URIAH HEEP - Snap Your Fingers...
by Martin Popoff

OK, it's pretty much unanimous - folks are absolutely digging the new Uriah Heep album. Wake The Sleeper can be viewed as the bold vigorous latest model of a Heep deep in a Heepy sound, which began anew with the fantastic and well-regarded Sea Of Light from '95, through the lighter and less beloved Sonic Origami from '98, and now into new Hammond-rocked life for the band here ten years (and one retired drummer) later. I usually talk to Mick (and more often than I thought would happen... Ken!), so it was cool to catch up with the reticent Trevor Bolder, bassist for this band of harmonizing heavies.

"I think that Sea Of Light is... I don't know, it's such a long time since I heard it," chuckles Bolder, asked to define the lay of the land with this trio of similar albums. "I think this is a heavier album, more of a Heep album, if you go back to the '70s and listen to the earlier Heep. It's got more Hammond organ on it, more wah-wah guitar, and is just a heavier album, than Sea Of Light and Sonic Origami - there are more laid-back songs on those albums. And even though Sea Of Light is one of our best albums, I think this one tops it."

Asked to articulate the Wake The Sleeper concept, Bolder demurs. "To be honest, that's more Mick's and Phil's thing. I suppose it's the awakening of the band again - you can put it down to that as well, the sleeping giant sort of thing. The band is alive again. And we're trying to let people know that we are here and we've woken up, sort of thing. I suppose that's part of it."

Touring as hard as Heep does takes you places, even into an Eastern European salt mine. I got the story on that from Mick a month back, but I wanted to get Bolder's impression as well... "Actually, it was amazing. We went down the salt mine, and we went quite a ways down as well, just this huge cavern. I don't know what Mick has told you about it. We got on these little trucks and we were zipping through these tunnels, and you couldn't stand up because the roof was just above your head. So you're going down these tunnels about 30 miles an hour, around corners, and it was kind of scary... well, not scary, but it was quite an experience to go down there. But yeah, I think we got about 2000 people down there, to watch us. And I had never done anything like that before. It was like playing in a church, in a way; it was such a big cavern. It was something I would want to do again, but I don't know if that's something we could do electrically. I think it might be too loud down there. But as a venue, it was quite amazing."

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