With grateful acknowledgement to Mickey Parker, Chris Selby and others who have unearthed them for this site.

Interviews: 1970 - 1986 | 1987 - 1999 | 2000 to 2011 | 2012 - 2017 | 2018 |
Don Q&A 2009 + 2011 + 2019 | Jim Q&A 2017 + 2018



It was a cold Saturday afternoon when we arrived at Don's plush London flat. After we had defrosted, by sitting front of the fire and watching American football on the television, we moved to Don's dining room, and the interview commenced.

S. N. : Don, what do you think about playing the night-club dates, rather than the concert halls, when you go on the road again?
Don. : Well it's the best thing really. Because we were away for so long in the states, we couldn't really expect to go back to the big concert halls, because we wouldn't fill them. So we went back to doing small places - we knew we could fill those, and thus start to build ourselves up again.

S. N. : Have you made a lot of fans through the night-club dates?
Don: Well what has happened really is that certain nights there have been much older crowds, and people have come up and said they used to follow us five years ago. They even mention certain places we played, and I don't remember half of them: Then they have to rush off, to get back home to look after their kids:

S.N. : Which audiences would you say were the best, the Southern ones, or the Northern ones?
Don : It's hard to say really, as far as I'm concerned it's all the same. Obviously in certain areas there are different songs the audiences like, but as far as saying which one is the best, say South or North, I don’t see how you can really answer that.

S.N. : Are you aware though of what the audience reaction is like when you are playing?
Don: Personally myself, not really. I can't see much, and I can't hear a lot, because the guitars are so loud - but I can maybe see a few things when the lights go up, and I can see out to the audience, otherwise I can't see anything.

S.N. : At Reading University on the last tour there was a crash barrier, and it started to collapse, and nobody seemed to notice.
Don ; You'll find that those crash barriers cause more problems than what they are made to stop. Even when you get bouncers down the front, if they weren't there, I'm sure that there would be no problems. It's when they are there that the problems are caused. There is no particular need for them, because Nod can handle the crowd anyway:

S.N. : What happened at Porthcawl though was when Noddy told the bouncers to get lost, the fans weren't sensible enough to stand back, and they all got on stage.
Don; That wasn't really the kids fault. Even the particular bouncer that bopped Nod one wasn't employed by the club that night, he just took it on his own back to go down there and stand in line with the rest of them. So when Nod cleared the bouncers out of the way, he took offence, which is stupid, and he waited for Nod afterwards, and bopped him.

S. N. : How did you feel about that yourself when it happened?
Don: That was weird. We were walking round backstage and this guy came up shouting. We took no notice of him and the next minute Nod was laying on the floor!

S.,N. : Has Nod taken any legal action at all?
Don : The bloke has been prosecuted, Nod and Chas travelled down to Porthcawl last week to press charges. He was on line anyway for another case to be put against him.

S.N. : Have you got any plans for the next tour, any new songs?
Don : We will be doing some new ones, we started rehearsing this week, but it's mainly for new recording material. We go into the studio next day, I think, obviously though we will be adding new material to the live show. As far as the show goes as yet we don't know, we haven't really planned it.

S. N. : What sort of songs will be on the new album and when will it be released?
Don. : Then again I can't really say. We've got a lot of stuff recorded but I can't really say. l don't even know myself yet!

S. N. : Have you seen Jim and Louise's baby yet?
Don : No, I haven’t seen it - I bought it some liquorice-allsorts, but I just gave them to Jim, I haven't seen the nipper yet. Oh, but on Boxing Night I went to a party at Charlie, our sound-mixer's, house, and they brought the baby along there. It was in a carry-cot, all covered up, all I could see was two eyes, a nose and a mouth!

S. N. : Do you have any plans to have any kids then?
Don : No, not as far as I know!

S. N. : Do you plan to go abroad again soon?
Don: Believe it or not, there are some plans to go back to Poland in February. Can you imagine February in Poland, it'll be about six foot deep in snow! I think there are some European dates planned - We've had dates in Germany and Scandinavia offered to us, but they are just offers, we haven't gone into them yet and had a look to see what's what.

S. N. : What was it like in Poland when you went there last year?
Don : Great. The concerts were amazing, we did 18 shows in 21 day’s. It was really funny because a lot of them were open-air, like in big parks. I used to stand backstage watching the kids coming in - you'd see lots of mums and dads coming and sitting with their kids. They'd have shopping bags with them, and they'd bring out their sandwiches!

S. N. : Are you going back to America?
Don : There's no plans at the moment because we'd rather work in England and Europe.

With that relieving news in mind for all English and European fans, we decided to call the interview to a close. We made arrangements to return to Don later in the week to take photos for the next issue.



We made our way backstage before the Friday Watford concert with the promise of an interview with Dave Hill. Dave arrived to the gig late, and had to tune his guitar. As we waited Jim Lea offered to do the interview instead, we gladly accepted and entered the dressing room. After we found some seats in the corner we asked our first question ...

S.N. : Jim, you've played three tours in the last year, how do you rate this one, as compared to the others?
Jim : We were offered to come back to do these Baileys clubs. We didn't want to do them in the first place, but we've returned and drawn twice as many people than the first time we appeared here. Playing here for a week, in Watford alone, means we are going to play to 14,000 people. Whereas if we did a one-nighter at the college we would only play to 1,000, even if it was sold out!

S.N. : What has the reaction been like on the tour?
Jim : You can't really count the reaction in this type of place, because the idea is to get over to people who wouldn't see us normally. So if they are sitting in the audience, they don't know anything about Rock n Roll concerts - and we're just using this gig as a gig, we're not trying to be The Three Degrees. So we bring all our PA and amplifiers in, and do our show. People can walk out and say that it was too loud and they hated it, or they can sit there and enjoy us, and hopefully get off on it at the end, and go and tell their mates : "I had a great time last night, I went to see Slade.” This is obviously what has been happening, as the attendance is so much up on last time - the managers are really freaking out!

S.N. : Is it going to be a regular thing, playing the Baileys clubs on every tour?
Jim : I don't think so. But what ever way you look at it you're playing to people. If you wanted to be a martyr to yourself } you can go and play at the regular concert gig up the road, and play to only a thousand people, or how ever many turn up.

S.N. : What's the best club that you've played on this tour?
Jim : It depends. At Blackburn they reckoned that there were a hundred tables smashed or damaged. I mean that was a good night!

S.N. : On to the new album. What kind of songs will be on it?
Jim : It's a mixture. It's nothing like “Whatever Happened To Slade”. I can't really say yet though, as we went into the studios for 11 days and did 12 tracks. {The group plan to record about 20 songs in all, then choose the best 10 or 11 to put on the album)

S.N. : You seem to have returned to the old style type Slade music, rather than stay “heavy” as you were with “Whatever Happened To Slade”. Do you think that this has worked well?
Jim : Yeah. The releases after “W.H.T.S." are the songs that got played on the radio. Like “My Baby Left Me”, which was a near miss. But it got played on the radio - which is better than it being completely obscure isn't it?

S.N. : "Rock n Roll Bolero", which was a really catchy song, didn't do so well. Why not?
Jim : The comment on "Rock n Roll Bolero" is that it was different for Slade, but it was ordinary compared to everything else that was going around at the time. But I really dig the record myself!

S.N. : With singles do you intend to make better B sides, as have been on the last couple of records, rather than use the “Don't Blame Me" type time-filler kind of song?
Jim : When we come to the B sides, we don't particularly think that we have got to make a strong B side. It's just the case of using whatever tracks are going. But we’re lucky in the way that every song we write has got something going for it. You could say that “Don’t Blame Me” was a time-filler, I think that it was created as that. When it was used as a B side we didn't even know it was being used, it was chosen by the offices. We were in America recording the Christmas single, there was a rush to choose what to put on the back of it, and that track happened to be used.

S.N. : What's the reaction of the press like towards Slade now?
Jim : Well a guy came in here, after last night's show, who was from one of the music papers, and he said that he really enjoyed the show, and that our old numbers sounded really fresh and that they could have been written yesterday. He sat there not knowing whether to believe him, because the press always tend to put barriers up against us because we haven't had a hit record for three years. If we get another couple of hits under our belts though that will all change.

S.N. : Sheila Prophet was different though, she liked the group.
Jim : But like you said, we have gone back to doing more of the old sort of thing, and she's into that. You see, when we walk on stage we can rip the arse off straight rock, but we can't do the same with "Rock n Roll Bolero". It's great on record, but it's us thinking, it's not us being ourselves. I was talking to this bloke the other day that saw us in 1967, and he said we were different to other groups even then. I asked him what he meant by "different", and he said that we would play a Tamla Motown number, and it wouldn't be like the Four Tops, or whoever, doing it. He said other bands would play this stuff and try to get it to sound like the actual record, but we were never like that. But the thing is we were always trying to sound like the records but when we played it never came out like that. He said our music came out like a ton of bricks, but we never intended that. It's just this thing we've got between us in the group. We were onstage during a sound-check and Frank (Jim's brother) thought that we were rehearsing but we were only mucking around, and he was really getting off on it.

S.N. : Do you think that you're going to make it with your next single “Ginny Come And Get It While You Can”?
Jim : It's very catchy, and we're going to make it, yeah. Our writing is returning to a more concise format. I mean songs like "Be" are hardly concise, they're clever, but hardly the sing-along down at the pub type song.

S.N. : Why do you tend to have more male, rather than female, fans?
Jim : We've always had more male fans. Even during the height people would say we were a teeny-bop band, and also that the Rollers and Marc Bolan were teeny-bop artists. Well it was all birds going to see the Rollers, and it was all birds going to see Marc - but it was all mad headed blokes coming to see us, ripping the halls up!

At this point a jovial Dave Hill entered the room, making a quip that Slade had so many male fans "because they are all queer". Jim had to leave to tune his bass guitar, so Dave sat down and gave us an extensive interview that we will print in the next issue.


At Last ..... The NODDY HOLDER Interview...... We haven't been able to talk to Noddy ourselves, but due to approximately 70 letters saying “Where was the interview with Noddy that should have been in issue 4?” we have decided to print an interview that Noddy did with Maggie Norden of Capital Radio in 1976 (Slade had returned from America for a short period to promote the “Let’s Call It Quits” single that had just been released on Polydor at that time).

M.N. Getting us off to a rocking start is Noddy Holder, back on Hullabaloo again, one of our old friends with “When The Chips Are Down.” Who wrote this one Noddy?
Noddy: Me and Jimmy wrote it.

