Rock Around the World • October, 1976 19
Nektar earned a portion of its reputation
early in their career. With its members all hailing from England, they met and launched their total concept in
Germany. They constructed their opuses around spatial fantasies and visual involvement via lights and slides. Indeed, it was a unique experience that won them a large following in Europe
before they ever ventured back to England. As the German rock scene mushroomed with such luminaries as Can, Amon Duul 11, or Tangerine Dream, the Nektar band shone through with a genuine concern for giving a complete and extended concert, as well as releasing hit albums (“Remember the Future” was named Album of the Year in
Germany). Now, the band has taken roots in New Jersey, America. With the addition of Larry Fast on synthesizer/moogs, the group’s scope has expanded even more. With their strongest album,
“Recycled”, earning them loads
of new fans in the U.S., it shouldn’t be long before Roy Albrighton, “Mo” Moore,”Taff” Freeman, Ron Howden, and Mick Brockett feel right at home here. R.A.T.W. recently visited the band following a knock-out concert in New York. We
spoke with “Mo” Moore and
Fast about Nektar’s transitions and heritage:
R.A.T.W.—Could you give us a little
background on Nektar and the other members of the band?
“Mo” Moore—We met in Germany, actually. I had lived
there for eleven years, ’til now. But, we’d been stranded with no money there in Europe. And, I had met the various members of the band over the years: Ron in France—Taff in Stuttgart—Roy in Hamburg— Mick in Nuremburg, and we finally got together at the end of 1969, in Hamburg. We decided to work in light and sound, maybe because Mick and Roy were already doing it in early ’68, and it seemed an interesting concept to put together. And since Germany had never seen anything like that, it helped us get off the ground with our own music. Then, in late
summer or autumn of 1974, I came over to
American to visit Marty (Scott, head of Jem
Records and producer of Larry Fast’s “Synergy” albums) because we were preparing for the first tour. I was introduced to Larry and heard the first “Synergy” LP while it was being done and we hit it off right away. The idea had crystalized in my head that we would be getting together some time in the future. Well, the friendship got stronger and stronger—the tours were going off real well, Taff and Larry got on fantastically— in fact, the whole group got to love him, so when we were going in to do the new album (“Recycled”), we called him and asked if he wanted to lend a hand. So Larry came over to France and fitted in like one of the band.. .when you’ve been together for six years or more, for someone to fit in that way—there’s got to be something special and
different about him. We were all pretty excited about the way things progressed on the album and so the next natural progression was for Larry to come with us. Of course.
R.A.T.W.—”Recycled” seems different in many respects. Larry, how much of an effect on the other instruments did you have?
Larry Fast—Mmmm, that’s really hard to assess, because I think the band was ready for changes within itself. I don’t
attribute much of it directly to me, beside the things – ••t I did; but added to that the type of work everybody put
into the album, as opposed to their earlier records, which I didn’t have a part in, everyone agrees that it was a whole different process for them. It was one of those things that was just ready to happen. It was the environment, the engineering, the musical attitudes that had come to that point—everything gelled at once.
R.A.T.W.—How important is your environment to your writing?
Moore—Very important! The music is pure feeling. Whether it’s rock & roll, classical-
whatever—getting a good feeling is the main factor of good music. And the new
Nektar with “added-Fast”—a special ingredient—has given the music a new push.
When everything hits, it’s the ole goose-pimples bit. It’s exciting—cause things still
happen by accidents.. .
Fast—You got one fifth more accidents to happen now.. .
Moore—. . .and when you’re building and creating every night and the audiences are getting off with you, and we, in turn, get off on them—this excitement can build to a very intensr, climax.
R.A.T.W.—Does the ultimate stage presentation of a number have any effect in the recording of it? For example, Mick’s lights?
Timeless Music Today
Moore—Ha. . .that’s like askin’ what came first: the
chicken or the egg. It all happens together.. .
Fast— As the music is developing, Mick is always
coming up with ideas. He is involved with the band
in an other—than- light basis— he’s there in the
studio, he’s an extra mind to bounce off of, he’s a
logistical help—so he’s more involved than “just the
guy who adds the lights later”, which is a concept
that is public more than it ought to be. R.A.T.W.—Do you believe that Nektar’s strength lies
in performing more extended works as opposed
to short songs?
Moore—We don’t really start off with
extended works—we just don’t know how
to finish things. . .”Down to Earth” was
just a collection of songs left over from earlier projects over the years. We’re still using little bits from that album in the act. . .and “Down
to Earth” is one of those albums where everything fit, but wouldn’t have fit in on any other album. I think it gives us a little confidence to know
it didn’t make it as big as “Remember the Future”. I know that may sound funny, but since single songs didn’t go very far, it proved to us that our audience wanted to hear the longer pieces—like “Remember the Future” and “Recycled”, which is the concept
• • •.01%.•:..:. direction we prefer to go in. It wasn’t good for the
market, but it certainly was a good indication for us.
R.A.T.W.—What are your thoughts about the trend toward more fantasy in Rock?
Moore—We’ve been doing fantasy since we started, so it’s no surprise to me at all. People need imagination; lots of people have forgotten what imagination is. For example, a child has pure imagination—she/he doesn’t see things as real. And you find that if you play with fantasy, it can help you get through bad times, thinking about things you could possibly do, and that gives you the creative feel to carry on.
I think that what we’ve tried to do with our records is put in enough imagination for our f antasies.
R.A.T.W.—Would you consider the music Nektar plays as being timeless? Moore—We hope so. . .yea. . .
Fast-1 do think that the music shows its versatility, because we have pieces like “A Tab in the Ocean”, which goes back to ’70/’71.. .
Moore—It was written in 1969. ..
Fast—. . .and it stands up. As it was played then, it was tied, of course, to the instrumental format of those years, but now it’s got this new life to it. It still stands up. . .with a little conditioning.