Billy Bush: Michael invited me to Ireland, to observe him, as he got back into the studio. Can lightning strike twice for the King of Pop?
Michael insisted this was NOT a formal interview. He wanted us to be more like flies on the wall. Let's face it, the way Michael sees it, when a camera and microphone has charmed its way into his personal space, it has turned out badly for him.
So with that in mind, we agreed to just turn the cameras on.
(Cuts to footage of Michael in the studio, and walking around around Irish estate with Billy Bush and Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, with a new track playing in the background)
BB: So this is really a kind of an exploratory mission. You (pointing at Michael) deciding to get back into making music...
Michael Jackson: (Smiling) I never stopped... I'm always writing a potpourri of music, you know, it's how it is.
BB: (Voiceover) Relaxed, and ready to return.
(Cuts to footage of Michael laughing)
BB: (To Will.I.Am) Let's hear it.
(Will.I.Am starts playing a track he has prepared for Michael)
BB: (Voiceover) That, is the Michael Jackson we found when Access journeyed over 5000 miles to this classic old Irish estate (footage on screen) outside of Dublin. The stone manor is built to rock with a state of the art recording studio. But it's because of the beauty of the emerald landscape that Michael chose to be here.
(Cuts to footage of BB in grounds of the estate)
BB: What goes on on these grounds is a lot of exercise and walking and horse back riding. Michael wakes up in the morning, he makes porridge for his kids, which is oatmeal, and fruit. All the food is organically grown here. The amazing thing is, is that the man that is known as the P.T. Barnum of the recording industry (everything done big and extravagant) is really sort of dialling it back... to the roots.
(Cuts to more footage of Michael in the studio)
BB: (Voiceover) Michael is on the search for fresh sounds and Black Eyed Peas leader Will.I.Am is the man with the beats.
(Footage of Will.I.Am and Michael nodding away to a track that is being played)
BB: Will, we were talking a little earlier, you got a phone call on the tour bus, right? Someone said, "Mike's on the phone..."
Will: I was like, "no, come one, stop playing around." I didn't know it. I thought somebody was joking.
BB: So this is like eh, this is baby steps? Of just checking out what may be a collaboration or some work together?
Michael: Yeah, yes.
BB: Why Will?
Michael: Because I think he's doing wonderful, innovative, positive great music. Thought it'd be interesting to collaborate or just, you know, see how the chemistry works... be wonderful.
Will: This is like, a dream come true for me, you know.
BB: (To Michael) Does he take your advice well?
Michael: (Nodding and smiling) Yeah, we uh, yeah we...
(Will.I.Am interrupts, Michael laughs)
Will: I have... you have to take advice from the King of Pop.
(Billy Bush laughs)
Michael: I like to take sounds and put them on a microscope and just talk about how we wanna manipulate the character of it.
BB: (Voiceover) Will brought something new to the table, while keeping that classic Michael sound intact.
Will: (To Michael about the music playing) Living 'Off the Wall' with them kind of strings... (smiles)
Michael: Oh yeah, yeah, 'Off the Wall' yes.
(Laughter all around)
BB: (Voiceover) If Michael likes what he hears, he'll add his own musical touches. But for now, the two (Michael and Will) work the board, weaving out a sound and tapestry - layer by layer.
Michael: Pretend we're technically inclined. (Laughter all round)
BB: (Voiceover) Do NOT doubt his (Michael's) tech savvy, Michael knows his way around a recording studio AND our new digital camera.
(Footage of Michael holding a camera from the Access Hollywood crew)
Michael: That's a beauty. You can edit within the camera...
BB: Film me.
Michael: So s...
BB: Can you operate it?
Michael: Uh, I don't know, ok yeah... (points camera at Billy Bush)
BB: Are you a technology...
Michael: Yeah, I love cameras...
BB: Love the action?
Michael: Yeah. Love it. It's a beauty. (Starts to put camera down, turns to crew member) What's the price of this one on retail?