M.N. And where did you write it, because you are always around everywhere!
Noddy: We wrote it in America. I’ve wrote a lot of stuff while we were over there. Last year we did about 20 songs while we were on the road, that was one of them, Lets Cal1 It Quits was one of them, and all of the new album which will be out in a couple of weeks time we wrote over there as well.

M.N. Tell us something about the album, as I believe there is something historical about the cover.
Noddy: We did the album in New York, and we spent six weeks recording it. The album is going to be called"Nobody' s Fools", and the picture on the front is in the same stance as we were on our very first album "Play It Loud", but it' s sort of a picture that is six years on though.

M.N. In fact we are all very sad because you will be leaving us for an indefinite period, when are you going to the States:
Noddy: We' re going in a couple of weeks time, we' re waiting for the date of the album release in the States, then we’re going over to promote it and tour there.

M.N. Will you go all over the States, or are going to stay in one particular place?

Noddy: Everywhere. We don' t like staying in one place for a long time because we get a bit bored, we love going out on the road and playing live - so we cover all the ground while we're there.

M.N. Do you have any idea why Slade, and Sweet, are doing so well in the States at the moment?
Noddy: It's difficult to say. I think that the next generation of listeners are coming up in America now. We're not getting the radio exposure that we need to get the really big hits yet. We've got big hopes for the next album. But on live concerts it's been really good. There is a sort of new audience coming along now, and we've been playing with bands like ZZ Top and Kiss, who are new groups coming up in the States at the moment - and they're pulling in a new generation, which is great for us, as you don't have to preach to the people who are a bit blasé. This new generation of fans have their minds wide open to listen to what's going on now.

M.N. What' s the stage act like? Do you do all the old numbers and some new ones, or just the new ones?
Noddy: It's a pretty new act over there, we still do "Gudbuy T' Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee", also "Get Down And Get With It" - because they know those songs, but all the rest of the act is new stuff.

M.N. What about my favourite, "Thanks For The Memory" - is that in the act?
Noddy: Yeah, we do that sometimes, it's one of my favourites actually!

M.N. Will you be sorry saying goodbye to Britain, because it must be very nasty not knowing when you're coming back.
Noddy: It's weird. What we wanted to do was to break fresh ground and get new ideas - that's why we've been spending so much time in America. I think that it's benefiting us as a group, and it will benefit the fans here in the long run, because we' re going to come up with fresh ideas and fresh material. We don't like staying out of Britain, but it's a case of having to at the moment.

M.N. Can you fill us in about the tax situation, because everyone has an opinion of the nasty tax man following you all the way to Heathrow airport, and then you fly away and it's no longer a problem.
Noddy: It's always a problem. In our case we didn't go to America for tax reasons, we want to get new ideas, and to tour constantly and get a new stage act together. From the tax point of view, everyone has been hit by it, It's not just people in this business, everybody is being hit. But the problem is that all the artistic people such as groups, and film directors, only have a short lived career - when you look at it from a doctor's or lawyer's point of view. You earn a lot of money in a short space of time, but the tax man always forgets about the years you were struggling before and never earned any money and. the years you may be struggling later on in life. They just tax you on what you earn in that short space of time, which isn't really fair. That's why most people are having to skip the country, nobody wants to, it's just a case of trying to keep a little bit of the money that you have worked hard for.

M.N. Do you ever look into the future and think what you will do once you've stopped being the singer Noddy Holder
Noddy: I always want to be on stage. I always want to be involved in the business. Obviously I'm not still going to be singing "Mama Weer All Crazee” when I'm forty - but maybe I will, I don't know. But! I don' t think that I will!

M.N. Looking back on the film "Flame", does it whet your appetite to do more film work?
Noddy: We've had offers to do more films, but that film took so long out of our career last year. In all we must have spent 9 months on the film, 2 or 3 months shooting it, 5 weeks doing the album soundtrack, then there was all the dubbing to be done, then we spent 3 months promoting it all over England, Scotland and Europe. It just took such a big chunk out of our career, we didn't tour for a long time, we were not able to record for a long time, or write, and we don't want to get in this situation again too soon.

M.N. Would you like to write your own script for another film?
Noddy: Basically with "Flame" we chipped our ideas in. The basic story was there, the screenplay writer just added to it. That's an idea that we'll have to look into in the future, there are lots of ideas kicking around.

DAVE HILL INTERVIEW from Slade News Issue 6 - UK November 22nd, 1979

We talked to Dave before Slade's concert at the Top Rank Suite in Sheffield - the last date of their tour.

Dave Kemp: Dave, you say that the new album "Return To Base" will be out soon, do you have any definate release date?
Dave Hill: Not yet, it should be out before Christmas though. We thought that we would release the single first though and see what happens with that.

Dave Kemp: How long in all did it take to get the album recorded?
Dave Hill (Consulting Nod): It must have taken about six weeks, on and off.

Dave Kemp: Did any one member do the bulk of the work on the production side?
Dave Hill: No, we each took it in turn to produce certain parts ourselves - which makes it the first album we have solely produced ourselves.

Dave Kemp: The title "Return To Base" - how did this come about?
Dave Hill: Well, we had a whole list of suggestions for the title, and "Return To Base" is the one we eventually decided upon. "Return To Base" is from one of the lines of "'Sign Of The Times".

Dave Kemp: On to the cover - has it been designed yet?
Dave Hill : It's still being done, but I understand that it is going to have a photo of a ticker-tape message on the front saying "Return To Base" in computer-like lettering. But it should be a very basic cover - so that it ties in with the "basic" reference in the title.

Dave Hill: Yes, I'm very satisfied with it. It's got a mixture of different types of songs on it, all of which adds up to it being a good album!

Dave Kemp: What's your own favourite track on the record then?
Dave Hill : Mv favourites are the Rock n Roll one (I'm A Rocker) and the instrumental one (Let Me Love Into Ya) - probably because of the way that they come over on stage more than anything else.

Dave Kemp: On to the new stage-act, how did the new version of "Look Wot You Dun" get back into the act - as you haven't played it live since I973!
Dave Hill: What happened was that we were doing a session and we just suddenly started jamming it, and we took the song from there. We changed it from the original because we thought that it would have sounded a bit weak - so we made it a bit more heavy for the current show. We are planning to get some more tracks from the next album into the show, but we want to have the record released first - so at least the audience have an inkling as to what the songs are before we start playing all these new numbers onstage!

Dave Kemp: Will you be adding some more old ones, like "Look Wot You Dun" to the set?
Dave Hill: We've all agreed that there are no more oldies that we can re-do. We've got to go forward, not backward. For example we've been doing a new one, "The Wheels Ain't Coming Down" - and that's been getting a fantastic reaction, and nobody's heard it before! We've got to get new numbers like that into the show.'

Dave Kemp: Why haven't you been doing "Sign Of The Times" live?
Dave Hill : The reason for that is that at the moment we feel the act is. just about right. We have added two numbers that have worked very well, and. we are now hoping to get "Sign Of The Times" in on the next stretch of dates. Also at the moment we've got one slow ballad in the act, and on this tour we didn't want to have two.

Dave Kemp: I've seen the new stage outfits of yours, are they your own creations? (For those of YOu who didn't get to see Slade on the tour, they consist of a red silky Chinese style long-sleeve shirt, that alternates with a red and white bomber jacket, along with red PVC trousers and white boots)
Dave Hill: In a way I designed them myself. I came alone with the ideas, and I took them to a lady called Jean Seal, he made the clothes for me. I've decided to return to wearing colourful stage outfits once again, rather than maintaining the Black and White look. Watching the music scene at the moment, what with the flashiness of the Punks, and also taking the theory that the whole music business revolves in a circle, I see it as inevitable that the Glitter scene will come back again, and when it does I'll be top of the pile!

Dave Kemp: You've always liked wearing flash clothes though, haven't you?
Dave Hill: I like to get reactions by my clothes, I suppose it's a means of expressing myself. In many ways I felt like a punk in our early days dressing weirdly just for the hell of making people look! Even as a kid I can remember wearing a cap and long cape and walking through Woolworth's, so as to make everyone stop and stare!

Dave Kemp: Will you be taking a trek abroad before the year's out?
Dave Hill: We can always go abroad, but while we've got the single out over here, and while we are trying to break back into the market again, we'd rather stay "at home". We might do the occassional stint on the Continent - but not at the moment.

Dave Kemp: This is the last night of the tour - how do you feel that it has gone, well or badly?
Dave Hill: It's gone well, even you have seen that, Look at the Music Machine gig - there was a far bigger croud there this year compared to last year's Gig. It was packed out. "

Dave Kemp: One question that I've always wanted to ask you; what's the favourite record you have ever recorded?
Dave Hill : My favourite of all-time? We haven't recorded it yet ....


An interview conducted by Dave Kemp at the Top Rank Club in Reading on 25th February 1981.
This was at the point where 'We'll bring the house down' was at number 13 in the UK singles charts.
From the March / April 1981 Slade Supporters Club magazine.

You've just started the second part of the tour. How has it been going?

It started last Thursday and it's now Wednesday..... so we're just a week into the tour. Every night has been a sell out. All of them being large gigs. It was really nice playing at Hanley. I don't think we've done Hanley since we were last in the top 20, about six years ago. It was a magic night on account of that, because there were a lot of old fans turned up there, and a heck of a lot of new ones once again!

After that we did the Newcastle Mayfair and Sunderland.... excellent gigs. The Newcastle Mayfair was especially excellent as it's mainly a hard rock audience with leather coats and all the bit!

We had a funny incident on stage there that had never happened before, where a group of birds got up with us and started looning about, dancing and swinging their heads. It was at the end of the show, when we do 'I'm a rocker' and 'Whole lotta lovin'. Jim was at one side of the drum riser and I was on the other. This chick got up and put her two hands on Jim's knee and started swinging her head like an old-fashioned gogo dancer!

It looked hilarious, in actual fact it looked like we'd paid someone to do it! They were pretty gropey type birds and it looked great during 'Whole lotta lovin', as one was holding onto Nod!

What have the crowds been like then, more heavy metal?
Yeah it seems like it's getting more that way. But it depends on where you play. If you play in a town hall you tend to get a mixed audience, but if you play clubs, like the Newcastle Mayfair, you tend to get hard-rockish crowds. To sum up the tour, I would say that more than 50% of the crowds would be into heavy music and the rest would be mixed.

Will you keep playing the Universities now?
It seems like we are caught in them at the moment, as they were booked some time ago. Also you've got to look at it like this; why should we ignore them now, when they were the ones that were giving us work when we were down the nick?

