STATUS QUO - Heavy Traffic In Our Hemisphere Page 2
By Martin Popoff

So still, after all these years, one of your unfulfilled missions is to do a little better in the states? (note: this is talking to a band that some figures have them selling 100 million singles and albums worldwide, through 35 years of boogie mathematics).

"Oh yes, it's funny though, I never measure it on money. It's always on the idea of selling pieces. It doesn't relate directly to money for me; it's like an afterthought. I'd probably be happy with 3 to 5000 people here, which is probably a lot elsewhere but in this country is not particularly huge. I don't have that top of the world-ish type of vibe. But I don't know, if we could come here and do 20 or 30 shows a year, maybe a bit more. It should be easy in this country. I would really love it, really love it. It's a bit strange being the age I am and still have this drive, and still have this thirst to do that, you know? Same with Canada. I'd like to do it there. I have a daughter who lives there. It's just like when I get to these places, I'd like to do it. I suppose it's because it's new, or new to us."

How has the band changed in the last two or three years?

"It's changed in the last two, three years. Our drummer we had left and we got a guy called Matthew Letley, and there's something about his physical dynamic of playing with the band that perhaps we had kind of missed. He's given us a new confidence, which in the last few years... the band kind of adopted an attitude. Rick and I particularly had lost the thing of, 'We know what we want to do.' We had a manager where, we kind of left it to him, 'What do you think?' And things were going on, perhaps in retrospect, where we didn't know we wanted to do. We did a few covers albums and it was getting to be a problem doing these covers albums because we sell shitloads of them but they're no good to us. They don't feel good at all. It's, I don't know... I think we still have one in the can we don't want to do. But in terms of the set, there are the classics I suppose, the ones we're known for; they have to be in there. We aren't one of those acts that says, that isn't us. I find it very strange, people our age who decide to go out and find they can't do their old material. It becomes very kind of petty. 'Oh, I couldn't do that, it's not me.' It is us! It's who we are. But having said that, we're so pleased with Heavy Traffic, and the whole vibe and the change in the last two years. I started writing with Bob Young again and that kind of galvanized everybody in the band. We recorded the album very much in the way that the early ones were recorded, in a large room with a lot of overspill, the band working as a team; there was no layering, the band played it down there. And the record sounds like it, which I used to love when I was younger. One always comes to mind. When I was listening to a Who record when I was 16 or 17 and I could always envision this bunch of guys in a room really happening and really actually getting off. And I think we actually lost that in our sound. It had to do with a manager who was very dictatorial and we were always, 'What do you think we should do?' Although we weren't always keen to do what he said. It was only in the last two years where we said, no, this is what we want to do. This is why we're here, I think. He wouldn't have wanted us to go to Mexico or Brazil; too nasty. But perhaps there wasn't necessarily anything in it for management. Or perhaps he didn't see that, that we can do new territories. But it appears we can."

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