MICK UNDERWOOD - Page, Plant, Jones... Underwood? Page 2
by Martin Popoff

Last big news previous to the site launch would be the Quatermass II album, Mick having played on the original Quatermass album back in 1970, this being one of the most revered second tier prog titles of all time, hard Vertigo-quality prog in fact (even though its imprint was Harvest), and quite collectible in its original issue.

"Crikey, this is about '97, 1998. And that was with Nick Simper playing bass. We met up at a record company party, and we were chatting, and said, 'Well, we should do something,' and we said OK, let's go for it. So we put a band together and we did one album. I got a lot of flack from the Quatermass side of it, because we called it Quatermass II, but the reason it happened, really, why that name was kept, was because it was a working title for the thing. I wanted to change it to something different. But by the time it came to getting the album released, we hadn't thought of another name, which is a bit of a shame, because it's nothing like the original Quatermass. It's much more AOR stuff; it's still quite rocky, but quite tasteful as well."

But as I say, it's the Gillan catalogue that Mick is best loved for. And although he's very sweet on the whole run with Ian and his pint-lifting pirates, the way his first album with the band went down left a bit to be desired.

"Well, my personal thoughts about the very first album, Mr. Universe... I know a lot of people like that, but Bernie (Torme - guitars) had not been long with the band, and I was drafted in quite quickly. I mean, we started recording that album actually the day after I joined the band. You might be aware that some of those tracks were re-recorded, because they decided to re-record with the current band. So that was a bit of a strange one, really. Because I hadn't played with the band at all, really, apart from having a blow with them just to see if it was going to work out. Now, I'm not saying it's a bad album or I didn't enjoy it or anything, but I think it was very much... not even settling in, just a bit tentative really, in some respects. I think it was good. I liked the outcome of it, and I love 'Roller' and the other tracks we did. But the band hadn't settled down yet. I enjoy listening to it when I put it on now more than I did then at the time. At the time I wished we had left it for a few weeks before we played it. But because of the way it was done, there are fresh elements that I can hear in it, if you know what I mean."

MICK UNDERWOOD - Page, Plant, Jones... Underwood? Page 3