Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Andy Bell goes 'Non-Stop'
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Tony Peregrin

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Andy Bell says he's been a bit preoccupied with Madonna lately, so much so, that he decided Non-Stop, his second solo album, would feature a more disco-glam, clubby vibe. "I feel like, if she can do it, why can't I?"

Non-Stop was co-produced and co-written with Pascal Gabriel ( Kylie Minogue, Little Boots, S'Express, Debbie Harry ) and features a duet with Perry Farrell ( Jane's Addiction ) , a self-proclaimed huge fan of Bell's voice. Bell had originally started the project with synthpop producer Stephen Hague, but he pushed aside those recordings after someone at his label said they sounded like Erasure. "It threw me off for awhile," admits the 46-year-old singer, "but I actually had kind of a feeling in my heart that it wasn't working out properly."

In fact, Andy Bell ( one half of Britpop's legendary duo, Erasure ) purposely altered his vocal register for much of the new album, effectively leaving behind his soulfully electronic solo voice and his gleaming, glitterball Erasure vocals. The result is a lavish 10-track collection of dance floor confessionals and gold-plated disco grooves.

Windy City Times: One of my favorite tracks on the album is DHDQ ( aka Debbie Harry Drag Queen ) . You performed with Debbie Harry during the True Colors tour—you must have just fallen head over heels for her.

Andy Bell: She's so gorgeous! It's a complete homage to her. Debbie Harry isn't a drag queen, she is the best of the best of them! For me, nobody's every really copied her because it's impossible. She's the queen of them all. And after all, Bananarama did a send-up to Robert De Niro with their song "Robert De Niro's Waiting…" and I thought, you know, Debbie Harry deserves one too.

WCT: Pascal Gabriel has worked with some amazing artists—what was it like collaborating with him, Andy? Were there any discernable similarities between working with Pascal and working with Vince Clarke?

AB: It was a really, really good experience working with Pascal. He is really enthusiastic, which I like. And he's Cancerian, same as Vince, and they are quite similar, personality-wise. Pascal is actually quite camp for a straight man! I was in France for several weeks recording with him and it was wonderful. His wife is a vegetarian, so we had good food, and of course, we were in wine country, which was quite nice.

WCT: What are some of your favorite tracks on the new album, Andy?

AB: I really like the uptempo Touch—I think it is the most punky song I've ever done. It feels like they are always asking me to be on these reality shows, like Big Brother, and that is what the song is about. It's not something I really want to do—I don't want to make a spectacle of myself on television. I also really like Say What you Want, I like the metering of the verse on that one. I also really like Non-Stop, it's very robotic and perfect for the dance floor! It's about being fucked up on the dance floor.

WCT: Many of the songs on Non-Stop are love songs. Were some of these tracks inspired by your relationship with your boyfriend?

AB: I can't help myself—I'm always writing about relationships. Actually, we're really a bit off again, but that's down to me. We were going out for four or five years, and I've never been single, so I thought I would try that out for awhile. I feel like I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire! Those songs are always about the dilemmas of relationships, right? And they question whether you really know who you are, deep down.

WCT: Now that you're single, I bet the boys are crawling all over you. I remember seeing you at International Mr. Leather here in Chicago, I think you were DJ'ing one of the events, and there were guys orbiting all around you.

AB: So far, there really haven't been! I was doing a short set in France in March, for European Gay Ski Week, and I had my first taste of ageism. I saw this guy, turns out he was 24, and I went up to him and said 'you are stunningly good-looking.' And he says, 'I thought you used to be good-looking when you were in Erasure.' And I thought, I still AM in Erasure. Then he went on to say that he really only likes to have sex with people his own age. I have never been an ageist person. My tastes are open to all men, I like all ages, all races, all kinds. I remember thinking is it me, and the fact that I am 45, or is the issue with this kid?

WCT: Speaking of age, you just had a birthday, right? How did you celebrate?

