New Russian Interview with Andy Powell

Dear Mr Powell!

1) Mr Powell, “Wishbone Ash” was one of pioneers, who began to use two lead-guitars at once. Did you expect that time this step would be so promising, as time has shown?

Andy: Well, we knew that we had found a unique style and signature sound as soon as the four of us started to constructively work out new music together. It was very exciting - immediately. I did not realise that it would spawn a career and large body of work spanning 45 years.

1) Mr Powell, “Wishbone Ash” was one of pioneers, who began to use two lead-guitars at once. Did you expect that time this step would be so promising, as time has shown?

Andy: Not really. All bands and musicians were experimenting a lot and pushing the musical boundaries. The LP was really starting to be seen as a complete statement, rather than a collection of songs . The concept album was born. FM radio in the States meant that long tracks could be featured on the radio.Things were becoming more liberal. Most importantly, the post-second world war generation was very large in numbers and started to influence the way society and music were to become. This is still a very big demographic group and that's partly why bands like ours have longevity. This generation demanded it, kept loyal to their bands and encouraged us to be productive. Support is what it's all about.

Regarding the two lead guitar set- up we have: Musically it still stands up and gives so much more to a performance without the need for keyboards or a horn section to colour the music. We do it all with the guitars.

2) The unique sound of your group was formed thanks to commitment of different musical styles. How long did you have to look for the compromise?

Andy: Not so long because at that time audiences were very receptive to so many musical styles. Within the band we did a very large amount of rehearsal though. We were very work orientated and we and our manager had a very strong plan to succeed. You might say it was a life-or- death, do-or -die feeling of survival within the band.

3) Many maybe more popular groups disbanded long time ago, but “Wishbone Ash” has been existing so many years, releasing new albums. What’s the secret?

Andy: I'm a very positive person. We love to play live to audiences. We really nurture our fan base. This started years ago with our fan clubs and then we were one of the first bands with our own website. Our fans sponsored an album recording of ours in the 90s called Illuminations before there was any Kickstarter etc. Now we have Facebook. Our fans love our fan conventions which we've had in England, Germany, the States and even on Cruise ships.

4) Is it true that Ritchie Blackmore was so impressed with your playing and just thanks to his participation there was signed a contract with DECCA? What was the story?

Andy: We were opening for Deep Purple in the UK and Ritchie was doing a soundcheck by himself. He was playing guitar and I cheekily plugged in my guitar and he'd play a lick and I'd copy him. It was a kind of guitar duel. I think he was impressed and asked if we had a record deal. I said 'no' we did not. He told me he'd put us in touch with the producer of their hit 'Hush' and that was Derek Lawrence. Derek then introduced us the head of Decca, Don Shane, in Los Angeles. Incidentally, once Decca began releasing our records all over the world, it also was a major contributing factor to our longevity because our music was heard in multiple countries around the world - far more than if we'd signed to the UK Decca.

5) Do you consider “There’s the Rub” the best in your career?

Andy: Its a good album. I really like New England but Argus would be the definitive statement from Wishbone Ash.

6) Please, some words about your new album “Blue Horizon”

Andy: It's dense, with lots of musical references - cool songs and much guitar playing - twin leads, jamming, slide guitar, EBow. I think it's a great album, very evocative of the past but with modern production and style.

Thank you very much! Andy Powell.

Interview conducted by Dmitriy Avdeev, “Petropavlovsk kz.” Newspaper.

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