BASSIST PETE WAY DISCUSSES HIS FORTHCOMING SOLO ALBUM, TOURING, AND OF COURSE, UFO
Greg Prato of Bravewords spoke with UFO bassist Pete Way. Highlights from interview appear below.
BraveWords: Let’s start by talking about your upcoming solo album. It’s going to be called Walking On The Edge, right?
Pete Way: That’s right. If you want to know about the style of music, it’s a little bit interesting to me, actually. Put it like this – it goes through all your moods. It goes through Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Johnny Cash, to…Pete Way, I suppose!
BraveWords: And from what I understand, there are going to be some pretty cool special guests playing on the album.
Pete Way: I’m hoping, to be honest with you. A very well paid special guest is Mr. Mike Clink, who is producing. I’ve got to say it now, because I’ve said it in all my interviews – I had prostate cancer last year, and had to take pretty much a year off. Well, Mike was right in the middle of working on the album, so obviously, he works with Slash, and Nikki Sixx, who’s always been a friend, and he offered his services. I’m not quite sure what they’ve done, because they’re doing it in California, and I’ve been back and forth to the hospital. I’m pleased to say I’ve been cleared, and therefore, I’m ready to go out and be dangerous.
BraveWords: That was going to be my next question – how are you doing health-wise?
Pete Way: Well, put it like this, it’s a bit of a shock when you get told you’ve got the cancer. But it’s prostate cancer, so it could have been worse – Leukemia or that type of thing. As they told me, the specialist in the hospital, it could have been worse.
BraveWords: When should people start getting screened for prostate cancer?
Pete Way: When you get around 40’s or 50’s, then you do it. Without being perfectly private, which I will be, if you have a pee and there’s blood in it, then you go to your doctor. They also have ways of testing, and they know exactly how to deal with it, and of course, the quicker they deal with it, it makes it easier for them and also for yourself…or myself, in this case.
BraveWords: Any idea when the album will be coming out?
Pete Way: Optimistically, we’re talking about the end of January. Obviously, you don’t put it out around Christmas, because in England, you’ve got people like Slade doing their [sings a bit of Merry Xmas Everybody], or in the States, you’ve got…what’s her name? One of the divas doing one of their Christmas songs. No, you don’t compete with that – not with this type of rock n’ roll. I’ve never heard Guns do a Christmas single. Unless I’ve been proved wrong – if somebody’s got a demo somewhere.”
BraveWords: Once the album comes out, will you be supporting it with live dates?
Pete Way: Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s essential. Looking forward to it, actually. The hardest thing I had is juggling between singing and playing bass. I can be Phil Lynott, or I can be Pete Way struggling. But I was thinking I wanted it to be a band that was capable where if I’ve got two lead guitar players, one can take the bass and I’ll just sing as lead singer, and switch back. Because I can play six-string fantastically. I wrote them on six-string – acoustic, that being. For the moment, until I get the final mixes, I’ll know exactly how many machines we use, because they might have done a “Britney Spears” on me, because it’s being done in California with Mike. Mike came cover to England, and consequently, I did vocals here with Mike. And he started working with the drums. We had an unusual situation, where the drums I thought Mike had got, he hadn’t got. So, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ found the drums that I initially did with Herman Rarebell on them – another well-known drummer. We were asking Lars Ulrich do it, and he offered to do it. Fortunately, it looks like we haven’t got to go begging. I mean, Herman Rarebell obviously played with the Scorpions, and is pretty hot on the drums. It’s just one of those things where you go, “Thank God we’ve found [someone].”
BraveWords: Looking back, what was your favorite UFO album?
Pete Way: Probably Strangers In The Night, because the fact that it’s a double album, it does span quite a lot of what we were trying to achieve. And also, the fact that we’re playing in a great big auditorium. It was the end result of an awful lot of work, and an awful lot of enjoyment doing that.
BraveWords: Lastly, would you ever consider playing with UFO again?
Pete Way: Well, never write anything out of the question. UFO isn’t at the top of my priority, but I have no problems with the guys. But having gone through the cancer business, I want to prove myself with this album, and come through to prove to the people that said “Keep going Pete, this is great,” I’m going to prove them right, as well. When I was really down, that’s what I needed. And they came from all the right people.
Read more at Bravewords.
Great to hear that Pete Way is on the scene again! UFO was always a massively underrated band in the US, not to mention Pete’s solo efforts with Waysted and Fastway (Pete with Fast Eddie Clark, ex-Motorhead)
This guy is notorious for one thing, and noted for another. Notorious because Ozzy Osbourne himself back in the 80’s considered Pete an off-the-wall party animal that Ozzy could not keep pace with. Noted because of the influence Pete had on Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. Hence, Fastway was given the slot to warm up for Iron Maiden on their Piece of Mind Tour in “83. Also, for those not already familiar with UFO, please do yourself a favor and check out some of the Don Kirshner era Rock Concert or other footage of UFO back in 1975 on YouTube, like the song “Rock Bottom”, for example. You will see that with Michael Schenker on guitar they were a true hard rock tour de force! Also, the uncanny way that Pete Way back in the day reminds one of Steve Harris, in looks, playing style, and onstage appearance.
You’re right about everything, but, Pete Way never recorded anything with Fastway. He was under contract with Chrysalis at the time,and they wouldn’t let him out of the contract, so he ended up touring with Ozzy. After he was done with Ozzy he formed Waysted, and you pretty much know the rest.
Totally check out what Kevin notes above, great stuff. We forget the youthful energy of this band.