After seeing Bhi Bhiman on a chance viewing of BBC’s ‘Later… With Jools Holland’, I’ve been hooked. I bought his second album, ‘Bhiman’, immediately and it did not disappoint. He couples beautiful country and soul inspired guitar with strikingly witty lyrics of Springsteenian resonance. AMBY was lucky enough to talk to Bhi about gig crashing, Dire Straits, and his razor sharp wit.
AMBY: Hi Bhi, thanks for speaking with AMBY. How are you?
Bhi Bhiman: I’m doing well thanks!
AMBY: What have you been up to lately?
Bhi Bhiman: Right now I’m in Scandinavia, touring with Rosanne Cash which has been incredible.
AMBY: Your covers EP Substitute Preacher is great. Which tracks are you favourite off the EP?
Bhi Bhiman: I think my favorite track off the album is probably “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads. I also love “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits but playing it live w/ the audience whistling along is where it’s at.
AMBY: You recently released the video for Walk of Life. What inspired the video?
Bhi Bhiman: For some reason, I kept thinking about Buster Keaton when I was recording that song. His athleticism and physical comedy is unbelievable. Since the original Dire Straits video featured a montage of professional athletes, I thought it would be fun to do something similar with Buster Keaton.
AMBY: Some of your songs have quite funny lyrics, Ballerina in particular. How do you manage to write witty lyrics, which still turn out to be fantastic lyrics?
Bhi Bhiman: I’ve always been a huge fan of comedy. Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin – they are all big influences of mine. I really like taking topics that might actually be sad or serious and giving them a witty edge. I think comedy is a great tool in making someone see both sides of the coin.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Bhi Bhiman: One time I was opening for singer/songwriter Rosie Thomas. Now, Rosie also performs standup as a character named “Sheila” who is just ridiculous in every way. During one of my songs, Sheila came out and crashed my set. Here’s a video if you’re curious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYDhXddxHZ4
AMBY: Where is your favorite city in the world to play and why?
Bhi Bhiman: London is probably my favorite city to play. I was on a TV show called “Later w/ Jools Holland” over there and it really solidified my UK fanbase which has been tremendous.
AMBY: If you could meet any three of your influences, which would you choose?
Bhi Bhiman: I’d love to meet Tom Petty, Mavis Staples or Angus Young.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Bhi Bhiman: I’m really excited to play in Canada for the first time at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Bhi Bhiman that nobody knows yet?
Bhi Bhiman: I’m terrible with names but I never forget a face.
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