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INTERVIEW – Sweet’s ANDY SCOTT, February 2012

| 12 September 2012 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar


This is the second time in under a year I have had the chance to talk to Andy Scott – guitarist with SWEET and true pioneer of glam rock, and with a Christmas single just gone, an album and another Australian tour on the way, we had plenty to discuss!

After admitting that yes, it was indeed me who interrupted him watching the cricket last year, we get right down to business…

Shane: Andy thanks very much for taking the time out to talk with us again

Andy: That’s not a problem mate, I’m looking forward to coming back down there again – it’s a fantastic place to visit and we really do look forward to it!

Shane: Fantastic. You last toured Down Under less than a year ago so it must have gone well for you to be back so soon?

Andy: Yeah we tend to do it in short bursts these days, concentrating on the West and South side of Australia, I guess Queensland in some ways still has it’s problems, but we will get back up there and I hope it’s resolving itself up there

Shane: Yeah they’ve had a bad run, floods and fires and what not…

Andy: Yeah

Shane: What was your highlight of last year’s tour?

Andy: I’d have to say that not having been to Perth for a little while, it was bloody brilliant getting back there. However the highlight probably has to be [playing] the Clipsal 500 [in Adelaide] and sharing the stage with quite a few people I have an admiration for – The Doobie Brothers being one, the band that was made up from members of The Angels, Swanee, etc called Rogue’s Gallery…

Shane: So you’re familiar with all that 70’s and 80’s Australian rock music?

Andy: Yeah we are. The Sweet in the late 80’s and early 90’s actually did an Angels song on one of our albums – ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ – and I’ve played a lot of The Angels material in a couple of pub bands in the 80’s when I used to just get on stage with people [in England]. Material like ‘Take A Long Line’ and so on – it’s just ripe for the venues in London with 400 people jumping up and down!

Shane: Wow, that’s great. The Angels have Dave Gleeson from The Screaming Jets singing with them on their latest tour…

Andy: Oh wow, I bet that was interesting.

Shane: Last year was pretty interesting for you – you did a fair bit of touring, you dropped new single ‘Join Together’ in October and you even put out a Christmas song with ‘Let It Snow’!

Andy: [laughs] Yeah – the Christmas song, that was by way of, on our website, we gave away a live album [in a promotion we] called “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”, so starting December 1st all you had to do was sign up and download it and every two days there was a new song from the live album, so it should have been easy. However, when it came to Christmas day we were left scratching our heads and thinking, well what are we gonna do here? So we did a version of ‘Let It Snow’ and it turned out fantastically so we put it up there Christmas Day and it went really great. So you never know – next Christmas we may just put up a whole album “Sweet Does Christmas” or something!

Shane: Hey if Twisted Sister can do it, why not Sweet!

Andy: Exactly!

Shane: Your version of ‘Let It Snow’ is great too – it really captures that classic 70’s Sweet sound

Andy: Yeah, a friend of mine said it sounded like Sweet with a little hint of Status Quo

Shane: Yeah, I can see that. And you have a new album coming in March…

Andy: Yeah, we’ve never ever done an album of cover versions, so what we’ve done is found a collection of songs that are ripe for The Sweet treatment, and in fact I’m in the studio finishing up all this week [this was just after the middle of February]. This is how tight it all is to get it ready for a March release! I’m hoping that everybody is going to get into it and enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed making it!

Shane: Can you give us a hint as to some of the songs you’ve covered for the album…?

Andy: I don’t really want to pre-empt it, but we had a song as the b-side of our ‘Wig Wam Bam’ single called “New York Connection”, and we’ve made the title of the album “New York Connection”, so you’ll realise that a lot of the songs have literally got a New York connection, so it was a great title for the album. We’ve got a couple of segueways where we put one song with another, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but if you think about New York, and you think about the sort of songs that aspire to being about New York, you might well come up with your own ideas as to some of the tracks…

Shane: Well having just re-read our interview from last year, I have a few ideas already!

Andy: [Laughing] Absolutely!

Shane: Will you be playing anything from the new album on this tour?

Andy: I think the idea would be that if the album is with us and on sale, it would be strange not to do a couple of songs from it!

Shane: Well there’s a reason for anyone who saw your shows last year to come along and see you again, right there…

Andy: Oh yeah, we’re planning to change the setlist, we tend not to just stand there and do crab-like movements these days! [laughs]

Shane: Awesome. You have got Tony O’Hara [who was singer and bassist for several years in the early 2000’s] back in the band now…

Andy: Yeah, that was a little bit of a strange one. Through the summer Steve Grant has had his other project – he has a classical rock band called Barockestra and he was also doing a few things on stage, his wife’s an actress. And we started to realise that his focus wasn’t what our focus was, and I just happened to say to him one day, Look – where are we going with this? And he said “Well I really don’t know…”. So when we were going into the studio one day he said he had other things to do, and we got Tony O’Hora to come down and we actually made the song without [Steve]. And then Tony filled in for a couple of dates in Germany when Peter Lincoln was unavailable, and we got along like a house on fire, and he basically said he missed it incredibly, even though he had taken this job as a music teacher at a college in England. So we basically said, do you want to come back? And when he said yes, I raised the subject with Steve and… now Tony’s in the band!

Shane: It’s all about timing!

Andy: Yes it is – and it’s all about being up front and not having any hidden agendas, because that’s when nasty things start to happen!

Shane: Oh yes – I couldn’t agree more! 2012 looks like being another big year for you – you have the Australian tour, the album, a European tour… what are the best and worst things about touring for you?

Andy: [Laughs] Well the best thing, obviously, is when a gig goes well and the audience are jumping – there’s nothing better, mate, I can tell you! I’m now 63 years of age and I still can’t find ANYTHING to beat it, not even if you stick the most beautiful woman in a room and say “she’s yours”!

The worst thing is – I think it was you when we spoke last year and I was watching the cricket – I have a thing, when people interrupt me and I wanna watch the football or something… and in making this album we certainly came close to this, my home team Wrexham were doing very well in the F A Cup in England, and I could not go – I had the whole band staying in the house and I said “I don’t care what happens tonight – you can all go to the pub, I’m sitting in front of the TV watching my home town play!” You know, I love lots of sport and stuff, so I do try to get my life to ease into being able to [see the games I want]. If that’s the worst thing that’s gonna happen in life then it’s not too bad though!

Shane: Yeah sorry, I did feel pretty bad about that…

Andy: [laughs] Well, rather that one where England came out on tops than against Pakistan where we were hopeless!

Shane: How do you think England’s team are going to go this year?

Andy: Well I’m hoping it’s going to be better than the last two or three weeks, but I tell you what – I do think they’re going down the right road. It’s all very well sticking with the old guard, but if the old guard aren’t performing, then get some new blood in there!

Shane: Absolutely – you have to turn people over rather than let the old guys sit there not achieving what they’re supposedly there for… It’ll be interesting what happens in June when England and Australia go head to head for the one day series – I might send you a message then… depending on the results!

Andy: Yeah you may not want to talk if they’re not going so well!

Shane: Thanks again for your time Andy – we’ll see you at The Regal Theatre in Perth on March 10th!

Andy: Alright mate, see you then!

10 March 2012 – Regal Theatre, Perth, Australia
11 March 2012 – The Bridgeway Hotel, Adelaide, Australia
14 March 2012 – Wrest Point Casino, Hobart, Tasmania
15 March 2012 – Gateway Hotel, Corio, Geelong, Vic, Australia
16 March 2012 – Trak, Toorak, Australia
17 March 2012 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
18 March 2012 – Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney, Australia

ANDY SCOTT’S SWEET official website HERE

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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