Wednesday 22 May 2013

Slam Dunk Preview // William Beckett Interview

William Becket may be most famous for being the front-man for Chicago’s The Academy Is... however, now he is going it alone and his solo project couldn’t be more exciting. Beckett released his first solo EP, Walk The Talk”, in April 2012 and fans have been lapping up the one man show ever since. 

William will be playing his first UK solo sets at Slam Dunk this weekend and took time out to talk to us about the release of his debut album, getting creative and who he's looking forward to seeing over the weekend...

Hi William. You’re in the UK this week playing Slam Dunk Festival. This will be your first time back here playing solo; are you looking forward to it?
Honestly, I can't wait! Its been far too long and I miss my UK fans.

There’s such a varied line-up at Slam Dunk, do you enjoy playing shows like this? And I guess catching up with a lot of acts that you’re friends with?
I love festivals for that exact reason.  Diversity in music is essential and Slam Dunk really did a great job putting this lineup together.  I am definitely looking forward to catching up with All Time Low and Andrew McMahon to name a couple.

Fans have been excitedly waiting for your return; what can we expect from your Slam Dunk shows?
I'll be playing some of my favorite solo songs and debuting a brand new song called "Benny & Joon" that is on my forthcoming record coming out later this year.  Not to mention I'm bringing my "band in a box"… You'll see.

Your debut album is due out later this Summer but you’ve had a really busy past year putting out 3 EPs and an acoustic album; how long have these songs been in the pipeline? Have you always been writing solo material on the side?
A couple of the songs from the EPs came from some older writing sessions while I was working on the last TAI record but most of the songs have been written in the past year.

Your solo music will attract The Academy Is.. fans as well as picking up new fans. Is it nice having that opportunity to have a different side to your music?
The best thing about being able to create music as a solo artist is that I don't have to compromise my vision for the sound or lyrics.  I get to produce exactly what I want without others weighing in and changing all my ideas. From a writing standpoint, I'm accomplishing more than I ever have, both in quantity and quality.  I'm in a good place creatively.

So, as we said the album is due out this Summer, what can we expect from it? Is there anything you can give away and will you be playing any songs at Slam Dunk?
This album is my crowning achievement.  With my EPs I was exploring and trying different things from a sound standpoint.  With the album, I've pinpointed and honed my sound with the help of my producer Marc McClusky to create something massive. The performances are true and dynamic, with layers combining to make something unique and important.  I'll definitely be playing a new song!

And the title, can you reveal that yet or any collaborations on there?
Unfortunately I can't say too much yet, but there are a few really cool guests on the album. More information soon!

As well as lots of touring and releasing the album you’re working on a book. You released the first 2 chapters of “The Folding” via Buzznet. It’s definitely an intriguing opening. Can you tell us any more about the story and if/when you are hoping to publish the rest?
I'm working on the story as I go, so I don't really know where it's going to end up yet.  It's kind of exciting to be writing as I go without a roadmap. I can say that things are about to get crazy.  When I finish, publishing is certainly a possibility.

To read our live review of Slam Dunk North 2013 [including William Beckett's set] CLICK HERE