URIAH HEEP Talk Celebrating Upcoming 50th Anniversary - "The One Thing We Won't Be Doing Is Looking Back Too Much"
Just shy of an incredible 50 years into their career, Uriah Heep are one of rock's true originators. Currently touring their Living The Dream album from 2018, they are in the planning stages for next year’s mammoth five-decade milestone celebration. eonmusic caught up with band leader / guitarist Mick Box and singer Bernie Shaw at the Steelhouse Festival for a chat about all of the above. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
eonmusic: The band have had released twenty-five studio albums now; what would you say are the stand outs for you?
Mick Box: "It’s a very hard thing to say because, you know, there’s been markers, of course, like Demons And Wizards (1972) was the album that took us onto the world’s stage, but then you go back to our first album (...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble -1970) which created all the start of everything, and then you get all the progressive rock things we went into with Salisbury (1971), and then Look at Yourself (1971) which had ‘July Morning’ on it, which is a mainstay in our set for many years. But you know, Demons and Wizards with Easy Livin’ really took us onto the world’s stage, and it just great and grew and grew. And then, of course, when we did Abominog (1982), which went Top 40 in America, and that went huge too, so we’ve had so many highs and troughs. But I think it’s the strength in character of the band that we get through all those highs and lows and come out fighting strong again."
eonmusic: What about for you Bernie; you’ve recorded quite a few albums with the band?
Bernie Shaw: "The thing is, each one has its own strength. You can’t say; 'Oh, that was a poor album'; they all had something special at that time. Like, right now, when people say; 'What’s your favourite album?', I have to say 'Living the Dream.' With songs like ‘Grazed by Heaven’ to sing every night, it’s got so much energy, it’s got a new sound. But Wake the Sleeper for me, was one of those pinnacle points. Really, the songwriting on there, I just really got my teeth into. Lyrically, and melodically, it’s a really strong album for me."
eonmusic: Have you plans to celebrate the band’s fiftieth anniversary in place?
Bernie Shaw: "Absolutely."
Mick Box: "I don’t think there’s enough alcohol in the world yet to warrant that celebration! But yeah, we’ll be able to celebrate in many, many ways. But if I’m absolutely truthful, our management’s desk is full of ideas, and he’s working through them now to see which ones will come to fruition. The one thing we won’t be doing is looking back too much, because although we’re very proud of our history, we’re a forward-looking band, and I think that’s the most important thing to make on our fiftieth anniversary; that the band is still alive and kicking, is creative, and writing great music."