It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent, music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Nektar interview with Roye Albrighton

 Interview:

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.
best regards
Roye



















Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012

© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2012

Short interview with John Nitzinger


Interview:

1. Hi John! I'm really happy you agreed to this interview. I would like to ask you first what can you tell me about the start of your music carrier. When did you first pick up the guitar and what was some of the early influences you had?

I was 8 years old and ask parents for an accordian...couldn’t afford one, so got me a guitar....a les paul junior for $149 worth $ 30'000 today....but I had to trade it for the bright red one.....stupid if I got the accordian I’d be playing electric barmitzfas !!

2. Were you in any bands in the 60's? Any releases perhaps from then?


In junior hi and hi school I had a very successful teen band called " the Barons ".... at 16 had bad acid trip, walking around ft. worth, walked into a studio, recorded two songs " plastic windows "..." the life of john doe "...produced by T-bone Burnett who today is #1 producer in Hollywood....

3. You are known for writing 5 songs for Bloodrock. Can you tell me more about that?

Jim Rutledge, lead singer for Bloodrock walked into a gig I was playing at " the Cellar " and ask me to write songs for them....I wrote half of 5 albums, which lead to me signing with capitol....and a gold album.

4. Tell me about the One Foot in History. Here we have another killer release by you. Earth Eater track is the dope! I really enjoy it a lot.


 
Nitzinger and One Foot in History came from that and I toured opening for " Leon Russell " on the infamous " Carny tour "....played some tour with Bloodrock for " Grand Funk " toured with B.B. King....Freddy King.....Sly and the Family Stone...then on 20th Century Fox....live better electrically ".....I played most of the instruments.....then I joined Carl Palmer after " Emerson ,Lake , and Palmer broke up, with a band called " 1pm " hand picked five guys from around the world to be the perfect band....we hated each other !!....five chiefs, no in dians

5. I heard you are very active lately. A new book, a movie, a new CD....Please tell me more about it?

You filmed DVD Live at Munich right? How was it?


I have a new DVD movie just released, premiere will be march 25th in ft. worth......cameras followed me around for 6 months everywhere I went ...from wedding to funerals......i'm hald through writing a tell all book that will blow you away !!....a new album called ... " Nitzinger-nibbled to death by ducks ".....more movies of the movie type in store and my albums of course.

http://www.nitzinger.com/



















Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012

© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2012

Arthur Brown interview about Crazy World & Kingdom Come


Interview:

1. Thank you very much for taking your time, Arthur! I would like to ask you, what were some of your very first influences, as a teenager? By influences I mean art itself, not just music.

My father was a self - taught jazz pianist, so we had discs of Art Tatum, and the Europeanised version, Charlie Kunz. One of my father's friends was a consummate boogie- woogie pianist. He had a handlebar moustache. My father wrote funny limericks.my mother had a beautiful singing voice. My brother and I sang sailors' hornpipes as a duo, before my brothers singing voice disappeared at puberty.

Soon, all things American came in. Sinatra, Basie, Ellington. There was a zest in the American lyrics. Their philosophers had not opted for pessimism and worship of the absurd like the Europeans. They believed even then that we could improve the world with positivity and technology.

In came old style western movies, in came glamorous romantic movies.

Alongside this came radio broadcasts for the troops, reflecting musical tastes of people stationed in. Morocco or Egypt. Soon radio Luxembourg was broadcasting the hits straight from America, so we got to hear Carl Perkins and bothers who didn't feature in the charts.

In my late teens I began to send away for book collections of paintings by old masters- Van Gogh, Rubens, Rembrandt, Blake. I also sent away for classical albums- Tchaikovsky , Beethoven, Grieg. And albums of Americam Country music.

At school, I immersed myself in Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Browning, Tennyson. I read the whole of the historical progression of books from Defoe to  Lawrence Sterne etc. that lead up to Austen, Bronte, Meredith, D H Lawrence, Trollope, Bram Stoker, - the history of the English novel. I went to see a live production of Murder in the Cathedral. I was astounded at the visual effects they were able to produce. I remember particularly that when the murder happened, the stage - which had been normally lit- was suddenly all bathed in red, with huge shadows.it was some kind of turning point for me. Later I knew I could deal with subjects normally then outside of the province of rock- I could introduce real theatre, with characters.

