Exclusive: Bryan Ferry On His Three Favorite Looks + New Vid
Bryan Ferry is the epitome of an icon. The British musician (whose voice Wikipedia aptly describes as “an elegant, seductive croon”) first shot to fame as the writer and front man for the legendary glam rock band Roxy Music, enamoring glitter girls and boys alike with love ballads like ‘Mother of Pearl,’ lo-fi alien-like gems like ‘Ladytron,’ and classics like ‘Virginia Plain.’ But the way an icon becomes an icon is their ability to transcend time and fads, an endurance that has made Sir Bryan as successful with his 15 (!) solo albums as he has with his renowned style – I mean he is, after all, deservedly regarded as one of the most stylish rockers of all time.
Not one to slow down, Ferry collaborated last year with dance master Todd Terje on a cover of Robert Palmer’s simply irresistible song ‘Johnny and Mary’ (featured on Terje’s It’s Album Time), slowing it down and adding that sexy croon that makes Ferry’s voice so unique. With the release of the song’s video, which was directed by Brantley Gutierrez and stars Ferry and model Eliza Cummings, Milk Made’s Ana Velasco got the lowdown on what he hasn’t checked off his bucket list yet, the weirdness of hearing cover songs, and what his favorite iconic looks are.
You’re a music veteran who has met and collaborated with countless of musicians. What is the most exciting part about collaborating with contemporary artists like Todd Terje?
I suppose the thrill of the unexpected. It’s always good to work with people who have complimentary talents, and Todd Terje is a brilliant musician working in a parallel but sympathetic universe. He is well known for his off-beat forays into somewhat kitsch genres, but in the case of ‘Johnny and Mary’ Todd reveals a strong sense of cinematic drama.
With a song like “Jonny & Mary” that’s been covered so many times where do you look for inspiration to create something different?
I think you have to look deep inside yourself, and see what kind of echoes reverberate.
Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
Yes, I remember clearly. It was ‘Virginia Plain’ and I was with the rest of Roxy Music in the group van driving along the freeway. It was quite a shock.
You are quite the fashion icon. What are three favorite looks you’ve worn over the decades?
In no particular order: Antony Price’s beautifully cut white tuxedo; his equally dashing G.I. khaki uniform and the ‘Re-make/Re-model’ tiger skin jacket.
What feels stranger, creating a cover of a song or hearing one of your songs being covered?
It’s quite a rare experience to hear a cover of one of my own songs.
What are other contemporary musicians or artists you like and/or would like to collaborate with?
Got any ideas?
Your son Isaac produced the video. What’s it like working with family? How is it different?
It can be quite testing… But in this case I’m very impressed with the production.
What is your favorite aspect about filming music videos?
I find editing the most interesting part of the video process.
You’ve already lived such an impressive life, and have been able to do things like tour around the world and even get knighted by the Queen. What is something on your bucket list that you still haven’t done?
Hit the jackpot.
Buy Todd Terje’s ‘It’s Album Time’ here
Buy Bryan Ferry’s ‘Avonmore’ here