Interview with Roye, conducted by Attila on September 9, 1996, covering the time
from the first US tour and the album Down To Earth.
Exhausting Schedule Takes Nektar To Dr. Robert
If you were to look at the Nektar yearbook of 1974 – 1975, you would probably say that we were out of our minds. We were touring – recording
– rehearsing – recording – touring… non stop for virtually the whole 24 months and it was starting to show. We were feeling a
little worse for wear and somebody had the idea that a visit to a Harley Street specialist might do the trick… Little did we know that the man
we were to see was none other than the famous Dr. Robert… Yes, the Dr Robert, the acclaimed man of the Beatles days. Mind you, all he did was give
us a huge shot of vitamine B and sent us on our way. But believe me, that did the trick and we were back to our old selves again.
Off To America And "Down To Earth"
At last, we were to embark on our first tour of the States. The excitement in the camp was at an all–time high, and just before we left, we managed
to spurt out yet another album that was due for release in Germany, in the form of Down To Earth. This was Nektar's "Magical Mystery Tour"
album. Everybody in those days seemed to record at least one LP that seemed to have nothing at all to do with what they were really all about. Although
I thought it was a good album, it really didn't hit the mark in Germany and lots of our fans over there were starting to wonder if we were starting
to lose all control. Personally, I didn't find it that bad and the idea behind it was good, but you cannot argue with your public, they always know
The Visual Experience
Still very important things were taking place at that time, and we were heavily involved with getting everything right and ready for the US tour. I must
admit that what we were about to do, had never been seen or heard of in the States. The involvement of light and sound in a form that seemed to be connected
in some way as to give the impression that they were one of the same thing… a living thing. Oh, they had lighting that we could easily rent in
the States, but that was the normal run of the stuff stage lighting. This was something else, and I think I will leave that to the expert
Mick Brockett to explain how that all got to that level…
We had a marvelous theatre to rehearse the show in right in the middle of St. Louis and, of course, music shops were never far away. We had taken everything
we had with us over to the States for fear of not being able to get the equivalent over there. At one point I think I heard that we had taken up the best
part of 6 pallets on a 747 freight Jumbo… We took everything, even the cut glass that Mick needed for the lights… Unbelievable…
Success And Misfortune
It was a great success and when we heard that RTF was heading up the charts (with a bullit), we thought that this was it. When we got back to Germany
we were presented with a gold album for sales of RTF, and life just seemed to be good to us. Unfortunately, like most good things, they must inevitably
come to an end, and in the next part I will try to explain how stupid mistakes on the part of people not even being involved in the creation of Nektar
music, could destroy what was gradually becoming one of the hottest bands around…
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.
The Euro / USA Confusion
We were surprised actually that RTF got as far as it did in the US (for a first release, that is), and by rights it was normal that as soon as it started
to fall, a new product should be readied for release. The idea is that if you leave it too long, then people tend to forget about you, especially if you
are a new band. All very well and good, but when record companies cannot agree upon who is to pay this and who is to pay that, it ends up that they forget
just who pays for it all in the end anyway. And while a year–long bickering session went on between certain parties in Europe and certain partys
in the US, somebody forgot the most important thing of all and that was to release a new album.
"Down To Earth": Bad Timing?
So confused were they about who should pay for what, that they eventually released the wrong album… Down To Earth was not for the American market,
but Recycled was, and I believe to this day that had they released Recycled directly after RTF and not waited a year and released Earth, then Nektar might
have been in a different position today… Possibly even still together… I don't say that they were to take all the blame, we were just
as much at fault for being so stupid as to stand by and watch it all happen. Still, we had our chance and unfortunately blew it. But the most exciting
album was yet to be made and although I thought that RTF was a great album, Recycled was my all–time Nektar favourite.
It was quite comical when we arrived at the studios in France for the recording of Recycled. The studio hadn't been finished and they were waiting
for tape machines and outboard gear to arrive! I remember Larry Fast just shaking his head in disbelief it was all a bit gob smacking. I think that any
other band would have probably freaked but all we could do was sit and laugh about it all. Still, we used the time to our advantage and rearranged a few
parts that were niggling us before the actual recording started
I think everybody enjoyed laying the tracks down for that album, and I was very impressed at Larry and the part that he played in lifting the album to
a new dimension with his incredible ideas and abilities in the synth department. Again, a lot of experimentation was going on and when we eventually mixed
it down we had virtually two different sounding sides to the record. Side one was open and full of ambience, while side two was dry and direct. A strange
combination indeed… But I liked it! It was an album to remember in the future and a pleasant finale to my time with the original band.
Still, I had ideas that I could achieve other things, and headed back to Germany to meet with my record company and maybe a solo career… That's
when I really got kicked in the teeth…
Interview with Roye, conducted by Attila on October 28, 1996, covering the time of Roye's leaving Nektar, the band Snowball, the re–union, Man In The Moon, and post–Nektar.
Roye's Chronicles part 4