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Interview: Roye Albrighton (Nektar)

Rock Stars...

Roye Albrighton
© www.nektarsmusic.com

The first 3 German Nektar albums have been described as psychedelic rock. The bands 4th album Remember The Future was issued in US and garnered a lot of attention from press and fans - was there a conscious effort to make the third album different than the first three - more of a progressive rock direction? Also, what was the concept about?

We never went out of our way to write a specific type of music for any of our albums, bassically, it just came out as it did, and being as Remember the Future was the first release in the USA and got the push it did, this is probably the reason it did so well. I think the same could have happened to Tab in the Ocean if that had been the first.

The rough concept of RTF was based around an Alien (bluebird) that makes friends with a young blind boy and tells him of lifes wonders as seen through his eyes.

Many critics say that the 1976 album Recycled was the band's best - your opinion.

It was a good album for it's time, I enjoyed making it too.

Around this time we were experimenting with other stuff, and the thought of using choirs and synthesizers were definitely part of it.

Synths were starting to grow up at an alarming rate and we wanted to incorporate them in some way. Recycled was the perfect vehicle for that.

What is your favourite Nektar album and why?

Still yet to be written

"Astral Man" was the only Nektar single to chart on the Billboard Singles charts in 1975 - any idea why this song was so popular?

Actually, we had several charting singles in the USA, Astral Man was one of them. I have no idea why this song was so popular, I guess it was catchy, but so was Fidgety Queen.

In 1990 Bellaphon reissued the Nektar back catalogue on CD and used the wrong master for Remember The Future - what happened?

When we originally mixed RTF back in the 70's, we did two versions. One was for quadraphonic, and the other was for stereo.
What happened in 1990 was that someone in Bellaphon picked up the wrong master tapes (which were the quad ones) and transferred them to CD.

This had the effect of only 2 of the 4 channels being used, and hence only half the instruments could be heard.

How they managed to do this is beyond me.

In 2002 Nektar reunioned and headlined Nearfest opposite of Steve Hackett. Also Larry Fast joined the band at this point. Can you talk about this gig, the reunion and how Larry became a band member.

While I was still with the band,Larry was never officially a band member although this may have been the case after my departure in 1976. He was however a guest on Recycled, and any shows he did with the band were of a guesting nature.

The reunion started off by me receiving an email from the NEARfest organization asking if Nektar would be interested in reforming and playing the festival.

It took many months to convince the others that it might be fun to do, and eventually we got together and rehearsed for the show.

The band has finished a new CD called Book Of Days - can you talk about the CD.

Actually, the new CD will have the finishing touches put to it in January 2008, and we are looking for a release date shortly thereafter.

Any concept/message behind the CD?

Book of Days will be a loose concept ... basically revolving around present human situations, or perceptions of the present human lifestyle and all the positive/negative things it offers.

Who is in the band now?

Klaus Henatsch (keyboards) Peter Pichl (Bass) Ron Howden (Drums/Percussion) and myself

Why was it delayed and when will it be released?

We have had over the past 18 months some extreme management problems that led to the delay of this album, but all is now slowly coming back on track.

The most important of these is the re-instatement of our fanbase due to damage our ex-management has caused, and of course the release of the new Nektar album which should be after January.

Any plans to tour?

We are doing a very special tour in Europe starting this coming April whereby we are taking Nektar out as purely an "acoustic" show.

This is something I have always wanted to do because the music of Nektar (old or new) lends itself to the acoustic instrument.

By acoustic, I mean exactly that, we will be using Grand piano, stand bass, percussion and varied acoustic guitars.

We will be recording the shows for general release at the end of 2008.

After this, we are doing the European festivals.

I would like to say that we will be touring the USA in 2008, but as things stand, we need a touring agent to be able to do this.

What's in the future for Nektar?

To make more music, and to experiment more in different ways...an orchestrated version of Journey is not unlikely..but we will see.

I am also working on a new solo album, but this will take some time to finish, Nektar are taking up a lot of my time at the moment..


Interview 2008 Billy James. All rights reserved.

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