URIAH HEEP - Snap Your Fingers... Page 2
by Martin Popoff
And, er, why did this happen? "I think quite a few people have actually been down there, in the salt mine, and done it. And because we were doing an Unplugged tour, I think our promoter just put it forward to the people, or the guy who promotes those gigs, and he took us on and we did it."
One notices that Mick Box and Phil Lanzon are the main writers on the band these days, to the curious point where vocalist Bernie Shaw isn't even in on lyrics. Why's that? "Well, I write on my own, but they write together, and I think they just like to write the lyrics for their own songs. Bernie has never really been involved in any writing since he joined the band. He's done a bit of writing when he goes on to Canada with a friend of his, but he's never really jumped in on it. He just sort of leaves it up to us to do the writing, and he sings the songs."
New to the brew is drummer Russell Gilbrook, who garners from Bolder (half the rhythm section) the following comparison with predecessor Lee Kerslake.
"I've known Russell for a long time, so I know what he can do. His abilities are quite amazing actually (laughs). He can play anything. He's a well-rounded drummer and he can step into any sort of band, I should think. But with us, he knows what kind of a band we are, and he knows not to be flash. And he sticks to a lot of stuff that Lee used to play. So he has slotted in really well. He's not coming in and going, 'Well, I'm going to show you what I can do,' on every song. Which is not what we want. We want a drummer who is very solid, but can also, if we need it, do the flashier stuff, like the guitar solo drum thing on 'Wake The Sleeper', that sort of stuff that he has added in there. Lee is more of a solid drummer, I would say, than Russell. Lee stuck to more the rock side of drumming, which is what he was brought up with. He has always been a Zeppelin fan and a Bonham fan, so Lee was in the Bonham mold, which Russell can do as well. But Russell could go play with a beat band - he's got that kind of ability."
And how does Bolder hang with the Purple comparisons Heep has always suffered from, day one, namely sorta Jan. 1, 1970. "We've toured quite a few times with Purple and I mean, we're similar, because of the Hammond organ. But they don't have any harmonies at all, and of course we use five-part harmonies, with basically every song, and they just have the one front man. I suppose, you know, it's heavy rock, from the same era, and Purple are a bit like us in a way, in that they've had lots of members in the band too (laughs). But I suppose that's about as much as I can compare us, really. I suppose we're more of a Hammond band, and they're much more of a guitar band with a vocalist."
URIAH HEEP - Snap Your Fingers... Page 3