Dave Bedlam and Dave Farrell talk to X UFO on the eve of their Hard Rock Hell Road Trip II show.
Laurence Archer: Guitar/vocals
Danny Peyronel: Lead Vocals, He used to be original keys player
Clive Edwards: Drums/noise
Rocky Newton: Bass/vocals from UFO spin-off MSG (Michael Schenker Group)
Dave Bedlam: Formed 2011, one live show together so far at milkwood jam in Swansea, how did the gig go down?
Laurence Archer: very well, a few technical problems as it was very last minute for us. The logistics of getting everyone together so we just spent four or five days thrashing everything out and then the one warm up gig.
Clive Edwards: Just an opportunity to get on stage and see how we all gel together
Rocky Newton: and of course we had some bass issues, as the bass rig went down half way through the set, musically we are just a three piece so if we lose the bass we suddenly become a duo!
What made you decide to put this band together?
Clive Edwards: We love the music, we all had great memories from when we were all in UFO as like the main vehicle and we worked on some great albums I spoke to the guys and in fact Rocky had spoken to me about a year ago and said wouldn’t it be fucking great to put a band together to plays all those songs again? so this was an opportunity we couldn’t let go, we cover all the basis, as we have a lot of writers in this band, so a lot of the material we are doing was written by these members too, so we can say with hand on heart that we are not just a covers band. Danny wrote highway lady and Lawrence wrote She’s The One and Back Door Man.
Dave Farrell: One thing that I wanted to ask you was that there will be certain people out there that will look at you as a tribute band and how you think you will overcome this issue?
Laurence Archer: when we decided to do it the reason we literally just called it X UFO is because of the immediate impact it has and to let people know the association yet in truth is more of a launching point and whether it continues to be X UFO or whether we drop the UFO eventually and it becomes The X Men or something.
Rocky Newton: also if you have written over half the songs between you can’t really be a tribute band coz you are doing your own material, you can understand where people are coming from but then you look at UFO they are more of a tribute band than we are.
Laurence Archer: yeah two original members.
Rocky Newton: They are a tribute to themselves as much as we are.
Laurence Archer: At this point in our band we more prolific writers for UFO than there has been at any one point. As in UFO there have only been one or two writers, Danny, Rocky and I have all written.
Clive Edwards: I’ve got credits too – *laughs*
Laurence Archer: Yes Clive has written drum parts.
Dave Farrell: So was it hard to actually pick the songs?
Laurence Archer: we’ve got no airs or graces, we know people are going to be expecting certain songs, so we all play the songs that we have been involved in and written but we also do what we think would be classic UFO because we know what people are going to want, that so that’s what we will do, we have all been involved, I mean Clive and I did ‘Live in Tokyo/.
Clive Edwards: So yeah we have recorded these songs and we have played Lights out and Rock Bottom but we are not going to be doing a lot of the more commercial ones like ‘shoot shoot’ and stuff like that, we would rather do the stuff that doesn’t get a run out come people still love songs like Highway Lady, Let it Roll.
Rocky Newton: Even though I wasn’t actually in UFO, I was in MSG which was basically UFO’s little brother and we played a lot of UFO songs anyway. So I played them live with Michael.
Clive Edwards: and as a tribute to that we do ‘Armed and Ready’ and we are not going to go out there and do exactly the same as UFO I mean for instance we are going to play some songs which have never been played live like ‘Love Deadly Love’ from the High Stakes and Dangerous men album.
Dave Farrell:So any other gigs planned for later this year?
Laurence Archer: We are looking into some more festivals and there seems to be quite a lot of interest however England is hard market as people wonâ€™t come out. So we are looking at the European festival scene and America.
Rocky Newton: I think we came to the party a bit late for this summer, so we are using this to get ourselves established and raise the profile to hopefully next year we will be everywhere.
*Danny Peyronel enters*: So yeah we will sing and play anywhere!
Dave Bedlam: Are you going to be recording any shows for a CD?
