Home arrow Interviews arrow Brett Walker
Friday, 28 November 2014
Brett Walker PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stefan Edström   
Tuesday, 22 February 2000

He sang about Lecia (his wife) in 1994, which became a minor hit in Scandinavia. Another album and 6 years later Brett is now back with his 3rd effort "Lift Off".
Why does it sound like it sound? A lot of people wonder why won't he do another record in the vein of his debut "Nevertheless"?
Brett Walker does everything he wants to do.

-Starting off how would you describe your new album "Lift Off"? What inspired you to write what you wrote, any specific messages in the songs that you would like people to "get"?
"Well, in general I think this record is a bit more retro than my previous 2. I'm really drawing from my old influences these days. I was introduced to a lot of music in the 70s early 80s and that was a very colorful era. As far as any specific message, I think it's important for the listener to receive his or her own specific message. For me that is what music is all about. Ownership."

-Any specific artists in mind from what you describe as that colourful era?
"Well, I've always been a big fan of bands like Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and my favorite Steely Dan in the 70s and there are too many bands of the 80s that were great to even start to mention. But I think in general I tend to like bands that are a little different. Ya know, that kind of have their trademark."

-Some songs have according to some info been on various TV shows. Tell me more about it!
"Yes I have been soliciting some of my new music to TV and Film music supervisors. So far I have had 3 songs from Lift Off featured on Network TV. The Shows are "Young And The Restless" and "Touched By An Angel"."

-When we met in Lulea (September 1996) you mentioned that hopefully you would have a 3rd record out by the summer of 1997. How come it didn't?
"Since that tour I had 2 children. Well, actually my wife did. And I haven't been in any hurry to put out a record in such a strange depressed musical era. I think things are changing for mainstream radio again. I didn't really have any ambition to be a part of late 90s collection of garage bands that cant sing or play that are getting butt loads of airplay for some unknown reason."

-As I understand there were something in the making regarding a US deal with the Railbirds record. What about that?
"Intersound. They paid me 30 thousand to make The Railbirds record and then the company got bought out and didn't release any more rock music. I think they went gospel or something. Anyway that experience was a very bad one. The unfortunate part is that if Intersound hadn't been involved the record would have been different. And yet they didn't even release it. The old double screw!"

-Diffrent in which way?
"There are some songs that "Dick Bozzie" (The A&R guy at Intersound) wanted on the record that I didn't think were really right for a Brett Walker Solo record. But I was really making that record for an American release and I was trying to please the label that was paying for it (Intersound)."

-Would there still have been a record even if Intersound wouldn't have been involved?
"Yes I still would have done a record for Westcoast Records, but I'm sure it would have been a little different because I would have had Magnus Soderkvist involved in the song choosing."

-Didn't you work with Steve Lukather of Toto around the time after the release of the Railbirds cd?
"No never really wrote anything with him. He called me and told me how great he thought the railbirds record was and invited up to his place to write a few times but we never really finished anything. He seems like a nice guy."

-How do you feel regarding stuff like "Lecia", "Hard To Find An Easy Way", "Take Me Home", "No Fire Without You" and "More Than A Memory"? As I understand you don't want to look back and do stuff like that again, how come? Are you afraid of being seen as an "80's thing"?
"Well first off, that was 94. Everybody's got to move on. I don't think that kind of music is coming back. But even if I did I wouldn't want to re create something that I've already done. I Gotta keep a movin' baby!"

-What do you hope to achieve with your new effort "Lift Off"?
"I'm not really making music for anyone but myself these days. My achievement is that it made me happy. And I'm getting some national television airplay which tells me I'm on the right track for me. I've learned from experience that you can't please everyone but if you please yourself at least you've got a shot at success. Otherwise you're another lost puppet."

-What is your greatest achievement so far according to yourself?
"Probably having 2 children and being able to afford to live while doing what I love to do. Not very many people have that luxury in America. I'd say 75% of most people here dislike their jobs and are trying to find a way to become their own boss so they can do the things that make them happy. Art and music really is the most difficult means of making a solid income. Look at most of the 80s hair bands these days. 80% of them have jobs now. Unless they were lucky enough to have a big chunk of the publishing pie or record points. You really got to have a bit more going on than great hair and a pair of black leather pants and a good looking babe on your arm if you want to make a solid living in this business for more than 4 or 5 years. It's very difficult and all of the people that have managed to do it have changed dramatically with the times."

-Worst moment of disappointment in your career so far?
"Well that's a tough one. I went through about a 6 month courtship in 97/98 with Irving Azoff. He wanted to sign me and my band to his label Giant/Revolution. They paid for a big showcase at SIR in Hollywood and Irving brought an A&R guy out to see us "Jeff Aldrige". After the showcase Irving said to me "I LIke It Alot, call me on Monday and lets work something out" OK this was on Friday. I sometimes tell myself that all the events in my life are for a reason, and over this weekend everything in my life seemed to be taking it's place. So, when I call on Monday Irving says "Jeff Aldrige don't want to do it, so it's not gonna happen" That quickly. I was stunned! But that's the politics of this fucked up business. Irving is a really nice guy and I wished that we could have worked together. I'm a big fan of his. But that's life."

