Photo by Roxanne Davis ‘13
“Lewis & Clark” he said in his best British accent as he stretched out his hand to shake mine. “We had to hire a Native American guide just to get here.”
And despite a slight delay, William Beckett did make it all the way to KLC Radio studios in rainy (although William’s Tour Manager, Dennis, avid instagrammer and the self-proclaimed Shaman, did bring the sun out when they arrived) Portland, Oregon.
As we got him all set up, William began his warm up routine, including his own renditions of pieces from The Phantom of the Opera and some very Big-Mess-On-Our-Hands-esque “whoa’s”. The energy in the studio was high and all were excited to meet the talented former-front man of The Academy Is…
In a somewhat awkward, but completely endearing, manner, William seated himself across from me in preparation for our interview. After noting our kick ass décor, Black Santa, and making sure that I mentioned The Umbrella on air, we were underway with one of the best interviews I have ever conducted.
Besides the questions given to me by members of the William Beckett Fans group on Facebook and by students of Lewis & Clark, we had interesting conversations and interactions during the musical breaks. For instance, after predicting that I would have “We Come Running” by Youngblood Hawke in my music library and asking what else was in there, William proceeded to tell me about his own library (if only to curb my embarrassment at the amount of 90s boy band music I own). His includes playlists of 60s, 70s, and 80s pop and rock. Though, he did admit that he wasn’t really a fan of 80s rock. There were a few exceptions such as The Cure and The Cocteau Twins, whose song “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drop” is a must-have according to William.
After asking about the transition from TAI… to touring on his own, I was sure to ask a question that was burning in my own mind. Does he play TAI… songs by request on his solo tour? He explained that he would on nights that he had time to do so, but that currently since he only has about a half hour set he couldn’t manage to fit those into the set list. In an amazing twist of fate, he agreed to sing “Everything We Had” by request from yours truly. I kept my cool until that moment in our interview, when my inner fan-girl broke out.
Other than “Everything We Had,” he played a cover of Bright Eyes’ “Lua” (with a special sneak preview of his spot-on Conor Oberst impression), and two solo songs including his latest and greatest “Dear Life” which is not to be confused with “Deer Life” or the currently trending “#DeerLyfe.”
Hear the entire interview and set on KLC Radio’s Soundcloud and check out pictures of the experience taken by Roxanne Davis ’13, our ticket giveaway winner for William’s 4/10 show at The Hawthorne Theatre.