Yiannis Zervos of Metal-Temple.com recently conducted an interview guitarist Mick Box of legendary progressive rock veterans URIAH HEEP. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal-Temple.com: "Wake The Sleeper" is your new album and it's the first in 10 years! Why did you wait so long to put a new record out?
Mick Box: 'Cause the record companies are complete shit! The industry is such a mess. With the Internet and free downloads, record companies went out of business, disappearing... The whole industry is in a freefall right now; nobody knows what's gonna come next. So we couldn't find a home to record with the industry in that sort of state, so we do what we do best — [we] went on tours and released some DVDs, just to keep it alive, you know. Generally, the industry didn't have the place for us. And then eventually our old record company said they wanted to make a record with as, and we said, "That's brilliant, we'll do one," and then we did that. They put a release date out, and then we waited a whole year for Universal to release the record. Just saying that to show you how fragile those things are; the industry is a complete mess.
Metal-Temple.com: You experienced the ups and downs of the music industry. When do you think was the best time to make music?
Mick Box: The best time was in the '70s because the record industry was in growth and they supported the artists. When you signed a record deal, you signed for seven albums. You grew with the label the label grew with you. Nowadays you may get a single deal; there is no room for creativity within the industry. It's very fast, it's very disposable, it's one button to get it in your iPod and off you go. We spend thousand of pounds in the studio to get the most optimum sound we can and the MP3 shrinks our final result.
Metal-Temple.com: You are so committed to URIAH HEEP. You haven't made a solo effort or something in these years!
Mick Box: Well, I formed the band so it's my single swim. To do a solo album, it means you have to divert your attention away from the band and I wasn't ready to do that. The band always needed my attention.
Metal-Temple.com: From the bands that URIAH HEEP influenced, did you get the recognition you should?
Mick Box: Yeah, it's great that we've had that effect and influence on bands like IRON MAIDEN, KING DIAMOND or W.A.S.P. and these people. It's good to inspire people to make more music.
Read the entire interview at Metal-Temple.com.
URIAH HEEP performing live in 2008: