Recent Music Reviews
10 Q's with ROCKY NEWTON (X-UFO)
Bassist Rocky Newton has been a member of Lionheart and MSG amongst others and now he is part of X-UFO who are back in the UK next month...
1. What are you currently up to?
We're currently in the middle of a run of club gigs in the UK which we're using to fine tune the set and get some gig time under our belts as a band. We're planning to do some higher profile gigs and Festivals throughout Europe and the USA later in the year. We also have our first album due out by the end of the month (January).
2. How did the idea for X-UFO come about? Any plans to invite other fellow UFO members on stage in the future?
About 3 years ago I got back in touch with Clive through Facebook having not seen him for nearly 20 years only to find that he lives about 5 mins from my girlfriend's house.
We started hanging out together again and Clive kept asking me to get up and jam with his blues band he was playing in with Laurence. I wasn't very keen as I hadn't touched a Bass for 10 years but said that if I was to do something again it should be along the lines of UFO/MSG as those are the bands that we are inextricably linked with and will be always associated with. Unbeknownst to me Danny was harbouring similar ambitions and when he got in touch with Clive to tell him of his idea it all just fell into place. Danny had played with Laurence in Tarzen, I had played with Clive in Lionheart, and of course Clive had played with Laurence in UFO. Even though I'd never actually played with Laurence before I'd known and respected him as a musician since the early 80's and was on my list of people I'd like to play with so it was a no brainer when this opportunity came along. Similarly I'd never played with Danny before but knew him by reputation and a brief encounter in 1986 in Madrid when I played there with MSG.
Our stage door is always open to our UFO and MSG bretheren to come up on stage with us, the only rule is they must enjoy themselves. We keep an Amp warm for the unknown warrior......
3. How did the recent UK live dates go?
Most of the recent gigs have been great, we've had some packed out audiences but even when the turn out has been less than we'd hoped for the people that were there really enjoyed and "got" what we are doing. We still give it our all whether we're playing to 100 or 10,000 people.
4. Which eras of UFO do the band cover and which songs the band especially look forward to playing live?
We cover from Phenomenon right through to the High Stakes and Lights Out in Tokyo Albums focussing on the No Heavy Petting album which Danny wrote much of and the High Stakes album songs that Laurence wrote. We throw in a handful of other UFO classics and even an MSG song for good measure.
5. Is there any chance the band will record new music together?
We are writing songs at the moment for our second album which will be a blend of brand new material and some re-workings of more obscure UFO songs from the back catalogue that we've had a hand in writing.
6. Has the internet helped you get your music out there or
has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads? Do you
still rely heavily on CD sales as opposed to downloads?
We embrace all technology old and new. It's still early days for us yet as our first album is about to be released and the internet provides a wonderful opportunity to get our music and message across quickly and efficiently but for me there is nothing better than holding an actual album cover in your hands as you're listening to the music so we will make sure that it's available in all mediums.7. What have been the live highlights so far and why?
The Hard Rock Hell Festival in Ibiza in June was a great gig for us especially so as it was our first "proper" gig as a band. Another highlight was the Aero Rock Starz Festival in Bulgaria in July as it was great to get back on a big stage again and really spread our wings. There was a great atmosphere at the festival, all the bands got on well with no egos and we had a fantastic party at the end.
8. Any good rock 'n' roll tales to tell....
Off the record - how much time have you got! I couldn't possibly repeat some of them here - I'd have to change the names to protect the innocent and then they'd lose their point. Suffice to say the Rock 'n' Roll legend is alive and well...........
9. What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
Family stuff mainly looking after my 9 year old son and seeing him discover music for the first time is fantastic.
10. Anything else to add and a message for your fans...
I look forward to meeting as many UFO/MSG fans as possible and hope they will become X-UFO fans. Come and see us with an open mind and I promise we'll give it our all and you'll hear some classic songs given a new twist and soon some new songs that hopefully will become classics in their own right.