The first 3 German Nektar albums have been
described as psychedelic rock. The bands 4th album Remember The
Future was issued in US and garnered a lot of attention from press
and fans - was there a conscious effort to make the third album
different than the first three - more of a progressive rock
direction? Also, what was the concept about?
We never went out of our way to write a specific type of music for
any of our albums, bassically, it just came out as it did, and
being as Remember the Future was the first release in the USA and
got the push it did, this is probably the reason it did so well. I
think the same could have happened to Tab in the Ocean if that had
been the first.
The rough concept of RTF was based around an Alien (bluebird) that
makes friends with a young blind boy and tells him of lifes
wonders as seen through his eyes.
Many critics say that the 1976 album Recycled was the band's
best - your opinion.
It was a good album for
it's time, I enjoyed making it too.
time we were experimenting with other stuff, and the thought of
using choirs and synthesizers were definitely part of it.
Synths were starting to grow up at an alarming rate and we wanted
to incorporate them in some way. Recycled was the perfect vehicle
What is your favourite Nektar album and why?
Still yet to be written
"Astral Man" was the only Nektar single to chart on the
Billboard Singles charts in 1975 - any idea why this song was so
Actually, we had several charting
singles in the USA, Astral Man was one of them. I have no idea why
this song was so popular, I guess it was catchy, but so was
In 1990 Bellaphon reissued the Nektar back catalogue on CD and
used the wrong master for Remember The Future - what happened?
When we originally mixed RTF back in the 70's, we did two
versions. One was for quadraphonic, and the other was for stereo.
What happened in 1990 was that someone in Bellaphon picked up the
wrong master tapes (which were the quad ones) and transferred them
This had the effect of only 2 of the 4
channels being used, and hence only half the instruments could be
How they managed to do this is beyond me.
In 2002 Nektar reunioned and headlined Nearfest opposite of
Steve Hackett. Also Larry Fast joined the band at this point. Can
you talk about this gig, the reunion and how Larry became a band
While I was still with the band,Larry
was never officially a band member although this may have been the
case after my departure in 1976. He was however a guest on
Recycled, and any shows he did with the band were of a guesting
The reunion started off by me receiving an
email from the NEARfest organization asking if Nektar would be
interested in reforming and playing the festival.
It took many months to convince the others that it might be fun to
do, and eventually we got together and rehearsed for the show.
The band has finished a new CD called Book Of Days - can you
talk about the CD.
Actually, the new CD will have the finishing touches put to it
in January 2008, and we are looking for a release date shortly thereafter.
Any concept/message behind the CD?
of Days will be a loose concept ... basically revolving around
present human situations, or perceptions of the present human
lifestyle and all the positive/negative things it offers.
Who is in the band now?
(keyboards) Peter Pichl (Bass) Ron Howden (Drums/Percussion) and
Why was it delayed and when will it be released?
We have had over the past 18 months some extreme management
problems that led to the delay of this album, but all is now
slowly coming back on track.
The most important of these is the re-instatement of our
fanbase due to damage our ex-management has caused, and of course the release of
the new Nektar album which should be after January.
Any plans to tour?
We are doing a very
special tour in Europe starting this coming April whereby we are
taking Nektar out as purely an "acoustic" show.
This is something I have always wanted to do because the music of
Nektar (old or new) lends itself to the acoustic instrument.
By acoustic, I mean exactly that, we will be using Grand piano,
stand bass, percussion and varied acoustic guitars.
We will be recording the shows for general release at the end of
After this, we are doing the European
I would like to say that we will be
touring the USA in 2008, but as things stand, we need a touring
agent to be able to do this.
What's in the future for Nektar?
more music, and to experiment more in different ways...an
orchestrated version of Journey is not unlikely..but we will see.
I am also working on a new solo album, but this will take some
time to finish, Nektar are taking up a lot of my time at the
Interview © 2008 Billy James. All rights reserved.
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