|Hawkwind BBC Radio 1 Interview, 1993
This interview previously appeared on the Golden Void website which has now closed. Thanks to
Frank Weil for forwarding it to me. This is a transcript of a conversation between Richard
Chadwick and Mark Radcliff on Monday 22nd November, 1993 on Radio 1 (11.00pm to midnight).
MR - ...tonight, which we shall do - after we've heard the new single.
[plays Right To Decide]
MR - Right to Decide, which is the new single from Hawkwind Decide Your Future EP with all kinds of
different mixes of it on. And Richard Chadwick has come down the road...
RC - ...hello everybody
MR - Hi. How are you doing? All right?
RC - Fine, yeah.
MR - How long is it since you finished playing?
RC - Oh, about maybe half an hour I guess. I'm just starting to recover now.
MR - Oh on. Right. Well thanks for coming down. So what's happened to Dave? 'cos there's like... not that
we're not glad to see you Richard but we were sort of expecting Dave.
RC - No - well what happened was that things got pretty crazy round the back of the stage after the gig and
loads of people came round to see us and Dave sort of disappeared to get a breath of fresh air?
MR - Right.
RC - And come the moment of coming down here for the interview could nowhere to be found - so it was
MR - Right, right - that sort of breath of fresh air eh? I know exactly what you...ah [laughter] ... so I mean,
ah - obviously there's ah lots of ah remixes on that. I mean one of the striking things about Hawkwind these
days is how you've sort of embraced this remix culture and everything.
RC - Well friends of ours have. Yeah, they've got involved basically. Bands like Australasia and Salt Tank.
Individuals like that.
MR - Because like, I suppose - like, you know - a lot of things like the Orb and ambient dance events are
very similar to Hawkwind gigs in many ways aren't they?
RC - Well, yeah. I mean I'm quite sort of fond of this sort of music anyway. I mean it does reflect sort of
interesting synthesizer I mean and it's nice to see the synthesizer becoming like a major instrument in its own
right rather than sort of a background soundtrack to guitars and more conventional rock instruments.
MR - Right, and of course all of like the ah lights and the visuals of the Hawkwind thing is kind of reflected
in that as well.
RC - Yeah - it's becoming much more a sort of multimedia type event, you know, light and sound more sort
of involved I think. The audience are more involved in making something happen.
MR - I mean it's strange that Hawkwind should be so wrapped up in - like, technological things and - you
know, considering the roots of where they come from. I mean obviously - like you're a new boy into it. So
how long have you been at it?
RC - Oh I've been at it for 5 years now.
MR - 5 years you see!
RC - 5 years, a mere snippet of time in the err...
MR - I mean, coming out of all that kind of free festival culture. I mean did you used to go and watch them
at those gigs?
RC - Oh yeah. I mean I've been going to Festivals since the first Stonehenge free festival so I was seeing
Hawkwind play up there a few times before I got involved in it, yeah.
MR - Right. Is it more fun being on the stage than watching?
RC - [laughs] What do you mean by that?
MR - Well I mean - is it... do you like being in the band or would you still rather get the chance to watch
RC - Well I - well it's sort of the same for all of us. There's - there comes times when you wish you just
weren't on the stage - you were watching. Because we never get to see half of the show - which is the light
show, you know. We never really get a very - a full sort of clear picture of what's happening. We make all
these plans - and we sort of plan it all before we go out on tour but whether it actually materializes as it
should do - all we've ever seen is sort of scruffy videos and still shots.
MR - Right, right. Were you a fan then? I mean when you joined the band? Or was they just sort of a blur in
the background? You know, a sort of big racket going on - "oh bloody hell, it's Hawkwind again"....
RC - [laughing] It was a blur that became clearer once I got involved in it!
MR - Once you got a job in it! 'Cos I mean - they played the Isle of Wight Festival I think, but outside the
main gate as I recall.
RC - Oh yeah. I mean that's part of the legend of it all isn't it really. Basically they were just playing for free
to sort of make a point about the high price of the ticket prices for the Festival.
MR - I mean the striking thing about Hawkwind now is there's been like all and sundry have passed through
the ranks of it.
RC - Oh yeah.
MR - And now there's only three of you.
