|Hawkwind Press Releases - Part 9
These two press releases were kindly supplied by Wilfried Schuesler, and I have translated them from
the original German into English
Both feature interviews with Bob Calvert and were issued by Phonogram in Germany, who were
presumably allied with Charisma as they date from the late 70's
Hawkwind - on a new course: Drugs are Out!
The English group Hawkwind are known as the
inventors of Space-Rock. In 1973 they had a smash
hit with 'Silver Machine'. Since then their image has
changed extensively, and nothing remains of the
sound of their early years. The new-look Hawkwind
("we were held up as perennial heroes of the
Underground!") with a new contract with Charisma
and a successful new LP - â€œAstounding Sounds,
Amazing Music" have swum back into the reckoning.
Mike Allen of â€œWorld Pop News" spoke with Bob
Calvert, who is primarily responsible for the new style.
Q: Do you think you will manage to keep faith with
your old fans?
A: I hope so, although at some point we had to think
of ourselves and had to make the music of today.
Q: You're trying to construct a new image for
yourselves. Doesn't that also mean a change of
A: Evidently, yes. Now we've moved totally away
from consuming drugs of any type, and don't allude directly or indirectly to them in our music. And that
kind of change of stimulus inevitably causes a change in how you react to your environment.
Q: How do you think your new LP "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" compares to your earlier albums?
A: (Not very seriously meant) : We used to be called a two-chord band. We have been working very hard
behind the scenes and now we're a three-chord band!
Q: Have you revamped your stage show?
A: Clearly, that was necessary because we no longer have a dancer (in earlier incarnations of Hawkwind,
dancer Stacia was the focal point of the live show). But the present show is not yet the finished article.
What we are striving for is a Science-Fiction show, like nothing else the world has ever seen...
Hawkwind with new ideas: a band with nuclear
They have just completed a large German tour with
Van Der Graaf Generator and drew legions of fans:
Hawkwind, who formed in 1969, became famous as
exponents of Space Rock ©. But now the one-time
musicnauts have become an independent band be
taken seriously. We spoke with boss man Bob Calvert:
Your music's changed. It seems you have changed
also. Where do you stand today, in 1977?
BC: He who does not develop, dies. Of course, we
have not changed completely. But after seven years,
one knows more about oneself and the kind of band
that one wants to be. Today, in 1977, we're doing
what one could or perhaps would call Science Fantasy
music, a further development of the old space sounds.
In the last year, a science fiction novel came out, in
which you play the leading roles. Didn't you want to
actually perform the novel?
BC: The book is called "Time Of The Hawklords".
Michael Moorcock, an old acquaintance, wrote it. Once we used to work together at an underground
magazine. Michael used us only as "characters" - the names were changed. So yes, we played with the idea
of performing it - however it was not written as just our story, or about us, even. So nothing came of it...
Back to your-just concluded German tour. Pre-gig publicity, in Hamburg for example, placed your name
below Van Der Graaf Generator's. What was your impression of the tour?
BC: I believe we went down well. Naturally we were excited to play to the fans, with co-headliners as
strong as we are.
Live performances were always your strong point. And the Hawkwind light shows are internationally
BC: Yes, these days having the perfect light show is more important than ever. It really turned the fans on,
we were pleased to see, on the tour. The visual insanity is important to us - it naturally integrates with our
music. To this extent we are always stronger live than in the studio, where things can fall flat.
There has been criticism along the lines that you used to be a "bigger" band than you are now. Signing the
contract with Charisma - has that been a new beginning?
BC: I do not see it that way. "Bigger" is a relative term. Clearly, we once had a hit single, five years ago.
But one cannot relate to that other than as the past. We make music that expresses our feelings, that is true
to us, and the consumer decides its success. To change styles, just to make lots of money - we don't have
it in us to do that...
Your last LP "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" showed, that now as much as ever, you are brimming
with potential. Looking further ahead, when can we expect a new Hawkwind album?
BC: It comes onto the market in May. Although the basic concept remains unchanged, our musical security
is such that we've become more "grown-up" than ever. The title of the LP, by the way, is "Quark
Strangeness & Charm". It, like some of our others, is at least partially a concept album. One side contains
songs which are concerned with life in a nuclear world, and the other side has some "conceptless" new