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Interview mit Billy Trudel - ehemaliger Background Sänger der Elton John Band

Wir haben es mal wieder geschafft und ein ehemaliges Bandmitglied für ein Interview zu gewinnen. Wir haben Billy Trudel, ehemaliger Backgroundsänger in der Elton John Band, 12 Fragen über seine Zeit in der Band geschickt.

Hier ist das Interview:

Hello Billy, thank you for the readiness to make an Interview with us. We are very proud to do that with you. Here are my Questions:; When did you first meet Elton and how did you come to join the Elton John Band?

Billy: I first met Elton in 1991 at a dinner party that I was invited to with Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson and our manager at the time Phil Blurton, that's when we had a band together called War pipes. We were in New York on a promotional tour for our new record and Elton was hosting a dinner party at the Four Seasons Restaurant for a record called "Two Rooms" that all his friends in the industry recorded performing one of his and Bernie Taupin songs. A few years later 1995 I got invited to sing with Elton at the Academy Awards when he won his Oscar for The Lion King. That was my first introduction to working with Elton. When did you start touring with Elton and how many shows did you sing with Elton?

Billy. I first started touring with Elton in 1997. John Mahon and myself would both got the audition to join out and storing the Band full time . John and I would get together twice a week at my house to learn Elton songs, I think we learned about 60 songs all together then about a month-and-a-half later we flew Nice, to rehearse for a one-off show in Aschaffenburg Germany in front of 70,000 people . Elton felt if we can do a show this big we can do anything. It was a great show, I kept trying without me until the end of 2000 when I sang with him for the last time at Madison Square Garden where we recorded the DVD CD One Night Only. I'm not sure how many shows I did with him but I think it's somewhere around 150 to 160. Let us talk about the “One Night Only” shows in October 2000. Elton introduced you with the words “singing and dancing like a maniac”. What can you tell us about the “Magic” of these two nights in October 2000?

Billy: Preparing for the One Night Only concert was weeks of hard work making sure everything sounded amazing then as all the artists that were coming in to sing at the concert, we had to change keys and styles to adapt to their voice. So as far as the magic, that is the end result from all the hard work. You're so busy trying to get everything right that you're really don't have time to get caught up in what's happening but seeing it later, made me proud to be a part of it. In the video we can see, that you have a lot of fun on stage and with the audience. What is it like to sing on stage with stars like Elton John, Brian Adams, Anastacia and all the others?

Billy: Rather you're singing with a Megastar or somewhere intimate in front of a small group of people, you always want to be the best you can be. I love singing and performing it's a part of who I am. I also love being in the studio recording and writing a song, doing something that was just a thought that you sit down and write it on a piece of paper then put what you wrote on that paper to music and creating a melody with emotion and feeling . There's nothing like that, just like standing on a stage in front of thousands of people and feeling their energy, it becomes an addiction, you fall in love with the adrenaline. In the introduction of “Don´t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” you can guess, that something went wrong in the first show. Can you tell us what went wrong?

Billy: I don't remember what went wrong or if anything went wrong at all. Even if there was a mistake that's part of the art of doing something live. One thing I loved about working with Elton was that he was a true perfectionist, and that made me always want to be better. So if you were out in the audience and saw something happen, then you can see how much of a perfectionist he was and still is. There are not very many artists out there that can sustain a career of 40 plus years and still do it as great as he does. What is your favorite Elton Song to sing on stage?

Billy: I love all of elton's music, but I have to say that to really stick out in my mind. The first one was Someone Saved My Life Tonight, because of the personal meaning behind it and the other was Bennie and the Jets, because when I was in Middle School the first time I had to do a performance in front of anyone in drama class I did a monologue dress like Elton John and lip sync Bennie and the Jets, it was that moment on that I got the bug to be an artist. Who would have thought all those years later I would actually be on stage singing Bennie and the Jets with Elton John?0 In the 90´s you had a project with some members of the Elton John Band called “War Pipes”. Are you still playing together?

Billy: In 1989 1990 I was doing a lot of sessions in the studio, making my living as a session singer. I had a recording contract at Chrysalis records in 1985 too 1987. And even though I was on MTV and all over the radio, I was completely broke. So when my contract was up, I went out and started getting work doing sessions singing on other people's records. And I was back making money. One of the jobs I did was singing a title song for a cartoon called pigsberg pigs. After you during that session the next day, I got a call from another singer by the name of David Joyce. Apparently I took the job away from him. I didn't even know I was competing with anybody, but the reason why he called me was he was talking to Davey Johnstone who is looking to put a new band together. David thought I would be perfect for this band. He asked me if he could give my phone number to Davey Johnstone. At the time I was a little put off making records as an artist again because I didn't want to be broke. But then I thought hey why not let's see what happens. So a few minutes later my phone rang again, this time it was Davey Johnstone and he was telling me about this new project he had called Warpipes. After meeting with Davey and Guy Babylon, I thought it would be a lot of fun to be in a band with these guys. So I said I will do this for 2 days a week so that I can keep making money and paying my bills the other 5 days a week. They agreed to that so on Tuesdays and Thursdays we went into the studio to record. And the end result was we made a really good record together. I have so many good memories of those days and being in a band with those guys Davey Nigel Bob Birch and Guy Babylon we're all outstanding musicians, and I felt honored to be a part of it. Do you have any current projets?

Billy: I just released a new CD on Escape music, with a long time friend of mine Michael Thompson who is a great guitar player. Our project is called Culver Kingzs. The record just launched a few weeks ago and is already getting great reviews. The other project I'm doing now is called Billy T and the Soul. It's a very old school Soul project that I have always wanted to do. I can't wait for people to hear this. Are you still in touch with Elton or some Members of the band? 

Billy: Last time I saw him was about 5 years ago, I went to see the Face To Face tour in Phoenix Arizona. I was with a few of my friends who played professional baseball the San Francisco Giants. It was so good to see him and catch up. I still talk to Davey from time to time, and John and sometimes Nigel. But they're always busy and I'm busy in another Direction. But I will always have love for all those guys and the years I spent with Elton John. If you would have the opportunity to tour with Elton again, would you agree or not?

Billy: I would always love to sing with Elton. And being in a band as good as that is always a blessing. I know all the guys very well, Kim Bullard and I have been working together since the mid-eighties, and Matt I know but not that well. But right now I'm very happy making my own music. We heard about “flying chicken” from John Mahon and “ice cubes” from Kim Bullard. Can you tell us a funny story about you and Elton?

Billy: There are way too many funny stories with Elton, he is a lot of fun on the road. I used to love when we would be at soundcheck and it would start writing songs more like jingles. We would throw out some random thing like write a song about a refrigerator. Pendleton would sit at the piano and come up with the most bizarre lyrics to try to sale a refrigerator. It was hysterical. If he never made it as an artist he would have definitely had a career in advertisement. My last question: Do you have any Elton records in your rack?

Billy: I have Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is an uncirculated double album that is original that Elton signed Bernie signed and Davy and Nigel signed. I also have Captain Fantastic, Tumbleweed Connection and Caribou. All of them great records.

Billy, we like to say thank you for this great Interview!