On October 25th we had the honor of talking with the innovative
legends of rock, Hawkwind!!! At the other end of our telephone line, in
a conference call, we talked with the whole band, we laughed our guts
out. Hawkwind know the secret recipe to being the most influentious
bands in the world.
Metalzone: Hello everybody!
Hawkwind: Hello!! (Richard)Who is this? Who are we talking to?
Metalzone: I am Helen, from the Metalzone. We are calling into having the honor, of interviewing the legends of rock Hawkwind.
Hawkwind: Thank you very much. It’s our pleasure. We are all ready. We are sitting around the sofa like good boys. Our dog is barking, outside.
Metalzone: How are you these days? We are anticipating you here in Greece. Very anxious to see you. How are you?
Hawkwind: We look forward to coming to Greece as we always like to be there. Yeah were looking forward, we meet some very interesting people.
Metalzone: Would you like to tell me you about your whereabouts these days, your releases, and your upcoming DVD…
Hawkwind: We’ve got a blazing sizzling new record called “Take Me To Your Leader” based on noises that small puppets makes in the shape of a small alien. It belongs to Jay actually (Jay makes the sound). It’s all based in that. It’s all based on those futuristic sounds of Take me to your leader a concept album. There are on some other things we’ve been working on.
Metalzone: Such as?
Hawkwind: We are preparing a new single from the Take me to your leader record. It’s going to include Paradox, a new version of Paradox. We are very busy, busy boys we are.
Metalzone: Yes I know you are. You have also filmed a DVD, in Burgen, with 7 cameras. When is it going to be released?
Hawkwind: We haven’t seen it yet. We actually have to see it first. So we aren’t thinking about releasing it because we don’t know if it’s any good yet. We don’t know what the soundtracks are like; we don’t know what the pictures look like. They haven’t sent us a copy so we are still waiting.
Metalzone: Are you going to be filming any of the stuff here in Greece in Gagarin?
Hawkwind: Well, it’s very hard to play and film at the same time. How can you play if you carry all that cameras around? People could record it but they’re not allowed to. So that’s it you‘ve got our scenario.
Metalzone: I was told that during your first visit in Greece, Techno trips and Psychedelic Dreams there was a laser show on stage, as a backdrop. What should we expect this time?
Hawkwind: Well, our live show, we can’t bring all of our equipment and to actually take it with us would cost a fortune. We are hiring a lot of stuff in Greece. We have a couple of dancers working with us. It will be Ultra Violet we are probably going to use. Ultra Violet on stage! UV actually Richard, UV. There’ll definitely be some kind of live show. We are exponents of the show. As opposed to rock and roll stuff. Time goes by, emotions are put forth. As time goes by (they sing). You’ll see it when you see it.
Metalzone: I see you’re preparing a double live album, entitled Festival Nights.
Hawkwind: Don’t know anything about it. What is that?
Metalzone: From the Hawkfest 2003?
Hawkwind: Oh, the Hawkfest! That’s being released next year. It’ll be April next year. We also have been recording some more material. Doing a radio version, of two tracks from, the album plus, another five, four, I am not sure.
Metalzone: Is there going to be anew single release with radio cuts?
Hawkwind: Yes there will be. About 4 to 5 minutes. And on the other side we are releasing stuff on DVD. So what we are actually doing its CD on one side, DVD the other.
Metalzone: Oh, a dual disk?
Metalzone: You’re a band that has influenced many groups; both in their sound and attitude. Do you feel today’s music is anywhere close to what you are and represent?
Hawkwind: Today’s music? It’s very diverse today’s music. It’s so varied. Our music is space rock music. Whenever we play with other bands they always say to us how major influence we’ve been to them. Even if they are different from us. Maybe it’s because the band has entered the pantheon of Rock Legends!!!!!(They are joking).
Metalzone: Do you feel that creativity and music today is what it was in the past. You’ve been around since the 70s and you’ve seen it transform over the years
Hawkwind: Music is always ongoing. It’s an art form in a way. There have been some interesting mixes, going on like Hip Hop and Jazz. A lot of Hip hop music is using now an older sax from many years ago. Putting bombazines while there’s a soprano saxophone playing, this is old jazz music with modern techniques.
Metalzone: What about rock music?
Hawkwind: Still that sounds the same. I think Richard is about to leave the room actually. It’s lots of diverse things in Rock music too, and lots of boring rock bands around. Of course I am not going to tell you who they are… (laughs).
Metalzone: I think rock is in a stable faze. There’s no creativity. There aren’t bands around anymore that are like you. Do you see anyone that can do the leaps forward you did? You made a school of rock. You’ve set the basis for so many bands. I don’t see any band today that can do what you did.
