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8th December 2022

This interview was a couple of days before the World Cup Quarter-final between England and France so there was a good discussion about that before we got to talking about EXTC. However, as England lost, we shall just skip that part and get to the music.




Q: You’re gigging a lot. This year you’ve done two tours of America, some shows in the UK and you’re kicking off 2023 with three shows in Japan, one of which has already sold out. It seems the demand for XTC’s music live is insatiable.


TC: It’s certainly surprised me! I’ve been on this project for about four years now and it’s a result of the demise of the TC & I project that Colin (Moulding) and I put together. Colin just didn’t want to get on the touring bandwagon again. I thought that there had been a lot of effort gone into it and the shows that we did do were very encouraging. People came from far and wide to see us so I thought that there was still life in the old dog yet. I also thought that if I didn’t do this, what else am I going to do? So, I persevered on and we went through about fourteen different members for various reasons before we got to where we are now. I could always see the big picture, going to America and Japan a so forth but that’s a lot of commitment to ask people if they are perhaps on the fence with regards to doing extensive touring because it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. It takes a lot of resolve and you don’t have to be the best musician in the world but you have to have the right grit and mentality to endure the rigours of the road. History tells us that it’s not for the fragile person. You have to have a bit of resolve for it and without playing judge, jury and executioner, you do get a gut-feeling as to whether someone has the metal to do it. There are guarantees that you can’t give like when someone is going to get a meal or be able to go to the toilet or will arrive at the hotel. You have to be a bit of a gypsy to get over it and then get food, rest and recouperation when you can.


Q: I’m an ex-roadie myself Terry, I know exactly what you’re talking about.


TC: Yeah it looks pretty glorious going to all these places doesn’t it but you just see them from the inside of a van. If you do get the opportunity to see a couple of things, good for you but you don’t get to see every town.


Q: I like the way you are doing this very civilly as well, getting Andy’s blessing and therefore not ending up as one of these bands that has three versions going up and down the motorways.


TC: That’s right and it was important to do it that way. I asked Dave (Gregory) on a couple of occasions if he’d like to do it but he didn’t really want to get involved in the situation if Andy (Partridge) wasn’t involved. His feeling was that it would be a bit of a watered-down version and I accept his ideas on that but as you said earlier Glenn, there is a surprising demand for this and the turnouts have been very favourable. This is as good as it’s going to get, I think.


Q: The name of the band is a great play on the original name of XTC, this band being EXTC.


TC: Andy came up with that suggestion. When I spoke to him about the name for this project, he said ‘Well, you can’t really call it anything other than EXTC’ and I thought ‘Well who am I to argue with that?’ If it came from him, that was good enough for me and I also thought it was appropriate as it also has my initials in it. It fits really well. I don’t think Colin and Dave were too enamoured by it because it’s a bit close to the original name but we are only going out and playing a few shows and entertaining a few people; we are not sending anyone to the gallows over this.


Q: I don’t think you could have done it any better. There’s no false advertising.


TC: No absolutely not! It’s crystal clear I am the only original member but that’s not uncommon these days. If you look at From The Jam, it’s only got Bruce Foxton in it and then you have band members who unfortunately die and there’s only one solitary soul taking the band around. Andy Scott from The Sweet for example. There are more one original member bands than there are complete original member bands. U2 are probably the only band that I can name from that era that are still the same.


Q: Very true. Anyway. it’s very nice to hear that you are still in touch with the other guys and on good terms with them. That’s a wonderful thing.


TC: Yeah. We’ve had our differences obviously. There was the time when Andy decided he didn’t want to tour anymore. I was pretty upset about that and on reflection, perhaps I should have handled that a little bit better but you are young at the time, you think the end of the world has happened and if you don’t play live, what is the world going to hold for you. We are older and wiser now though and I think we realise that life is too short to hold grudges of that nature. I think we get on fairly well.



Q: Two questions about XTC before we come back to EXTC if you don’t mind…


TC: Of course!


