INTERVIEW WITH BOB SIEBENBERG
By ABEL FUENTES & JUAN LAGO
Posted on “THE LOGICAL WEB”
QUESTION: We don’t hear too much from you since you played the last Supertramp tour in 2002. What have you been doing during all this time?
BOB: After the 2002 tour I split for Mexico. I haven't really been working on anything except getting my life back together after divorce. I got divorced in 2000. My kids needed attention as did my own head. I met a great girl named Gayle and got re-married in 2005.
QUESTION: And what about your life as a musician?
BOB: Recently I have been playing in a band with my son Jesse called Todd Hannigan And The Heavy 29's. I played on a couple of tracks on Todd's record and now do most of the gigs. It's a lot of fun, and when the band plays well and has a good sound, and I know I played the tunes well, it's the same buzz.
QUESTION: Many years have gone since you released your last solo album, “The long shot”. What happened with the next work you were recording, “The Glendale river”?
BOB: I stopped working on it. I stopped spending that kind of time on something that I didn't feel was of much interest to anyone.
QUESTION: Do you think it will be released some day?
BOB: I am starting to get the urge to recruit Jesse and some other guys and re-record what I have. I have the tunes.
QUESTION: Some people say that several songs from your solo works sound as if they were Supertramp ones. Why was never included one of your songs on a Supertramp album?
BOB: None of my songs were ever even considered.
QUESTION: Do you think it had something to do with Davies/Hodgson credits on all Supertramp stuff?
BOB: Yes. Rick and Roger were great song writers, and it was pretty stiff competition. I always hoped that after Roger left I might get a look in with Rick, but the door never opened.
QUESTION: How did you feel when you worked again with Ken Scott early this year on a project called “Studio ProFiles”, over thirty years after your last collaboration with him? Was it as if you were “back to the past”?
BOB: It was great. Ken is one of the all time guys. We cross referenced on a lot of the old stories, and had great reminisces. And it was interesting to watch him work again. Why we never used him again, post Pete Henderson, is a shame.
QUESTION: Does it mean that you prefer working with Ken to working with Pete Henderson?
BOB: No, I don't mean that at all. Working with Pete was fantastic. He's a great guy and superb and what he does. After Roger left, I always thought it was a mistake to not get a heavyweight again, for the next two records. I think the choices that were made were incorrect.
QUESTION: How many songs Ken and you were working on during “Studio ProFiles” sessions?
BOB: We worked on the drum sounds for all the songs on the two Supertramp records he produced, “Crime of the century” and “Crisis? What crisis?”.
QUESTION: Your son Jesse played in Roger’s band recently, performing with him in Brazil and France. Wouldn’t you like having played with them, as you did late 2000 during some Roger’s shows in Europe?
BOB: Yes, and I offered. I believe Roger likes to keep it all about him. Having another original Supertramp guy deflects some of the attention.
QUESTION: Do you think it’s a matter of ego?
BOB: No. What I meant to say was, I think Roger as a solo is limited. In other scenario, I think he could blow the doors off.
QUESTION: Do you mean that Roger could to lead a new Supertramp version with you, John and Dougie, if Rick is not interested in touring again?
BOB: I think that is exactly what we should do. I don't think Dougie would do it, but otherwise, exactly. Whether we called it Supertramp or not, I think it would do really well. I think the word would get out and lots and lots of people would come.
QUESTION: In the summer of 2006 was said that the master tapes of album “Paris” had been found in your farm, and Russel Pope and Pete Henderson were going to work on them in order to release a new edition of that disc. Do you know if there is some news about it?
BOB: Sorry, but I can't talk about this yet.
QUESTION: I understand it, but then was said those tapes were covered by “cow dung”. Was it true?
BOB: No, this is not true. It was mostly horse shit. Just kidding. The story of these tapes is long. I will tell it some other time.
QUESTION: By then, they also said it would be released a DVD from that show in Paris, but it seems Rick still hasn’t said yes about it. Why do you think it has not been released yet?
BOB: Again I can't say much about this… Rick, for some unknown reason, has always been against this. We hope he will lighten up and take a different view. We want and need his input.
QUESTION: And what about the release of other unpublished stuff like the video of Hammersmith Odeon London show from 1974 or some previously unreleased songs like "Down to Mexico", "Pony Express" or "Hey Laura"?
BOB: Again we hope these things see the light of day... Those are all cool songs.
QUESTION: Roger has just said that he is ready to rejoin Supertramp, but he thinks a band reunion is unlikely. What do you think he means?
BOB: Roger has always been OK with coming back to the group. I assume his feelings are the same. By that I mean he won't join up as long as Rick's manager is involved in any way.
QUESTION: Roger also said there were some problems between Rick and the rest of the group members. Are they personal problems or legal problems?
BOB: John, Dougie, Dave Margereson and I had legal issues with Rick about management that were resolved almost three years ago. Rick didn't like the outcome.
QUESTION: But Dave Margereson doesn't handle Supertramp management since 1983, when he was replaced by Sue Davies. If Dave is involved in those legal issues, does it mean that it has to do with the golden era of the group, 1974-1982?
BOB: Yes, the legal issues revolved around our ability to participate in exploitation issues involving the golden era of Supertramp. During Rick's manager's reign, the catalog suffered.
QUESTION: Maybe this is the main reason for Rick not allowing the release of "Paris" DVD?
BOB: No, I don't believe this is the reason.
QUESTION: Can you imagine yourself playing again with Rick after all these issues?
BOB: I still have the greatest affection for Rick, and would go play in a heartbeat, as would John. We think it's a shame that we don't play. These things can only be resolved by Rick. I also have the greatest respect and affection for Roger, and feel the same about playing.