top of page



22nd May 2023
Graham and Beth-Ami.jpg

Q: It’s been a few years…


GB and BH: It has!

BH: My gosh. I still remember sitting in that little restaurant with you. When was that? 2019?


Q: I think so.


GB: Yeah, that was a long time ago.


Day Out In Nowhere


Q: A few of us got together and had a listening party when it was released last year and it was big smiles all round. Beth-Ami, a couple of people said your bass playing had improved.


GB: (to Beth-Ami) There you go!


BH: Well, I don’t know but I’ll take that compliment. Thank you. You know, what you do on an album has everything to do with how you are being recorded, who is engineering, who is producing the song. Our first effort, The Book, which I am so proud of, I think is a beautiful album with most incredible songs on it, was towards the beginning of my journey as a professional bassist. Live, I think part of the reason that it sounds like I’ve improved is because we have Conrad back in the band. That was always the missing piece for me as I love playing with him. I’ve been playing with him longer than I’ve been playing with Graham and I’m better when he’s there.


Q: You’re contributing more and more to the band these days. Writer, bass player, backing vocals and you’ve taken on Executive Producer for this one. Conrad’s producing so you have a good in-house team going there.


BH: I want to do more of that. I want to other people’s bands as well.


Q: Graham, I presume, you do this one sending files and all that?


GB: Oh yes. I’ve been doing that ever since it started. That’s the way it’s gone.

Q: I’m curious about something. In the old days, songs were written and developed in rehearsal rooms, then put down as a group in a studio and then rehearsed again to perform live, often changed a bit as they evolved in the studio or for a tour but generally speaking, the song was there before rehearsing for a tour. Nowadays, it’s all done by filesharing so when you get together and actually play the songs for the first time, after the album is recorded, at that first rehearsal, what happens? Do you find some are better live, some not so good, do they become a different thing or are they pretty much what you expected?


GB: Yeah now, it’s all done before we go in. I write on an acoustic and come up with the idea or the story or whatever the hell it is, play it to Conrad and he will embellish on that making it roomier and all that kind of thing. He will then record the drums, bass and keyboards through filesharing, then I’ll do my part with the melody line and the words. At the rehearsals, sometimes it’s wrong because we haven’t played together. I remember a rehearsal in Japan where we were bloody terrible because we hadn’t played physically together. It was like ‘What the hell…we have to go home!’ (laughs) I prefer the old ways for writing, it makes it easier.


Q: Taken as a whole, David’s Mum, Jester, Twelve Steps To Heaven this is probably the most varied set of lyrics you’ve ever compiled on an album. Is it harder to find a subject or to actually write the lyrics?


GB: It is because everything’s been done in so-called Heavy Metal. I don’t do lyrics about dungeons and dragons and upside-down crosses on the wall and blah blah blah, I like to do songs about real life, hence on this album, David’s Mum which was a real experience. It’s about me when I was a seven years old kid, remembering that now. There are others on there that are real life. It’s always better to write something that people can relate to instead of fairy tales which I call a lot of Heavy Metal. It’s all dungeons and dragons if you know what I mean.


Q: I know exactly what you mean and agree with you. I don’t know how many more songs about Norwegian mythology can be written.


GB: I know and it’s so bloody boring. The way I first got into it was with Michael Schenker and I remember sitting down in a room with him and him asking me to write. He played what became The Desert Song and I asked him what I could write on it and he said ‘Anything you like’ so I wrote the words and in the end it made sense.


BH: I love that song and those lyrics.


GB: Some people in bands I’ve played with have said of some songs ‘What’s this all about then?’ and I said ‘Read the words! It tells a story.’ There’s one I wrote with Michael called The Beast That Hides In The Shadows. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever written and I recorded it once. It’s about the thing that took my brother and my father’s life and it’s something that I fear – dementia. It runs in my family and it is the beast that hides in the’s a cruel creature. I remember doing the video for it which is just me sitting on a stool, on my own singing it. That’s they way they wanted to do it because it was so powerful. I wanted to say ok, if you are coming my way, just show me your face first. I’ve always had a bad memory though. I can never remember where things are, forget people names…words to songs? Forget it! (laughs) When I was a kid and started doing this professionally, there was always a piece of paper on the floor. ‘What’s that Graham?’ ‘Oh, that’s my words.’ (laughs) I do try to remember words though and I have memorised a few songs but it is difficult because I’ve written so many.


