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Interview:
William Beckett graduates from The Academy Is... to solo career
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

After releasing three EPs in 2012, former The Academy Is...frontman William Beckett felt more than ready to make his first full solo album, "Genuine & Counterfeit," which came out in August.

"The cool thing about the EPs was I was able to experiment and work up to finding the sonic quality and production approach that you hear on 'Genuine & Counterfeit,' "explains Beckett, 28. "I felt like it took all of last year to be able to try some different things.

"I guess the most redeeming aspect of the whole thing is that I feel like I made an album that is truly cohesive, that truly makes a statement about what I'm doing and what I'm looking to accomplish on an album. I feel like this is the best group of songs done in the best way I felt they should be conveyed."

Beckett notes that "Genuine & Counterfeit" is "a very human album as far as what we're singing about," particularly relationships, and from the EPs he says he learned more about how to present that in a manner that sounds both honest but also sonically modern and in sync with his alt.rock peers.

"What I'm singing about in these songs is very hum and very vulnerable, so the last thing these songs need is a T-Pain chorus. That would take all the humanity out of it," Beckett explains. "I like small-sounding production, but at the same time I've kept all the organic elements of a human performance and human error and playing instruments and singing and really being human. It was very important for us to use real performances and capture the essence of raw performance, but do it well.

"I spent a lot of time working on my craft as a vocalist so that I wouldn't have to use any tricks in the studio or fix it in post (production), as they say, and edit the crap out of a vocal. I worked hard to get my chops up to a point where I could accomplish an album without using all the modern tricks."

William Beckett performs with Jonny Craig, Kyle Lucas, Hearts & Hands and Bleach Blonde on Monday, Sept. 30, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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