Make your own free website on
BT - Mad Skillz BT

Interviews Interviews BT - Monday, Nov. 22 1999

By Michael Moses

In 1972, while the other 2-year-olds in his Maryland neighborhood were busy crapping their diapers and learning to walk, little Brian Transeau was already playing piano and exploring the right side of his brain. Fast-forward 28 years and not much has changed. While much of the electronic scene is tangled and static, Brian—now known as BT—is surging forward with his own brand of progressive house music. Over the course of the past few years, he's released two groundbreaking albums, scored two number one hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (including Tori Amos’ “Blue Skies”), scored two films (1999’s Go and the upcoming Denzel Washington flick, Under Suspicion), created the soundtrack for Sony PlayStation’s Die Hard video game, collaborated with Peter Gabriel on the music for Britain’s New Year’s 2000 celebration, and remixed for such artists as Madonna, Seal, and Sarah McLachlan. His stock continues to rise with the recent release of his third album, Movement In Still Life, a disc being driven by the success of its lead single, “Never Gonna Come Back Down.” In addition to garnering serious radio airplay, the track—which features former Soul Coughing vocalist M. Doughty—will also appear on the upcoming Charlie’s Angels soundtrack. Of the album, BT says, “I wanted this record to sound like one of the greatest mix tapes that a friend would make for you. The title is about trying to stay centered and still during a very turbulent time. It’s a reference to the three years I spent with Warner Bros. Records awhile back—they totally didn’t understand what I was doing. It was a horrible influence over my creative output. Luckily, those days are gone and I’m feeling really good.” As he prepares for an upcoming tour, the classically-trained artist spent Five Minutes talking about Peter Gabriel, Bobba Fett, and being “Warner Bros.’ bitch.” What's your favorite thing to do when no one else is around?
BT: Either drive really fast through the hills of Hollywood or play fetch with my dog. Boring, huh? Name a guilty pleasure.
BT: Chasing my girlfriend around the house with a greasy spatula [laughs]. What's your greatest fear?
BT: Flying. I hate it. It’s an unnatural act. I detest it. I especially hate flying over water. A plane is basically a bus with wings. What's your favorite part of your body?
BT: My hands, because that’s what I use to make music. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
BT: I’m obsessive-compulsive and wish I wasn’t. I’d like to go easier on myself regarding tidiness. What was your worst day job?
BT: Being Warner Bros.’ bitch. What's your idea of perfect happiness?
BT: Not being on Warner Bros. Records. What's something you're good at that's totally useless?
BT: I’m great at catching things with my feet. If something drops, I can catch it with my feet before it hits the ground. What's your favorite album for a night of steamy monkey love?
BT: It’s gotta be something filthy and funky, like the darkest, nastiest drum ‘n bass track you can get your hands on. It would probably be something from Roni Size. What was your most memorable celebrity encounter?
BT: Meeting and having dinner with Peter Gabriel. He told me this crazy story about how Kiss got their idea for stage makeup from him. That was the biggest spinout session of my whole life. According to [Gabriel], the guy from Casablanca Records [Kiss’ first label], called Peter to his office and said, “The stage makeup that you used to wear with Genesis was amazing. I’ve got this baby band that I’ve just signed and they need some kind of hook. I want them to talk to you about the theatrical stuff you used to do.” Peter went to meet them and it was Kiss, and he told them about what he used to do, and they were like “Whoa, we never heard of Genesis.” He ended up helping them decide to do their theatrical thing. This was straight from Peter Gabriel’s lips. If they were to make an action figure of you, what accessories would it come equipped with?
BT: A big smashed synthesizer. I always trash my synth rig during the live show. Who would you like to trade places with for a day?
BT: Brad Pitt [laughs]. Who's your favorite fictional character?
BT: Bobba Fett from Star Wars--hands down. Bobba Fett smokes all. What Hollywood star would play you in a documentary based on your life?
BT: People are always teasing me, saying that I look like Val Kilmer’s younger brother. So I guess it would be him. What song best represents the soundtrack of your life?
BT: “Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
BT: It would be a tree because I think they’re the most beautiful and wise things on the planet. We need to stop cutting them down. When you were a kid growing up, who did you imitate when you stood in front of the mirror?
BT: When I was 12 and had my funky new wave haircut, it was Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. Later, when I learned how to play guitar, it was Hendrix, followed by Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs. Name a book you've read recently and liked.
BT: Conversations With God. Name a film you've seen recently and liked.
BT: American Beauty is the best movie I’ve seen in years—and Thomas Newman’s score is just sick. Name an album you've heard recently and liked.
BT: I really love Yo La Tengo’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself and Wishville from Catherine Wheel. I’ve also got some unreleased Radiohead tracks that are just sick. They’re my favorite band. Finish this line: "If we can send a man to the moon, then why... ?”
BT: “…can’t we stop eating animals?” What will you remember most about the '90's?
BT: Arsenio Hall 8-ball jackets and flannel shirts.

Back To The Main Page