Bobby Long Interview “A few minutes with Bobby Long”
Kara Anne O’Grady for TwilightMOMS.com
Bobby Long kicked off his US Meet and Greet tour this week in New York City. Kara (Illumin8) was lucky enough to sit with Bobby and his manager Phil “Sweetlips” Taylor on Tuesday to discuss his sudden rise to fame and what the future holds.
We were escorted into a posh room at the Waldorf Astoria where we were entertained by manager and audio engineer Phil Taylor while we waited for our few minutes with Mr. Long. Phil is charming as Bobby’s manager and has earned the title “sweet lips” Phil explained the plans for the summer takeover of America-while being fascinated at my new iPod recorder gadget. “My office is nothing but HUGE maps of America, Australia and Japan right now- it’s something out of a James Bond film.” He joked.
TMs: Where will this tour take you this summer?
Phil: Well we started last night at Lakeside Lounge-tonight we are at Arlene’s Grocery, next week LA, then Nashville-quite excited about that- Then we are back this summer, this is a long list of names- sounds like a Chuck Berry song-we start with TwiCon in Dallas- 2 shows there plus a show at Poor David’s pub, then Austin, Phoenix “mama java’s coffee house-if there is one show to see in America- this is it there are 85 people allowed in the room- including Bobby and me- so 83 people!
We are very lucky in we can do what we want we aren’t working with anyone else it’s just Bobby and me he gets whatever he wants & I book what I fancy as well.
From there to LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Denver. (Then) Colorado Springs- The Loft-where they make the artists home made taglietelli- The woman who owns the place contacted me and asked if we would play because there isn’t a lot for young people to do in Colorado Springs- and I used to be a youth worker- so I said yea that sounds great!
Then St Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta- then maybe Birmingham AL- mostly because Martin Luther King mentioned it… it’s really a crazy way to book a tour actually… then off to Mobile- because Bob Dylan mentioned it and then we are gonna do New Orleans- then Tampa, Orlando Ft Lauderdale, Miami and Key West. Going to take a few days off there to go fishing- then up to Detroit, Chicago, Washington Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto Montreal and then back to NY in the 5th or 6th of September- then we will go home for a month or so. Bobby’s going to need some time to write…time to be an artist again instead of this public persona he can’t really write on the road as you can imagine”
(Yes we can imagine- we can’t figure out exactly when he’s going to sleep…..)
Note: All of the dates after Nashville happen between July 28th-September 9th- all details can be found on http://www.myspace.com/musicbobbylong
TMs: Is he writing anything for the New Moon Soundtrack?
Phil: Don’t know yet no one has asked us- but then we didn’t know until two weeks before the Twilight film that let me sign was on the soundtrack- Let me Sign wasn’t written for the film it was written cause he and Marcus are friends and Rob liked the song and took it to LA when he was shooting the movie. We didn’t meet Rob cause of Twilight- we’ve known each other about 3 years- and had our arms around each other saying one day we will work together- and when the opportunity comes we jump on it.
TMs: How did you decide to start the tour now?
Phil: Well, we decided we both had off for Easter break and I started calling some people in NY- you have to remember the booking agents for these places- Lakeside lounge Arlene’s Grocery- they aren’t young people- these are people that haven’t really heard of Twilight- they booked him because they liked the music- they go onto MySpace- listen to his songs and decide yes or no. This part of the tour is really for meeting and greeting- building relationships with the press, agents, tour managers, lighting designers (cough cough hint hint)
TMs: How did you meet Bobby Long?
Phil: I run a production company in London called up all Night music- and for 7 or 8 years I’ve been running Up All Night open mic night…. its just become a really well known gig… if you are going to run an event you have to make sure that single women feel happy there…. if you do others will come. Bobby showed up one night and said he’d heard this was the place to play…. he played his two songs and completely floored me…. he came offstage and I walked around the room introduced him to other talent…. and the rest as you know it is history
After being entertained by Phil’s tales for about 10 minutes we moved to the interview room to meet Bobby. First impression- other than the obvious- that he is handsome and has great hair- is how charming and genuine he is. He is dressed in a dark blazer and dark jeans with a polite tear near one knee that he fidgets with during the interview… He is also intrigued with my new iPod toy…
TMs: Since this your first time playing in the US how do you like the venues so far?
Bobby: From the show last night it’s great- the people are really nice- its great to really play New York- We have two shows tonight as well- I can’t wait to get out and play.
