7. If the ultimate choice were given to you, which comes first, live performances or studio work? I realise that is 2 sides to one story, but please do tell...elaborate!?
(Robert) Difficult question because I enjoy both and both can give rise to very different creative outlets. “Live” is great for the sheer energy that is exchanged in the moment which can take you right into the moment (I’m getting cosmic here). “Studio” is also great – although there is not the same sense of urgency, over time you can come up with something great. I like to craft songs down to every last semi-quaver, like a renaissance painter. Ultimate choice? Well I think “live” tips the balance, but only just.
(Steve) Performing live is seat of the pants and can be the most amazing buzz. But I also love the creativity of the studio, so for me they are two distinct parts of the same story.
8. In many interviews Beatles comes up as the ultimate forerunners of prog!? In other words...without Beatles, no progscene as we see it today! Do you concur? Please elaborate!
(Robert) I certainly agree that the Beatles were one of the contributors to prog. I would also bring focus to the Beach Boys and the genius of Brian Wilson. But, as I hinted at in that last question, I think it was artists being able to spend time in the studio and not just record it in two takes that really opened up the possibilities.
(Steve) I agree that the Beatles had a seminal influence, but I think as Rob says it was a number of things including technological advances and a cultural disposition towards fresh ideas. A baby of the 60s that became an unruly child in the 70s!
9. In a given concert, with you headlining, whom or which band/artist would you most like/love to see on that imaginative poster! Please feel free to name several!
(Robert): Focus! With Jan Ackerman back in the fold!
(Steve): A Yes line up featuring Anderson, Squire, Wakeman, Rabin and Bruford. It never happened and would have been fascinating to hear!
(Jon): Devo…. Work that one out!
(Tom): Same as the good Dr plus Gary Moore to keep it cool…
10. In this day and age of progcircuits, I guess most of your fans, friends & musicians would like to learn the instruments of your choice, I'm of course talking make and brand. Please elaborate individually!
(Robert): Gibson Les Paul Standard Heritage Sunburst (1989), Fender Telecaster 1963 re-issue – these were the two guitars of choice on Aqua, although I did get my 1994 US strat, hotwired with a mini-humbucker, for a couple of songs. Martin D16 for acoustic moments and also … a cheap old Hondo acoustic that I got as a present for finishing my O-levels, on the very end of Nature’s Sunday.
(Jon): Rickenbacker 4001cs with Zoom effects and a Hartke 3500 amp (4x10 and 1x15 speaker cabs)
(Tom): US Strat with lace sensors + Yamaha SG 2000 Boss Effects & Laney Amps (Britastic)