John Williams Facebook Chat Transcript

John Williams working with Danny James (ZOOT)
John Williams working with Danny James (ZOOT)

“Liberty, this is our destiny…”

You have heard the song ‘Abe Messiah” and you may have the whole Tribe Abe Messiah album.  John Williams, an icon in the music industry, was very instrumental (excuse the pun!) in Tribal music, having composed and produced many of the tracks in the Abe Messiah Tribe album.

It was an honour to have John Williams appear live during The Tribe’s Online 2011 Gathering at The Tribe’s Facebook page to answer questions from fans, to do with all matters musical as well as music in The Tribe.

What was it like working with Caleb and the other Tribe cast members recording the Abe Messiah album?   You can find out below in the answers we saved from the live Q&A session.

Thanks to John for participating and to all the fans who joined in.  John has a great track record in music and is currently working on bringing some new Tribe music out.

Thank you for the music, John…

Q: Hi John, how are you?

^ Hi Emma, I am very well thank you, how are you?

Q: Hey John my question is just how did u get involved in the Tribe? and who was ur fabourtie cast member to work with? xoxo

^ Hi Catsy, I worked for the same mother company as The Tribe and my favourite character, well there were they were all my favourite!

Q: was it hard to work with tennage actors?

^ Hi Tribun, no it was very inspiring, you always learn lots from young people and it was a privilege to work with them.

Q: Will you write a new song for the tribe movie?

^ Hi Toni, oh yes yes yes and yes! I would love to write more Tribe songs

Q: My question would simply be, which was your favorite track to work on?

^ Abe Messiah was a majestic piece of work and hard to imagine I had anything to do with it, it brings tears to me, an emotional experience, I loved all the Tribe music.

Q: Was it hard to make the “aba messiah”? And how long did it take to rehearse, film etc? 😀

^ It took months to be honest as we recorded the backing track in London before we arrived and then in NZ we worked with the amazing NZ artists and everyone in series 2 is featured in the track – every single onworked with the NZ Symphonia etc.

Q: Hi John, what does keep the dream alive mean to you?

^ It means being positive and not letting anything getting in the way of preventing your own personal success and helping the lives of those around you

Q: Hey John, i have no question but i will say thank you for this great music

^ I’m very flattered, thank you so much ;0)

Q: what is different\special about the tribe music?

^ The issues that go with the songs so that first of all, we’re dealing with a world of reflection and of being positive and going into the unknown and there are no rules. It’s a very freeing exercise writing music.

Q: do you like FC cHELSEA?

Yes I do actually – my son supports Chelsea but my fc iWolverhampton Wanderers

Q: Hi John! How long have you been in the music industry? 🙂

Since 1974!

Q: Hello, John, what was your favorite memory of working on the Tribe?

^ Working with the great talented actors at Marmalade Studios and the welcoming breakfast that Ray and his family gave us when Matt and I arrived from London and we met the cast

Q: Hi John, did you get chills when you heard Meryl sing for the first time? I thought she had such a strong voice for one so young.

^ She’s a wonderful singer, what a lovely voice and I was thrilled when I heard her for the first time

Q: hey john, did you enjoy your job in thetribe 🙂

Yes! It was the greatest 🙂

Q: Who was the most difficult castmember to work with?x

Bob the Dog!

Q: What kind of music do you like/listen to?

^ I regularly listen to all kind of music from folk to rock, classic to jazz but Green Onions is what I listen to a lot.

Q: And also what is your favourite peice of music from The Tribe?

The one I like is a toss up between abadao and banging the drum but they all mean something special.

Q: Hello John! how many instruments do you know how to play?

^ I can play violin, piano, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, ukelele, banjo, tambourine ;0)

Q: what is different\special about thetribe music?

It has a world of it’s own, it’s as special as the Tribe fans that support it, it’s unique

Q: hi, what inspires you foryour work?

^ I’m just very fortunate and give thanks every day for beingable to do what I love

Q: who was your role model when you were young?