Dance was a strange thing then. Most adults did ballroom dancing- rather controlled and sedate in those days. But we somehow saw footage of Teddy boys jiving that were remarkably orgiastic and lively. Also, people were spending holidays on the continent, and bringing back its rhythms. But even more for me were the travelogue documentaries about African witchdoctors I watched a lot of those, and they greatly influenced my dance style. More so than the elegance of Astaire, who I watched repeatedly.

TV and movies brought new artistic vistas, from the grandeur of natural scenery in the movies of Ford, to the lavish romance of the great movies. Yul Brynner in the KIng and I. I had never seen a shaven headed man in my life till I saw that movie. At the same time in my late teens, I watched Russian Cinema - and saw performances of Gogol. Japanese movies like Kwaidan and Onibaba began to appear.

Charlie Chaplin, and Marcel Marceau were great influences.

I recognized early on that although I could sing well, the multimedia presentation brought all art forms together.

Op art had not yet arrived.

Some other influences:

Henrico Caruso, Harry Secombe, Dame Clara Butt, Welsh choirs, fairground music, gymkhanas,
Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Art Tatum, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joan Baez, Burl Ives, Champion Jack Dupree, wash board bands, Lonnie Donnegan and skiffle, Sleepy John Estes, Speckled Red, Howlin Wolf , Sea Shanties, Scottish music, Kenneth McKellar, Jackie Wilson, Bessie Smith, Forces Favourites radio programme, Radio Luxemberg, Carl Perkins, Frankie Vaughan, The Goons, Paco Pena ,Flamenco, Elias And his Zigzag Five, Ray Price, Frankie Laine, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Ken Colyer, mike Cotton, Billy Cotton's Band Show featuring Larry Adler on harmonica, Modern Jazz Quartet, Mingus, Monk, Tubby Hayes, Swingle singers.
This lot was just till the end of my teens. Then a new lot came along.

2. You started in a band called The Ramong Sound and also in The Diamonds. How do you remember those years?

Started with Ramong Sound and Black Diamonds.
I started my real immersion in music when I went to Reading University, I became the string-bass player for a trad band, but pretty soon I realised what people really liked was me singing.so I took classical singing lessons.

I sang once with Acker Bilk, during a time when I also had my own Modern Jazz and Blues outfit.
While at the University I did a rag record with The Black Diamonds, but we never gigged. I joined a mod band from Fulham, The SW5 - which promptly changed its name to the Arthur Brown Union. We supported John Mayall at  Eel Pie Island. And had a residency at a club on Tottenham Court Road. We recorded an album for Claire Francis of Polydor, but I don't know what happened to it.


I then went to Paris with The Arthur Brown Set, and we became celebrities in Paris for a year. It was when I came back to the UK that I joined The Ramong Sound for a short while. Clem Curtis and I did solo numbers each, and duets, mainly soul material. I was chuffed to be singing with him. 

3. Around 1966 you started your most legendary group called The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. How did you met Carl, Vincent and Sean?

  
I was already singing with The Crazy World when I joined The Ramong Sound. The stage act was so outrageous for those times, that we got few gigs. It was only because of the underground venues that I was able to even consider that it was worth putting all my energy into the Crazy World at a time when The Foundations ( the Ramong Sound's new name ) wanted exclusivity for three years, and total commitment.

The Crazy World story began one night in Paris, when the sax player and I were fantasising about the future. I wanted to open a multimedia club. It was to be called, I said, The World of Arthur Brown. However, we both found that a bit tame in the light of some of our antics on stage.

So The Crazy World it became. Of course when I got back to the UK after the collapse of the engagements there, there was no money for a club. So, the name was moved onto my next band.
After Paris I moved into a bohemian boarding house in West Kensington, London.
It turned out that the landlady's daughter was going out with a keyboard player. It was Vincent Crane. Soon we teamed up. He had a small unit which had been called The Word Engine. We tried several gigs together. There was a sax player, Peter Gifford, and a drummer. Vince played the bass- pedals ( this was cool in The Word Engine, as it was a jazz thing).
After the first few gigs it became evident that the drummer was suffering from his heroin habit, and in his case was subject to lapses of judgement and was becoming unreliable. So we decided to put an ad in Melody Maker. We got one reply that seemed worth responding to. Drachen Theaker was his name. Tall and good looking with a hard gleam in his eye. Also with a love of jazz , the avant- garde , art of all kinds, and an appreciation of the visual flamboyance of my performance. He was also versed in soul music and had a love of Indian and African music.

