This is Lee Walker from www.PlanetMosh.com conducting an interview with Laurie Mansworth from the band Airrace.
LW – For those people out there who are just discovering Airrace as a result of this festival appearance how did the band come into being?
Laurie – Well we started obviously a long time ago but the re formation was by fluke really, I hadn’t been in touch with Lars for a long while being management rather then playing. I started in Moore (a new wave of British heavy metal band) and some royalties got paid to me by mistake and half of them was Keith’s (the singer from Airrace) so I had to track him down to find out how to pay him this money and we got talking and we wondered what we would sound like now and it evolved from there. We did Firefest as a one off and then Frontiers records said we really want to sign the band. So we thought of god we had some material and stuff so we made the record and that’s sort of how it developed.
LW – I believe this year you guys are finally calling it a day at the end of this year. Are there any specific reasons behind this decision ?
Laurie – Well I think we’re gonna leave the door ajar put it that way, because of my commitment to The Treatment, we are touring alot of the time now. We have just had five weeks with Alice Cooper we don’t finish till the 23rd of December on this tour and we are back out again in January, March, April leaves me very little time to put really everything into Airrace but if the touring schedule calms down a little I think we will errm, I don’t think we will completely call it a day. We are a bit disappointed that not the right shows have came, in but if they said do you want to tour with Foreigner or Journey we will consider it.
LW – So it’s a case of never say never ?
Laurie – yes – never say never.
LW – Throughout the years you have played countless gigs and festivals. What has been your most memorable experience over the years ?
Laurie – I think for me it has to be the Queen Tour – we opened for Queen across Europe on the Works album and it was fantastic to play big stadiums, the guys were lovely, Freddy was lovely. He used a line from our album in one of the queen songs – he told he was going to do that. Our album was called shaft of light and in One vision he uses the word shaft of light he told us (sings “one shaft of light…”) and he said to me that he would use it as a lyric, and he did so we were like wow that is fantastic, so we have influenced Freddy Mercury and the Queen wordsworths. So that’s great I think .Queen tour definitely. AC/DC was good as well
LW – You had a farewell tour planned this year (“Back To The Start”). What was the reason behind the cancellation of what was going to be your farewell tour ?
Laurie – Well the cancellation was the person who was in charge of the sponsorship messed up hugely, and a week before our tour, no one could find out where the money had gone and we got dropped in the deep end to say the least. So it was just terrible management by the guy who was putting the tour together and there was no way out for us. We weren’t basically being paid and there was no way of us to get to the shows, he had arranged coaches, tour busses, hotels and he disappeared. So that’s what it was about. So we absolutely furious. It kinda pushed us over the edge really, coz we had worked hard to put the shows together to have some rogue guy after working so hard putting it all together because it takes a lot of time for us to put it all together because we have all got different lives and to get together and to put that much time into it takes a lot of doing so we were very upset, very upset.
LW – In terms of the bands playing Hard Rock Hell this weekend what ones are you looking forward to watching the most ?
Laurie – The Treatment obviously (followed by laughter) I would say that. Unfortunately we are in the middle of The Treatment Tour so we have to go to Manchester tomorrow and we were in the Rock City last night. I would have liked to have seen Black Stone Cherry, I will see Therapy? tonight, Magnum and also our friends in Million Dollar Reload but we will have to miss them unfortunately. (Keith enters)
LW – Are there any bands from the rock/metal scene do you recommend keeping any eye on right now ?
Laurie – There’s a band called Summers that I heard recently that I liked, I listened to their stuff and I thought it was pretty good. A lot of young bands ask me to look at their management, I think its healthy out there, but I think they have gotta help nurture, the bigger promoters have got to help nurture younger bands because its very hard for them to get into a van and pay for cost and pay for petrol and play for love which is a good reason but the whole business, starts from the roots and the roots need help. Summers are good I really like them and I hadn’t heard of them before but I’m so busy with the Treatment I don’t have the time to listen to every one.
LW – Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans ?
Laurie – Yes, we are absolutely devastated that we could not come out and do the tour but like I said we have not definitely shut the door on anything it was a blow for us and we would love to do something similar with a better promoter (Keith cuts in)
Keith – To be honest the one thing you learn in the music business is that you turn up. It is the basic rule for surviving in this business and we were unable to turn up on the last one for reasons that had nothing to actually do with us and it made us furious but there was nothing we could do about it. We had not been in that position before never in 25 years in bands, it was a one off and I hope to never experience anything like this again.
Laurie – None of us have been in that position while touring bands it was a one off and I hope it never happens again.
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