KEN HENSLEY - The Pain In Spain... Page 2
by Martin Popoff
"Originally I was looking for a publisher for my book," explains Ken, "which is when I ended up, sort of through a circuitous route, at Membran, in Hamburg, Germany - publishing and distributing my book and also releasing the CD, through their rock label. I came here to discuss with them a publishing deal for my first edition. We made the deal to publish the book, the head of the company read the book as it was, and then he approached me, suggesting that maybe we could tell some of this story in music - the life of a rock star in the '70s, from the beginning to the end. And I thought about it for a while, and looked through some of my song books and said to him that I thought it could be done, but I would like some time to maybe write some new material and record it and see how it shapes up. I did that, they flew down to Spain, came to the studio, and we spent the afternoon listening to the things I had written. We went out to lunch and did the deal on a napkin. I then started at the end of June recording the album, writing as I was going along, because the majority of the songs on the record are new, totally new songs. And then finished it roundabout the middle of January."
And musically, what do you get on here? Stylistically where are you going?
"Stylistically I think it will be very familiar. Especially to people who recall some of the middle of Uriah Heep's career, the middle towards the end, even. It's a rock album, it has ballads on it, but everything is approached with a lot of energy. Because it tells the story of an era that was 50% inspiration, 50% rock energy. There are a lot of rock songs on there that are very powerful, and there's a lot Hammond on there, plus a lot of guitar. It will be very stylistically reminiscent of what I used to do. Production-wise it's totally different, because obviously we're blessed with all this incredible new technology, so it's a louder record and it's cleaner and it's mixed more effectively. But the fact that I used four guest singers... that deliberately took it away from the solo album category, and moved it much more into using voices and musicians who are focused on telling the story, as opposed to stamping their own signature on the record."
Called Blood On The Highway, the CD is slated for a May release date. Says Ken of the title, "It commemorates blood, sweat, tears, miles, energy, time, effort, sacrifice, that we all made, in those pioneering days in the late '60s and early '70s. It's purely symbolic of that. It's metaphorical. It's not meant to be taken literally at all. It commemorates not only my own, or Uriah Heep's part in that, it commemorates everybody's role in it. The hundreds of guys who were out there touring with us - Deep Purple, Zeppelin, Moody Blues, Foghat, whoever it was. We were all out there together busting down barriers and making new rules up as we went along. And it commemorates all of that. It's just symbolic of the fact that we put so much into the whole thing, and of course it commemorates also that some of the people didn't make a return journey."
KEN HENSLEY - The Pain In Spain... Page 3