Passport Cliff Hillis



What was the biggest fun during the making of “love not war”?

For me it was to actually play drums on a couple of my own songs. I’m a terrible drummer but love to play, and thanks to the magic of the studio and editing I was able to play drums on two songs (Mayor Of Midnight, A Boy Downtown). “A Boy Downtown” is actually the first song I’ve ever sang & played all the instruments on. I have to say, it was also fun being able to get all the various amazing musician friends on there. Without their talents it wouldn’t be the same. One particular memory was getting Dan Bern, who I wrote “Too Many Songs” with, to record the harmony vocal in the dressing room of the Tin Angel in Philadelphia before a gig we played together there with my mobile setup.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

I’d say the title track “Love Not War”. It’s as much a relationship song as it is political, but in these crazy times of violence and uncertainly I think choosing love over war is something more people should strive for.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

I’d agree that the music industry has changed a lot. One thing the current situation has brought to me is the ability to record, release and promote a record on my own, and have a platform (mostly digital) for people anywhere in the world to hear it. The downside is of course that the streaming revenue for music is currently pretty terrible, so making a living playing & writing music is harder than ever.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

I’m not sure if this will change very soon, but I’m a big fan of Walter Sear who people may know as a studio engineer/producer. He passed away a few years ago. One of the first things I listened to as a little kid was his “The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit” moog album. It was on the flipside of a cassette that my Uncle from Holland sent over. Took me many years to figure out who it actually was. Even though I’m mostly a guitar player that record inspired me greatly.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixt tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

Wow, that is tough! But off the top of my head-

The La’s- There She Goes

Hans Rotenberry & Brad Jones- Back To Bristol

Kinks- Waterloo Sunset

Glen Campbell- Wichita Lineman

Wilco- Can’t Stand It

What’s up for the next couple of months?

I have a bunch of live shows in the area that I’ll be doing solo and with my band The Forward Thinkers to promote the new EP, and looking at a trip to California as well. Plus I’ll be putting out a 45 in April that will be available from my good friends at Tallboy Records (

Check it out


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