|Hawkwind Interview Fragments
More old interviews, buried deep within the archives of the BOC-L/Hawkwind mailing list. My thanks
to Grakkl and Frank Weil, who rescued these pieces from the transience of the WWW
Let's bring them all back for the Ledge of Darkness and tip them over it
From 'U.S. Rocker' (August 1998 Issue) Interview with Dave Brock, by Sean Carney:
SC: Hawkwind has always used cutting edge electronics. What kind of equipment have you been using
DB: ...We still use the old EMS audio generators, too. Ron's had this incredible machine built which is eight
audio generators hooked together that makes incredible noises which are in the story 'The Death
Generator.' We're doing a big show next year with Michael Moorcock, the science fiction writer, who is
coming back with us to do a few shows, and Lemmy from Motorhead as well as Simon House, Harvey
Bainbridge, and Nik Turner.
SC: What is the Death Generator?
DB: It's a novel Michael did with Mike Butterworth back in the 70s - they wrote a couple of books called
'Time of the Hawklords' and 'Queens of Deliria' which are fantasy, sci-fi stories. There was a comic based
on them that came out in the late 80s. I was very impressed by it so I thought, why not do a show about
it? It's a bit of a parody of the band -- with us going off into space to fight the Death Generator [laughs]!
It should be good fun because we've got a great lightshow presentation to go with it.
From 'Strider News' (no. 6, August 1998) Interview with Dave Brock, by Adam Strider:
AS: What's coming up over the next six months? I know I saw a lot of stuff on the Hawkwind web site.
DB: We're doing this Space Rock album, you know, with Jim Lascko. <<DB is referring to the Strange
Daze '97 album>> I think it might be released on Griffin Records, which I believe has been gotten back
together by Rob Godwin. And we've put out another album in the meantime - we've been quite busy,
actually. This new studio album will probably be released in America when we do this tour in October,
maybe also on Griffin. We've also been asked to record 'Interstellar Overdrive,' the old Pink Floyd song, to
be released with a Pink Floyd book. So we've got to get that together! We're also doing the 'Ledge of
Darkness' show for next year. That's going to be a stage show and probably a cartoon and all sorts of
things. We've got quite a few people involved in that at the moment. It's from the 'Time of the Hawklords'
AS: From the third part?
DB: Well, the 'Death Generator', right, but we've got to rewrite it to make it a bit more interesting and
AS: Will Michael Moorcock be involved in that?
DB: I should hope so, yeah, probably doing some spoken pieces. We'll probably be getting an album out of
all of this.
AS: Wow, that would be really exciting.
DB: And there is even the possibility of getting a video game out! There's really no limitation on this
because Griffin released their 25-year box set and they had the actual 'Ledge of Darkness' comic in with the
package. Basically, a friend of ours who does all the dance and raves stuff and also works for MTV doing
all of their
graphics and cartoons and computer technology seems to be quite keen on actually getting a cartoon
together on this. So there's actually a chance of getting this released for next year.
AS: Is there any chance that you would bring back former members of Hawkwind to do stuff with?
DB: Yeah. I've spoken to Lemmy about this, and he's quite interested in getting it together. And Simon
House I've spoken to, and Harvey Bainbridge, Tim Blake, Huw Lloyd-Langton, and Nik Turner. All of these
characters would love to be involved as well. We could make it an active sort of story line with different
actors coming along to play in the band...
From the New Zealand Herald, 03/02/00 - 'Grandfather Rock Ticks On' by Graham Reid:
Rock 'n' roll can take you a long way, and in the case of Hawkwind, their three decade-long career has
taken them to ... Massey, in West Auckland.
After a nightmare trip from London, during which their plane was diverted to Honolulu and violinist Simon
House was held under armed guard for a 1969 cannabis charge, they are relaxing in a suburban garden,
laughing about the experience and vaguely philosophical about their past and future.
Dave Brock, the sole original member of the band, reflects on 30 years of rock 'n' roll and admits with a
laugh that after a while there was nothing else he could do. Today Hawkwind "lurches on."
"Sometimes it looks like the end, then something will happen and off we go again - like being here. A month
ago we never thought we'd be here. I don't know how it happens, people get in touch ..."
He shrugs, and expresses some surprise that they should have become fashionable with DJs and samplers.
Their brand of sky-scaling space-rock, initially fired by consciousness-shifting drugs in the late 60s and
early 70s, has been cited by numerous electronica acts, and their swirling keyboard and guitars have been
sampled often. It's fitting that DJ Stinky Jim is on the same bill for Hawkwind's Powerstation show on
"Yeah, we became in vogue - and we're like grandfathers to these people," laughs Brock, who turns 59 this
Hawkwind's career began in 1969 and their hard-driving, free-form rock made them regulars on the festival
circuit. Sci-fi author Michael Moorcock was a regular collaborator and at times they sounded like Status
Quo on an astral plane. Their idiosyncratic blend of styles has seen them hailed as founding fathers of
heavy metal, but one encyclopaedia of rock ruled out easy pigeonholing by describing them as making
"genre-shattering British psychedelic hard rock, heavy metal, contemporary art rock, sci-fi, post-apocalypse
Over about 100 albums they have endured numerous line-up changes (notably losing bassist Lemmy who
went off to form Motorhead, and the death of singer Bob Calvert in 1988) and the occasional throwing-in of
These days they are still regulars on the festival circuit and later this year they expect a full reunion of their
many members at the Glastonbury Festival.
Their audience hasn't changed much - "always young men," says House.
"And diehard original fans," adds Brock.
Ahead lie tours of the States and Britain and...oh, just other things. When Brock and House talk about
Hawkwind, their enjoyment at arriving in a place like New Zealand ("like Torquay on acid," says House) and
taking life at a leisurely place, you feel they don't take themselves especially seriously. But they are serious
about the music.
Brock has written some music for a recent Oliver Stone movie, they are involved in writing music for a
project involving the MIR satellite to get kids interested in space, they all have their own home studios,
enjoy touring because you can get out and see places ...
And so, in the Massey backyard, the conversation drifts through a discussion about the constellation of
Orion and Brock's recent reading.
The band gather for a photo and all the while things are filmed for a documentary on Hawkwind Down
Under it is hoped British television will pick up.
Unpretentious, good-humoured and self-deprecating, Hawkwind look more like a lifestyle than just a band.
"Music keeps you young," says House with a lop-sided smile.
From an essay entitled "The Turning World of Drugs" by Michael Moorcock:
(See http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/show.html?ey,drugs,1 ) This more properly belongs in the
Quotations page, perhaps, but there's a lot there and not that much here, so take it away Mr Moorcock!
I've worked sporadically with Hawkwind, a band generally considered the ultimate 'acid head' band. Which
it might have been. But it was also a well-rehearsed working band, with coherent principles and
questioning, edgy urban lyrics, willing to drop a national TV appearance to play a free gig in a good cause,
never gave the paying customers a short set (unless the police broke it up), often doing two hours or more
nightly. You need a fair amount of self-control and natural stamina for that.
Sometimes we lost it. Mostly we didn't. The local drug squad and their poor dogs used to arrive at gigs
before us. Radiating the dangerous air of insomniac crack addicts in urgent need, they'd address us without
looking at us, terrified that our direct gaze would turn them to freak-burned geeks or us into human beings.
They would hang about murmuring, waiting to pounce when we took our drugs. They didn't ever
understand, as we prepared efficiently for a gig, that we had already taken the drugs. You need a sense of
self-preservation and a strong constitution, the kind of discipline you only find in the ghetto, these days.