Admittedly, we had to work at it though, because when we first asked for bookings from them, they weren't all going to have us straight away because they wanted to see us. And once they had done, and we'd been through that trip, they had us back.

We have had a heck of a lot of dates come through for later in the year, which we are now having to consider. The group's personal plans at the moment are that we want to finish this tour, take a week or more off and then go in the studio and record a new lot of material. Then on the next tour we can start changing the act. We have stuck to the same act for the moment on account of the new people that are coming to see us, who have never seen the act anyway.

I know that it must be boring for old fans, who have seen the same act so many times. But hopefully they will see our point of view, which I'm sure they will, that the new fans that are giving us that success, have got to see the act the way it is - and the way that the old fans have been seeing it.

We are quite looking forward to changing the whole situation after this tour. We're not going to change the whole act... just get a few new numbers in. We'll have to drop some old songs and there'll always be some die-hard fans saying 'What have you dropped that for? It was the best number in the act!' It was like when we dropped 'Hear me calling', we got loads of people saying 'What have you done that for?', but they don't mention it now!

For me, I'd love to keep changing things, but if you change them too quickly, it's like batting an eyelid - as a bunch of people could have totally missed it.

What's it like with your wife just having a new son before you had to start out on the road again?
It's been a bit of a pressure really. It'snice having a son and all that - after all that's what every bloke wants, someone to follow on. It seems you are working for something more then. All in all it's a bit of pressure that I could have done without. I would have preferred my son to be born after the tour.

What name are you going to call your son?
Well, it's very difficult, this. At the moment it keeps going in the press that it's going to be called Sammy. We haven't finalised the thing though, but there's been a strong reaction for that name! That is, unless I can come up with something better over the next three days......... which if I do, I'll let you know!

You've been talking of some more concert dates. When will they be set for?
Well, we've got a gig booked already. It's on May 31st and it's the Wolverhampton Fiesta. The Fiesta is part of a Wolverhampton Festival. At the big open-air show, there'll be us playing, with a few bands supporting us. It will be a one-off siuation, but we will want to do one or two warm-up gigs before it.

Now that you've made it in Britain again, how about trying to make it in Europe and get the record released?
It's got to follow on. What we suffer from at the moment is that we haven't sorted out a record deal abroad. There's only Belgium where we have actually got something sorted out - and we have had a bit of success there already, as you know. I think over the next few weeks, we have got to be very seriously sorting something out for Europe. I mean, we want to be big as far away as Australia, as we used to be. We want to get everything sussed out there. I'd love to go back there for a couple of weeks for a short tour, just to re-kindle the fire. It would need a lot of finance though...........

You've got a new album coming out soon called 'We'll bring the house down. It's going to have some old numbers on it, isn't it?
Obviously a lot of the fans that have bought 'Return to base', 'Six of the best' and one or two other things - they are going to have a lot of this material. But it is a compilation LP of a lot of the material that we have recorded over the last 18 months, which as the fans know, the majority of the public have never even heard. It's really for the benefit of the new fans that are coming along and who are in the fan club and have none of the old material.

It won't be the same as 'Return to base' as it will have a lot of the tracks pulled out and other numbers such as 'Dizzy mama' and 'Night starvation' and 'When I'm dancin' added, making up a more rocky album. It will basically consist of the live act at the moment, so anyone who's into the live act should like the album. But for the benefit of the old fans, new material is in the pipeline. After this tour we shall be making a new single and a new album.

Will they be released to go with the May dates?
Yes they should be... if not the they will be out for the Autumn tour. We are going to try to plan the singles. We don't want to be wham-bamming them out like something stupid. We want to actually bring out numbers that we really like as singles. We don't want to be throwing them out right on the door of the last one.

So how does it feel to be 'back on the map' again, now that the single is in the chart?
It's funny really, but we still think we're striving. People are coming up to us and saying great things, which is nice, but the reality of the group is that we don't sit on that pedestal. We always still think that there is a lot more that we've got to do. We don't think that we're home and dry! we seem to be looked upon as though we are, and we seem to be becoming prett big. But from the point of view of the fans, we will never be above the level of talking to them. we'll never be above any of that, because we're still the same as when they were coming to see us at the flea pits and the clubs.

You've got the hit though, but nothing seems to have changed...
Nothing has changed at all! The only thing that is different is the way people deal towards us. I don't mean the record company people - it's the press and others who we get a different kind of feeling from now.

How did you enjoy doing Tiswas?
It was alright. I avoided the pies! We had the chance to do the show and get the video shown, so we did it.

Will you be making more videos for the TV from now on?
We want to do videos, but it still all lies in the hands of what the TV companies want. If we get another single out, Top of the Pops may still want us appearing on the show live again, rather than showiing the video. Anyway, I thought that the Top of the Pops performance that we did live was good anyway. The reaction to it was that we were fresh air to the show.

Jim Lea (chipping in)
I never thought I'd hear the day when we were described as fresh air!!

A NODDY HOLDER INTERVIEW with Dave Kemp, from the Slade Supporters Club's November / December 1981 newsletter, in which he gets very, very enthusiastic (AND WHY NOT!!!) about their then new album 'Til deaf do us part'.

Dave : Nod, could you go through the running order of the tracks on the new album and tell us what some of the numbers are about?
NOD : The album’s going to be called Till Deaf Do Us Part and we have spent the last month recording it.  We’ve based all the tracks around the title, so that they’ve all got a tongue-in-cheek religious feel about them.

The opener on the album is The Rock ‘n’ Roll Preacher.  It features some of the gimmick things that we do onstage already, with lots of hallelujah’s.  Then we go into Lock Up Your Daughters, which is the current single.

Then the next track is Till Deaf Do Us Part and that’s all about concerts and what the crowds get up to.  There’s lines in it like – Hanging from the ceiling, the balconies are gonna break – and other lines that depict what the crowds do at gigs.

The next song is called Ruby Red.  It’s a number that we’ve had around for a long time.  Me and Jim wrote it maybe two or three years ago.  We tried to record it before but we never managed to get it down how we actually wanted it.  We recorded it here first when Chas was producing us.  Then, recently, when we were looking through the songs that we’d got for the album, we remembered that we’d never been able to get Ruby Red down on tape properly, but that it was a good, strong, commercial sound.  So we added some new riffs to it and got it down and it’s a good commercial song.  It might be in line for the next single.

After Ruby Red there’s a track called She Brings Out The Devil In Me, which is all dead filth!  It’s a song about a block and a chick…. And that’s the end of the first side.

The second side opens with A Night to Remember, which is an out-and-out rock track, in the Dizzy Mama vein.  It’s all solid rock riffs and a bit of a boogie number.  We’ll be doing this one onstage for sure.  It’s a number about a guy waiting to see his chick again – there’s no real story to it, it’s basically a quickly knocked off thing with rock riffs and a good beat to it.

The next track is an instrumental piece that Dave wrote called M’hat M’coat, which is dedicated to his guru!  It’s an eerie number with all guitars and synthesisers on it. 

Then there’s It’s Your Body Not Your Mind – all about a schoolgirl!  It’s got all double meanings about things at school.

Let the Rock Roll Outa Control comes next.  This is all about audiences, the punters who come to the gigs and the stageshow type gigs.

The next track is That Was No Lady, That Was My Wife.  It’s about all the Flash Harrys that go down the discos – a type of ’oldest swinger in town’ thing.  This one is especially based around Haden Donovan!

Then the last track is Knuckle Sandwich Nancy.  But we go into a little piece again of Till Deaf Do Us Part, which is the running theme through the whole of the album.

Dave : In recording the album, did you use any different techniques, as the single out at the moment has a different style to it?
NOD : We’ve used a lot of organ on the album, which is used on the single as well.  That’s basically the only difference.   We think that it’s a much better sound than we’ve ever had before.  It’s a solid rock album from start to finish, except for the instrumental piece – which is a slowish theme, but all the others are fast and solid rock.  There’s no acoustic rock on the album like songs such as Don’t Waste Your Time and Sign of the Times, which we have had on previous LPs.

Dave : Have any dates been added to the tour?
NOD: The tour now starts on December 3rd.  We’ll be doing three warm-up dates at West Runton, Loughborough and Keele – then we start the tour proper at Sheffield Lyceum.  We’ve now had to pull out from the Lancaster University gig because Princess Alexandra is going there that day to give out diplomas and they need to use the hall that we are supposed to be playing in, so we’ve added a date in Edinburgh which is the only Scottish gig that we have been able to fit in.

Dave : How many new songs are you hoping to bring in on the tour?
NOD : We’re hoping to bring four or five in, but we haven’t decided yet.  There will be some changes though – we’re going to have a new lighting rig.

Dave : How are things going abroad at the moment?
NOD : We’ve just done a TV show in Holland.  The record is just breaking over there.  It has come in the charts at number 50, after one week of release.  The TV show that we’ve been on is the biggest pop show out there so the record company are hoping that it will jump up next week.

Dave : Will the latest single be released in Scandinavia?
NOD : Yes – it should be coming out there in a couple of weeks and in Germany too.  We’ve got to go back to Germany to record an insert for Lock Up Your Daughters for the Christmas edition of the Music Laden show.  That’ll be in November.  The rest of the month will be spent on rehearsing for the tour and promotion of the new album.  I’m doing Round Table next Friday from Bristol.

Dave : How about next year, have you made plans that far ahead yet?
NOD : We haven’t made any definite plans yet.  We’re now getting in some offers to go to America and Australia.  But we’re hoping that the first thing we can do early next year is go on a European tour, visiting Germany and Holland.  We’ll go to America to do a short tour if we can get a record deal out there and get the album released.

Dave : How did you come up with the title of the album Till Deaf Do Us Part?
NOD : It came about because everyone always says how loud we are.  We based the album around volume, all the tracks are rock and it is a loud album.  The track Till Deaf Do Us Part is all about bending your ear and being deafened.

Dave : Can you tell us any more about the split with Chas?
NOD : Basically, the reason that we split with Chas was because he could no longer give us any more of his experience – everything that he had to teach us we’d learnt over the number of years that we were with him.  Plus, we decided that we’ve got to start doing things for ourselves; going and meeting the record company people and getting our own ideas across as to how we want things done.  The only way to get our own ideas across is by doing it ourselves – as every time that you go through a third party your ideas get changed a bit.  By the direct link that we now have we get our ideas done as near as damn it to the way we want.  Have you seen the new album cover?

