During the 1970â€™s one of the driving forces in the British Prog Rock movement was Hawkwind, this band had a unique style which they called â€˜Space Rockâ€™ relying heavily on the use of electronics and toured with what had to have been the best light show of the era. Their studio albums were wonderful, but this really was a band that was better on stage, the word awesome springs to mind when describing a live concert.
It was a great discovery to find that they are still very active in the music world, and that the original founding father Dave Brock is still leading this merry band of musical innovators. Through the wonders of the internet I tracked Dave Brock down and managed to get a short interview with him.
Dave, let me firstly say thank you for spending a few minutes with Blogger News Network. I was looking at the family tree of Hawkwind and over the years there have been a number of line up changes, has this effected the continuity?
The short answer, is not really. Yes we have had many people come and go, and every one of them has given us something a little new. But overall the style of the sound has remained constant.
I believe that the first time I saw Hawkwind perform was around 1971, and you had a cutting edge lighting and visual show. Is this still an important part of your shows?
The visual aspect of Hawkwind was a very conscientious choice, it adds another dimension to the music. And yes it is still a very large part of our concerts.
You were one of the pioneers of the synthesizer, but I am not sure you used a moog, what synth were you using in the early 70â€™s?
No I never used a Moog, I was and indeed still am a fan of the E.M.S. (Electronic Music Studio), synthesizers, however both Del (Dettmar) and Tim (Blake) did play using a Moog.
Some bands die as the result of a hit single. The Strawbs had â€˜Part Of The Unionâ€™, which Dave Cousins said was â€œAn Albatross around our neck for many yearsâ€, and resulted in the band breaking up, half of the band wanted to do more pop, Dave did not. As I recall â€˜Silver Machineâ€™ made it to #3, was it good or bad for you?
Silver Machine was a big success for us, and no it had no bad side effects for the band. The reason for that is that the style of the song was in keeping with our other material of the time. In fact Silver Machine has been used in a number of projects, as a backing track to programs and TV commercials.
Many prog bands had a hard time towards the end of the 70â€™s, Punk and a change in the Radio airplay strategy decimated the fan base. The radio went to 3 minute power pop which killed the longer tracks from the Prog movement. Some bands hightailed it to warmer climates, Yes avoided the ordeal by living in the Bahamas, and Al Stewart took up residence in California. How did Hawkwind fare during this period?
We actually did OK. We have a very loyal fan base and we just carried on business as normal playing festivals and gigs.
I was looking over your discography, and it is impressive, do you have a favorite disc, or period?
Oh without doubt it would have to be our first album (editor â€“ as I recall that is the self titles album Hawkwind). That was a big step, we were youngsters with young ideas.
Electronics have changed a great deal over the years, what Synths are you using now?
I still use E.M.S synthsÂ but in combination with audio generators and a Theremin.
Note: A Theremin is a very unique instrument, and is without doubt the first electronic instrument ever invented. It is also the only musical instrument that you play without touching!
What is Hawkwind doing now? Touring, Recording?
We are currently touring with a big show that includes lights and dancers. You can get a full list of tour dates on our web site www.hawkwind.com.
We have become a very â€˜connectedâ€™ society, the internet is everywhere. How important is this medium to Hawkwind .
The internet is very important to us, it is how we can keep in touch with our fans, and let people know what is going on.
What else would you like to tell our readers?
Hawkwind is a multifaceted band, we care deeply for our fans and are very grateful for their support. We are still into our musical theme of space and the exploration of the universe. But we also care about our planet Earth and we hope that our young fans will help us save our planetÂ and its wildlife and fauna.
Thank you Dave, and I am sure that I speak for our readers in wishing you and the rest of your band continuing success for many years to come.