AB: Yes! It was last Sunday [ April 25 ] . We actually made a video for Call On Me the night before, and we didn't finish until 6 o'clock the next morning, so I slept in for part of my actual birthday. But we did have a lovely chocolate mousse cake.

WCT: What is the concept of the video?

AB: The song—which features a backing vocal riff inspired by Diana Ross in Ain't No Mountain High Enough—is really inspired by my friends in New York City, and hanging out in the bars in the East Village. I've been told the video looks a lot like the new Ricky Martin video, actually, but I haven't seen it yet. I have a glass wall in my house, and I danced in front of the wall, and we had all these colored lights going off behind the wall. I think I look quite alien-ish ( laughs ) . Oh, and there's also a shot of me coming out of the steamer with nothing on.

WCT: What's your birthday wish for the upcoming year, Andy?

AB: I did have a birthday wish, but it was a bit personal. [ Pauses ] I want to find someone really nice.

WCT: Well, you're not gonna find someone hanging out with all these straight guys, Andy. Speaking of which, what is Perry Farrell like? Did he have any words of advice while you were in the studio?

AB: I was really thrilled, actually, to meet him. We went to Santa Monica, to a studio he borrowed from a friend, and we were there for two days. I had never met him before, I had only seen him performing in videos. It's really wonderful when you find you have an affinity for an artist whose work you greatly respect. He must have learned so much from his life. He is such a wise man, you can tell just by looking into his eyes. He was so kind. He told me to sing each and every word like I really mean it. I enjoyed being in the studio with him. He's also very eccentric—I can just imagine him as a kind of Fiddler on the Roof or something. And his wife [ Etty Lau Farrell ] is the most stunning woman I have ever met in my life. Stunning! [ Pauses ] Well, apart from Debbie Harry. [ Laughs ]

WCT: I read that, incredibly, you are already working on the next Erasure project, and that you and Vince has some two dozen tracks going on at the moment.

AB: We've been recording tin the Mute/EMI recording truck in the car-park, which is great because its' in the heart of London. All I can really say at this point, is that I am really loving some of the tunes. What I really need to do is clear my mind so I can some lyrics going. I'm going to see Vince in a couple of weeks, he lives in Maine, on the North Coast, in Ogunquit.

WCT: What inspires you to write, Andy?

AB: Really, honestly, just life. It's really about imagining things, and things that are going on, things that wire me up. It's a bit like storytelling, isn't it?

WCT: What's on current rotation on your iPod?

AB: Well, I did buy a Kano album, which came out, like, in 1985. It sounds kind quite current, actually, very disco-sounding. I also got an Amii Stewart LP, do you know Amii Stewart? She did a version of Knock, Knock on Wood? I'm listening to the album she did with Ennio Morricone, Love Song. It's so beautiful. I wonder what Amii is up to these days? She sounds like Barbra Streisand on this album.

WCT: How are you promoting the new album? Will you be touring, doing appearances, DJ'ing?

AB: Hopefully, I will be making some appearances in the U.S. to coincide with gay pride.

WCT: You sell out shows here in America, even though you don't often get played on the radio. What is the number-one question you get asked by your fans, here in the States, or anywhere?

AB: Hmm. The number-one question I get asked by fans—well, it's really weird, but I can't think of any at the moment. I will say, though, that it is unbelievable the amount of support we get from everyone and I can't thank them enough. The very fact that we don't get played on the radio in the U.S., and yet all these people come to see us because we have a reputation for putting on a good show, is incredible to me. It's quite a feat on the part of the fans and on our part, I think.

