Memories from the House of the Rising Sun.

Memories from the House of the Rising Sun.

Eric Burdon from The Animals Talks to Philip Gardiner

‘The house of the Rising Sun’, ‘We gotta get out of this place’ and ‘Don’t let me be misunderstood’ are just three of the mega-hits from the British 60’s band, The Animals. Under the name ‘Eric Burden and the Animals’, they moved to California, and have gone down in history as one of the greatest pop-rock bands ever. Here, Eric Burden unleashes his animal instincts with Phil Gardiner.

My first question is, what would you most like to be remembered for? Is it the music or the meaning?

I feel that the music IS the meaning.

We know most politicians were born in the fiery pit of hell as the spawn of Satan, but what’s your opinion of the politics of the world today?

In New York City recently, I saw the congregation of a black church departing after Sunday morning service. Next to the doorway, inside a glass case, was the prayer of the week. It read: “Show respect to your enemies, after all, you helped create them.”

That’s my feeling toward today’s democratic process and the so-called regimes we feel don’t fit “our ideals,” but you can’t force democracy on anyone.  People must come to it.

Can you tell us all about your past, present and future?

The past is past, nothing you can do about it. Lord knows I have made my share of trouble, but I’m grateful to all of the people who remember the better things. The present has me involved in continuing basically the same endeavours.  Only I can now use my experience from the past to do it better than previous works.  As for the future, we’re all going to have to be stronger than before as the challenges are greater than ever, but everyone should try to live in the ‘now’.

Tell us a little about your kind of music please!

The music I love must be from the centre of the soul. I listen and feel anything that has reached my heart. I decided, years ago (age 15 or so) that the human voice was the first instrument ever, and words and stories needed to be conveyed.  I believed and still do, that I am an instrument.

Have you ever heard of a band called The Animals? Any good?

We started out young and strong.  We had a collective belief in music: music from another land, the music that was stronger outside the land that gave birth to it.  America tried its best to crush the sounds of black music and rock and roll, and so we reached into the collective trash and we found the Blues, which gave birth to Rock n’ Roll. Yeah, we were good, until money got in between us.

If you were an alien visiting planet earth, what would you do? Would you turn around and go back? Or stay and try and help? Or maybe conquer?

I have an open mind. Out here in the Mojave desert I’ve seen some unexplained things in the night sky, but after all these years, I now believe that people have been deluded by a great cover up put into action by the military, since 1947, as a means to cover up their need to spend trillions of dollars on experimental aircraft and keep the fear level up in the world. This is all based on the fact that people see and believe what they want to see and believe.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

“Ooohoooh! Stayin alive, stayin’ alive!”

A thought… It’s 201  Jazz music’s dawn was around 1911, which morphed into blues.  R&B, which became rock and roll.  It’s still alive today, so one could say that this form of music has lasted almost a century. I’m proud to have been a part of that cultural expression.  Rock On!

What has been mankind’s greatest achievement?

The printed word comes close, but I am still waiting and watching.  I hope I won’t be disappointed.

If you had the chance to speak to every human being on earth, what would your message be?

Save the oceans!  It’s our last chance! We should be ashamed of ourselves.  Reduce plastic use, and wherever possible, “revolt” against atomic energy use.

If your life depended on it, which Soap Opera would you do a cameo in?

I would love to be with Joan Collins in a Mexican daytime soap opera, killing all of her lovers with an ice pick.

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?

About as much as a teardrop. You don’t need to hear it, when you can feel it.

Have you ever felt pressured by the fact that what you sing about affects society? Have you ever wondered whether you were doing the right thing?

Chaos is the foundation to life itself.

What advice would you give to musicians today? And what’s your opinion of the highly engineered and marketed music we see in the charts today?

Stay in the garage until the whole street knows who you are, then find a good manager.  Don’t trust anyone, but when you do need to, pray you used your own gut feelings.   If things go wrong, you only have yourself to blame.

Why do you think music and words seems to work so much better than just words as a means to get a message across?

Charles Dickens didn’t play Harmonica.  I believe that words by themselves can be just as effective.

What kind of movies do you watch and why?

American and French gangster films circa 1947-1958 (Jean Pierre Melville).

My favourite directors are Stanley Kuberick, John Ford, the Cohen Brothers, David Lean, Guy Richie, Sergio Leone and many more.

What are your opinions about the power of the internet?

I think we’ve yet to find out.

Do you think man is created in the image of God (or Goddess) or the other way around?

God created woman, then the silence was broken forever. I tend to lean toward the belief that God is a woman and that she is black.

A recent scientific report stated that religion will eventually die out completely. What’s your opinion on that? A good thing or a bad thing?

So that means that Science will be the new religion? As long as there is a human element, there will be religion. Science has also recommended that atomic power s the cleanest, most efficient form of power for the people on our planet, so who can we trust?

Is “free will” the whole of the law? Can man ever be truly free?

A good, healthy night of sexual activity will “free” you up for a few hours, but death does a better job. Amen!

Do you back Nuclear Power?  If not, why not.

I’d like to back Nuclear Power all the way back into the ground. But the genie is out of the bottle. We all know it’s too late. There’s been so much big money in ‘clean-ups’ and security. If we want to stop it we can, but man would even put a reactor in the rear of a Volks Wagon.

Do you believe in Ghosts? UFO’s i.e. aliens visiting planet earth? God?

I live in the land of astronomical events. A large meteor strike could wipe us all out, that’s for sure. None of us can confidently say he or she will still be living the next day. Now it’s known that there are fingerprints embedded into asteroids that the space program has found and may be the key to human space exploration.  But no little green men in UFOs are going to find us.  We have to find them, their traces, and clone what we find. Then we could have our choice of colour when it comes to little space creatures.

Have you ever experienced altered states of consciousness? How, why and was it beneficial? And would you recommend it to all politicians, business and religious leaders?

During a session in 1964, I consumed mescaline and was embraced by Karli, the Indian goddess of death and destruction. It was a frightening experience. I survived to be stronger and lived to tell the tale. Could you imagine Carl Rove doing the same thing?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I am crazy! It’s the best defence mechanism in this crazy world.

What would you still like to achieve?

Peace of mind. And more regular sleeping habits as I get older. This is becoming more difficult as time races by.

Would you ever record a duet with Justin Bieber?

Sure! I’ve got a cool song for the dude, the title is ‘27 Forever’

Do you believe in manmade global warming? Or is it natural?

I knew it was coming, so I moved to the desert where the summer temperatures can get up to 120 and nights in the winters are freezing cold. But the air is clean and the night skies are beautiful so it’s an even trade.

And lastly please feel free to say anything at all you want to the world of readers and tell us all about what you’re up to these days, plug an album, website or car-boot sale.

I’ve been hitting the studio getting my new album ready for release. It’ll have all new tracks and a short video to accompany a song about the late, great, Bo Diddley. The album has been taking up most of my time, writing lyrics, recording, designing album art, etc., but as usual, I’m reading constantly and I’m thinking about material for a new book.

We’re also leaving again soon for a few shows here in the U.S. We’ve got some shows in Canada and Europe later in the year. Check out the dates on my website www.Ericburdon.com . The tour info is updated frequently so I’m looking forward to seeing all of the fans out on the road.

The Mr Mister Interview

Are Your Wings Still Broken? Mr Mister Meets Philip Gardiner

Broken Wings, Kyrie and Is it Love: just three of the instantly recognisable Mr Mister hits from the 1980’s. With two Grammy’s under their belts, platinum selling albums and world tours, Mr Mister eventually broke up leaving their final album unreleased. This album was finally released in 2010, twenty years after its conception.

Lead singer Richard Page has penned hits for artists such as Madonna, Josh Groban, Donna Summer and Leona Lewis. Here, Page speaks to Philip Gardiner.

What would you most like to be remembered for? Is it the music or the meaning?

I’d like to be remembered for my stunning good looks only.  Kidding.  Actually, Pat Mastelotto says, the music IS the meaning.

We know most politicians were born in the fiery pit of hell as the spawn of Satan, but what’s your opinion of the politics of the world today?

Same as it’s always been.

‘Kyrie Eleison’ means Lord have mercy in Greek, was there a religious meaning to this song?  

Actually, it’s “Carry a Laser.” No, seriously, it comes from the Greek mass.  We had no intention of representing a religion; we just liked the way it sounded.

What’s your favourite Monty Python film and why?

‘Life of Brian’. The sermon on the mount scene where the two guys in the back can’t hear well, and think Jesus is saying, “Blessed are the cheese makers”.

Are your wings fixed yet?

Working on them.

If you were an alien visiting planet earth, what would you do? Would turn around and go back? Or stay and try and help? Or maybe conquer?

