Edited interview with Rick, Bun E (Interview also included the author Mike Hayes) 28 May 1997 - London, over a Japanese lunch...
KG: welcome back to Europe. I gather you're looking to come back later in the autumn here. What can you tell us about your plans, where you are hoping to play, and how long ?
BC: We're trying to come over for sixty days. We're looking for a tour manager for the tour that has worked in the liberated Eastern Bloc countries, so it'll probably be Europe from East to West. And England, and we're also planning on booking at least one show in Ireland, and we're also going to be going to some places we havn't been, we're going to some places we havn't been for 10 or 15 years.
KG: That'll be great. I know there's a lot of people looking forward to seeing you back. Whats made you think about going to Eastern Europe ? That'll be a first for you.
BC: An emerging market. If we're coming over, we'd be foolish not to go there as long as we're next door
KG: Is the album being released over there ?
RN: To the best of our knowledge.
BC: Eastern Europe? Yeah, we want to play where they're selling records
KG: When you come over, I don't know about the rest of Europe, but are you planning to do any fan stuff (in Britain) like "meet'n'greets" or anything ?
RN: We probably should, especially if you have like the Fan Club member kind of stuff, because we've been doing that in the States and having anywhere between 6 and 60 people backstage every night. (Official Meet'n'Greets have been held at some shows in the States, where members of Trick Intl have been able to meet the band)
BC: Whenever we've played England in the past we step out afterwards and meet'n'greet anyway, so I think thats pretty much a fait accompli
MH: And when you come over, are you likely to be playing small places or as support for somebody or take whats available ?
BC: I think take whats available
RN: As far as support, I think if we come over here, I don't think any band that we'd support would want to be doing the same kind of places we would, so I think we'll probably have to do it on our own or...
BC: It will probably be a label affiliated band, thats ho it usually goes, you know. It will be someone new to radio who could use the exposure...
BC: There's a place in Glasgow, ..Edinburgh, the kind of cool clubs we used to play in those towns. It would be a lot of fun to go back
KG: Its been a while since you've played here. I've got no idea of sales figures you've had in Europe these past few years, but how do you perceive the European market now for you ?
BC: How do we see the European market? Depends on what countries we get a push, and how many shows we're doing, and the distribution, you know, and, we came over in 81 and played Portugal. There wasn't a record company office there, all they had was counterfeit records. So stranger things have happened. We somehow went to that country and did 3 big shows in 2 cities
RN: Oporto and Lisbon
BC: So its all up in the air. Its country by country so we'll see what happens.
KG: Finally on the tour, the European tour, but what will you be looking forward to in coming back to Europe ?
RN: The gigs are always fun, always interesting
RN: I think re-establishing ourselves here. A lot of the people who live here can't get the chance to come and see us, to actually see that we can play
KG: Did the album turn out how you thought it would when you went into the studio ?
RN: With the material we had, I think it turned out better. Because, I think the whole album stands up. Each song is different for a good reason.
BC: For those of you reading this interview, sizzling plates of delicious food just showed up !
KG: How well did the box set do overall ?
BC: Sold 40-50,000 copies at least, cos we got the corresponding royalty cheques
RH: I heard 8,000 in the UK
RN: Wow ! Thats like, 32,000 CDs
KG: I heard you're planning to follow up...
RN: Thats Bun E stuff. You should find out, we went to Australia..
KG: Tell me about Australia Rick ...
RN: Well, we went to Australia and..
BC: CDs are price fixed by the Government there
RN: So we get there and we're there promoting and supporting the box set. When we get there, its not even out. Aaahh !
BC: We can't put it out. It would be over $100 retail and nobody would buy it. "We imported some", "Well, how many did you bring in ?", "Let me heck - 77!". I wanted to tell them, why don't you take the 4 of them, make a Greatest Hits and grab some of the unreleased stuff and make one killer single CD. They said they were coming o the gig, the Sony guys, but they never showed up. So we didn't even get the chance to tell them that.
RN: We didn't get the chance to yell at anybody !
RN: The good thing about the box set, its kinda timeless. It doesn't matter if it goes out today or tomorrow or last week or next year or...
BC: It was a great opportunity to look at the catalogue and an excuse to go listen to everything and see what we had laying around. And of course we didn't find a whole bunch of the things we were looking for. And we still havn't found them, but we did get 160 tapes from our ex-manager, ARE getting them..
RN: We havn't got them yet..
KG: I'd heard talk that you're planning a further couple of CDs perhaps..
BC: The Sony Legacy catalogue plan is over a period of 3-4 years, to remaster and release the entire catalogue, starting for example next year. We release the Live from the 70's type album with live tracks, we found some live tapes. They think it'll be kinda neat to put out another live album cos they're doing that with a lot of their artists. And we're still exploring tapes and finding tracks and stuff. And say for example, put the first, second and maybe Lap of Luxury albums out next year, remastered, with more bonus tracks from the sessions if they can be found, that aren't on the box set. And stuff that can't be found, for In Color, there's no extra tracks with vocals or even guitars. There's a couple of tracks with bass and drums, so we can take live tracks from the era and maybe from board tapes, maybe from live recordings for bonus tracks. And next year do 3 or 4 more, and a double rarities to finish up the soundtrack stuff and the b-sides, and other album tracks like He's A Whore or something that people wanted on the compilation that didn't go on the box for one reason or another. And do that, and the rest of the albums in the 2 years after that.
MH: What was going to be on Found More Parts then ?
BC: A lot of the stuff thats on the box set
MH: Most of its on there ?
BC: Yeah. They wanted to put on some stuff like, the sessions from 1980. We did I Need Love and Loser and that, they wanted to put on some songs like Ain't Got You which we really don't have any desire to put on any album. Some of the stuff will probably never see the light of day, because not all of it sounded good then, and it doesn't sound any better 20 years on maybe. We were going through tapes in New York and we found stuff and we put it on and played it, and go "Lets put this back in the box and put it back on the shelf, and pretend we didn't even find it". Not everything is great, and some of it is un-great. But don't worry, if we don't want it on there, you wouldn't have wanted to hear it anyway. You can trust us on that.
KG: Like the disco versions of things ?
RN: Saturday at Midnight...
BC: The disco version of Saturday at Midnight is available if you want to go find it
BC: Its like the Arthur Baker disco remix of Gonna Raise Hell or something. Its so cringy when you hear it, its like eeugh ! So you have to trust us on this stuff once in a while. If its not on there, there's a damn good reason. If one of us said we should put that on there, we'd probably do it. But if all of us don't like it... there you go.
KG: I've also heard something about a video for release towards Christmas, or something ?
RN: A video of what ? Where did you hear that ?
KG: I wondered what that was. I wasn't sure what that was. I wasn't sure if it came out of Rockline or something else. I've seen it posted on the newsgroup..
BC: Every Trick in the Book's getting re-released I'd heard
MH: Thats happened
RN: That went gold
BC: Yeah, there's talk that we should do a live video or do "this" and "this" but thats all talk so far
KG: (To Rick) You've always been a prolific song writer for years and years. Do you find it still as easy or do you find it more difficult to come up with new material.
RN: I never run out of ideas, but, as far as like sitting down and this past year and a half were not great for me for doing that. But I can't wait to write, do some of the things I've wanted to do for a long time. So I'm excited aboutwriting, which is something I havn't been in a while
MH: So you think you'll be in the studio without such a long delay as last time ?
RN: Well our year is really pretty full 'till 1998, so that doesn't look like we'll do anything this year, but thats alright. We're working on re-establishing ourselves, and maybe we'll go in the spring and have something out for the summer of next year. I'm not sure.
KG: Are there other particular people, either producers or artists that you'd particularly like to work or collaborate with. I mean, for example, a very obvious one here is Roy Wood perhaps. Would you do any more work with Roy or..
