Interview with Erasure pop legend Andy Bell

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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Gessica Puglielli
Visual/Web Designer, Digital Marketing Strategist born in Lecce (Italy), I currently live in London. Between 1998 and 2005 I collaborated with Michael Jackson’s staff and in 2000 I had a meeting with the man himself. I founded Rebel Rebel in 2013 and so far it has been an exciting journey. Some of my favourite artists include Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Skunk Anansie, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Archive, Kraftwerk, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Anthony & The Johnsons, Gazpacho, The Maccabees, Led Zeppelin, Brian Eno, Beethoven, Bjork, Steve Wonder and many others. I feel a deep connection to animals and Mother Nature, which led me to choose a vegan lifestyle. I like playing electric guitar, photography, cinema, art, entertainment, travelling, playing tennis and browsing London.