He was in the Beatles and Wings for roughly a decade a piece. But Paul McCartney has been collaborating with his current band for far longer, and he says that longevity has helped him to some of the most celebrated outings of his storied career on stage.
“We’ve been working together a long time,” McCartney tells KCSN. “A couple of years ago, I kind of looked at them and said: ‘You know what guys? We’re a band. We’re a real band.’ I think up until then we’d just been thinking: ‘We’re getting together, and playing some songs.’ But we’re a band now — and that elevated our performance, I think. When we realized that, we sort of felt so much better about what we were doing.”
McCartney first toured with Rusty Anderson, Abe Laboriel Jr., Brian Ray and Paul “Wix” Wickens beginning in April 2002, in support of his Driving Rain project. Wix was a carry over from McCartney’s 1990s-era bands. Since, the former Beatle has worked consistently with the same backing quartet on the road, even as individual members have contributed to McCartney’s studio efforts, as well. Anderson and Laboriel were on Driving Rain; Anderson, Laboriel and Ray contributed to 2005’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard; and all four played on 2007’s Memory Almost Full and 2013’s New.
“I trust the guys,” McCartney adds. “They know what I’m going to do, I know what they are going to do. We surprise each other — and even if it’s like, ‘I didn’t know you were going to do that,’ we can all follow it. That’s the great thing with a band. And all of us just come to play music. There’s no other thing on the agenda. We just love playing together.”
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