Billy Wright

Q: Hey John, What inspires you to write and do you have any advice for someone (like me) wanting to be a writer?

^ What a wonderful ambition to be and for every 10 songs you write, write another one and that will be the best one; just keep doing it!

Q: Did you write Tribe Spirit?

A: No, that was Raymond 🙂

Q: This John Williams is way better than the other John Williams 😀

^ You’re a very clever and smart person ;0)

Q: I was wondering if Abe Messiah would be re-released

A: Yes!

Q: hi again, is there anything you would change on the TT soundtrack since some years passed by.

A: No, not a thing 🙂 I look forward to adding to it!

Q: Hey! John Hope you’re doing okay! I was wondering if Abe Messiah would be re-released, because unofrtunately I don’t have a copy 🙁 although I have all the songs. I’m sure a lot of fans would like a re-release and a re-release of the remix album x

^ Yes, that will happen in the future at some stage. In the meantime, you can buy the album via the Tribe shop

Q: Wow that’s a long time, (not saying your old lol) I absolutely love your work John! Very inspirational! :-

^ Thank you so much ;0)

Q: What was the first instrument you learned how to play?

A: The violin

Q: Hello John! If you could be in any musical, which would it be?

A: The Sound of Music, always had a soft spot for that 🙂

Q: I have a question from my cousin. What tips would you give to those who want to follow you through the music industery. (meaning want to be like you)

^ As my Granny used to say – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try,, try again. It’s not an easy journey but you have to be positive and believe in yourself.

Q: Hiya John, this is a question from my brother, Malachy, He wants to ask you about your work on the Starwars and Harry Potter music. He wants to know if there is a special album that he can get, Love Nayla and Malachy

^ Thanks Nayla but that’s the other John Williams, not me ;0)

Q: Hi John; if you could meet any person who was in music, no matter if they are alive or dead, who would you like to meet?

A: John Lennon and Bob Dylan

Q: hi again, is there anything you would change on the TT soundtrack since some years passed by.

^ I listen to both the albums the other day and they both have such charm to them that I wouldn’t change a thing and love them. Though you could always play with them and remix them I guess, I wouldn’t change them as such.

Q: Will any of the sheet music ever be released because I’d love to play the music on the piano!? 🙂

^ That’s a very good idea and we’ll have to work on that one

Q: Did you have to do anything to help inspire you to write the music for The Tribe? E.g Stay in a hut in the middle of nowhere. Also what was the hardest piece of music that you had to write for The Tribe?

^ I have to say that none of it was hard to write as it was inspirational in itself. I do have a hut in the bottom of my garden where I have my recording studio where I do most of my writing.

Q: Hi again, what instrument do you find is the best at creating a song with and where in the song do you begin (Chorus/verse??)??

^ It’s always good to start with a chorus as that’s the real hook of the song and I like to write on the guitar and will piece ideas together and sometimes the ideas are little pieceof work I’ve done in the past. I also write on the keyboard.

Q: what did you have to do to make those songs

A: Ray wouldn’t let me out of the hut until we finished 😉

Q: do you miss making music for the tribe

^ I did miss it but I’m making it again so I’m very happy ;0)

Q: Did your childhood help shape your decision on what you wanted to do when you were older?

A:My Father was a locksmith, so I had no lead to the music world. So my childhood dream of doing music helped my entry to it

Q: One last question from me! Have you heard of the Vitural Choir created by Eric Witare and have you ever recorded a video to join the choir (I did!)?

^ I hadn’t heard of it but would love to check it out

Q: If you could go back to all the seasons, would you have liked to have written a soundtrack for every season, with songs/pieces written for the particular arcs that went on in those season i.e – Survival, Chosen taking over the city, The Te…

^ It’s a very good idea and yes, it would have been great but would have taken a long time ;0)

Q: What do you think of Basil Poledouris “Conan the Barbarian” soundtrack?

^ I don’t know it to be honest but I will check it out – is itgood?

