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William Beckett – Interview

Thanks heaps for taking the time out to do this for you Australian fans. It means a lot.

First off, what is on everyone’s mind, what happened with The Academy Is…?

After 8 years of touring nonstop across the globe together, our relationships within the band began to suffer.  Communication and creative synergy was breaking down and writing music together was simply no longer fun or fruitful for the soul…

Out of respect of our fans and what we accomplished, I decided to end on a high note as apposed to forcing another album that would have been full of compromise while not enjoying ourselves at all on tour.  Its important to know when to leave the party, and that time had come.

Do you see the band ever returning one day?

As the Bieber nation would say, “never say never.”  That being said, I can’t see that happening any time in the forseeable future.

Ok. So now those questions are out of the way, lets focus on the future for Bill Beckett.

You have your first Solo EP coming on the 17th of April ‘Talk the Walk’. Give us a description of what we should expect from the EP.

After TAI disbanded I continued work on my solo album.  At the time, I was slated to release it on Atlantic Records.  Embarking on a solo career yielded so much creative freedom and flexibility that I hit  a writing stride like never before.  I wrote fearlessly, unchecked and instinctually like I was born to.  After time, the core of my natural musical and thematic direction had changed from what was expected in a TAI record.  Unwilling to compromise my vision, Atlantic and I parted ways.  “Walk the Talk” is about cutting out the middle man and embracing who I am and what I stand for.  It is the first installment of my story since returning to the roots of why I do what I do.

From the first Single and clips we’ve heard it sounds like it’s got a ‘pop’ feel to it. Was this something you were aiming to do?

Pop is not a dirty word to me, so that’s an acceptable observation.  My influences range from floor to ceiling, so I’m decidedly listening to my inner music fan as I write and perform my songs in the studio.  I don’t want to make the same exact music or use the same formula as I have in the past and I’ve been able to achieve my vision in the studio with my producers.

So you’re a father now. Has this changed your approach to how you go about creating music/exist in the music industry?

If anything, becoming a father has made me really hone in on what kind of a footprint I want to leave on music.  I want to put out records that my daughter can grow up listening to that inspires her to follow her own dreams, whatever they end up being.  I want to make her proud of her dad by staying true to myself and my vision.

You have been doing your Saturday Night Movie Club on tumblr for a while now. What would you say is your favorite movie? And does your love for movies make its way into your song writing?

I don’t blame the confusion, seeing as I have a special feature for almost ever day on my blog, but I feature movies on Friday nights.  Films on Friday is what I call it.  I’m a huge film buff, so picking a favorite is really tough.  Some of my favorite directors are Woody Allen, Tarrantino, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson.  I watch a lot of films for writing inspiration.  I prefer getting inspired by a story, a character, a piece of dialogue, or just the cinematography and tone of a film.  I usually have my lyric book out while watching a movie, often using the pause button to jot down some ideas or thoughts throughout.

When you tour the Talk the Walk EP is it going to be solo shows or will you have the band behind you?

The first couple tours I’m doing will be solo shows.  I want to play small, intimate venues, pack them out with loyalists and make some new memories on this EP.  I have plans to integrate a full band later in the year for larger scale tours.

Will you still be performing songs from TAI’s back catalogue?

I’ll be playing a good mix of material, mostly new songs, but I’ll sprinkle in some of my favorite TAI tunes here and there.

A question on most of your Australian fans’ tongues… are there any intentions of coming down under to tour/promote the EP?

It is of the highest priority for me to get overseas, particularly back to Australia this year.  My team is working on it!

What are you plans for the rest of 2012? 

The most exciting thing about my new approach to my career, is that I am releasing a new EP every 3 months for the rest of 2012.  So come July/August there will be another installment of songs, followed by more this Fall/early winter.  That will accompanied by a lot of touring and some other cool opportunities along the way.

I ask this question in most of my interviews. If you had the chance to organize your dream tour what 3 bands/artist would you take with you on tour?

Right now, it’d be to tour with Arcade Fire, The Killers and Fun.  That’d be a BONKERS tour.

Thank You so much for answering these questions, William, I know not only myself but a lot of my mates are keen to hear this EP. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thanks for having me!  I guess I’d just like to share my websites where people can stay in touch with me and any news on WB.