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.
Returning From The US
Returning from the US was a real difficult decision for me, as I really didn't know what I was going to do with myself. I had turned a few things
over in my mind and because I had a fair few ideas for new songs, I decided to approach my record company and ask about the situation regarding a solo
album. This was to be my first mistake. I was flatly denied any possibility of a solo career or any future recording with this record company.
And so, I happened to run into an old friend that I knew from the old old Nektar days, who was managing a band in the south of Germany called Snowball.
This was to be the remnants of a jazz rock band called Klaus Doldingers Passport, and a good band it was as well. Very lively and full of beans. We did
an album together called Defrosters, and it was basically a pile of songs that they had written without a vocalist / guitarist, and so enter Roye…
It wasn't exactly music for the masses but it was exciting live, and it gave me some good practice on chords that I had forgotten over the years.
One thing I did learn while I was with the band, was that volume wasn't everything in the world of live rock music. I had become quite fond of a little
amplifier that I had brought back from the States with me called a Mesa Boogie. This was the best recording amp that I had ever used, and it was only
a lot later that I found something I liked better. We did a few short tours of the immediate European countries, and even did the East Meets West concert
in Berlin, which I must say left me a little in doubt who was the performers and who was the audience…
So Snowball came and went, and here I was still looking for a band. It wasn't until a once close friend of mine introduced me to a gentleman who was
in the commercial film industry, that the idea of putting Nektar back together again for another album was really a prospect…
The Lost Tapes
He had suggested that I nip over to Jersey and sit down with the other boys and see what we'd come up with. I still have some of those tapes we did
in Mo's cellar and believe me if that lot had made the studio it would have been some of the best music that anyone had heard from Nektar. But alas,
is was not to be. Too many years, too many internal problems. And so Taff and I decided to look for another rhythm section, at least one we could work
A New Nektar Is Born
And so along came Dave Prater and Carmine Rojas, who were one of the most stunning drum / bass combo I had heard in a long time. They were up for anything,
and David has to be one of the most powerful drummers I had ever played with, while Carmine had the sweetest touch on the bass, but could pull the fillings
out your teeth when needed… A great combination.
Enter "Man In The Moon"
Between Paul Higgins, myself and several others, we literally built a 16–track studio in Jersey and spent the entire summer recording Moon. At the
end of this we realized that sixteen was not enough, so we had to transfer over to 24 in another studio, where Paul was working at the time. And while
we were there we decided to mix it anyway, and so Man In The Moon was released to the public in Europe, and I'm sorry to say not in the USA… Not
a bad album, although I think a lot more thought could have gone into it and a damn side more hard work too… One thing I do know, though, is that
the first chance I get to rerecord the title track, I will! It didn't come off as I had planned, but next time 'round it will…
And so Nektar was finally put to bed and there I was once more without a band… Although I was messing around with a group in London called Quantum
Jump, whose bass player is responsible for the production of WAL basses, and the keyboard player is now one of the most sought after producers in London
itself. Still I needed a band to work with, so I decided to go back to NYC and see what I could find. I was living in an apartment belonging to a friend,
doing nothing really… Reading the ads for bands that needed a guitarist or vocalist. I even went to an audition for a band that had advertised
for a rhythm guitarist and at the end the manager came up and said the guitarist would be interested only if I would play at half the volume and without
any effects plugged in… It was about five minutes later that I was enjoying a hamburger on Broadway… I spent my thirtieth birthday in NYC
and had the best time ever. Surprising how many bars there are on Broadway…
Time went by and still nothing happening… I was on my way back from an evening of stuffed potato skins and propping up a bar that I heard the distant
sounds of a band rehearsing, way up in one of the apartment blocks on Broadway. To cut a long story short, I rehearsed with this band and eventually played
a night with them in the place I had the potato skins, and it was good. The keyboard player was definitely well into Billy Joel and played a mean piano.
However, through the guitarist and the shop he worked in, I found the guitar that I had always wanted… it was a Schechter. Although I spent more
than I rightly should have on this guitar, it was well worth it and I play it to this day. A beautiful machine…
Miles Copeland (The Police)
Anyway, things were looking up because I had met an old friend by the name of Miles Copeland (of Police fame) in N.Y.C., and he was interested in what
I was doing with myself these days. As it turned out, he was looking at putting a band together with a bass player pal of ours from the English band Climax
Blues Band, as that band had folded and the bassist had an awful lot of songs to sing. Well, I had a lot too, so it was to be that I went back to the
UK to meet up with him and run through a few things together. Enter Grand Alliance and the start of a new album.
The Copeland Project
Derick Holt was the bass player with the Climax Blues Band, who were touring the USA around the same time as Nektar were. In fact, when we were not playing,
they would hire our PA and personnel for a few weeks at a time… I met Derick as I got off the train in Stafford, which is now where I live in England.
I asked him how I would recognize him when I see him because we had never actually met before. He said you will, and sure enough I did – he was
the only person on the station platform wearing a clown's nose… We wrote some good music together of which only some reached the studio, and having
put the album together, we went on tour to the States together with a drummer by the name of Brendan Day, a really good all-round drummer, that was grossly
underestimated in the musical circles in Britain.
On The Road Again
We toured with the likes of ZZ Top and other artists, but what surprised me was that The Police were looking for a support act for their new tour, promoting
Every Breath, and Mr. Copeland, who was their manager and ours now, didn't put us on the tour. It would have been perfect, but I suppose politics
play some strange games sometimes… We played concerts and bars and just about anywhere just to play, but we ended up going back home and writing
some more songs for what we thought was going to be another album. Alas, Mr. Copeland decided to pull the plug on us and to this day, I don't know why.
Maybe he read the message in the bottle…
Derick went on to do Night Of A Thousand Guitars with lots of the old rock guitarists from way back. Brendan is playing with a club band and I re–married
my guitar. I still play(live that is) now and again, when the mood takes me, but I do an awful lot in my hobby room… I must have spent a fortune
by now on gadgets for hard disk recording and all that that entails, but like all musicians who have purple blood, I just cant leave it alone, and no
doubt will be laid to rest one day with a guitar at my feet…
I hope you have all enjoyed my story and remember, the breaks are only just 'round the corner. If you see one, grab it. You may not get a second chance….