Dave : I saw it the other day.
NOD : Well, the emblem on the front cover is going to be used for our merchandise on the tour.

Dave : When you compose a song how do you actually go about doing it?
NOD : It varies from song to song.  With most of the songs Jim tends to have a bench of chorus melodies.  I’ll go over to his place and we’ll sort out which choruses fit together best with the verses that we have.  We’ll work out which songs need a middle eight or not.  Then I’ll go away and work out the lyrics for each song.  Next we’ll get together again, sift through the numbers and often change them around a little – sometimes we’ll just totally scrap ones that don’t work, but use choruses from them on new songs that we might be working on.  There’s no said pattern, but most of the composition works like that.

Dave : How do you remember parts of songs when you work on them?
NOD : With the lyrics.  If I get a line for a song in my head or a title for the number, I’ll write it down straightaway in a book.  But with the melodies we put these down on tape.  Then, when I try to write the lyrics the idea is that I play back the tapes and try and fit my lyrics in with the melodies.  Sometimes this comes dead easy, but other times it is really difficult.  If you have a complicated melody, it’s harder to get the lyrics – as they have to roll off the tongue and fit into the awkward timing.  Your hook lines have to be memorable too, so that they stick in the audience’s mind.

How we worked out the songs for the new album was by all the group rehearsing them in stages.  We’d rehearse two or three songs at a time in Wolverhampton then come down to London and record them – rather than record twelve all in one go.  Thus, as we record the numbers, if we feel that one or two of them don’t fit in with the mood of the album, then we put them to one side and leave them for a later date.  Next, we’ll sometimes whip up a couple of numbers quickly that do fit in with the mood of the album, and record them.

With this album, therefore, we have recorded about twelve tracks, not all of which will be used.  We’ve got a few songs floating about that we’ve recorded but never put out.  The time comes though when, as with Ruby Red, which we basically recorded yonks ago, that we hit on the right arrangements for the numbers and they now fit the group’s style and we can record them again.

Dave : Do you ever record any numbers spontaneously in the studio?
NOD : Yes, we have done.  I’m a Rocker was like that.  We’d been tatting about with it at rehearsals for some time, then once when we’d got into the studio about 10 o’clock at night, after being over at the pub, and we put it down with just us playing the number and me singing it, and it turned into a really good song.

There’s a song on the new album called She Brings Out the Devil in Me, which just came out of a lick that we used to jam at sound checks.  I put a melody and words to it, and we have a song.  Dizzy Mama came about the same way.  Sometimes things that you jam at sound checks have a natural feel to them and they go down well on record.  Often things that rise like this go down better than when you sit down and try and write a song – maybe it’s better to just let them come naturally on occasions.

Dave : Would you like Flame shown on TV soon?
NOD : We’ve been talking about having Flame shown for ages.  The film cannot be shown on TV till five years after it has been released,  by law.  This would make the first possible time that the film could get shown 1980.  It’s only in the last year that we have crossed that five year barrier and we have started to consider it being shown.

Dave : Do you think that the film being shown would give you the right sort of image nowadays?
NOD : I don’t think it would.  You’ve got to be very careful with things like this.  We filmed the movie some six years ago and it may not be the right thing for it to come on the television now – as it doesn’t really fit in with what the band are doing at the moment.  For our image I don’t think the film being shown would do it much good.  But you never know, films on TV are a different kettle of fish.  We’d be getting people watching it of all ages, and from all walks of life – and to them it would be just a film on telly.  It would be like seeing Hard Days Night at Christmas – as you don’t think that bears any relation to what the Beatles are doing now.  It’s just a piece of nostalgia – hopefully they would take our film like that.

Dave : Did you see the letter in Record Mirror the other week from the bloke saying that over the last few years he’d bought all the Slade releases – but he’d only received a few new songs as you had duplicated lots of the numbers on different albums and singles?

NOD : I saw it.  The material that we have been using for B-sides and things has been the numbers we released when we weren’t getting hits.  You have got to remember that the number of copies that these records sold was negligible.  They would only sell one or two thousand copies here or there.  We released things like Sign of the Times as an A-side single but it was withdrawn after only a week as we decided that we didn’t want it out as most of the radio stations refused to play it.  It only sold a few hundred copies.  People that didn’t buy that single or the Return To Base album, which only sold a couple of thousand would never have heard that song.  That is the reason that we decided to put it out a the B-side of the current single  With the Reading EP we decided to put on things like When I’m Dancin’ and Night Starvation simply because loads of people had never heard these songs before – they were only previously ever released on the Six of the Best record which did nothing at all when it came out.  After we played Reading and we have the radio broadcast, everyone was saying for us to release a live EP of the show – which we did.  Anybody who had bought the Six of the Best record wouldn’t have had live versions of those records!

Also, when we had We’ll Bring the House Down in the charts and we started playing really big gigs again and getting over to a new audience, we released the We’ll Bring the House Down LP which was a compilation of numbers we’d released in the past couple of years.  The reason that it charted was because the album contained all the numbers from our stage set and the new fans wanted these, so they bought it.  They couldn’t have bought the old records they were released on because they were no longer available!

We can’t win.  When we put some of  the old numbers out as B-sides on the We’ll Bring the House Down album the old fans complain that they’ve already got these songs.  If we don’t do this we get letter of complaint from the new fans saying they can’t get hold of the old material!  Look at how many letters you’ve had at the fan club from new fans says ‘where can I get hold of such and such a track?’.  They can’t get hold of them anywhere unless we put them out as B-sides to our new songs!

The B-side of the next single that we bring out will be a new song and won’t be pulled from the album.  The track’s going to be Funk, Punk and Junk.  It’s a track that we left off the album because it’s just not the same style of material as the album tracks.

There’s been lots of our old material that has been bypassed though.  There’s numbers like Burning in the Heat, Give Us a Goal and Rock ‘n’ Roll Bolero that we haven’t put out again.

All our career we’ve had people complaining to us telling us that we’ve been putting out the wrong material.  I remember you complaining to us that we shouldn’t have put Dizzy Mama as a B-side and that I should’ve been a single! In the end we’ve decided that we can never win.  We’ve decided to make our own decisions and hopefully at the end of the day these will be the ones that will please the most amount of people!

KERRANG! December 1982 - THE BISHOP OF BLUDGEON (Noddy Holder interview)
Slade's Noddy Holder gives an SOS call to MALCOLM DOME

"Slade are like heroes to us" - Steve Zodiac (Vardis)

NOW HEAR this! Slade are most definitely NOT a bunch of dry rot-infested bozos. As the above 'Zod' quote hints, Jim Lea, Dave Hill, Noddy Holder / Don Powell have had as much influence on today's Metal scene as the likes of Purple, Zeppelin, or Sabbath.

How, and why, did this happen? I've a theory about it which I shall expound for your delectation, o lucky people. You see, in the early seventies, when many modern HM stars were just beginning to take an active interest in music, who did they have to copy? Very little Metal was heard on the radio. or seen on 'Top Of The Pops', whilst music from 'hip' supergroups such as Genesis, Yes. or ELP probably went over most of their heads. So, where did they turn for inspiration? To the stomping few whose brand of high-energy tunefulness regularly hit the charts- Sweet. Glitter. T. Rex, and Slade. And. since the earliest influence on any muso tends to be the most important, it's these outfits who've subsequently etched their mark all over eighties Heavy Metal.

"Yeah, a lot of bands come up to us and say how much Slade has guided 'em," agreed St Noddy, the Bishop of Bludgeon, during a recent pre-tour chinwag. "I suppose we've also had a lasting effect on the kids who follow HM today. You see, about 10 years ago when we were having all those hits, these people would only have been eight or nine years old. They've obviously picked up on the band from all the exposure we had back then, and the songs have stayed with 'em. We certainly attract a very young audience nowadays- fans who just couldn't have been old enough to see us live when we first happened." 

But there's more to Slade than those golden days of yore. For, at a time when the FUN has virtually gone from music, these veterans are again on a one-band crusade to bring the glam back to metal, and put the smile back on the face of rock 'n' roll. It's incredible, yet undoubtedly true, that more than 10 years since they originally hit the top, Slade are still untouchable on-stage. They’re the unequalled gift to make each and everyone at a gig feel SPECIAL. Whether up in front of a huge festival audience, or playing the Allied Breweries' Workingmen's Club in Burton, they create an intimate atmosphere and are the ultimate good time rock 'n' roll stage act. A host of eager novices from Rox to Silverwing have tried in vain over the past couple of years to imitate the Wolverhampton quartet's style, but none has managed to come close. 

"We've always been the way we are now. A lot of bands these days think it's uncool to have a show like ours that just keeps on moving. But we plan our gigs to go from A·Z, with something happening all the time to keep the fans' attention from wandering. It’s professionalism to us, and I suppose in a way we have our roots more in traditional music hall than anything else. Everything might look off-the-cuff but in fact the shows are worked out in detail. 

"Of course, there's still room for spontaneity. We're always picking up on things at gigs, and incorporating 'em on the spot into the act. We've been known to have one gag running throughout an entire show - it helps to create a rapport with the kids. We've never been any different; Slade is a band that relies on audience feedback to really make for a good concert, In fact it was this element that got us discovered in the first place. In the late sixties, we did a club in New Bond Street (London), and only had about 20 people in. Those fans were really going crazy, though, and Chas Chandler came down, saw us working the audience, and signed us up" 

"I honestly believe that the way we perform means we can get away with lots or things others can't. I remember in our earliest days, there was one fella at a particular gig we used to do who turned up every time we played there. He was always the same - totally drunk, with two pints of beer in his hands and covered in dirt, I think he was a foundryman. But each time, without fail, he'd come up onstage with us and sing 'Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo', whilst we'd play a rock beat behind him. The audience loved it. In fact, they expected it to happen when Slade appeared there. Now, most bands would nave got bottled off for something like that. But, we did this sort of thing all over the place - if a guy wanted to come up and sing with us for a bit, we'd encourage it!" 

Indeed, even the most mega of bands can learn from Slade's relaxed attitude. For, as their new, absolutely incredibly live LP 'Slade On Stage' shows this lot begin a gig at the sort of level most hands would be happy to finish on! And, if you're at all sceptical of their prowess, then 'SOS' is guaranteed to change your mind. Forget about the occasional studio overdubs, they're irrelevant. What matters is the remarkable way da boyzz have captured their stage set on vinyl. With most live albums one ends up feeling like an uneasy eavesdropper on an historical event. But this one makes the listener feel a part of the whole show from the off. If ever a piece of plastic actually sweated itself into a state or frenzied exhaustion, then 'SOS' is it. 