Hawkwind: That’s very nice thing of you to say. We have to take you out to dinner for saying these nice things (laughs). Dinner and wine when we get there! The reason why there can’t be any band that sounds like Hawkwind is because the premise of making music is different. With Hawkwind it wasn’t just a band making music, we are creating an environment. So by the time the gig is finished they feel like they’ve had a kind of a journey and this involves more than just music. It involves lighting and stuff, to create another reality. Touch everybody’s senses. So, on that level, it is difficult for bands to stimulate that kind of sensibility, on that level. Because a. it’s expensive, having a light show around. The more big the venue you are going to the more production is involved in transforming it into a kind of environment here the music can blossom and grow. Raid culture did a lot in that sort of …. People going into the streets taking them into a dreamland that would last till the end of the night. In a way rock music now is the pantheon of bands, the sound is more direct, it’s not so much concentrated on mood elevation. Which has a lot to do with the fact that they are not so much propelled by the sixties drug culture. The idea that we were changing the world, that things were going to be different, better instead now you have a kind of a reactionary music. I was watching an interview the other day and Roger was answering questions taken from the audience and one guy asked him, we are in a rock band what do we have to do to be different and he said, one thing that would be different right now would be singing about what’s going on, and protesting about what’s going on. Where’s the voice of protest? That would actually make a band stand out. Music now is very reactionary with many respects. Underground heavy metal is very romantic and its lyrical meanings in things like black metal and death metal as well. They are pretty occupied with stuff that’ not necessarily all serious you know. And a few sappy people are saying are you actually a Satanist and they would probably say no, I am only singing about it and yes it is. In show business. Where Hawkwind are making their music we are detaining the idea that there is a lifestyle when you can be an adult and still be produce this kind of music. And we are still singing about croppy politicians and corruption in the world which is still continuing onwards things to motivate young people. It’s actually their job to fly the flag. How’s that? Does that make sense?
Metalzone: Yes it makes a lot of sense; I am just wondering do you feel that today’s youngsters would be able to accept such music? We are accustomed to listening to music directed to commercial purposes. Music carrying political messages, wouldn’t be too easy to accept, by the music industries…Don’t you think so?
Hawkwind: Could you repeat the question please cause there’s a bit of distraction here with dogs!
Metalzone: (I repeat.)
Hawkwind: It’s only starting to brew its head out. We’ve been pretty shocked. Popular culture is one of sock and aw. And the voice of descent has only just started to appear. And it’s appearing in underground artists and actions. You get people like Coldplay who are supporters of political reactions along with characters like Bono. But working on that kind of level, having that kind of financial degree, I am not sure that a message could be as pure.
Metalzone: How do you see your fans in your live shows? Do you see differences?
Hawkwind: I‘d say that the major change is that they bring in their children now! People coming to our show are from 6 years old up to 60. That’s very noticeable now. Young people with their parents come along. Years ago when we went to see reggae bands we would see young children, their parents, their grandparents, they were all enjoying the music. Ok this should be what’s going on everywhere. Just because someone in their sixties likes to go and see a heavy metal band they would say what’s that old bloke doing here? But in music there should be no barriers. Music should be for all ages. People should feel free to go and see any band, without being stressed about it. And the change has occurred because for us we could cause when we do festivals it’s fantastic to see everybody there. Hello Jason. Helen I’d like to introduce you to Jason. Our Greek lady here is doing an interview. Jason just arrived our keyboard player. Hello Greece how are you?
Metalzone: Hello Jason.
Hawkwind: Late as always, it can’t be helped living in the country and all of that. Dreadful weather here at the moment.
Metalzone: Really, how is the weather?
Hawkwind: We are wearing our shorts! Very very well. It’s not been too bad today. We’ve had lots of rain, which is in for another week but we all managed to make it out to rehearsals and we are looking so forward to coming over to play for you. It’s going to be really good fun.
Metalzone: I hope we have a nice weather. Its sunny today but I don’t know how it will be next week.
Hawkwind: The hospitality of the people there will outstare the weather no matter what it is. We know we’ll always have some fun anyway.
Metalzone: Very kind of you. Thank you. How do you see metal music nowadays?