Q: Thanks. Drums And Wires and Black Sea had what I call one of the late seventies production dream-team of Steve Lillywhite and Hugh Padgham. I worked in the Townhouse a bit, the bands I was with used the stone room and it was innovative to say the least. However, what Steve and Hugh did to your drums was a level above even above the ambience in that stone room. Do you recall your first reaction when you first heard what they did to your drum sound?


TC: Well up until that point Glenn as you probably know, drums were pretty much always recorded muffled down. Tea-towels were involved and all manner of things…


Q: A bit of gaffer tape on the snare drum?


TC: …yeah! Exactly - too much buzzing there - and then they were surrounded by screens and baffles and everything was dead. The stone room was the complete opposite, it was like the other end of the scale. It was a sort of a cave you were playing in and the problem was getting some sort of control over it. It was like a roaring jet engine in there and how do you harness that? It was a bit of a thing with all the spillage from one drum to another when mixing them individually so there’s a lot of ambience which gives it a realistic feel.


Q: That room was small as well.


TC: It was! It sounds like it was a cavernous thing but it wasn’t. My thoughts at the time were of the John Bonham thing when they recorded at Headley Grange and had the drums in the stairwell with the mics high up in the ceiling. This wasn’t the first time it had taken place but we brought it back in vogue I guess. Steve was a great guy to work with. He was so relaxed in the studio it was almost like he was part of the band. Very amiable and knew how to get the best out of someone despite the fact that he may not have been the most talented musician. I admire him for that. In fairness, going back to the first two albums, I’ve always advocated that John Leckie could only record songs that we had and there wasn’t hit single amongst them. It was Virgin Records who decided we needed to change producer for the third record but John Leckie and I are still good friends to this day. After those two albums, Steve and Hugh went their own way. Hugh went with Phil Collins and Phil was obviously pretty impressed with the drum sound in that room (Author’s note: Phil Collins recorded his impressive and famous drums for In The Air Tonight in that room) and Phil is himself a great producer so he didn’t need Steve. Hugh is one of the best engineers I can think of. The other one at that time that was in that league was Mutt Lange and we were trying to get Mutt to do the Drums And Wires album because he did a song for us called This Is Pop which was very well produced but he was busy with either AC/DC’s Back In Black or Def Leppard’s Pyromania – I forget which one it was. As a result of that though, we ended up with Steve Lillywhite and I think it was me that suggested him because I like the work he did with Ultravox.


Q: I’d say that XTC pioneered a lot of that sound though because you were just on the cusp before computers and sampling took over.


TC: There was a lot of programmed drums and the LinnDrum and all that type of thing at that time Glenn and it was a bit scary being a drummer relying on your own ability to keep time because a lot of that programmed stuff was to synchronise with lights and dancing and so on so it had to be really on. If you listen to some of the old songs with someone like Charlie Watts or Simon Kirke of Free, they speed up or slow down but it has a feel about it that is real. If you harness that into a metronome, it wouldn’t have the same swing about it and that’s where I am at. Too make sure there is a feel to it and not a slave to a machine. Towards the end of a song, you can’t help but carried away with it especially in a live situation, with an up-tempo song, when the audience is like a football crowd, spurring you on. You get carried away with the occasion. It’s a one-off situation, never to be repeated after that, an event really and I think that’s the excitement of live music.


TC: I fully agree and you’ve said in that past that the reason you left XTC back then is because the live situation dwindled.


TC: It was. If you are in a band, this is what you do. To me, the privilege I guess, of actually doing a recording was always secondary. It was something I never expected to do to be quite honest. It’s a necessary part of the business but as regards to enjoyment level, I put live over recording every day of the week. From Andy’s point of view, I think he felt that he was writing songs that couldn’t be performed live and that that was a restriction on his artistic licence. He wanted to do stuff like a painting, with all the colours of the rainbow, string sections and what-have-you and that would have been a hell of a job to replicate in a live situation. It’s a double-edged sword.