RC - Yep. Three of us and a bank of machines!
MR - Right, so how does that work then? How does - is that sort of Better? Worse? Different?
RC - Well, it's - funnily enough it doesn't really sound any different!
MR - Says a lot for the others!
RC - ... technology allows 3 people to make the same amount of noise as 7 people used to.
MR - Right, yeah, yeah. I think a lot of people would like to see - ehm, Stacia make a comeback.
RC - Well, no, there's absolutely no need. There's dancers abounding. I mean at the moment we're using a
girl called Hilary who's been dancing with us. She's really good because she's studied all this Tibetan and
Eastern sort of Islamic style dancing - and whathaveyou - which sort of goes quite well with some of the
music we've been doing just lately.
MR - Right, right. I mean are you sort of all wrapped up in it? - Obviously the thing that Hawkwind had was
this image of being sort of space travellers and everything. I mean is that still a metaphor that's running
RC - Well, yeah. You can't really sort of avoid it. Our music is about trancing and it's about sort of sliding
into another world, really. And the whole idea of the space ritual or the space concept was that it's ...there's
an external view of it which is outer space and there's an internal view of it which is inner space, you know.
And hopefully the music is a soundtrack that allows you to look into both those places.
MR - Right. Do you still have any audio-generator? - there used to be an audio generator.
RC - We do still use audio generators...
MR - ...do you!!
RC - Not on stage, no, but we have used them and they are on the last record. Yes.
MR - Are the, so what - I mean I think I always imagine sort of what-was-his-name Dik Mik building it out
of a hoover and an old radiogram or something. It was like sort of...
RC - That's right, yeah. It's true actually. Del turned up at our place once...
MR - That's Del Dettmar...
RC - ...yeah that's right, he came to visit recently, yeah. Well, this was, what, a couple of years ago. He
came over to our place and...
MR - .. where's your place?
RC - Where I'm living at the moment in Bath this is. And me and Alan were there jamming with some friends
of ours. And Del turned up to visit and he said "oh are you having a jam - oh I'll join in". And he went - he
got a broomstick and fixed this sort of little device that he'd got in the back of his car and tied a guitar string
to it and suddenly it became a synthesizer. He was feeding it into an oscillator and it just sort of sounded
MR - So he's back is he? Del Dettmar. Cos didn't he go off to live in a log cabin in Labrador or something?
RC - That's right, yeah. Well he's living in Canada and he's moved back out there. He's quite happy staying
MR - Right, yeah. I mean - seeing as Dave's not here we can ask you this. Because, when a band has a lot
of line-up changes, you know, and there's one person stays the same, people always say - ah "Why he must
be a megalomaniac then. Hiring and firing. Impossible to work with!" So is he a right nark like that? Old
RC - No. I think what it is really is that various people come in and come out and it's rather like sort of, I
dunno, an expression of different sound that comes in and for a while it sounds like this and then for a while
it sounds like that - depending on who's in and out. And it's - people drift in and out. It's more like a family
cos we have from over the years, like while I've been involved, we've had various people come and play
with us again from time to time - like Simon House, violin and keyboards. Lemmy for a couple of times - in
MR - Right. I was told Lemmy got fired out of Hawkwind for being too out-of-it you know. Which many
people would believe was impossible - if you see what I mean. That's just the image you have isn't it? I don't
know. It's obviously ill deserved.
RC - No, I mean I wasn't around then but as far as I can tell it was something to do with problems with
getting from one - into Canada from America - or backwards. Whatever the thing....
MR - Right, right - on then. So where are you off to next, anyways? I mean you've nearly finished the
RC - Where are we off to next? Normally a trick question with the band on tour! But I happen to know that
we're off to London, The Forum tomorrow. Then it's Folkstone, Worthing, Slough, Hastings and
Colchester. Then a couple of days off and then we're off into Europe.
MR - On. right. Well best of luck with that. And the current album is: It Is The Business Of The Future To
Be Dangerous. We're going to play an old one though, which is Master of the Universe. Do you play this live?
RC - We do, yeah. But not on this tour!
MR - Right. Richard, thanks very much indeed
RC - Yeah. Thanks for having us.
[plays: "Master of the Universe" from In Search Of Space]