Probably have a good cry and then turn back…but not until I grabbed a Starbucks.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Haven’t done it yet.

What has been mankind’s greatest achievement?

Mayonnaise

If you had the chance to speak to every human being on earth, what would your message be?

Grow up.

If your life depended on it, which Soap Opera would you do a cameo in?

I don’t know of any…I mean, ‘General Hospital’ definitely.

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?

Who cares?

Have you ever felt pressured by the fact that what you sing about affects society? Have you ever wondered whether you were doing the right thing?

I figure that what we’ve said in our tunes probably has little effect on anything.  But if someone benefits from them, then great.

What advice would you give to musicians today? And what’s your opinion of the highly engineered and marketed music we see in the charts today?

Music is always evolving, yet borrowing from what’s come before.  There is always good music if you look for it.  Advice: Sing it from your heart.

Why do you think music and words seems to work so much better than just words as a means to get a message across?

Music isn’t as literal as words are.  The reference point isn’t so defined.

What kind of movies do you watch and why?

Comedies.  I need to laugh more.

What are your opinions about the power of the Internet?

There’s no going back now.

Do you think man is created in the image of God or the other way around?

Who’s God?  Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Scientology?

A recent scientific report stated that religion will eventually die out completely. What’s your opinion on that? A good thing or a bad thing?

Religions may die out, but the corruption of the self probably never will.

Is ‘free will’ the whole of the law? Can man ever be truly free?

As long as man thinks he’s the most important thing in the universe, he’ll never be free.

As a pop star, it’s a given that you’re obviously deeply involved in the occult, child sacrifice, Satanism and taking the virginity of young ladies. Why is this?

Oh, great, now you’ve exposed our little secret.

You are one of the giants from a period full of giants. Who, from that revolutionary period, do you admire and why, apart from Human League, which goes without saying!

I always thought Thomas Dolby was a clever dude. But there are so many others.

Do you back Nuclear Power? If not, why not.

No. Japan.

Do you believe in Ghosts? UFO’s (i.e. aliens visiting planet earth)? God?

Does anyone really care what I believe in?

Have you ever experienced altered states of consciousness? How, why and was it beneficial? And would you recommend it to all politicians, business and religious leaders?

Absolutely, now you’re talking!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Got into the music business.

What would you still like to achieve?

Enlightenment.

Would you ever record a duet with Justin Bieber?

Only if I could get my hair to look like his.

Do you believe in manmade global warming? Or is it natural?

Both.

And lastly. Please feel free to say anything at all you want to the world of readers and tell us all about what you’re up to these days, plug an album, website or carboot sale.

We just released the 4th Mr. Mister album, “Pull”, which was recorded in 1989-90 and had been unreleased for 20 plus years, along with my new solo album “Peculiar Life.” They can both be found at littledumerecordings.com.  In addition, I’ll be releasing a live, solo DVD/CD set titled “Richard Page, Solo Acoustic” also found at the Little Dume site.  This summer I’ll be touring Europe with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band. Info at RichardPageMusic.com

Pat Mastelotto has a ton of new projects going with Stick Men, Tuner, Naked Truth, Cock Robin…too many to list!  Info can be found at PatMastelotto.com.

Thanks.

The Tears for Fears Interview

No Fear of Tears – the Curt Smith Interview

Curt Smith from the super pop band, Tears for Fears, speaks to Phil Gardiner.

Q. My first question is, what would you most like to be remembered for? Is it the music or the meaning?

A. I’d like to be remembered as a devoted husband, father and friend. If my work happens to outlive me in a meaningful way, that would be very nice too of course.

Q. We know most politicians were born in the fiery pit of hell as the spawn of Satan, but what’s your opinion of the politics of the world today?

A: Politicians aren’t inherently evil. Too many of them do seem to succumb to the financial pressures of large donors and to the media pressures of small groups with loud voices. On the other hand, the “social media” revolutions we’ve been seeing worldwide this past year show that the citizenry can and will make its voice heard.

Q: Tell us a little about your kind of music please!

A: My solo music is pop music, albeit more quiet and introspective than the music I make with Roland as Tears For Fears. Most of my songs are semi-autobiographical (hence the often cryptic lyrics) and I use the writing process as a way to exorcise feelings of anger, regret and sadness. When I’m happy I don’t feel the need to write.

Q: If you were an alien visiting planet earth, what would you do? Would you turn around and go back? Or stay and try and help? Or maybe conquer?

A: That would entirely depend on the planet I’d left behind.

