For the first edition of Olimpus’ monthly 17-question interview with Maltese musicians, we introduce someone who needs no introduction: Ivan Borg – Red Electrick’s bassist and ex-bass player for Ira Losco. Recognised by his trademark moustache and preppy clothes, Ivan started playing the bass at 15, and has since become a well-known touring musician, having recorded abroad and performed at international festivals.
So let’s get cracking…
1.) Dead artist/band you’d have loved to see live?
Johnny Cash definitely tops the list!
2.) Music festival on your bucket list
Boomtown Fair in Winchester UK. Crazy cool festival.
3.) Favourite instrument after the bass?
Must be the drums – they’re probably the coolest instrument to play. The violin too, it is possibly the instrument that evokes most emotion.
4.) What’s the most challenging thing about learning to play the bass?
Maybe getting used to the callous forming on your fingertips and the pain you go through during the initial period.
5.) If you could interview any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask?
I think I would interview Bob Dylan back in the 60’s. It wouldn’t matter what I’d ask – his answers were always out of the ordinary.
6.) Favourite lyrics/lyrical phrase of all time?
‘Masters of War’ by (you guessed it) Bob Dylan. The lyrics are profound and still so relevant today.
7.) Favourite Maltese band/artist apart from ones you’re involved in?
Some very good local stuff is coming out, especially recently. Brodu’s ‘Tfejt’ is one such example.
8.) If you could play live anywhere, where would it be?
A sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall would be nice.
9.) Best live moment of all time?
I think it must be playing abroad and spotting people in the crowd singing the lyrics to our songs.
10.) Any funny or touching fan moments (individually or as a band)?
We’ve had people (both Maltese and foreign) travelling long distances, even crossing countries, just to watch us perform live. That’s always touching to hear 🙂
11) What are you most looking forward to in 2018 in terms of music?
Writing new material and enjoying it along the way.
12) Equipment bought from Olimpus?
2 Gallien Krueger heads, a Gallien Krueger cab, a Tc Electronic and an Ampeg combo to mention a few. The guys from Olimpus are used to me visiting them quite often by now and are always very helpful. The layout of the store is also great.
Photo credit – Nina Adams
And now for some random stuff…
13.) If you had a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fly and visiting outer space.
14.) If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
I guess I would choose Buzz Aldrin – a former astronaut; one of the first two people to ever walk on the moon or perhaps Ronnie O’Sullivan – a professional English snooker player.
15.) Top 3 things on your bucket list (not necessarily music related)
1. Experience zero-g (expensive but doable)
2. Getting a dog
3. Visit Cuba/Jamaica/Mexico in one long trip.
16.) If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
I’m impulsive and impatient at times, which the other members of the band can confirm.
17.) What’s the best place you’ve ever visited?
Iran for sure. I travelled around the country and fell in love with its rich history and beautiful mosques. More importantly, the people are amazing and super welcoming and the food is to die for. Unfortunately, it remains an underrated country.
If you would like to take up a new instrument or want to check out Ivan’s preferred equipment, pay us a visit at our shop in Mosta, where you can find top quality musical instruments among our wide range of stock. Here at Olimpus – Malta’s leading music store, we are passionate about anything music-related.
Photo Credits: main (black and white) image – Allen Venables