When I moved back to the Quad Cities and began pursuing a career in music, I heard about a show on the radio called “Art Talk” in which artists in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas were interviewed. I found out the host of the show was named Bruce Carter, so I sent him an email, and he replied saying he’d love to do an interview, so we set one up for the summer of 2014. I went on his show with two band members, and Bruce interviewed us about how the band started, our new album, and our upcoming shows. But the thing he seemed most interested in was the creative process of songwriting. During the interview I found out new things about how and why I write songs. I believe this is a mark of someone who is truly great at interviewing – they draw information and insight out of their guest that the guest may not have known, or been able to articulate before.
The moment I met Bruce Carter I remember feeling as if I had known him for a long time. Not only was he very interested in finding out why I wrote songs, I remember him being very encouraging, and telling me he thought I would be successful writing and performing music.
Only a few months after our interview – one year ago today – at what seemed like the much-too-early age of 66, Bruce died. A tribute to his life and impact on other artists, also featuring some of his own art, was done by the River Cities’ Reader which you can find here.
Shortly before his passing, Bruce Carter was interviewed by my friend Andrew King, in a rare role reversal of an interview with the interviewer, which took place at Rozz Tox in Rock Island, IL. Thankfully, this interview was recorded, so please make some time to listen to introspective hour where Bruce Carter speaks on what it means to create art, and specifically how the Quad Cities’ art scene is developing. Among my favorite quotes from it:
“I’m at the point of my life where I don’t need anything for Christmas except good coffee and groovy socks”.