Phil Mogg is of course the vocalist in UFO, along with the side-project Mogg/Way. He is also now a member
of a new band, Sign of 4, who have just released their debut album via Track
Records (an excellent release & worth a listen). Sign of 4 have just
started a UK tour and will be playing some UFO classics as well!
(Thanks to Dave Clarke at Planet Earth Publicity, the
SITN members who e-mailed questions & Phil Mogg)
How are the rehearsals going? Youre just about
to start your UK tour.
Last rehearsal today which should seal it. Its
going well. Were doing quite a bulk of the Sign of 4 album. Plus some
of Chocolate Box that I did a way back with Jeff Kollman and
then were picking some UFO stuff.
Could you tell us a bit about your new album? Its
a very good album by the way.
Its one of the more casual albums. It was a different
style of playing and material. It didnt have any of the UFO drama around
it. It was more relaxing to do.
Obviously Jeff Kollman youve worked with before.
How did you pick the rest of the band?
Shanes a friend of Jeff and they play in a band
themselves. The bass player, he stayed in LA actually (note hes
not in the tour band) and was another friend of Jeffs.
What are your favourite songs on the album? Personally
I think Dancing with St. Peter and Beautiful Friend
are both fantastic.
Yeah, both of those. I like most of it particularly the
ones we are doing live, like Overload, Driven,
Song Keeps On Coming and Bad On Bad we are playing
live. Some of them seem to take on a different sound live than they do on
How did the Tom Waits cover Clap Hands
Id seem him record up at Kartarti where we done
some albums, UFO and Mogg/Way. I had an album of his and was looking at the
possibility of doing a cover and thought this could be the one. Lyrically
its great. He writes some really good stuff good style.
Would you plan any Mogg/way albums? Chocolate
Box was what, 2-3 years ago now?
I dont think so. Well take Sign of 4 wherever
its going and see what happens with this.
UFO had the Sharks album out in September.
Do you know how thats been doing at all?
Havent seen it in the charts (laughs) but I heard
its doing well in Europe.
Will UFO tour Europe or is UFO a more studio-based
I did say in other interviews that we maybe we would
do some festivals in the summer. But the way things look now unless something
dramatic happens in terms of health and fitness, I cant see UFO playing
Is it over, who owns the name that makes it hard to
perform on stage without Michael?
No, theres an agreement that we couldnt use
UFO that if neither he nor I was in it. You could very easily contend that
and get out of it. I dont even know if it would be worth even going
there. I was hoping that things would change and swing round.
Whats been your favourate period of UFO? Which
have you really enjoyed?
I like the ones where we went through a change. Like
the first proper album Phenomena, then Lights Out
with Nevison - great studio. I guess Strangers
top end of that period. We had some great times with Paul Chapman. No
Place to Run was great fun. It was what was going on around the album
at the time. If you were having a good time.
Do you still keep in contact with former members like
Paul Chapman, Andy Parker and Paul Raymond?
Funnily enough I will probably see Paul (Chapman) at
the end of November as hes in Florida. I havent spoke to Paul
(Raymond) or Andy in yonks but I am sure we will meet up.
Would you ever like to do a covers album or a particular
style of music that you would like to try?
I wouldnt mind a good bluesy album but there is
some on Sign of 4. I dont think there is anything I would like to try,
I was quite happy doing this actually.
Do you see this as a long-term project? I
think its different and a little bit easier going. The material is
Yeah, I would like to do some more with this. Well
see what happens with these gigs.
Are you just touring the UK or are you going to play
some European dates as well?
Just UK at the moment to tie-in with the release of the
album and mainly because Track Records is in the UK.
Who would you like to work with in the
I think a lot of the older English style blues players
Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Jeff Beck. I remember when Rod Stewart
had Jeff Beck in his band. Jeff Beck is a fantastic guitarist. Ry Cooder
imagine working with Ry Cooder, that would be good. I mean those are
ones. That style of players would be great to play with.
What do you like doing in your spare time away from
I quite enjoy DIY actually (laughs). Bit of doing something,
restoring something. Photography, go see a band. You know the regular.
Do you think you will enjoy it more live with less
Yeah, there is always the thing with a larger band the
larger gigs get a certain regularity. Very nice but if you do it for 3 or
4 years its thesame. There are very few gigs that you want to go back
to again. Although I did enjoy Hammersmith Odeon, that was good venue. It
will be a nice change and it should be very enjoyable.
Is there any UFO song that has a special meaning to
I guess Lights Out would be one of my favourites
because of where we were and everything else.
And is there any song you wish you hadnt
We havent got time! No, there is a few of those.
Theyre just songs that you think that could have been so much
better. That always happens anyway.
Ozzy has famously gone back and re-recorded the backing
on his early albums. Would you consider this or do you think this is a
I would think what was done then should stay that
Have you a message for your fans
Any of the fans that not got the end of the UFO gigs,
hopefully the Sign of 4 will be completing the full course. I dont
think we are going to have anyone walking off stage. Just wanted to reassure
anyone who is coming that they will get the full ticket.
Interview © 2002
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