Q: I like the irony of the lyrics to It’s Just A Frickin’ Song, a song about not being able to write a song.


GB: (laughs) It is! When it came to write it, I said to Conrad could I write ‘It’s just a fucking song’? (laughs)


BH: Conrad didn’t go much on that. (laughs)


GB: He said ‘Don’t be stupid’ but they agreed I should change it to frickin’. They didn’t think Don Airey would like it. (laughs)


BH: For the publisher, he said he needed to know what the title of the sing was and I said It’s Just A Frickin’ Song and he said ‘No, come on, what is it?’


GB: It’s about lack of inspiration as I was there thinking what am I going to write this fucking song about. I think about everything and there is a new one I’ve got that I have just written the words to that sounds insane. It’s about a man who ate an aeroplane.


Q: What?


GB: A man who ate an aeroplane.

Q: Yes. That sounds insane.

GB: It’s completely true.* He ate an aeroplane, ate a bicycles and other things but I thought an aeroplane would be good. He saw one go flying over and said to his friend ‘Oh, I’d like to eat that’ and he actually meant it. I thought that it would make a great story because it’s just stupid. Heavy Rock doesn’t have that sometimes and I like a bit  of humour in there, sarcasm as well.


Q: Your Rainbow colleague Don Airey is on It’s Just A Frickin’ Song. How did that come about?


BH: We just wrote to him and said ‘hey, do you want to be on our record?’ Simple as that.


GB: Yeah and then this track rolled in. It’s very Jon Lord-ish Don Airey, you know, Deep Purple.


Q: I saw Deep Purple here in March and him and Simon McBride bouncing off each other were incredible.


GB: He’s classically trained since he was a kid. I used to love going to his house and he’d be on the piano and I’d be shouting out songs ‘You all know this one?’ and Don was just straight in. I would have to tell him the key or chords or anything. Years ago, I was there, just me and him and his wife and we sat down at the piano, I had my guitar and we played and when we finished his wife said ‘That was a great concert’.


Q: I still have an ambition to get you two to do that in Japan.


GB: Yeah! With an acoustic bass.


Q: We could do that.

BH: That would be amazing!


Q: We could do that. Speaking of Rainbow – sort of - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, has given Since You’ve Been Gone a new lease of life. Did you know it was going to be in there?


BH: No, we had no idea. Somebody sent me an email and there was a link and I was completely gobsmacked when I heard it. Graham said ‘What is that?’ and I said it was Since You’ve Been Gone completely re-envisioned. I also didn’t know it was previewing at the Super Bowl.

GB: Fucking amazing!


Q: Russ Ballard wrote it so we won’t be buying a new house or anything but we are very pleased for Russ. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.


GB: The way they have put it together, the way they have cut the song up, it doesn’t destroy it. I love the intervals after I sing ‘Since you’ve been gone’ and then it comes in again.


Japan 2023


Q: It must be nice to back playing gigs again.


BH: Yeah! We have a couple of we have some shows in the USA, then Japan and then South America. I’ve been there but never played there.


Q: Who’s coming to Japan on this trip?


BH: Graham, myself, Conrad, the keyboard player from the album, Alessandro Bertoni and Tomas Slemenson on drums.


Q: Rumour has it that you have a birthday here as well Beth-Ami.


BH: I do! I am so excited, over the moon that I get to be onstage, on my birthday, in Tokyo. I’ve always had this dream that we would be doing a tour and that it would be my birthday and have the audience sing happy birthday too me. That’s all that I would want, the perfect gift and it just never lined up so when it finally does, it’s in my favourite place in the entire world! Japan is may favourite place to visit and play.


