Interview with Andy Richards 
.. that is, the producer of Alphaville 5th album!!!  

Andy started playing the Piano at the age of 6 and took Diplomas at The Royal Academy of Music Pianist. In 1983 he produced his first album for an independent record label and it was mixed by Julian Mendelsohn... (do you remember Romeos?). He has worked with Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson for Frankie goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, Grace Jones, Godley & Cream; as a keyboard player and programmer he worked, to name but a few, with Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Annie Lennox .. and with the italian artist Umberto Tozzi. Andy was so kind to accept an interview with Bertucchio.  
We thank Bertucchio to let us use this interview, too. 
Andy Richards 
  
If you are interested in visiting his web site, connect with http://www.andyrichards.com  
 

You met Alphaville in London: what about it?? Who did they get in touch with you??
K.P., Alphaville's manager was looking for a producer for their new album.  He approached my old manager, Paul Brown, and said that he was looking for a producer for Alphaville 
Paul didn't have a producer on his books at the time who seemed to 'fit the bill' and so he suggested to K.P. that I might be the person that they were looking for. I met Alphaville at K.P.'s house in London and after meeting, we decided to start working together on two tracks - 'New Horizons' & 'Flame' to see how the collaboration would go. Well, it all went well and so we continued to work together and ended up recording 12 tracks.

How long did you collaborate with the band??
I suppose that it was over a 6 month period, starting mid 1996 and finally ending early in January '97. We did have a few weeks off in-between and so the total period of work was probably something like 5 months.

Do you remember nice events or moments of "incomprehesions?"
During the making of any album there are always easy & difficult times - after all, this is a creative process and we're all human. I general, I would say that everything went smoothly and we had some very creative periods and some delicious meals out in restaurants - don't they say that London has now become the restaurant capital of the world????

How is producing an album?? Are costs high??
Record production is not an easy job. After all, there are many people to please: The band, The Manager, The Record Company and, of course, Myself!  And the process isn't just one of being creative - the politics of life is always involved in the process.  The Cost? Well, it's never cheap making a record but the cost of record production has to be considered with respect to record sales and video vosts and promotion. I suppose that the final cost of the album is about the same as making 3 or 4 promotional videos. So I'll leave that to your imagination.

Did you know Alphaville music before?? What do you think about it (be honest!) ??
Of course, I had heard the singles. I think that probably not being an Alphaville fan made it easier to work on the material. But I did enjoy my musical collaboration with Alphaville - otherwise I'll wouldn't have done it. I think that it's important that all the people involved in making a record learn something in the process or it isn't worth doing. I certainly learnt a lot making this album & I do hope that Marian & Bernard did as well.

What about the single relationship with the members of the band?
I think that it was good. On balance, I ended up working probably more with Marian than with Bernard and so I probably got to know him a bit better as a result. But I enjoyed both their company. If this had not been the case, then making a record over six months would have been very difficult, but it wasn't

At the time Marian Gold was recording United as well, did you listen to the record?? What about your impressions?
I was aware that Marian had made a solo album with Rupert Hine, but I deliberately didn't want to listen to it before and during the making of the Alphaville album. I wanted to feel that I was working with Alphaville & not just Marian. I thought that listening to his solo album would alter my perspective of the band, and I didn't want that. However, I've heard it since and enjoyed it very much.

What are you doing at the moment??
I'm just finishing off three tracks with a very talented young artist from Denmark called Alistair Foster. It's gone very well. I'm taking a week off and then starting work with a new Australian artist signed to a German record label.

Did you just have collaboration with Umberto Tozzi as italian artist??
I worked with Umberto just once. We re-recorded five of his singles, but in English. He is a wonderful singer and a great person. A huge talent.

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