Crew member: $6,000.
BB: (Voiceover) But what really impressed Michael? Will's music.
(Footage of Michael bopping his head to the music before it stops)
BB: What you think there?
Michael: They're very nice grooves...
Michael: I like the chords, I like what you did.
Will: That's a... that's a club banger.
Will: That's what they call that one.
(Music starts playing again, Will and Michael move to the music)
BB: (Voiceover) Will's beats are infectious, and an enthusiastic Michael could NOT contain himself.
(Cuts to footage of Michael moving to other side of studio to dance a few steps)
Michael: (To Billy Bush) Do you feel you have enough (footage)?
BB: I could go forever Michael. (Laughter all round) You don't wanna ask me that Michael.
The below is a transcript of an interview between Michael Jackson and Access Hollwood's Billy Bush that aired on Friday, November 3rd.
Billy Bush: Yesterday, in Part 1 of my exclusive in-studio visit, you saw a mixed Michael. He chose his words carefully. But when super producer Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas turned on the beats, Michael came alive!
There is no doubt in my mind that Jackson is coming back, but how? Amazingly, he hasn't really thought about it.
(Cuts to footage of inside the studio)
BB: There was nothing ever bigger than (Thriller) that. That is the biggest album ever.
(Cuts to footage of Thriller video before returning to studio)
BB: If you went back and took it to a second chapter...
Michael Jackson: That's a great idea.
(Cuts to footage of Billie Jean video)
BB: (Voiceover) Imagine Michael Jackson re-visiting Thriller. Remix, DVD's, Web Saturation. The sky's gotta be the limit with the biggest selling album with nearly 100 million copies worldwide.
(Returns to studio)
BB: Is that the first time you've heard of it? I mean like, or or, have you thought that...
Michael: No I haven't really thought about it in that way but I would give it more thought. We haven't really discussed it yet, on that level, but I'm sure at some point we will. But it's a great thought.
BB: Feel like I'm a collaborator here.
Michael: Yeah, yeah, you are...
(Laughter all round)
BB: I get a credit...
Michael: You are.
BB: I might get a credit.
(Cuts to footage of Michael, Will.I.Am and Billy Bush walking around Irish estate with new track produced by Will.I.Am playing in the background)
BB: (Voiceover) For right now Michael is focused on creating and not re-creating. And it is right here at this recording studio on the sprawling classic old Irish estate outside of Dublin where Michael has teamed up with Black Eyed Peas leader Will.I.Am to take his music to the next level.
(Cuts back to studio)
BB: Do you see something big with the music that you make again, or getting that ground swell going? Doing clubs and intimate things and getting it bigger and bigger and bigger?
Michael: Jee, you know I'm not sure, on that level.
Will.I.Am: I can answer that direct (as) a fan...
(Michael points at Will.I.Am)
BB: Go ahead.
(Cuts to footage of Michael dancing away to the music before returning)
Will.I.Am: Something needs to put a jolt back in the music industry. And the only thing that can do that is the jolt itself. The energy that sparked the imagination of the kids that are... me, you know, the Justin Timberlake's, we're all products of this. (Motions to Michael) So the only person that can put that jolt back in to that monstrosity of entertainment and music is the one who created that. (Motions to Michael again)
(Cuts to footage of Don't Stop 'till You Get Enough video)
BB: (Voiceover) But what about those people Michael inspired...
(Cuts to footage of Justin Timberlake's Rock Your Body video)
BB: (Voiceover) ...to aspire?
(Cuts back to the studio)
BB: Michael, I would love to hear what you thought of Justin Timberlake or something like that, because he's the closest thing to Michael Jackson I think today. You know what I mean?
Michael: I think Justin's doing a wonderful job, as well as Usher (Michael smiles) it's great to see. I'm inspired by what they do, and I'm sure I've inspired them. It's very nice.
Thanks to MJNI for providing the transcript.
Other Michael Jackson Interviews.