British folk rockers OYSTERBAND took some time to support their upcoming release "Meet you there" by taking some time to answer a few of my questions. Read what these veterans have to say... |
You're looking back on a history of more than 25 years in the music business.
Do you think the business, the fans, the scene changed a lot in those years? If so, could you describe what changes you observed?
John: Looking back is always difficult, things seemed so innocent then. We wandered out of the rock scene and the punk scene and collided with folk
music in Canterbury and just fell in love with it. We made music in pubs, played for ceilidhs and never thought of it as a business or a career. We had so much time to evolve as a band, improve our live performances and grow
as song writers. Now it seems as though if you have'nt made it after the first album you are history. Everything seems so much more planned and image conscious. Everyone has such a short attention span.
After such a long time of writing songs, recording in studios, playing live, touring... what keeps you going? What keeps your interest in doing this alive?
John: I think the journey is always more exciting than the destination. It may be a cliche' but we have never really arrived at where we want to be,
where ever that is. It only makes sense when we are playing. Travelling to other countries is still a buzz.
Was there ever a point at which it seemed more likely for the band to split up than to continue?
John: We have had several dodgy moments. We came back from a 2 month tour of America as complete wrecks which nearly did for us. Recently with the
Big Session and the other projects we have developed it would have been easy to let Oysterband go but it is the main spring of all the other ideas so we are all back. But i still don't know how we have survived.
What lessons did you learn in those years? In other words, if you look back, are there any decisions you wouldn't make again that way?
John: Sure there are lessons we have learnt. We would never sign a long term record deal with anyone ever again. We regret we didn't take some
countries seriously enough at the time. We wish there was more film available of some of the highs especially live gigs. Some of it of course is a complete haze.
Let's talk about "Meet you there", your upcoming album. Could you tell our readers a little about it? Are there songs on it, your fans wouldn't expect? What's your general feeling about the album?
John: "Meet you there" grew organically out of small acoustic sessions over 2 years. It was never certain that it was an album. Alan and I got toether
with Chopper and went off to some of our favourite haunts with some lyrics of Ian's and just played and played. Much of the personal stuff we brought a long, songs we had been working on individually were one by one discarded
and we just looked for Oyster songs. They were still there and this really is a very strong album.
Your live schedule shows 2 different tours for February and March and April. One is the "'Voices' tour - an acoustic special", the other one is a promo tour for "Meet you there" through Germany and Switzerland. What will the acoustic tour look like? What songs will be played, how will you be performing?
Will there be acoustic versions of new songs during the 'Voices' tour?
John: Our acoustic tour is just for the UK sadly. No amps, no drums just voices, instruments and percussion. There is no big production just 4
people sitting and playing, me standing all singing our hearts out including Oyster classics and songs from the new album.
You'll also be performing on several festivals in the UK. Have you ever been invited to or thought about playing at a German festival, maybe even one of the larger summer festivals?
John: Yes we have played HURRICANE FESTIVAL, ZILLO, BIZARRE AND LORELEI. This year we play "Folk im Schlos" in Bonfeld in June.
Your music is massively influenced by Celtic tunes. Are you interested in Celtic history, too, or just the music?
John: British folk music gives you a glimpse into the world of your ancestors; the harsh reallity of their lives, the world of the under dog, of
simple beauty and dark, cruel secrets. It is wonderfully Gothic and we love the stories and the magnificent tunes.
Thank you very much for your time and for answering my questions. I wish you best of luck for the tours and the upcoming album. The last words of this interview belong to you.
John: That's perfect, I always like to have the last word.
See you out there