Moody Blues Interview
October 27, 2008
from the Nieuwsblad Online
This Belgian newspaper published an interview with the Moody Blues the day before their Ostend concert at the Kursaal. Here is the link to the foreign language version:
Moody Blues Appearing At The Kursaal
Below is an English translation, courtesy of Ros at Travelling Eternity Road.
MOODY BLUES APPEARING AT THE KURSAAL
by Dominique Jauquet
October 27, 2008
More than 40 years later, the Moody Blues, famous for the world-wide hit, 'Nights in White Satin' are still hot. They proved that earlier this month in the Heineken Music Hall, and tomorrow they are doing it again in Ostend's Kursaal. A conversation with John Lodge, Graeme Edge and Justin Hayward about four decades of touring, the key to success, and the role of Belgium in that.
The name of the Moody Blues doesn't ring a bell with everyone, but in total contrast their hit 'Nights In White Satin,' is undoubtedly well known by young and old. The group has sold more than 55 million records, and after 40 years they are still on the stage. Their shows in the Heineken Music Hall were both sold out, 7,000 people in total, and the only show in our country at the Kursaal in Ostend is also selling well.
The Moody Blues became famous with the album 'Days of Future Passed,' and from that not only 'Nights In White Satin' was a hit, but also 'Tuesday Afternoon.' What many don't know is that one year earlier, our country was at the base of their success, and that was in Moeskroen, where the Moody Blues lived for three months. "The typical sound of our group originated in Belgium, because a promoter was able to offer us some gigs there. We weren't rich, but it was a fantastic time, we slept in a small house where there was a woman who did the ironing! The highlight was a performance at the Knock Music Festival, which on reflection was a forerunner of the present day festivals. We got to know different artists, and various music genres, but we also learned a lot from the small local clubs. We could use them as a test for what the public liked or disliked. In this period we wrote our hit 'Fly me High' which was later used by BBC Radio as a jingle."
Did you ever think that after 40 years you'd still be playing at sold out venues?
"Absolutely not. At the beginning, we didn't even know if we'd still be playing the following week. Our popularity was a sudden thing. At first we just waited for the next village in which to perform in, and then came the cities, and before we knew it, we were playing all over the world."
What is the key to still being successful after forty years?
"We've never associated ourselves with a certain style or trend, which would disappear after a time. We've always been ourselves, and have evolved with the time. For example, the Bee Gees are still well-known for their looks and style from the past. If that was case with us, then we'd still be wearing shiny suits, and wedge-heels on the stage."
Is there a difference between the Moody Blues from 1967, and 2008?
"The soul and the spirit has remained the same, but obviously we have evolved. Today, as artists we try to evoke in the audience, the same feelings as 40 years ago. If we can conjure up those glimpses and emotions after 40 years then it gives us a magical feeling. People expect to hear the hits, and we do that with pleasure. Making music, and writing songs is our profession, and it's a passion for all three of us, which is why we are still together. Today, we are still mostly known for "Nights" but the nice thing is that young people also know us. When you download music from iTunes there is a direction to other music that you might like to hear, and so today people are still finding the Moody Blues."
What does the future hold for the Moody Blues?
"We brought out a CD in 2003, "December", and we are still writing songs. The music industry has changed, and it's getting more difficult. Luckily a few years ago, we found a fantastic niche market, and several different DVDs have been released. And of course, we still perform. The concerts in Holland are sell-outs, and we are looking forward to the concert in Belgium, because for us, that is where it all began."