Interview on Radio Orange, Vienna
Christian ROLLY
   "Radio Orange" (Austria) , October 9, 2005.

— ÖI see cigarettes on your table. Is smoking a part of your life?

— It's a terrible part of my life, really. I'm always stopping smoking and starting again. I just stopped now for two weeks and started again yesterday, when I was at a gig. I'm always struggling with not smoking. It's not a good thing to smoke, I wouldn't advice anybody to start. I'm determined I'm going to stop before the next tour. So I keep stopping. Every time when I'm not doing something I stop. And I think: ďRight! I keep stopped!Ē And then something happens and I'm with the band and then: ďOh, come on! That oneÖĒ But I want to conquer it eventually.

— Will there be a new sound with your new musicians?

— Well, I hope so. I mean thatís the idea of getting some new musicians. To try and have a fresh approach. But obviously there have to be certain types of sound that we keep. Because if we do some of the older stuff, it has to still sound like itís supposed to sound. But definitely there will be different people playing and there will be different sounds, so itís going to be a bit different. Iím looking forward to the idea of doing something new. Itís going to be fresh and hopefully it will be great. I havenít started rehearsing yet, so I let you know later what itís going to be like.

— Which is your latest CD release?

— Well, Iíve just finished a new CD now, a new album called ďMillion MilesĒ. I was trying to get it finished in time, to be released in October, but we are not going to have enough time for that. So that means it will be released in November, but thatís too late because itís near Christmas. So we have to wait now until after Christmas. Iím going to try and get it released somehow like January 6th, which is like a week before the tour starts. So that will be the new album, and the tour that will be to promote the album. Iíll play some songs of this ďMillion MilesĒ album, some songs from older things and change the set. Maybe some different songs from the Smokie period which I donít do now. Just change it around. Thatís all something I have to work on, because up to now Iíve been busy doing other things and finishing the album. Now Iíve finished that, I can concentrate on what Iím doing next for the next tour.

— Could you imagine working with a singer or songwriter from a completely different musical background like Hiphop or Reggae?

— At the moment not really. At the moment Iím going through a period where Iím doing what I want to do. Just the music that I feel is right for me. So this album I just finished now has completely new songs, which I wrote. All the songs on this album. I produced myself and played most of the instruments myself. In fact all of them except for the drums. I did all the vocals, back vocals and everything. So Iíve decided now itís time for me to do exactly what I feel is right for me.

— How many instruments are you able to play?

— Well, on this album I play the guitars, all the acoustic and electric guitars, bass and piano, string synthesizers and organ. So all the keyboards and all the guitars I played, and the bass. I did all the back vocals, too. The only thing I didnít play is the drums.

— What range is your voice?

— I donít know what the range is actually, but itís kind of medium range. But I can sing quite high from doing harmonies, or low. I can sing quite a big range.

— Which was the most interesting work with other bands for you in the past?

— Which I worked with or just listened to?

— The bands you worked with. You did some songs with Suzi Quatro and other stars. What was the most interesting?

— My favourite person really working with is the producer Mike Chapman, who was a big inspiration for me. That was during that time when I did that Suzi Quatro record also. Itís more producers than musicians. I worked with lots of different musicians in studios. But Mike Chapman was the biggest sort of influence. So he would be the favourite person Iíve ever worked with.

— Do you produce other stars, too?

— Not now. I have done it before, but not recently. At the moment Iím concentrating on just doing me. Itís enough at the moment to do all the things I have to do. To write the songs and produce them and everything, just for me. It takes all the time Iíve got.

— Who did you produce? Is it a secret?

— No, I havenít produced that many people. I made football records like the one with Kevin Keagan. I worked with Agnetha from ABBA and different people like ďHeavy metall kidsĒ. I canít remember who. I recently produced a girl singer called Teri and did an album with her. Itís just things like that but nothing huge. Iíve never really got into producing as a full time job. I think you need to really concentrate your mind to do that, or have some spare time enough.

— What is a typical day of Chris Norman? When are you able to get up in the morning?

— It depends on what Iím doing. If Iím on tour itís completely different to if Iím at home. When Iím in the studio I get up about nine oíclock in the morning and go for a walk or a run. Then I come back and have a quite easy morning, maybe have something to eat and then start in the studio by eleven. And then work from eleven to about eight or something like that. Thatís like a typical day. Buf if Iím on tour itís completely different, because it depends on what time you get finished on the show and on what time you go to bed. And then maybe I get up later than nine, at ten or eleven. It depends on what time I go to bed. But generally speaking when Iím not on tour a typical day would be to get up about ninish and then go to bed about one oíclock.

— How many different languages are you able to speak?

— English. I donít really speak any languages. I have a little bit of German just because of being here. But not really enough to have conversations, because everybody Iíve ever met here speaks great English. And I speak a little bit of French.

— Vous parlez Francais aussi?

— Oui.

— What is the favourite colour of Chris Norman?

— I donít really have a favourite colour, it depends on what itís for. If itís for certain clothes I might wear black. For cars I like silver or black. Simple colours. I donít† really like bright colours like bright reds or blues. If itís blue, itís got to be like a dull blue, like Denim sort of blue..

— Is the life hard for your family when you are on tour?

— Itís hard to be away from them for a long time. But then again Iím home for a long time, too. I always think if you work in a so called ďnormalĒ job, you go to work in the morning at eight and come back at six at night. And then you donít have any time. Whereas with what I do is, I go away for a period of time and then I come home and Iím at home for a long period. So Iím at home like all day and every day then for a couple of weeks. So it works out.

— Last question: What is your personal message to all of your listeners?

— Well, my thing with people who like to listen to my music is Ė and for people who donít as well Ė that they should come to see a show and maybe see what itís all about . Because I think itís a misconceived idea that what I do is always like ďLiving next door to AliceĒ or ďMidnight LadyĒ or that kind of soft rock thing. Really it is a lot more rocky than that. So I think that for the people who already know that, itís great and they should keep coming and buy the records. And for the people who donít know, that they should come and see what itís about and then maybe they will like to buy the records.

— Ok. Chris Norman, thanks for the interview.

— Thank you.


© Christian Rolly, "Radio Orange" (Austria)
 Transcribed and edited © 2006