Teletext - Thu 3rd Jun

03 June 2004

This is the full interview that was done for Teletext.

1)Tell us a bit about yourself - occupation, age, where you live - and how you came to set up the site and how long you have liked Roxy Music.

I am 39 and have lived in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. I work as a freeleance civil enginer/construction manager. I have been a fan of Roxy Music since 1979 and have seen Roxy Music & Bryan Ferry around 60 times in concert from as far East as Moscow and as far West as Chicago. I set the site up initially as a way of archiving my vast collection or Roxy Music memorabilia and share in my knowledge of the band and in their history and recorded output.
Another main reason is that there had been poor access to information on Bryan Ferry + Roxy Music from official sources at the time and tour dates and record release information was mainly down to fans spreading the word and fansites. My efforts have been recognised by the band and I have recently contributed memorabilia and sleevenotes etc for the artwork to the new box set 'The Platinum Collection'.

2) Where do you see Roxy's place in rock history? Compared with acts from the early 1970s like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, they seem to be forgotten. What do you think is their appeal?

Roxy Music are an important band in the history of modern music. Their innovative approach and sense of style has influenced many bands since.
Their diversity within the Roxy Music canon and the solo work is
commercially their strength and weakness. Many rock fans who would like 'Editions Of You', 'Mother Of Pearl' & 'Whirlwind' might not like 'Avalon', Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' & 'He'll Have To Go' and vice versa with mainstream pop fans not liking the more darker experimental and rockier stuff. You need catholic tastes and an open mind to enjoy the majority of their combined solo and collective recorded output. To me, this variety is one of their strengths and attractions but is maybe why their stature has been diminished
compared with bands like Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones etc who have had one sort of audience throughout their career.

3) What was the band's finest moment on record? Is there a good place for people to start?

Their musical styles are so varied it would depend on what sort of music you like. For a hits album then 'The Platinum Collection' is the most comprehensive release they have of all their commercial radio friendly music. 'For Your Pleasure' demonstrates Roxy's darker more experimental side and 'Avalon' is a fine example of quality rock & pop music.

4) How influential have Roxy Music been? I know people like New Order and Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream cite them as an influence. Are there acts today who show an obvious Roxy influence?

Roxy's influence can bee seen in many bands in the'70's & '80's like Talking Heads, Japan, ABC, Spandau Ballet and in the '90's like Suede. There are many artists who claim to be big fans of Roxy Music like David Bowie, Moby, Heaven 17, Radiohead, Placebo, REM, even the Sex Pistols to name a few.

4) Although Roxy were never strictly prog rock, songs like 'In Every
Dreamhome A Heartache' were avant garde for the time. How innovative were Roxy Music?

Roxy Music were very innovative in their whole approach to making music. They were not all about musical technique but more about having good ideas and delivering them with style. They were neither rock, pop or glam, they sat somewhere in between many types of music and fused together many of their own influences to make a hybrid of styles all in one record that blended together well.

6) Some people only know Bryan Ferry as a sort of lounge singer who puts out covers albums from time to time or through the tabloid reports of his love life. How would you describe the real Bryan Ferry?

Bryan Ferry the person is a polite, charming, intellectual and intensely private person. He has a real dry sense of humour and is a lot more light hearted in real life than what is sometimes written about him. As a professional musician he is very meticulous and precious about his work in every detail. He is not the sort of person who will let a record be released if he feels it is not ready. This strive for perfection can sometimes make some work seem overdone and make releases years apart.

7) Have you ever met any of the band? If so, what were they like? (I can see from your site that you have but tell us about it)

I have met Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy MacKay & Paul Thomson as well as many of the other session musicians who have worked with the band. I am lucky enough to separate the musical icon from the stage personas or records with the person in real life, so it's like I have never met my heroes as I have only met the real people 'in civies' so to speak. They all seem friendly and helpful and appreciate the familiar faces they see of 'the usual suspects' who travel far and wide to many of their shows around the world.

8) Brian Eno was very important to the band's early years. How would you describe him and his role to people who know him best for his work as a producer with U2 and James?

Brian Eno's role with Roxy Music was initially to treat the other
instruments with sound effects. As this was in the early days of
synthesizers and electronic instruments this was well ahead of its time and gave Roxy Music a sound that no other band had. He was one of the many dimensions of Roxy Music of that period.

9) Are there any low points in the band's career you would rather were forgotten?

Like any artist who has a large body of work there is the odd track that is below par but there has never been a bad album. I feel maybe the Avalon tour was musically a low point as the band were obviously on the point of splitting at the end of the tour. Bryan's solo career had a period in the 1990's when his almost endless trying and testing ideas in the studio led to very little output and many overworked unreleased recordings.

10) Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry continue to play live and tour. How do they compare to the earlier versions of the band? Can they rock like the younger acts around today or are they more sedate than the madcap days of the early 1970s?

The 2001 reunion tour was a more professional polished version of Roxy Music than the early days but retaining an exciting edge to their performance. They have grown older gracefully

11) How important was image and appearance to Roxy Music?

Image was important to Roxy Music right from the start. Bryan Ferry's art school training shows in the artwork for the album sleeves through stage clothes and sets. They seemed to get the right balance between the visuals and the music.

12) What does the future hold for the band and Bryan Ferry? Is there any chance of new material on the horizon?

Phil Manzanera releases his latest solo album '6PM' on 5th July. The album has an input from Roxy Music members Paul Thompson, Andy MacKay and Brian Eno. I have managed to be privy to a promotional copy and I have to say it is Phil's finest solo record and some of the tracks are up there with the best of Roxy Music. Bryan Ferry is recording a his 12th solo album, there is no release date yet for the new Bryan Ferry album He is embarking on a summer tour of open air venues in UK in June & July Details of all these are at The big question is, will Roxy Music ever record together again? Who knows what will happen after the current solo records are out of the way. One thing for sure is that there is a certain chemistry between Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy MacKay & Paul Thompson that any solo work has never managed to create without each other. The time is right
for Roxy music to record together again, not to recreate 'Avalon' or 'For Your Pleasure' but to do what a 21st Century Roxy Music can do. Having said that, Roxy music were in the 21st Century in 1972.

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