"I think we've managed to keep the excitement of the gig virtually intact. It's true we had to do a few studio bits to tart it up, but these have been kept to a minimum. However, I've got to be honest and say that I'm not one of these people who believes a live LP should go out as it was recorded - whatever the quality. You've always got to remember that somebody is gonna pay hard earned cash for this record. And, whilst every effort should be made to preserve the atmosphere of a thing, if adding a few touches to it can enhance the final sound, then I think you owe it to the punter to do just that. 

"With 'SOS', though, all we've done is to make up for bits where, for example, a guitar string broke or something. Oh yeah, and we had to cut out part of the audience as well, 'cos one of the microphones in the auditorium at Newcastle City Hall {the only gig to be recorded~ was set up next to a loony. He kept on shouting into it "bastard!" at the top of his voice, so obviously that had to go. But, apart from those things, everything is faithful to the show. 

The LP was mixed by the band at London's Portland Studios. And, typical of their workaholic attitude, they recorded a new album while they were there, for which the current single '{And Now - The Waltz} C'est La Vie' is an excellent taster. 

"It's an album that's bound to surprise people. A lot of different styles have been incorporated, which perhaps aren't usually associated with Slade. 

''It's funny, you know, in our early days we always found working in a studio very hard. We'd forever wanna do songs as we did 'em live, and just couldn't get to grips with studio requirements. But now we produce ourselves, things work out far better. We're more at home recording these days than ever we were in our big hit era. And, because of that we're making out best-ever music'" 

All of which brings me to a final point. It seems that the art of penning good, three-minute foot-stompers is fast being lost. Modern bands just don't seem to have the ability or inclination to write instantly memorable numbers in the classic mould of 'Goodbye T’ Jane' or 'Get Down & Get With it', Slade via such modem marvels as ‘When I'm Dancin', I Ain't Fightin' and 'Lock Up Your Daughters' are out on their own in this respect. So, are the band really the last of the great rock songsters? 

"It’s probably the most difficult thing in music to write a simple, good, three minute rock song. Certainly, it's far easier to pen a three-minute ballad. But, it saddens me that there seems to be no bands around who are even trying to do this. The trend towards cover versions obviously hasn't helped; I feel too many good groups see the cover as an easy option and a quick route to the charts. 

"I can't believe there is no new talent capable of writing three minute, catchy rock numbers. There are loads of truly excellent Metal bands around with great technical abilities. I m sure many of them could write great songs. Perhaps they lack the perseverance to keep on battling away until they have a hit, or else maybe no-one has given 'em the encouragement to go out and have a bash at it. 

“If I had the time, I’d love to take hold of a good group, and given 'em some guidance in this respect. What some of these young bands need is to spend a little less time on image and a bit more on material. Slade have always had an image, but we've never let it take precedence over the music. And if, as has happened, we release a single which flops, then we just take that failure in our stride and write some new, hopefully better songs. The great secret is never to let anything get you down – don’t panic and always have faith in your ability:' 

This is clearly a philosophy that's served Slade well for they've now been together 17 years- without a change of line-up. And, it's a measure of the high esteem in which they're held that rock 'n' roll minus these chaps is as unthinkable as your average semi-detached suburban house without electricity. Roll on 1985, and the 20th anniversary celebrations. 

The Amazing Kami-Khazi Syndrome. KERRANG! December 1983
MALCOLM DOME sits it out with Slade's NODDY HOLDER

When St. Noddy the Holder, that renowned Bishop of Bludgeon, fmally elects to trade in his multi-storey, stackheeled pulpit for a slow-burning log fire, bungalow-level carpet slippers and a Barbara Cartland novel (ah. the quiet life!), hell doubtless snuggle under his duvet (complete with Wee Willie Winkle night cap) having first offered praise to his 'Lordy Lordy' for creating Quiet Riot ('And on the eighth day .. .')

Now, cum, on, the reason's obvious! The Los Angeles quartet recently blasted into the US Top Five with their version of that klassic, 'Cum On Feel The Noize' (or in Phil Mogg's case, 'Cum On Feel The Noze'), thereby awakening a whole generation of sibling Yanks to the pleasures of etymological contortion, and at the same time ensuring a steady flow of offshore bucks into the Slade reservoir. Bank managers, stockbrokers and hotel doormen now eagerly rush to call Holder 'sir', as they assiduously pump his flesh (to use a political hustings term) and feel his newly bulging wallet.

If the 'silent' hell raisers from LA are the fast-food 'rocky burger' taste of the moment then Slade have undoubtedly helped light the flame that makes 'em so hot! For not only have QR struck a rich precious Meta1 vein with 'Cum On Feel The Noize', they've done it in a manner so like the Wolverhampton wacky racers - a case of Mike Yarwood and Harold Wilson!

“It's a good version of the song. I don't think Quiet Riot have added anything to the original, but they've updated the sound."

Noddy Holder looks professionally relaxed (everything Slade do has that air of the old pro' about it) as he contemplates higher things (a full can of lager stuck on a very tall shelf) whilst lounging across his publicist's couch.
"The first Slade knew about Quiet Riot was when they approached our publisher for permission to do 'Cum On .. .'. We agreed, never believing something like this would happen. In fact, the record was out for some while in the States before becoming a big hit, wasn't it'? The really nice thing about the whole affair is that it proves how strong our songs are. After all; 'Cum On Feel The Noize' is now ten years old, so it's obviously stood the test of time rather well!

"We've actually been approached in the recent past by people wanting us to update one of our classics. But, not even seeing what a band like Quiet Riot have done so successfully with modern studio technology on an old Slade tune has persuaded us it's worth doing. There was a spontaneity and electricity about the numbers when we first did 'em that could never be recaptured now. There just wouldn't be the same feel so, no matter how much money is offered, we're not into prostituting our own heritage."

Of course, why should Slade bother revisiting past glories, when QR are doing it for them? Rumour (unsubstantiated at present) has it that 'Mama We're All Crazee Now' and/or 'Gudbye T’Jane’ might well crop up on the stripe-happy lads' next album. So, there's every possibility that the Slade back catalogue will become legitimate plunder fodder for a host of American hard rock pirates (possessed of a sheep mentality) looking for healthy chart pickings. The irony of it is that Holder's heroes are presently without a US recording deal ("we're hoping to clinch one soon") and have always been regarded as too parochially British to rock 'em dead on the transatlantic route.

But, in Britain during the early Seventies, Slade could boast more hits than any assassination squad. However, being in the pop business is rather like playing the fruit machines. You can get a run of luck when every coin triggers a jackpot, then inexplicably the winnings just dry up. There's no obvious logic to either streak and Slade have been stuck in the latter groove for some years, releasing a torrent of strong stuff that's scarcely dented the charts.

Until now, that is, cos it's 'flame-on' time again as 'My Oh My' has burnt a cinder trail up the Top 20. A ballad in the tradition of 'Everyday' and 'C'est La Vie', this song sways with an almost waltz-style rhythm (a case of 'We'll Bring The Strauss Down'?) yet retains a north-face- of-the-Eiger (i.e. very rocky) foundation - balls to the waltz??

What sets it up as different from anything Slade have ever attempted before is the neotechnological sound gained by producer John Punter.
''Yeah, it is slightly more modem than our previous stuff. But we didn't deliberately set out to get something like that. It was more a case of John Punter getting involved.

"It was RCA's idea to get him in. They asked us to write a couple of songs specifically for singles release. So we recorded demos of two numbers, 'My Oh My' and 'Run Runaway'. When the label heard them, they flipped and thought the songs were great, but ... they insisted we get in an outside producer to do the final versions. To be frank, we thought the demos themselves were good enough to put out, however the success of 'My Oh My' suggests RCA were right. Working with an outside producer for the first time in, well, years (all recent Slade vinyl has been self-produced) was certainly interesting. It provided us with a fifth pair of ears and a new outlook in the studio. John was easy to work with in the end cos he was prepared to work with us rather than trying to dictate to us. And it was enlightening to actually do things in a slightly different manner to our norm, We built the sound of each instrument layer by layer with Punter rather than just putting down all the basic tracks in one go and then overdubbing,"

The thought might traverse a few minds that Slade were almost pressurised into using an outside producer by RCA. Indeed, given the fact that there's been a virtual Stalin-style purge recently of the label's comradely heavy rock roster (R.I.P Hawkwind, Alkatrazz, Budgie among others), were Slade in any danger of a concrete handshake?
"No, I don't think that's really fair. We've always got on very well with everyone at RCA. Certainly, they didn't issue us with any ultimatum over John Punter. It was just felt that we needed him to give us a more out-and-out modem style. I admit I was against it at first, but events have proven them right. I don't believe RCA ever doubted we could have hits, cos our track record shows we can write the sort of tunes that have instant pop appeal and, once you've got that ability, it doesn't simply dissipate. Maybe the problem with those other bands like Hawkwind was that they'd no previous experience of having successful and regular chart entries."

Whether or not 'My Oh My' is the birth of something big, we'll be able to judge when 'Run Runaway' ("a heavy jig") comes out in January. And that might well be the final song Punter records with Slade.
"He was only brought in for those two singles. We'd already finished our new album (self produced) by then and, in fact, the LP versions of 'My Oh My' and 'Run Runaway' have been recorded without John. So people will be able to compare the two approaches and hear whether or not an outside producer made that much difference to 'em."

The album is strangely titled 'The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome'. Now, with some bands, a monicker like that would immediately throw up an explanatory comment like: 'Oh, it was inspired by an obscure Herman Hesse novel/a long-lost episode of 'The Prisoner”/a rare Salvador Dali portrait (delete where applicable). So, which is it, Nod?
"Well, I was reading the sports pages one day and there was an article on motor sport. It talked about the 'kamikaze complex' those guys who compete seem to have in putting their life on the line every time they go on the track. I think Barry Sheene was mentioned as a specific example. Anyway, it struck me that some of our songs fitted in with this idea, so the title seemed a logical choice. And let's face it, everyone has something of that complex in 'em, we all take gambles at some point in our lives."

Could it be that Noddy Holder is a budding Freudian figure in the rock hierarchy? Psychological woargh-fare lives, head for the couch! Still, at least the above explanation will allay lascivious rumours that 'The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome' is, in fact, a title inspired by a new type of Japanese outdoor super-loo! As for the music, well, at the time of writing, I've heard not a screech or tweet from the album, so all I can do is refer you back to the Mayhem column in our last issue for track details and leave Holder to deliver just one comment ...
"I'd say 75 per cent of it is really out-and-out rock."

It's in the shops now so check it out for yourself.

And so, to a thorny subject - Girlschool. Since the release of the Holder/Lea produced 'Play Dirty', some rather silly comments have appeared in print concerning my supposed opinions on both the album and the band. So, let me briefly put the record straight. I still admire the gals. Furthermore, I applaud the direction they've attempted to take on 'Play Dirty'. I just think it's not quite come off. However, I'm most certainly not waging any vendetta against 'em and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be forced into eating a slice of home-grown humble pie as 'PD' becomes an international best-seller, but…

Not surprisingly, Noddy doesn't share my reservations.
"I think it turned out really well, especially after the problems we had. For example, they were so difficult to motivate. When the girls got down to playing, they were great, particularly Kelly who is an amazing guitarist. But for some reason, they couldn't perform at their best unless they really wanted to. It wasn't due to any laziness, just an inability to self-motivate. So, Jim and I had to capture them at just the right moments. On top of this, they were always arriving late and then slinking off to the pub. In the end we were forced to lock 'ern in the studio to ensure the deadline for delivery of the final product was met.

"Originally, we were approached just to do a single. Bronze Records were looking for a hit so we got together with Girlschool and recorded one of our songs, 'High 'N' Dry', plus one of their numbers. Anyway, things turned out so well that we were then asked to do the album. Spencer Proffer was being lined up for the LP and he even came over to meet the band. But in the end, it was decided to stick with Jim and me.

"To be honest, I can't really bear to contemplate what might have happened had they gone off to Los Angeles with Spencer. He seemed like a nice guy who knew what he was doing, but the girls actually went into the studio to record the album with one song fully written ('Breaking All The Rules'), one half-written and a collection of partially thought-out ideas. We had to help 'em get the numbers together so I can imagine what a state they'd have been in without Jim and me to pull things together.

"I was amazed how much time they wasted in the studio just writing. With the year gap between 'Screaming Blue Murder' and 'Play Dirty' I expected 'em to have ten strong songs fully written and arranged. In the event, a lot of expensive recording time was wasted on composing.

"With Slade I'm used to having things totally ready before going into a recording studio and once work begins on an album we simply slog at it until it's ready, rarely taking extensive pub breaks. But I was talking with Ozzy recently and he told me Sabbath used to do things like Girlschool and I've since learnt a lot of other famous bands work that way as well, so maybe we're in the minority.

"But, let me say this. Girlschool are potentially a great band and this album is very good. Certainly, everyone around 'em – management, record company - are convinced it'll sell exceptionally well. I just hope they're right."

I bet he does!

Noddy Holder plugging "Run Runaway" on TVAM 1984

During Slade's 1984 American breakthrough, the band performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand show.
The band performed Run Runaway, My Oh My and had a short interview with Clark.

Jim Lea interview from 1985, with Finland's Rockradio DJ Jukka Haarma.

JH: "Today’s guest is Slade's Jim Lea, Slade's songwriter and bassist. Jim Lea visited Finland last Friday at the opening of an international satellite rock channel. And on his visit Jim Lea also hit Rockradio's microphone. On the previous time it was the golden throat Noddy Holder from Slade, when the year was 1982 and Slade were doing their Kuusrock gig at Oulu. But since then, this seventies super-band have fortified their comeback. Slade and Jimmy Lea."

JH: "The end of the seventies was a time when, at least by following the media, one could have thought that Slade didn't exist anymore. Jim Lea, what do you think about that time period now?"

Jim: "It doesn't bother me at all. I don't even think about it, because when the media was saying Slade were finished we were still working, we were playing, we just continued onward and onward and onward. And every gig we did was fantastic. I knew that the band was still good. I knew that we could still write good songs. I just looked around and thought 'We are right and they are wrong.'

And our comeback started from the three day heavy metal festival at Reading 1980. At first nobody wanted us to the festival, 'Oh, Slade! Don't make us laugh. That band is finished.' But when Ozzy Osbourne cancelled his gig, then the organisers needed a quick replacement and at that state even we would do.

And it started from that. Both the press and the audience received us well. But our gigs were just like formerly - we hadn't changed but the circumstances had. Heavy had come back."

JH: "It has gone soon five years since the Reading festival and during that time Slade have finally had a breakthrough in the USA too. It feels good, doesn't it?"

Jim: "Yes, well we tried to make it in America for many years. When we had our first success we tried, when we had a low point we tried, and also later on when we made it in England again. America just didn't want to know about us. They wouldn't even give us a record deal. And then at the end of 1983 Quiet Riot had 'Cum on Feel the Noize' and got on the charts. It wasn't until then that the record companies changed their mind and seemed to be thinking that if Quiet Riot can do it why not Slade too - the band is still alive. And after the single 'Run Runaway' became a big hit in England, then every record company in the USA seemed to be running after us. I walked into the hotel room in Los Angeles, put on the TV, it was MTV on, 'and number one video this week Slade and Run Runaway'. And I couldn't believe it!"

JH: "Jim Lea, the latest Slade LP 'Rogue's Gallery' seems to be on the other hand that familiar, traditional Slade, but on the other hand there are also new elements e.g. those synthesisers, they occasionally bring to mind Van Halen's latest?"

Jim: "Yes, yes, synthesisers are coming to rock a lot. I'm not or Slade aren't electronic people, you know. We like guitars played as loud as you can. But I think on a record to make things sound - it wasn't deliberate. I just like the sound of synthesiser. I don't mess about with sounds like Thompson Twins do, you know, it's really - it's not good for me. I use the synthesiser as rock 'n' roll instrument. On the other hand when I compose some songs with piano and the band play them with guitar, they sometimes sounded a bit strange and synthesisers fit better to those songs written by piano."

JH: "People have said that Noddy Holder is the lungs of Slade and you are the brains of Slade. Is that fair?"

Jim: "(Laughs) Oh, Slade is made up of four very different people. My role in Slade has been writing songs. I don't take a lot of notice of what other people are saying. As you said in the bad years, I said what I thought. My role has been some kind of opinion leader. I am the spontaneous songwriter and I don't need to go to some distant place. I can write songs even in a hotel room. That is what I give to Slade."

JH: "Next year it has been 20 years since Slade was founded. Have you made so much money that that isn't the reason to keep Slade alive?"

Jim: "No. I think there are very few bands or musicians or whatever who can do that, who could survive for the rest of the time on what they've earned. Because people always think you earn a lot of money, but you pay big taxes. In the early seventies in England we paid up to the 90% taxes. What we had achieved by then was a nice house over our heads. Nothing else, even though we have never acted like big stars do. We have never thrown money away. As said we can't stop yet, we must continue."

(Thanks to Ashley Smith for unearthing that one).

INTERVIEW WITH DAVE HILL (conducted by Trevor Slaughter and Jenny Gamble)

We recently met Dave Hill at some recording studios in Birmingham, where he was putting the final touches to some demos that he will be putting forward for consideration on the next Slade LP.
"M'hat M'coat was the only track I have ever had on a Slade album. I have never really pushed myself, or pushed anything forward, 'cos Nod and Jim write such excellent songs. It was 'M'hat M'coat' that stimulated me to write more things, because the fans had said that they liked it and that I ought to write more. If I hadn't had any reaction to that tune, I would never have written another thing, 'cos I wouldn't have had the confidence."

We asked Dave why he is using this 16-track studio in Birmingham, as opposed to Portland?
"I felt I could come here and try what I wanted to try, without any scrutinising. I find that when you work with a syndrome of people for years and years, they know you so well that you are unlikely to do or try certain things. "I recently spoke to Nod and said 'Do you fancy doing one of my songs, just for the heck of it?' So I decided to get Nod over here one day, and we had a jam round the piano, and it was a bit of fun. I then said 'Let's go into Bob's studio and we'll put it down."

We discussed with Dave a little about exactly what a demo is, and how it differs from what we hear on vinyl.
"Basically, a demo is a rough copy, or a rough mix of something which might, or might not get used. It is not the same quality as the fiinished product, but it will give an indication of a tune. On the back the 12" version of 'Myzsterious Myzster Jones', we put the demo version of 'My oh my' It's Nod singing with the piano, isn't it? Nod sang it real good and that told RCA what the song was like. What I've being doing here has been done on a Linn drum. Don came up and pushed a few buttons to let the drum beat go. Nod sang over the top of that. I played the guitars and that was basically the tune."

Where does Dave get his ideas from and has he ever considered doing a solo album of his own?
"I am going to do a solo album. That will probably be done here as the basic thing. I use a girl singer, who I found years ago when Nod and all of us started up. She has got a very powerful voice and also has a weird range as well. I am possibly going to try her on this stuff I have done with Nod. "You see, I like a lot of strange music - like Sade or Lionel Ritchie. I am probably the one to write a jazz tune, which wouldn't be used in Slade, but would be used in my own venture."

When the Slade LP comes out, Dave is hoping to have one of his songs on it, or maybe two.
"Jim and Nod are in Portland over the next two weeks preparing demos for about eight of their own songs. I have now done four. It's a situation of 'carry on, Nod and Jim, but try this too, 'cos it might add something to the album to make it that bit different'."

Slade have now been off the road for the past few years, so we asked Dave how he feels about this situation.
"Nothing would make me happier than to walk on stage and play 'Mama weer all crazee now' right now. It's 'cos I want to play it and because I want to hear it again. I think if we go on stage again, we'd be vibrant. It would be a new show. I think we need a new show. I think we should get together all the hits and whatever new stuff we have and get out there and do it, just for the heck of it - for this year. What I say to all the fans out there is : 'we've got some new stuff, we'll have a new LP out later this year, so let's pull those waysiders back in and go in with some action'. Crikey. If we ain't on the road in a year's time, I'm going to be complaining personally to the others, 'cos I think it's wrong. I am obviously going to be pushing for a tour. . . "

We enquired about how much disruption a tour would cause to Dave's family life.
"Nobody wants to live out of a suitcase, but a four or five week tour is nothing. I wouldn't mind it at all. It's like a drop in the ocean. The family would put up with that. I mean, it's not that I would be strictly away from home all that much. I would probably be drifting back. America is the problem for me, because I've got three kids. If you've seen them, you'd know what I'd be missing. It's difficult, but nothing's perfect, is it?"

