(GREY LADY DOWN)
Interview by Vitaly Menshikov
VM: Hello Dear Martin. Thank you for doing the interview and welcome to
MW: It's a pleasure, it's a chance to put our side of the story, after all your site has not been very kind to us in the past.
VM: The brief history of the band formation and activity.
MW: Well Vitaly, we have been going in one shape or another for over 10 years now Louis David and I met in 1988, we worked together for many years with Julian, Mark and Sean. Our high's I guess have been 4 well received albums (in most case's) and we have played the most prestigious venues in London, we toured the states in 96 and have toured all over northern Europe, not bad for a semi-professional out fit, is it. At present we are playing a few low key gig's in the UK before we go into the studio later this year.
VM: Why was the band named so.
MW: Not sure to be frank. Mark Robotham came up with the name, I believe, as we had to change it from Shadowland as we found out that Clive Nolan had formed an outfit of the same name. It comes from a very bad 70's submarine movie starring Charlton Heston, why we chose it I really haven't a clue, I guess it is different.
VM: A few years ago you announced the cessation of the band. What was the reason if you were the best selling band for the Cyclops label and your
popularity was according.
MW: We are after all a semi pro band, we all work. At that time I
certainly was feeling pressure as my home life was getting very interesting,
my wife had given birth to my first child Alice. With work and other issues
my own commitment was being compromised. Mark (R) discussed the issues with
the others at a gig in Buckingham in UK Mark suggested a split, we all agreed.
VM: How many copies of each album were sold?
MW: About 5000 of Crime the same with Forces may be more. Fear was held back by the liquidation of Griffin records in the states but has done well. The Live album is selling steadily at present, this is available through the GLD web site at http://www.greyladydown.co.uk/.
VM: After a couple of years the band was however re-united. What was the reason for the comeback after those pompous farewell concertos.
MW: Vitaly, not sure what you mean by pompous farewell concertos? If you believe GLD to be pompous you haven't listened to the albums in any great depth, if that is what you mean. We got back together because we felt we had a lot still to offer. The musical taste's within the band are quiet diverse and I feel we are drawing on different influences now. Julian, Mark, Sean and myself met at a party and after a few beers we decided to get together and try and write something. We draughted in Martin Wright of Solstice fame on the drums as Mark (R) at this point had already started the Thieves Kitchen project. The first gig's were under the name of Trinity as we didn't even now if we would return as GLD. But public pressure and the realisation that we missed each other made up our minds that GLD would return.
VM: What line-up changes have taken place.
MW: Well, as I have said Mark was well under way with TK and Martin Wright was draughted in, the problem was that Martin was also still playing with Togmor the folk rock band, this proved to be a little to much for Martin to handle so he left. This left us with a problem. We listened to a few
drummers on tape and eventually met Phill Millichamp. Phill had played with rock bands for many years, and hadn't really played this style before and worked bloody hard to get up to speed. The line up now is (your favourite) Mark Westworth on keys, Sean Spear on bass, Julian Hunt on guitars, and myself on vox.
VM: Your ex drummer Mark made me glad playing in the band Thieves Kitchen. What kind of neo are you going to play? Similar to what you did before? Something different in general?
MW: I'm glad you enjoyed the TK album, it's a fine effort, very Jazzy. I guess what we are trying to do is write from the heart this time, what comes out, comes out. The material already finished ranges from the accessible to the ground breaking, well, for GLD anyway.
VM: Will your next album be released by the same "Cyclops" label?
MW: Maybe, - we will have to see what happens.
VM: I understand that all events have a meaning and your presence on the prog scene was remarkable and of use to some newcomers. However, why did you choose the way of imitating somebody? Wouldn't it have been better if you had something original? Was there a lack of Ideas?
MW: I get bloody annoyed when GLD get accused of plagiarism or imitation. The truth is that I have only read 2 reviews accusing GLD of that out of many. The fact is we have NEVER consciously tried to emulate any band or song, we have always written from the heart. If a piece of music stirs the blood then
it stays. You mention the word "ORIGINAL" can you really define that? Some would say that the dance scene is wall to wall plagiarism, some may say that Marillion ripped off Genesis, Jadis ripped off Camel, but we certainly don't. Every musician has an influence and that will show from time to time, it does not make it a bad thing. The point is that, this style of music is at a very low point at present and needs all the support it can get and critics that unfairly tear bands apart should stop and think. As far as I am concerned our idea's are our idea's, if they resemble something else then ...sorry. But after all there only so many notes :-)
VM: What are your plans for the current year and for the future?
MW: Well, as I have said we have an album to do, next year we hope to play some major festivals in europe and the UK and gig and gig. People can keep up with news on http://www.greyladydown.co.uk/.
MW: Hey, maybe we can meet you...........
VM: Yeah, it would be great to meet you in 'physicality', but, God only knows...
MW: Many Thanks Vitaly, I hope this is OK.
VM: Martin, thank you for your honest answers a lot. I hope, readers will really
appreciate them. Also, right here I want to express my admiration to your open-minded
thinking. I am really happy to be acquainted with such a great guy like you.