Q: What has been your greatest achievement so far?

A: My daughters Diva and Wilder 

Q: If you had the chance to speak to every human being on earth, what would your message be?

A: Play nicely.

Q: If your life depended on it, which Soap Opera would you do a cameo in?

A: I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with soap operas to answer that question. My daughters want me to be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars (the US version of Strictly Come Dancing). That might be amusing.

Q: If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you ever felt pressured by the fact that what you sing about affects society? Have you ever wondered whether you were doing the right thing?

A: I don’t know that I agree that what I sing about “affects society.” If people respond to my music, that’s fantastic. If they don’t, no problem.

Q: What advice would you give to musicians today? And what’s your opinion of the highly engineered and marketed music we see in the charts today?

A: My advice to musicians today is hone your craft, authentically engage your fan base, and make music because you love to do so, not because you’re hoping to get rich and/or famous. Should that happen, great, but recognize that the odds are slim (and even so, fame is highly overrated). There has always been highly-engineered and marketed music. The good stuff stands the test of time and will continue to do so.

Q: Why do you think music and words seems to work so much better than just words as a means to get a message across?

A: A few thoughts: first, music is a universal language that can cut across cultures, age groups, ethnicities, etc. Second, music in general has a much broader audience than a given speech, op-ed, or polemic.

Q: What kind of movies do you watch and why?

A: It depends on who I’m with. My daughters have slightly different taste in films than I do .

Q: What are your opinions about the power of the internet?

A: I’m a big fan, obviously. With specific respect to the music industry, it’s certainly eliminated the barrier to entry. Anyone now can make a song, make a video, get it out there. It used to be that without a label you couldn’t afford studio time, couldn’t tour, couldn’t get airplay. No more. The challenge now, though, is getting your music heard when everyone on earth can put something up on YouTube or iTunes.

Q: Do you think man is created in the image of God (or Goddess) or the other way around?

A: The other way around.

Q: A recent scientific report stated that religion will eventually die out completely. What’s your opinion on that? A good thing or a bad thing?

A: If people find comfort and support in their religious beliefs, that’s fine with me. It’s when they try to impose those beliefs on others that I have a problem.

Q: Is “free will” the whole of the law? Can man ever be truly free?

A: Things happen to us and to those we love over which we have little or no control. But we can always choose how we respond to those things. In that we have free will.

Q: Do you back Nuclear Power? If not, why not.

A: That’s a question above my pay grade. Although of course, recent happenings in Japan do make me question it.

Q: Do you believe in aliens visiting planet earth?

A: I’m not arrogant enough to believe that we’re the only beings in the universe. Not that I can define who or what else might be out there!

Q: Have you ever experienced altered states of consciousness? How, why and was it beneficial? And would you recommend it to all politicians, business and religious leaders?

A: I live in a constant state of altered consciousness. I absolutely recommend it.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

A: I tried to climb a rope hanging from a helicopter – from a boat. I didn’t make it; I landed in the water. It was for an extreme sports game show in Holland.

Q: What would you still like to achieve?

A: Immortality.

Q: Would you ever record a duet with Justin Bieber?

A: If offered, the chance, I would indeed. My daughters would never forgive me otherwise .

Q: Do you believe in manmade global warming? Or is it natural?

A: I believe that what we do and create on our planet affects the environment, yes.

Q: And lastly please feel free to say anything at all you want to the world of readers and tell us all about what you’re up to these days, plug an album, website or carboot sale.

A: If anyone wants to know what I’m getting up to, my website curtsmithoffcial.com pulls in all my various feeds (I’m usually quite active on Twitter, for example). I’m still touring with Tears For Fears and still making solo music. I’ll be re-releasing my solo album Mayfield later this year, and hopefully a few more tracks from my ongoing Social Media Project. I’m also doing more work in film and television now, as I really like the challenge of matching music and visual imagery.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Interview with a Rock Legend

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Graham Bonnet Interview

Graham Bonnet is a hard rock singer who has had an extremely colourful and successful career. He first came to prominence in 1968 as one half of the duo The Marbles, who had a huge and enduring hit with the song ‘Only One Woman’, which was written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. In 1978, he was invited by Ritchie Blackmore to join Rainbow, where his soulful and incredibly powerful vocal style made an immediate impression. Rainbow entered the singles charts with ‘Since You Been Gone’ and ‘All Night Long’ from the Down To Earth album, while they headlined the first ever Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in 1980.

