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  MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS

INTERVIEW WITH ANDY FRASER, FORMERLY OF FREE


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andy fraser

In a MetalTalk exclusive Mark Taylor chats to the former bassist of Free, the legendary Andy Fraser, to talk about his new album 'On Assignment', his book 'All Right Now: Life, Death and Life Again', his label Mctrax Records and about his time in Free.

Hi Andy. It was good to finally see you back on British soil recently. I was fortunate enough to catch you performing with the new young talented artist TOBI at a private show at the Gibson Guitar Studios in London. Please tell us more about TOBI and you new company Mctrax Records.

"Mctrax, our new Music Delivery System was created in large part because I felt the music industry in general was way behind the curve. Before CD's they fought them like hell to stop them, then when they made so much money, they fought like hell to prevent the digital age. I embrace it.

Article continues below...

   


"I recognize that most kids have a smart phone before they have a girlfriend, here, Thailand, Africa, everywhere and they want their music now. Mctrax allows them to stream/have delivery of a track instantly to any device in seconds for 11¢. They don't have to buy the whole album if they find they only like one track, but they can if they wish, either have it delivered as a stream for $1:11, or download a track for 88¢ or whole album for $8:88. Sign up is as simple as iTunes or Amazon, or Express Checkout available if you don't want to sign up yet. Available are all current releases as audio/video, now books, and soon we are moving into movies with Mctrax Motion.

"TOBI, our first signing, is a London boy, signed when 16, who is a combination of say John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, and Justin Bieber if you can imagine that. Schooled in traditional blues from all the masters, he also can bust a move, and has the freedom in his song-writeing like a John Mayer or even Dylan. Not afraid to be brutally honest about himself, or vulnerable in order to express a feeling we all share, but rarely own up to, trapped inout machismo. Destined for a very long career."



That evening you also got to meet up with you old buddy Frankie Miller.

"Frankie is a long time friend, even best man at my wedding, saying on the day (after a long night of drinking): 'Ooh Andy, de ye not think it a wee bit early in the morning to be getting married, it's awful bright, mahn.'"

A couple of days later TOBI and you peformed at the Isle Of Wight Festival. How did that compare with the legendary Free Apperance from 1970 in front of a reported 600,000 fans. Did you have any flashbacks whilst up on stage?

"TOBI, I and the band we had put together from musicians in L.A, Germany and NY had a fabulous time. Despite all the rain during that period, (you English folk really let us down) the sun came out during our set, and we and audience had a great time. It was an especially great time for TOBI, as he had never been to a festival before, and to star at one really made his day.

"Ironically his brother, who is in lighting was there to do the big lights, and also responsible for the show at Buckingham Palace for Madness for the Royal jubilee. So it runs in the family.

"Being back 40 years later was like having my own Jubilee, but always trying to live in the moment, enjoyed it for what it was. Festivals have changed into something resembling Carnivals, which I don't care for, but it was a total thrill for TOBI."

andy fraser

Amazingly that show at the Gibson Guitar Studios was your first time on a British stage in 21 years, the previous time being the Night Of A 100 Guitars held at Wembley Arena. What were your memories of the night?

"That particular Wembley show featured Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Jason Bonham, and Slash with myself, where we were in support of Gibson Guitars, which raised money for the Prince Charles trust and charities."

You've just played again at Wembley Arena on September 29th for the Jim Marshall 50 Years Of Loud tribute. You got to perform with Glenn Hughes on the Free classic 'Mr Big'. How was that for you?

"I love Glenn Hughes. He is a wonderful guy, fully recovered from his cocaine binging days, and only interested in giving back. A very generous soul, and one of the world's best singers.

"I had a blast, and totally love working with Glenn, and we have talked about more joint ventures."

You've just released a new album 'On Assignment'. What kind of music can people expect to hear on that?

"As Opposed to 'Naked... And Finally Free', a very personal 'coming out' statement, 'On Assignment' allows me to get out of myself, having got that off my chest, and deal with more Global and social issues, although there are also some very personal songs on there too. I feel it represents another growth in me, and am pleased with the direction I am going in. Forward, as opposed of doing covers of myself from the 70s. An easy trap to fall into."

Lyrically you've approached politics and climate change in quite a lot of your new material. What is the perfect world to live in according to you?

"'A perfect world to live in?' You have high expectations. We live in an imperfect world by design, and our goal is to overcome the hurdles laid before us to afford growth. One can only embrace the challenges, and strive to meet them head-on. Not easy while doing them, as we all know, but having learnt from our mistakes, realize the value in having them... afterwards.

"My role as an artist, is to be honest in my expression of those things concerning me emotionally, or global issues socially and spread awareness as best I can, inspiring others, to do what they do best in solving our planets many problems. A shovel or chemical experiment may be better in someone else's hands, my job is to encourage you to do what you do best to help in your own way."



You've also been busy writing a new book on your life, 'All Right Now... Life, Death And Life Again'. Was it an easy or difficult experience for you writing an open and honest account of your life?

Trick question. It was hard coming to terms with my reality. My self-denial of being gay after marrying a wonderful woman, and having two incredible daughters, a mountain that I couldn't see the other side of, then coming out publicly, after coming out to myself. That was difficult.

"But having reached the other side, putting it in book form was easy. Made easier by my co-writer Mark Hughes, who wrote to me, and within one sentence showed me he got my story, and wanted to write a book. He came out to California, ran his recorder for five days, then transcribed it, along with his own commentary in a book form which makes easy, and informative reading.

"He did the work, I just lived the life, but having come to terms with it, I feel FREE, unburdened, and my life has been given a second chance, I am grateful, and will not waste it. I intend to use every moment, to give back, and justify my existence.



You've had to face some demons in your life, battling Kaposi Sarcoma, a form of cancer and contracting HIV. What advise can you give to other people who may find themselves in a similar unfortuate situation? How does one keep strong mentally and carry on to lead a positve life?

"Well not being in the advice business, I can only say learn from my mistakes if you can. I have found my will to be a lot stronger than my body, and was not gonna let anything get the better of me. There were times when I was this close to being a goner, but it all comes down to Faith. What in? That's every individual's decision.

Do find find that a believe in a higher power helps?

"YUP. If there isn't one everything is a waste of time. When like me, you are so sick, no amount of wealth, fame, friends or even doctors has any value any more, what is left? Then you find God. If not there is nothing, and that doesn't make sense."

You wrote the song 'Every Kinda People' which which a big smash hit for Robert Palmer on both sides on the pond in 1978. Have you written any other hits for other artists that we may not be aware off?

Frankie Miller, 'Be Good To Yourself', Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Joe Cocker, Paul Carrack, Paul Young, Rod Stewart, even Ted Nugent, nutter that he is, have all honored me by choosing to cover my material. It amuses me that Ted Nugent's cover, of 'Knocking At Your Door' was written from a gay perspective, and he has no idea."





I've noticed that when you perform on stage these days you do like to swing your stuff and have a dance. When getting ready to go out on a Friday night, what record do you dance to in front of the mirror?

"No Friday nights for me. I am constantly trying to deal with fact there are only 24 hours in a day. If there is music playing at the supermarket, that is half-dancable, I will dance right there."

'All Right Now' has to be one of the most instantly recognizable rock songs ever written. A song you co-wrote with Paul Rodgers. How did that song come about? Did you purposely write or did it come about from a jam?

"Rainy Tuesday, gig in some Godforsaken college in England. 2000 capacity, 22 people show up, wasted outa their minds on Mandrax, the drug choice at the time, bumping into each other like 'rubber people', in a 70s version of a mosh pit, totally ignoring us, who could usually play for ourselves, and sound good.... but we sucked, and came back to the dressing room with that awful vibe, like someone's gonna get hurt.

"To break the tense silence, I started sing "All right now, baby it's a-all right now". Like a parent saying come on kiddies, there's another day tomorrow, life goes on. It broke the intensity, everyone starting tapping along, and harmonizing, and hence the beginning of the song.

"The guitar riff, was me trying to do my Pete Townsend, who I always regarded as 'king of the chords'. Paul later wrote the verse and the lyrics while he was waiting for the band to pick him up for another gig, he said. We actually never took the song seriously, felt it was the most lightweight of our material, and argued against it being released as a single. One of the few arguments we lost with Island founder Chris Blackwell, but turns out he was right.



Did you think at the time it would be such a monster hit?

"No. I thought it would embarrass us."

What goes through your mind today when you hear it on the radio?

"Still sounds like a tyhree chord trick demo, with bad, and obvious edits. Beethoven it is not. But undeniably ka-ching."

What is your favourite personal Free track from your time in the band?

"That's a tough one, as I like so many Free songs. 'Be My Friend', 'Soon I Will Be Gone', 'The Stealer', 'Sail On', 'Heavy Load'. I like them for being honest expressions of how we felt at that moment. One can only be honest, and truly express how one feels now, so redoing those songs would feel like a cover band, covering your past songs.



There was strong rumours circulating that the remaining members of Free, yourself, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke with either Joe Bonamassa or Peter Bullick on guitar would play at the opening or closing ceremony of this years Olympics in London. How close to a reality did that became?

"It became very close. We all for the first time agreed in principal to do it, as the occasion was far bigger than any of out personal beefs, but it came unglued, as we didn't agree on any guitarists.

"I even went to the company that did Tupac Hologram, and they were ready to do Koss Hologram. Only a $million. Others were not so keen..."

Do you have a personal message for all your fans out there?

"Follow your heart and dreams. Check out mctrax.com for all latest releases, and expect to have your socks blown off by TOBI."

Thank you so much Andy for taking the time to answer these questions. God bless to you, family and friends for all in the future.

"Thanx - a pleasure."


12.10.12

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indigo darkpsych INDIGO DARKPSYCH ANNOUNCE RELEASE OF THEIR FIRST GLOBAL SINGLE, 'WORK THOSE BRAIN CELLS'
Indigo Darkpsych is mainly an industrial/alternative Metal project started by Marvic 'Indigo' Lewis in the year 2002/3 as a soloist...

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
The hard-touring band hit the road for more dates in September and October in support of debut album 'Renegade'...

breakout BREAKOUT FESTIVAL 2014 ANNOUNCED
Brighton's first outdoor rock & Metal festival lands on September 27th...

the stanfields THE STANFIELDS RETURN TO THE UK THIS JULY FOR A STRING OF LIVE DATES
"We want people to leave our shows with a smile on their face and a ringing in their ears..."

bigelf BIGELF RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'CONTROL FREAK' FROM 'INTO THE MAELSTROM' ALBUM
The band also recently announced a run of European tour dates for later this year...

ben matthews BREAKING NEWS: THUNDER GUITARIST BEN MATTHEWS NEEDS TREATMENT FOR CANCER
Whilst the treatment is not pleasant, we're told the percentage chances of a happy outcome are "in the high 90s"...

legends of rock CLASSIC ROCK TOURS PRESENTS "LEGENDS OF ROCK - THE ORIGINALS" FESTIVAL 16TH - 19TH OCTOBER 2014
Black Star Riders lead the magnificent line up for this essential weekender...

reckless love RECKLESS LOVE ANNOUNCE HEADLINE DECEMBER UK TOUR
"Seven (magnificent) dates that will see us pushing everything that bit further... harder, faster, louder, bigger and higher...kicks! Ha! Ha!..."

dark tranquility DARK TRANQUILLITY ANNOUNCE "UNIFORMITY" EUROPEAN TOUR
No rest for the wicked as the Swedes start their trek in November...

goatwhore GOATWHORE CONFIRMED AS MAIN SUPPORT ON DYING FETUS EUROPEAN TOUR IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
A full European tour follows the release of the new album 'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless'...

hairy balls presentation 'HAIRY BALLS CHALLENGE' RAISES OVER £5,000 FOR TEENAGE CANCER TRUST
Les-Fest organiser and Achren manager Fede Valls has proudly presented the cheque to Headbangers Balls fundraiser Matt Steed...

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ARE SCHEDULED TO RECORD SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM THIS AUTUMN
The band will get straight back into the studio immediately after the festival season ends...

marc ford EX BLACK CROWES MEMBER MARC FORD TO PLAY INTIMATE ACOUSTIC GIG AT THE BORDERLINE- JULY 22ND
'Holy Ghost' reveals Ford's gift for Americana which will be showcased at this special appearance...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD UNVEIL "LOST WOMAN BLUES LIVE FROM SAN FRANCISCO" VIDEO FROM 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION'
Swagger, verve, grit and polish. "We are Motörhead and we play rock and roll..."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE STREAM THE BAND'S NEW ALBUM 'YOU CAN'T STOP ME' IN FULL ON YOUTUBE
The album marks the debut of new vocalist Eddie Hermida and includes some special guest appearances...

Nightwish TOUCHSTONE RELEASE THEIR FIRST EVER 3DISC DVD WITH LIMITED EDITION SIGNED 'OCEANS' EP
The DVD features previously unreleased footage of Touchstone's full set from 2010's High Voltage Festival, and a behind the scenes documentary...

Nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL 'MAKING OF' CLIP FOR THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM
The yet to be titled album is starting to take shape and the band discuss all aspects in this new video...

decapitated DECAPITATED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND COVER ARTWORK
'Blood Mantra' will be released in September and features artwork by Lukasz Jaszak...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE THE PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE LIVE PERFORMANCE 'GRAZ 1975'
The historic find contains over 70 minutes of previously unreleased material...

blues pills BLUES PILLS VOCALIST ELIN LARSSON DISCUSSES THE TRACKS OFF THE BAND'S NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM
The first album from the colourful retro-rockers is released on 28th July...

linkin park LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR NOVEMBER 2014
Fresh from summer festival appearances and the release of 'The Hunting Party' Linkin Park play fifteen dates in Europe...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA ANNOUNCES 4 NIGHTS AT LONDON'S HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
The shows will feature songs from new album 'Different Shades Of Blue', played live for the very first time in the UK, and a never-before-seen line-up of musicians...

demonic resurrection ONSLAUGHT ANNOUNCE DEMONIC RESURRECTION WILL REPLACE HATRIOT ON UK 'THRASH INVASION' TOUR
India's Demonic Resurrection will join Nightlord and main support Artillery following acclaimed appearances at Les-Fest 3 and Sonisphere...

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST 'REDEEMER OF SOULS' ALBUM LAUNCH PARTIES ANNOUNCED
A chance to hear new tracks from the album ahead of its release on Monday July 14th, plus these exclusive parties will also feature exclusive merchandise giveaways...

acrassicauda ACRASSICAUDA LAUNCH KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THEIR FIRST OFFICIAL ALBUM
The latest chapter for the Iraq Metal pioneers continues their astonishing story...

black sabbath TONY IOMMI CONFIRMS MetalTalk REPORT THAT HYDE PARK WAS NOT THE LAST EVER BLACK SABBATH GIG
Tony released a video just before Friday's gig thanking fans for their support and he ends it by saying: "See you on the next tour"...

godsmack MULTI-PLATINUM US ROCKERS GODSMACK ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM "1000HP"
The band move into the fast lane for sixth studio album, '1000hp', set for international release via Spinefarm Records on September 1st 2014...

karmaflow 'KARMAFLOW: THE ROCK OPERA VIDEOGAME' IS UNVEILED WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST
This multidisciplinary art project is a must for lovers of gaming and Metal...

hellyeah HELLYEAH TAKES BLOOD FOR BLOOD TO THE TOP OF THE HARD ROCK CHARTS IN NORTH AMERICA
The band will tour Europe in July and August 2014 with six dates in the UK...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES DVD 'GENESIS REVISITED: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL', WORLD TOUR PLUS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW
Re-live a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage. "It's a feast for eyes, ears and all the senses..."

cannibal corpse CANNIBAL CORPSE TO RELEASE 'A SKELETAL DOMAIN'
The 13th full-length album from the American Death Metal icons is released in September. The extensive tour reaches the UK in October...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD UNVEIL 'TIME TO DIE' AS TITLE OF FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM
"We had to kill the band so we could be reborn. It was the only way to ensure we could come back even stronger"...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD POSTPONE RELEASE OF 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION' NOW 4th AUGUST
A production error has put back the release for a month, but it will be worth waiting for...

suicide silence tour SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2014 UK TOUR
An unmissable opportunity to see the titans of modern Metal. "Come throw your horns up, bang your heads, or mosh your knickers off!! "...

hordes of belial LIPID AND BURNING THE DREAM ADDED TO HORDES OF BELIAL V BILL
The yearly Dundee Metal event continues to strengthen the line up...

snakecharmer SNAKECHARMER ANNOUNCE THREE UK DATES
Six of the UK's most highly-esteemed and experienced rock musicians have joined forces to create Snakecharmer...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW U.S. TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER 2014
Manowarriors have demanded more and further dates have been added. "We can't wait to be back and play for more of our U.S. fans!"...

tygertailz TIGERTAILZ RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'PUNCHED IN THE GUTZ'
The 'Knives' EP is out now and there is an upcoming release of unheard demos for September...

progstravaganza PROG SPHERE INVITES BANDS TO SEND SUBMISSIONS FOR 20TH EDITION OF PROGSTRAVAGANZA COMPILATION SERIES
The call goes out for bands around the world to submit songs for the jubilee edition of the sampler album ...

accept ACCEPT PREMIERE BREATHTAKING VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'STAMPEDE'
The stunning locations perfectly showcase the track which is from the band's album 'Blind Rage' out August 18th ..

mr big MR BIG ANNOUNCE ONLY BRITISH ISLES SHOW OF 2014
LA Rockers Mr Big have announced a one off show at London's Koko on Friday 17th October 2014 - their only show on these shores this year...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' FEATURING RONNIE WOOD, ANDY FRASER, SIMON KIRKE, IAN HUNTER AND MORE
Call it a labour of love. A life's ambition. Or the chance to keep a precious legacy alive. Call it 100% Pure Frankie Miller....

