PAT METHENY ON "ARE YOU GOING WITH ME?"
'I remember writing "Are You Going With Me?" really well - it was written in one shot, straight through. I wrote it on the Synclavier and just played it all the way through without changing a note. Sometimes that happens - you get a tune and you don't change anything about it. It's almost like you don't think you wrote it - like it was always there and you just find it. The rhythm, chords and melody all came together at the same time, then the key changes were more a matter of the arrangement - it seemed to really want to make that half-step modulation from Cm to C#m to Dm.
'All the ECM records were recorded in two or three days then mixed in a day or two. So, we would record all the instruments at once playing together in the same room - there wasn't time for tracking. For the studio version of "Are You Going With Me?" on the "Offramp" album we did three takes but I really don't like my solo on that one - I would have liked to have spent a lot more time on it. On the other hand, I really, really like the live version of that tune and we just happened to record one of the best times that I have ever played that tune - we were very lucky to get that on record. Whenever someone asks me about that tune I always say "make sure you listen to the live version on "Travels""! '
'At that time we always played everything live for quite some time before recording it. "Offramp" was recorded in '82 and "Travels" in '83 - only a year or so apart - but between these two albums "Are You Going With Me?" seemed to evolve into something far greater which is why we included it on "Travels".
'I used the Roland GR-300 guitar synth on this song - that's the one with the 'blue box'. Half-way through the solo - just after the key change from C#m to Dm - I change the feel by going up an octave. The blue box has a function that enables you to go up an octave and I love being up in that soprano register.
'I must admit I don't think I'm very good at coming up with titles for instrumentals - you should try it! I guess the title is the girlfriend/boyfriend kind of a thing - I did my best but I really don't place a whole lot of significance in the title. It was just the best I could come up with on the day!
'"Are You Going With Me?" is one of my favourites and other people seem to like it too - I still play it with my band and it always seems to get a good response from the audience. There's definitely something special about that one!'
This interview was originally published in 'The Guitar Magazine', Vol 2, No 5, August 1992.
Copyright Douglas J Noble 1992