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Interview with Roye, conducted by Attila on September 5, 1996, covering the time from recording A Tab In The Ocean until and including the Naming "A Tab In The Ocean"

Actually, this album was to be called A Drop In The Ocean, but during a little get together, like we did when we decided on a name for the band, somebody – and I shan't mention who for fear of recriminations – he / she wondered what would happen if all the oceans of the world were spiked with L.S.D. Needless to say we all laughed our socks off at the prospect but later reflected on the subject and hence a lengthy discussion followed and from that the album took its name.

Influences And Writing "Tab"

As far as the music goes, I can only say that this recording was influenced [on my part] a lot by Yes, although many would probably say different. I blame Taff for the actual start of the writing of it: he came up with that marvelous keyboard run–in, which led to the guitar and bass riff of which is not too far removed from Axis Bold As Love…

Recording "Tab"

This album was, if I remember correctly, recorded in (excuse the pun) record time, and we had lot's of studio time left on our hands. So we just carried on doing more tracks, of which some you would here on Future…

Favourite Track On "Tab"

Of course it goes without saying, that my favourite track was Tab, but for live purposes, I think Crying In The Dark was the one. It just used to lift the audience probably because we used to stretch out the intro quite a lot.

Recording "…Sounds Like This"

You could say recording this album was a musician's dream and an engineer's nightmare. Well, the idea behind it was to capture once and for all the sound of Nektar in a live environment, but also have total control over the recording of it. Well, that was the original idea, except Dieter bit off a little more than he could chew. By that, I mean everybody was up for it, but I don't think that the technology in those experimental days were. But we had a lot of fun doing it. It was a very raunchy album with lots of guitar flying about and lots of leakage from the mikes and lots of wine drunk by everybody. This was to be our last visit to the Dierks studio, not because of wanting a change (although history shows different), but because we were finding ourselves slowly becoming in demand, and the United States was beckoning us…

Nektar On The Move…

Sounds was an altogether new experience for us and would later come in good use for the Roundhouse tapes. Do You Believe In Magic was actually released as a single in Germany, much to the protests of us all. But the record company thought it time that we tried our hand at the commercial side of the music industry. I ask you: hair down to our kneecaps, beards that you could plat, wearing Afghan coats, and they wanted to make us megastars?! The track Wings was a little song that we all liked and never really thought that people would take seriously, but somebody in England did. In fact Bob Harris who was comparing a TV show at the time, used it, together with some film footage of seagulls off the coast of Dover, to promote the track as a single. So England had finally heard of us! It's at this point in time that things really started to move for the group Nektar.

Preparing For "The Future"

Well before we knew it, it was 1973 and we had a new album to make, a new studio to record it in at a new location, and the vibes in the Nektar camp were really running at a high… We were ready for this one, and there was no rush to finish it. Experimentation was the order of the day and in fact we were told (in not so many words) that we could do whatever it takes to make a good Nektar album.

Recording "Remember The Future"

So be it, and we started what I can only describe as the most fruitful recording session that we ever did. (Recycled came a close second…) This was to be our first venture into the self production side of things. Don't get me wrong, I thought Peter Hauke did OK with the old albums, but in the Seventies, record producers were not like they are today. Today it's big business and very hard work to keep on top. In those days, they tended to sit back a lot more and listen and when they thought that something was not right, they would give a little cough and say "do you think that's wise?"… I can safely say that Nektar produced RTF completely, from the first note to the last and I think it shows. I for one had great fun recording and eventually playing it live in the new format, because RTF was originally a one–hour piece of music, non stop…

Barry Hammond at the Chipping Norton Studio's, where we recorded RTF was a pleasure to work with. He understood from day one what it was we were after, and made every effort to oblige. That was all part of creating. Obviously, sometimes we were stuck for a sound or a phrase to fit the part. He never stopped giving ideas to the situation, and between Mick Brockett and the rest of the road crew (as was then) and Barry, they were as much a part of that production as we were.

Mixing "Future"

This album was eventually mixed in quadraphonic stereo, because, many people of my age will now tell you, that was supposed to be the new thing. Yes, I would agree, especially when you sit in the middle of two pairs of 400 watt studio monitors at about 95% of their driving capacity… But only 0.1% of the population knew what quad sound was, and to top it all, three different systems were available. So which system do you mix or cut for… Luckily we did a bog standard stereo mix which is what can be heard to this day.

Feelings On "Future"

RTF will always have a special place in my heart as the album at the pinnacle of the Nektar years…

How "Roundhouse" Came To Be

This was an all together different kettle of fish. We were, as I remember it, half way through a major European tour, and the word came across that we were to record another album… live?! I thought it was a joke at first, but after the mist had cleared, nobody was laughing… Least of all me. But we had to make the best of it. Personally I would not have recorded this album as it was, because we already had Recycled ready, and we could have recorded this instead. Still, we were not as yet calling the shots, so off we went to record Roundhouse…

Recording "Roundhouse": The Live Party

Just to put a spanner in the works, we decided to record more material that we were working on for the album after Recycled. As you can see by now, we were always two steps ahead of our recording obligations, and always had a backlog of material ready for use. And so "Roundhouse" became the one Nektar album that had no meaning or direction as such. Instead, it was one side live at the Roundhouse, and the other live in the studio. Basically, a hash of previously recorded tracks mixed with a live birthday party: tape decks left on record while we jammed away to our hearts content. Oh yes, it was Mo's birthday.

Thoughts On "Roundhouse" And The Outcome

I personally think that this album could have been avoided, and a fuller and better production of another done at a later date. But our record company were calling the tune, and we had to basically do what they insisted upon. However, lot's of goodies were in the pipeline for us, and it wasn't the confusion of recording Roundhouse that was going to deter us from doing what we thought best. I will say, however, that when we put our minds together (which we often did), if we thought the direction was not going in our favour or for the benefit of the music, then we would have our say. And we had enough of a clout in Germany at that time to convince our record company that we knew which way the rabbit was going to run…

The Roye's Albrighton Chronicles part 3
Interview with Roye, conducted by Attila on September 9, 1996, covering the time from the first US tour and the album Down To Earth.
Interview with Roye, conducted by Attila on September 13, 1996, covering the time from getting back after the first US tour, the release of the albums Down To Earth and Recycled to Roye's departure.


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