After leaving Rainbow, Graham Bonnet had another hit with the single ‘Night Games’ from his solo Line Up album, where he was joined by musicians from Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow and Status Quo. After this, he sang with Michael Schenker of UFO fame, then formed another band named Alcatrazz with yet another guitar giant in the form of Yngwie Malmsteen, then Steve Vai, but his prolific touring and recording output continues to the present day.

Philip Gardiner, interviews the rock legend.

What would you most like to be remembered for? Is it the music or the meaning?

I think I would like to be remembered for the meaning of the music because I put a lot of work into telling stories, but of course I would also like the melodies to be remembered. If its a serious question I would like all of it to be remembered… As I said I put a lot of work on the songs and it can take me weeks to work on one. I just have to be inspired.

We know most politicians were born in the fiery pit of hell as the spawn of Satan, but what’s your opinion of the politics of the world today?

Nothing, because nothing ever changes. All the guys who work within the government are all the same anyway. Basically it’s a very well paying job and they get a very nice house to go with it.

Is it true that rock stars like yourself get laid at least twice daily? Or is this a myth?

Of course we get laid twice daily. Everybody does don’t they?

What’s your favourite Monty Python film and why?

The Life or Brian because it took the piss out of religion. I’m very anti religious as everybody knows. I also don’t believe in Santa Clause anymore I’m afraid…

If you were an alien visiting planet earth, what would you do? Would turn around and go back? Or stay and try and help? Or maybe conquer?

I would just go home!

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Being born I think…

What has been mankind’s greatest achievement?

Having me!

If you had the chance to speak to every human being on earth, what would your message be?

To get rid off money and get rid off guns. There would never be a war. Money, religion and guns are the biggest cause of wars on this damn earth. If we didn’t have them I think we’d be still alive and not blow each other up and poor little innocent children. All is big business… but if we didn’t have guns or money the world would be totally different but of course that’s never going to happen because we are the way we are, a bunch of idiots.

If your life depended on it, which Soap Opera would you do a cameo in?

I have no idea because I don’t watch any!

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes…

Have you ever felt pressured by the fact that what you sing about affects society? Have you ever wondered whether you were doing the right thing?

I think I always did the right thing and I always try to make comments on the way society is. What I think about good songs is that they are observations about the way people live and the truth about the world. Real stuff. Not your heavy metal dungeons and dragons… Probably it’s still kind of political in a way but its only my opinion and my opinion doesn’t really count because it doesn’t really affect anyone. I’m just saying what I think. But some people do really listen and think “where do those words come from?” Well just look around…

A couple of friends of mine have a great rock band called No Redemption. Apart from the obvious question, how about a duet!, what advice would you give to musicians today? And what’s your opinion of the highly engineered and marketed music we see in the charts today?

To musicians today I would say don’t do it… get a real job…. and my opinion about the engineered music well I don’t call that music anyway, it’s just electronic bullshit with auto tuning and all that stuff. To me it just sounds like elevator music. There is no soul, there is no rhythm, there is no real emotion as everything is just too perfectly processed. So I would like to make an album, which I will eventually, with no effects, it will be basically as you will hear it, raw. And the music that comes out I have already heard ten million times before. Also now you don’t have to be a real performer, you just need to have the right kind of haircut.

Why do you think music and words seems to work so much better than just words as a means to get a message across?

I think people remember melodies more than they do phone numbers. I can never remember a phone number but if I put a melody to it then I will remember it, and I think people remember words because they like the tune, if they like the tune then they remember the words. That’s why I forget all the words to all my songs…

What kind of movies do you watch and why?

I like horror movies, adventure movies… I like a lot of movies. I don’t particularly have one real special genre so I would watch anything as I’m basically mindless… I would watch a movie until the end and then I decide why the hell did I watch it in the first place. But I like loads of loads of different kind of movies, anything with a good story telling and good pretenders, you know the people who get paid to pretend to be people they are not. They call them actors I believe.

What are your opinions about the power of the internet?

The internet has become something I try not to use too much. I had several Facebook pages and all that kind of things and eventually I had my identity stolen and my bank account was cleared so I think the internet has become ridiculously like something like big brother and we are all going to die and sit in front of the screen and go nowhere, have all our food, all our everything delivered and never go out and meet real people. We’d all become just fat, lazy, blind people with very thick glasses…

Do you think man is created in the image of God or the other way around?

