By Jose Oliveira, Journalist-Photographer and Rock At Night France Correspondent
Rock At Night (RAN) was honored to interview legend Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys prior to his appearance at the Baloise Session, Switzerland on October 31, 2016. Check out the interview below:
BRIAN WILSON: Hi José!
RAN – Good Afternoon BRIAN ! It’s a big honor for us to talk to you. How do you feel?
BW: I feel great!! How about you?
RAN- I feel good, thank you. It’s very nice to have you back in Europe soon to commemorate the PET SOUNDS 50th Anniversary. Do you have the impression to have marked the music history when you composed this masterpiece?
BW: On stage, it sounds exactly like the album. We did a great job, the audience hears a lot of pet sounds, lots of standing ovations, everything.
RAN– Back when you did that record, weren’t you surprised to have been so talentous and have learned so many things?
BW: Well, I learned many things about record production. I learned from other producers how to produce records and that’s how I learned, just by the people, like George Martin.
RAN- At that time, there were big producers and musicians in California, like Phil Spector for example…
BW – Yes, that’s right. I learned the most from listening Phil Spector’s records. It was a place where I always imagined to be what I am.
RAN – Paul McCartney always said that PET SOUNDS was an inspiration for the BEATLES. What more can you say?
BW – I think he liked the sounds enough. Pet Sounds was the main influence for the Beatles on their album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
RAN– On your last album, “NO PIER PRESSURE”, and at 74, your voice seems to have improved even more, just like old red Wine. It seems to be one of your most relaxed works. Do you agree?
BW – I’ve been practicing a lot, keeping my voice strong and healthy…Trying to put all the chances on my side to lead this tour with success.
RAN– On this solo album, You’ve collaborated with AL JARDINE and DAVID MARKS. Are they coming with you on the road?
BW – AL JARDINE AND BLONDIE CHAPLIN will be touring with me but not DAVID MARKS.
RAN – Would there be any chance to see the BEACH BOYS touring together, with you of course?
BW – I don’t know, we haven’t discussed it. It’s been four and a half years since I’ve seen the BEACH BOYS and I’m not really sure about what they’re gonna be doing.
RAN– The promoters from the Desert Trip festival in Coachella made a big mistake not to invite you. The Century’s Festival in California, without BRIAN WILSON or THE BEACH BOYS, was disrespectful to you! What do you think?
BW – I totally agree! I think it’s disrespectful for me because I’ve been working with the BEACH BOYS for fifty three years!
RAN – I really think it was a big mistake from the production…
BW – (laughing) yeah, yeah perhaps…
RAN- You’ve announced 37 North American Shows for 2017! What a great challenge! Do you have the energy for such an enterprise?
BW – Well, I’m going to write a rock n’ roll album, very early next year. And it’s gonna be “A ROOOCK’N ROOOLLL “ album.
RAN – Oh! Really?Can you say more about it? Have you already a title?
BW – Well, I haven’t written it yet, it’s gonna be a gooood album and the title will be “Brian Wilson sings the great Rock n’Roll songs”!
RAN- I was born in Portugal near the beach. I do love THE BEACH BOYS and adored the words in the songs, and it was always the right music for the right moment. Your music was the backdrop for millions of teenager summers around the world. Are you still going to the beach?
BW – If I go to the beach? No I don’t go to the beach…
RAN- Why? A beach boy who doesn’t go to the beach seems strange (laugh)
BW– I don’t know …I don’t go to the beach since 10 years.
RAN – Next 31 October you will be in Switzerland, playing at BALOISE SESSION Festival. THE BEACH BOYS played there in 2003. What do you expect from this concert?
BW- Well, we will duplicate it exactly like fifty years ago… with the same energy, the same sound with most of the same musicians.
RAN- I suppose you are a BOB DYLAN’s friend. What do you think about DYLANs’ Nobel award?
BW– BOB DYLAN is a great poet, he is very good with lyrics.
RAN – Did you get in touch with him to congratulate him?
BW- No, I didn’t have the chance to.
RAN- Impossible to finish without mentioning Donald TRUMP. We, here in France, we think that voting for Hilary CLINTON would be to finally bring a woman to the White House!
BW– Well yes, I’m going to vote for her, I ‘m going to vote for Hilary Clinton!I think she’s going to be a great president and I definitely will vote for her.
(We know today, unfortunately, that Brian Wilson is part of all the disappointed Americans…)
RAN- Many thanks for this interview Mr.WILSON, looking forward to seeing you in Basel.
BW –Thank you very much Jose!
Wow! What a great feeling to have interviewed such a legend!
On this Halloween Basel evening, Brian Wilson was surrounded with love and great respect by his wonderful musicians and friends! And it was quite funny when Blondie Chaplin made several appearances on stage…. with a red cape or a funny orange pumpkin tee shirt !!
We love you Mr. Wilson!
I was born in Portugal and lived the Sixties exploring the great UK Rock magazines: "The New Musical Express" and "Melody Maker". Ray Charles and Pat Boone were my father’s fav. I became “The Great Pretender”. Cliff Richard was our Elvis Presley. As a beach boy, with my first guitar, I met a beautiful French girl on the beach! It was the Summer of 69!! We got married and rock music was our dowry. In France, I became a Wine Genetic Research Scientist. One of my works contributed to the decoding of the genome of the vine! As a rock journalist, I’ve worked twenty years for the Portuguese and Brazilian Rock Press. I ‘ve interviewed so many great artists. Then, one day I met FRANK ZAPPA! I got into trouble for introducing my wife to "Uncle Meat"!
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