Brian Ray Chat Transcript -- April 10, 2004
© copyright 2004 Jorie B. Gracen/Macca-Chat
No part of this interview can be reprinted without written permission.

Today Macca-Chat welcomes guitarist extraordinaire Brian Ray for his first EVER Internet chat.


Brian: Hey everyone all over the planet! how are you? Let's rock!

Jorie: Are you ready for the questions Brian?

Brian: Fire away, Jorie.

Q: Do you prefer to play bass, electric guitar or acoustic guitar?

Brian: I love it all. I am a guitarist who played a bit of bass before playing with Paul.
I was wanting to get into a new instrument in a new year's pledge in 2002...
Then I got a call to do just that with Paul.. The bass. I LOVE it!

Q: Was there a reason behind the change of guitars between the US and European tours?

Brian: Always changing just to keep it fun.. different songs, different sounds.

Q: Have you bought any new guitars since the last tour?

Brian: Is the Pope Catholic? Yeeeees... a few... Stay tuned!

Q: Do you have a fav guitar?

Brian: Yes, my '57 Les Paul.

Q: How did you handle chords when a string broke?

Brian: With a Senator's smile.

Q: What were your favorite and least favorite parts of touring with Paul?

Brian: I love the shows, the hang. Least fave? the other 20 hours !

Q: How does touring with Paul differ from the other tours you have done?

Brian: What other tours? HA!

Q: What was your favorite section of the set list on the last tour and why?

Brian: The beginning, the middle and the end.. Seriousness aside... I love the start, Loving Flame, Live and Let Die, Birthday, Back in the USSR, She's Leaving Home.. All of it, really.

Q: Did you have a fav song you liked to perform more than others?

Brian: Well, hmmm Birthday, Getting Better.

Q: What would have happened if a band member got sick - was there a replacement lined up?

Brian: No, we work without a net. [Knock wood]

Q: We missed you during Eleanor Rigby - what did you and the rest of the band do when you weren't on stage?

Brian: I would hang with the Pre-show performers and watch Paul.

Q: What do you do to wind down after a show?


Q: What are the differences between the audiences at Paul's, Mylene's and Johnny's shows?

Brian: Really, it's so much about the incredible catalogue of songs of Paul's, and their resonance in the lives of the people we watch as we play them. The French music is wonderful to perform, the shows are gorgeous, but the songs aren't in my blood, you know?

Q: What kind of creative input have you and the band had on Paul's new record?

Brian: We have ideas, but it's really generated by Paul. Well, at times any of us may have ideas, some are used others, not. But it is a symbiotic process. Paul is brimming with great ideas.

Q: What inspires you when you write your own music?

Brian: love and loss of it. It could be a sad event, or just a melody, or a phrase I thought I heard, spoken or played...then I turn it into an original impulse.

Q: Are there any songs you wish you had written?

Brian: Well, yeah. Yesterday LOL!

Q: Were you playing with Etta during the Zaire Music Festival in 1974? If so, tell us about the experience.

Brian: No, "the thrilla in Manilla"?.. That was right before my audition. I wish!

Q: What, if anything, would you have done differently in your career thus far?

Brian: I wouldn't change a thing. It's been too good for words.

Q: What else do you hope to accomplish, both professionally and personally?

Brian: I'd like to produce more records, and do a few more film scores. That is really satisfying to me. Personally? design my dreams, requests on a chosen theme.
[...And then remember them!]

Q: What is your full name?

Brian: Brian Rothschild Blind Lemon Forte Dubonville Justice Hope and Charity 1V Ray.
Brian Thomas Ray

Q: Do you have a nickname?

Brian: Bri

Q: We loved the tambourine on "Birthday"- when is YOUR birthday?

Brian: Jan. 4th

Q: What is your shoe size?

Brian: 10

Q: What color are your eyes?

Brian: Blue/green

Q: How tall are you?

Brian: 5'11"

Q: Describe yourself.

Brian: Generous, smart, kind, funny, attentive, brilliant, and mostly MODEST! Ha!

Q: How many siblings do you have and are you the middle or youngest child?

Brian: There are 4 of us, I am 2nd to the youngest, and I have a half sister from a previous marriage of my father's.

Q: Is anyone else from your family still in the music business?

Brian: Not now.

Q: Were you a bad little kid or a good little kid?

Brian: A very good bad kid. [you set it up!]

Q: Did you have pets as a child? Now?

Brian: Yeah, cats, dogs, birds, fish, turtles... We had a lot. I just took my 2 cats to live with my brother for their own best lifestyle, as I'm away so much. Their names are Trumpet and Bebop.

Q: Were you a good student?

Brian: Fairly good, Ye knfvdolk!! ssss.

Q: In school, what was your favorite subject and what was your best subject?

Brian: English and recess.

Q: Have you ever broken any bones?

Brian: Oh, yes.. Left arm, right heel, a few others.

Q: Where do you shop for your clothes?

Brian: Anywhere they'll take money.

Q: What is your favorite film and your favorite TV show?

Brian: Planet 9 From Outer Space.. Twilight Zone.

Q: Do you like to read? If so, who is your favorite author?

Brian: Yes....I'm digging an English writer, Martin Amis.

Q: Do you speak any other languages?

Brian: Yes, bad restaurant French.

Q: What is your favorite food and your favorite drink?

Brian: All and any

Q: Do you eat healthily or are you a junk food junkie?

Brian: Pretty healthy.. But I do have a big dessert fetish.

Q: Do you plan to become a vegetarian?

Brian: No, but one never knows. I would like to try it. I love Paul's tour catering so much.

Q: Which sports do you like to watch/play?

Brian: I love playoffs in every sport. I dig Basketball.

Q: Did you get a chance to do much sightseeing or soak up any culture whilst you were in Europe?

Brian: Oh yes.. I make a point of getting around to soak up the feeling of each city we have a minute in.

Q: Boxers or briefs, and do they match your socks?

Brian: Ha! I tend to mix it up, and no, no matching boxers!

Q: Is there a special story behind your ring?

Brian: It is a long one. My Father passed away while on tour, and it was a gift from Johnny Hallyday.

Q: Are you handy around the house?

Brian: Yes, like Edward Scissorhands, but with tools.

Q: Are you a 'hands on' type of guy?

Brian: Yes, hands on everything.

Q: What music do YOU listen to at "special times"?

Brian: I like old soul, R&B and chill instrumental stuff.

Q: What do you wear to bed?

Brian: T-shirt in the winter, birthday suit in the summer.

Q: How do you feel about Paul as a person?

Brian: He's a generous, engaging, smart, kind person...Oh, and talented.

Q: Describe your funniest moment with Paul.

Brian: On stage, after an encore, a bra came flying onstage. I tossed it at him, he back to me, and we chased each other with it.

Q: How do you feel about younger girls (20+) standing in the audience screaming for both Paul and the rest of you in the band?

Brian: I would be a big fat liar if I didn't say I LOVE it!

Q: Any advice for fans in the audience who want to get noticed?

Brian: Well...hmmm signs work wonders. T-shirts too.

Q: We heard you smell nice - do you wear any aftershave or cologne?

Brian: Where and how did you hear that? and yes, I do. It is a rare cologne which I can only get in parts of Europe.

Q: Who's volleyball team were you on [the one Rusty mentioned in the BITUS CD booklet]?

Brian: I was sidelined due to a tour related injury.

Q: What is the story behind the guitar picks on your foreheads during The End on the BITUS DVD?

Brian: Random acts of silliness!

Q: Did you enjoy performing in New Orleans?

Brian: So much, you can't imagine.

Q: Did you throw a lot of beads on Bourbon Street?

Brian: Not a one...I threw money.

Q: Were you thrown a lot of beads on Bourbon Street?

Brian: Cheeky!

Q: Do you like Hurricanes?

Brian: I prefer earthquakes and riots.

Q: Whatever possessed Rusty to "flash" Paul in front of 20,000 people?

Brian: What?

Q: When you toured with Johnny, were the scantily clad women in the act a distraction?

Brian: Yes, I'm sure I played a few clunkers as a result!

Q: We all agree that "One Heartbeat" is the sexiest song ever recorded. It's great background music for "special moments." What music do YOU listen to at "special times"?

Brian: Thank you for that.. I LOVE the new Van Hunt record, and I dig chill instrumental stuff, and 60's heavy metal country polka jams.

Q: How do feel about spiders and snakes? Do you like carrots?

Brian: Not a carrot freak, but I like carrot juice. I don't like being surprised by reptiles at all.

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your special ability be?

Brian: To be in several places at once.

Q: If we're the cherries on your ice-cream sundae, what flavor ice-cream are you and why?

Brian: Oh, so now you're on top of me... I get it..

Q: Do you realize you nearly hospitalized us when you made your first post on Jorie's board?

Brian: Flattery will get you everywhere.

Q: Are you a natural blond? Prove it!!

Brian: Stopppppit! [yes, I am]

Q: You have such a beautifully defined upper torso! Do you work out?

Brian: How far away were you sitting, anyway?

Q: Will you model your wetsuit for us?

Brian: It would be a bit hot on stage.

Q: Will you model your birthday suit for us?

Brian: Sex harassment!! I'm telling PAUL!

Q: Do you regret putting the wetsuit photo on your website?

Brian: Not after all that.

Q: Would you post a photo of you with the tambourine on your website, please?

Brian: I don't think I have one... but I would..

Q: You played "Cranium" with Paul - will you play "Twister" with us?

Brian: ooooo!

Q: What would you wear to a costume party?

Brian: A costume

Q: Will you do a calendar for us? [You know the kind we mean!]

Brian: More harassment! I'm a MAN, not a ... THING!

Q: How do you feel about all the attention?

Brian: What attention?

Q: Do you wish you had different fans?

Brian: You are the very best.

Q: Next time we're all in town together, can we buy you lunch?

Brian: OK. I'm bringing a body guard!

Q: Do you know you're breaking all our hearts?

Brian: I am a doctor, too.

Q: Is there any question you wish we had asked you?

Brian: yes... "Is it ok if we ask you some questions?" [just kidding]

Q: If YOU could ask US a question, what would it be?

Brian: Yes, What's it all about, Alfie? No, It would be great to know all about all of you

Q: What is your favorite song of Paul's solo or with the Beatles?

Brian: Helter Skelter, For No One, She's Leaving Home, Maybe I'm Amazed, Jet, Junk.

Q: After so many concerts with Paul and the band, do you ever feel that you want to write your own music and go out and play on your own tour?

Brian: I've learned to never say never, but for now I'm quite happy. I do like to write and record, but I prefer standing to the side of the star.

Q: Do you have any goals with your music? Like: I´m going to be the best guitar player around the world! Or: I´m gonna make a hit song for some other artist and make it a number 1? Or do you just wanna jam a bit?

Brian: I've written a number one hit, and there was a time when I wanted to be a hot shot.. Now, I really value just adding to something, supporting a good song, whether it's mine or not.

Q: What song (s) did you rehearse for the tour you thought would make to the set list (and that you enjoyed playing) but it ended up out of the gig?

Brian: Lovely Rita for one.

Q: How you would define (without giving away any informationg that might piss off Paul, of course :) the sound of the new album as it's being built. Compared to Driving Rain it's more intimate, more calm or even more rockier?
Just let us know how it's sounding like.

Brian: I'll hold off on that subject for now.

Q: I have been wondering...what is it that a "producer" does exactly??

Brian: A producer in music does what a director does in film. He/she really sets the tone with the artist, cooses the material, then creates the panorama, and the ambience to tell the story for your ears.

Q: Aside from your recent experiences with Paul, which elements of your career have you enjoyed the most, and what have you done to date that you are most proud of?

Brian: My Years with Etta.. so satisfying. All the rest, as well I wouldn't change a thing. I've been soooo fortunate, it's crazy.

Q: How did you feel when Etta James received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy?

Brian: There IS a GOD !!!

Q: Do you still see Etta often?

Brian: Yes, we just worked together for her new record on BMG, to be released soon. I saw her at the House of Blues. She dedicated "At Last" to me, and sung the whole tune right to me in the balcony... tore me uuuuup!

Q: When scoring music for a film or TV show, how much of the process is dictated by the storyline? Are you required to watch excerpts and write music for a particular scene, or are you given a brief from which to work independently? How does it work?

Brian: Abe and I worked here at my house and scene by scene we would write and perform music to be married to the picture as it played on the computer screen. Such advances in the last few years make it possible to do wonders at home.

Q: I only discovered recently that you co-wrote One Heartbeat, even though its a song that Ive known and loved for years. Have you written any other songs that are well known?

Brian: Thank, not as well known as that one, but several for Etta James, another for Smokey which is yet to be released and a few top 40 r&b tunes, a few songs in films. But it took a mass of mediocrity to get to the good ones!

Q: How did the song One Heartbeat come about? Were you approached and asked to compose some music for Smokey Robinson, or was it a song you had already written? How much of an input did you have into the music and lyrics of the song?

Brian: We called the Producer who told us, "don't bother.. He writes so well.." so we went home and wrote our new song right to his heart, turned it in a week later on a Friday, had a message Sunday night.." Smokey loves it.. come in on Thursday, we're cutting it!, bring the stuff on the demo... we'll do it just like you did"..

Q: You mentioned on your website that you formed two LA based bands, Charm School and The Natives. What was your role within these bands and did you ever record or release anything with them?

Brian: Steve LeGassick who co-wrote One Heartbeat started Charm School with me and we wrote most of the material. We covered Smokey's "You Really Got a Hold on Me", in a 4/4 rocked out Cheap Trick kind of version.. Fun! The Natives was all my tunes.

Q: Which do you enjoy the most performing in front of large stadium audiences or in smaller, more intimate venues? Do you adapt your performance according to the venue size?

Brian: I like Arenas and theaters... Stadiums get a bit washed out, energetically.

Q: Do you ever get nervous before a show, or is playing in front of large audiences second nature to you now?

Brian: Playing for 1,000,000 is a breeze. It's the crowd of 60 at the local bar that gets me!

Q: What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you onstage?

Brian: I split my pants open once with Mylene Farmer in France. Lucky it was in France, where they sometimes wear no pants. No more Karate moves outa me!

Q: Which do you prefer (if you have a preference) writing music, playing music or producing?

Brian: I love and need it all to feel balanced.

Q: If you weren't a musician, what other career path do you think you might have followed?

Brian: Architect.

Q: What sort of music do you listen to?

Brian: 60's Jazz, Sinatra, chilled instrumental stuff, modern rock when I'm drivin' at times, and the Stones before going out.

Q: What do you think of the direction that modern music is taking at the moment?

Brian: I think there are some amazing new acts.. Van Hunt, being one.
But I don't like the trend of over quantized drums, over auto- tuned vocals and bands that all sound the same.

Q: What are your plans for the near future, apart from the upcoming tour?

Brian: I'm building a house.

Q: What kind of architecture do you like? In what style are you designing your new home?

Brian: It is in a modern style by a reknown Architect, at the beach.

Q: Tell us about the gorrilla moves during the encores.

Brian: We had visited the apes in Georgia, and hung out with them. So we were just "riffing" on that.

Q: Professionally speaking, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Brian: Right here in my shoes. Scoring more and producing as well.

Q: What were some of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences from Pauls last tour, both onstage and offstage?

Brian: The last show of the first leg, Rome, Liverpool, oh, too many to name.

Q: If Paul asked you to come up with the set list for one of his tours, what are some of the songs youd include on it?

Brian: The show would be 6 hours long, I'm afraid.

Q: Are there any new surprises for the upcoming tour like maybe a song that's never been performed before?

Brian: You'll have to wait and see...cheeky.

Q: Can you tell us something about the new album? Will it be different from Paul's past albums?

Brian: What new album?

Jorie: The secret is out!

Brian: TOP SECRETS. Very 007.

Q: Have you reached the point where you can look at Paul as just a friend and colleague, or do you still occasionally think Wow! Paul McCartney!?

Brian: Yeah, it is easier now, but he'll always be that guy on the Ed Sullivan show to me.

Q: Does Paul surf the Internet that you know of?

Brian: I'm not sure.

Q: What is the most memorable thing anyone has ever said to you?

Brian: Get off my foot before I punch you!

Q: Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Brian: I'm a morning owl.

Q: Do you always wear funky socks? Where can I get a pair like yours?

Brian: Actually, I got a bunch at the airport before returning home at the Paul Smith shop.. Thank you!

Q: How much time do you spend with the other band members when you're not on tour?

Brian: We hang out fairly often. We did a birthday dinner recently here for Rusty and I, with his girlfriend and Abe and his gal.

Q: Did you have formal musical training or are you self-taught?

Brian: I am self taught.

Q: Are you really as good-natured and laid-back as you appear to be?

Brian: The guy who cut me off today may have a different view...

Q: What is your worst habit?

Brian: Interrupting... Aaaaaaahhhh, I hate it, and I can't stop!

Q: What is your favorite season of the year and why?

Brian: Spring and summer for the fun of it.. All things are new and clean from the rain, and the air smells sweet.

Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?

Brian: Christmas, for the family and the good that giving does.

Q: Are you a last-minute Christmas shopper or do you start early looking for "just the right thing" for family and friends? Do you do your own gift-wrapping?

Brian: Why put off til tomorrow what you can procrastinate today?
I obsess over the right things for my two nieces..

Q: As a child, what was your favorite Christmas/birthday present?

Brian: A set of red sparkle drums with a big red bow, given by our family friends, when they saw how I loved them.

Q: What is your favorite dessert?

Brian: All of them.. a good lemon tart..

Q: Do you keep up with any college or pro sports teams?

Brian: L.A. teams when they are good..

Q: If you could keep only one possession, what would it be?

Brian: My '57 Gold Top Les Paul, which I played on every gig with Etta.

Q: What is the biggest regret in your life?

Brian: Not making room for others when I was too busy with me.

Q: If you could relive one hour of your life, what would it be? Would you change anything?

Brian: Maybe the first few exchanges with Paul, funny enough.. I was kind of nervous, I think. I say dumb stuff when I'm nervous.

Q: If you could sit down to dinner and an evening of conversation with anyone from history, who would it be and what would you discuss?

Brian: I met Clinton, and would love to hear more about what those eight years were really like. Churchill was pretty fascinating..ummmm, I would've arranged to get Adolph a good hooker, chill him out.

Q: What kind of music comes from your soul?

Brian: I like intimate, revealing guitar based songs. And I dig punky pop tunes too. And real blues, traditional soul.

Q: Does all the attention you get these days, letters, emails, cards, etc., bother you?

Brian: No, I am happy to have the chance of a lifetime to have others interested in me and my work. But I treasure privacy as well.

Q: Why do you think music has the ability to be so overwhelmingly powerful at times? Are there any songs you find particularly moving?

Brian: Yeah, so many. All my favorites come from a real pain, a blues if you will... From Robert Johnson to "Caroline No" by Brian Wilson. Heartbreaking stuff.

Q: During a performance, has your mind ever gone blank and left you forgetting the music or lyrics? If so, how did you cope?

Brian: Yeah, it happens to all of us. Just ride it out!
Wait.. what was the question?

Q: When youre producing music for others, how much creative input do you actually have?

Brian: Tons... that's the usual agreement.

Q: What do you think separates a great guitarist from a good guitarist?

Brian: The touch and the space between the notes, not the quantity of them. And for me, the roots one draws from.

Q: How did you learn to play guitar? Were you given lessons? Did you pick it up by watching someone else? Work it out for yourself?

Brian: My brother had a few lessons, just chords, and showed me. Then I got a chord book, and just worked it out by ear.

Q: Obviously, due to all the touring youve done, youve had the opportunity to visit a lot of countries and experience different cultures. Is there anywhere on Earth you haven't visited yet but would really like to?

Brian: New Zealand, Prague, South Africa, S.E. Asia and Bali.

Q: Do you have a favorite country outside of the USA? If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Brian: I like it here..

Q: What were your impressions of London? Did you get to do all the touristy things?

Brian: Some of them.. I like London a lot. I like the tempo there.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Brian: Be outdoors, go for a nice drive, hike, read ...

Q: Do you like to cook? If so, do you have a speciality?

Brian: I have this amazing new dish.. I like to call it TOAST ! so, yes I cook.

Q: How would you spend your ideal day?

Brian: With a woman I really dig doing anything we please.

Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Brian: It's happened to me before... you all?

Q: Do you daydream?

Brian: Wait, where am I?

Q: Brian, do you think you can persuade Paul to come to Ottawa, Canada and perform? He's performed elsewhere in the Candian cities, but never the capitol.

Brian: I'll have a word with him!

Q: Do you wish you could have known Paul when he was still a Beatle or are you glad you met him at this stage in Paul's life?

Brian: I woulda fainted. Plus, We benefit from his years. He's available to us now.

Q: Has practice begun for the summer tour? Will the set list change? Will your wardrobe change?

Brian: Not yet, and we'll see..

Q: Have you previously visited all the countries in the upcoming tour?

Brian: Some, not all...

Q: Will you continue to play the tambourine? (We love it!)

Brian: I've been practicing every day, so I hope so.

Q: I read that you suggested "She's Leaving Home" for the last tour. I know a lot of us particularly enjoy the harmonies. How do you determine what you'd like to play on tour?

Brian: That is Paul's call. He asked us a few times for ideas. That was one of mine.

Q: What is your favorite and least favorite part of touring?

Brian: Playing....Waiting...

Q: How do you spend your free time when away from the studio while in London?

Brian: Museums, and lots of walks and eating!!

Q: During several of the shows last year, you briefly spoke in several of the native languages. Are you fluent in any other language?

Brian: olriujglkn znvojkmvm !!!

Q: Paul has his work with landmines. Is there a cause or charity that you are passionate about?

Brian: I dig helping recovering alcoholics.. and cleaning the ocean shores. National Public Radio, we need more independent voices in the modern world.

Q: What is the one word you'd use to describe your life right now? (blessed comes to mind!)

Brian: Yes, blessed is a good one..

Q: Do you prefer to play acoustic or electric guitar?

Brian: Electric

Q: What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?

Brian: A $5 guitar from Tijuana, given by Jean, my sister. and no, I wish!

Q: Will we see any new ones this summer?

Brian: Yes.

Q: Do you play any other instruments?

Brian: Bad piano, knees and a very convincing ocarina.

Q: Do you have any other artistic or creative outlets?

Brian: Screaming at my therapist.

Q: When you're not in the studio or surfing, what else do you like to do?

Brian: Hang out with my friends.

Q: Besides music, what brings joy to your life?

Brian: family and friends.

Q: In your interview with Jorie, you discuss producing/writing film scores. What is your favorite film score?

Brian: The new Spotless Mind score is cool.. The Beck song is amazing!

Q: What is your favorite Beatles song and record?

Brian: All of Rubber Soul and Revolver, the White Album.

Q: Even though you are all serious, professional musicians, were you all tempted to do the whole zebra crossing thing at Abbey Road?

Brian: We did cross it several times, not in bare feet though.

Q: I'd like to know your thoughts on Paul's song India heard on the Secret Website.

Brian: It was a jam which he made up a tune for on the spot, we liked playing it at soundchecks.

Q: Is Paul a tough boss?

Brian: No, he's very cool. He does know what he wants, and he is firm but cool.

Q: You said he likes to cook. What was the last thing he cooked for you?

Brian: He made a breakfast of fresh fruit, bagels and toast, jam, yogurt and tea for us. Heather and he wouldn't let us even help with the prep.

Q: Does he clean up after he cooks?

Brian: I hope so.

Q: Brian, do you have any phobias?

Brian: Yes, some are afraid of heights, me? I'm afraid of widths.. no, really. I don't mind reptiles, except when surprised by them.

