A groundbreaking collection of inspiring and instructive conversations about the beauty, brutality, discipline, and technique of being a successful singer.
“This is a captivating look at both the nitty-gritty preparation and emotional energy that ‘it takes [for artists] to stand up to that mic... reach down into their guts, and give everything they’ve got for the sake of the song.’ Its star power and up-close, revelatory detail will keep readers riveted from start to finish.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“For all of the conversations we have about music, there is precious little talk about the art of communicating emotion and meaning via the human voice. The Singer's Talk remedies this by reaching out to a wide range of different singers, who speak insightfully about both the skill and the magic required to change minds and break hearts.” —Steven Hyden, author of Twilight of the Gods and other books
These revelatory, frequently funny, and deeply engrossing in-depth interviews provide fans and aspiring singers a backstage pass to the challenges every vocalist faces onstage and in the studio. Packed with never-before-heard stories, The Singers Talk reveals a truly intimate side to these iconic personalities while offering a master class on how the best in their field keep their vocal cords in shape and protect themselves on the road—along with countless other tricks, techniques, strategies, and philosophies to help vocalists at every level perfect the craft of singing.
“This is the most geeked out I’ve ever talked about my voice!” —Thom Yorke
This historic roster of artists includes: Bryan Adams, Tony Bennett, Nick Cave, Chuck D, Roger Daltrey, Joe Elliott, Emmylou Harris, Brittany Howard, Chrissie Hynde, Norah Jones, Simon Le Bon, Geddy Lee, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Perry, Lionel Richie, LeAnn Rimes, Smokey Robinson, Robert Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Rod Stewart, Paul Stanley, Michael Stipe, Jeff Tweedy, Roger Waters, Dionne Warwick, Ann Wilson, Thom Yorke, and many more. Additionally, the book features conversations about legendary voices no longer with us, such as Butch Vig on Kurt Cobain, Clive Davis on Whitney Houston, Nile Rodgers on David Bowie, and Jimmy Iovine on Tom Petty.
“Singing is so much more than hitting the right note. It’s about connecting with the audience, connecting with something divine to a certain degree. It’s connecting to your most primitive and deepest intuition, and to your nature as a human on this planet.” —Karen O.
More than just an indispensable guide for singers of any level, The Singers Talk is an unforgettable read for music fans everywhere.
All royalties from The Singers Talk will benefit the kids and families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through their Music Gives to St. Jude Kids campaign.
Gordon, drummer and front man of the band Kingsize, debuts with a fascinating, star-studded look at how singers relate to their most valuable asset: their voices. Asking vocalists how they "do their job night after night," particularly given "how exhausting, frustrating, and fragile the human voice" is, Gordon gathers insights from Tony Bennett, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and others. For the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O, singing is "so much more than hitting the right note. It's about connecting with the audience, connecting with something divine... to your most primitive and deepest intuition." Lionel Richie discusses his early reluctance to perform, and his ideal mental state before going onstage ("If you're not a little stage frightened... then you're not really present"), while elsewhere, stars explain how they keep their voices tuned up on tour—from avoiding acidic foods (Sammy Hagar) to practicing specific warm-ups and warm-downs (Thom Yorke of Radiohead). This is a captivating look at both the nitty-gritty preparation and emotional energy that "it takes to stand up to that mic... reach down into their guts, and give everything they've got for the sake of the song." Its star power and up-close, revelatory detail will keep readers riveted from start to finish.