No comment…

A recent scientific report stated that religion will eventually die out completely. What’s your opinion on that? A good thing or a bad thing?

Well obviously a good thing. It will die out. How come people all around the world have a different God? Which is the real one? “Pick your God! door number 1, door number 3…” Which is the real God? There isn’t one. We invented God because people are scared of dying. And if you are told that if you don’t listen to God’s “rules & regulations” the whole place would burn to death or something stupid, or you would be turned into a worm… Religion is based on fear of death, that’s why I don’t agree with it. It’s a lot of bullshit. So there, I have spoken, for I am God.

Is “free will” the whole of the law? Can man ever be truly free?

Not as long as we are govern by people and having to follow other people’s rules, I don’t think so.
There were the hippie times though…, one of which I was part of, but then of course you suddenly realised you didn’t have a job and you couldn’t eat or do this or that or whatever.
But I don’t think we will ever be free as long as there are guns around and things like that to kill each other with.

As a rock star, it’s a given that you’re obviously deeply involved in the occult, child sacrifice, Satanism and taking the virginity of young ladies. Why is this?

Because it’s in the rule book…

Have you ever heard of David Coverdale?

No…

You are one of the giants from a period full of giants. Who, from that revolutionary period, do you admire and why, apart from Abba, which goes without saying!

I like Abba very much. I also like the Japanese version of Abba, which is called Jabba. They actually opened up for Rainbow when we first played in that wonderful country of Japan and they were great.
And well, before everybody else there was the Beatles. Every band had an element from them as we all “stole” from the Beatles as they covered every kind of music that there was and is. People now are still trying to be as good as the Beatles as they were the greatest songwriters ever. They changed the whole world of fashion. We all had long hair until the Beatles came along with all those funny clothes and everybody changed. They also changed loads of opinions. I remember because I was there when it happened back in the 1960s.

Do you back Nuclear Power? If not, why not.

No because is damn dangerous. Look at the tsunami in Japan… do I need to say any more? We could all die from it thank you very much.

Do you believe in Ghosts? UFO’s (i.e. aliens visiting planet earth)? God?
No… I’d like to. I’d like to believe in ghosts and about aliens visiting planet earth well maybe they did… why are we all so different? why are we so different in our colours, why are there different animals in different countries which are so different. Do all these different creatures and different looking people come from different planets? To me it feels as though possibly, I mean I don’t really know… but its like we were all planted here and we all came from different worlds. That’s why we are all so different. And do I believe in God? Of course not.

Have you ever experienced altered states of consciousness? How, why and was it beneficial? And would you recommend it to all politicians, business and religious leaders?

No, I think they need to be as straight as possible. I think they get drunk too much. I think they are always in a state of unconsciousness rather than consciousness.
Have I experienced it? yes, back in the 60s when I was a hippie type. Of course I did, like everybody else. It’s something I would never do again though. I don’t miss it for the love of the sun.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I exposed myself onstage…

What would you still like to achieve?

Greatness (laughs) and to write music forever, to sing better and to keep on singing.

Would you ever record a duet with Justin Bieber?

Only if he sung the bass parts…

Do you believe in manmade global warming? Or is it natural?

I think its natural.

And lastly. Please feel free to say anything at all you want to the world of readers and tell us all about what you’re up to these days, plug an album, website or car boot sale.

I don’t give a shit about the world leaders basically. They don’t interest me, they bore me. I’m bored of world leaders. And there is the world of actors too… and bitter musicians but I maybe one of them…
At the moment I’m doing some sessions for an album, a rock opera, for some friends of mine who I recorded a CD with last year. Its called Lyraka. I will also be collaborating on it with Veronica Freeman as se is doing a duet with me in one of the tracks so we are working on it right now. We are both trying to figure out what we are supposed to be singing because it’s all a backwards and forwards conversation between two singers, a girl and a guy.

With my band Alcatrazz we are getting ready to record a new album with the new line-up. We have already written some material but have not started the recordings yet as we have been busy doing other work like writing songs for other people and recording for other people’s albums and we have also been out on the road but we have material ready to go.
I want to try something different with the band. But it will still be the same kind of format. There will be elements from the old Alcatrazz and some “sing alongy” kind of songs possible, I’m not quite sure yet. So we have some material, we have weapons, we can rebuild, and redecorate as well. Alcatrazz is probably the only band in the world that when they go to their hotel rooms they don’t smash them up, they look at the room and say “yes, I think that wall should be blue…” “this one should be black” We “redecorate”. So if you want us at your hotel we will help you out to make the place look even better.

