Andrew Latimer Interview March 25th, Tilburg, Holland

“How long are you in Holland now?”

“one day”

“you are coming straight in from Japan now?”

“yeah still trying to catch up, we all woke up at four in the morning.”

“Andy, as we listen to your latest album harbour of tears and also the others, we hear a lot of good-byes, farewells, etc. What do you have in common with it? Is it something of your own life?”

“well a little bit, yeah. The last album is a sort of a farewell to my father really.”

“His leaving from Cork?”

“No he didn’t actually, his family did. That’s the reason I did the album in the first place. He died in 1993 and I realized I didn’t know anything about his background at all. He never really talked about his father that much, so I went to see his brother, who’s 88 and is up in New Castle. That’s where I spoke to him and discovered that his father was Irish and there are a lot of my Mothers relatives left from this place called cóbh Harbour in Ireland. When I asked what happened to all these people then, nobody knows and the story stopped there. So I started to think about it and started to do research on this place called Cóbh to find out all sort of things.”

“You went back to Ireland?”

“I haven’t actually been there, but I did my usual sort of squashing up and reading to the loads of books and that’s how I discovered this place was called the harbour of tears, because it was the last place that they saw of there homeland and their relatives, before they went off to places like America and Australia and so really intrigued. I found out that also the Lucitania went down there. It sunk just outside Cork and so there were loads of stories that where coming up for me. And I was lead there by my dad, so it was a kind of interesting thing. I always wanted to do a Celtic album, anyway, so it all came together for me. But there are a lot of a sort of good-byes and breaking up ties and things.”

“It seems like a main theme which is through all your albums”

“There is a kind of melancholy I think through a lot of the albums, but that doesn’t necessarily always have to be the same.”

“Is it true when I say that your writing is the best when it’s inspired by a theme?”

“oh yeah, I like doing a sort of concept things, cause I find it easy when you got a start and finish, you know. I like the challenge of it all and to string songs together.”

“Let’s go back to your latest album. There is a twenty minutes of waves on it. What did this meant to you?”

“It’s meant to be a time of reflection in a way. For me it was a time for reflecting on the music and of cóbh harbour. It was very interesting, cause I’ve had mainly positive responses to it. Many people come to me and say: “Waw! the waves on the end are fantastic!!” I have had about three fans write to me: “Why didn’t you put music on it, how come you only put waves on it?” Well I could have put nothing it and spoil 20 minutes. And I kept the official timing 46 minutes so the people wouldn’t feel cheated.”

“The album is called harbour of tears, there is an album out now called harbour of joy? Did You listen to it?”

“I had to buy it.”

“YOU HAD TO BUY IT (????)”

“Yeah, nobody told me anything. A fan told me about it. It’s a kind of interesting tribute, where they don’t actually tell the artist. Mellow records, the company that have done this, haven’t told us about it. That’s the side of it I don’t like. You know they didn’t pay any of the bands and they certainly not gonna pay us.”

“Don’t they have to pay any rights or something like that?”

“They meant to, but they won’t.”

“What do you think of the versions on that album?”

“Some versions are kinda fine, I think. I listened to ‘Tell Me’, could be a single, some are even funny.”

“Did you know some of the bands?”

“No not really”.

“A lot of Italian bands.”

“I’m not really exposed to the progressive scene, especially in America. I don’t hear much of that sort of progressive if you like. There are lot more progressive bands here in Europe than there are in America and you can’t get that stuff in America and I don’t listen very much to the radio in America, cause ‘t isn’t very good”

“When we look at the Internet, we see fans who put articles on the Net, there also seem to be an unofficial homepage. So my question: where is the official?”

Well there probably will be an official homepage soon, we thought very long of getting to the Net, but because we are a very small company, we don’t have the time to answer a lot of people on the net, because the problem is with the net, it’s so instantaneous. People expect an instantaneous reply and we don’t have that energy and time to spend our lives on the internet, answering questions to people that write in. We’re quite happy at the moment to just feed out the information to three people that sort of unofficial do it, which is OK.

“So maybe you can ask a fan to do the official one, and in that case, we are looking forward to it!! Andy thanks for the interview.”

The interview was done for the “Red Rooster” radio program in the Dutch radio, by Henk Maeghs, who also transcribed and submitted it to this site.

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