Interview With Ray Wilson
we last interviewed Ray Wilson four years ago, he's released two studio albums and two
live albums. He's also made guest appearances on a number
of other musician's projects and has toured almost non-stop across Europe
and, most recently, South America.
On April 25, 2005 World of Genesis.com's own Dave Negrin had a brief
conversation with Ray to talk about his new live album, Ray Wilson Live,
his three previous solo projects, and what lies ahead for the former lead
singer of Genesis.
WOG: I know that you have worked with Nir recently
on your solo projects, but would you ever consider asking Mike Rutherford
or Tony Banks to appear on your next solo record? Do you think they would
appear on one of your albums if you asked them to?
asking them to do a charity gig with me recently, just a few songs
acoustically, but the situation wasnít quite right. Iíd like to ask
Phil to play drums on one of the Stiltskin tracks, but I havenít decided
which one to send him. Iím not sure if he would do it though.
World of Genesis: Ray Wilson Live marks the first album without the support from Inside Out
prompted your departure from the label?
Was it a mutual decision?
Ray Wilson: They are actually distributing the Live CD for me.
We still have a good relationship, and I have a lot of respect for the
company. The next project Iím doing is a Stiltskin CD, and I feel that it
is better to take a new approach with this CD. It is still possible that I
will work together with Inside Out again in the future.
||WOG: Since you have sold out of the Guaranteed Pure
discs on your site, and you have additional unreleased material on
cassettes or DATs from that era of your career (that have not surfaced on
CD), have you ever considered releasing a complete anthology of Guaranteed
Pureís music in a double disc collection via your website?
I would think
that selling out of the Swing Your
Bag CD shows that there would be fan interest in something like
RW: I have one or two things on DAT but I doubt that they will ever
|WOG: You seem to recycle musicians from your old
bands and incorporate them into session musicians or band members for
other future projects. How did you get involved with your old Stiltskin
mate, Irvin Duguid, again for the Change
and The Next Best Thing
You Also mentioned back when I interviewed you in 2001 that the bandís demise
was not really on good terms and that there was conflict between Peter Lawlor, the guitarist / songwriter, and some of the other guysÖ
RW: I guess it is always good to work with familiar people and
talented people like Irvin and Nir Z.
Peter and I get along ok, but we have different views on many issues. It
also exciting to work with new musicians, and I have recently been writing
with a German guitarist called Uwe Metzler and a recording with a great
bass player called Alvin Mills for the Stiltskin CD.
||WOG: When you first released the Live
And Acoustic album independently, it was
called Unplugged. Is it true that MTV threatened legal action if you
continued to use that album title? Please explain.
RW: No, but once Inside Out decided to release it commercially, we
thought it was better not to take the risk.
Why did you decide to re-record Stiltskin's hit "Inside" as part
of your The Next Best Thing solo
was supposed to be sung with a female, but I couldnít get her to do it. I
would like to do this song with Sandra from Guano Apes or Skin or someone
sing hard and powerful.
WOG: Having released your first live album, Live
and Acoustic, just a few years back, were you hesitant to release a
double live album?
RW: I always regarded Live and Acoustic as more of an
official bootleg than a proper live album. The new Live album
sounds much better than Live and Acoustic, and it's a true
reflection of the last few years of my career.
Genesis in '97 with Wilson (center)
was supposed to be sung with a female, but I couldnít get her to do it.
I would like to do this song with Sandra from Guano Apes or Skin or
someone who can sing hard and powerful.
WOG: The Change album was a very, sort of stripped
down, raw, acoustic driven album for the most part while the follow-up
album was a more complex, really diverse - primarily electric guitar
driven rock album.
Did you intentionally want to release something
drastically different from Change
when you went to write the songs for The
Next Best Thing?
WOG: I noticed that you did some South American tour dates in
April. Is there a chance that you may come further north for some North
American gigs at some point?