Q: Reminiscent of The Beatles in 1967 and Sgt Pepper…


TC: Absolutely. The whole George Martin production with the strings and everything else, it was operatic! How are you going to get four guys to go out there with their suits on and deliver that?


Q: My second question about XTC; this one is a lot shorter to answer. The live footage I know of from back then a 20 minutes thing from Washington, some footage from an open-air concert in Amsterdam, the Rockpalast show and Paris in 1979. Have I missed anything?   


TC: That’s a pretty good collection from my end. I don’t know everything that is out there to be honest with you. We did the Old Grey Whistle Test and some other TV shows but nothing else I can recall specifically.



Q: Let’s get back to EXTC and stress this to everyone reading. EXTC is also a band in its own rite. Matt and the two Steve’s all have excellent pedigrees, what kind of original stuff do you envisage writing and playing?


TC: Well, the hot-off-the-press news is that Steve Tilling is no longer a part of the band.


Q: Oh…


TC: He left during the last American tour so as it stands, we are a three-piece of myself, Matt Hughes and Steve Hampton. 


Q: Ok, so what are your future plans?


TC: After the Japanese tour we have another tour of the United States which will take us up to April and then we’ll reassess the situation as to whether we continue on as a three-piece or expand it once again. The reason we will tour as a three-piece us because it’s such short notice that it’s difficult to a) find somebody, b) get them rehearsed and c) get a working visa for Japan. We are going to be there in four weeks so we are committed to do the best we can. We are already pretty good though as we did twelve shows in the United States after Steve left and it went very well so we are confident that we’ll be ok.


Q: Have you had a chance to write any new material yet?


TC: Not at this point, no but as I said, when we get back from the US in early April we’ll see what we can come up with Steve Hampton has got some ideas, Matt has got some ideas and our intentions are to put something fresh out.


Q: There is still a good fanbase for XTC here Terry, the first show being sold out a marker of that. Is this your first-time back since 1979?


TC: It is! That’s forty-three years…it’s a lifetime!


Q: Well as you said, only four weeks to go!


TC: Yeah it’s going to be fun and quite emotional to go back to Japan after such a long time. It’s such a lovely place to visit.


Q: Terry, thanks very much and we shall look forward to seeing you very soon.


TC: Thanks Glenn. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.


テリー・チェンバーズ インタビュー








Q: ギグをよくしていますね。今年はアメリカで2回、イギリスで数回の公演を行い、2023年の幕開けには日本で3回の公演を行い、うち1回はすでにソールドアウトしていますね。XTCのライブに対する需要は底知れぬものがあるようですね

TC:確かに驚いたね。このプロジェクトは、コリン(・モールディング)と一緒に立ち上げた「TC & I」プロジェクトの終了に伴い、4年程前から進めていたものなんだ。コリンはもうツアーには出たくなかったんだ。僕は、このツアーには多くの努力が注がれていると思ったし、僕たちが行ったショーはとても心強いものだった。遠くからも見に来てくれたので、まだまだ老犬の命はあると思ったよ。これをやらずして、何をやるというのだ、とも思った。それで我慢して、いろいろな事情で14人くらいのメンバーを経て、今に至っているというわけなんだ。アメリカや日本へのツアーという大枠は見えていたけど、ツアーは人によって好き嫌いが分かれるので、大規模なツアーを行うかどうか迷っている人に聞くのは大変なことなんだ。世界一のミュージシャンである必要はないけど、厳しい道のりに耐え得るだけの気概と精神力が必要なんだ。歴史が物語っているように、この仕事は弱い人間には向かない。裁判官、陪審員、死刑執行人を演じずとも、誰かがそれを行うための資質を持っているかどうか、直感的に分かるものなんだよ。食事が摂れるか、トイレに行けるか、ホテルに到着するかなど、保証できないこともあるしね。それを乗り越えるためにはジプシーになるしかない。そして、できる時に食事と休息と回復を得るんだ。





Q: アンディの了解を得た上で、3つのバージョンを持つバンドが高速道路を行ったり来たりするようなことにならないように、とても礼儀正しくやっているところがいいですね。

















Q:ありがとうございます。『Drums And Wires』と『Black Sea』は、私が70年代後半のドリームチームと呼ぶ、スティーブ・リリーホワイトとヒュー・パジャムによるプロダクションでした。タウンハウスで少し仕事をしたことがあるのですが、一緒にいたバンドが石の部屋を使っていて、はっきり言って斬新でした。しかし、スティーブとヒューがあなたのドラムにしたことは、あの石造りの部屋の雰囲気よりもさらに上のレベルだったのです。ドラムの音がどうなったか、最初に聴いたときの反応を覚えていますか?







TC:そうなんだ!洞窟のようなものかと思いきや、そうではなかった。その時思ったのは、ジョン・ボーナムがヘッドリー・グレンジで録音した時、ドラムを階段の吹き抜けに置いて、マイクを天井の高いところに置いていたことだ。今回が初めてではなかったんだけど、流行にのって復活させたのだと思う。スティーブは一緒に仕事をするのに最適な人物だったよ。スタジオでの彼はとてもリラックスしていて、まるでバンドの一員になったかのようだった。とても親切で、最も才能のあるミュージシャンではなかったかもしれないにもかかわらず、ベストを引き出す方法を知っていた。その点では彼を尊敬している。公平に見て、最初の2枚のアルバムに戻ると、ジョン・レッキーは僕たちが持っている曲だけを録音するようにとずっと主張してきたんだけど、その中にヒット・シングルはなかった。3枚目のアルバムでプロデューサーを変える必要があると判断したのはヴァージン・レコードだったんだけど、ジョン・レッキーと僕は今でも仲良しなんだよ。この2枚のアルバムの後、スティーブとヒューはそれぞれの道に進んだ。ヒューはフィル・コリンズと一緒にやったんだけど、フィルは明らかにあの部屋のドラム・サウンドにかなり感銘を受けていたよ。(筆者注:フィル・コリンズが『In The Air Tonight』の印象的で有名なドラムを録音したのもこの部屋だ)フィル自身が素晴らしいプロデューサーなので、スティーブは必要なかったんだ。ヒューは、僕が考える最高のエンジニアの一人だね。当時、もう一人、そのリーグにいたのがマット・レインジだった。彼は「This Is Pop」という曲を作ってくれて、とても良いプロデュースだったので、マットに『Drums And Wires』のアルバムを作ってもらおうとしたんだけど、彼はAC/DCの『Back In Black』かDef Leppardの『Pyromania』(どっちだったか忘れた)で忙しかったんだ。その結果、スティーブ・リリーホワイトに行き着いたんだけど、彼がウルトラヴォックスでやった仕事が好きだったので、彼を推薦したのは僕だったと思う。






















TC:日本公演のあと、4月までアメリカでのツアーがあるけど、そこでもう一度、3ピースで続けるか、それとも拡大するか、状況を見直したいと思っている。3ピースでツアーを行う理由は、急なことなので、a) 誰かを見つけて、b) リハーサルを行い、c) 日本の就労ビザを取得することが難しいからなんだ。4週間後に現地入りするので、ベストを尽くしたいと思っている。スティーブが抜けた後、アメリカで12回の公演を行い、とてもうまくいったので、大丈夫だと確信しているし、既にかなり良い状態だよ。











Q: テリー、どうもありがとうございました。またお会いできるのを楽しみにしています。

TC:ありがとう、グレン。話ができてよかった よ。

Terry Chambers 2018.jpeg
Anchor 1

Photo: Lynn Farrar

EXTC Japan 2023
Jan 8th Koenji High 
Jan 10th Kyoto Takutaku
Jan 12th Shimokitazawa Shangri-la
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