Interview BAND Of FRIENDS
Thursday 26th April 2014
La Puce à l'Oreille - Riom
We are happy to welcome you on rock-interviews.
All of them : Merci. Thank you.
AM : When did you start Band of Friends and why?
It started in 2012, so it's about 2 years old. Ted was doing certain things,
I was playing with
Nine Below Zero
and I thought I maybe needed a bit of change.
Marcel had his own band called Wolfpin. In 2007,2008 I started to listen to the
songs I played with
Rory. When you make a record, a CD, you concentrate and you
focus for months on the project, and sometimes you never listen to it or don't
listen to it for six months or a year or more. So I've listened to what I did
with Rory and I thought it was great. I forgot how good it was and I thought
it would be a fantastic time to take a band on the road and do some Rory's songs.
So that's why we are all here!
Gerry and Ted you have both worked with Rory, for how long?
Gerry : I was there for 20 years.
Ted : I was in the band for about 3 years.
AM : Do you remember this photo?
Gerry : Oh Yes, young men!
Ted : It was taken in London in Victoria when we did our first rehearsals.
I am still wearing a jacket that says
Sensational Alex Harvey Band, if you look closely!
Gerry : I think it's over there!
Marcel you are the third member of Band of Friends, how did you meet Gerry and Ted?
Marcel : Somebody in The Netherlands was organizing an evening music event.
He called me up and asked me to play with Gerry who was playing with
Brendan O'Neill on drums. We did two shows in Holland. Then later Gerry
called me up one night and asked me if I wanted to be part of the project
Band Of Friends with Ted McKenna on drums.
AM : Why do you think they chose you and not another musician?
Gerry : He is good-looking!
Marcel : (Laughing). I think the chemistry with them was very special.
You know we talk with our instruments, sometimes we don't have to say something.
We just react when we are playing, so it's easy for us.
Gerry : We actually rehearsed in Marcel's dad's Blues club in Amsterdam.
It was the first time we got together and it worked instantly.
Maybe they also chose you for your voice?
Marcel : Yes.
Gerry : We have an operatic trainer for him!
Marcel : (Laughing). I am lucky with my voice.
AM : And you play a little bit like Rory?
Marcel : Yeah, but I think I play like me.
AM : Yes, of course.
Marcel : I make a mix. When I was young, I have listened to all the albums
those guys made with Rory. I don't really think about it when I play,
the feeling is just very good and so special every night.
What is your favourite album with Rory?
Gerry : For me it's very difficult to choose one. I like the first album.
I love Deuce because it's a really special one. I also like Photo-Finish
and Top Priority with Ted, it's more rocky and tougher.
Ted : My favourite album is Photo Finish, the first album I did with Rory.
I like all the songs but especially Overnight Bag, which represents life on
the road and it means a lot to me, it reminds me of Rory and the time I spent with him.
Marcel : My first album was Calling Card, I like the purity of it. I played it over
and over and over again! But every album is different, some are more bluesy and
some are more rocky...
I am sure you have all in mind many anecdotes with Rory, could you tell us a special one?
Gerry : So many! One of my favourite time with Rory was when we first went
to Belfast to play, because it's my home town, it was in 1971. I remember the
atmosphere and there were still some troubles happening in Ireland.
There was no music, bands weren't travelling for obvious reasons.
With Rory, we went back every year.
Ted : We played in
in Belfast. We had a few gigs before,
we had a chap called Roland who did some gigs with us and he would come
at the end of the show and do Got My Mojo Working. For me I think it was
the combination, the crowd and the fact that I've been drinking too many
drinks the night before, I had an out-of-body experience and I felt as I
was flying above the drum kit.
Gerry : (Laughing), you were!
Ted : The interesting thing about it, is that it was magical, every time I
hit the snare drum I could see the audience jump, so I felt I was experiencing
the whole magical thing. I always remember that.
Marcel : I saw Rory three times and it was amazing to see him perform on stage,
but I have never met Rory like Gerry or Ted.
You have released an album, what is it called?
Gerry : Too Much Is Not Enough.
AM : Why this title?
Gerry : Funny enough, I don't know! (laughing). No I'm kidding, it's one
of the songs of the album, it's one of Ted's lyrics and we are very happy with it!
AM : Let's talk about it.
Gerry : It's a mini CD there is a total of seven tracks.
Ted is showing the inside of Too Much Is Not Enough.
AM : Apart from the three of you who has collaborated with you on this album?
Gerry : The main collaborator was Paul Rose. Years ago he won a Rory Gallagher competition.
Rory picked him as the best young guitar player. Paul is also a very good engineer.
He also co-produced the CD with us as well. And there are a lot of other crew people
involved like Hans and Wally.
Let's talk about the seven songs and the themes developed on this album.
Gerry : Yes, six of our own songs and one of Rory's song, If I Had A Reason.
There are lots of different themes. You have to listen to it and make up your
own mind sometimes. If you tell somebody what the song is about, they may tell you, well no...
AM : I've listened to the CD three times and I also read the lyrics.
I can tell you guys there are very good ones so all your fans have to buy
this CD!...I've understood there are bitter memories, lost times, lost love,
but also optimistic things like a future promised land of something.
Ted : Yes the second song, Leap of Faith is about friendship.
Gerry : It's about lost friendship.
AM : All of you are written the lyrics, how does it work?
Gerry : We do some individual lyrics that we all write, and when we come together
we put the lyrics together, and then we write more lyrics, we add some ideas and
we work all together. The whole idea, because it's a Band Of Friends, is that the
three of us do everything together.
AM : You work as a team.
Gerry : Yes.
Let's talk about the DVD, where was it recorded?
In Remchingen, Germany. It was recorded in one night. It has just happened,
like a little bit of magic.
Marcel : A great show.
Ted : We are very happy with it concerning there wasn't a lot of rehearsals
before it. We just did it. Thierry Miguet who edited it did a very good job,
put all the shots together, a very good capture for the band.
AM : Yes there is a very good atmosphere and it's very well done. So,
guys is the setlist ready for tonight?
Gerry : We don't have a setlist.
AM : You don't, like Rory!
Gerry : Yes. Sometimes you have a rough idea on where you are going, but sometimes
it depends on the audience, you work with the audience and they work with us,
then you can change the songs, as long as Marcel remembers all the lyrics.
Marcel : Yes, there are a lot of lyrics to remember.
AM : There are so many songs, so I guess it's difficult to choose them.
Gerry : Yes it is.
Ted : We have more than enough songs, we rehearse different ones but of course we
can't put them all in the set, so sometimes we change them.
AM : Yes. Tonight you are in France in a venue called La Puce à l'Oreille. We wish
you a very good gig.
All of them : Merci bien, thank you.
AM : Thank you very much for your time, let's keep the music of your friend Rory alive,
as long as possible!