RW: Not really. I have no offers for North America yet. It has
never been a market for me, so I never give it much thought, really. I do
receive a lot of e-mails from fans, and it is good to know that I have
some fans over there. Maybe one day, but there are no signs of any North
American gigs yet.
||RW: I was caught in two minds really. I enjoyed
doing the more acoustic songs as Ray Wilson and the harder stuff with
Stiltskin. This is my plan for the future.
WOG: Your site described The Next Best Thing as being a heavily introspective, personal
album. Would you consider this album to be the most vulnerable you
have ever allowed yourself to be as a songwriter? What brought
that willingness to expose yourself on this record?
|WOG: You incorporate a diverse blend of music from
throughout your career in your live shows. Are there any songs you feel
obligated to play to the fans?
I feel it is important to entertain people and do the best show you can. I
try to play for two or more hours, so that I can cover all the musical
styles and keep the Genesis fans, Stiltskin fans and the Ray Wilson fans
happy. I do my best with this, but I canít keep everyone happy all the
time. When I tour with Stiltskin next year, I will not play any Genesis
songs and that will please some people, but not others.
||RW: Both Change and The Next Best Thing
are personal. I like to be open and express my true feelings through music
and also in interviews. That is a big part of being an artist, in my
WOG: Have you seen the Genesis Video Show DVD? Were you pleased with the 5.1 mixes of the Calling
All Stations tracks and remastering of the music videos for DVD?
RW: I haven't seen it.
WOG: Do you still plan to release a live DVD? There was some talk
about it a while back, but
you share any details on the forthcoming Stiltskin album? When do you
expect to release it?
a much harder Stiltskin CD with Nir, Alvin, Uwe, Irvin and Scott Spence
all in the band. I feel itís the best music I have recorded in my
career. It will be released early next year.
you still in the process of shopping
the album around to different record labels, or will this be an
RW: I havenít approached any labels yet as I will wait until
RW: I will, but only when I feel I have something worth
WOG: Do you ever look at fan sites or the Forum on the official
Genesis site to see what fans are saying about you?
RW: Not really. I get e-mails and messages on my message board from
time to time about
reviews and comments that have been made. I do talk to fans at gigs though
and Iím always interested to hear the views.
How did you get involved with Armin Van Buuren for the "Yet Another
Day" single? Did the idea of transforming a straight-ahead rock tune
like Cutís "Another Day" and turning it into a
dance-orientated track initially appeal to you?
RW: I met him in my friendís nightclub several years ago. I like
to collaborate with other musical styles, and I found "Yet Another
Day" quite interesting. Armin has also remixed the song
"Gypsy," and he asked if I would do a couple of shows with him
in North America. It could be fun to do, this but itís not confirmed.
SELECTED ALBUMS FEATURING
Click on the album artwork to buy the CDs or
to hear sound clips.
WOG: How did you get involved with TurntableRocker
the song "Love Supreme?"
RW: My producer Peter Hoff shares a studio with DJ Thomilla
from TurntableRocker, and Thomilla and Michi Beck (Hausmarke) asked if I would write a
song with them. "Love Supreme" was the end result.
WOG: How did you get involved with the RPWL track,
They contacted [his management] and asked if I was interested in singing a
track. I really wasnít too interested until I heard the song. I think
["Roses"] is really good, and they have produced an excellent album.
Ray Wilson - The Next Best Thing
Ray's second studio solo album! Includes "These Are The Changes", "The
Actor", "Pumpkinhead", "The Fool In Me", a new modernized version of
Stiltskin's "Inside" and much more!
Stiltskin - Live
2007 live album featuring a mixture of music from the two Stiltskin albums
plus classics by Cut and Ray's solo catalog. Includes: "Sunshine and
Butterflies", "Sarah", "Another Day", "She", "Fame", "Inside" and more! Recommended!
Special thanks to Ray Wilson
for granting this interview.
interview is © 2002-2007 David Negrin and may not be reproduced in whole
or in part without permission. For more on Ray Wilson, Please visit
his official website.