Arthur Brown, 1968
Photograph taken by Chris Walter

He seemed to fit. It turned out that he had gone for an audition the day before with Jimmy Hendrix, but got caught in traffic and missed the appointment. He threw in his lot with us on the spot.
Vincent had a degree in music from Trinity School of Music.he could conduct. He could improvise boogie woogie for hours on end. At that time he loved modern jazz, but was not into the avant- garde. Drachen was self taught. He had then the complete recordings of African music from the Smithsonian library in USA. He had a fabulous collection of avant- garde jazz. His favourite drummer then was Elvin Jones. He also loved Stockhausen and Walter ( soon to become Wendy ) Carlos. He also made his own study of the history of pictorial art.
I was into old blues, flamenco, soul, folk, jazz,improvised poetry, African withdoctor dancing, and had also begun my journey into the masters of painting, film and drama. So, the music we made came from a very varied background mixture.
Drachen and Vincent had difficulties with each other from the beginning. They had a different upbringing and different temperaments. Drachen was always respective of Vincent's musical capacity. He thought Vince was a genius .Vincent thought Drachen couldn't keep time, and was put off that Drachen wasn't more middle class in his way of life. Drachen would often not wash. His feet would stink, and we would have to drive with the windows open. When Vincent, who we later discovered had developed bi- polar disease, was in his manic phase his intolerance of Drachen was a real obstacle.it is true that Drachen had difficulty with his timing in the band. But you are talking about someone who, for instance, be came tabla player of choice for Indian musicians on the restaurant circuit.
I found in Drachen a kindred spirit. We discussed spiritual traditions and art and philosophy at the drop of a hat. This rarely happened with Vincent .The real fact was that Vincent reined in Drachen's wildness with discipline, and Drachen pushed Vincent into areas he would otherwise have ignored. I found a great brightness in Vincent, a witty capacity to improvise. An intelligence that was brilliant. He would undercut himself when depression came on him- but sooner or later he would come out of it. It only got bad after the american tour when he was spiked with LSD and had to go into mental hospital in the middle of the tour. 
After that, he was never as balanced again.
So any way, I managed to glue us all together. And the underground scene gave us licence to say and do whatever we liked. We were attacked together, we were applauded together. We were friends, but we never were close as a social unit.


Nick Greenwood came along after we had recorded Fire, and the people in the US were firm that we needed a bass and guitar for the tour, in order to be able to rival the US bands. We said bollocks to the guitar, but we'll try a bass player. John Paul Jones was in the picture through KIt Lambert, but somehow that didn't gell. So we held an audition. Nick was the best at the audition. It was a strange event, because all kinds of nuts thought we would take them, because we were supposed to be crazy. One guy who came could only play four notes, but had lights on his hat and guitar.

We were not entirely happy with Nick because he could not improvise to jazzy things. But we need the player for the tour. Nick and I got on well, and he stayed in the bass seat for over a year.

What can you say about the legendary cover artwork?

Well, Lambert and Stamp were a great promotional team. They were also film makers by inclination. So visual images were their province. It was Lambert who got The Who into op art. So they were on the lookout for great cutting edge techniques and approaches. The back cover, as I remember was done by David Montgomery. He came up with the brand new (at the time) technique of solarisation.


For the front cover, as there was no photoshop in those days, we actually had an artist come and paint both myself and the snazzy glasses I was wearing, with the kind of psychedelic designs That we're then current. It was a brilliant idea. Quite modern tribal. It is at once an abstract design, and a recognisable human face.

You can see from the cover of the album how Lambert and Stamp steered everything away from the group, and into myself. If you look on the album, it doesn't even tell you who plays on it.

