Steve Patrick of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with drummer Andy Parker of British rock legends UFO. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hardrock Haven: How did the band want to follow-up 2009’s “The Visitor”?
Andy: That’s kind of a tough one. It’s pretty much as always, you know. We weren’t absolutely sure we’d get another album because SPV had gone through some changes, but once they decided they were going to keep going and that they wanted us to do another album. Then it’s just basically pitching the ideas and getting on with it.
Hardrock Haven: Can you describe how the UFO of today typically writes a new album?
Andy: Well, normally it would be Vinnie Moore [guitar] and myself…and Pete [Way, bass] when he was in the band. Obviously, we don’t have a full-time bass player right now, so the writing process is pretty much left down to the rest of us. This time around I didn’t really do much. I had kind of a busy year. My kid was getting married and stuff, so… yeah, we were on the road a lot, so it was kind of just when it came time to do the album the guys pitched in their ideas. Traditionally, what happens is we pitch in the ideas and Phil [Mogg, vocals] listens to them, decides which ones he can kind of feed off of, and we come down to a short list. Then we go into the studio and record those as backing tracks and he works on his vocals from there. I mean, quite often he’ll give us kind of a lyric idea or a hookline or a melody… some kind of phrasing ideas, but we don’t normally hear the finished product until it is actually finished. I did the drums… the drums and bass were done in Germany at Area 51 with Tommy Newton [producer]. Phil worked there, too… Phil did his vocals. He tends to work out of his home studio in Delaware. He feels more comfortable there… he’s got all his stuff there. Paul [Raymond, keyboards/guitar] kind of worked between London at a studio he likes in London and Area 51. It’s not that far for him…from London to Hanover so it’s a pretty close commute. I think the only reason he doesn’t do everything in Hanover is he likes to use a grand piano and a B3, so Tommy doesn’t have those there…so Paul found a studio in London that did.
Hardrock Haven: Who performed the bass parts on “Seven Deadly”?
Andy: By this time, if you remember last time around it was a German bass player, Peter Pichl, that we used. This time around, it’s another German bass player named Lars Lehmann and he was a buddy of Vinnie‘s. Vinnie had used him in some solo stuff and suggested that he was a great bass player, which he is…and a great guy. He was available and he was in Hanover, so that made things easier because at least he was around when I put the drum tracks down, which was nice. We got to do the bass and drums together.
Hardrock Haven: That kind of leads into the next question: how is Pete doing?
Andy: Eh, well I mean I haven’t seen him probably in little over a year. Last time I saw him he was pretty much the same, as usual. That’s a tough one. I mean, you know, the story with Pete is he’s basically on hiatus from the band because of his lifestyle choices. It was really starting to affect his performance and the band in general, although it really fell on Phil‘s shoulders to make the decision… that he kinda needed to sit out and pull himself together. Poor old Pete. He started off with a good attitude, but he kind of fell by the wayside, so I don’t see him returning anytime soon. I mean, obviously we’re all hoping that he will be back and that he will sort himself out, but the last time I saw him he was still pretty much in the state that he had been for a while. Now, funny enough, he’s actually been doing some stuff with Michael [Schenker], which I can understand, from a fan’s point of view, is pretty confusing, you know? Why is he out there with Michael and not with us? It’s just a matter of degrees with Pete. I think the deal was with Michael is that Michael had him along, but he also had another bass player along to cover the playing duties… which works fine for Michael, but we won’t do that. If he’s going to be in the band then he has to step and play, too, so… like I said, we love him to death.
Read the entire interview from Hardrock Haven.