The World Class AOR of Moritz
With roots dating back to 1986 but returning into the rocking swing of things in 2009, Moritz is sure to captivate all whom encounter their gloriously timeless songs. Moritz is 80s AOR/classic melodic rock from the UK – and their auditory tapestries are stunning to behold! Their latest album is entitled About Time Too available worldwide from Shadows of a Dream Records, a collection of melodic reveries that rock fans will want to revisit time and again. Fans of Journey and Foreigner pay very close attention, as you about to meet your next favorite band when encountering the world of Moritz. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up lead vocalist Peter Scallan to discuss the background behind About Time Too and other topics of intrigue regarding the world class AOR of Moritz. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Moritz, and how long the band has been together.
I am Peter Scallan and I am the lead vocalist of Moritz. The band has been together since 1986 and we split up in 1988. I went on to join Samson and Moritz morphed into the band If Only. I stopped singing around 1990 and didn’t anything musically until about 2007. Moritz reformed around 2009 to record Undivided and we have been together since then, albeit there have been some line-up changes.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
The members of the band are based across the UK mainly across the south coast of England except for me. I live in Glasgow in Scotland. Glasgow has a vibrant music scene and is home to bands such as Gun and also Paul Logue of Edens Curse. There are some great up and coming bands including Mason Hill and Killing From A Distance (KFAD) also. We also a great local music production company focused on rock music called Shock City Productions.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the title About Time Too?
Yes! Our previous album had a time theme running through it and was going to be called About Time. That’s why we had a picture of Big Ben on the front. However, we changed to album title to SOS at the last minute as one of guys really didn’t like it. This also has a time theme and is therefore About Time Too! We were also have a bit of joke at our own expense, as we had taken so long to do the album – and we were constantly reminded of this by the bands Angels or Kings and Blood Red Saints!
Select two songs from About Time Too and what inspired the lyrics.
All of the songs on this album have specific inspiration and is described in the CD booklet. To The Moon and Back is special to me for two reasons. It is the first time I have written a full song from start to finish for Moritz, with Mike making some really great changes to it. However, the the song is about my partner Alison and how we dated when we were younger and I was too stupid to see what I had, but eventually got a second chance years later. The other song that is special to me is Own Little World. This is about my mum and her struggle with Alzheimers and how cruel the disease is. Sadly she passed away recently.
Who produced About Time Too and what was it like working with them?
We actually produced the album ourselves. Our bass player Ian has his own home studio and most of the parts were recorded there. Ian acted as the primary recording and mixing engineer and did a great job on the album with us all contributing in terms of production. We all realize just how lucky we have been having Ian as I doubt this album we have been finished without him!
What could one expect from a live Moritz show?
Our live show is probably a bit old school compared with other bands. We try to incorporate a bit of variety in terms of the feel and it can range from heavier songs, a bit of blues and of course a few ballads. We have noticed that bands have a tendency to come out all guns blazing and just blitz their way through a set. We don’t tend to do that, possibly because we are just old!
How did your recent festival shows and what were some of the highlights?
The festival shows seemed to be well received and the new material has went down well. Highlights for me were doing You Don’t Know Whatt Love Is and Unwanted Man from the new album.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would love to be opening act for Foreigner with the Lou Gramm line up. For me, Foreigner just got the perfect balance of rock, blues and melody. And of course they had a voice that could comfortably cover that variety of styles and feels. In terms of current bands, I would love to be the opening band for Gun at one of their famous Glasgow Barrowlands gigs just to experience the excitement from the stage as opposed to the hall!
The Queen of England invites Moritz to do one song at a Royal Command Performance! What song would you do for Her Majesty and guests and why?
I would like to perform Caught Between Life and the Light at a Royal Variety Performance. The reason is that it is a pretty epic ballad which starts with piano and vocal and slowly builds to a crescendo. We have never actually played it live, but I reckon it would be great song to perform.
What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
My favourite beer of choice is actually called Moritz! It’s brewed in Barcelona and is particularly smoother cerveza!
What’s up next for Moritz?
We are just about to release a video for To The Moon and Back produced and directed by our guitarist Kenny Evans. We are also about to make our back catalog available online. Finally, we have just completed some warm-up gigs in Scotland for our appearance at Rockingham on October 22 were are appearing with the likes of Bailey, Airrace and of course the awesome Loverboy!
Any final words of wisdom?
Always stay true to yourself and your core values – even when you know it might end badly.
Peter Scallan – Vocals
Mike Nolan – Guitar/vocals Kenny Evans – Guitar/vocals
Ian Edwards – Bass/keyboards/ vocals
Chris Teeder – Keyboards
Russ Wilson – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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