-Where do you get the inspiration for your material? Do you need to be in a certain mood to come up with (good) ideas?
"Writing used to be difficult at times. Now I honestly have too many ideas to finish. These days there has to be a reason to record something. A record, TV show, Film etc etc. Otherwise I just write the song and document it on a cassette for a later review."

-Are there any people in particular that you would love to write with just because they might be able to get you to grow as a songwriter? Personally I think a collaboration with you and Mark Spiro could be something special.
"Well I would think so too. I emailed him about a year ago and never heard back. Maybe I had the wrong email address. I'm not one to pursue anybody to write but I thought him and I might do something fantastic. Other than that, I can't think of anyone off hand."

-Do you still have dreams of becoming a big rock star, because I strongly suspect you must have had such dreams? Maybe you would have gone through fire & water for it before, but today?
"HAHA. That's a dangerous question. I really have always had a burning desire to write and create music. Those are really my passions. Now as far as the rock star thing, honestly I maybe fantasized about that when I was 20 years old. I think if you ask anyone who has been there and back they will tell you the most gratifying experience is when someone appreciates your music. As far as Idol worship of a rockstar, it is not real. I don't think it creates anything but destruction."

-Maybe you could describe how it has been to work with some of the poeple you have been working with through the years. Like David Prater, Nick Gilder, Jeff Paris (or Geoffrey Leib or whatever), Jim Peterik, Carl Dixon, Stan Bush, Steve Lukather, Jonathan Cain etc?
"Well they're all real nice guys. Except for that one guy, he's a real jack off. I forgot which one that was though. Haha."

-At last I wonder can we expect more releases from you in the future? If so, what keeps you going? If not, why?
"Yes of course you can expect more music from me as long as I'm alive. Songwriting for me is one of the things that I have to do in life. Like some strange addiction or psychotherapy. Writing songs for me is kind of like writing a journal or diary. It's not about trying to be a rock star or hanging out with the cool crowd or what ever, it's about being able to say what's on my mind and being myself. Ya know, Freedom. It's really one of the things that are very important in life. Embracing who you are."

Brett Walker talks about his new cd "Lift off"

This song is sort of a Beatles / Cheap Trick influenced song. Sometimes when I write lyrics I don't know what they mean until a few days after I have completed them. It's kind of like someone else is writing them through me. Rain in my heart to me means the cleansing of ones heart. The song also means the same person that has the power to make you feel depressed also has the power to pick you up to the highest level. What a screwed concept! Ha!

This song is about the music business. They're are always people trying to get you to go a certain musical direction so that you will be fashionable and trendy. I've learned that if you follow your heart and be true to yourself, that is your only real shot at success. If I fail, I want to go down on my own terms not someone else's!

I think it was on TV I heard someone say everybody loves to win. I thought, wow that's a great title. But in my twisted mind I thought of the other meaning. People chose their partners and fall in love TO WIN. We don't go looking for a love to make us feel like losers.

Here's an idea I had an a cassette for about 2 years. I couldn't find the hook line title for it. Sometimes it takes a year to find the right title for the hook. I hate it when that happens!

I think this lyric is just an honest statement. Some people just can't sit still in one place for very long. And when the time comes for them to take off again, it has nothing to with anything. It's just the way they are.

I wrote this song many years ago. It's about that feeling of driving down the highway with music cranked feeling on top of the world. Usually with destination and events unknown. It don't get much better.

I wrote this with my buddy Carl Dixon. Carls a very witty intellectual person. Very humorous as well.. One time while we were taking a break from pounding out a song in this room in my house that I converted to a studio he asked "What did this room used to be?" I replied sarcastically "I think it used to be a torture chamber" he replied "it still is".

This song is about a few people I know. It seems some people place their self worth on who they can say their friend are or how beautiful the girl they are dating is or what concerts they get back stage to. They are truly the most unhappy people I know. I think there's really only a few things in life that are important and those are not any of them.

I wrote this with John Purdell. I've always been a big fan of his even before Ozzy Osbourne and all of that. I'm honored that he would write with me. I think it's a special song.

I wrote this song for a country artist Shane Minor. Somehow it ended up on my record. Actually we thought it might be good to through something different in. I can't say that this lyric is about any amazing new concept. It's just sort of about my same theme in life, Getting the hell out of town. haha

I wrote this with good friend Timothy Drury. When I wrote the lyrics to this song I was in a very open minded state. I don't think being fooled is necessarily a bad thing. I think distraction and fantasy are what help us get through life with out going insane

One of my favorite songs I've ever written. I think you get what you give in life It's a very strange but true law of this planet. Some way, somehow the things that you do will come back to you good or bad.

Well, I've been trying to get this song on a record forever. Some people don't get this song. I've always thought it was one of my best works. But what I do I know. When I sent the Demo to David Prater last year, he said "That's the song you need" I believe this song could have a very long life.

Stefan Edström

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 August 2005 )
Top! Top!