TMs: Have you had a chance to actually see any of NYC yet?
Bobby: Well we had a real depressing day so far we wanted to see where John Lennon was shot so we went over there (the Dakota) we saw Strawberry fields, we went to Times Square- that was it really- its just soo busy- you know with show every day…. hopefully tomorrow in the evening I really want to walk out and about under the lights….
TMs: What’s the story behind “The Bounty of Mary Jane”?
Bobby: I watched a film called “The Bounty” with Anthony Hopkins- and Mel Gibson- have you seen it?
(Unfortunately I had not) Well I fell in love with the woman in there!- Its not just about that I liked the idea of writing a writing a love song from a different perspective…. I fell in love with this woman for a night…. cause it’s quite boring love songs some times” oh I love her” or “oh she left me” I just wrote it out in one evening out flat- sort of a mish mash of different influences really…. do you like it??
(See what I mean- soo endearing- he really wanted to know if I liked it and why!)
TMs: What is the least favorite question you’ve been asked so far??
Bobby: hmmm I don’t know it’s just nice being here so I’m not going to criticize any questions- Sometimes when they constantly ask questions about something else that has nothing to do with me. That can be extremely frustrating… but nothing too bad- you have to have a sense of humor about these things you can’t take yourself too seriously.
TMs: Your manager says you’ll be touring the entire US in two months or less this summer- is there anywhere in particular you look forward to going to??
Bobby: All over really- the sad thing is I always wanted to see the US and I’m not going to get to see it… it’s going to be airport, taxi, venue- I’m really looking forward to Portland… a couple of friends said its got a nice music scene… Nashville- I’m looking forward to that…Canada…. all over really it’s just nice being able to play.- I love playing! And in America- it’s just a dream- I’m happy to be playing everywhere really…
TMs: Will you find a label to sign with this summer?
Bobby: I dunno- the balls in my court really…If I find the right person I’ll sign.
TMs: Which musician living or past would you like to jam with??
Bobby: Howlin’ Wolf- I’d like to play some blues with him get him to sing this close up to my face…just so I could hear how powerful he was singing….he’s got an incredible voice- but of course my pick changes on a daily basis.
(After a little research we think that this is who Bobby is talking about.)
TMs: Twilight has been a bump to your career but in the end is it a blessing or a curse?
Bobby: A blessing because I was just a kid in London playing my songs… playing the same songs now and people really love the songs its an amazing feeling…. it just shows that you just need a little bump up…. as a musician I feel competent in my music- it’s what I want to do…. its given me the opportunity to show people and to do what I truly love doing… I don’t think I’m really in a situation where I’m refereed to as “Bobby Long from Twilight” I just wrote a song…. I’m working it to be a long term deal for me to do what I love doing…. its a complete blessing…being asked a few questions about the movie- I can handle it….
TMs: What is your best time of day or mood to write in?
Bobby: night definitely night- I’ve got a really cool flat in London overlooks the crossroads and the lights…. I really like to write during that time…. but you can’t really turn it on or off….you either feel like you want to write or you don’t….you can’t just sit down at a certain time and write- you’ll never get any songs done…..
TMs: Has anything in NY inspired you to write yet? Not that you’ve had time to see it in this weather.
(It was 48 degrees and raining since Bobby arrived Sunday evening)
Bobby: Yea just the energy of New York- its just a dream to be here it’s like being on a film set- of course in here now is like being on a film set….isn’t it with all these cameras around?
TMs: You have played several size venues in the UK- do you like the larger or smaller venues better?
Bobby: I like the intimacy of a the smaller venues- its nice when people are up close and you can almost hear them breathing….I think my songs consume that…but big venues are great because the sound is amazing and you have a larger space to use- When you play different places songs take on different forms and when you play small venues songs tend to be quieter and slower and when you are in larger spaces you can just open up and go for it.
After the interview we went down to Arlene’s Grocery- in the rain- again… for the press show. Bobby was electrifying on stage. He was so humble and introspective during the interview I was wondering what his performance would be like. It was amazing- he pulled you into his songs and didn’t let go. Each one was an experience. For those of you who have heard the MySpace tunes- they don’t do him justice. He is as endearing on stage in front of 200 people as he is sitting across from you. He truly is a talent not to be missed- run don’t walk to your nearest Bobby Long concert and see what I mean for yourself…..
All photos are property of Gabrielle Vittoria, please give proper credit if reposted.