Q: If you had the chance to write music for any film aviable for which film would you love to write music?

^ StarWars!!!!

Q: How long do you spend on a song at one time

^ Days – it’s such a time consuming process of recording a song though writing a song might only take a few minutes and it can take weeks or months even!

Q: If you could go back in time would you help in the tribe again

It would be a great experience to go back in time and certainly, I have no regrets about any work I’ve done ;0)

Q: Have you watched any of The Tribe series?

I’ve watched them all!

Q: Hi John, what/who else have you worked on/with other than The Tribe?

^ Well, go to and it’s listed in the write-up about me. But Simple Minds for example have been wonderful to work with as was The Waterboys, Robert Plant, Jethro Tull, Sioxsie and the Banshees…the bigger the song, the better ;0) The Waterboys have a new CD coming out in September so look out for that.

Q: Who is your favourrite character/Actor Who did you connect too most ?

^ I liked all the cast but Meryl, Caleb, Danny, Michelle, Dwayne – guess those were the key people I connected with.

Q: Everyone knows John Williams from Starwars, but you are you. Personally the second John Williams I have spoke to. What is it like sharing the name with another composer?

A: I wish I received  his royalty statements 😉

Q: What was the hardest thing about coming up with the music for The Tribe?

A: Well it wasn’t that hard, it was wonderful. We had a great time writing the songs. 🙂

Q: Any thoughts on auto tuning?

A: Even the best singers sometimes aren’t pitch perfect, so it’s good, but I don’t it the tuning itself should be the main focus of music.

Q: And lastly favorite musician at the moment?

A: D and C

Q: Also who are you musical inspirations?

A:  Ray davis (The Kinks), Nick Drake (Guitarist, sadly no longer with us) and of course Bach

Q: What is you’re thought process while you’re composing? Do you come up with the melody first or do you shape you’re chords and melody at the same time?

A: It varies, sometimes I will just sit down with a Guitar, and sometimes I will write some lyrics and put music to it.

Q:What instrument is your primary and what else do you play?

A: My prim aryis the Guitar, I’m surrounded by 18 of them!

Q: What is you’re favouritekey signature? (Mine is Db Major :))

A: I don’t have a favourite to be honest

Q: Do you find it easier to compose specifically for something like the Tribe or do you prefer to write whatever moves you at that moment?

A: It’s very easy to write for the Tribe because it’s very specific.

Q: who is the best singer out of The Tribe cast?

A: It’s hard to choose, they are all so great 😀

Q: when you were little did you want to become a musician or something else?

A: Always wanted to be a musician, my house master thought I was wasting my time when I was 13, but I proved him wrong!

Q: Hi John, my question for you is When did u realise ur love for music? and How did u get involved with The Tribe?

A: I think I must have been 8 or 9 years old and my Mum played me a song called Red Sails in the Sunset but what grabbed me was the first few bars of You Really Got Me by the Kinks and I realised it was a world worth getting into

Q: what was the first instrument you ever played?

A: ^ The violin

Q:(this is just a question i have been asking all the people who answer the questions at the gathering) what is your favourite type of cheese? sorry its a bit random i know

A: ^ Gruyere ;0)

Q: have you ever played a trombone?

A: ^ Yes I have played one and there’s one in Me and The Farmer, The Housemartins song.

Q: What is you’re favorite musical period?

A: ^ It has to be the 60’s because that was when I was a teenager – that dates me ;0) Contemporary music though is very exhilarating.

Q: Who would your Dream band be comprised of?

A: Keith Moon Drums

Steve Cropper on Gutiar

Bass, Pete Quaife

Keyboard, Rod Argent

Vocals- Colin Blumston, Petunia Clark, John Lennon

Q: Favourite Animal?

A: Dog

Q: Favourite Beatle

A: Paul Mccartney

Q: What do you think of the Idol shows?

A: I think they are a lot of fun, but not to be taken too seriously, but they are great entertainment

Q: What is your favourite movie soundtrack?

A: Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould