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Interview with Cutting Crew | Nick Van Eede

nick van eeadeinterview1


Thank you for your time! I do hope I find you safe and well. How are things there with covid-19?

- It’s been a crazy two years. Most people have their third shot and they are pretending that they are safe and healthy. For example, now I will go for swimming and in the club they all swimming and do sauna and steaming with no masks. We having our fingers crossed. I live by traveling and been not able to do that now is very hard.





I believe you saw the new trend, online live performances. What is your opinion? Is it the same to be with an actual crowd than to be opposite cameras?

- Nothing can replace the real crowd. Fifteen years ago there was no Zoom, skype etc, of course now is better. I am trying the memory muscle as we say here in England. If you stop doing it regularly the muscles forget.






What was it like to play music in the golden years? What was it like for a new band to have a song that went to the top and stayed there so long?

- It’s like an overnight success, we were twenty six year old and even then it happened so quickly and we wasn’t ready. We had a No 1 song, everybody wanted a piece of us. I don’t remember very much, it was so crazy. The eighties ware great for songs. It was the last decade before the music went to more groove. In the eighties you had to make a melody, not write in a groove. That’s why the eighties song survived.





Do you remember any live show that was the most important for you during that time?

- Very many, I remember we played in Radio City music hall in NY. My guitarist and fellow founder member of Cutting Crew, we grew up in North America and knew about the importance of the venue. I remember we were getting ready in the dressing room and he was so nervous. And another one in Taiwan where the people were allowed to stay up, was remarkable.





Let’s talk about the song “(I Just) Died in your arms”? In Greece, if you shout the name of the band, everybody will answer by singing all the lyrics by heart. How does it feel to have that song as the most played song in Greece after all this time? And what was your reaction when you got the BMI award for the six million plays on USA radios? Is there a story behind the song?

- It’s amazing if you think that in that they were songs from the Beatles and Elton John. It’s a strange feeling ‘cause I am proud, I would never change a thing. You know when we are in a festival, we may be number five on the billing, but we know we will play the biggest song in the evening.




In 1992, you released the “Compus Mentus” album. Within weeks from its release, Virgin Records was bought by EMI. What happened to the album? Bad timing?

- It was horrible, it was us and about two hundred bands that signed underneath the umbrella of EMI and everybody was dumped. Some bands were on the road, some they were writing their next album and we had just finished the “Compus Mentus” album. They gave us money and I said “Don’t give us money, give us the record, the recordings” and they said “We can’t do that”.





Is there a story behind the song “Frigid As England”?

- Yeah, it’s a very special song. It was the only song that Cutting Crew didn’t write. Our producer played us a funny cassette and I remember saying to Kevin that this was a great song and he said “I want this” and he wouldn’t let me hear it or sing it. When he got it ready he told me “Now you can sing it”. It was the only time we did that and made the song very special. The lyrics are very special to me and a very lovely memory of Kevin.




In 2020 you released the album “Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven”, in which we are listening to nine songs, ten if you count the two versions of “(I Just) Died in your arms”. What does that album represent? How did you choose the songs and why did you choose specifically the Prague and Slovenia Philharmonic Orchestras for the Orchestral parts?

- When I was a little boy, I was playing at the piano, probably not so good. My grandad said to me “If you keep playing Nick, someday you’’ll be singing with an orchestra”. It took all these years to make it happened but I finally made it. We wanted to revisit some of the songs. I had a rule, proper arrangements and I wanted to be involved. The orchestras were arranged by the record company. Probably they had some kind of a deal. It was quite obvious which songs I will choose. And Mary, putting the headphones and singing, listening to the Prague and Slovenia Philharmonic Orchestras, can you imagine how I felt? It was so beautiful!
There is a new song that the people of Greece that you really will understand, “Climb Aboard”, talking about the immigrants, the poor people that they come seeking a better day but they are being abused by smugglers, dying at sea. It has ironic lyrics, “Climb Abroad”, I will give hope and future and of course they are lying.




What is the thing that inspires you to make music?

- Whiskey! (laughs) I always like to write. I am writing a book right now about an Irish boy who becomes obsessed and poison every cat in the village and his mother sent him away to a religious pilgrimage, to walk in Spain to a special church, where he will be forgiven. Unfortunately, he made a wrong turn to France and went to Amsterdam, living with a woman who works online, doing the naughty stuff. It's a wonderful book, nothing to do with music. My point is when I was a teenager, I will wake in the middle of the night and go downstairs and write my songs, my lyrics… I don’t do that anymore but when I am writing my book I feel like that teenager, crawling downstairs, open the computer and write.





What kind of music do you usually listen to?

- I try my best to find new bands, but classical music is really my passion. My favorite bands would be early Supertramp, Tears For Fears and George Michael.





What are your plans for 2022?

- I will definitely finish the book, but we are going on tour with a fantastic band called “Go West” and we will play with symphonic orchestras in big halls. We have shows in Canada, America and I am thinking to make a European tour in an acoustic form.







Mary Zarakoviti, Chris Mouskos

Black Velvet Radio

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