Scott Teague (politzanian@co.....) asked:
1. Are you particularly impressed with any of today's musical artists?
2. Who or what do you listen to these days, given a choice?
JW: In response to your first question regarding today's musical artists, I am unable to cite specific names in as much as my knowledge of the contemporary music scene is somewhat limited but I'm sure there are many musical artists out there who are doing fine work. (For example, just recently I heard an impressive cover version of "Knee Deep In Love" which was done in a "modern" style by a talented young female vocalist from western Canada.)
In terms of what I listen to these days, my radio dial stays constantly tuned to a local AM station that plays "all golden oldies all the time". I also enjoy listening to classical symphonic music and great movie scores written by the masterful film composers of Hollywood's golden age.
JW: As I indicated in a previous response to another Klaatu fan's question, two songs that seemed to come relatively easily ("magically writing themselves" to use your phrase) were "A Routine Day" and "I Don't Wanna Go Home". To those I would add one other song, "All Good Things" which was written and demoed in March 1979 and appeared (minus one of its original verses) on the "Endangered Species" album, which was recorded in Los Angeles from December 1979 through early February 1980.
In terms of "standout moments" in the studio, here are some that come to mind:
1. the recording of the "live" string section for "Sub Rosa Subway" in March 1973, this was the first "Klaatu" track to feature members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra;
2. the realistic "explosions" heard in the fade-out of "Little Neutrino" which were the product of some nifty creative sound engineering by producer, Terry Brown;
3. recording guitar overdubs with Dee ("first-take") Long as he improvised his uniquely inventive licks and solos on "True Life Hero", "Anus of Uranus", "Prelude" and others;
4. immediately after recording the bed tracks for "Calling Occupants..." as we listened to the playback for the very first time, we realized that finally we had the all-important "opening" track for our debut album that we'd been looking for.
The last part of your question deals with possible 5.1 surround versions of Klaatu recordings. I am not sufficiently familiar with that platform to comment on its feasibility but I will forward your request on to Jaimie Vernon at "Bullseye Records" as he currently looks after the manufacturing aspects of Klaatu's catalogue here in Canada. (Note: Capitol-EMI controls the first four "Klaatu" albums for the world excluding Canada).
JW: The "Hope" album space-themed songs were influenced mostly by the music of several British recording artists. Some of these would include: The Moody Blues ("Days of Future Past" through "A Question of Balance"); King Crimson ("In the Court of the Crimson King"); MacDonald and Giles ("Birdman"); Queen ("Bohemian Rhapsody"); David Bowie ("A Space Oddity"); 10cc (first two albums mainly); Genesis (with Peter Gabriel); and Giles, Giles and Fripp ("The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp").
As far as books are concerned, I've always been a fan of the wonderful sci-fi stories of writers like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as well as the feature films that were based upon those stories such as "War of the Worlds", "Mysterious Island", etc.