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Mark Feltham - Interview - June 12th 2010
"Blues à Jarnioux" Festival

(c) Copyright Nine Below Zero (c) Copyright 106 dB (c) Blues A Jarnioux

  1. You are here today for a Blues Festival in Jarnioux. Are you happy to be back in France ?
  2. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    Always. Toujours ! (smiling)

    AM : You were in France not a long time ago. We saw you on an other festival too.

    That's correct. we love being here, we have a very strong affiliation with French public, and going back to 1979 when we played the well known Gibus club in Paris, so we've been coming here for a long time, we are all Francophiles, we do very much love being here.

  3. Back to the past, do you remember why you have chosen to play the harmonica ?

  4. Yes. It's a long story. Do you need me to tell you ?

    AM : Yes please.

    (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews.com Okay I'll shorten it. My grandfather was an engineer in Persia, Iran. He used to go on the ships to work from London. In those days, there was no aviation transport, transport were on the ships and on the ships in those days it was a long journey and a lot of the sailors used to play harmonica to kill their time. So he used to bring the harmonica back from the boat, when I was 6 or 7 years of age, that's when it started.

    AM : Is it an advantage or a drawback in the music business to play the harmonica ? Because there is not always an harmonicist in a band.

    It's...(laughing). Everyone plays guitar, even my own son, I keep trying to bring him into the world of harmonica playing, he just wants to be out there to play harmonica or bass, and I think they get all the girls or girlfriend come after the guitarist, not the harmonica player. I don't know, I think it's a difficult call, I mean it's just a thing that I have tried playing a guitar all my life, and I cannot play it at all, useless, but that's how it is, I would love to play bass guitar, my big love is the bass guitar, but I just can't do it, that (pointing to his head) can't do it (pointing to his fingers), so I do that (pointing to his lips).

  5. Which other bands than Nine Below Zero did you work or tour with ? I think a lot of bands.

  6. Yes. I did Oasis for some time about a year or eighteen months, on and off. I did Zucchero, a big italian star called Zucchero. I did a band called Talk Talk, who I very much admire. I did a band called The Christians from Liverpool. I did Deacon Blue from Scotland, lots of things.

    (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews.com AM : Did you play with some French musicians ?

    I'm sure I did.

    AM : I think you did Little Bob Story.

    No, I don't think I played with Bob. I played on a few French records, but I must be honest I can't remember who the artists were. Somebody come up to me recently and said that I played on a Manu Chao album, but I can't remember doing it. But it's possible because I came here to record in Brussels, a long time ago in the eighties and it was a French artist and I can't remember who he was ! (laughing) Honestly, I know I've done some French sessions but I can't remember the names.

  7. What kind of music do you listen to ?

  8. Mostly country music. I'm a big Nelson fan, massive country fan. I like George Jones and all these people, even though I'm a Blues harmonica player, my heart really is in country music.

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    AM : And when you were a teenager ?

    Same thing.

  9. You were a member of the Rory Gallagher band.
  10. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews Yes.

    AM : What is one of your best memory with him ?

    One of the best memory with Rory was probably my first show, which was in Pistoia near to Pisa in Italy with Jimmy Page and I can't remember the bands but that was the first time ever with Rory in 1994.

    AM : And I guess the worst one was when he died in 1995.

    It was, yes. It was indeed, it was a very, very traumatic time for me personally and indeed everyone else that was around Rory. The extended family, as we all were an extended family. It was very, very sad for such a young man, remember he was 46-47 when he died.

    AM : Yeah, he was very young.

    And to this day, it still upsets me to think of it.

    AM : Yes, because he was not only a musician working with you but a real friend.

    He was also. which a lot of people don't realize, he was an absolute gentleman, a gentleman, he was a wonderful human being.

  11. What are you doing apart from the music ? Do you have some other activities and hobbies ?
  12. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews Not really (laughing), music takes my life, most of it. I mean we have a little bit of a break now. I think a lot of is happening here in France, everywhere with your own team, the Blues, in the World Cup, so Dennis and I are big football fans, Gerry and Brendan are not particulary football fans, and because Dennis and I are English and Gerry and Brendan are Irish, they are not interested in the football, that starts in about one hour's time, so Dennis and I are going to the hotel to enjoy that.

  13. What are your plans for the future ?
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    Well, I want to keep making records with these guys, make some nice records, we're 30 years this year, it's a big anniversary, we have a new album out, well seven months old album is, we are very, very proud of it, and it's all I know, it's all I can do, I can't do nothing else, it's my life.

    AM : of course. Do you have the new album here.

    Yes we do. It's called It's never too late.

    AM : We have talked about this album last year with Dennis and Brendan, so we showed it.

    At the end yeah, I think Dennis has got some...

    AM : We have this album and it's very good.

    Thank you very much.

    AM : It's a very nice one, so we are pleased for you.

    It took a longer time to make, I mean, normally Nine Below Zero albums are not taking that long, but this one from the writing of it up to when it was released, it took over 13-14 months, well over a year, it was a long time recording, we're very proud of it.

    AM : It is very good yeah ! So that's it Mark.


    AM : Thank you very much for your time. Merci beaucoup d'être avec nous à Jarnioux ce soir.

    Thank you.

    AM : Pour un nouveau concert.

    Thank you very much. Merci. A bientôt !

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