Live Preview: Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Why is this tour the last time you’ll be playing all of Pet Sounds?

I don’t know. It might not be the last time.

A lot of the Beach Boys’ music before Pet Sounds sounds very innocent. Is that how you felt?

Yeah. We wrote car songs. And yeah, I felt innocent.

Your autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson, is out in October. Was it difficult to write?

It was an emotional experience. It brought back a lot of memories of Pet Sounds, and making our albums. It made me realise that I was very young, and I kept creating.

The Beatles’ Rubber Soul was a big inspiration for Pet Sounds. If you ever met George Martin, what did you ask each other?

I spoke to him in London about five years ago. We didn’t talk about music, we just talked about Paul McCartney.

Did you learn anything from Martin’s production work?

I learned about violin arrangements from him.

In your book, you say about The Beatles: “They never did anything clumsy… everything landed on its feet.” Did you also make records like that?

California Girls. I think it was the best record we made.

You write about the hostile voices you’ve heard in your head since you were twenty-two. Could you talk to the band about this?

Well, we made about three albums a year – not much time for talking.

When you were thinking about your dad, Murry, in the book, did you realise anything new about your relationship?

No. I just thought that he used to get me going. He would say: “Get in there and make some good music.”

He got one of his own songs onto TV. How did you feel about that?

I was very proud of him.

And was he proud of you?

I don’t know.

Do you believe in God?

Yes I do.

Where do you see or experience him the most?

When I’m making music.

Classic Rock 224: News & Regulars

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).