INTERVIEW WITH BOB SIEBENBERG
By ABEL FUENTES & JUAN LAGO
Posted at “THE LOGICAL WEB”
QUESTION: A special 40th anniversary edition of “Crime of the century” was released in December 2014… What is, in your opinion, the secret of this album for sounding so well and current 40 years later?
BOB: I think there are many reasons. Among them I would say it was loaded with great songs. Rick and Roger had had a lot of time to mull some of these songs over and dream about how the album could be. We spent a lot of time and energy working on details and revamping some of them.
QUESTION: Some of the songs included on the album were born in the early 70s… Why didn’t they work before?
BOB: With the now new line-up there was more potential. Some of the songs were brand new and replaced others that had been included before. “Hide in your shell” was brand new. “Rudy” got totally revamped, as did “Crime of the century” itself.
QUESTION: And then there was Ken Scott…
BOB: Yes, then there was Ken, whose engineering and production skills were second to none and attention to detail was mind blowing. That’s why it sounds the way it does. The music is one thing and the sound is another.
QUESTION: What special memories do you keep from that era?
BOB: Some of my favorite memories revolve around the time itself. I was pretty fresh from Los Angeles to London. I loved being in London. Rehearsing and collaborating at the Southcombe cottage was a great experience and bonded us for the long haul. We were all young and ready to go.
QUESTION: The show at the Hammersmith Odeon from 1975 included on “Crime” deluxe had been moving around the fans for many years as an old bootleg, but it’s amazing how great it sounds now… Is it just attributable to the work done by Ken Scott?
BOB: Well, it was recorded well at the time and we are what we are. I think we played as good as we could all the time. Then back into the hands of Ken. He always does great work.
QUESTION: The only negative issue with “Crime” is that it was not released the super-deluxe package including the DVD of Hammersmith… Do you think this DVD could be released in the future?
BOB: One can only hope... There were some of us that wanted it included in the package and some didn’t. It’s too bad. A lot of work went into improving the version destined for the package and as you say the Ken Scott work is great. But the kibosh was put on it for no good reason.
QUESTION: Later this month a DVD/double CD package of “Live in Paris 79” will be released… Considering that many fans already have the DVD, is there a chance to release just a double CD package?
BOB: We are working with Universal Music and Eagle Rock to release a stand alone double CD of the entire concert. Universal is the slowest moving thing on the planet, but we are hopeful. We are trying to get it into the marketplace for the tour.
QUESTION: A few months ago Jesse had his first son... How proud is his grandpa?
BOB: It is a true blessing. I am so happy for Jesse and Shelly.
QUESTION: What was your birth present?
QUESTION: Do you think he could be the third generation of Siebenbergs in Supertramp? (LAUGHS)
BOB: Nice thought but unlikely! (LAUGHS)
QUESTION: Why have you been so busy during the last few months? Any news on your solo album "The Glendale River"?
BOB: I am the Varsity Baseball Coach at the High School which is pretty much a full time job. The season has just recently ended. I like working with these kids who are 15-18 years old. It’s a critical time in their lives and it’s a responsibility I take serious and enjoy. Between that and finishing up “The Glendale River” it’s been pretty hectic. It’s is now finished and I am just waiting on artwork.
QUESTION: What are you going to do during the next few months before the Supertramp tour?
BOB: I’m going to Mexico for a few weeks to recharge and get in the water. I have already started playing along to some rehearsal CDs I made from a flashdrive of a show in Berlin on the last tour. I’ll hit that a lot harder when I return, and I’ll start playing with Jesse and Todd Hannigan as well.
QUESTION: Next fall you will be 66... Looking back, what are your best and worst memories from these 66 years of life and 42 years with Supertramp?
BOB: I can’t even begin to answer this. Too much has happened over these 66 years to even think about... Best? Being with the people I love… Worst? I try to put it away.
QUESTION: How was this new Supertramp tour developed?
BOB: I don’t know that much about it. For me I get a call and am told it’s happening. Then I go from there.
QUESTION: Do you know when the rehearsals will start?
BOB: I believe the rehearsals will start in the middle of October for full band. The guys who sing will all meet up with Rick at his home in New York to sort out the who does what in September.
QUESTION: It seems that this time the band will play one or two very early Supertramp songs… Do you know other novelties in the set-list?
BOB: I have suggested doing some of the older original Supertramp songs, like “Just a normal day” and “Ever open door”, but I don’t know if we will do them. One can only suggest and then it’s Rick’s call. Sometimes he can be talked into something, like “Gone Hollywood” on the last tour. Jesse and I rode him pretty hard on that. Maybe “Still in love”…
QUESTION: In November and December the band will play 26 shows in Europe… Is there any chance to play also some shows in Canada, USA or other places later?
BOB: This is an area that I am totally not involved in. We are hopeful that there will be more shows in the summer, but can’t say where. As in I don’t know.
QUESTION: What do you think about the return of Mark Hart on stage? How do you think he’ll share the vocal tasks with Jesse and Gabe Dixon?
BOB: Mark is always a welcome addition to the thing. It’ll be great to see him. What exactly he will do, will be determined at vocal rehearsals in September.
QUESTION: Considering that there won’t be a new Supertramp studio album, is it likely that some shows of the tour will be recorded or filmed to release a live CD or DVD?
BOB: There is always a possibility… At this moment I know of no plan to do so, but things change sometimes along the way and it may be seen as a good idea by someone who wants to make it happen.
QUESTION: Do you know if this time there were some conversations with Roger Hodgson, as happened before the previous tour?
BOB: I sincerely doubt there were any conversations with Roger about anything relating to this tour.