Nektar interview with Roye Albrighton
1. It’s a great pleasure talking with you about your music! I would like to ask you first where were you born and what can you tell me about some of the influences back then when you were a kid and teenager…
Hi Klemen..the pleasure is all mine.
I was born in Coventry in the west midlands UK. Not that far away from Birmingham.
Most of what I listened to when I was growing up has been forgotten in the sands of time however a few you may recognize..like..The Ventures and the Spotniks..and of course the Shadows of which I hold Hank Marvin in high regard as one of the worlds great guitar influences.
2. You started your carrier in a band called The Peeps and you released a few singles. Then you were a part of Rainbows and later you joined Outsiders. Please tell us about your first bands…
The Peeps and Rainbows were basically the same band with the exception of the drummer and keys player..Martin Cure and myself were the two remaining members from the Peeps when we changed our name and musical direction. I was at this very time when I started to write my own material and worked it into Rainbows.
When Rainbows came to an end, I moved to Sweden where I met up with an old promoter from the time that Rainbows toured there and he put me in touch with a band called the Outsiders with whom I played with until my return back to the UK.
3. Nektar was formed in Hamburg. How did you guys came together?
Purely by chance I was walking around Hamburg during the day when Rainbows were playing at the Top Ten Club and heard a drummer rehearsing on his own in the Star club. During the day most of the clubs were closed and being cleaned and readied for the evening. This was the perfect time for artists to practice their chops.
I looked in on the club and met Ron Howden and we hit it off together..the next day I brought my guitar along and we played together..this led me to moving over to Hamburg and becoming a memeber of the yet unamed Nektar in 1969.
4. Journey to the Centre of the Eye is your debut. What are some of the strongest memories from producing and releasing this LP. It was produced by Dieter Dierks…
Actually it was produced by Nektar and Peter Hauke and was recorded at Dieter Dierks studio in Stommeln engineered by Dieter himself.
I think one of my strongest memories of this album was (can we get away with this) it would seem at the time that it was maybe a little too far out for some people..but hey! what the hell..we just went ahead and did what we wanted and threw caution to the wind.
What would you say is a concept behind the album?
Many things can be taken from this album and can be associated with many situations in a persons life..however the overall concept would be using your minds eye to look inside yourself to see the real person within.
What gear did you guys use?
As you can imagine..in those days there wasn’t very much around for effect pedals or synthesizer..the Mellotron was still a new toy so we used what we had to effect.
An instance would be to turn the Hammond motor off and on to create the whining sound you hear sometimes and I would use slide guitar and repeat echo for some parts, even strike the strings behind the bridge for an effect. Mo Moore would use a tremelo pedal and fuzz box on the bass.
Basically anything we could get out of the instrument we would use.
How did you came in contact with Bacillus?
We were actually originally signed to bacillus records as they were really the only label that showed any kind of interest in what we offered..like I said, ‘Journey’ wasn’t everyones cup of tea..Peter Hauke then sold the label to Bellaphon records.
I’m not sure how the contact with Bacillus came about..I think it was at a concert somewhere..I may be wrong.
5. Then you started recording A Tab in the Ocean. What is the story behind that release?
We had our own house nestled in the hillside of the Bergstrasse in a village called Seeheim where most of our writing and rehearsing was done in the early days.
We didn’t have a lot of furniture then other than a coffee table a couple of chairs and a huge fish tank that we inherited from the previous occupant.
We used to sit around a lot in the daytime just talking music when someone made a joke about what would happen if the oceans were spike with LSD. after the laughter died down we realized that we had a title for the new album as the beggining was sounding a little oceanic in the riff and effects being used.
6. Your third album called …Sounds Like This is more hard rock oriented, don’t you think?
I agree..it was Nektar in the raw..we were often told that although the albums were well presented productons with a lot more polish..the real essence of the band lies in the ‘live’ performance and so we decided to dedicate an entire double album to this and play all the pieces we had collected over the first few years of our being together.
7. Remember the Future was released in 1973. I always preferred side one on this album. It’s so amazing…what did you had in mind while recording this album?
Not a lot really..for us it was just going to the studio and recording another album..but something happened in the studio..something magical..it seemed to take on a life of it’s own and become an obsession for the band.
I tend to agree with you that side 1 was the better side
8. Then you released a couple more albums including Down to Earth and one of your best releases titled Recycled which is symphonic masterpiece in my opinion. What can you say about it?
Down to Earth was a change in direction that is for sure..but I really enjoyed making it although I feel now that the production sounded very clinical and not the usual Nektar sound. That’s not to say I didn’t like the songs..but they could have been treated differently.
However, I feel we made up for it with Recycled..to this day this is my most favourite album..and to perform side one on a concert is a joy, the finale at the end of side one to this day puts the hairs up at the back of my neck.
9. Where all did you toured and what are some great memories from touring?
During the early years and when Nektar were gaining ground in Europe, we played a lot of shows..too many..in fact we made ourselves ill at one point with all the travelling..you must remember that the luxury sleeper tour buses were not readily available around this time..or if they were they were cost prohibitive..and rock musicians were not the clientel that the bus companies wanted on their super coaches.
I think my greatest memory was the two nights we played in St Louise at the civic auditorium and the simulcast evening in NYC.
10. After all this years you are still very active and your latest two releases are Book of Days and Fortyfied. I would really appreciate if you could tell something about background of this two releases?
After our break in the release schedule of the band..I took on a new Bassist and Keys player. There was some confusion as to how the band sounded now with 2 new players..so to alleviate any misconceptions as to how strong the band still are I decided to release a ‘live’ album featuring the new players..and so to celebrate 40 years of Nektar I released ‘Fortyfied’.
Book of days was to intent and purposes the new album but in Demo format..it was supposed to be rerecorded..but at the same time we had some severe problems with our mamgement and instead this got released in demo format.
Maybe further down the road we will rerecord that album with the full band, although some of the tracks can be heard prformed on Fortfied.
11. What are some of your future plans?
In a few months time Nektar will be releasing an album called ‘a spoonful of time’ this will be an album of cover song that have been Nektarized to some extennt. We had the oportunity to have on board the musicianship of the likes of Rick Wakeman, John Wetton, Ginger Baker..and many more who will be putting their touches to it.
Also being worked on at the momentis a new DVD recorded at the Key club in LA.
This year will also see the finalizing of Nektars new album ‘Juggernaut’ that had to be delayed due to other work.
12. Thank you very much for your time! Would you like to send a message to all your fans and readers of It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine?
For those who know Nektar and have fllowed us I would like to say thank you for your support..for those that are new to our music a big hello.
The band and I would like to say a big thank you to you all for keeping what we consider a great music genre going.
hope to see you on the road soon
Oh and thank you PBM for this interview.
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012
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