Roxy Music reunites, Brian Eno and Glastonbury 2023 rumours

Roxy Music novelist Phil Manzanera spoke to NME about the band’s current reunion tour, as well as the possibilities of new music and rumors of them appearing at Glastonbury next year.

The art-pop legends are currently in the middle of a US tour for their third reunion – following famous comebacks in 2001 and 2011 – ahead of a three-concert tour back in the UK which kicks off on October 10 in Glasgow. The band gave their fans a song list that spanned their entire career.

“I don’t know why I’m surprised, but it’s gone really well. You can see the resonance in people’s faces, so it’s a community experience that’s a lot of fun to do,” said guitarist Phil Manzanera with NME. “We are very lucky to be able to do this.”

Ahead of his return to the UK, NME caught up with the guitarist to discuss the thrill of being back together, his choice of support acts, the possibility of Brian Eno returning to the band, and the rumors that it involved them playing in the legendary space at Glastonbury, 2023.

NM: Hello Phil! It’s an obvious 50th anniversary of your tour, but how long have you really been planning all of this?

apple tree: “There’s very little time at all. I went over to Bryan’s house for a cup of tea last Christmas and he said, ‘Shall we do some gigs? I said, ‘If you really want to do it, I’m up for it. .’ I called Andy, then Paul. , and here we are. It’s 50 years, what else are we going to do? At our age, there are people who do sudoku, but we’re committed to practicing Roxy’s songs.”

How hard is it to condense eight albums into a 105-minute setlist?

“You can only play 20 songs at most before people start losing their will to live. Then you spend the difference between Roxy’s first album and [el álbum de 1982] ‘Avalan’. How Roxy went from one style to another is another conversation, but there is a great expression in Spanish that means: ‘A journey without a destination’. That was the Roxy thing, and you have to balance all that in the show.”

What is the challenge of interpreting songs you wrote when you were 20 years old and now you are 70 years old?

“We’re not trying to do a Bob Dylan, where people sit around thinking, ‘What song is this?’ until it hits the chorus and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s it!’ As an audience, I don’t want that experience, I want to hear the music, but I want to hear the songs as they are on the record.

“I had to relearn how to play, and I go back to the early songs, like ‘ReMake/ReModel,’ and I’m like, ‘How was I allowed to play the guitar? It’s crazy.’ “I listen to my 21-year-old self and I’m like, ‘What a cheek that guy has! I’m meant to play the song, but I’m playing over Brian Eno.’

Was there any chance that Brian Eno would take part in this tour?

“We love Brian very much and I still communicate with him a lot, but Brian said from the beginning that it was a small independent mobile unit, and I told him: “From the planet Zog.” Brian is an incredible and unique person. He wasn’t designed to be in a band. He’s very uncomfortable, so you hesitate to say, ‘Do you feel like going on tour?

“Wouldn’t it be great if Brian did a few numbers on a show? In a dream world, that would be perfect. But Brian’s not that kind of guy and it’s not going to happen.”

What is your experience of St. Vincent being an opening act at concerts in the United States?

“I love St. Vincent, and it’s great to be her special guest. If I wasn’t at Roxy, I’d buy a ticket to see Roxy Music and St. Vincent together. I don’t understand how good her show is. She’s a musician One American with that level of excellence and she’s one step away from being a Prince.”

What made you choose Nilufer Yanya as the opening act for the UK concerts?

“We would love the idea of ​​having a new and relatively unknown artist. We hope that the public will appreciate Nilufer, because she is a very interesting and innovative artist. I keep in touch with new music all the time , mainly through 6 Music “.

Is this series of dates unique, or could you continue?

“We had the opportunity to do 10 dates in the United States and three in England. We wanted to do them and see if people like it and if we continue to enjoy it. From there, we’ll go step by step.” As usual, Roxy didn’t have a master plan for this trip. I love that anything can happen, or not happen.”

What is true about the rumors that Roxy will be performing on the Glastonbury Legends stage next year?

I’ve had friends text and email me saying, “I see you guys could play Glastonbury! To which I’m like, ‘Well let me know, because I have no idea. “I’ll wait and see what happens there. Who do you know? I do not know.”

It is said that you started working on a new album with Eno ten years ago. What are the chances of new music?

“Oh, recording is a whole different game. People always ask, ‘What’s new?’ And you’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ It’s terrible. Why did we do it? The fans can be restless, and if they heard anything less, they would We know If we came up with something great, I’m sure we would put it out. make new music.”

Roxy recently reissued all eight albums on vinyl as half-speed remasters, and “The Best Of” compilation has also come out on vinyl for the first time. How are you involved with reissues?

“I had no idea that it was coming out until they told me, but I love vinyl, and that special mastering is beautiful, a different experience for people who really love albums. the first album, when did Steven Wilson new mix 5.1 Because of the limitations of vinyl in 1972, nobody had heard the album like we did in the studio until that box was set up. It was great to hear the extended version of ‘Ladytron ‘ with me and Eno blasting. It’s great, but we didn’t have room for it on the original ’72 vinyl.”

Will there be more box sets from Roxy’s other albums, then?

“I’d love to be there, I’m all for it. ‘For Your Pleasure’ and ‘Avalon’ in particular would be great. You could explore them in great depth and see what extras you could bring them. the surface.”

It also marks the 40th anniversary of Roxy’s last album, ‘Avalon’. Did you feel like you ended on a high at that point?

“No, because I didn’t want us to be at that particular point. In the States, it wasn’t until ‘Avalon’ that we started to be successful in the country, and then we stopped. It’s very fitting that ‘More Than This’ is our most listened to song in America: ‘More than this, there is nothing.’ It was Roxy.

“We stopped at a time when the whole industry was expanding, with CDs, stadium shows… If we had continued, we would probably have been huge. think of Roxy as a band. We were really a group of people who liked music different, who wanted to go out on our own and explore those aspects. these other things as well.”

But do you feel good with Roxy today?

“It’s great to come back now, because for many people it’s their first chance to see what Roxy is. But it was good to stop when we did, because we didn’t try to do ‘Avalon 2. “

Roxy Music’s 50th Anniversary UK tour kicks off at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on October 10th, moving on to Manchester’s AO Arena on October 12th and London’s O2 Arena on October 14th. Visit here for tickets and more information.

The Best Of Roxy Music’ is now available on vinyl for the first time, on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition yellow vinyl, via Virgin/UMC. All eight of Roxy Music’s studio albums are also being reissued on vinyl this year.

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