Smashing Interviews Magazine

Compelling People — Interesting Lives

Thursday

5

March 2015

0

COMMENTS

Brian Wilson Interview: Talks '60s Sound of "No Pier Pressure" and Why "Love & Mercy" "Brought Back a Lot of Scary Memories"

Written by , Posted in Musicians

Image attributed to Brian Bowen Smith

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson’s eleventh solo studio album, No Pier Pressure, will be released April 7, 2015 in standard thirteen-track and deluxe sixteen-track editions, each in CD and digital formats, as well as a sixteen-track 2LP edition on vinyl. Digital preorder is available now and that provides an instant download of the lead track, “The Right Time,” featuring vocals by Wilson and Al Jardine and guitar by David Marks.

The music legend returned to Capitol Records to record this album, reunited with longtime collaborator Joe Thomas and was joined at Hollywood’s Ocean Way Studios by talented musicians he personally invited to record with him, including former Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin as well as Kacey Musgraves, Fun.’s Nate Ruess, She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, Peter Hollens, Capital Cities’ Sebu Simonian and trumpet master Mark Isham.

“I wanted No Pier Pressure to be like 1960s mellow, reverting back to the ’60s with a mellow kind of sound.”

Wilson is one of popular music’s most deeply revered figures, a legendary writer, producer, arranger and performer of some of the most cherished music in pop music history and began his career as a teenaged founding member of The Beach Boys who released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in 1962. He is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient and a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. As a member of the Beach Boys, Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and honored with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

A biopic on the music icon’s troubled life, Love & Mercy, hits theaters June 2015. The film stars Paul Dano and John Cusack (each portraying Wilson at different stages of his life).

Brian Wilson: Hi Melissa!

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Hi Brian! How are you today?

Brian Wilson: Good. How are you?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I’m good, thanks. You have a lot going on what with the album and the film and everything! Let’s talk about the new record, No Pier Pressure. How did the title come about?

Brian Wilson: My daughter, Daria, came up with that title.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Just out of the blue?

Brian Wilson: Yeah.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Before you began writing the songs, did you have a theme or a direction in mind for the album?

Brian Wilson: I wanted No Pier Pressure to be like 1960s mellow, reverting back to the ’60s with a mellow kind of sound.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did you believe the Beach Boys would be performing the songs when you began work on No Pier Pressure?

Brian Wilson: I changed my mind. I thought so, but then I decided to make it a solo album.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Al Jardine and David Marks worked with you on the record. Did you invite Mike Love?

Brian Wilson: No. No. We just mostly used Al. David didn’t sing on my album. Al did.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Tell me about your songwriting process.

Brian Wilson: I write the core pattern first, then the melody, and then the words.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How do the lyrics come to you?

Brian Wilson: They pop into my head. I write at the studio most of the time.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Your favorite songs from the album?

Brian Wilson: I like “On the Island” by Zooey Deschanel and “Sail Away” sung by Blondie Chaplin. Those two are my favorites. My wife and I both chose Kacey Musgraves for the song “Guess You Had to Be There.”

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will you be touring this year to support the album?

Brian Wilson: Sometime this summer, not sure where yet.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Well, the other big news is the film about your life. How long has that been in the works?

Brian Wilson: Quite a while. The movie shows the different chapters of my life. The actors portrayed me very well.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is John Cusack believable as an “older” Brian Wilson?

Brian Wilson: He was cast by a man named Bill (Pohlad), a producer. John really portrayed my sense of humor very well.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What kind of a sense of humor do you have, Brian?

Brian Wilson: The funny kind. I’m kind of funny.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was there anything you didn’t want included in the film?

Brian Wilson: No. They covered my whole life.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was it difficult for you to relive some of the troubled times?

Brian Wilson: Yeah, when I was in a program called the Dr. (Eugene) Landy program. The guy (Paul Giamatti) that portrayed him was very well cast, and it brought back a lot of scary memories. I took drugs, marijuana and stuff like that, you know. That was kind of rough for me because to take drugs is a very scary experience.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How do you feel about the film?

Brian Wilson: I’m proud of it because it portrayed me very well. The parts of my life where I was producing records, like in my early 20s, brought back a lot of good memories of me working with the Beach Boys.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you see yourself getting back together with the Beach Boys in the future?

Brian Wilson: I don’t know at this time.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will you and Mike be going to court for a legal ruling as to the ownership of the Beach Boys’ name?

Brian Wilson: No. Mike has the name. He goes under the name of the Beach Boys.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): One of my very favorite songs, “God Only Knows,” was honored last year by BBC Music. Is that the greatest song you’ve ever written?

Brian Wilson: Probably my best, yeah.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What were you thinking about when you wrote it?

Brian Wilson: I was thinking about my relationship with my girlfriend, and I wrote it for her.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you ever see yourself retiring from music?

Brian Wilson: I don’t really know. Maybe this year. I’m not sure.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Tell me about the Brian Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of Brian Wilson, where many talented musicians are coming together to pay tribute to you.

Brian Wilson: I don’t know who’s going to be there. I know I’m going to be there. It’s on March 30.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will the rest of the Beach Boys be in attendance?

Brian Wilson: Probably not. No.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How does it make you feel when you are so deeply honored by your peers in the music business?

Brian Wilson: It makes me feel proud. Very proud.

© 2015 Smashing Interviews Magazine. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *