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Superb 45 featuring two Hammond-led instrumentals! We caught up with Mr Guy Hamper for an insightful Q&A_ Q: What a cracking single this is! ‘Instrument of Evil’ in particular has a very eerie vibe. What was the inspiration for it? A: The track is the sequel to ‘7% Solution’, which featured on the last Guy Hamper Trio LP with Thee Headcoats standing in as rhythm section. A 7% Solution being the amount of morphine Dr Watson administered to Sherlock Holmes. For ‘Instrument of Evil’ I took Sherlock Holmes’ later designation of his syringe as “an Instrument of Evil”. This is originally a quote from the bible: “Wicked men do at times reject God’s purpose for the state, transforming the good of civil government into an instrument of evil.” Point of interest: Morphine addiction happens to tie in with another aspect of the song. In the section that nods to Elmer Bernstein’s main title theme to the film of the book The Man With the Golden Arm, in which the main character is also a morphine addict. Another ingredient – we added six-string bass to that section in tribute to Jet Harris – he formerly of top group The Shadows, who recorded a great version of Bernstein’s classic. To top it all off the record sleeve references the fine graphics of the great Saul Bass. Phew! Q: The track features contributions from Tom Morley (trumpet) and Anna Jordanous (sax). What’s it like working with them? A: They are great and easy to work with. I basically make a playground and let them loose in it with very little direction, apart from pointing out the swings and location of the roundabout. I told Tom “You’re a Spanish trumpeter stood on a hill in Spain.” For Anna, I think we said “go low and nasty.” Q: On the flip side you have ‘Incense Rising From a Censer’. A very evocative title for an evocative track. Do you have lyrics in mind for this for a possible later release? A: No lyrics have sprung to mind as yet – but it’s always possible. The title is from The Elders observation in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, a book I really recommend. Prayer rises to God on the smoke of the incense burning in the censer. I imagine this track being some kind of antidote to ‘Instrument of Evil’. Q: This single marks your first time in the new premises of Jim Riley’s Ranscombe Studio. What’s the new place like? A: The studio is great – the sound – using my old Mighty Caesars drum kit, and Jim engineering, is pure, easy with a better sound than the old premises. Q: Any more Guy Hamper Trio releases in the pipeline? A third album perhaps? A: Again, anything is possible. Me and Jamie (James Taylor, Hammond organ) have talked of writing together in the future. Jamie is a truly great musician – the cherry on the cake if you will. We’re just busted old eggs, sour milk, and some gunk. Q: A live Guy Hamper Trio show would be amazing. Any chance of that happening or will it remain a studio-based project? A: It could happen if someone came up with a very cunning plan.