Q: Half of your set list must write itself these days, without giving away too much, how’s the other half looking?


BH: It’s always a bit of a crapshoot because there is always one person at the end of a tour who says we you didn’t do enough of your own material.


GB: It’ll be a little bit of everything. I do realise how much I have recorded over the years and which ones do you choose from 1968 to 2022? That’s when it all started, in 1968. I do one from then once in a while. My cousin, Trevor, who we lost a few years back is another that I miss. He was with me in The Marbles back then and he taught me how to play. I have his guitar here hanging on the wall. We were kids together in the playground playing Everly Brothers. I miss him dearly.


Q: You have Naoto Shibata from Anthem on guitar as a guest for the Tokyo shows.


BH: Yeah and at first I thought ‘Oh no…he’s a bass player! What am I going to do?’ so I thought I might play rhythm but then he said that he would play rhythm guitar.


GB: I first met him years ago when I was doing some stuff with Loudness and Alcatrazz. They were talking about his band, Anthem and I met him through them. He’s a good friend and a great guy. I really like him and Anthem, there is no ego there which I love. They talk like they play in the pub down the street. Really nice people and I don’t say that often about people. I don’t like everyone. (laughs)


Q: Graham, Beth-Ami, I think I speak on behalf of everybody here that your return is much anticipated and welcome so until then, take care and have fun.


BH: Thank you and we will see you very soon!


GB: Yeah, we’ll look forward to seeing you Glenn. Bye.


*Michel Lotito

Anchor 1

Graham Bonnet and Beth-Ami Heavenstone 






GB and BH: そうだね!




GB: ああ、もうずいぶん前のことだね。




GB: (ベス・エイミーに向かって)そうだよね!

BH:まあ、よくわからないけど、その褒め言葉は受け取っておくわ。ありがとう。アルバムで何をするかは、自分がどのようにレコーディングされているか、誰がエンジニアリングしているか、誰が曲をプロデュースしているかにすべて関係しているのよ。私たちの最初の作品『The Book』は、私がとても誇りに思っている、最も素晴らしい曲が収録された美しいアルバムだと思うし、プロのベーシストとしての私の旅の始まりだった。ライブでは、コンラッドがバンドに戻ったからこそ、上達したように聞こえる部分もあると思うのよ。彼との共演が大好きな私にとって、それは常に欠けているピースだった。グラハムと一緒にプレイするよりも、彼と一緒にプレイする方が長いし、彼がいる方が良いの。






GB: そうだよ。始まってからずっとそうしているんだ。そういう流れになったんだよ。



GB: うん、今はスタジオに入る前に全部終わっているんだ。僕はアコースティックで作曲し、アイデアやストーリーなどを思いつき、それをコンラッドに聴かせると、コンラッドがそれを装飾して、より広々としたものにしたり、そういうことをする。その後、彼がドラム、ベース、キーボードをファイルシェアリングで録音し、僕はメロディラインと歌詞のパートを担当するんだ。リハーサルでは、一緒に演奏したことがないので間違うこともあるよ。日本でのリハーサルでは、物理的に一緒に演奏したことがなかったため、血の気が引くようなひどい状態だったことを覚えているよ。「なんだよ...もう帰るしかないじゃないか!」って感じだった(笑)。曲を書くのは昔の方がいいね、楽にできた。


Q:「David's Mum」、「Jester」、「Twelve Steps To Heaven」など、全体として見ると、今までのアルバムの中で最もバラエティに富んだ歌詞の集合体だと思います。題材を探すのと、実際に歌詞を書くのでは、どちらが大変ですか?

