Uriah Heep Interview

The first part of our fanzine is finally out, and it is an interview with Mick Box, the guitarist of Uriah Heep. Stay tuned for the second part with an interview with Peter Sando of Gandalf!!!
Neotomic Alivac: It’s been almost a decade since the release of a Uriah Heep record. Are you as excited about the new record as your faithful fans are, and can we expect any suprises on the new CD?

Mick Box: Yes we are very excited. It has been a long wait for both the band and the fans and at times this has been quite draining for us all. It is just unfortunate that we are in the Music Business and the music comes easy and the business side is always as far as Uriah Heep is concerned painful. As for surprises we will just have to wait and see!
N.A. The choice of producer Mike Paxman seems like a natural. Do you think Mike brings a harder sound to your music?
M.B. Mike Paxman was a complete joy to work with. His enthusiasm was a driving force and he really brought the best out of everyone. He let things happen naturally and was even in the studio room with us when we were recording, standing right there getting the vibe. He was right next to my amplifiers and although he had headphones on and I was sectioned off, he was still very brave to do so as it was LOUD! Most producers sit in the control room but it was cool having Mike there to be a part of it. He was like that all through rehearsals too. He had a game plan from day one and he kept to it which was fantastic. It was a very organic way of recording and in the end the tracks all have a smile over them.
N.A. Having had the luxury of time, did you have an abundance of songs to pick from for the new record?
M.B. There may have been luxury of time but to quite honest until we knew there was a recording contract, and studios and a producer being booked we as individuals had written lots of music but not all of it suitable for UH. As writers you write all of the time but not all of those ideas are for UH. Between Phil and Myself once we knew we were in a go position we sat down and looked at what we had. To be honest a lot of it was not Heep material but a few of the ideas were. We had to put our UH writing caps on. We were still writing stuff in rehearsals. We also had the renewed energy of Russell joining us on the drum stool and that sparked the fact that we wanted to record a straight ahead rock album. No synthesizers just Hammond Organ, Guitar Bass and Drums. This coupled with our vocal harmonies was the template we decided to follow.
N.A. Your albums in the past have been very keyboard driven. Will that continue?
M.B. The Hammond Organ will always feature. The instrument can be very dynamic and suits our music.
N.A. The current line-up of Uriah Heep for the most part has been the same for the last 20 years. Do you still get buzzed performing your live shows, and in the case of original guitarist Mick Box, what continues to motivate and inspire you after almost 40 years of performing?
M.B. Yes I get the same buzz as I did the first time I performed on stage. We are doing something that we love and it is our passion! There is no better motivation.
N.A. You continue to be extremely popular in Europe . Any plans to tour the U.S. after the release of your new cd?
M.B. Providing our record company Universal distribute in the USA and Canada there is every reason to tour there. Saying that the Record Company have to commit to some intense promotion and our agent would have to put a good package together to make it work.
N.A. Where was “Wake the Sleeper” recorded, and can you comment a little about the sessions?
M.B. Studio atmosphere is everything with a band like us. We recorded WTS in a Chapel in Licolnshire in the countryside of England . It is a converted church and it felt the perfect place for us to record.
N.A. What can we infer from the new cd title “Wake the Sleeper”?
M.B. There is a saying Wake a Sleeping Giant. We thought this was applicable as it had been 10 years between studio albums.
N.A. It seems many younger kids are showing up at your concerts. Do you feel this is because your music continues to be relevant and timeless?

M.B. I would certainly like to think so. I have a theory that a good song stands the test of time. As an example we get young kids at our concerts shouting for one of our songs called Gypsy and the song is older than them. That must mean something. Having a new CD released is great because we can do a mix between the old classic songs and the new which keeps everything fresh.
N.A. What music do you listen to on the tour bus?
M.B. Everything! My iPod is full! Rock/Jazz/Blues/Folk/Classical…….!
Quick 1 Word Answers:
1. CDs or MP3s? Vinyl
2. Coffee or tea? Tea
3. Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton? Pass
4. Acoustic Neil Young or electric Neil Young? Acoustic
5. Favorite curse word? F**k – because it is so flexible.
SEE MORE INFO ON URIAH HEEP AT URIAH-HEEP.COM
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~ by neotomicaliviac on March 12, 2008.

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