SUPERTRAMP Interviews year 1971

SUPERTRAMP Interviews year 1971



Breaks are coming for Supertramp

New Musical Express
October 23, 1971
by Tony McNally

High on a mountain road in Norway lies a definite reminder that Supertramp once played there - the equipment van, which had to be left because the mountain was too steep to take it down. And that is only one of the incidents with vans for this refreshing five piece outfit. So bad has the situation been that last Wednesday the band couldn't play Liverpool with TYA (who they're on tour with) and it resulted in sax player Dave Winthrop busking to cinema queues - he did make five bob though!

At London's Coliseum on Sunday night, I say the band play for the first time, and must say was impressed by their edited set. The music is complex, with strong harmony lines, and a variety of instruments including saxes, flutes, piano, organ and guitars, I would say they draw heavily from the blues, especially for the boogies, but do have a distinct country flavour.

The band was formed around keyboard player Rick Davies two years ago with guitarist Roger Hodgson. Dave joined 18 months ago, and Frank Farrell (bass) and Kevin Currey (drums) came in earlier this year.

The band have gained quite a bit of respect in the music business, and they told me that Paul Kossoff recently invited Roger to join his band. But as things were just beginning to go for them they decided to keep together.

As they put it, the band has been through absolute rubbish and now they are starting to get breaks, one of which must surely be the TYA tour.

"At last," Rick said, "five of us think probably the same way, which is quite useful and we like the same things in music.

"Like playing with Kevin; it's very hard to find a drummer who will do very simple thins because they think of jazzy bits, and can't do the simple rhythms because of this ego thing going.

When the band was in its early stages they played a minor key type of thing, and also some very poetical type of stuff - until the guitarist left, and that changed their musical format.

Rick: "Yeah, when Richard Palmer left, thing started to change all right, and we got into this type of funky thing. It's a feel type of thing. It's going to be a little bit more intricate and a little more worked out and more arranged, but not into the ELP type of thing.


Listening to the band I got the impression that the arrangements were carefully worked out, seems that things are going to be tighter though.

"It's arranged now, but simply," Rick went on to say "but it'll go a little bit deeper. A lot is drawn from the blues, that's the sort of feel bit."

The music is put together by the band, and the album "Indelibly stamped" seems to be doing well, if for nothing else, just originality.

"On Stage," said Rick," we try to be light-hearted, enjoy the rhythms and then let it show in the music.


Listen with your heads not your ears

Record Mirror
May 15, 1971
By Kevin Corrie

I joined Supertramp about two months before we started work on the new album. I had to do three auditions (short lists and things) and the band saw 87 drummers and 93 guitarists. They didn’t find a guitarist. Eventually Roger, the bass player, played guitar, so Frank joined on bass just after we finished the album.

"We’ll be rehearsing now for a few weeks, then we got to the P.N. Club, Munich for a few weeks to break the band in to coincide with the release of the album.

"What can I say about the album… it’s right where we all are at the moment. We’re not out to impress all and sundry with our musical prowess, virtuosity,etc. We like to think people who buy the album will listen with their heads, not their ears, but we don’t mind.

"If they get something out of it what we didn’t consciously put on it, then good for them. We think it is quite a varied album with most of the out of it that we didn’t emphasis on melody and feel, both on the album and on stage.

"Most of our live gigs are colleges which means we’re only exposed to people who want to know anyway. We hope the album will find it’s way into the possession of people who wouldn’t normally associate themselves with ‘groovy’ college bands.

"The fact that Supertramp are still together is a minor miracle in itself. When the first album was being made the personnel scenes were really bad.
Vans and cars breaking down one after the other.

"Eventually the guitarist and drummer left the band. That was it. As far as people in the business were concerned. We’re now slowly convincing them they were wrong.

"We have a gas doing the album. We were in the studios all over Easter and we wrote and produced it ourselves. People don’t realize it but the studios and studio engineers all affect the way the album comes together.

"It was recorded at Olympic in Barnes, Which is a really nice studio, and the engineer Bob knew exactly what we were trying to do without anyone having to say anything. A&M are rush releasing it to get it out for early June. So we can only sit tight and hope everyone digs it.


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