin & Wood, his early days as a musician and more.
The pair start by talking Saint Disruption, a group Medeski started with Jeff Firewalker Schmitt. John recalls meeting Schmitt, a scientist and ceremonial healer, in the Amazon jungle after suffering from massive headaches. Medeski and Schmitt hit it off and Jeff asked John to form a new band. “He’s not just making music to get women or be popular or make money, he’s feeling a deep calling and connection, he wants to help people,” Medeski says of Jeff Firewalker Schmitt. Saint Disruption releases their debut album, Rose In The Oblivion, later this week.
Kraz then asks Medeski about his formative years. John Medeski notes his earliest influences both in the classical and jazz worlds. He talks of attending the New England Conservatory of Music and starting to play organ. “It was the teacher,” Medeski says of his experience after playing Hammond B3 for the first time. “It’s really important to just sit down and explore,” the keyboardist notes regarding the need to mix studying the music of others with performing yourself to learn. “I just wanted to be Hendrix,” John adds.
John Medeski dives into the genesis of Medeski Martin & Wood. The keyboardist met bassist Chris Wood while gigging. The pair went on a tour to Israel with Bob Moses where they hung for three weeks. “He and I really connected then,” Medeski notes. John and Chris then were introduced through Moses to Billy Martin. The three musicians immediately had a strong chemistry and wrote “Uncle Chubb” during their initial session together.
Kraz is a huge fan of MMW’s 1996 album Shack-man and asked Medeski how the LP came together. John explains how the group purchased the land and created the studio where the record was recorded. He then tells the story of famed guitarist John Scofield enlisting Medeski Martin and Wood as his backing band for 1998’s A Go Go.
Other topics hit upon were MMW’s connection with Phish, Medeski’s thoughts on the jam scene embracing the band, performing with members of The Meters and the Grateful Dead and more. Listen to John Medeski’s appearance on Eric Krasno Plus One below: