Bryan Ferry is a man of many masks. As a former member of Roxy Music, Ferry, working in collaboration with artist Brian Eno, carved out a signature sound that was often copied but never truly captured. The 70s glam rock scene was spearheaded by the likes of Bowie, Iggy, and Roxy Music, without whom the whole synth-pop movement would have never been created. Both Ferry and Eno went on to forge very different solo careers post-Roxy Music. Ferry is bringing his act to New Orleans for the first time ever and will be playing the Saenger Theatre this Thursday, March 16. I had the distinct pleasure of talking with one of my true heroes before he left England for his limited U.S. tour. Needless to say, I am quite in awe of the man, though I did manage to keep it together during the interview.
Where Y’at: Mr. Ferry?
Brian Ferry: Yes, speaking. Hi.
So yes, the interview could have ended right there just because of my geekiness, but I managed to keep going.
WYAT: I’m calling from the U.S., New Orleans to be exact.
BF: Oh, great. I love New Orleans, always wanted to play there.
WYAT: When I saw you were playing New Orleans, I was beyond elated.
BF: Thank you. We usually play the west or east coast. I was just never able to get to New Orleans until now.
WYAT: I guess that’s just the nature of the way the whole touring industry works.
What came next was me gushing on and on about how great the Saenger Theatre is, and rightfully so, and how the venue fits his music so well, like a … (sadly, I said “pocket” instead of “glove.” We’ll just chalk that up to interviewer shock).
At this point, Ferry went on to explain how he liked Charlie Parker and was in love the whole 20s vibe. He also said he liked New Orleans musicians, in particular Dr. John and The Meters. I mentioned that I had just seen Dr. John, and Ferry replied that he hoped he would be as good. I assured him that he had nothing to worry about.
WYAT: Are you currently working on any new material?
BF: I’ve been touring so much that it’s just too hard to do any recording.
He is still wanting to, however; it’s just a matter of timing and place. I then asked if he had any plans on working with Eno again. He said that he doesn’t but would like to, stating that he saw Eno about a year ago at an art installation and was intrigued by the notion of crossing over and incorporating the two concepts.
I also reminded him that he had a New Orleans tie that he might not remember. I asked about Trent Reznor’s cover of Ferry’s song “Is your Love Strong Enough,” which Reznor did with his band How to Destroy Angels. Ferry hadn’t realized that Reznor was from New Orleans, and said he liked the cover very much and would love to meet him someday. My mind almost melted with the thought of a Reznor/Ferry collaboration.
Ferry went on to tell me about how wonderful his touring band is and how much fun it has already been in rehearsals. With that, I said goodbye, as not to keep him any longer, and restated how excited I am about the show. Now if we could just get Trent out there …