URIAH HEEP guitarist Mick Box was recently interviewed by 365NYportal.com. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On whether he thinks the music industry has changed for the better over the years:
Mick: "It's very hard to say. I think it's a bit of each. It's good that things are so immediate now, but it's also a disposable age where you can do everything with one button in your home, and it arrives the nxt morning, so there's no anticipation, no romanticism involved with the music. It's very disposable. That's the bad side of it. The good side is the immediacy, with Facebook and web sites and Instagram and things, everything happens very quickly. In the old days, you used to wait six months for a fan letter, but now, it's six seconds, and you're in."
On the musical scene in England in the late 1960s:
Mick: "It was total madness. It was changing very quickly from all these bands that wore suits and did little dances while they played, to those growing long hair and being rebellious and big stacks of amplifiers behind us. It was a very exciting time, and it was only done out of the love and passion of what you did. That's why so many good songs came out in that era, and they still stand the test of time today."
On the 16-minute title track of the group's 1971 sophomore album, "Salisbury":
Mick: "It's a very long song. It's very adventurous, very progressive, but I think that depicts the time that we wrote that song. It was all very free. There were no rules; we were making new rules, so we didn't stay within the three-minute format. It was all part of that rebellion. To us, it was just a song that we allowed to dictate where we went with it, rather than stop it and say, 'Now we need a middle-eight. Now we need a chorus.' We just let it breathe, and by doing that, it became very good."
On original URIAH HEEP vocalist David Byron, who sang on the group's first ten albums and died of alcohol-related complications in 1985:
Mick: "David was one of the best vocalists I've ever worked with, simply because he never just sang a song; he lived in the song. Therefore, it touched everyone that heard his voice, because he was very believable. I think that was his greatest asset. After that, he became a charismatic person, and he was a star 24/7. He never left it, whereas I can get up there, do my piece and come down and I'll be the same as anyone else. He couldn't — he had to live it."
On why he's never released a solo album:
Mick: "I have a balance in life between my family and my musical life. It's very important for me to keep that balance, and it keeps me sane. If I go home after six weeks or twelve weeks on the road and say I'm going to go and start working on a solo album and I'll be away for another three months, I think my family would kill me. [Laughs] If I have to do it, I'd only do it correctly and get a band together — a bunch of musicians that I really like to play with. We'd go in, we'd rehearse it proper and we'd go through the whole process of getting the album together. I couldn't do it cheaply on a computer at home or anything like that. I think that balance in life just doesn't allow me to do it because URIAH HEEP takes up so much of my time."
On the group's forthcoming album, "Living The Dream":
Mick: "It's recorded. We recorded it in January in 19 days with a Canadian producer called Jay Ruston, who's a marvelous guy. He's produced [THE] WINERY DOGS and STONE SOUR; he's worked with BLACK STAR RIDERS, with EUROPE. He's in L.A. now mixing it. We'll release it in September."
On being the first Western rock band allowed to perform in Soviet Russia in the late 1980s:
Mick: "I don't think we had any message other than what we had with our music. We just let our music do the speaking. We were invited over there when Gorbachev and Reagan were having their peace talks, and we thought, 'Why not?' We said, 'Are we popular enough to be going over there?' Our Hungarian promoter said, 'You won't believe how popular you are.' We went over and found out how popular we were through the black market. We played to 180,000 people, and it was wonderful."
On his favorite URIAH HEEP album:
Mick: "The next one. Never look back. Be proud of your history, but never look back, and never let it be a weight around your neck. You have to keep moving forward."
"Living The Dream" will be made available via Frontiers Music Srl.
URIAH HEEP is:
Mick Box: Guitar, Vocals
Phil Lanzon: Keyboards, Vocals
Bernie Shaw: Lead Vocals
Russell Gilbrook: Drums, Vocals
Dave Rimmer: Bass, Vocals