Brandi Carlile discusses working with Elton John on new album

'It was like an out-of-body experience' says singer

Brandi Carlile is gearing up to release her third studio album, ‘Give Up The Ghost’, in the US on October 6, which features collaborations with noted musicians including Elton John and Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ drummer Chad Smith.

The American singer-songwriter said she had an “out of body experience” working with John — one of her musical idols — who sings and plays piano on the track ‘Caroline’.

“It was amazing. I’ve never seen a person of any age so excited about music and so inspired,” she said. “He did piano and vocals in under an hour and a half. It was unbelievable. And he told me about a whole bunch of bands I had no idea about and got after me for not knowing them and started sending me records. The whole time it was like an out-of-body experience. Every once in a while this total panic would come over me when I realised who I was talking to.”


Carlile explained that ‘Caroline’ was written about her niece and has a “funky old-time rock-and-roll feel to it” that she thought was perfectly suited for the renowned piano man. She and her engineer were in the studio fantasizing about recording the track with John when she decided to send him an email asking if he’d be interested. “He called me right back on my phone and said he would do it,” she gushed.

“It was really special to me. The next night I flew to Vegas to see him play and he dedicated ‘Tiny Dancer’ to me,” she recalled.

Carlile added that Smith, who is known primarily as a rock drummer, has a surprisingly “delicate” side to him. “Chad has this delicate musical voice. I feel like he’s a musical director almost. We spent time at his house playing these delicate songs,” she said.

The singer has a few surprises in store for her upcoming North American tour supporting the new album. “I’m so excited — it’s the first time we’ve had stage production,” she said. “There will be storm clouds on a grey curtain, and these winter trees that will be back-lit and shadowy. It’s all very haunty and Halloweenish.”

Carlile‘s tour is set to kick off September 10 in Salt Lake City and will conclude in Seattle on October 24.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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