Interview: The Steve Hillage Band
Born in London, Steve Hillage was a member of the Charismatic Gong. In one of the meetings of the members of the legendary band, called Gong Unconvention, took the opportunity to record a Septemberwith his band which was released for the first time in 2009 and now republished in 2012. Via Nocturna was to know a little about this enigmatic guitarist who wanders from rock to dance music and electronics in the most uncompromising possible.
Hello Steve! Thanks for despenderes some of your time for answering the Via Nocturna. This your new album was recorded live in 2006 but only now seeing the light of day …
Actually he was released in 2009 by Voiceprint. But it was a relatively small scale and now that Voiceprint is no longer operational, we decided to re-launch it this year on a larger scale.
Can you talk a bit in what consists the Gong Unconvention festival?
A series of Unconventions was initially organized by fans of Gong as an annual get-together. We were in the 2005 edition of the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms and played a September with Mirror System and the System 7. Daevid not been there, but most of the other original members of Gong were last night and decided to make a jam – it sounded fantastic and made me feel! Then we all decided to do it the following year, on a larger scale with everyone there. And that’s how the Unconvention 2006 at Melkweg was born.
In this festival and music touched your own original songs of the seventies, right? What memories guards these days?
The 70’s were a roller coaster ride wild and intense for me, Khan, Kevin Ayers, for Gong and finally to The Steve Hillage Band. By then wrote and recorded several albums and played hundreds of shows. I have great memories. In the early 80s I was a bit bored and tried to do other things.
After you have completed the album with some themes of your file. How do you feel, after so many years, to play your songs again this time?
They are great songs – love them. And have stood the test of time.
Apart from your banda is also in System 7. When it began your interest in electronic music / dance music ?
My interest in electronic music / dance music began already in the 70s. We follow the development of Kraftwerk since its inception as an acoustic band to be fully electronic. I have strong memories of being in a nightclub in 1978, when the DJ started playing Kraftwerk and everyone danced. At that moment I had a flash – have seen the future! Also in the 70’s developed a strong connection to the funk and we were big fans of Tonto’s Expanding Headband , which led to our work with Malcolm Cecil on the album Motivation Radio . I often think in Ether Shipss Green album as the first track of System 7.
Either way you have always been an experimentalist in music. How do you see the current experimental music scene?
I see him quite varied – some parts and exciting parts of something boring. Sometimes I just want to say “Fuck art – let’s dance.”
In the years 2009/2010 witnessed some of the dates Gong. How is the project now?
We did 70 shows with Gong in 2009 and 20 in 2010. In about 20 of them had the Steve Hillage Band as The Uncon in, but with some different songs as Hurdy Gurdy Man andSearching For The Spark . This all was afollow-through and the Uncon event was generated great energy. Now in 2012 the Gong will be in a new cycle and Daevid Allen took a direction I can not follow. There will be a tour of Gong in the autumn, but this time I will not touch.
The shows are very theatrical Gong, right? How do the management of music and the whole spectacle surrounding?
In tours of 2009 and 2010 had the Daevid elaborate costume changes, but the most important were the video projections, many of them based on drawings Daevid own.We rehearsed the sets in order to maximize the theatrical effect. This year I think it will be much simpler.
According realized is programming more album-oriented rock of Steve Hillage Band for next year …
I would not say that is entirely programmed because we have a lot of other projects in the pipeline, but I wrote a couple of good new themes and style Steve Hillage Band and I intend to take my guitar with me to Asia for a creative pause that will in November -December. Let’s see what comes out of it. We are also making an interesting hybrid of album rock and electronics with Japanese Rovo banda calledPhoenix Rising , which will be recorded in Japan in September.
Finally, you want to add something else to our readers and Portuguese fans?
I’d love to go and do a tour in Portugal and meet you all! Maybe if we make it happen this new album from Steve Hillage Band. I’m so involved with contemporary music that I have no desire to make a tour of the inheritances play only old material. I also need some new songs.
Posted by Pedro Carvalho at 21:14
Translated from Portuguese