Clive Edwards: we wanted to, we were going to try to get this show recorded but it just wasn’t possible logistically, but we are talking to some people as want to record a live album as we are starting out from scratch at the moment so we want something to hand out to people.
Danny Peyronel: And a live album would make sense as that’s what we do.
Clive Edwards: but having said that when we come to record the writers in this band have written some of the best stuff that UFO have done so it should be a great album.
Dave Bedlam: so you are thinking about writing new material?
Clive Edwards: Oh yeah yeah absolutely!
Danny Peyronel: It’s a Natural thing!
Rocky Newton: That’s a good name for a record!
Danny Peyronel: a Natural thing, yeah it is.
*at this point someone comes in to the previously deserted seating area of the hotel and sits down in the massage chair which then begins to speak in Spanish, I can only assume it was saying that you need to put money in to get it to start and to shut up, eventually the person realises this and stands up again*
Rocky Newton continues: If you were a tribute band you would be trying to playing all the songs how UFO played it youâ€™d be trying to do it and all guitar solos and all the notes the same as how Michael did it or how Lawrence did it or Paul Chapman did it you’d be working to do this replica and that’s not our stance.
Clive Edwards: Yeah it’s more like this is how we played it on Lights out in Tokyo and there are so many different arrangements anyway.
Dave Bedlam: well there so many different versions of Dr Dr aren’t there ?.
Danny Peyronel: Plus I dare you to find two live versions of any UFO song where Phil sings the exact same words..
*everyone laughs again*
Clive Edwards: In fact when we played Tokyo once Phil decided I know let’s play ‘One of those Nights’ which we hadn’t played for an entire tour so we all looked at him like you’re fucking mad! and he said What’s the matter with yer, you all scared? so that was it, the gauntlet had been thrown down so we did it and he couldn’t remember the words and you could see the fear in his eyes and he actually sung brand new lyrics, I had trouble because my stomach hurt so much from laughing.
Dave Bedlam: Question for Danny, what was it like to step from behind the safety of the keys to become a front man?
Danny Peyronel: well I did actually do it a long time it’s just that not a lot of people know it, In fact I did it when Lawrence and I first met in the Tarzan days in the 80’s as I always wanted to sing but the keys were my thing so I started out like that. But it wasn’t until the Tarzan days that I knew I could do it as we’d done these backing tracks for the Tarzan thing in a studio in Madrid, and I had never actually sung them before and when I went in to sing this voice came out. and it was really high, everyone was like excuse me !! and then when we got the deal the guy at Atlantic was who is this singing ? they sound like Bonn Scott, and I told him it was me and he was surprised it was me, as he knew me as a keyboard player so I guess it was natural and I wouldn’t want to do just play keyboards unless it’s just jamming with mates which I love doing but on stage, I just love to be up front! I keep the keyboard bits off to the side of the stage.
Laurence Archer: (on the keyboards) it is just a minimal thing.
Danny Peyronel: yeah so for me it’s just a natural thing.
Dave Bedlam: if any of the guys in UFO turned up to an X-UFO gig would they get up and jam with you?
Danny Peyronel: Certainly Pete would.
Clive Edwards: Pete has actually offered to do that.
Danny Peyronel: offered or threatened?
Dave Bedlam and Dave Farrell: Thanks guys, for your time, its been a pleasure.
X-UFO played their second ever live gig on the Saturday night of this year’s Hard Rock Hell road trip II to a packed out crowd where they ripped through classic songs such as Highway Lady, Let it Roll, Can You Roll Her, Lights Out and Doctor Doctor. The energy and chemistry coming from these guys simply takes control of your limbs and shakes you to the core discarding you at the end of the set just wanting more.
The show was received incredibly well with lots of people agreeing that X-Ufo were one of the best bands of the week. Clive, Danny and Lawrence also joined members of Praying Mantis and Kobra and the Lotus in an amazing jam session dubbed “The Ibiza allstars” the following afternoon proving to us that these guys are here for the music.
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Show Rating: 9/10
X-Ufo are next appearing at the Aero Rock Starz with a line up including Dennis Stratton and Praying Mantis among others: