February of 2018 marks the return of Uriah Heep to Canada, and the start of the band’s biggest North American tour in decades! The list includes 36 shows – starting in Ottawa, Ontario, and eventually on to the US from the east coast to west and back up to Vancouver [Bernie Shaw’s home province British Columbia], and ending in Calgary, Alberta on May 1.
For the latest dates, check out > http://www.uriah-heep.com .
You can also go to the site and let other fans know which shows you’ll be attending [I’ll be at London and Toronto, Ontario]
The band has just completed recording a new album – “Living The Dream”, which won’t be out for several months, and something Heep fans are eagerly awaiting and pre-ordering – https://www.pledgemusic.com/uriahheep
Check out Mick’s blog at http://www.mick-box.net
The recording for the new album went fairly quick!? How prepared were you guys [with new songs written] before recording?
We were very prepared as we had a 2 week pre-production before hand, so most of the ideas were in place, and it was just a matter of a nip and tuck here and there once Jay Ruston our Producer was involved in the studio. We finished the recording process in under 3 weeks which was just amazing.
I can’t imagine there’s too much you can tell at this point [too early?] – but are there any details you can give regarding Living The Dream?
It is a typical Heep album with all of our usual trademarks. The harmonies, organ sound, and the wah wah guitar etc.
Is everything written by yourself and Phil Lanzon?
Everything basically, but one song Bernie had a hand in the lyrics and one that Davey wrote with Jeff Scott Soto.
How was working with Jay Ruston? He’s done a lot of cool albums! Who recommended him?
Jay was fantastic to work with and he brought out the best in each of us in a very understated way. When we started hearing back the first track that we recorded we knew we had the right man. He became part of the Heep family vey quickly.
We were fans of his from his work with THE WINERY DOGS, STONE SOUR, BLACK STAR RIDERS, PAUL GILBERT AND EUROPE to name but a few..
Living The Dream won’t be out until the fall [that’s a long wait for us ;-)] . Will any of the new songs work their way in to the live show before then?
It is still in the process of being mixed. We do not usually put songs in our set until the release of the album. If we did then they would be all over the media sites and there would be no impact on the release.
You are coming to North America in a few weeks, and in particular [for me] Canada! This will be the first time Heep plays in Ontario since 1993. How did getting the band here finally come about?
We now have management Ace Trump & Adam Parsons along with an agent Keith Naisbitt of APA Agency USA who believe in the band, and they made it happen. Previously we had been in a bit of no-mans land and we were not being driven to capacity in that market, which is a real shame.
Bernie must be excited?
That’s a big understatement!
Will the set list be changed much from recent shows? will it still feature a number of Outsider tracks and any old surprises?
We will perform a musical journey throughout our career starting with the first album and finishing with the last one ‘Outsider.’
It must get tough when an album – such as Into The Wild and Outsider have had their tour in the live show and you have to decide what stays and goes in the setlist!?
It usually sorts itself out in the end . There is only so much we can play each night, so once we get to rehearsals and the energy and ideas flow, it usually comes together reasonably quickly.
In recent years you guys have struck up a friendship with Alice Cooper [who’s on tour here at the same time].
Yes, we have become good friends with Alice. In fact Bernie and I did a tour in Germany with Alice called the ‘Rock Meets Classic,’ tour. This was with a 40 piece orchestra from Prague in the Czech Republic. Bernie and I used to get up each night and play ’Schools Out,’ with Alice on his encore. Alice also told us that he used our song ‘Lady in Black,’ as his warm up song, so there was mutual admiration there. He is a great guy.
Can you tell me a bit about the connection to Alice and his support with One Minute?
Alice Kindly played ‘One Minute,’ from our ‘Outsider,’ CD on his radio show.
Phil released an outstanding album recently. Will any tidbits of it feature in the shows? and will he be bringing some copies to sell over here?
That is Phil’s project so no tidbits and he is planning to sell them at shows.
The band had a strong following in such cities as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal… do you have any great memories or a few stories to share from any places in Canada?
I remember way back when playing in Toronto with Rory Gallagher and being totally blown away by him. He was the first guitarist I saw play pinched harmonics, and he did a whole solo on them. He was something special and a super great player and singer. He is sadly missed.
Lastly, the band has their own label and has been re-issuing a few things from the past few decades [Raging Through The Silence, Totally Driven…] – will there be something new in 2018 from the vaults?
I am sure there will be as things are constantly surfacing at a rate of knots.