On March 23 it was my pleasure to interview composer and musician, Wade E. Mann. He has been with our HiFiveMusic family for over 2 years now and has produced several different albums in that time.
When asked how he’s able to put out so much music he smirked. “Being retired doesn’t hurt.” But he quickly adds that his life is filled with his family: his lovely wife, Evelyn whom he’s been married to for almost 46 years, his 3 children and also three beautiful granddaughters. “You know, I guess you could say I’ve always used my current experience as my muse.” His enthusiasm and love for music make his sound unique and keeps his audience thirsting for more with each album.
HFI: Thank you for joining HFM. What was your main reason for signing up with HFM?
Wade: HFM made absolute sense for what and how I could introduce myself to the public. The music projects are left entirely to my imagination without the demands that come with a label contract. Production costs are left to my discretion and I have carte blanche for all future projects. HFM has interest in my musical creations, which I feel, people may want to hear.
“I hope to achieve my life-long goal as a composer that’s recognized for music that is interesting, enjoyable and lasting. I don’t want to be a one hit wonder.“
HFI: We really enjoyed your first EP, but we fell in love with your new album, “Bushido”. What inspired you to write this album?
Wade: The inspiration for Bushido was actually a music theory class that I took many years ago when I was in college. One of the assignments was to write a piece that dealt with a specific type of progression then allow class guess the title or the piece. So, I wrote a piece based on the pentatonic scale and named it “Traveling through the Orient”. Immediately, everyone in the class recognized that it had an Asian sound and feel. In preparation for this project, I did a study on the Japanese culture during the feudalism period and titled the project “Bushido”. That along with maybe watching too many Samurai movies.
HFI: We noticed that there are many instruments being played. As a producer, what are your “go-to” instruments to use for attacking a project?
Wade: My “go-to” instruments are basically whatever the project calls for and usually, I will set up with the rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, rhythm guitar and cymbals). Next, lead instruments such as trumpet, sax, trombone, flute and lead guitar. After the ensemble is set up, I work on a chord structure or melody, and take it from there.
HFI: Besides keyboards and programs, do you or have you played any other instruments?
Wade: I began playing the bugle in the Boy Scouts and switched to trumpet in high school. We always had a piano in the house; both of my parents sang, my sister plays piano and my brother plays various instruments. So, I come from a musical family, however, I have always had a desire for composition.
HFI: As a writer and avid music listener, my favorite song on the album is Land of the Rising Sun.
Wade: Funny you should choose that one. As a matter of fact, Land of the Rising Sun was actually a composition I tinkered with about ten years ago. I called it, “The Love Affair of Dr. Cho and Madame Zenobia”, but after re-working it a bit, it turned into “Rising Sun”.
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HFI: As a member of the HFM family, what are your goals and aspirations?
Wade: I hope to achieve my life-long goal as a composer that’s recognized for music that is interesting, enjoyable and lasting. I don’t want to be a one hit wonder. I believe I can compose for various genres, which will impress both audiences and musicians alike. I believe HFM can make that goal obtainable.
HFI: Do you have any future projects in the works?
Wade: Yes. My next project is almost complete and I have a lot of work on the back burner. There are so many musical ideas, but how to bring them to fruition is sometimes difficult and time consuming, however, if I am confronted with adversity, I try to remain focused. Re-thinking a project is very helpful. You may hear something that I’ve put on the site re-worked and re-published. So, yes, as long as I am able [to create music], there will be future projects.
HFI: What equipment do you use to create your music?
Wade: I started with an 8 track digital recorder and a Yamaha keyboard. Later, I was drawn to software studios because they offered more possibilities for what I was trying to accomplish. Currently, I work with Yamaha keyboards, an M-Audio Keystation 88, Cubase studio along with various software instruments. As time goes by, I plan to try different programs and equipment. Without hardware and software technology, my music would still just be in my head. Because of this technology and HFM, I can now reach the world.
HFI: Which musicians and composers inspire your musical ideas?
Wade: I’ve listened to a lot of music for most of my 67 years. Church and Rock & Roll got me liking music, but when I got into my teens, Jazz won me over. Most of my friends were listening to James Brown, Smokey and the Miracles and The Temptations, while my brother and I were listening to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Since I was a trumpet player, I paid much attention to Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Miles, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. I listened to saxophone players, too. Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Jackie Mclean and of course, Bird. Later, Jazz Fusion became interesting and opened the door to a whole new world. Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea along with, Pat Metheny, The Yellowjackets, Weather Report and many others. Through the years, listening to so much brilliant music and musicianship, how could I not come away inspired?
Throughout his interview Mr. Mann seemed to have his own language filled with what I like to call “Wadeisms”. One in particular that stuck with me was, “Music is in my blood: can’t live without blood, can’t live without music.” You can hear the sounds of Wade E. Mann flowing through the veins of HiFiveMusic.com where you can connect, discover and subscribe.