Hawkwind: There are certainly a lot of different genres these days. There’s a lot more distinction within metal music. It’s fairly clear cut. For me that’s why it’s fun to play in this band because they sort of changed from metal to space rock, they sort of invented it. I get a little bit lost in all the categories they have. I think Richard our drummer is a little more succinct in what’s going on that department. Every where I go I would like to have the flashing sound of metal ringing in my ears. I think in metal there’s an absolute renaissance! And it’s the very fact that there are so many divisions of the style that have allowed it to occur. It’s a bit like dance music. When they started, they were expected to play a selection of every kind of style, and as a result you couldn’t become a specialist only a good sequencist. So what happened is that they sort of split up the styles and now which allowed more specification. The same way I heavy metal and rock music. Because of the splits of styles they are getting much more interesting creative things happen because people aren’t trapped. In the old days people heavy metal was a rock kind of entertainment. I think the record companies are to blame for that because they would accept only one kind of metal. They wouldn’t let other people experimenting. Things have opened up and people are a lot more acceptable in genres. … The new technologies has helped the advance, and puss the boundaries and evolve. Everything seems to be kicking baby! Yeah!
Metalzone: How do you see the distribution of music over the internet?
Hawkwind: That’s getting kind of boring. People are always gona do things for free. Not so good if you are an artist. In a way it’s kind of like stealing. On any creative subject. It’s like books. But the record companies are very very slow and they are a lot to blame basically for not being able to keep up with technologies. Now it’s coming to a balance with the new sites which are doing law suits. It’s like Tin Pan Alley, where all artists gathered and played songs which they gave to performing artists which performed them and paid them for their songs and then the Beatles come along and they changed reality by writing their own songs and everybody copied them and Tina Pan Alley collapsed. So what we are dealing with now is the whole idea of being able to sell music again. Like there’s a painting and you draw copies of the painting again and again and again… The concept is the thing that’s valuable. Anything after that is just a replication.
Metalzone: What types of music do you listen to besides Hawkwind?
Hawkwind: Lots of different music jazz, classical, dance and loads of diverse music. How about you Jason, I like everything from pop rock to classical a bit of heavy. (Richard)I enjoy eclectic from the Joyful dead to Godwill.
Metalzone: A lot of diverse sounds. Do you get influenced in your music? How do you stay creative after so many years?
Hawkwind: Richard’s creativity is huge amounts of marihuana! (laughs) Enormously!!!(Richard)That’s the way he always gets his vision! I would totally recommend it! (laughs all around). Everyday as a musician in a band I learn something. You can learn something every day even if you are talking to somebody. You constantly expand your horizons and go forward. I think people are always pushing boundaries and always want to go forward. The day you stop doing that, you might as well pack up and go home and make… Atrophy, that’s the word where you get if you’re not creative! (they are all talking simultaneously, again, and I can’t make out what they are saying)You can wake up one morning and see a beautiful sunrise or sunset… but it’s always different, and that’s the same thing with music, and we play the same number sometimes when we are on tour but it’s different every time. It’s a constant evolving process and that’s why we do it. You can go to bed at night and wake up in the morning humming a tune that you’ve created in the evening. (Richard) I am not much of a hummer myself. If I got a tune it comes out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t have a humble hum!!!! No.
They tell me about Jason’s restaurant…
Metalzone: You are having lots of fun among you how long do you believe you can keep this up?
Hawkwind: (Jason) Forever. (Richard) We are only putting this on for you. We never relate very much at all. We all sit in our separate corners… In the monastery.(Richard) We don’t do it all the time and that’s the key to enjoy each others company. Is not to have too much of it.
Metalzone: That’s your secret recipe?
Hawkwind: Don’t over do it and you’ll keep doing it for ages. A little is better than too much. As long as we have fun. But we always have a good laugh.
Metalzone: What happened, what’s the silence about?
Hawkwind: We were speaking quietly. Next question?
Metalzone: Next question has to do with Lemmy Killmister. I want to know why he leaved the band.
Hawkwind: He got caught at the Canadian border with some amphetamine which they thought was cocaine and he was arrested, not allowed into Canada, and the band decided to have a meeting and four members decided that he should go, and basically the majority ruled and he went on to heroic activities with Motorhead so for him it was perhaps a fantastic decision cause he become a great star.
Metalzone: Is there anything you would like to add about your upcoming whereabouts and plans?
Hawkwind: We are off to Greece, we are doing a tour in England, we stop for Christmas, then we’re going off to Australia, and then we go onto another tour in, where do we go, we go Amsterdam, Germany, a couple in France, and we might be back in Greece again in April, who knows? A festival in summer actually. I’ve just been told we’ve been asked to do a festival in Greece in summer on one of the Islands. We’ll have to wait and see about that.
Metalzone: A true honor for me doing the interview.
Hawkwind: We look forward to seeing you all. We hope to see them there and have affine show and have a fine time. We’d like to see them painting their faces, doing their hair and wearing their very best clothes at the show. So that everyone looks like a dazzling star. A constellation gathered together. That’s what we’ll see a constellation of stars.
ΕλÎνη "Blackie" ΜιχαηλÎ¯δου