Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock Interviews

Nektar

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview With Derek Moore of Nektar from 2000
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Since Nektar have you been involved in other musical projects?
Ron, Taff and I have done a couple of projects over the years since Nektar, some we recorded. We even played out in New York with one band as "the World" which was a lot of fun. I was also involved with April Lawton and Dave Nelson project, helping them with their demos. They were really good. I have a 4th of July party every year at my house and we have live music and jam, but other than that I do not have the time.
MSJ: Do you stay in touch with the rest of the band?
I stay in touch with Ron, now doing audiovisual sales and installation and has a small studio. Taff, who does music with his wife Lisa in his home studio. Larry Fast, inventor and master of all he touches and Dave Nelson now VP at Lehman Brothers. Also 2 of our team, Paul Higgins our electrician and sound man. He just put the system in at Newark for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and also the new Lucent video conference system at Lucent Technologies. He is doing lots of AudioVisual. Vinnie Schmid another of our sound men who has a rehearsal studio here in Patterson, New Jersey called "Backstage". I know where the others are in the world just from hearsay but have not had contact for a while.
MSJ: Nektar is looked on by many as one of the progressive greats, yet never achieved the commercial status of Yes, Genesis, etc. Any ideas why that was?
Lots of factors were involved. We were living in Germany and were in fact leading the German Invasion here and England. Our record company Passport was small but tied to Seymour Stein of Sire records and later Warner Bros. he is the one who discovered Madonna, among others. He and Marty Scott had ties to Miles Copeland (Police, Sting) and Ron Powell a promoter out of St Louis. I approached them to get us a tour on our own here in the States. They put it together and it was very successful. Sold out everywhere. The second tour became a fight of egos. Everyone claiming the success as theirs and instead of working together as in the 1st tour Ronnie put us into 10.000 seat arenas right away to try and make a killing. The shows were mostly ½ full. St Lois was good we did 2 shows at 20000 per but overall the tour was seen as "½ empty". We were starting to rebuild and were starting to come back when Roye left the Band to follow his girlfriend home to Germany. We did another album with Dave Nelson, Magic is a Child (Brook Shields was on the cover) for Polydor but though we had a good tour, it was not the same jamming band. We did try to put the original band back together but the "magic " was not there. We went to Germany and put together lots of music but I saw that it would not be allowed to happen so I left. Sad really as it could have been really good. The ideas we had were greater than the money we could get to make it happen.
MSJ: Were you involved with the reunion that had been in the works, and what happened with that?
Roye and I had not talked for many years. Through the Internet we began the healing. We thought it would be good to do something. Roye sent me some music he was working on that I thought had a lot of promise, something that would work for us. The logistics were tough. We all work full time I have 3 companies to run and Roye was going between England and the Middle East as he was working on the oil rigs. There was a Nektar site on the web nicely done by Attilla Juhas, I took over the funding of it and was planning how we were going to pull it all off. These types of projects take a lot of time. I tried to use outside people to do the leg work, but it did not go fast enough to "catch the wave". The forces against it happening who shall remain nameless, stirred the pot long enough to cause unrest. I decided that we would never recapture the 12 hours a day rehearsals and dedication to being the best. I do not like to do anything ½ way, it has to be the best possible or not at all. I did not need the aggravation, it was supposed to be fun, so I backed out and carried on with my life. By the way there is still an unofficial site out there which seems to be doing well.
MSJ: I never got the chance to see the band live, but from the descriptions of the shows, it seems like you guys were doing strong progressive rock shows in the tradition of Yes and those type of bands. The difference was your light show was more like a Hawkwind extravaganza. How did that whole light show concept come about, and were there similarities to Hawkwind's staging?
The band was very strong live. It just seemed to happen for us. We would come off stage exhausted we were so tight and knew each other so well. None of us knew where the music would go next. We would have a basic "song list" which we wove into the jams like magic. The Music and Light Theater came about in Germany at the very beginning. Mick we got to know during a stint in Nuremberg with Prophecy, an earlier band with Ron, Taff and I. He had a knack of painting the music with color, in time with the music. He was very good at it. We developed it with slides and film and giant screens and the whole thing with the music became Nektar. It was Mick's bag and he ran it well. It contrasted to other bands because it was an integral part of our presentation of the music, hence "Music and Light Theater". Dave Anderson, bass player for Amon Duul used to hang with us in Munich Germany where they were based. He became part of Hawkwind and as we grew bigger in Europe they took our idea to the States. The misconception is that we were doing as "Hawkwind type event" Actually we were first. They copied the idea from us. None of us ever saw them with it, but they would be hard pressed to top what Mick did with his team.
MSJ: Are there any musicians you would like to work with?
Not any more, when we were fluid, the music would go straight from my ears to my fingers, now I have to think about it. Music is your whole being when you are in the zone. I would not be able to blend any more with that standard. I still like to sit and talk with musicians and maybe jam a little. I had a great conversation with Tim Bogart (Vanilla Fudge, Beck Bogart and Appice) a few years ago. His mother lives down the road from me and I told her to call when he came to see her. We talked for 2 hours, it was great.
MSJ: Speaking of working with other musicians, how did it come about that Larry Fast was in Nektar for a time?
I was over to get the first tour ready. I went out to Passport Records in Plainfield, New Jersey and there I met Larry starting to get his first Synergy album ready. We talked, hit it off and are good friends still today. We used his music to start our show from then on, it was powerful and different. He worked with us on Recycled and Magic is a Child. He is probably the best programmer in the world. Even back then at Air Studios when he built the steel drum sound one wave tone at a time. He just dialed up the sound on a completely foreign synthesizer and did not even have to hear it, he knew how it would sound. George Martin was just standing there amazed. We debuted the first polyphonic synthesizer ever made. It was a Moog. We used it Saturday night at the Beacon Theater in NY City and Chic Corea had it Sunday. Larry was involved with its creation.
MSJ: What was your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Boy did that hit home. That film was so good it hit so many true nerves for all the musicians that I have known over the years. I can't think of one particular moment but Rob Reiner captured all of them for everyone.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought/ what types of things are you listening to these days?
I just bought the new Santana, great album. I listen to all types of music from rock to classical. Music is starting to come round full circle and be listenable again. For a while there was nothing you could call new and innovative. It was like we covered all the sounds back in the 70's. This year for the Oscars music I had pegged Randy Newman to win with his "When Somebody Loves You" as the vocal is strong and different, but he was pipped at the post by Phil Collins with his equally excellent Tarzan piece. I like music to have a tune and to have some harmony. If it's soaring over heavy rock or melody it has to excite, it has to have an "ear worm". Something that keeps it coming back into your head.
MSJ: What was the last concert that you attended?
I took my son Sasha to see Elton John at the garden. Sasha is 10 years old and has been a big fan since Lion King. I know Elton from my Nektar days. He was a good friend of Seymour Steins and he introduced us to him. It was good to see him perform again. My daughter Natasha on the other hand is a big n' Sync fan so I will be taking her to see them when they come in a couple of months. My kids are both very musical.
 
More Interviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com