They wanted me to be a solo artist. They didn't realise that I work best in some kind of group format. They felt Drachen wasn't good enough, and that Vincent was too big for his boots.

  
That said, Lambert and Stamp were absolutely brilliant at promotion, and also keenly aware that if I were to be taken seriously as an artist, I would have to be associated in all aspects of my career with cutting edge artists of a high calibre. The same was true of the launch of David Bowie a few years later. It is also one of the reasons why Alice Cooper associated with Salvador Dali.

4. What is the concept behind the mask you were using in Crazy World?

 Photograph by Chris Walter 

The mirror mask I wore for Nightmare arose from several sources. Firstly I had come into Japanese Noh theatre. The human form becomes less of a particular individual, and becomes like one ant among other ants. The mask hides the individual identity. It also reveals the basic sameness of human beings- that which is common to them all. It also becomes because of that, familiar, and yet it is strange and otherworldly. Also, I was into Zen and zen teachers, who might come up behind you and strike you if they could see your attention was wandering. I felt at that time that in performance I was functioning somewhat from that place. It was also a personification of the character that the person in my tale was taking on at the beginning of his journey. In fact there are several characters he becomes in the one song.

There is the character whose personality is falling apart as he contemplates the world
" dynamic explosions in my brain
Shatter me to drops of rain" etc.
Then he becomes all the workers
" lips don't want to criticise you know
Eyes can never tell you lies it's so"
Then he becomes both the one lost in the coldness of an uncaring world
"why is it so cold out here? Let me in!"
and the one exacting a price for an entry into joining the community of believers -
"the price of your entry is sin."

It would have been well nigh impossible to represent all these live. So a strange character that was not an individual identity seemed to work best. Then, all the voices could be his. It was partly because this was expressed in the words as images that if applied to a normal person would be taken to be confused and deranged. In fact it could have been expressed as a mad person, but I wanted to have someone who was moving through these images in his consciousness, but himself existing, throughout the whole concept of the album's story, in a witnessing awareness.


So the album was a representation of the clarity of the awareness that exists beyond duality. Duality is expressed both in separate deities, the god of Hellfire, and his God brother whose fire is the joy of the human spirit- the song Come and Buy. It also is expressed in the passage of time Eg "One white hand holding silence, collapses, ecstasies of violence, changing to time" Nature's cyclical movement from one pole to another is also brought in, " where the sudden scent catches you, and you try to stay its flavour, but find at its source a green leaf already mudded -all things have a pattern."


You have to remember that only half the concept was finally put on the album. The whole story looked at the duality involved in society, ancient wisdom, education, sex , religion, and generally all the places we look to find answers.


The album was designed to have two A sides. You could choose which one you wanted by your mood. If you wanted to enter a dark energy, that was one side. If you wanted to enter a lighter one , that was the other. In fact, Child of my Kingdom was to be the last track of the second part of the concept. So, it would have closed one side. It had a generally positive and uplifting feel. As opposed to the darker ending of what became known as the Fire Suite.
I must say, a large number of people thought I was crazy , and it was all a loon. Many thought I was a Satanist. Many thought I was claiming to be a real hard-nut. I can only say that I  and the others who were involved in creating this musical piece, must have been at least partly successful. Otherwise why would music based on such a strange concept still be popular?

5. In 1969 you recorded your second LP which was not released until 1988. It's quiet a different album. You went much more into avant garde waters. I really like it, mostly because of it's uniqueness. Was it not released, because it was to far out there?

Strangelands was entirely improvised, both musically and lyrically. It was done by a group of musicians and myself, with Drachen Theaker on drums and Dennis Taylor on bass. They had both been involved in The Crazy World band. It was a test to see whether the musicians could come up with something worthwhile. The only directions were how I sang. Except that I told them it would involve the city and the country. So it is one of the earliest freestyle albums. We had John Mitchel on keys, who wasn't used to playing rock, so he came up with original musical approaches. Andy Rickell played guitar, and he did so with an inverted funnel on his head. So he became known as Android Funnel. George Khan played electro- sax, varying from jazz to classical, to rock.


