Interview With Brian Wilson
By Ronnie

In interviewing Brian I was nervous as hell! For me, it was the equivalence of interviewing one of the Beatles. Everyone had said what a tough interview it would be and that Brian would use a lot of "yes" and "no's" unless the question was cleverly worded to avoid quick answers. Also, if the questions weren't to his liking he would shut down and just be silent. True, there were a lot of one-word answers from Brian (making me even more nervous and causing me to stutter a few times). But, when this happened I just forged ahead with the next question. Brian did open up on a few questions, even giving a few glimmers of hope on the long lost Smile album.

E.C.: You are one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Is Pet Sounds the creation that you are most proud of?

Brian: Yeah, that's my favorite one.

E.C.: What influenced your decision to take it on the road?

Brian: My wife and my manger and I had a meeting we thought we'd try it out.

E.C.: How has it been learning all those songs again?

Brian: Very hard work...yeah.

E.C.: Those are some emotional songs - does playing them choke you up a little?

Brian: Yeah, some of them are very pretty.

E.C.: Has it been tough trying to get used to performing on stage again?

Brian: No, I've gotten used to it already.

E.C.: Are the rewards worth it at the end of the night?

Brian: Yeah, yeah, personal feelings...

E.C.: What do you like best about working with the Wondermints?

Brian: I like 'em cause they play and sing very good and they make me sound good.

E.C.: I got a real kick out of it your version of "Brian Wilson" [by Bare Naked Ladies] on your live CD. What did you think of the song when you first heard it?

Brian: Well I like it, I thought it was kinda different.

E.C.: Speaking of your new live CD, what made you decide to just sell it on your web site?

Brian: Well, my wife and my manager thought it up, said it would be a good idea.

E.C.: How do you feel about being so close to your fans on the internet?

Brian: Oh, pretty good, pretty good...

E.C.: Do you have plans to follow up IMAGINATION with another studio LP?

Brian: We don't know when we are gonna do that, maybe at the end of the year.

E.C.: Will you be using the Wondermints?

Brian: Yeah, I think so.

E.C.: Do you miss cutting records like in the old days, with all the session musicians playing at one time? Have you thought about returning to some of that?

Brian: Yeah, I miss those days a lot.

E.C.: I know that Paul McCartney really admires your work. Is there a possibility that you two will ever record together?

Brian: Oh, Probably, probably not.

E.C.: What made you ask Van Dyke to do the orchestral suite (which includes Cabinessence, Heroes & Villains and Our Prayer)?

Brian: My wife called him up and asked him if he would like to do it. And he said, "yeah."

E.C.: How do you feel about all the message boards that are dedicated to Brian Wilson and his music?

Brian: I'm pretty pumped up about it, I feel very good.

E.C.: I noticed on your web site [] you posted that there was a "master plan" for "Smile".

Brian: That's not until a couple of years from now.

E.C.: "Girl Don't Tell Me" is one of my fave Beach Boys tracks. It's very Beatles sounding, was it written with that in mind?

Brian: Yeah, yeah...I wanted to emulate John Lennon's kind of music.

E.C.: I had also read that you possibly wanted the Beatles to cover it?

Brian: No, that's not true.

E.C.: On the demo of "Heroes & Villians" on the Endless Harmony soundtrack, is that the missing "I'm In Great Shape" song that's sung in the middle?

Brian: Yeah...

E.C.: O.K. So that segment is actually that song, "I'm In Great Shape"?

Brian: Yeah...

E.C.: That was going to be a separate song?

Brian: Yeah...

E.C.: What was the "Air" Element?"

Brian: The air element? (long pause...)

E.C.: Was it just a piano song?

Brian: Yeah...

E.C.: Well, I'm looking forward to the show in Atlanta...

Brian: Good, thank you.

Click here to visit the official Brian Wilson website