Non-Stop will be released June 8.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Chicago Pride Fest 2018 full entertainment schedule 2018-06-13
Singer/actress Janelle Monae comes out as queer 2018-04-26
ENTERTAINMENT Chicago Magic Lounge putting a spell on guests 2018-03-13
NUNN ON ONE: ENTERTAINMENT Nick Adams: 'Priscilla, 'La Cage' and upcoming benefit 2017-11-01
ENTERTAINMENT Performer David Edelfelt talks risk, new album 2017-10-31
SAG-AFTRA comments on safety of women in entertainment and media 2017-10-10
Fahrenheit Chicago, Pride South on the Lake Announces Entertainment Lineup 2017-08-16
NUNN ON ONE: ENTERTAINMENT Tristan Tom spreads pride through puppetry 2017-08-01
Northalsted Market Days to bring bvy of entertainment options 2017-07-11
Entertainment news: Sir Ian McKellen, 'Sense8,' Ryan Murphy, Halsey 2017-07-05
Entertainment news: Ryan Phillippe, Queen Latifah, Glenn Close, Ricky Martin 2017-06-27
Entertainment news: Male model comes out, Laverne Cox, Mariah Carey 2017-06-20
Chicago Pride Fest 2017: Full entertainment schedule 2017-06-13
Entertainment: Cher, Wanda Sykes, 'Guardians' star, Scissor Sisters 2017-06-13
Entertainment: Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, 'Supergirl,' Wendy Williams 2017-06-06
Entertainment news: LA gay chorus, 'Wonder Woman,' Scruff event, 'Arrow' star 2017-05-31
Entertainment: Mary Lambert, Jussie Smollett, Manning CD, Harry Styles 2017-05-23
Entertainment: Robin Roberts, Frank Ocean, Jim Parsons, Flash co-star 2017-05-16
Entertainment news: House of Cards, GLAAD Awards, Richard Simmons 2017-05-09
Entertainment news: 'La La Land,' Beyonce, Sam Smith, Oprah Winfrey 2017-05-02
Entertainment news: 'Feud,' Jackie Warner, Luke Evans, Laverne Cox 2017-04-25
Entertainment: VH1 slate, Kristen Stewart, 'Stranger Things,' Morrissey 2017-04-18
Entertainment: '3 Generations,' Elton John, Adore Delano, Britney Spears 2017-04-11
Entertainment: 'The Black Penguin,' Alexis Arquette, 'Grease' anniv. 2017-04-04
Entertainment news: Zachary Quinto, 'Walking Dead,' Prince, Lady Gaga 2017-03-28
Entertainment: Billie Jean King, 'Outpost,' John Barrowman, RuPaul 2017-03-21
Entertainment: Laverne Cox, Katy Perry, Justin Hartley, Women's Day backers 2017-03-14
Entertainment: 'Drag Race,' Whitney Houston, Timberlake, 'Moonlight' 2017-03-07
Entertainment: Dorian Awards, 'All About Eve,' Ricky Martin, 'Biggest Loser' 2017-02-28
Entertainment news: 'Moonlight,' Colton Haynes, 'In-Betweens,' Abby Wambach 2017-02-21
Entertainment news: Lea DeLaria, Aretha, Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Murphy 2017-02-15
Entertainment news: RuPaul, Jodie Foster, Ryan Reynolds, 'Watermelon Woman' 2017-02-07
Entertainment news: Alan Cumming, Carrie Fisher, 'Queer Eye' 2017-02-01
Entertainment: Dyllan Murray, Anita Baker, Sharon Gless, Kristen Stewart 2017-01-24
Entertainment: Jennifer Holliday, Jim Parsons, stars say goodbye to Obama 2017-01-18
Entertainment: Rosie O' Donnell, Vivica A. Fox, Neil Patrick Harris 2017-01-10
Entertainment: Matt Bomer, George Michael, 'Sister Wives,' Jillian Michaels 2017-01-04
Entertainment: Elton John, Tegan and Sara, Russell Tovey, Will Smith 2016-12-27
Entertainment news: 'Paris Is Burning,' Madonna, Lady Gaga, Thomas Roberts 2016-12-20
Entertainment: Cyndi Lauper, 'This Is Us,' Prince, Edward Albee 2016-12-13

Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.