RN: It would be fun to work with Roy, but last time we worked with him when we were his backup band, we said "Hey, lets do this, this and this"; he wanted to do "that that and that" and thats what we did, so he wasn't really listening to our ideas too much
KG: Roy was an example, but is there anyone else that realistically you'd like to work with that could happen ?
BC: I'd like to work with Bill Gates <LAUGH>. Just 10% of it I'd like to work with !
RN: Thats right. I'll let him work on my songs with me !
KG: Have you heard much of the stuff from the tribute album ? And if so, what do you think of the various versions and whats been produced ?
RN: Everclear sounded great. A band called Cockpit which has somebody from Red Kross and somebody from Courtney Loves band, Hole, and The Posies..
RN: I think if you tell us track by track. We heard it while we were shooting a photo session
MH: There was the Joey Ramone thing
RN: Joey Ramone was cool
BC: Joey Ramone did good.
BC: Some people rearranged and redid the songs, like Everclear. Joey kinda Ramone-d it up a little bit, made it more Joey.
BC: And put a nice little turnaround at the end that wasn't on there. Some people did cover versions and they're all interesting in their own way. Depends on how much you like the stuff..
KG: We were talking last night about Trickfest from a couple of years ago..
RN: That was fun !
BC: Trickfest 98
BC: After we get done in England this Fall, and the records top of the pops and all that, it'll be Trickfest 98 at Wimbledon next year ! Limited to 50,000 !
RN: Or Wembley !
BC: Yeah, whatever Wembley'll be better than Wimbledon
KG: Are you fairly committed, if you can, within schedule and money and stuff, fairly committed to doing another Fest ?
BC: No problem
RN: Oh Yeah. That was fun. And I think it was good for everyone that was there. I had so many people say "that was great". It wasn't great but it was cool (The previous evening, Bun E had remarked that Fest'2 could probably not take place before June 1998, and contrary to the above comments, would most likely take place in or near Chicago)
KG: I think this is the question you keep being asked. I've tried to stay away from these but... you've been touring..
RN: Whats my favourite colour ? Forget it !
KG: You've been touring almost non stop for 23-24 years, whatever, Do you still enjoy it, is it still a real buzz or do you find it at times a real chore and a real pain to think about doing it ?
RN: Sometimes <LAUGH>
RN: More good than bad
BC: Sometimes you go "there's got to be a better way", and then you think about it and there isn't a better way, THIS is the way, you know ? And if there was a better way, we'd have done it by now. Its the best way for people to hear your records, to go out and play it for them and go out and perform live
KG: You really seemed to enjoy being in Las Vegas, meeting old friends etc. What other places do you really look forward to going back to, and maybe any places you think maybe "Oh no, I just don't want to go back there" but you do
BC: Most of the time a venue is a venue. So the place you don't enjoy going back to is that crummy hotel you had to sit in for 12 hours. You're only in the venue for 90 minutes so they're usually fine. Once your're on stage its fine but boy, sitting in the hotel is no fun. Because you don't like the place, it usually means you don't like the room you're sleeping in or something
KG: When I was over a couple of months ago, I saw the Howard Stern movie (Private Parts). You featured on the soundtrack. Thats got to be the pinnacle of your career ! Where the hell do you go from here ?
BC: Go do another movie, obviously !
RN: I dunno, it was nice we got asked. I guess we got mentioned. We haven't even seen the movie.
KG: Have you not ?
RN: No, we've been so busy
KG: He plays Budokan...
KG: Finally, have you got any sort of message you'd like to say to the people who'll read this ? And hopefully who'll be seeing you later this year
BC: Don't believe everything you see and hear - in the words of somebody cool
BC: See you in the Fall, hopefully we'll be there..
RN: And we'll meet face to face. Don't get sick when we're coming over..
RN: Talk to Kim. Give him all your money ! Then we'll work out a deal !
With thanks to Rick Nielsen (RN), Bun E Carlos (BC), Mike Hayes (MH) and Roland Hyams (RH). Also Nita and Chris for their help in arranging this interview.
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