Things have been fairly quiet recently, for Slade. We asked Dave if he could explain why he thinks this is.
"To sort of put things in perspective, there is a lull in the band. Nothing to be concerned about, 'cos there has always been lulls. There was a struggling lull, although we were touring - in the late seventies - nobody wanted to know us except the fans who remained loyal to us. What we are seeing now is a lack of a 'single' success. Over the last year there hasn't been a hit. The last hit was 'All join hands'. I suspect a certain 'too much connection to Christmas' with us. I suspect that it might be nice to avoid that, certainly at the end of this year - and let 'Merry Xmas Everybody' take up on its own role, as it does every year. We had a lull between 'Lock up your daughters' and 'My oh my', didn't we? So we've seen the lull before. I think it is a bit more quiet because of the lack of touring."

Dave has always been fond of the fans and is often heard making mention of them in the various interviews he does.
"I've always mentioned the fans, because I feel concern about the people who follow us. The fans like us to be successful and although we ain't touring it doesn't matter to them for as long as they can see us. That's what a fan is, isn't it? You know there is no one person who doesn't care about the fans. It's one big happy family."

We eventually started talking about the Reading Festival in 1980, which marked the turning point in Slade's fortunes. It must have been a great experience for Dave that day . .
"One heck of an experience, 'cos I wasn't going to do that gig. Chas Chandler talked me into it, which I will always say was one of the best things he ever did for me. I thought we were going to get booed off, and I was any way getting involved with this wedding business. I remember Tommy Vance came into the dressing room and said 'You're going to go down great'. We said, 'Well we hope to do OK', 'cos we're not the sort of band that pre-judges things, although we do have an inner confidence in ourselves."

"We walked on stage and there was this roar from the crowd. I thought 'that's pretty good'. Anyway, we went into the first number (Dizzy Mama) and I could see the reporters looking at us. I was dreading the end of the first number, as that is the point at which we can usually tell how a show is going to go. As it happens, I think we went straight into 'My baby left me', so we didn't really wait or a reaction. The confidence came when there was a reaction, as it built and built, sort of got bigger and bigger. I mean getting that lot to sing 'Merry Xmas' was like, amazing. I could see Chas at the side grinning. Tommy Vance played the recording of Slade at Reading the other week and I thought that was great. I got excited listening to that. I was lying in bed listening to it and going 'crikey, there's bits out of tune, there's bits of fun and it sounds great'. I took my mind into Reading and imagined us playing"

Many fans have written in asking whether Slade will produce a video of one of their concerts one day. What does Dave think of the idea?
"I'd like for NOBODY to have a video of us live, 'cos I think there is something special about us live, so it should never be on tape. It should always remain that way. I mean I'll probably be ruled out on that. Maybe if we pack up, there ought to be a video of the last show for the fans to keep. At this moment, as we haven't stopped touring, I feel we should keep our live show off video and make the night the night."

As Slade are now working on a new album, we thought we'd talk a little bit about the 'Rogues Gallery album' and what Dave could remember about the making of it.
"There were very mixed opinions of the last album, from 'I like it' to 'I don't like it' - very, very bizarre. I personally think it lacked something. I mean it was a good sounding LP, but maybe it had a bit too much quality. I think it lacked a certain amount of soul, or maybe guts. It wasn't a particularly enjoyable event for me personally. That wasn't anybody's particular fault in the band, it was just the process of things. Maybe it took too long. Perhaps it should have been much easier. I enjoyed making the tracks for 'Crackers' a lot more than those for 'Rogues Gallery'. The basic tracks for 'Crackers were done in Portland which is sort of a 'beer and skittles' place - sort of 'pint of beer and then record the next number'. It is hardly the big scene, like Air or the other places. Jim likes Portland a lot and tends to do a lot of his own stuff there. He's got the place sussed. I think that maybe too many of the songs on 'Rogues Gallery' sounded like pop hits, so the album began to lean too much to being regarded as a sort of 'poppy' album, and there is nothing worse than that for me."

A few years ago, Dave got involved with driving a couple of brides to their wedding, which was an event organised by Keith Altham. Many of you will have seen the photos of this in the various newspapers which covered it. Did Dave think (on that day) that he could have been doing that as a full time job if the Reading Festival hadn't been offered to Slade in 1980?
"No I didn't actually. I was just thinking what a laugh it was. I'd just bought this top hat and that white suit that I was going to use for 'All join hands'. I was looking like some bizarre bloke out of a circus, driving a Rolls Royce and these silly guys were getting off on it. I was just enjoying being 'the silly Dave Hill' for that moment in time."

It seems that Dave always lives this sort of lifestyle, whereby one minute he is Dave Hill, 'the pop star' and the next he is Dave Hill, the family man.
"Yeah, that's right. I could be changing the baby's nappy one day or doing the washing up, and then I could be putting my hat on and being me. I have a bizarre life like that. I have a life of extremes. . . one thing goes to another. I do like being Dave Hill, but I have to control the ego - apart from when I walk on stage and I know what I'm doing. I try not to have any ego whatsoever when I'm out with people. I try to make people feel at home with me. I like to go down to the pub occasionally and have a drink without being hassled. "As a person, I like Wordsworth's poetry. I am deep thinking about a lot of things, but nobody knows these things about me, because hey only see me as this bloke who plays lead guitar. They just see this bloke onstage who is very flash, very cocky and thinks he's a right clever- dick. In fact I think I'm not that smart, but I do know how to put a smile on a person's face. That's something I've used ever since I knew I'd got it. When I walked onstage with my very first group, who were called The Young Ones, after the Cliff Richard film, I grinned at an audience and I found that I'd got something which I never knew I'd got."

"I also do jogging quite a lot, which is something I find quite stimulating. I just go over the fields and get a sweat going. I think it reminds me of when I'm playing, 'cos when you're on stage you get extreme temperatures of heat. You sweat a lot, you jump up and down, you come off and you feel wonderful - because, therapeutically, you've had an audience going bananas, as most of our audiences do. You know, I think I can honestly say that, even during the rough years, we have never had a duff night in our lives. We have always gone out and done the business."

The interview continued, with a leaning towards finding out more about 1975 and the 'Flame' film era : Slade's first single in 1975 was 'How does it feel' and was the title track [Played over the intro] of the film 'Flame'. Although the single only reached #15 in the UK charts, it was totally different to anything they had done previously and seemed to be a pointer towards some of what Slade have recorded subsequently. . .
"Yeah, it was. But, you see we were capable of that sort of thing before, though Chas used to keep us clear from that. Keeping the stimulus of the right type of music for the right people. Trying to be 'too clever' was considered at the time to be going in another direction. Whether it has helped us in the long run is questionable. We were maybe cleverer in those early years, which could have introduced us to new things. But it never happened, apart from 'how does it feel'. 'Nobody's Fools' was a bit different wasn't it? That was recorded in America, but it didn't happen over there."

We asked Dave about what he would say to the new fans who are trying to imagine what was happening with Slade in a particular year?
"From the point of view of the new people looking into us, they can get a gist of a lot of it by listening to the old stuff. If they can think along the lines of 'a lot of the songs were written on the audiences flavouring'. 'Cum on feel the noize' was based around audiences and things that were happening to us. 'Far far away' was written about being abroad, wasn't it? 'Yellow lights go down the Mississippi' and all that, being in the States and wanting to come home. They were just experiences. Obviously, when you're on the road, you are writing about being on the road. You're writing about what's going on."

We enquired as to whether 'How does it feel' was written with the idea in mind that it would ultimately become the title track of the movie?
"No, it was just a coincidence really. It was already written and it just happened to fit in with the film. It wasn't a huge hit, unfortunately, but I thought it was a good idea."

Slade did a farewell type of tour in 1975, just before they went to America. Radio One followed part of this tour as an 'Insight Special' [broadcast in two one hour parts - one part documentary, one part a live concert from The Victoria theatre in London]. We asked Dave what he could remember of this tour.
"I think we were swanning around in the black Rolls, as I remember. No, I don't remember a fat lot about it. It was Stuart Grundy who did that Insight special, wasn't it? Gosh, he's got some weird stuff on me! I hope he never puts that out! It was in the days of me getting smashed in the car. I remember one day, when I was sitting in the front of the car, yapping away like nobody's business . . .  and he was recording it all! I think I was talking about my school days. That's a story on its own, that is. Of course he was saying  'Oh, it's wonderful stuff' and I thought 'Oh no he's probably got all that on tape, later released when I'm an old man or something!"

Slade have always said that on looking back at the experience of making and promoting 'Flame' that it seems to represent 'a big hole' in their career. We asked Dave what he thought of the idea of making another movie.
"I think if we did another one it would be different anyway. If we do a tour and get another album away . . . If things work out this time, we would probably have time to do another film. I'd like to do something extremely funny. We were in fact offered one about a year ago with the late Leonard Rossiter. It didn't come off because they didn't get the money together. The parts in it were great. They actually wanted an older group to play the part. It was a spy film with Ronnie Corbett in it. It was really funny. I fancied it, though it didn't come off. You never know it might crop up again."

Slade also brought out 'Thanks for the memory' as a single in 1975, which was followed up by another single called 'In for a penny', which was from their forthcoming album 'Nobody's fools'.
"Yeah. That seemed a mistake! When we came back and released that, I think a lot of fans were disappointed, though I personally liked the track. They thought we'd come back with something heavy, so it may have seemed lightweight to them. It was recorded at The Record Plant in New York as part of the 'Nobody's fools' / America project."

The 'Nobody's fools' album was released eventually in March 1976 and coincided with the release of the track 'Nobody's fool' as a single. The album featured female backing vocals that were supplied by Tasha Thomas. Did Dave think that this had anything to do with the fact that the album only reached #14 in the UK charts (a total flop by Slade's standards at the time)?
"Yeah. I think that had a bit of a negative vibe with some of the fans. I think they didn't like women singing on our records. As much as we were enjoying the idea, it had a bit of a negative response. We quite liked the sound of some of the black singers over there, you see. When you're successful, people pick on things."

We wondered whether Dave felt that in 1975, the band were beginning to lose control of their own destiny; that they were beginning o be channelled into what Chas and Polydor thought Slade were, rather than what the band thought?
"Well, I think Chas always had ideas and discussed them with us. Some things needed decisions made on them, or had to be channelled, otherwise you do nothing. Some of the decisions I remember thinking were pretty naff. I think it was all part of the process of the group."


by Trevor Slaughter and Paul Lythe - FROM THE JUNE - AUGUST 1986 EDITION OF PERCY.