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR BRAND NEW SINGLE 'SOLDIER'
Explosive hard rockers Kobra And The Lotus have revealed a warsome (get it?!) official video for 'Soldier'...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Two years and it's finally here, the brand new album - 'Fight The System'...

temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The headlining dates will take place in November 2014...

overkill OVERKILL REVEAL NEW TRACK 'ARMORIST' ONLINE
"Our confidence is high for this shoot. From the director's eye to yours/ours, should be a killer!"...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD ANNOUNCE 'WAKING THE FALLEN: RESURRECTED' - OUT AUGUST 25TH
The restored breakthrough album includes a DVD & never before heard tracks, demos, and more...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW WITH EPICA
Grab your tickets quickly as demand for this double bill will be high...

devildriver DEVILDRIVER PREMIERE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'GUTTED'
Check out the band's latest offering from sixth studio album 'Winter Kills'...

down n outz DOWN 'N' OUTZ ANNOUNCE UK & EIRE TOUR DATES
"It's like Joe and the boys have taken some vintage films and slapped them onto a big, bright Technicolor screen. A great, in-your-face new way to experience some of Mott's finest songs!"...

nuclear assault NUCLEAR ASSAULT TO RELEASE 'LIVE AT CBGB'S'
There will be a limited release of 500 picture discs capturing the old school thrashers back in 1986...

seether SEETHER REVEAL NEW TRACK, 'SUFFER IT ALL' AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD WITH 'ISOLATE AND MEDICATE' PRE-ORDER
The band have also announced UK Headline Shows for November...

gravedigger GRAVE DIGGER PREMIERE 'HELL FUNERAL' VIDEO
The track is from 'Return Of The Reaper', out July 14th...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX SET TO GUEST WITH THE WINERY DOGS ON TWO UK DATES IN JULY
These performances follow their Sonisphere appearance on Saturday July 5th...

orphaned land METAL MUSIC IS BIGGER THAN WHAT POLITICS CAN OFFER: ORPHANED LAND BRING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE TOGETHER
"We are the ambassadors of peace, more than our foreign ministry, or prime minister, or authors..."

madball MADBALL REVEAL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'BORN STRONG' FEATURING CANDACE PUOPOLO FROM WALLS OF JERICHO
The track is taken from the album 'Hardcore Lives', released June 30th...

metallica METALLICA RELEASE NEW SONG
'Lords of Summer - First Pass Version' gets official release after being premiered on the first night of the current tour...

ted nugent kamp "TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS" CELEBRATES 25TH ANNUAL SUMMER "KAMP"
When he's not being a guitar icon, Ted Nugent is on a mission to improve young lives. New album 'Shutup&Jam!' is out July 8...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS RELEASE SINGLE AND NEW VIDEO 'RED DRESS'
The video incudes circus performances from the girls at Monster Cirque in the first release from the album 'Fight The System'...

black state highway THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM BLACK STATE HIGHWAY IS OUT ON 18TH AUGUST
The highly anticipated release is packed full of heavy riff-based rock...

helmet HELMET ANNOUNCE 'BETTY' 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF EUROPE FOR AUTUMN 2014
UK dates in Glasgow, Manchester, London now added due to popular demand ...

wacken LIVE AT WACKEN 2013 TO BE RELEASED AS DVD/ BluRay / 2 CD
Experience the world's biggest Metal Festival at home and be in with a chance to win a Lifetime Membership...

uncle rust UNCLE RUST ANNOUNCE AUGUST UK TOUR
The recently formed London based rock/Metal band will undertake a set of UK dates in August 2014...

blitzkreig BLITZKRIEG ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
The band will visit five countries on their only tour this year...

sonisphere LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT SONISPHERE ANNOUNCED
Only two weeks away - get ready to continue the party after the headliners leave the stage...

finntroll FINNTROLL REVEAL LIVE FOOTAGE OF SEMINAL TRACK 'TROLLHAMMAREN', FILMED AT THEIR LIVE ALBUM RECORDING SHOW IN AMSTERDAM
"Lock up your daughters, kegs of rum and men of God, for The Trolls from Up North are coming for you...live!..."

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW VIDEO 'THE GAME' (FEAT. MATT HEAFY OF TRIVIUM)
The track is taken from the album 'Maximum Overload', which will be released in August...

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