97.7 HTZ FM / 1995

The Basement Tapes are my collection of radio interviews I taped over the years. From time to time I will haul something of interest out, see if the tape still works and transcribe it. ... Enjoy!  KJJ


In 1995 legendary British rockers UFO made a return to America. On September 11 the band played Blind Melon's club in Buffalo, NY. Prior to the show bassist Pete Way did an interview over the phone with the DJ from St. Catharines rock station 97.7 HTZ FM [check out]  
The DJ was an old fan of the band and was enthusiastic during the interview.

The show itself was amazing. A great performance, one of the best and most memorable ones I've ever seen. After the show the band came out to sign CDs and memorabilia. Ironically, I had already had the Japanese import which I'd bought several months before. According to someone there who pestered fans in line [I think it was Schenker's wife or girlfriend] the band might not sign the imports because they should be buying the new version especially produced and on sale at the shows, these however were minus 2 tracks and with inferior packaging! However, despite the odd glance all the guys were pretty decent and happy to sign everything put in front of them. A great show and great night.

Sadly the tour ended abruptly a few weeks later. But the band bounced back with 2 new albums since then.

"The Covenant" released a couple of years ago actually contained some extra live tracks recorded at this very show.  Enjoy!

DJ: Pete Way is on the phone with me; Pete it's so nice to hear your voice again. I'm just ecstatic that the band is back together working again. How are things going? 

PW: Oh, it's going great, it really is, shows-wise, anyway. People always have problems being on the road.... The shows have been brilliant, not like a nostalgic trip actually but fairly fresh...

DJ: I was wondering how much of the old are you were going to reach to or if you were taking a new fresh direction and going some place with it.

PW: Before we did the shows, we wouldn't go on the road in the States or Canada without doing a new album. So we actually recorded an album which was released in Japan, which also sells at the shows, and we put a little bit of that back in to the shows and we do a lot of 'Strangers', but we're doin' the stuff that actually jumps out at you. It sounds like we're in to 1995, and we wouldn't have it any other way; that's the way we've always worked.

DJ: I've been a fan of the band since the first album "Force It" back in 1975, and then I thought the sound was energetic and I picked up album after album. Has it been a continuation of that old energy or is it a newfound energy?

PW:  No, It's a continuation really, it's the fact that we like playing, the fact that we'd never do anything else. We'd been involved in different projects separately but we take that energy and for some reason or another there's very good chemistry between all of us.


DJ: Now we read here that all of the old band's back together again. Who's all in the band now?

PW: It's actually all the original band, although Simon Wright plays drums, he played with AC/DC.

DJ: Is Michael with you now?

PW: Yeah Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, me and Simon Wright plays drums.

DJ: How's the tour been?

PW: It's been aussum. There's been people coming from all over the place; it's for me sort of like meeting old friends really. We're playing some smaller places on the East Coast but it's interesting 'cause it's a lot like going to a party, and this happens all throughout America, and it's about 6 weeks in. the response has been amazing.

DJ: when you go to these places do you see a lot of the old fans coming out or is there some new fans?

PW: Oh yeah, they've said "I've waited 15 years" or "I waited 10 years... my older brother played me this album..." and "I've always wanted to hear it, but never thought I would", things like that. I'm not trying to say or somebody like that but it's very heartening because the music's stood the test of time.

DJ: Glad to hear you're doing so well. Where do you head from Buffalo?

PW: Uhm, Reading Pennsylvania actually. We' re going to saturate the East Coast for the time being but then we're going in to Texas and then back on to the West Coast and doing arena shows. These ones are kind alike 'putting our feet in the water', as we're not releasing the new album through a major label, and yea know 'you can't tour without a major label!' and we thought 'to Hell with it, yes we can!'  And most of the places have been sold out and on the West Coast and 3 or 4 nights in places like Chicago...

DJ: do you find that in doing the album the way you have, you're selling the album at the shows rather than having a label. Are you finding that difficult or is it to your advantage?

PW: we make a lot more money if you want to know the truth. I mean the album went to #2 in Japan anyway. It was just released on a Japanese label last year we felt that we couldn't commit ourselves to a label, even though we had some offers because we really felt that a label probably wouldn't be committed to us because there was so much change in music that we didn't want there to be one guy at the record company that's actually going for you and somebody else is going 'well it didn't really happen.' We thought 'well we've earned the money from Japan, let's back it up and go in to production for ourselves, order it for the shows and then we'll get distribution at the end of the American tour.'

DJ: Pete, I am so glad to hear you guys working again and best of luck on the tour. UFO at Blind Melon's tonight in Buffalo...

PW: Thanks Very much!

[Radio station plays "Too Hot To Handle"]