Q: Does all the attention you get these days, letters, emails, cards, etc., bother you?

Brian: I am flattered beyond words, and it feels great. That said, I DO value my privacy a lot.

Q: I read that you suggested "She's Leaving Home" for the last tour. How do you determine what you'd like to play on tour?

Brian: That is up to Paul, of course. He has asked us a few times what we would like and in a few cases he has been surprised by our ideas, I think.

Q: What is the one word you'd use to describe your life right now?

Brian: Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

Q: People are asking about your cars. Do you have a fav?

Brian: I love em' both.. The Riviera is too cool for school, and it smells and sounds so great. The Lexus is pure lux!

Q: What's the funniest thing you've ever seen from stage?

Brian: It's a riot out there! I love seeing young kids who know all the lyrics. I don't even know 'em!

Q: Are there any plans to continue the tour after Glastonbury?

Brian: Plans change all the time, but I haven't heard a thing yet.

Q: Brian, Are you playing any gigs by yourself or with other musicians? Will you be at any of Rusty's gigs later this month?

Brian: Not right now. My fun in-town Band, Down Boy did a great New Years show, though. Might play with Rusty once.

Q: What hobbies/interests do you pursue outside of music? Are you artistic in other areas?

Brian: I love art, galleries.. architecture. I'm building a new pad.

Q: How easy/difficult is it to actually finish a song - to know when to stop and finally say 'OK - that's it!'?

Brian: It's exhausting and beautiful, too. I like songs that come out at once. I can feel the difference in a labored or organic song. Songs feel the best when they are mostly completed in one sitting. You can hear honesty.

Q: Were you playing live at the turn of the millennium? If so, where?

Brian: Yes, with Vonda Sheperd, of Ally McBeal fame in N.Y.!!

Q: Who was the last person/band you saw perform (excluding current band members)?

Brian: David Bowie.. brilliant!

Q: Are you still an Elvis fan? Ever been to Graceland? Ever worn a white jumpsuit?

Brian: Well, really I don't listen to him, but when I do hear the old stuff, I do smile. Jumpsuits? Not in public.

Q: Did you go through a punk rock phase in the 80's?

Brian: Yes, as much as an L.A. kid could. The Sales Brothers were fairly punky.. And an original band called the Dishes.

Q: Do you prefer Leno or Letterman for late night comedy?

Brian: I like Letterman's writers better.

Q: In the tour book Q&A, you mentioned one of your driving songs is Beethoven's Ninth. Are you a lover of classical music? If so, do you have a favorite composer?

Brian: I love Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, the biggies.

Q: What CD are you listening to right now?

Brian: Van Hunt, Air, Paul's tour setlist... [don't even try it]

Q: How did you feel after reading the "Brian Ray thread" on Paul's website? (I hope we did not embarrass you).

Brian: Don't stop!! I feel honored and blessed to have had a moment in your lives.
It's the place I go when I want a smile.

Q: Do you have any plans to release your own album?

Brian: Not at the moment but you never say never, right?

Q: What sort of music would you choose for an album of your own?

Brian: I'll think about that ..

Q: Tell us what some of your upcoming projects are.

Brian: Well, the house is my biggest project. So consuming and thrilling. And Paul's plans.

Q: Are you producing any albums?

Brian: I just did a track for Leonard Cohen's son and I'm looking at a new film score.

Jorie: Your fans love you.

Brian: I am the luckiest sap of all the saps to have had a moment with each of you. I wish we could go on, but I must go soon. Thank you for your kindness. Sorry if I haven't gotten to all of you.

Jorie: We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Any last words for your fans?

Brian: You are the best, Jorie. Thank you for having me in all of your rooms. All you guys mean a ton to me. Keep up the posts on the site thread, too I need ya!

Brian: Bye Bye Blackbird. By Fi, Di , Beat, Driv, andi, Diana... ahh, all of ya! Hi Harley ! Later! WOW !!!!Muaaaah! Love..

For more information about Brian Ray go to his official Web site at:

No part of this interview can be reprinted without written permission.
© copyright 2004 Jorie B. Gracen/ Macca-Chat

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