Later, Giorgio put us on a tour in France. This tour was simply outrageous. I performed naked. We lost the communist party one of its seats in Parliament, because they had said our presence would show they had regained control of the students. When they saw our band and me naked the students started rioting all over again.so we were in and out of police stations, and had meetings with me , Giorgio Gomelski, and Philppe and Francoise Mettrani, the leaders of the communist party. Somewhere I will give a full account of this tour. It was astonishing!

Giorgio suggested he put the album out on his label Marmalade- but I was already thinking of the next project. So it stayed on the shelf for many years.

John Mitchell and George Khan decided to call it a day after the tour. But Drachen , Dennis, and Android, decided to carry on.

We found a farmhouse in Puddletown ,Dorset, and all moved in- and that's how the Puddletown Express was born. That band did many strange gigs over a period of a year, before my publishing royalties ran out. That period has some fantastic tales accompanying it, which I will tell elsewhere.

6. In September 1970 you formed another amazing group of musicians called Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come and relased three albums in the early 70's. The first one is mindblowing, because of many studio trickery & truly out there special effects. Would you like to tell me about producing and recording it and also about the concept behind it?



Upon the demise of the Puddletown Express, Dennis Taylor, his wife Astrid , my then wife Jeanette, went to Glastonbury. It was there that  Dennis said " what ya goin ter do nah?" " form a new band!" I declared. " what"ll it be called.?" said Dennis.  " oh,"  I said , thinking of Camelot, and King Arthur and me making a come back,,"Kingdom." " why not Kingdom Come, then? " replied Dennis immediately. It was cool, because it suggested the coming of a spiritual perspective, and at the same time had  a suggestion of power and destruction- as in the expression "blown to Kingdom Come!" So that was that. kingdom Come we were.


I set off to find a manager who would be able to deal with business in a totally non- traditional manner. Some friends of mine had a friend who had trained to be a lawyer. I got talking to him, and we went on a couple of walks, one in Hampstead, and one in Puddletown. Mark Radcliffe became our manager.

We needed to get some money, and thought the best way would be to repeat the earlier improvisation experiment with different people. We did, and part of it was released much later as JAM.  We cobbled together some other pieces and assembled a reasonable portfolio. First we tried Polydor England but they wanted nothing to do with us. We then contacted Polydor Germany, and ended up in a meeting with a black leather- jacketed team led by Horst SChmultzy. He said" you have done it once. You can do it again!" and gave us 10,ooo pounds on the spot.

We booked a warehouse in Coventry Garden. Gooch Harris, from the jam session was in the band,( he was playing in Arcadium with Bob Ellwood who also joined for a short while. Somehow Andy Dalby who was playing in a band called Charge from Derby became involved. He brought in Julian Paul Brown on synths, and eventually Slim Steer on drums.

But at first we had Rob Tait on drums and he didn't like the music- wanted a looser jazzy thing. So in came Andy McCullough, fresh from King Crimson. He spent some time developing Gypsy and did an Italian tour with the band, but eventually it was not to his liking. We did all kinds of musical exercises with the band- most of which I thought up. It began to move us all into a different musical scenery.


The concept behind the album - and stage act- was the confrontation of all the hippie ideals with the actualities of political and police power. It was looking at a spiritual quest in the context of earning money, assassination, wrongful arrests, and it was posed in terms of us all being prisoners in a Galactic Zoo. It was also looking at the fact we are trapped in time by our daily life, while our essential nature is timeless- so we are on a cross- where the horizontal is time and the vertical timelessness. So, in the stage act the image was one of me on a cross. Some have interpreted this as a Christian thing, but it is wider than that.
It was a return to theatre, but avant- garde theatre. We all wore costumes. And we had a light show projecting images onto a gauze screen that you could lower or raise. You could make us disappear behind images, or appear in the middle of those images- As though we were part of the picture. We had huge cartoon figures that went into the audience. It was a multimedia presentation. The music was heavy. Alice Cooper, with whom we played at the Rainbow Theater, said it was "True Psychodrama!" This was all part of my own intentional inward journey. We lived together and began to take LSD.


After a year, we needed to do another album. I wanted to do one about water. So we did. Mentally and emotionally because of the drugs we were in a state of flux. And the album mirrored that. It was  less heavy and more playful. There were a series of images that arose from little tales that  surfaced in our examination of the psyche. There was the traffic light that couldn't go green.