We recently met Noddy Holder at the hotel in London he uses when Slade are recording, Nod having spent the past few days laying down some new tracks for the next Slade LP. The band are currently using Readan Recording Studios, so we thought we'd ask Nod if he could explain the change from Portland?
"As far as I know, the doors are closed at Portland. We'd just arrived there one morning to find the bailiffs clearing out all the equipment, including ours. They thought ours was studio gear, so we had to send for Mick to come down and get our gear out. For the time being we are using Readan studios, where we are now finishing off the first six tracks."

Over the past few years there have been several changes on the production side of Slade's recordings. We enquired about who will be producing this current batch of songs?
"Well at the moment Jim is producing the album, but we haven't started on the singles material yet because RCA want us to get a producer in for them. We have sent out the demos to five or six producers, but we haven't heard anything definite back from any of them yet. We have been waiting for weeks now for answers, but some of those producers are already working. We'll have to see how these first six turn out and go from there."  

We enquired about whether the LP is expected to be released in the USA?
"We are still under contract to CBS in the States and were in fact due to deliver this LP on December 31st. If we hadn't done the 'Crackers' album, then this LP would probably have been delivered on time. They have got the option on the 'Crackers' material, like 'Let's dance', but that is not the sort of material that is likely to be released out there."

Many of you have written to us, saying that a particular album track would make a good single, so we thought we'd ask Nod how much say the band have on record releases?
"Well, basically we are under contract to deliver so many albums in a certain period of time. On average, we have to do about one album per year. We can put our ideas to the record company, and they'll tell us why we shouldn't do a certain thing, like why we shouldn't release a single straight away. We weigh up the pros and cons and either agree or disagree with them. For example, we all felt that there should have been a single out on the back of 'Run runaway'. The album 'The amazing Kamikaze syndrome' was our first big success in America, it was top 5 all over Europe and no 1 in Scandinavia for months. Britain was the only place it wasn't a big album. We could have, theoretically, had another single off it. It would have been a hit. There was plenty of good stuff on that album."

"It's no good us going in and insisting that we want a new single out, because if you know they're not keen on it, they're not going to push it. I used to go up there myself for four years between the time we split with Chas and when Colin took over our business affairs. I was virtually managing the band for four years and had to go up there and go though all this crap. I had to argue with them week after week, saying these things to them. I mean it's not just us - every artist has the same problem. If I had the choice, 'Walking on water' would have been released as a single between 'Myzster Jones' and 'Miracles', but I was the only one who thought so. RCA and the other band members weren't keen, so obviously it didn't get released. Everybody I spoke to on the streets loved that bloody song, and felt that it should have been the single."

We asked Nod if he could tell us a little bit more about this latest batch of recordings?
"It will be a mixed bag of songs by the time they're finished. This time we've got to choose from the biggest selection of songs we've ever had. Me and Jim have probably put 16 or 17 demos alone on new songs and Dave's put 4 forward, so we're talking 20 - 21 songs to choose from for this album. It's going to be a hard job to choose which ones to do and which not to do. All the stuff will eventually be recorded and used. With the thing of 12" singles today you have to put extra tracks on, so we'd rather keep some in hand, so we're not taking b-sides off the album. I am not saying that we have 21 amazing songs or 21 hit singles, but we like them all."

When does Nod expect another Slade record to be released?
"I can't see the album getting released until September or October. Hopefully we'll have a single out before then though. We've got 5 or 6 tracks that are possible singles which we haven't even started recording yet."

We asked Nod if he would be prepared to describe a few of the songs as a taster of what to expect?
"I think it would be better if we wait until we decide which are going to be the singles and what's going to go on the album. I might be describing three tracks now that might not end up on it. There's rockers, there's mid-tempo, there's poppy types and a couple of really good ballads. I mean, there's one really strong ballad that everybody from the record company down thinks is a great song and is a possible future single. Everybody likes that one."

We asked Nod if he would tell us more about the 'Knights and Emeralds' songs?
"Well, they have already been completed and delivered to the film people. They might be on the album as well. They'll definitely be on the soundtrack album of the movie, which is out in September. They have already had three preview showings of the film around the country with the music in, and an audience reaction questionnaire was completed. They phoned and told us a couple of weeks ago that the slower song, 'We won't give in' has effectively been voted the best song of the movie. That track will be used over the end of the film. The other track, which is a rocker called 'Wild wild party', will be played on the jukebox in a sort of 'disco in a working men's club' scene. It's a real party record - a big stomping rocker. The film is in fact set in Wolverhampton and the Midlands, which we never realised until we went to see the film. All the areas were around where we were born. The band as such do not appear in the film."  

With the new album coming out in the Autumn, we wondered whether Slade had any plans to promote it with any live work?
"I don't know. I really can't answer that. I suppose you do know it is basically me that won't go on tour. There are lots of reasons for it, mainly of a personal nature. It's nothing to do with my voice or confidence, or anything like that. I understand that everybody is thinking that about me. I should have taken a break from touring two years earlier and it would have probably saved my marriage and a lot of other things. It didn't and I left it too late."

"You know, it's not a case of me not wanting to do it. It's just that with my present circumstances, I've got to put my priorities in the right order now. I've given the band 20 years of priority and now I can't. I've got to give my kids priority because I don't see them that often. It was unfortunate that it happened at a time when we'd had a big flush of success with 'My oh my' and 'Run runaway' I can't say that there will definitely be a tour before the end of the year, and I can't say that there won't. My attitude might change in a couple of months time and I might say 'Let's go and do it'. I'm just leaving my options open. There's no way anyway that Slade can go on the road at the moment because of our recording commitments."

(The Percy Editor then invited fans to write in to give Nod reasons why the band should tour. We all now know they didn't work). There appears to have been some confusion over the last few Slade tours, especially the European tour (Autumn 1984) and the UK tour (Spring 1985), both of which were originally planned to promote the 'Rogues Gallery' album, and both of which were cancelled. We asked Nod to clarify this.
"The Scandinavian dates had sold great, but in West Germany we just weren't selling the tickets. When we were supposed to have gone out there, there were 80 bands trying to do the same thing. We'd have lost a fortune if we had done it with only half the gigs selling out. We couldn't just do the three gigs in Scandinavia, so the whole tour had to be pulled out. "When we agreed to do that tour, we said we wanted to make sure everything was pre-planned and that tickets would go on sale early, as we knew how many other bands were out on the road. Three or four weeks before the tour was supposed to have started, the tickets still hadn't gone on sale at half of the gigs. They should have been selling the tickets in June, while the band was still hot out there."

"As for the UK tour, although it was virtually me that cancelled it for the reasons already given - That tour WAS NEVER CONFIRMED. The agent and promoter started promoting it and selling the tickets, and we hadn't even confirmed that we were going to do the tour. The tickets had already been on sale for two months and nobody bothered to tell us!"

At the end of last year, a track entitled 'My oh my (swing version)' appeared on the b-side of 'Do you believe in miracles?' We asked Nod how this came about and who is actually playing on it?
"It came about originally because a few people asked us for demo's of songs to cover. A lot of people wanted to cover 'My oh my'. I mean 'middle of the road' sort of people. Colin actually suggested it, saying we couldn't send them our own version, because they've all heard that. Anyway, we had people like Frank Sinatra saying that we ought to do a 'swing version' of it. Well, we weren't going to do it, so we got a mate of ours - Monty Babson - to sing it on the original demo, which went out to all these 'middle of the road' people. When I heard it, I really liked it, so as an added extra on the 12", I said 'Why don't we put my voice with Monty Babson's band?' and that's what we did. I just had a couple of drinks in the pub and went and sang with him in one take. We didn't spend any time on it or anything. There is actually a 'swing version' of 'All join hands', which I haven't put the vocal on yet."

At that point our lost had to leave us for an important meeting, so we bade our farewells and looked forward to the next time.



SLADE FAN Matt Shaughnessy managed to grab a quick interview with Noddy Holder in mid 1986. This was published in the July - September 1992 issue of Percy.

How has Slade lasted so long together?
"It's a long time, that's for sure, but we sorted things out in the first few years. Any differences we had, we took care of early on. As for 20, now 21 years together, we never thought that it would go on this long. One thing that has helped is that we don't live in each other's back pockets anymore. We've realised that there is a life outside of Slade, so when we do get back together to write, record or perform, there's a lot of excitement."

How did the band originate?
"We came together in 1966 as the 'N Betweens and after Chas Chandler (ex Animals bassist and Jim Hendrix manager) began managing us, we changed to Slade."

What was it like for the band in the early 70's?
"It was fantastic. For a time we could do no wrong, what with the 6 number ones, we couldn't ask for much more. Of course we knew it would come to an end sooner or later, but we enjoyed it while we could."

Of course, what followed in the late seventies was your 'duff period'. How did Slade handle that?
"It was a very difficult time for us. We had pretty much saturated the UK and European markets, and for the life of us, we couldn't crack the American scene. This left us in a precarious position of having been huge for too long and from 1976 - 1980, we couldn't shake the apathy the British record buying public had toward us. Same with the radio stations - we couldn't get any airplay. It was a frustrating time and by early 1980, we came close to packing it in."

Bands such as Kiss, Twisted Sister, Billy Squier, U2 and Iron Maiden, to name a few, have acknowledged that Slade have had a profound influence on their music. Any thoughts on this?
"It came as a surprise to us. Since we were never a major factor in America our first time around, I guess we never realised what a seed we'd sown over there. We quite like the idea that Quiet Riot went to number one with 'Cum on feel the noize'. It shows that Slade's songs have stood the test of time. We really appreciate knowing we've helped influence other bands. You know, we finally met up with Gene Simmons and he told us that 'Rock and roll all nite' was Kiss' 'Mama weer all crazee now'. We thought that was great. 

Any special plans for your anniversary?
"We don't have any special plans, other than the new album. We've finally got it finished and feel we have some of the best songs we've ever written."

Speaking of songwriting, Slade has had 23 top 40 hits in the UK, second only to The Beatles. Who does the writing?
"Well, Jim writes the music and I write the lyrics. It's worked that way from the outset, and we used to kid within the band that me and Jim wrote 'em and Don and Dave sold 'em!"

Do you think Slade will be around in 2006?
"Bloody 'ell! I hope not! Like I said, I never thought it'd last this long. All I can say is that as long as we're having fun and people want to hear us we'll keep doing it!"

This issue of Percy ironically had the first actual mentions of Dave and Don carrying on (without Nod and Jim) under the Slade name, with an advert for a large gig in Germany. There was no announcement or anything that that was 'it'. Which makes the last question - even though it was from a few years before - just that little bit more poignant