Lexicon: About the new album, Any plans for a US release? Can you explain a little about it and how it came about?
Martin Ware: No plans for the US. We [the band] have always remained close friends and we were offered a good deal of money to get back together by Eye of the Storm [the record label that released the new album]. We jumped at the opportunity. It is a purely analogue album. It was recorded mainly using early monophonic instruments.
You guys have kept pretty busy over the past 8 years since "Teddybear". Is this what kept Heaven 17 on hold? Or had you broken up?
Ware: We just stopped working and went our separate ways for a while. We never officially split up.
How did the re-issued singles of a couple o years ago come about? Were you surprised how big they were in the UK? (all three hit the top 40)
Ware: Virgin were doing a new romantic (We were never that!) compilation and asked us if we were interested in "Temptation" being remixed. We said yes and the rest did surprise us.
Virgin and Arista seemed to lose interest in you guys after you didn't sell millions of records here in the US. Do you perceive Heaven 17 as having a fan base here?
Ware: We were always more influential than big sellers. That's life, I'm afraid, when you're trying to stick to your creative principles.
Let's talk about B.E.F. for a second. I noticed that in Tina Turner's autobiography you guys are glossed over after "Let's Stay Together" brought her back. What is your relationship with Ms. Turner today?
Ware: I haven't seen her for about 5 years. She's much more into MOR rock now, not my bag.
"Music of Quality and Distinction II" (which Turner guests on) is a great collection, yet it seems to be impossible to find. Why was it never released in the US with all those great R&B singers?
Ware: I couldn't believe when it didn't get a release in the USA either. It's out on a budget label in the UK now.
Will "Music For Listening To" and "Music for Stowaways" ever be released on CD?
Ware: Be nice wouldn't it?
You've done lots of outside production outside of Heaven 17 (and even B.E.F.). What's been your favorite, most interesting?
Ware: Scritti Pollitti (Green contributed a track to MQDII), Terrance Trent D'Arby and an album by Tashan on Chaos Records I produced - I love that.
One for Glen - You've been working with Martin Fry of ABC. How is that going, is Mark White involved?
Gregory: No more Mark White. There is a new album co-written by Fry and myself.
What about your rumored solo album?
Tell us about UGLY?
Gregory: John Uriel and I were on Rhythm King / Nutbush - One single and then dropped. (Was electronic pop).
Martin, you were in Sheffield when Vice/Versa - ABC was around, is this the connection between Fry and Gregory?
Ware: We've always been acquaintances.
Phil Oakey (Human League) in an interview with "Record Collector" seemed dismissive of ABC and the Sheffield "scene" in general.
Ware: Phil has a degree in dismissiveness.
To touch on Human League for a second, do you know what happened to the planned collection of rarities called "The Future" that was supposed to come out last spring? Did you guys have a hand in assembling it?
Ware: As far as I know it was never intended to be released, but I have a copy.
With all the success they had, do you ever regret leaving Human League?
Do you guys still keep in touch with members of the Human League, have a bowling night or something?
Ware: Ian still sees Phil.
Who (or what) do you guys listen to today?
Ware: All sorts. Glenn likes Britpop, I hate it but like Hiphop and experimental pop of any description.
Have you been energized by Techno, Jungle, Ambient etc? There is a track on the "Go Go Brown" single called "Slow All Over" that sounds ambient, were you listening to Eno and the like at the time?
Ware: Yes to Eno. Techno is, I find, a bit contrived and even boring generally.
Did you ever hear T42's version of "Let Me Go"? What about sampling, I've heard "Penthouse and Pavement" pop up in rap songs.
Ware: We never heard it (T42). But if anyone samples us I regard it as a compliment.
Both the new Heaven 17 album and the last Human League album rely on an earlier sound. Is it easier or harder to go back to this "primitive" sound?
Ware: It's just a matter of using a limited sonic palette.
Are Politics back for the band?
Ware: Absolutely, left wing activists.
What does the future hold for Heaven 17, BEF and you?
Ware: We will continue to slough our lonely furrow and avoid being sucked into the mediocre mainstream.