URIAH HEEP's MICK BOX: 'As Long As We've Got Our Health, We'll Keep Rocking'

September 21, 2019

URIAH HEEP guitarist Mick Box recently spoke with Greece's Rockpages TV. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the rigors — and joys — of touring:

Mick: "The biggest rock 'n' roll saying there is is, 'Hurry up and wait.' That's what we do. That's our life. Yes, it does get arduous and very tiresome, because we can travel six or seven hours in a car or a van or a bus to get to then go to work, so we've already done seven hours' work just getting there. But the thing is, when you walk on stage, the audience generate so much excitement and adrenaline that you forget all that the minute you play the first note."

On the URIAH HEEP vocalist that best captured his vision for the band:

Mick: "I think probably David [Byron], because me and David were in bands way before HEEP. In fact, our band SPICE became HEEP, so I think me and David had the vision of where we wanted to take it and how we wanted it to sound and the avenues of genres that we wanted to play. On every HEEP album, there is always a bit of prog, a bit of rock, a bit of acoustic stuff, a bit of jazz, a bit of blues, a bit of everything. We never wanted to be one-dimensional. David had the same vision with me."

On whether he has any regrets:

Mick: "I think the only regrets that I have is that we lost a few people along the way through drugs and drink, and that's very sad. I think that if the management had paid more attention to the well-being of the artist rather the well-being of the money, we would still have probably some of those people with us today. We were worked so hard. Two albums a year is a tough call. Nine months on the road is a tough call. You do that for five years, and people are going to weaken and need to take something to get through. And I think that's where it went wrong, really."

On the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:

Mick: "If you get nominated and you get the award, then you'll be very happy. It's good recognition. But if you don't, nothing's going to happen bad — you just carry on with the life you love anyway. It's just one of those markers in life. If you get it, then fantastic. We'd be very proud, very happy. But if we don't, we're equally as happy where we are right now."

On former URIAH HEEP drummer Lee Kerslake receiving platinum records from Ozzy Osbourne in recognition of his work on "Blizzard Of Ozz" and "Diary Of A Madman":

Mick: "I thought that it was fantastic. It would have been even nicer if they had followed it with a check, but never mind. [Laughs] It wouldn't have hurt them to have done that. That's a shame, really. I talk to Lee all the time — he's in a good space where he's done that, he got those albums, his recognition that he wants. He says he's going to put them on his bedroom wall so that he looks at them when he goes to sleep and look at them when he wakes up. If he is happy with that, that's fine. But in all fairness, I think they could have paid him some money that's owed to him."

On the band's following in their native England:

Mick: "It's getting better now because we've invested a lot more time in England, but there was a point where we were doing nine-month tours on the road, so we'd come back to England, so you didn't think of working the territory. You came home to be with your families or just rest, so we kind of left England alone. And England was a very fickle country in terms of music... it's very diverse. It just wasn't a place for us because it moved so quickly. England had to be at that time the shop window for Europe in terms of music. Therefore, it was always changing. There was no loyalty to anything for more than a couple of years. We didn't really fit in there."

On whether he thinks there will be another band like URIAH HEEP:

Mick: "That's very hard, because you can't see that far in the future. If you'd have told me 30 years ago what you can do on one phone, I would have gone, 'You're mad.' It's very hard to look that far in the future, but our music stood the test of time for 50 years, so why won't it last another 50 years? I think what's happening at the moment is that a lot of things are going round in a full circle. You've got RIVAL SONS... you've got the Van Greta brothers [Editor's note: Apparently referring to GRETA VAN FLEET], whatever they're called... It's all coming back to that again. People just go back to good, honest rock music with good songs, and that's all it really is."

On whether there's any end in sight for the band:

Mick: "I don't know. I think that with this band as it stands, there's so much creativity going on, so much passion for what we do, there's no need to put those road blocks up. We are looking at the new album; we're looking at the 50th anniversary; we're looking at everything in the future. And nothing's going to stop us. The only thing that will stop is our health. As long as we've got our health, we'll continue rocking."

URIAH HEEP released its 25th studio album, "Living The Dream", in September 2018 via Frontiers Music Srl.

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email