Interview: Brian Wilson
Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:15:56
It's a rare treat to see two legends share the stage. However, that's exactly what audiences will get this fall when iconic The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson hits the road with guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck. Bringing together two of music's most important presences, the jaunt promises to be a must-see for any music fan, and it's bound to go down in history as a landmark moment for both of these musicians.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Brian Wilson discusses the tour, his next album, and so much more.
When did you first get the idea for the upcoming tour with Jeff Beck?
After he played on three or four songs on my album, we thought it'd be great for him to do it on stage. He's a great guitar player.
When did you guys first meet?
A long time ago, he did "Surf's Up" on my MusiCares show. I like the way he plays. About four months ago, we called him into the studio, and he was fantastic. He's just an unbelievable guitar player. He can play anything on his guitar from the top note to bottom note.
How do you choose the set list? What songs do you get excited to play?
My band leader and I get together and we figure out what songs go where and what we're going to do. The songs I love to play are "Good Vibrations", "California Girls", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "God Only Knows", and "Do It Again". We're going to be doing all of those great songs. The songs always feel the same way, but we try to pump new life into them. I might do one from Smile. The melody from that record's fantastic.
What are you looking forward to on this tour?
I'm looking forward to the audiences. Each audience is different. The crowd is usually from age 20 to 50—some 60-year-olds, not very man 70-year-olds. It's everybody, which is great.
What's been your approach on the new album?
We have a lot of mellow songs. I call them "mellow" because they're like old Beach Boys harmonies with new lyrics and nice melodies. It's very mellow music. Everything starts with chords on the piano. The chords inspire a melody. The melody inspires lyrics. Lyrics inspire harmonies. It's not quite as fast moving now. When I was younger, I worked pretty quickly. Nowadays, we go a little bit more slowly.
Who do you listen to?
I still like Phil Spector and Paul McCartney. Those are my two favorite guys. They're amazing!
What did you enjoy the most from In the Key of Disney?
I liked that song "Baby Mine" from Dumbo and the Randy Newman song "We Belong Together". That's problem one of my very favorite albums I've ever done. Those songs are unbelievably great. They're just beautiful. I really liked it. I remember how we took each song separately and segued into another song. Everything flowed together very well.
Would you want to do another album of Disney songs?
One is probably enough [Laughs].
What's the next for you?
We're in the studio now, and it's all coming along fantastic.
What's your favorite Brian Wilson song?