Also I have a brand new website launched early this year on www.grahambonnet.com along with all my new networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace so I can be connected to my fans more than ever.

An Interview With Status Quo Star Francis Rossi

Picture by Claire Borley www.claireborley.co.uk

Tipping the Status Quo

I caught up with legendary rocker, no-nonsense frontman and ‘Coronation Street’ fan Francis Rossi OBE, for a chat about life, the universe and everything.

Speaking of ‘Corrie’, you know you’re etched indelibly onto the minds of the public, when your fans can lop several syllables off your name, and everybody still knows exactly who you mean. Perhaps the most famous ‘Quo fan is ‘Coronation Street’ character Les Batters by, played by real-life fan Bruce Jones. Francis Rossi and band-mate Rick Parfitt had a memorable cameo on the long-running show in 2005.

Best known as the guitarist & frontman from Status Quo, prolific songwriter Rossi has also enjoyed success with a number of side projects and collaborations. The band’s latest studio album ‘Quid Pro Quo’ was released on May 27th 2011. This double album features 14 brand new tracks, plus an ‘official bootleg’ of the quintessential British rock band’s greatest hits.

My first question is, what would you most like to be remembered for? Is it the music or the meaning?

Neither.

We know most politicians were born in the fiery pit of hell as the spawn of Satan, but what’s your opinion of the politics of the world today?

Bullshit propaganda. Same old, same old.

 

Can you tell us all about your past, present and future?

We haven’t got that long to live

Tell us a little about your kind of music please! Yeah, Rock right…But seriously, don’t you ever just want to rap or smile nicely at the camera like a boy band and sing lame songs?

No, I don’t want to rap. However I have no problem smiling at the camera, and I don’t have a downer on a boy band just because they’re a boy band.

If you were an alien visiting planet earth, what would you do? Would you turn around and go back? Or stay and try and help? Or maybe conquer?

Go back.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Getting to 62.

What has been mankind’s greatest achievement?

You’d get the best or truest answer from someone who wasn’t of mankind.

If you had the chance to speak to every human being on earth, what would your message be?

Live and let live. There is no judgement. There is no punishment.

If your life depended on it, which Soap Opera would you do a cameo in?

Done it. (Status Quo had a cameo in the longest-running British soap opera ‘Coronation Street’, and are ‘Corrie’ character Les Battersby’s favourite band)

If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound?

Doh!

Have you ever felt pressured by the fact that what you sing about affects society? Have you ever wondered whether you were doing the right thing?

I don’t necessarily think that what Quo sing affects society.

What advice would you give to musicians today? And what’s your opinion of the highly engineered and marketed music we see in the charts today?

Leave it. It is the logical course and progression for pop music, within the capitalist system that we live in.

Why do you think music and words seems to work so much better than just words as a means to get a message across?

I don’t believe the combination of music and words is any more or less potent than words alone. Music does however have a stimulatory effect on the senses, and is therefore more emotive.

What kind of movies do you watch and why?

No particular type or reason.

What are your opinions about the power of the internet?

It’s powerful!

Do you think man is created in the image of God (or Goddess) or the other way around?

No, I do not think man is created in the image of God or vice-versa.

A recent scientific report stated that religion will eventually die out completely. What’s your opinion on that? A good thing or a bad thing?

Good. However, any research or report usually has a bias towards the body that commissioned it.

Is ‘free will’ the whole of the law? Can man ever be truly free?

It’s man himself that creates his own restraints.

Do you back Nuclear Power? If not, why not.

I don’t have enough knowledge concerning nuclear power to make a valid comment regarding this matter.

Do you believe in Ghosts? UFO’s i.e. aliens visiting planet earth? God?

Yes, believe in ghosts, UFO’s , aliens and God but not the one popularised by most religions.

Have you ever experienced altered states of consciousness? How, why, and was it beneficial? And would you recommend it to all politicians, business and religious leaders?

Been drunk a few times.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Pass.

What would you still like to achieve?

More.

Would you ever record a duet with Justin Bieber?

You mean to endear myself to millions of young people around the world? When?

Do you believe in manmade global warming? Or is it natural?

Natural and cyclical, but being accelerated by man.

And last of all, please feel free to say anything at all you want to the world of readers, and tell us all about what you’re up to these days. Plug an album, website or carboot sale.

Goodbye, and thank you.