Pop legend Andy Bell, who rose to fame in the 80s as the lead singer of famed synth-pop duo Erasure with Vince Clarke, which went on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide – 5 of which were No.1 in the UK, has announced the release of his fourth solo album Torsten The Bareback Saint, a groundbreaking musical concept available from 28th July 2014 through Strike Force Entertainment (Cherry Red Records).
We had an interesting Q&A with the English performer on his new project, life as a pop-star and a couple of useful tips to young performers.
Q: What inspired you to give life to such an ambitious project as Torsten The Bareback Saint?
A: It is a collaboration with quite a few people the two main writers are Barney Ashton & Christopher Frost. Barney had mentioned the project to me about 5 years ago; we met at the Kerrang Awards & I said I’d have a listen & I was blown away by what I heard; they are very talented & Barney is a sweet guy so I said yes I’d love to. Also the songs do seem to talk to my inner voice & I feel like I may have lived through some of the experiences!
Q: Who is Torsten and who does he represent?
A: I think Torsten could represent a number of people he relays some wonderful & bitter experiences in his own personal life which will resonate with all of us. I don’t think he’s come out the other end very well. He has a few very deep emotional scars, he reminds me of a character from Fassbenders “Querelle” or Jean Genet. Very homoerotic & Nordic brooding & still.
Q: What should the audience expect from Torsten’s shows?
A: Some of the songs are quite amusing in the stories they tell & evoke a time gone by although the language can be quite brutal they are delivered in a cabaret bar type setting in a more accessible way say than 3 penny opera but it is quite close. Some are tongue twisters but they pack a lot into a short space of time, eons in Torsten time!
Q: You are still working on parallel projects with Erasure, too. How do you manage such a busy career?
A: Sometimes it makes we wonder how we fit it all in especially when Erasure goes on the road & it can be very gruelling! But hey I’m an artist & very lucky to be doing what I do! I admire the really difficult arts like dance circus magic mime etc so singing is a piece of cake!
Q: Has there ever been a time when you thought you had enough of the show business and wanted to retire to private life?
A: Quite a few times I have become disillusioned with the fame/celebrity machine & have thought of retiring to the country side & growing some vegetables but the stage is so alluring it pulls me back so quickly!
Q: What would you say to a youngster trying to make it in the music industry today?
A: Keep your friends close to you & never think that you are better than any one else just because you can act or sing you’re not! Keep your feet on the ground & try to keep things in perspective you can become a spoilt brat very quickly !
Q: Name the 3 albums you would take on a desert island with you.
A: Kate Bush “Hounds of Love“, Blondie “Parallel Lines“, Rod Stewart “Greatest Hits”
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