Mitch has played guitar seriously for five years since he was 13
and first met Walter Trout at a gig in Sunderland three years ago.
Walter asked for a CD and soon after hearing the tracks invited
Mitch to guest at his Colne gig in 2006. Since then Mitch and
Walter have been playing together on UK gigs on a regular basis
including Newcastle, Leeds and Milton Keynes.
Mitch's first band was Vanilla Moon in 2006, which evolved into
The Mitch Laddie Trio in 2008, with the original bass player and
drummer from Vanilla Moon namely Rhian Wilkinson (bass) and Lee
"Cliffy" Clifford (drums). The band have enjoyed success on
both the MCC Rally and festival circuit. Mitch is now 18 - Cliffy and Rhian are 19 and 17 respectively. They
play a mixture of original and cover material. The Band is
County Durham based but Mitch prefers to be linked to Newcastle.
He is signed to Provogue and currently awaits a recording
schedule for the first album. The official website
I first met Mitch Laddie
waiting to go on stage with Walter Trout at the Colne R&B Festival 2008.
Little did I know what an impact an 18 year old would make. Awesome!
The Mitch Laddie Trio recently
did a gig at Barrow R&B Club where I interviewed Mitch.
ARW Mitch, thanks very much for agreeing to
this interview. Letís start with when you first became interested in
ML It all started when I was around two
years old. My Granddad was really into his country music and I spent a
lot of time with him because my parents both worked. I just latched on
and got really engrossed in it. The more I listened, the more I loved
it. Also, my Dad played guitar so Iíd pick up his guitar and have a bit
of a strum and it went from there. I broke my leg playing rugby when I
was 12 and I started to play guitar seriously in the hospital; after
being told I was going to be spending a few months there. I couldnít
stop playing, couldnít put the guitar down. My Dad would have something
new for me to learn with each visit and I just felt really enthused by
the whole thing.
ARW Did you always want to become a
ML When I was a kid, yes. Then I had a few
years of acting and drama which was good fun, but I grew out of that and
it was back to the music and itís all Iíve wanted to do for a very long
ARW What is it that attracts you to blues
ML Itís how real it is, the emotion. The
dynamics, how raw, how subtle, how balls to the wall you can make it
sound and how you can really move people in so many different ways.
Every player does it differently too. Players like Stevie Ray Vaughan
who really pulled me over to the blues; I mean the emotion he displays
in his playing is extraordinary. The older guys too, players like Albert
Collins and BB. King can flatten you with one note, you know? You just
donít get that with a lot of other types of music. It can really hit you
ARW Whatís the music scene like in County
Durham where you live?
ML Well, itís not the best really. There
are local bands but until you go into Newcastle, there isnít really a
lot going on.
ARW And is Newcastle very vibrant?
ML Itís a very cultured city and thereís a
huge amount going on in lots of different genres.
ARW Who are your favourite blues artists?
ML Stevie Ray Vaughan for sure. Then a lot
of the old guys like Buddy Guy, the 3 kings, Albert Collins, Jimi
Hendrix, Walter Trout, early Clapton and Paul Kossoff. Then there are
the newer players like Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer, Eric Gales, and Derek
Trucks. There are players who wouldnít be classed as blues but play the
blues great you know? Eric Johnson is definitely one of those players.
ARW: Whoís influenced you most in music?
ML Iíd say My Granddad was the earliest
influence. He sat me down and showed me all the different aspects of it
and I just really latched onto it at a very early age. My Dad is up
there too. Heís the first person to have sat me down with a guitar.
ARW Whatís the best album you ever bought?
ML Thatís a hard question! Iíd probably say
Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan. I know there are a lot of
guys out there on the blues scene who have the Stevie Ray Vaughan thing
going on, and they get stick for it with people saying itís old, but I
just think he was truly one of a kind. He was the one who made me go
ďWow! I want to do thatĒ Texas Flood did that to me.
ARW Tell me about your gigs with Walter
Trout. How much of an influence has he been?
Wow! Heís been a massive influence on my playing. Weíll
be just chilling out back stage and heíll guide me in the right
direction. Last time I saw him, he said, ďJust slow down a bit, keep
the feel thereĒ and he was really making sure that I didnít lose that,
which I must thank him for. Heís a really great guy and heís given me
all the support, opportunities and guidance I could hope for; especially
from an idol, itís all very surreal at times.
ARW Are there any particular songs you play
that have special meaning for you?
ML Well, all of them really. When Iím up
there and close my eyes and try to go to that place, thatís why I do it.
ARW What guitars do you play and which is
ML The main guitar I play is a USA white
Eric Johnson signature Strat. Iíve also got a black/white Japanese
Strat which is rare because itís an Ď89, Pre 1990 Japanese Fenders were
up there with the quality of USA models. Itís a great guitar and was
the first Strat I ever bought. Another favoured Strat is a silver USA
Stratocaster Plus also from í89. Theyíre a few others, but they are the
3 I play most.
ARW Whatís it like as a young musician in
the current music business?
ML: Itís frustrating in a way. Especially
because of the music I tend to lean towards. The whole industry is just
a massive money making machine today, especially pop music. Itís really
frustrating but, at the same time, I love playing to the people who want
to listen and you know even if they donít, I love doing it.
ARW Tell me about the band Ė when did you
ML The two guys Iím with now, Rhian
Wilkinson and Lee Clifford, are from the first band I ever started.
Those two guys, plus another guitarist got together when I was about
13. Iíve known them both for a long time. Theyíve always been my
ARW What sort of material do you play as a
ML Blues rock of course. But we are
prettily heavily funk influenced and Iím quite into my fusion and jazz
too. Iíd say we generally just gather our influences and throw them all
together and see what happens.
ARW Tell me about your experiences so far in
trying to make your first album.
ML All the writingís done and I start
recording on 14th April with the legendry Bernie Marsden from
Whitesnake. Iím really looking forward to it.
ARW A lot of music styles come and go, but
the blues is always with us. Why do you think that is?
ML I think itís because, no matter when or
who it is, everybody plays the blues differently and everybody moves you
in a different way. Even if players are similar, theyíve still got
their own touch that makes the hairs on your arms stand up. Itís not
just the guitar side of it; the diva blues singers do it too. Itís the
raw emotion and the feeling that is put into it and you just donít get
that in other types of music. The passion is always there. Itís real.
ARW How do you see the future of blues
ML Thatís hard too! When you see guys like
Joe Bonamassa, heís definitely moving it forward. But itís becoming a
lot heavier and our band would probably, in terms of blues, be
considered quite heavy. I canít see the passion and sentiment fading;
that will always be there, but itís going to expand and that heavier
blues rock sound seems to be very popular at the moment.
ARW What are your future plans?
ML Iím just going to continue playing and
writing and see where it goes.
ARW Thank you very much, and the very best
of luck with your career.
Iím sure you are destined to go far!
Alan White - earlyblues.com
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