Swedish Interview - Tue 9th Apr

Swedish Interview
09 April 2002

Thanks to Peter Ingvarsson for this translation.

"The contact with the audience gave me new strength"

Roxy Music´s return to the concert arenas gave Bryan Ferry strength to write his own compositions. But, when collegues of his generation, like Mick Jagger, chooses younger partners to cooperate with, Ferry does the opposite of vain efforts to be innovative.

Today´s talk that the music business is only an arena for the young and shortlived artists are, to say the least, exaggerated if you look at present releases. We can´t get rid of the generation of rock stars that made their debut over thirty years ago, and that now have passed their fifty year´s crisis: Bryan Ferry writes new songs for the first time in eight years.

The other day Paul MacCartney sold 75 000 concert tickets in fifteen minutes. Dylan´s tour has no end, and men like Mick Jagger and Leonard Cohen keep on struggling with albums that, assuredly, doesn´t sound very "new". More rarely, even a woman takes place on the 50+ scene, Marianne Faithful and her current "Kissin´ time".

In Bryan Ferry´s case his personal reasons to go on was conclusive. Roxy Musics return to the concert arenas last year gave him new strength.
"It gave such an extraordinary stimulation to tour with these people again, especially Paul Thompson. They all have such a humour. And, honestly, I felt a bit stray during those periods when I didn´t get a chance to face my audience. And, now I could see it consists of people of all ages."

Bryan Ferry is semi-recumbent in a puffy arm chair at the Strand Hotell in Stockholm, and when he talks about his audience his eyes start to glow under the heavy eylids.
"The reunion help to get in contact with myself again."

When he once moved away from his working town in northern England in the sixties and began to study in an art school his self-confidence grew and made him attracted towards the role as a pop star. The music won over the art, and it still continues to do so.
"That´s where my talent are. The music is also a more physical occupation - and less lonesome."

The talent got a boost from the working class background: the son of a mine worker may have done a class journey to a victorian estate in Sussex, but I don´t notice even the slightest annoying touch when I bring up the importance of his background.

Bryan Ferry is calmly waggling his feet which are tossed on the footstool, and he bites his little finger every time he reflects. The renowned style awareness is only noticeable when he asks DNs photographer if he would prefer that he takes off the sweater he wears under his dinner jacket.
"I look at my background with great love and gratitude. It made me very hungry, and eager to create a better life for myself. I constantly wanted to create."

When collegues of his generation, like Jagger and Faithful, chooses to work with younger collaborators (Wyclef Jean resp Beck) to mark their bygone place in the present, Bryan Ferry have chosen to cooperate with old friends on the new album "Frantic". The Roxy music producer Rhett Davies have added a thin Avalon filter over a couple of the new songs. Like many times before he have recorded covers, this time mostly devoted on two Dylan favourites, accompanied by his own harmonica, and on the blues legend Leadbelly´s "Goodnight Irene".

The new typically cool songs he has mainly been writing together with Dave Stewart, but there is also a resumed collaboration with Brian Eno, which fills him with joy.
"He´s so smart, and has such an energy. I´m the more poetic one", he says and gives a broad and excusive smile.

He is pleased with the result of mixes in styles, and the fact that it sounds "direct", "spontaneuos" and "not to produced".
"Otherwise I´m known for my scrupulous arrangements with many layers in the songs."

Bryan Ferry is almost trying to do the opposite of vain efforts to be innovative. His previous records contained 30´s standards. And he doesn´t think that there is so much to pursuit.
"Nothing much have actually changed in music, it is only the rythm that has changed. If I watch TV - which I don´t do willingly - and look at some of todays guitar band, I don´t hear much that have changed over the last thirty years.

However, he is not too shy to admit that Roxy Music influenced their time, in the way that their debut record ("Roxy Music", 1972) indicated so many musical possibilities and an openness towards many differrent styles at the same time. He doesn´t find it impossible that they will start to write songs together again:
" The question is just if anyone of us have the time right now."

The favourite record right now is Mary J Bliges "No more drama": "What Dr Dre does on ´Family affair´ is fantastic ...every part of that record are essential ... such a good record only comes once a year", says Bryan Ferry.

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