Conversation With URIAH HEEP Guitar Legend Mick Box

September 20, 2008, 9 years ago

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URIAH HEEP guitar legend Mick Box spoke to recently about a number of topics including the band's new album, Wake The Sleeper, out now via Noise/Sanctuary Records. Here are a few excerpts from the chat: So what's new with Heep?

Box: "We have a new record out called Wake The Sleeper on Universal and we're ready to tour Europe this Fall. It's gotten great reactions from everyone, so we're very pleased with that. We're looking at now trying to put an American Tour together now. We'll maybe do the House of Blues in mid January or February 2009 and come across with a real strong package. So we're really vibed." I think it's great your keeping the band's legacy alive.

Box: "You know, we lost a couple people along the way with our vocalist David Byron and bass player Gary Thain (THE SECRETS, CHAMPION JACK DUPREE, THE STRANGERS). And one of the reasons of keeping the band going really (pauses) was simply to keep the legacy of what they left behind so people could still be inspired by it. That was one of the reasons and I really proved my point. Because people write to me and say, 'God what a great vocalist and bass player they were!'"

(Note: David Byron the original lead singer of the band Uriah Heep from 1970 to 1975. He was removed from the band due after Return to Fantasy to his problems with alcohol. Ten years later he was found dead from a heart attack at the age of 38 on February 28, 1985. Bassist Gary Thain was with Heep from 1972 to 1975. He was plagued by ill health, drug problems, and was hospitalized after being electrocuted on stage cancelling their remaining US and UK Tour Dates for the Wonderworld Tour. Shortly after the bands departure, Gary was found dead in his flat on December 8, 1975 from a drug over dose.) Do you have any Mick Box Survival Tip's?

Box: "Survival Tips? Um (pauses) I think believe in yourself is very important. Because you know it's one door up to another, until it slams in your face... until the belief is... that it will get you thru to the end. Other than that, you have to have degrees of discipline. Everyone likes to party, and do all that fun stuff. But you've always got to think of tomorrow's show. I think discipline is very important." It's easy to lose your focus on the road partying.

Box: "Exactly, it certainly is. There's a time to go out and have a laugh, and a time not to. And smile mate! Keep smilin'! If your happy in what you do then there's no better place to be. Somebody asked me about my guitar style, talking about me coming from the 60's blues thing that was happening with JOHN MAYALL and ERIC CLAPTON. When I actually started playing guitar, I was a jazz guitarist that moved straight into rock. I gave the blues thing the complete miss. And they said 'Why is that?' I said 'I was too happy to play the blues.' I was having the time of my life (Laughing). Why am I going to try and get depressed and play all those blues lines?"

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