Scorpius recently had the pleasure of catching up with the double-neck guitar demon.
Tell us what inspired your latest album.
‘Guru’ is a concept album that begins and ends with a lot of the questions that I have asked myself throughout my life. ‘Allowance’ is a song about becoming aware through observing others, that I too, can find resilience when I am tired and broken by life. ‘Blame’ is a song about projecting our own guilt and shortcomings onto others with a smile (lol!). ‘Ein Lasht Beer’ is about hoarding every moment you can with the one you love when they have essentially been given a death sentence. ‘Glass’ is about letting go of the perception of being ‘old and broken’, and realizing there is more good in life yet to unfold. ‘Interstellar’ describes with quantum mechanics how the mind creates our reality. ‘Better’ came from my first Native American medicine ceremony. I had the realization that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to fix myself, there is only constant practice of staying self-aware in order to grow and heal myself and others. ‘Theomorph’ illustrates the concept (inspired by an Alex Grey picture) that we are all the same consciousness experiencing an illusion of differentiation. ‘The Door’ is a reminder that every moment is a gift if we recognize it’s potential.
‘GURU’ is more or less a song similar to that old story about a person seeking enlightenment who climbed the mountain to find a guru to answer their deep questions, only to find the guru had nothing but questions for them! Of course, my songs are more multi-layered than these simple explanations. Some of this music I spent composing for up to 13 years, during which a lot of people close to me died. So many of these songs are examinations of the relationships I had with those people who had such a big impact on my life. The music itself is more or less rock, with elements of jazz, pop, progressive rock, fusion, and Latin, performed by my American and Dutch trios. Use my acoustic and electric crossed neck guitars on all of the songs. I play all of the lead guitar parts with my right hand, and the rhythm guitar part with my left hand simultaneously, using my own version of the tapping technique. I weave the guitars together in a way that two normal guitarists would never play. Just searching for new sounds. I’m lucky to have some of the best musicians (Van Christiansen, Shawn Thomas, Richard Heijerman, Richie Vazquez, Sjoerd Beunder) in the world playing on this album!
How was your latest European Tour?
The tour last fall was a great success. Having played in Europe almost every year for the last 12 years, I enjoy a lot of support from the fans I have made. When I see all of the familiar faces at my shows with new ones, that’s what makes it all worthwhile after all of the long hours of travel. Best venue? The venue isn’t as important as performing for people who really intend to listen. There were a lot of enthusiastic crowds in Germany, Romania, Czech Republic, and Holland on this last tour. I played with some of Holland’s most famous Classical, Jazz, and Flamenco guitarists at a sold-out guitar festival in Den Haag in De Nieuwe Regents Theater. You could hear a pin drop in that place, everyone was listening so intently for the whole show! It was also pretty interesting to see myself and my Dutch manager, Jos Van Oost, on the big screen in a couple of nice theaters in a Dutch documentary, ‘Two Men and Their Guitarz’, all about us. It was hard not to heckle myself….! I also played live on a popular show on the biggest radio station in Germany, Radio Eins, in front of a live audience of about 180 people. Everyone that I saw at my German shows heard it! My German manager, Thomas Bohme (with the help of his lovely girlfriend Christl), is also the German tour manager for a lot of Frank Zappa’s most famous musicians like Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock.
What is the driving force behind your live performances?
Haha! Catharsis! I just want to play how I feel at that moment, and share that with people who care to come along for the ride. I have to put myself physically and mentally into what I do 100%, there is no in between. Playing two guitar parts and singing at the same time requires all of my concentration and energy. There is no room for anything but the music! After a good gig, I usually feel rejuvenated. I hope it has that effect on others as well ?
Are there any new songs or albums currently in the works?
Currently, I am working on a solo crossed neck acoustic guitar album called ‘Baktun’. There will also be a live video for each track. I am very excited to make it because it is a whole different side to me than any of my 10 albums so far. This stuff has been fermenting for a long time!
In this last year I also dropped two other albums, ‘Beunder/Hansen/Heijerman ‘(2016), and ‘Shadow Machine’ (2017). All four albums are available at https://terencehansen.bandcamp.com for free for a limited time, and soon, like my album ‘Some of My Ghosts’, they will be on iTunes etc. There will also be more ‘shredding the **** out of the crossed neck electric’ videos this year…
What can we expect from you in 2018?
I am working on some regional solo tours in Seattle, Oregon, California, Colorado, and New York for 2018. There is also another European tour in the works for Oct-Nov 2018. I am looking forward to my some of my collaborations with Isaiah Stewart, Doug Morton, Andrey Sazonov, Richard Shack, Yatziv Caspi, Rich Wyman, Billy Burton, Rylee McDonald, and Tom Hopkins also being released this year. There are also some new collaborations in the making! Thanks again Scorpius!