JEAN BEAUVOIR STRIPS DOWN TO THE BARE ESSENTIALS!
Steady on girls we don't mean one of rocks coolest stars is getting his kit off, we are talking about the brand new album 'Bear To The Bones' from the Crown Of Thorns front man. This is much more than an unplugged or just a compilation of old songs. This is an album with no electric guitars, this is Jean in the raw. The phenomenal array of classic Beauvoir penned gems will be portrayed in a new light, no frilly shades just one man and his music and a new set of instruments to play with including a flute. So stand by for another exclusive from the Baileys as we talked to Jean direct from his home in Berlin.
What made you decide to do an unplugged album?
It's actually an acoustic album. Basically, no electric guitars and more organic instruments Such as organs, strings, flutes etc. I wanted to make a record that had more concentrated on songs instead of production.
What songs can we expect to find on the new album?
I included some songs from my early solo albums such as Feel the Heat, Same Song, The Night from (Cof T), California Dreamin' one of my old time favourites and a lot of new songs. There are 13 songs on the album.
Did you record all the songs again or were you able to strip some of the instrumentation from your previous work and add to them?
All songs were recorded from scratch.
Why not just put together a compilation album of your work?
Actually, Virgin released a compilation album 3 years ago, which they are actively still selling. It's called Rockin' in the streets. I will probably do a fully-fledged solo album in the near future as well of course as a new Crown of Thorns album.
Did you record this album on your own or did you collaborate with other musicians?
I recorded it mostly on my own, except for a last minute addition of a song entitled Monday, I collaborated with one of my producer, writer partners, Tony Catania on this one, a bit more commercial than the rest of the record.
Any Voodoo X material to be included on this album?
Unfortunately not, but no worries, something from that material will reappear at one point!
Is there any particular artist you would like to work with?
I always find that to be a difficult question, Contrary to what I have been doing on my records or CofT, I very much enjoy a good collaboration, There are many guys out there I would like to work with. I plan to pursue this more actively in the future as I have done in the past.
It must be hard to be critical when you are producing your own album? Do you bring in others for their opinions or just go with your gut feelings and experience?
It is difficult; I go with my gut feeling because I feel I know best what message I am trying to convey to an audience, with C of T, the guys are the ears as well, I always try to listen to opinions either from people I truly trust, or people from the street that have no pre-conceived ideas of living vicariously through you. If you listen to too many opinions, it will make you crazy. For example with Crown of Thorns, everyone likes a different song or album, some people feel that Lost Cathedral is great, but then again, so many other fans, for example, Hollywood film producers would never put in the same league as Destiny Unknown. Japan likes one thing, US another, I could give you a thousand examples. What some people don't understand, is that when a band makes their first successful album, it is usually a stroke of luck that a certain audience liked that record, but the record came from the heart. So now they get pressure to make that same record again, which is virtually impossible. That record came from where the band was at that time. So then the band decides to try to make the record that is expected from them rather than what they feel, like selling cereal to a certain group or the pop business. What it comes down to is, if you are targeting a certain group to sell records to, you probably should listen to as many opinions from that group, or, do what you feel and take your chances! By the way guys, looking forward to hearing your new record. Can't wait to give you some opinions!!!
What reaction do you get from your fans when they know you have worked with the likes of N'SYNC?
Surprisingly, they are pretty casual about it, I think they know by now that I've worked with such a variety of people that nothing surprises them. My view on it is that a good song is a good song, maybe one production uses a Marshall instead of a Roland amp. I was made for loving you by Kiss is the same song as Standing in the shadow of love done by an all black doo-wop group but just done differently and there are many other examples. I like writing all types of songs, to me that is the challenge, breaking down barriers! (Continues)
How would you describe the global state of rock at the moment i.e. do you see a bit of resurgence? Or is it still very much a case of the giants like Kiss, Van Halen and the Def Leppards of this world taking the lions share and leaving us all with just the scraps?
