They're back. After world tours, gold and platinum records, Phil Mogg and U.F.O. have returned with a new album "Ain't Misbehavin," on a new label for them - Metal Blade.
We spoke with vocalist Phil Mogg about his return to the world of music.
Q - You started U.F.O. way beck in 1971. What's been the single biggest change in the music industry that you've noticed?
A - I don't know. Not a lot really. I don't think it's changed that much at all. It's kind of the same sort of trends come and go. I think it tries to look a little bit more respectable than it did, but I don't really think it is.
Q - You were the opening act for Ozzy in 1982. What do you remember about that tour?
A - That was the Randy Rhoads Tour. It was good. Only the sudden death thing which sort of finished it off for a month in between.
Q - Since U.F.O. had been around awhile, was there any resentment in being an opening act?
A - Oh, no. Not at all. It makes common sense to have it like that; at that point it was a bit like, business is business.
Q - U.F.O. first enjoyed major success in France, Germany and Japan. Do you have any idea why those 3 countries took to you in such a big way?
A - The main reason for that is because we did, particularly in Japan and Germany, we did an album in late 71, early 72, a cheap, budget thing, a 4 track. It got released. We had a Top Ten Single in Japan with that and a hit in Germany. And that was before we even joined Chrysalis. So we did all the ground work through Europe, before we even came to America. We first came here when we had the Phenomenon thing out on Chrysalis, which was about 78. So, we'd done all that groundwork before.
Q - Is it true that your own country Great Britian has ignored U.F.O. and it's been an uphill battle in the U.S. for the band to gain recognition?
A - No. That's not true. We've always done very well there. Whether we've been playing clubs or the larger venues. Although, it really kicked off about the 'Lights Off period, from that album. It's a bit like instead of doing one night at Hammersmith, you could do four. That was the difference.
Q - You recorded for Chrysalis which was a smaller major label. Now you're with Metal Blade which is a major independent label. Is Metal Blade able to promote your music more aggressively than Chrysalis?
A - I would think so. Yeah. Our relationship with Chrysalis was good, but as far as, if you look at the Chrysalis roster, except for Ten Years After and Jethro Tull, which was a long time ago, they've never really successfully promoted a rock act. They've got Pat Benatar and Billy Idol, but Pat Benatar is hardly rock rock. She is rock. I say it's much more preferable.
Q - Your record co. bio. claims that U.F.O. is one of the classic rock bands of all time.....
A - I must've written that (laughs).
Q - Delivering timeless rock that helped define the hard rock style.
A - Don't believe bios.
Q - When I think of groups that helped define the hard rock style, I think of Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Was U.F.O. around at all in the late 60's? Where do you fit in that category?
A – We got together. We did the Marquee Club, and recorded an album. We more or less came after those groups. I would say a good five years after they established themselves in any kind of shape or form.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved
Gary James has interviewed over 1200 entertainment personalities since 1978.
During that time, he has Interviewed everyone from Donny Osmond to Ozzy Osbourne, from Henry Mancini to Kiss.