Interview with Phil Manzanera- 6/17/21


Abbi Wynsma and Mason Vore

Solo artist and producer Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music talks with us about how the pandemic and his long career in the music business has affected his creative endeavors, specifically his upcoming EP with Tim Finn, “Caught By the Heart.”

Abbi Hey there you’re listening to interviews and in studios brought to you by Impact 89 FM . This week, our music director, Mason Vore, and I sat down with Roxy music and solo artist Phil Manzanera to discuss his most recent musical endeavors, as well as touching on his past experience, working with big names like Nico, Steve Winwood, and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. It was an amazing opportunity that both Mason and I were thoroughly excited to be a part of. So without further ado, here’s our interview with Phil Manzanera.



Phil Hi, Abbi?


Abbi Hi, how are you?


Phil I’m doing well and wow, isn’t this great. We can speak and you’re in Michigan, I’m in the south of England, an hour and a half from London in the middle of an English country side with, you can imagine a joke, 17th century cottage with beams and  green, all around it. Where in the garden where I do my recording. With banana trees and a palm tree. So I feel like I’m in South America. 


Abbi Gotcha. Well that’s really cool. Yeah. It’s amazing that you could join us. And thank you for joining us today. Um, we’re just going to ask you a couple of quick questions because you know, we’ve got limited time. So I’m Abbi, the live music director, and with me, I have Mason, who is our stations music director. I’m going to let Mason ask the first question if you’re ready.


Phil Ready! 


Abbi All right. 


Mason Hey, Phil, how are you doing on this fine, well, I guess it’s not necessarily morning for you, huh? My first question I have for you is. in the videos that y’all did, uh, or that you and Tim did in preparation for this Tim mentioned that the last track on the EP or this first EP, Vamos Despacio I believe it’s called, was heavily influenced by the author he really loved Michael Leunig in his writings and about this philosophy of going slow and taking time to be aware of the present. Do you think that philosophy was involved in y’all’s recordings outside of just this one track? 


Phil Well, I think what’s happened in the last year is that COVID has forced us to live in the present and not to think about destinations. If you like, you know, we’re not thinking about rushing here, rushing that cause we can’t, we haven’t been allowed to, for one reason, we’ve had to slow down. And there’s something nice in slowing down. You begin to appreciate everything that surrounds you a bit more, you know, whether it’s broadening or making music or cooking, I’ve learned how to cook  I bought a hat. I bought a chef’s hat. I said, I’m going to get into it, but it shows that by, you know, a little, apron, I’m going into pretty interesting music. I found Joni Mitchell album with an orchestra where she sings well standards. I couldn’t believe it. And I’d never heard it before. I wouldn’t have had time to listen to I’ve really grown, to love it. And it’s very slow stretched along. And, uh, yeah. So I think this is kind of had influence on, uh, everybody, but obviously on, on the way, me and Tim, uh, have sort of chilled out. I haven’t been able to go anywhere, do anything except work on music, you know, so I’ve put on this musical stuff and just sent it to him and he sent me stuff back. It’s helped, you know, music can be very therapeutic. For everybody, for the maker and for the listener, as we know it’s used, whether it’s from so picking out or just chilling, beautiful classical music, just music in general, I think actually been appreciated a lot more during this period when the whole world is being pulled out of shape than ever before, you know, we’ve become connected with people from different countries, some of their music. But in general, yeah, I agree with you.


Abbi So then we’ll just hop over to the next question really quick with the limited time and everything, I was just wondering, because you’ve had such a long history in the music business, working with other artists, as well as your own career. How has this influenced how you continue to create and what effect did that have writing the EPs, knowing that Tim Finn also has a lot of experience as well.


Phil Yes. I mean, I’ve done look on Wikipedia to see how many albums I’ve probably done about eighty albums next year will be the 50th anniversary of being a professional musician of being in Roxy music. I’ve worked with people from I’ve learnt so much from other people, from producing other people and working with great sound to people and you then go all in there and you bring them. And then when you come to work together, I mean, you can imagine Tim Finn having worked on it and written those beautiful songs, Four Seasons in One Day and, and all that with his brother, that craftsmanship. So when you get two people who’ve been doing this for a long time, there’s a sort of shorthand, a shortcut. I will go there. So he would automatically go there to try and knock me out, but just to join me in some thing. It has been, you know, putting all our experience, if you like, into this very focused period of a year, we’ve all been locked down. So it’s quite fortuitous to be able to do this. But, and when I say, for instance, if I’m doing something with very atmospheric stuff, and whether it’s I work with Brian Eno or working David Gilmour or working on the  Floyd album I can draw little bits. It’s like having a big palette. You can, I can take a little bit from the other, but subconsciously not consciously. If you want to get into this business musicians and youngsters, listen to a whole range of music cause it’ll help you later on when you’re trying to write. 


Abbi Well, thank you so much. I think that our time is up, but I just wanted to say thanks again for being willing to do this. It was really great to talk to you and really, uh, cool and tell David Gilmour I said, hi, he doesn’t know who I am. I’m a girl from Michigan, but he’ll know me someday. Well, we’ll get there. We’ll get there. 


Phil He lives next door, so I’ll tell him


Abbi Oh my God, please do. You’ll make my whole life!


Phil Okay, nice one. Abbi and Mason take care!


Abbi Again, big thanks to Phil for taking time out of his day to call and talk with us. You can find his music and music he’s worked on, on all streaming platforms. To keep up or find more interviews and in-studios, go to and follow us on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.