Newspaper interview Germany

A recent interview with German newspaper ‘Nordwest-Zeitung’
Interview by Klaus Fricke

Manchester/Oldenburg – Is there anything new to tell about a band that has just turned 55? Which founded the jazz rock music division in 1968 and in which not a single founding member is still actively involved? Yes, there is – on the time factor: “Everyone here is still hungry for success, for the best possible show. And we will continue as long as it is somehow possible.”
Of course, we're talking about jazz-rock legend Colosseum here, and the man wishing her continued long life is current, quasi-new Colosseum organist Nick Steed. In 2020 he replaced band co-founder Dave Greenslade, then the band went on a Corona break. It wasn't until 2022 that he made his Oldenburg debut with the group at the Kultursommer - and since then Steed has been a full member of the sextet. On September 27, the newly formed band will be in town for the second time.
At 50 the "baby"
As a musician who just turned 50, Steed may be the "baby of the band" (self-assessment) but is by no means a musical newbie. The man from Manchester started playing the piano at the age of seven and was influenced by his father, who introduced him to the complex songs of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Steely Dan and Frank Zappa. This rather complicated rock music is still one of Steed's preferred styles, which he cultivates in his own band projects such as Optimystik Visionaries or THR33.
These sounds, which can be described as jazz fusion, logically brought Nick Steed close to Colosseum, who were preparing for a third restart from 2019 (after 1971 and 1994). Contacts had already been made with singer Chris Farlowe and guitarist Clem Clempson - now an offer to succeed Dave has followed
Greenslade as his successor and the acceptance of Nick Steed. Together with Kim Nishikawara (saxophone) and Malcolm Mortimore (drums) he completed the completely renovated Colosseum.
Big shoes, then, for Nick Steed to fill. "Yes, I was a bit worried that the public wouldn't accept me," he admits in an interview. “But then I didn't feel anything like that. On the one hand, I respect the specifications of the well-known songs. On the other hand, when I'm playing a solo, I'm doing my own thing. Otherwise I wouldn't have taken on the job.” Clem Clempson told him to do his solos the way he wanted – “just don't copy Dave Greenslade”. Steed puts it this way: "I have my own style and Dave has his."
The fact that the experienced Hammond organ and piano player has found his place in this exceptional band (“With Colosseum, everyone is extremely confident with their instrument”) is also evident in the selection of songs that Colosseum plays today. days plays. In addition to classics like "Valentyne Suite" or "Lost Angeles", there are also new songs like "First in Line" or "Story of the Blues" by Nick Steed. “Well, long gone are the days of Colosseum playing two 30-minute concept pieces before the break,” he laughs. “After all, we want to go to a concert introduce as many new and old songs as possible.”
Good memories
This applies all the more to September 27th on the Kulturetage, after all Nick Steed only has fond memories of Oldenburg. “We really enjoyed the cultural summer show last year,” he says. “The ambience, the sound, the audience – everything was great.” So it's not too difficult for the younger jazz rock legend to return.
Phase 1: Colosseum was formed in 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, who wanted to combine the rawness of rock and the complexity of jazz. Together with organist Dave Greenslade they formed the core of the band, which was expanded in 1970 to include guitarist Clem Clempson, bassist Mark Clarke 2023-07-06_NWZ_-_Oldenburger_Nachrichten_-_06-07-2023_printand singer Chris Farlowe. Despite great success, the band broke up in 1971.
Phase 2: In 1994 the sextet reunited unchanged, with even greater success. Heckstall-Smith died ten years later and was succeeded by Barbara Thompson. This formation lasted until February 28, 2015, when Hiseman announced the end of the band at the London concert.
Phase 3: After a difficult period in which Hiseman passed away in 2018, Thompson due to her MS disease (she died in 2022) and Greenslade retired for reasons of age, Colosseum dared to make a new start in 2019. Farlowe (now 82), Clempson (73) and Clarke (73) brought in new people in Nick Steed, Malcolm Mortimore and Kim Nishikawara. The jazz rock met old and many new fans - and he was successful for the third time.

Interview with Nick from Synth & Software magazine

Interview here