Radio interview "Radio 2" (Holland) with SAILOR 20 November 2002
On the first day of the "Golden Classics 30th Anniversary Holland Tour" with SAILOR and The Rubettes (featuring Alan Williams) SAILOR were at the show "Muziekcafé" at Radio 2. SAILOR perform three songs - "Girls Girls Girls", "Traffic Jam" and "A Glass Of Champagne" live on the radio, and Phil and Grant also did an interview which you can see below.
Host: Welcome to our show. Congratulations with your 30th anniversary! It all started 30 years ago in Holland, is that right?
Grant: Absolutely. Holland was the first country where people actually listened to our music. "Traffic Jam" came out as an instand hit and we were very happy.
Host: Why do you think your music was so well received by the Dutch?
Phil: Well, we never really knew. We were very pleasantly surprised because we had a record release in England which wasn't a hit and then we went to America and played in front of a lot of Dutch record company executives. They released it in Holland and it was a huge hit straight away. It was fantastic for us.
Host: Your success was also due to a custom-made all-purpose instrument, the Nickelodeon. Do you still use it?
Phil: Oh yeah. We've updated it a bit in 30 years.
Host: In what way?
Grant: It's blue now!
Host: But maybe we have to explain what it is. It's an instrument that allows you to play more instruments at the same time.
Grant: Absolutely. When we first formed we wanted to remain as four people. The only way to play the actual sound that we wanted to produce was by linking instruments which nowadays in terms of modern technology is done by midi. But we did it by pieces of wood and magnets and stuff like that.
Host: Exactly. But have you never thought of replacing the Nickelodeon for modern technology, for midi, for computers?
Grant: Well, it looks very different now, but inside it is... very different. It was always synthesizers, but now it's fewer synthesizers.
Host: In 30 years of SAILOR, what were your personal highlights?
Phil: I think, speaking for myself, the highlight was when we reformed after 15 years. We didn't play together for 15 years, and then we went on stage in Berlin in front of 22.000 people.
Host: Did you ever expect to come together again?
Phil: No, we didn't. We hated each other! ;-)
Grant: That's true! ;-)
Host: Is it true? Some bands do...
Phil: No, not really! We sort of lost touch a bit, but we had quite a few promoters get in touch with us and wanted us to do shows, so we said "why not?".
Host: That was your personal highlight. And your personal highlight, Grant?
Grant: My personal highlight was when "A Glass Of Champagne" got in the charts in Britain. Having been a musician for eight years with no success and then suddenly finding yourself having a record in the charts... But talking of charts: I think what we've found frustrating when we reformed was that "La Cumbia" was a hit in Holland, and I think most people didn't realise it was us. It was the band SAILOR, but I think people didn't realise it were the same people.
Host: Why do you think that? Because you hadn't played for so long?
Grant: Exactly, yes. And I don't think it was promoted enough to show that it was the same band.
Host: Tell the public: once again! It was you! Now, because of your 30th anniversary there is also the release of a new album, "Buried Treasure"...
Phil: Yes, it's kind of an anthology of 30 years worth of hits, various recordings, some experimental tracks, a couple of recordings that we've done - greatest hits anthology.
Host: What about the new recordings? How many new recordings are there on this album?
Grant: We're working on three at the moment, some of which are quite radical and some of which are quite traditional.
Host: What do you mean by "radical"?
Grant: We're just using sequencing that modern, young people, you know, younger than 40... it's quite difficult for me because I'm a drummer and I have no intelligence!
Host: Do you still inspire one another? Who writes the songs?
Phil: We still perform a lot of the songs in our live set that the original lead singer Georg Kajanus wrote all those years ago, but we've added quite a lot of things to the set. We do... what do we do? We do a version of a song called "Karma Chameleon" which I was involved with in the 1980s in Culture Club. So we've done a SAILOR-version of that, which is a sort of much more acoustic version with a Gospel choir and that's going on the "Buried Treasure" record as well.
Host: Ok. And people can also see it during your live shows?
Phil: Yes, we play that one in our live concerts, which we are performing in Holland for the next two weeks!
Host: I will mention all the tour dates and that gives you the opportunity to go back to your instruments. Thank you very much!
Phil: Can I just say that the next song we're going to do acoustically was our very first hit in Holland and it's called "Traffic Jam". But we're doing it acoustically - with lots of wood...