UFO Drummer On New CD: 'Recording This Album Was A Very Different Experience For Me'

The Strangers In The Night web site recently conducted an interview with UFO drummer Andy Parker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Strangers In The Night: Let's start off by talking about your early days with UFO. How did you get into drumming in the first place, and how did you come to audition for UFO?

Andy: "As long as I can remember I always wanted to be a drummer. Got my first real kit at 12 and played in a variety of different bands. I met the guys in a pub back in 1969. They were looking for somewhere to rehearse. Turns out one of my mates had been at school with Pete. We got chatting and they told me they were looking for a new drummer. The auditions were at the Fishmongers Arms in Wood Green. I remember that they showed up late. Mick Bolton came in carrying a cardboard box which contained a jumble of guitar leads, none of which seemed to work. After about an hour of crackles, hums and assorted other noises, he asked me, 'Do you know how to solder?' To this day I still don’t know if it was my skill with a soldering iron or my drumming that got me the gig."

Strangers In The Night: So tell us about the touring and recording this time around.

Andy: "Recording this album was a very different experience for me. The guys had already come up with the basic tracks by the time I arrived on the scene. Phil had been in Delaware working with Vinnie on their stuff (drink too much being one of them, so I hear) and Pete and Paul both had demos of their songs. We thrashed out the rough arrangements in a rehearsal room in Hanover, then headed for the studio. Initially we had planned to record the drum tracks in analog. Both Phil and I felt it was important to have a 'real' drum sound on this album, so we had found a large studio with a 24-track tape machine in which to cut the basic tracks. Not as easy as you might think in this digital age! Unfortunately the aforementioned machine broke down on the first day of recording (no wonder digital has taken over) and with the only service technician who could fix it stuck in Munich, we were forced to abandon the idea and go digital. It was the first time I have worked in a totally digital format. To be perfectly honest, I found it very relaxing. When I laid down the drum tracks there was just myself and Tommy Newton in the studio so it was much easier to concentrate on what I was playing. I'm not saying that it will always be this way but in this instance we were kind of tight for time (having just lost a day's recording) and it really worked to our advantage. And thanks to Tommy's expertise with ProTools, I believe the end result is as good as analog. Although I think a track called 'Smoke Too Much' might have been more appropriate in Tommy's case!

"As for the live shows, they were fantastic. I feel so at home on that stool. The band has such a great vibe these days. The tension that I have felt in the past has completely gone. Due in a large part I believe to Vinnie. As well as being an amazing guitar player, he is also a rock-solid guy. Phil is sounding better than ever and Pete and Paul are just pure rock and roll — and always a pleasure to play with."

Read the entire interview at www.strangers-in-the-night.com.

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