URIAH HEEP”s Chaos & Colour has been out for some time now, and has been received enthusiastically and with great reviews from fans. Phil Lanzon, has been a major part of the Heep songwriting team since he joined the band as keyboard player. On Chaos & Colour Phil, along with founder/guitarist Mick Box, have delivered 6 awesome new Heep tracks. In this exchange Phil answers my questions pertaining to the band’s latest album, as well as what else he is up to. *Check out the links below!
With the pandemic and time away from each other and stage, was there more songwriting going on prior to recording Chaos & Colour? Was there an abundance of songs & ideas to choose from this time around?
Yes there was plenty of that. Mick and I wrote songs remotely during the pandemic. It was unusual but worked really well. There are songs and ideas left over, maybe for the next album, who knows.
You worked again with Jay Ruston. Was that an easy decision?
Yes it was easy. Our working relationship worked really well with Living the Dream so we wanted that to continue with Chaos.
Russell & Simon Pinto contributed 4 songs to Chaos & Colour. Was there some tough decisions in cutting down the number of songs?
Well there is always tough decisions when choosing the final songs. Especially as others band members are contributing; which we all feel has made for a great combination of material.
Chaos & Colour is a great follow up to Living The Dream, but I think a bit of a step up with more varied tracks trhoughout. Was there any deliberate move to try and include more progressive moments or ballads?
I personally always feel that there should be a prog section within a Heep album, specifically to keep variety in the material and also take the listener on a journey. It is a Heep feature that makes an appearance on many Heep albums from the early days to today.
Can you give me a bit of insight into some of the tracks- lyrically or recall on how it all came together…
I’ll keep it short. We always keep a strict eye on our lyrics that they don’t stray into the ‘norm,’ which is a pitfall of many artists, so we use the basic premise of positivity and the knowledge that there is good everywhere. You just gotta find it!
You seem to have a few new keyboard sounds on this album, such as on “Fly Like An Eagle”. I get a bit of Dream Theatre feel in there. Can you touch on any new sounds, approaches or equipment?
Not a great deal of new sounds, I was just messing around with a mini-moog style sound and decided it worked for the track.
“Age of Changes” is a fantastic track (my early favorite). Can you touch on this song?
I wrote this lyric based on my first childhood sweetheart. A story I’m sure will resonate with so many. We go through so many changes in our lives but the first real awakening to that fact hits most of us in the school yard.
You guys recently completed the 50th anniversary tour. How did You enjoy the shows? Any highlights or favorite moments in the set for you?
We all enjoyed the tour, it was a huge success as far as we are concerned and made a whole lot of Heepies very happy. The acoustic show was well received and was a joy to perform.
Phil, in your time awaiting the next Heep tour – might you be working on another solo project, book, or any guest appearances anywhere?
I am at the moment trying to sell my Musical, I mean, musical theatre. It is a full length musical about Ellis Island New York in 1917. The script is with an American producer as I write.
What are you listening to these days? Any current (new) favorites?
Nothing new at the moment. I am immersed in my artwork right now. Check out my Instagram.
*UH live photos courtesy of Markusheavymusicblog , from Hamburg, Germany, September 2022. See more HERE.