Black Eyed Peas world tour opens in ATL

The group, composed of creatively-named musicians Will.i.am., Taboo, apl.de.ap and sultry pop diva Fergie, comes to Atlanta on Feb. 4 to kick off The E.N.D. World Tour.

We recently chatted with BEP frontman Will.i.am. about the BEP's ever-evolving-musical sound, using celebrity for good and their knack for lyrics. Don't be 2000-and-late in getting tickets for one of the year's biggest tours.

Q: The Black Eyed Peas are known for coming up with catchy phrases in song that become part of our vernacular. Where do they come from?

A: They come from outer space. You mean like "boom boom pow" and “No no no no, don’t phunk with my heart” and “2008 and late?” I like listening to people talk... I like listening to the phrases of songs in the room. There’s a billion songs that are out there. You just gotta figure out, you know, you have to be clairvoyant on what’s going to be the stickiest when you hear someone say a little phrase or a sentence in random conversation.

Q: So the songs are born out of conversation?

A: Like "boom boom pow." I always "boom" things. And then I was like, ‘Yeah I’m going to make a song out of "boom".' A lot of people don’t realize that was a John Lee Hooker song. (Will.i.am. then sings a phrase from the song.) It was a blues song and it was called "Boom boom."

Q: You received an Emmy for your political “Yes We Can.” What does it mean to you to use your celebrity as a political platform?

A: Social platform. I don’t like the word political. Social is bringing people together to realize the commonalities between everybody, and we’re all moving forward and putting our attention on issues and speaking on what it is we want. That’s social. Political is when that social gathering is used the wrong way and benefits everything else but a people. That’s politics, and I hate politics ..."Yes We Can" was important because it brought people together … it gave people joy in times of concern and it made people realize the importance of America and being patriotic for the right reasons.

Q: The music of the Black Eyed Peas has changed over the years. How would you describe your sound now?

A: It’s freedom. Expression. There’s no one word that describes it ... It’s melodic. It’s crazy beats. It’s joy. That sounds so vague, but it really makes you happy. It makes me happy in a world where there’s so much [negativity] and distractions .... Black Eyed Peas is medicine and it brings joy to your life. It does me, and if you let it, it will to you as well.

IF YOU GO

The Energy Never Dies World Tour kicks off at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Philips Arena, 100 Techwood Drive N.W. Tickets range from $49.50 to $93.50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.

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