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Visit the Spock's Beard website

Martien Koolen
Photographs by Andy Read

Before they go on stage in Tilburg I have a chat with the drummer and “new” lead singer of Spock’s Beard, Nick D’Virgilio. As I come back stage I meet keyboarder Ryo Okumoto, with Star Trek ears, who is obviously having a great time… Nick seems to be a bit tense however, - his time is limited - but during my talk this changes.

MARTIEN : “How were the reactions to the new SP-album?”

NICK : “Very positive, although we also got a few complaints, saying that this album does not sound like the old Spock’s Beard. To me however you could also see that as a compliment, because this means that we certainly can go on, even without Neal, and make good progressive rock music. I really love this album, it is a band album like we have never made before, and everybody was involved in the writing and composing process. Yeah, I daresay this is my favourite Beard album, together with the “Kindness Of Strangers”; but I must admit that “Feel Euphoria” is closer to my heart.”

MARTIEN : “Did you ever consider stopping with Spock’s Beard after Neal decided to leave the band?”

NICK : “No, never. We had to go on, we already had lots of ideas for new songs and we are musicians with heart and soul, no, we never thought about giving Spock’s Beard up. We also had to consider the fans, they wanted us to carry on, look at the great support they are giving us on this tour, it is really amazing.”

MARTIEN : “Now, you are the lead singer of the band, you are in the spotlight, how does that feel?”

NICK : “Great, I always was an entertainer, even as a kid; it is in my blood to entertain people. But I already have done some lead singing during older SP tours, so it is not really a complete new phenomenon to me. I really like being in the spotlight, ha ha ... I play the drums since I was three years old and I was always into music, playing, singing, dancing and listening to it a lot. Actually I also had some singing lessons, but I think that my voice is quite suitable for the stuff that we play.”

MARTIEN : “What can we expect tonight?”

NICK : “We have to play something of the “Snow-album”, because we never toured with that album, so we decided to put together a nice Snow medley; so be surprised … Furthermore we of course play a lot of new stuff tonight from “Feel Euphoria” and also two or three old Beard songs. This is the 12th show of this tour, and so far everything is going great. I expect this night to be special because we always enjoy playing in 013 in Tilburg.”

MARTIEN : “Further plans for the future?”

NICK : “Well, we are going to record a DVD of the show in California and we already have some ideas for a new album. I always get some excellent ideas for lyrics while I am driving in my car on the highway, but first of all we need the music. The music normally always comes first and then someone, mostly me, comes up with some lyrics, and then ...”

MARTIEN : “Do you also write songs on the road, because you have time enough …”

NICK : “Yeah, time enough, but no , I do not write songs while I am on the road. Most of the time I just relax, read a little bit or watch a movie.”

MARTIEN : “Last question, could Neal have made the album “Testimony” with Spock’s Beard?”

NICK : “No, absolutely not!! Do not get me wrong, I like the album musically, but the lyrics are very personal and I do not think that we could have “taken over” his new lifestyle. Of course it was hard when Neal told us he would leave the band, but maybe it is easier and for the best for him, and for us, that this has happened ...”

MARTIEN : “Thanks for your time.”

NICK : “Thank you and enjoy the show.”

Spocks Beard on Stage

All photos by Andy Read for DPRP © 2003

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