So one of the band became the traffic light and wore that costume. There was the captain of the ship- of consciousness that society was trying to force to come back aground- so I wore a huge boat around me. There was death. There was the school master. There was the Pope.and so on, and all these had costumes. The music was going in a direction that Goode didn't identify with. The drummer ran off with the bass- player's wife.
So, by this time another year had passed and we needed to do another album. We decided to do without a drummer altogether and came up with the idea that I should play a drum machine- live onstage. Which no one had ever heard of. And at that juncture my battery is at zero. I will continue when it is charged. 

7. Your last album from that period is called Journey which has moved to electronic, fairly non-commercial prog. I think it's an amazing album...

Well this new concept certainly amused us. We wrote new tunes, and had three weeks before we were to do new gigs. Goodge contributed to the writing but was becoming more and more disenchanted with being on the road. Our first concert was at the London School of Economics. Goodge had decided to call it a day. So we did the concert without a keyboard- and got a standing ovation!

  
In the end a visiting synthesiser player from Detroit , Victor Peraino came to a gig and said " I want to play with you guys." we decided to give it a go. We tried it out for a couple of gigs, and it went well.
So we added him to the line-up, and eventually headed for the studio.  This was Rockfield in Monmouth, Wales. It was where Dave Edmunds created his hits. He was around when we were recording, and soon he expressed an interest in our project. Though his hits were commercial, he loved experimental things. Soon Dennis Taylor stepped aside to give him a shot at production. It produced a classic album.

The musical concept had been to have something with the simplicity of a string quartet, where each instrument is as important as the other.it was also to base it round the capacities of the Bentley Rhythm Ace drum machine, with me at its controls.

We developed a stage act that used yantra, and Blake images, and beautiful interacting geometric shapes. The aim was. Total art for all the senses. There was movement and dance, painting and colour-architecture, as well as music in geometric shapes.

It was a total presentation in which all the senses were approached. It was far more abstract than the other two Kingdom Come albums. We wore black velvet jump suits and huge tubular transparent helmets.
The album was rotated on Radio Luxemburg, which played its two sides back to back. We began to play cultural events and open for the Duke Ellington orchestra etc. But, my inner search led me elsewhere, and we disbanded.

8. What happened next?

After this, I went into various meditation and spiritual retreats. I kept my hand in with guest spots in Tommy- the movie, the Alan Parsons Project, and projects with Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, and one written by Cat Stevens's brother. I did healing work for the wounded in the 1975 war in Israel. I spent a little time at the battle front. I went round Turkey. Then I lived in Africa, and did many things. Then I moved to Texas, got married and concentrated on my family. All the time I did music, but mainly, it was local. Then I toured Europe with German synth giant, Klaus Schulze. I have recently been given the Showman of the year by Classic Rock magazine. I have done many other musical things in this time, but they are too many to enumerate.

At present I am involved with the Hamburg Blues Band, with Clem Curtis on guitar, and Adrian askew on keyboards. I will finish the majority of my gigs with them by end Feb. by then our tour will have covered 80 concerts or more.

After that I concentrate on recording new material with the current line-up of the Crazy World.
You can check them out on my website: arthurbrownmusic.com. We have a live vinyl album out of our performance at the High Voltage festival last summer.


In the spring a box presentation will be released which has a DVD of the award winning concert at the Astoria theatre in London. It will also contain various secret unheard recordings, and Other surprises. You can get it initially through my website.

Living in the empty, where it all comes together.























Photograph: SéanK

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012

© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2012
Hi guys,

I just want to let you know, that on the right side you have a brand new list of our interviews sort by genre. I really hope you like it. I think it's more easy to find particular artists now.
I would also like to say, that in the future I will change color of answers from orange, to bright orange, cos blogger don't allowed to copy from word. So I hope you don't mind and stay tuned, cos we have some really interesting stuff coming....

Bo Anders Persson interview about Pärson Sound, International Harvester, Träd, Gräs och Stenar & beyond


Interview:

Thank you for taking your time, Bo. Where did you grow up and what were some of your influences as a teenager?

