Philip Sayce

BiografiePhilip Sayce was born in Wales, UK and grew up in Toronto, Canada. Raised in a home filled with rich and diverse musical influences, Philip´s family enrolled him in music lessons when he was three years old. "My parents had lots of instruments around the house while we were growing up, and we were always encouraged to play" says Philip. By 1985 Mark Knopfler´s lyrical guitar had already made a big impression on a very young Sayce. "I was around eight when Brothers In Arms came out" he recalls, "and I freaked out on the intro to ´Money For Nothing.´" Then on an incredible evening in 1988, his parents took him to see Eric Clapton at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, along with Mark Knopfler on second guitar. When Eric Clapton strutted onto stage that night ripping it up on ´Crossroads,´ Philip´s life was forever changed. "That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life" Sayce later shared in an interview with Guitar Player Magazine in 1997.

The second life altering experience would come less than two short years later when his biggest influence, Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990. This changed Philip´s life in an instant and he was immediately committed to pursuing music with fervor. "His passing, his music, and his message affected me SO deeply that I had to switch to the guitar."

Combining his serious dedication to music with his parents record collection, which included Ry Cooder, Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Manitas de Plata, Donovan, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Philip immersed himself in a world of sonic bliss. "I had a Sears acoustic guitar with strings about four feet off the board. I carried it around in a garbage bag," recalls Sayce.

Barely out of high school, Philip was signed to the now defunct Hypnotic/MCA records after his second gig. A CD was released to favorable reviews in the international press and has since become a much sought after collectors item. Billboard proclaimed him an "outstanding songwriter and stylish rock guitarist," and as "one to watch." He also appeared in the internationally released film ´Cockroach Blue´ landing a top ten video in Canada from the soundtrack.

In late 1996, Philip was introduced through a mutual friend, to the internationally acclaimed and multi-platinum guitarist, Jeff Healey. After several impromtu jam sessions, Healey invited Philip to become a member of his band and tour the world. This incredible opportunity allowed Sayce to begin honing his guitar and vocal stylings alongside his heroes. They performed at prestigious festivals like The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and on bills with The Allman Brothers Band, Gary Moore, Johnny Winter, B.B. King and many others over a period of four years. "Jeff is one of the most incredible musicians living today. He is a true genius and was an amazing teacher as well. I have the utmost respect for him." Healey generously handed the spotlight to Philip every night and allowed him to front the band with whatever song he wanted, as is documented on the recently released DVD footage of Healey at Montreux, from the late 1990´s. Philip also appeared on Healey´s 2000 release, Get Me Some.

By 2001, Philip had relocated to Los Angeles with his wife. He was asked to join Uncle Kracker for the 2002 release No Stranger To Shame. Produced by Michael Bradford, the album included a remake of the classic ´Drift Away,´ which went to the top of the AC charts and broke the record for consecutive weeks at #1. Philip garnered more exposure while performing in concert with Kracker on shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Dick Clark´s Rockin´ New Years Eve, among others. "It is a really exciting ride to be part of a band that has a huge #1 hit happening, and I learned a lot while working in that environment with Kracker."

In the fall of 2003, while testing amplifiers one morning at Fred Walecki´s Westwood Music, Philip met Grammy award winning producer/songwriter/musician John Shanks in a chance encounter. John immediately extended a very kind hand and introduced him to Melissa Etheridge, who was looking for a guitarist for her upcoming "Lucky" tour. Shanks, who had played guitar, produced and written with Melissa for over a decade, put in a good word for Sayce, and by January of 2004, Philip was in rehearsals with Melissa and her band, which includes the legendary Kenny Aronoff and Mark Browne. "What John did by introducing me to Melissa was one of the kindest and most supportive gestures I have experienced in the music business."

The tour which went through the USA, Canada, and Europe was a great success, and a live CD and DVD was captured in New York City in April 2004, entitled Lucky Live. "I learn so much from Melissa musically and in life every time I see her. She is the real deal, and the best of the best, and her fans are the most incredible I have ever seen." Although the tour ended abruptly when Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004, she returned to the spotlight several months later, recharged and more vibrant than ever at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Melissa, along with Joss Stone, unleashed one of the most inspired and memorable performances in recent history, in a tribute to Janis Joplin. "Performing with Melissa at the Grammy Awards was an incredibly powerful and emotional experience. I am honored to have been a part of it", says Philip. That live version of ´Piece Of My Heart´ was released shortly after as a single on iTunes, going to #1 in the USA and Canada, as well as raising money for breast cancer. Philip also performed on four tracks released on Melissa´s greatest hits album The Road  Less Traveled including ´Refugee´ and ´Piece Of My Heart.´

The Peace Machine sessions began on February 14th 2005, the day after the historic Grammy performance, at Ocean Studios in Burbank, CA. Joining Philip were Kenny Aronoff on drums, Mark Browne on bass, Fred Mandell on keyboards, and Michael Nielsen as engineer and co-producer. Recorded primarily live in a day and a half, it captures the essence of a Philip Sayce gig. The songs were written by Philip and include collaborations with Grammy nominated songwriter and producer Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, Jonny Lang) and Academy Award nominee Christopher Wilkinson. Many of the songs such as ´Angels Live Inside´ were written from very deep and personal experiences. "One of my favorite songs came from a collaboration with Marti Frederiksen. ´Dream Away´ was inspired by the beautiful vibe that Jimi Hendrix put into his songs like ´One Rainy Wish´ and ´May This Be Love´, Stevie Ray Vaughan´s ´Life Without You´ and Sheryl Crow´s ´Run Baby Run´. I wanted the song to bring joy", adds Sayce. "There is no doubt that the dynamic combination of everyone involved in this project made this album what it is," says Philip. "Many people went out of their way to make this album a reality. I hope that when someone listens to Peace Machine that it lifts their spirits and allows them to feel like they´re in the room with the band, feeling the positive message, feeding off of the energy, and digging the trip. Most of all, bringing them peace."

Check out PEACE MACHINE for yourself.  It is a soulful, physical, honest and fiery statement ablaze with fury and passion. It´s guaranteed to embrace your heart and kiss your soul.Quelle: - Peace Machine


Peace Machine - Cover
Philip Sayce aus Wales ist eines dieser musikalischen Wunderkinder, die schon relativ früh mit zig Größen des Business zusammen gearbeitet und sich dabei stets bedeckt im Hintergrund gehalten haben.