Sunday, 19 January 2014

Music: Interview with Ant Law

London-based guitarist Ant Law has made a name for himself over the past decade working as a session musician for acts including Mica Paris, Leon Ware and Steve Brookstein, but now his touring the country with his band to promote his debut album Entanglement.

“It can be really rewarding being a session musician, but ultimately with those things you are being told what to play,” says Law. “If you do your own music you tell yourself what to play – you’re your own musical director.”

Entanglement turned heads in the jazz world, but it is in the live setting of darkened rooms and small crowds where he feels most comfortable.

“When the music’s based in jazz idiom there’s so much freedom to do things like long improvisations – every time we play we’re finding different ways to work with the material, so it’s really different every time and that’s really fulfilling creatively,” he says.

Law grew up in family deeply interested in rock and blues music. His father was obsessed with the early blues masters like Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson, but it wasn’t until Law saw a live jazz band that he became hooked on the genre.

“The first time I saw jazz I thought it was awesome. I liked the way that the musicians get time express themselves individually,” he says.

“With popular music, the music is there to serve the song or the lyrics, but in jazz there’s such an emphasis on improvisation and being spontaneous – that really appealed to me.”

Law has been praised for his innovative guitar playing and his pioneering use of ‘perfect fourth’ guitar tuning which allows Law to play unusual guitar chords.

“It rules out using some of the most obvious chords that people in standard tuning use,” he says. “But then it rules in lots of interesting new chord shapes that are really hard to play in standard tuning.

“It gives me a different starting point – you’re starting from a different perspective.”

With dates in Sheffield, Leeds and Wakefield, Law is excited about coming back to the region.

“We’ve played in Yorkshire a few times now. Leeds especially is great because they’ve got the music college, so there are loads of hungry jazz fans there,” he says.

“We’re really looking forward to heading to Yorkshire and taking a break from the manic business of London and see something a bit more picturesque.”


This article was published by Yorkshire Post on January 17, 2014.

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