As a kid I was singing with my parents in a Baptist church i Stockholm, I remember being attracted by those organ base lines. Later I had a really good Jewish piano teacher, when she realized I was hopeless she anyway taught me a little theory, then I was able to try playing some New Orleans-style jazz with my class-mates, i guess it was around 1950 or so (I´m as old as that!) I sure owe her a lot!
    
Anyway I found out I was not talented enough to make a living on music, so I studied technology up till I was around 21 . One summer I was working at a big chemical plant in Liverpool. The all industrial England was too much, I got very depressed and decided to look for something that could be worth living for. And so I started try understanding what music was, from the bottom, studying harmony and counterpoint for some years, and going to concerts with works of Messiaen and Stockhausen  and so on. There I met Torbjörn Abelli, when I for a shore time attended the Music Academy of Stockholm we formed small noice-oriented group, with Arne Ericsson and Urban Yman, practicing in the Academy cellar. I also made some noises on my own, using primitive tape-looping. Then Terry Riley came to town, and we all took part in a performance of his performance of "In C", a minimalistic classic if there is one! And that´s where we started: Repeat some primitive phrases of your own like, (preferably NOT all of them strictly 4-bar!) add bass and drums, and you have Pärson sound. By then Torbjörn played base, Urban electric violin, and Arne was trying a home-made "cello" and also a Hofner keyboard. And above all, poet/singer/sax player Thomas Tidholm, and the multi-talented drummer Thomas Mera Gartz joined the band. We tour small places for couple of years, occasionally bigger clubs. We even played support for the Doors! Think it was autumn 1968.

Were you in any bands before forming Pärson Sound? Any releases from then?
  
No.

Pärson Sound was formed in Stockholm 1967 by Royal Music Academy students Bo Anders Persson & Arne Ericsson. You combined the musical ideas of Terry Reily with rock music & Swedish folk music. Would you like to tell me the concept behind it and how do you remember some of the early sessions?


We started out as an artsy group making some more or less structured noises for various performances in Stockholm, sometimes using tape-loops, sometimes instruments, sometimes everything in the room. Sometimes planned, and sometimes driven by sheer panic! But when we got the base/drum thing going we met other audiences, while still having enough complexity to make the thing interesting to ourselves. It still strikes me, the kind of impact an audience can have on music! Our music at that time was 100% fueled by people. Standing, yelling, dancing or just sitting dropping their jaws!  


You didn’t release anything as Pärson Sound, but these days the compilation of songs was released. Would you like to tell me about the recordings?

The Pärson sound record was compiled from tapes of the most diverging quality one could imagine,  I for one did not have very high expectations. But I was kind of smashed when I heard the result, at the release party. Thomas Gartz and others had sucked the most delicate vibrations possible out of those simple recordings. And kept me away from the process, perhaps a wise choice! I tend to be very much affected by my own feelings at the time of the performance, or by my own feeble performance, and so being unable to look at the whole picture.


You changed your name to International Harvester Basically, which is the same band as Pärson Sound. Why did you change the name?


When we got our first gig as a (sort of) rock group, I had to come up with a name for the posters. Obviously I was lacking fantasy: "OK: Persson Sound" We soon changed it to Pärson Sound, to get it away from my own name. And later, to International Harvester, or Harvester. We reap the good ideas of the times, sort of.


In 1968 you released Sov gott Rose-Marie album on Love label. What are some of the strongest memories from producing and recording your LP?

In fact that record was almost entirely planned by Thomas Tidholm. I made few contributions to it, trying to sing some back vocals and the like. But I think it´s a good record, nevertheless.  

What can you say about the cover artwork?

It was made by Mats Arvidsson, who is an accomplished art specialist at the Swedish Radio. He is obviously also an art designer as well!


How many pressings were made?

You´ll have to ask someone who knows such things. But I remember seeing a Korean bootleg, a truly curios feeling!


Hemåt is another LP from 1969 you released as Harvester. This one was released on Decibel label. The music is really avant-garde. What can you say about it? What inspired you the most at that period of time?


That record is more like our live music of 1968-69, we thought of it as a part of the -68 left/anarchist movement of the time. Though I remember I felt it was the last of its kind, I was longing for something more root-like, earthy vibes, but still with the psyche feeling present, of course. Now I can see that I was probably not quite up to my own role in that concept.   


