Interview with singer Gunnar Nelson

Interview with singer Gunnar Nelson of Nelson

Gunnar Nelson is an American singer, musician and songwriter. Gunnar is the son of teen idol Ricky Nelson, he has a twin brother, Matthew Nelson. Gunnar and Matthew performed as the band Nelson. Their debut album, 1990's After the Rain, was a success. The album produced the No. 1 hit "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection." When "Love and Affection" reached the #1 position on the charts, the Nelsons landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family to have #1 records in three successive generations.Gunnar Nelson collaborated with two musical legends when he recorded and sang with Yusuf (Cat Stevens) and Paul McCartney. A singer, songwriter and performer, Gunnar has written and performed one Number One and four Top 10 singles, four No. 1 MTV videos, has personally sold 3.5 million records, and performed thousands of shows to millions of fans worldwide.

Quick Facts:
Name: Gunnar Eric Nelson
Birth date: 20 September
Place of birth: Los Angeles, CA. USA
Favorite album of all time? Queen, a night at the opera.
A guitar: My favorite is the yellow Paul Reed Smith McCarty guitar that I recorded every guitar part for Nelson's Lightning Strikes Twice album on.
Favorite musician: A toss up between James Burton and Brian May. Both guitarists, of course.
Favorite band or group: The Beatles, of course. Who's isn't?
As you describe yourself ? I'm a conundrum... And they definitely broke the mould when they made me. I'm a strange blend of teacher, healer, investor, creator, family man, pragmatist, thinker and builder... And hedonist, epicurean, traditionalist, thrill seeker, sensualist, and Bon Vivant...

Gunnar, so, what have you been doing just now?
I've been incredibly busy lately. Three different band projects (Nelson (my 80's rock band), Ricky Nelson Remembered (my tribute to my father and his music), and The Stone Canyon Band (a modern country-rock band made up of American country and rock allstars). I've also been doing a lot of cooking lately- and I've begun to do live events as a celebrity chef. I was on tour for 100 shows this year alone. Busy busy, glad to say.

Your dad was singer Ricky Nelson. You come from family of artists. That influenced you to want to be a musician?
Of course, it was totally normal and natural for me. Having a successful musician for a father just showed me that being a rock star for a living was possible.

How is your latest work "Lighting Strikes Twice"? As was the creative process of the cd?
I really love this record. I think it's by far the best sounding 'Nelson' record yet. The process was interesting- we were challenged by the record label (Frontiers) to get into the head space of it being 1992 again... and to pretend we were making the follow up record to our debut album 'After The Rain', which sold about 10 million copies world wide. It was a really fun mental and artistic exercise, and I think we pulled it off big time.

Has the dynamic of the band changed over the years?
Yes, in the sense that we no longer hide the fact that Nelson is just two people, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, and always has been (much like Roxette, Eurythmics, etc.) This latest record was written, produced, engineered, and recorded entirely by Matthew and myself. We only had one guest musician on the record, for one guitar solo- which was Steve Lukather of Toto on the ballad 'To Get Back To You'. Other than that, it was all us.

If you could choose only one song that showed the real you, which one would it be?
It would be a song of ours called 'Just Once More', that we play every night at the end of our shows, no matter which kind of show we play. It really moves people, and tells people who we really are.

What were the artists that influenced you in your musical style?
Boston, Bad Company, Queen, Heart, Foreigner, Journey, The Eagles, The Beatles,
Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band.

To end the interview, a phrase you want to leave ....
You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"- Rick Nelson