GB:いわゆるヘビーメタルですべてが片付いてしまったからだね。僕はダンジョンやドラゴン、壁に描かれた逆さまの十字架などの歌詞を書くことはしない。僕は実生活を題材にした曲を作るのが好きで、今回のアルバムでは、実体験である「David's Mum」を歌っている。今思い出しても、7歳の子供だった頃の僕のことなんだよ。他にも現実に起こったことが書かれている曲があるんだ。ヘビーメタルと呼ばれるようなおとぎ話ではなく、人々が共感できるようなものを書いた方がいいに決まっているよ。言ってみれば、僕版ダンジョンとドラゴンのようなものだね。



GB:分かるよ、血の気が引くほどつまらない。最初のきっかけはマイケル・シェンカーで、彼と一緒に部屋に座っていて、彼に「書いてくれ」と言われたのを覚えている。彼は「The Desert Song」に発展していくものを演奏してくれたので、それにどんな詞を書いたらいいかと尋ねたら、「何でもいいよ」と言われたので、思いつく言葉を書いたら、最終的には意味があったんだよ。


GB: 過去に一緒に演奏したバンドの人たちは、ある曲について「これはいったい何なんだ?」と言ったんだけど、僕は「ちゃんと詞を読めよ!これは物語を語っているんだ。」と言ってやった。マイケルと共作した「The Beast That Hides In The Shadows」という曲があるんだけど。あれは僕が書いた曲の中では一番大変だったもので、一度録音したんだ。兄と父の命を奪ったもので、僕が恐れているもの、つまり認知症についての曲だ。僕の家系にはそれがあり、それは影に隠れた獣なんだ...残酷な生き物なんだよ。この曲のビデオは、僕がスツールに座って一人で歌っているようなものでね、迫力があるからこそそんな方法をとったんだろうね。「よし、僕のところに来るなら、まず顔を見せてくれ」と言いたかったんだ。でも、昔から記憶力が悪いんだよ。物がどこにあるか覚えられない、人の名前も忘れてしまう...歌の歌詞も?忘れました!て感じさ(笑)。プロとして駆け出しの若造だった時には、床にカンニングペーパーをいくつか貼り付けていたものさ。「何だい、それは?」って言われて、「僕の言う言葉さ」って(笑)。でも、言葉を覚えようとはしているし、何曲かは暗記しているんだけど、たくさん書いているので難しいな。


Q:「It's Just A Frickin' Song」の歌詞は、曲が作れないことへの皮肉が込められていていいですね。




BH:出版社に歌のタイトルを教えてほしいと言われたので、「It's Just A Frickin' Songよ。」と答えたら、「いや、ちょっと待て、どういうことだ?」と言われたわ。







GB: 実話なんだよ。その男は飛行機を食べたり、自転車を食べたり、いろいろやったんだけど、飛行機がいいかなと思ったんだ。彼は、空を飛んでいく物体を見て、友人に「ああ、あれが食べたい」と言ったそうだ。心底そう思ったらしいよ。ただのバカなので、いいネタになると思ったんだ。ヘビーロックにはそういう非常識な曲がないこともあるし、ユーモアや皮肉があるのもいいよね。


Q:「It's Just A Frickin' Song」にはレインボーの同僚、ドン・エイリーが参加していますね。それはどのような経緯で実現したのでしょうか?











BH: 凄いことになるでしょうね!


Q:やりましょうよ。レインボーといえば、『ガーディアンズ・オブ・ギャラクシー Vol.3』では、「Since You've Been Gone」に新たな息吹が与えられていますね。入っていることは知っていたのですか?

BH: いいえ、知らなかったわ。誰かがメールを送ってきて、リンクが記してあったんだけど、それを聴いた時は完全に度肝を抜かれたわね。グラハムが「何だ、それは?」と言うので、「Since You've Been Gone」を完全にリメイクしたものだと言ったの。また、スーパーボウルで試聴会をしていたことも知らなかったわ。




GB: 曲のまとめ方、無駄の削除が素晴らしい。そして曲を壊さない。「♪Since you've been gone♪」と歌った後に、また入ってくる間奏が好きだな。





















BH: ありがとう。またすぐに会いましょう!





bottom of page