If we go back a little bit to the year of 1967. You released Was? / Proteinimperialism with Folke Rabe. Would you like to share a few words about your co-work?

The thing is, we met regularly, I was at times a stand in for him as sound tech at the Academy. But  we were both influenced by Terry Riley. And yes, I was taking part in some performances staged by Folke Rabe and his regular trombone cooperator Jan Bark, who was also another influence of mine. Yes, these men have been essential for me, your questions bring me back to this insight!


In 1970 you compiled and released field recordings LP called Reportage: Spela själv and was released on Expo Norr label…Please share a few words about it...

It was basically an idea of Thomas T: Put some humans of various ages in a room, and provide them with simple instruments like drums, bells flutes etc. And see what happens. It might be music! I have to admit that I did not think so much of it, but it kind of worked, at least sometimes! And Rikskonserter had a label for simple recordings called "Reportage“, they asked me to gather material for it. But one of the best examples of the energy in this concept is on the green record "Träd Gräs och Stenar", that track (Power to the people) and "Tegenborgsvalsen" are possibly the only worthwhile tracks on that record.



Around this period or a bit earlier Träd, Gräs och Stenar was born. Why did you decide to change the name again? Is it because of the music, here you recorded a bit more accessible material for people…


Thomas Tidholm had been a driving force during the Pärson Sound/Harvester period. It was impossible to go on under the same banner. And the music sure became more Accessible" or conventional if you like! By then, I thought of it as providing organic music for rural country friday night ceremonies. I also had some vague idea of providing a music that should have been appropriate for an modern nature religion, like some modern equivalent  of african bushman music (I think those recordings are among the most beautiful things there is) But, as said, I was hardly up to the task. Even if Jakob Sjöholm joined the band, it helped a bit but maybe not the whole distance! Anyway, from then on we basically had a Beatles setting for some years to come... 


You released four amazing albums. Among them there is your debut from 1970, Djungelns Lag from 1971, Mors Mors and Rock för kropp och själ from 1972. I would love if you could share a story about producing and recording this albums. Perhaps you can also share a story from touring and some favourite memories….



These were the live years! The recordings were nice to have but they were of less importance. It was the live music that should support the process of looking for a life in tune with the environment, in tune with people. A simple, joyful life living close together in harmony. Of course it did not work. It is very disappointing that all these good thoughts are so hard to realize! And that the music they should nurse is so hard to hear!
 
TG&S is still going on! My dear person is replaced by Reine Fiske, he surely can play the guitar, including mimic my regular mistakes! And when Torbjörn Abelli sadly went out of busyness, he was replaced by Sigge Krantz, a longtime friend of ours. And Thomas Mera Gartz and Jakob Sjöholm are still there!


In 1974 you released one LP as Hot Boys. What is the story about that?

Another Thomas Tidholm succes! It is entirely his record, with clever/funny lyrics, and some good music too. It was great fun to make it, having no responsibility except a little piano playing and humming now and then!


I’m sure you have some crazy stories from touring/concert experiences to share with us…


Sorry, these things are rare, in my book! I´m not enjoying these travels you have to do when touring, I think airports are an insult to earth, from whatever angle you look at it. But of course, I´m grateful for having met people like Makoto Kawabata and Jim O´rourke , even been jamming together! And of course it is interesting to see the rusting infrastructure of the US, the most rich, most helpless , most dangerous nation on earth.


What were you doing in the 80’s and 90’s?

Growing potato and onions and carrots, working as music teacher i the northern Swedish countryside. And going to Stockholm capital for an occasional gig. And of course, trying to be a part-time father of two kids, different mothers (by now they are around 40 years, time is no joke!)

What are you doing these days?
 
Growing potato and onions and carrots, and pumpkins, tomatoes, chili garlic. In fact almost anything that grows in these parts. My aim is to lead a simple life with low impact on resources. A hard rain´s gonna fall...


Thank you very much for your time! Would you like to send a message to It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine readers?

Oh... yeah..start growing potato and onions and carrots, and pumpkin…

















 Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2012
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2012