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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 08:19 GMT
Talking Shop: Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
The rocker's hits include Summer of 69 and Run To You
Bryan Adams released his first album in 1980, and has become one of the world's best-known rock stars with hits including Run To You and Everything I Do (I Do It For You).

The Canadian singer-songwriter is celebrating the release of his new album, 11, by playing a series of 11 small-scale acoustic concerts around Europe.

He is also opening an exhibition, Modern Muses, at London's National Portrait Gallery, featuring photographs of inspiring UK women from all walks of life.

His subjects include Annie Lennox, Tilda Swinton, Vivienne Westwood and Dame Judi Dench.


An album, a tour and an art exhibition - that's a lot to take on at once.

Yes, especially for one afternoon!

They sort of coincidentally crashed into one another - although the album was actually finished last year and I've been sitting around waiting to put it out.

On tour you're going to be playing in small venues like churches and cabaret bars. What's the idea behind that?

It's not really a full tour. It's an hors d'oeuvre, an amuse bouche, where you get a little taster of what the album's going to be like. I'll sing acoustically for eleven songs, which is kind of the theme of everything.

Erin O'Connor and Bryan Adams
Model Erin O'Connor is among the subjects in Adams' exhibition
How do you psych yourself up before going on stage?

I just have a cup of tea and go do it. Just a regular cup. No milk.

I've seen you pull people out of the audience to sing with you. Is that fun?

I like the idea of the talent show. The badder the better!

Maybe you should be a guest judge on The X Factor?

I've never been asked - but the thing is I have a really hard time giving criticism to people. I don't think it's really my place.

Perhaps they could do one of those theme weeks where all the contestants have to sing a Bryan Adams song...

If someone asked me, maybe I would do it. Why not? Put that in your article and see if I get the call!

The women you've photographed for your exhibition are all very strong and independent. Was it intimidating taking their portraits?

They're not intimidating at all. They were quite sweet. All of them.

Mel C and Bryan Adams
Adams' duet with Mel C, When You're Gone, reached number three in the UK
How do you get people to relax in front of the camera?

You get them naked to start out with and then just go backwards!

Seriously, though, you've got to build up an atmosphere of comfort.

Some people came prepared - Vivienne Westwood came with the most amazing clothes on and she looked great and so it was very simple.

Why did you call the album 11?

It's my eleventh studio album, and there 11 songs on it. There are no secondary meanings.

It's nothing to do with Spinal Tap, then?

[Laughs] I hadn't thought of that! Maybe we could use that in the adverts: "This album is one louder than 10!"

You're well known for your love songs, but this record seems a bit more philosophical. Is that a fair assessment?

In a lot of ways, the album is about searching for something. There's even a song called Something To Believe In.

I don't know if it's so much philosophical, it's just where I'm at. Perhaps it's just my time to be thinking like that...

You played at Live 8 and headlined a benefit concert for victims of the Pakistan earthquake in 2006. Do you think people would be surprised at how political you are?

I'm just interested in the world. When the Berlin Wall was about to come down, I went to Berlin. And then, when the bombing of New York happened, I went to New York as well. I mean, I just wanted to. It's just my style.

Bryan Adams in concert
Parts of the new album were recorded in hotel rooms while on tour
Did you know that President Bush named you as one of the artists he has on his iPod?

No, I didn't! My opinion of him has just gone up!

You don't have a record deal in the US at the moment. Is that problematic?

I'm not really sure. I've got a contract with Universal for the rest of the world, and with America we'll just scratch our heads and fumble along.

If fans want to buy the album they can get it on the internet, and you'll probably be able to buy it on my website too.

Has the rise of internet piracy affected your sales?

I couldn't really be objective about that. I've already had an incredible run as an artist and I can't always expect to have that kind of success.

But I think it's going to be very difficult for young artists that are coming up. I doubt we'll ever see the Michael Jackson sales numbers ever again.

Do you think that will put people off making music?

If it does, they shouldn't be in the record business in the first place. Making music is only about making music, it's not about selling records.

People who chase money make crap. When I see people bragging about record sales it makes me want to dive behind the sofa.

Bryan Adams was talking to BBC News entertainment reporter Mark Savage. His album, 11, is out on 17 March.



SEE ALSO
Adams' peace concerts called off
15 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Adams joins Karachi quake benefit
09 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Adams hit tops wedding dance poll
07 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Rocker Bryan Adams shot
01 May 03 |  London
Bryan Adams snaps Queen
07 Jan 02 |  Entertainment

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