JOHN LAWTON - Uriah Heep Singer On The Rocks! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

Biz-wise, the album, entitled Mamonama, has been issued through Lion Music, with a South American deal pending. But will it be toured?

"Well, we're hoping to. The economic climate right now is not very good for live bands - it's not the healthiest of times. People are keeping their money tight to their belt. But yeah, we're looking to do some live dates with it. It will probably be in the new year now, I imagine, but yeah, we're definitely looking to do that."

And the voice? Still hitting those notes, are you?

"Well, I mean, yeah, the trick is, Martin, when you do it live, stuff that you did 30 years ago, obviously they are in different keys and you have to drop the keys slightly by half a tone, something like that. But the new stuff, on OTR, it's not screaming rock or anything like that; it's more in keeping with the style that I am right now, vocally, anyway. But yeah, I feel OK. People tell me I'm still cutting it, so I don't see any problems right now."

"The lyrics on here are different," muses Lawton, who had just told me a fair bit about his simpler, rock 'n' roll-ish writing for Heep back in the day. "The title track, 'Mamonama', it's about catching a train to... I would say, something like utopia, where everything is good, nothing is bad, and once you get there you just don't want to return. Everything is good. There is a track on the album called 'Hello', which is a very slow track, which I wrote because my mother died a few years ago now, from Alzheimer's, and the last probably ten years of her life, were basically in limbo land, for want of a better word. You know what the disease means. She didn't recognize anybody, she didn't recognize me anymore toward the end, and I based the song around how she would see the world from inside her, looking out, the fact that she probably... we couldn't get through to her for many, many reasons. But really, on the inside these people are still capable of having thoughts of their own, but have not been able to project them to people that they love, their own family. So the song 'Hello' is basically based around that. And there's a song called 'The Corner Club', which is basically a track, lyrically, about a club on any street, could be anywhere in the world, where guys can go and hang out and go and have a drink with the guys, talk sports, talk everything they want to do. That's 'The Corner Club'. And the rest of the tracks are straightforward, nothing outrageous lyrically there."

JOHN LAWTON - Uriah Heep Singer On The Rocks! Page 3