NELS CLINE INTERVIEW
(Originally aired on September 2, 2010)
Attempting to place Nels Cline in a convenient stylistic box is an exercise in futility. Yes, he’s an electric jazz guitarist who cites George Benson and Howard Roberts as early heroes. But he also spent years playing acoustic nylon-string and 12-string, inspired by Ralph Towner and Egberto Gismonti. Then there’s his passion for the aural anarchy of the Minutemen and Sonic Youth, as well as a life-long obsession with Jimi Hendrix. All these influences — and more — surface in Cline’s playing, often within the same piece of music. In addition to pursuing his solo career, Cline plays lead guitar with alt-rockers Wilco, a gig he has held since 2004.
In our exclusive interview, Cline describes what inspires him to compose and play. We'll also explore music from Cline’s 2010 double album, Initiate, which perfectly illustrates his multifaceted musical persona.