The award-winning British bluesman is marking his quarter-century anniversary with a European tour, 38-song retrospective box set and 72-page lyric book. He plays the ARC, Stockton on Tees on 9 Nov and the Atkinson, Southport on 10 Nov.
Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
I’m influenced by all forms of American roots music – blues, country, Appalachian folk, R&B, funk, gospel. As for people who have influenced me, there are so many: Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Nick Lowe, Tom Waits, The Rolling Stones…
How have you evolved as a musician over the years?
For me the evolution has been as a singer, frontman and songwriter, and it is a continuing process. You never stop learning in this business. Always keep your eyes and ears open to every kind of influence.
Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
Yeah, a few, but this one sums it up succinctly – The Ian Siegal Band.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Planning the next studio album and thinking about how we are going to move forward without losing sight of who we are and what we do best as a band. Beyond that touring is pretty much constant, and there are also side projects. Life is quite hectic.
How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
Write your own songs, work on finding your own voice and your own personality in music. Keep your integrity. Don’t compromise.
What’s on your rider?
Healthy food, good quality red wine and beer, lots of water (and a bowl of M&Ms with no brown ones).
Tell us about your worst live show.
I’ve been very fortunate but there was one many years ago as I was starting out. It was at a working men’s club type place where the audience were just waiting for the raffle and the comedian. My poster said “the blues is alive and well”. The compere came on after my set and said: “The Blues may be alive and well, but not tonight.” You learn!