Higher and Higher, April 2005

The following interview was conducted on 30/04/2005 by Dawn Wolfe for publication in the Moody Blues fanzine Higher and Higher, Issue #49, and relates to the band contributing a cover of ‘Driftwood’ on the Mellow Records tribute to the Moody Blues box set, ‘Higher and Higher’.

1. Are you Moodies fans? How long have you been fans?

Been Moodies fans for years! The first album I owned by them was ‘Octave’, which is still one of my favourite albums. After that, my next favourite would have to be ‘Seventh Sojourn’ followed by ‘Long Distance Voyager’.

2. How did the project come about? Did Mellow Records approach you first?

We were asked by a fan to approach Mellow Records as they thought we could do a good version of a Moodies song, particular due to the amount of Mellotron we use!  Anyway, I approached Mauro and, as he had been aware of our work for some time, he agreed. Indeed, our vocalist, Ken Senior, had released a solo CD on the Mellow Records label some years ago! Anyway, Mauro asked what song we would like to do and I immediately said ‘Driftwood’ as it is my favourite track. Incidentally, this is the only cover we have ever recorded!

3. How did you come to select Driftwood as your contribution?

See the above!

4. What style is your version? Totally different than the Moodies?

Stylistically, our version is not too far removed from the original, but it is different. I decided to use the basic chord structure and build the song from that. All my guitar parts, keyboard bits, bass and drums are all different to the original. However, it is still true the original and, I hope, fans will like it because it is not a slavish copy but a reverent take on a classic, much loved Moodies song.

5. What was it like to participate in the project?

It was a fun experience. As usual, I didn’t have much time to work on it as I was busy with our next album to be released in June – ‘Studies in Heartbreak’. As the song was fairly straightforward, the main work was getting the vocals to sound good!

6. Did you get a copy of the CD yet? I’m told it might a participant-only release. Others have said it’s being mastered now and will be on sale to the general public eventually.

Haven’t had a copy of the CD yet! I am still waiting!

7. Have you seen the Moodies play live? Have you met the band?

I have never seen them live or met them, unfortunately. They played Manchester last year and I couldn’t get to see them. I was very, very disappointed. Justin Hayward has always been one of my favourite guitar players and is much underrated.

8. What style is your original music?

Our own music is best described as Underground Melodic Rock! The new CD is littered with Mellotron, too. We mix all sorts of influences and styles but sound pretty unique – but then I would say that! Every release is different from the preceding one, too, just to keep things interesting, but whatever we release is uniquely identifiable as us. Or so I would like to think!