HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: January 2012. We talked with Robbie Wyckoff, who sings David Gilmour’s parts in Roger Waters’ “The Wall Tour”. Ηe has a new solo album out, “Lose Control”. Robbie talked to us about his new solo album “Lose Control” and and about touring for “The Wall” with Roger Waters. He has also recorded vocals for Diana Ross, John “JR” Robinson, TV series and films. Read below the very interesting things he told us:
Are you satisfied from the feedback you’ve got so far from fans and press for “Lose Control”?
Yeah, it has been great so far. I’m very happy for this and for working with those great producers and songwriters.
When you recorded the album?
I have to think about it..It’s been a while back. I think we recorded it in 2008, here in Los Angeles. The recordings were very smooth, there was no problem, there were no difficulties.
All the songwriters who contributed in “Lose Control” are great!!Was it difficult to approach them or it happened naturally?
All happened very naturally. Doug Stebleton was the executive producer and Marco Marinangeli did the production. Songwriters were: the Oscar nominated Michael Becker (Peter Frampton, Maxi Preist), who also did the photo sessions for the album, Chaka Blackmon (Christina Aguilera, CeCe Winans, Will Smith) and Matt Bissonette on bass (Rick Springfield, David Lee Roth). Marco Marinangeli selected the songwriters. I like very much some songs from “Lose Control” like “Pandora” and “High”. When Marco played me for the first time to “Pandora”, it was a very emotional moment for me. I lost my mother when I was teenager and you can understand.. The primarily concept of the album was to have the songs being played in TV and films. As a soundtrack for TV series and films, that’s why the sound of the album is pop/rock.
Will you tour for “Lose Control”?
Yes, I will tour for “Lose Control” when I finish touring with Roger Waters. I would like to play those songs live. I haven’t performed those songs in front of an audience and I want to do it when I won’t be on tour for “The Wall”.
You grew up in Michigan. I’ve talked with Wayne Kramer (MC5). How much the Detroit sound has influenced your musical career?
Yes, I’ve been influenced a lot by the Detroit sound. I lived in Northern Michigan, I remember as a kid listening to Stax Records music and soul while my father was driving. My favourite artist was Stevie Wonder. I loved his albums. Those were among the first I bought.
How strange is doing vocals for cartoon films and series? Do you feel comfortable during these recordings (Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb”, “The Emperor’s New School”)?
I feel very comfortable. I always have great time doing that. It’s funny to sing those lyrics. You are able to sing different styles. You haven’t always to sing as you are singing an AC/DC song. It’s great to have your voice in series like “Phineas and Ferb” and singing that stuff.
What kind of music do you hear this period?
Oh, I have to think: I ‘m listening to classical music a lot. In my car I’m currently listening to to classical, to Marvin Winans… Ofcourse, I’m listening to “The Wall” very often(laughs).
How much pressure did you feel when you get the job for “The Wall” to sing David Gilmour’s parts?
No. There was no pressure. Noone put pressure on me, and especially Roger. He even gave me freedom in some parts. I know I had to fill in for David Gilmour. I knew the songs, I ‘m a Pink Floyd fan, I even did a Pink Floyd tattoo when I was younger. After the first week of the tour, I didn’t feel nervous. When I felt nervous was when David Gilmour would come to see the show. He attended two shows in London, the first as an audience and for the second, he came on stage and played “Comfortably Numb”. I was nervous because he was down, seeing another guy singing his parts. He would be singing these songs, if I wasn’t there (laughs). I got the chance to meet him after the show. I started to tell him that I grew up listening to his music, I loved his voice and it’s a great honour for me singing his songs. He complimented me. He told me “I think it was me” (laughs).
I saw you live in Athens shows, and honestly I didn’t expect to be so good singing David Gilmour’s parts. I meant that’s difficult. It’s very difficult to stand so well under David’s shadow. It isn’t an easy thing.
Yes, I understand that. I ‘m trying to sing as close as possible to the way David sung “The Wall”. It’s very enjoyable performing these songs live.
The North American tour ends in Philadelphia on 14th July, right?
I have to check it (pause). Yes,you’re right, in Philadelphina.
Roger recently said that it’s possible a European “The Wall” leg in 2013..
Wow!! Roger said that ?!?! Really?!?! Where? I have to read that. Where he said that?
In Rolling Stone, about two weeks ago. It’s also in www.pinkfloydz.com .
Yes,I know www.pinkfloydz.com . I have to read that. I have to search for that interview. You said Rolling Stone, right?
Don’t worry. I’ll send you the link right after we finish this conversation.
Thank you man!
How do you see the music industry today? Do you think as recording companies collapsing, artists should focus more doing gigs?
I think recording labels are dissolving. Look what happened to EMI and Capitol Records.. These were huge labels. I think Internet and modern technology changed a lot the music industry. Now artists are able to release their music on their own, to promote it themselves. So, it’s been a big change during the last years. Who knows what would happen next?
What memories do you have from the Athens shows? I know you were very busy filming everyday.
You were such a fantastic audience! Yes,we were busy. I managed one day to visit the Acropolis.
We are all looking forward to see the DVD for Athens shows, but I don’t believe it will be release before the end of the tour?
I believe the same as well (laughs).
I’ve seen in Facebook some cool photos you took in front of the Greek parliament.
Where? (ed: after an explanation) Yes!! I was there with some friends. I wish I could come back there with my wife, Victoria. I would like to come there again. Hope to see you soon!
A huge “Thank You” to Robbie Wyckoff for his time.
Buy his album “Lose Control” here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robbiewyckoff