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Interview: Chris Thile

Thile Discusses the New Nickel Creek Release, "Celebrants"

Musical genre can be a very limiting place; it can put fences around the aspirations and creations of musicians, but it can also cause the listener to stay in their own little world without branching out to explore things that they might also enjoy. It takes a strong group of musicians to move beyond those confines and a loyal and dedicated horde of fans and followers who are ready, willing and able to go wherever their favorite artist chooses to lead them.

For all intents and purposes, Nickel Creek is a bluegrass band and features Chris Thile (mandolin), and siblings Sara Watkins (fiddle) and Sean Watkins (guitar), but they stretch the barriers of the genre and bring their fans along for the ride. Believe it, or not, even though the band members are all in their early to mid-40s they have been performing together since the late 80s and so they can read each other's thoughts musically - and probably otherwise. They have a brand new album on the shelves this year (Their first release since 2014) called Celebrants and while it may be a bluegrass record it is unbound by the confines of any genre: it’s an exciting musical exploration by three excellent musicians with a potent mixture of artistic symmetry and collegiality.

Nickel Creek vinyl record Celebrants

One of those three excellent musicians - Chris Thile - joins me on this episode to discuss the new Nickel Creek album, of course, but to also engage me in a free-flowing conversation about sound, music, composition, working with others, creation and his own personal musical restlessness and a lifetime of discovery. This talk is a chance to look into the mind of a musician who is always looking out.


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