Promotion for Shy - "Reflections: The Anthology 1983-2005" (2006)

Tony Mills Interview 2006 (e-mail)

What will you be up to in 2006?

I am currently writing various projects at the moment. I have just begun writing a third solo album for Z Records.
I have commenced an intense writing period which will continue for several months.
I am co-writing with Charlie G and Hardway from Brazil, Marcio Tex from Argentina, Linkan Andersson from Sweden, Simon Lees, Adrian Marx, Mike Cheshire,
Joe Basketts and Ian Richardson (all from the UK) and Tor Talle from Norway. These co-writes are all for the solo album. Other projects are tracks in mid-write for the new Tor Talle and Northern Light album in Norway and an album with Eric Ragno from Vox Tempus in L.A.
And Michael Riesenbeck in Holland. Session work for UK AOR band Dante Fox and further involvement with vocals and representation for Arctic Circle rockers Winterstrain.
Apart from this I will be playing intensively with SHY in various countries.

Are there any plans for solo or Shy shows in Sweden 2006?

I doubt that the solo project will be utilised live, because I hold SHY as a priority.
Playing in Sweden with SHY is once again a distinct possibility due to current negotiations with Change Management in Berlin, who intend to bring SHY back to Europe and the Eastern Block.

Who is the biggest influence on you as a singer?

Over the years, I would have said that David Bowie has had a remarkable influence on me, but I never thought he was a great singer. He was an awesome writer.
I enjoy many vocalists in the rock genre though, from Steve Perry to Rob Halford, Geoff Tate, Micky Thomas even down to people like Cat Stevens and Midge Ure.
Iggy Pop was always a favourite performer.

And whom would you like to sing a duet with?

Well I sang a duet with Ian Hunter from Mott The Hoople some years back, which was memorable, but I think it would have to be Bowie.

Put together your dream backing band for a solo album/tour?

Good question !
Drums – Neil Peart
Guitar – Neil Schon
Bass – Tony Visconti or Keith Entwistle
Keys – Rick Wakeman

When you’re not working with Shy your solo albums or are on tour, What do you like to do?

Well I spend a lot of time singing and writing for other artists, which is very satisfying, apart from that I spend a considerable amount of time with my family.

What is your favourite Shy album? And why?

Probably Unfinished Business. It was a return to the band after ten years and a fresh inspiration. Favourite tracks from that album are 'No Other Way', Skydiving' and 'Communicate'.
I like the fact that Steve Harris gave himself a free reign to express his solos on this record and they work great live.

What is your favourite Shy song? And why?

'Dont Wanna Lose Your Love' – I felt at home with this song in Trident Studios in London and as soon as I sang it, I couldn't put a foot wrong.
It was perfect key-wise and had a great feel about it.

What Shy song is the toughest one to sing live?

Most of them !

Probably 'Communicate', very demanding pitch wise. But there are a lot of difficult SHY songs to sing live, because of the busy arrangements and relatively high ranges involved.

What band would you like to open for on a world tour?

Probably Queensryche or Journey

What “forgotten” Shy song would you like to bring back to the stage for the solo tour or the next Shy tour?

Probably 'Chained By Desire' from the first album in 1983. In fact this has been discussed recently along with 'Deep Water'.

Where do you stand on the issue of downloading songs of the Internet?

This isn't an issue to me really. The quality will always be compressed and never the same as the original CD.
Real fans of the material will always the product as and when they can.

How about the Japan bonus track or tracks?

This track was written by myself and Ian Richardson.
It is a heavier track than the rest of the album, but not entirely different to the rest of the material.

What is the proudest moment so far in your music life?

Singing with Meatloaf at Wembley Arena, and the late Mick Ronson from Bowie's band.

What do you wish the year 2006 will bring?

Intensive touring in Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and Japan

Interview by Andy Flash for Artrock webzine.