I think it's something like that! I think people are missing big shows, bigger than life, and that's where bands like KISS can show the new people what Rock & Roll is really meant to be. Somehow the old is new. The problem is not with the new fans, they like anything that's good, but the industry, major labels, radio etc. have been around and they know what's old and new. They don't like mixing it up too much. But time will tell, the demand has to come from the fans. That's my opinion.
If you did not diversify with other projects would you be able to survive on just rock music and the Crown Of Thorns releases?
How much has the digital recording revolution affected the way you work? Are you all for it or do you prefer annalog signal to tape?
It has affected me a lot. I was dead against it at the beginning, a true reel-to-reel guy. The convenience and flexibility of digital recording is so that you can't avoid it. Ironically, I did record Drums along the Mohawk and Jacknifed digitally in Sweden, but it was a reel-to-reel 32 track digital machine. It's the computer-based digital recording, which is most convenient. Nevertheless, I still prefer the sound of analogue for rock, but it's somehow worth the sacrifice.
Do you still use tape?
What system do you use in your own studio i.e. Adats, Pro-Tools, VST Cue base etc?
I use Logic Audio, Motu 1224's, Audiowerk, Yamaha mixing desk and variety of outboard. Some other studios I work in use Pro Tools, but with the speed of the Mac G4's these days, I'm not sure that it's the right move.
Many musicians are benefiting from the new digital age, It's now possible for musicians to record their own demos on PC to a very high standard do you agree?
This is bad news for the commercial studios especially if the musicians can also put their material straight to CD and MP3.
Yeah, you're right, it's pretty bad news for the commercial studios. Who wants to spend that much money just to hang out in the fancy lounge!
What is your view on MP3s and people down loading songs on the net?
As far as MP3 downloads, of course, I don't feel artists should lose money from hard work that they've done, but at the same time, I feel that it gives exposure to a lot of new music that would otherwise maybe never be heard. I don't have a verdict on this yet.
You have worked on movie soundtracks in the past. Can you tell us how you first got involved?
Sylvester Stallone was working at Warner Brothers Studios in LA and my video "Feel the Heat" was being edited at that time. He saw it by accident and really liked it. He then called my manager in New York and asked for a collaboration between the song and his movie "Cobra" for trailers, advertisement and the film. It was a stroke of luck actually. Since then, somehow movie soundtracks just seem to come my way. Different directors send me unfinished films and ask me to write a song within the feel of the movie. Something I enjoy doing. In a way, I kind of make my records that way. Sort of soundtrack to short stories .
Do you think it would be possible to be considered for inclusion on a sound track with out a major recording contract?
Yes, it is possible. There are many independent films being made these days that like independent music.(Continues)
Have you any acting skills and have you any ambitions to follow the likes of Jon Bon Jovi into films?
I've done a bit of acting and intend to pursue it a bit more in LA in the near future. I've done 2 or 3 films in the past (which I'll never tell what they are, so don't ask) and was offered a role in The Mask, which I regretfully turned down at the time.
It's obvious Jean Beavouir is a very talented songwriter and Producer. We were wondering how he relaxes and what sort of music he would play at home?
Do you listen to music for pleasure if so what do you like to chill out to?
It might sound funny, but I rarely listen to music! I love movies, if a record really sticks out I'll check it out, but in general I do so much work with music, probably 10-15 hours a day, I don't have much time to listen to music for pleasure.
I bet you always listen to music and judge it from a songwriter and producers viewpoint rather than just hearing a song?
Exactly! That's why it's hard to listen to music for pleasure!
If you could hold the ultimate jam session who would you like to have on stage with you? Who do you admire?
This question is a bit like the one about whom I would like to work with. Again, very difficult to answer. I like a lot of different musicians and there are a lot of players I'd like to play with. I just can't narrow it down.
Any live shows solo or with COT planed for this year?
Not as of yet, but we are working on it. I'm starting to really get the itch to go out and play. I've been spending too much time in the studio and I think I need a bit of a change.
Any message we can give to all your fans desperate to see you guys back on the road?
We will do our best to get out there. We love to play for you as much as you like to see us. Hope to see you on the road soon!
By The Bailey Brothers