When eight- year-old Maurice Gibb joined his brothers Robin and
Barry on stage for the first time back in 1957, a musical phenomenon was born- the Bee
Gees. And 44 years on, their success continues with the bands much-anticipated latest
album. This Is Where I Came In. For 52 year old Maurice, the groups musical arranger,
keyboard and guitar player, releasing another album is a natural progression for the band.
"We just love what we do and feel that our music has improved and grown over the
years," he says. The charismatic Bee Gee chatted to freetime about his hopes for the
new album and revealed how the band came up with their unusual name...
Q: The Bee Gees have produced a string of classic songs for four decades. How have you
found the inspiration and incentive to continue writing and producing?
Maurice Gibb: To be honest, we're just continuing to do something that we've loved doing
ever since we were kids. We're lucky to have been blessed with being able to make music:
anybody can write a song, but whether it's nay good or not is another matter. We've always
loved writing songs and music and hopefully this will continue.
Q: What had been your magic formula?
M: Viagra (laughs). No, I think it's because we've persisted although there have been a
lot of barriers and valleys that we've had to cross. We've never given up.
Q: Your new album is called This Is Where I Came In. Does that title speak for itself?
M: Yeah, the album really shows that the Bee Gees have gone full circle. We've seen things
go round in cycles and come back again, and this is where we came in. In the music world
plenty has changed over the years in terms of the technology used, but the lyrics and
music are very much the same.
Q: Are the tracks very diverse?
M: Yes, because we have tried to make an album full of singles. For This IsWhere I Came In
the three of us went off and worked on two tracks each. Then we got back together to
continue with the rest of them.
Q: Which is your favourite record on the album?
M: I love the title track because it;s very funky and was more on how we used to record in
the 60's. We're songwriters first and foremost and if you don't have the song you don't
have the record .
Q: Do you plan to produce many more albums?
M: We'll keep doing what we love to do until we get to the point where wedon't love it
anymore. If people still want to hear us then we'll continue.
Q: You're recording a special concert for BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday, whichwill be aired on
March 31. Are there plans to do more live concerts in the UK?
M: We definitely hope to do some over the year. It's great to play to an audience - in
fact it's the best thing about the whole business. Over the years I've never got used to
playing new songs to an audience or hearing them for the first time on the radio or video.
Q: What do you think had been your biggest achievement?
M: I don't know whether we've achieved it yet. I suppose we lost out on the Oscars because
in the 70's, Night Fever wasn't credible music. It would be nice to get and Oscar but it's
not that important. Our goal is to continue playing our music to an audience.
Q: Did you realise that tracks like Night Fever would become anthems for a generation?
M: We had no idea that our music and the film would turn out to be such a great marriage.
The whole thing became ridiculous because it was so popular. Other record companies were
printing the album because our record company couldn't keep up with the demand!
Q: What are your favourite Bee Gees songs?
M: I don't think there is a song I haven't liked, although there is some that I'm not mad
about. I do love How Deep Is your Love, Jive Talkin' and Stayin' Alive , but there have
just been so many.
Q: What sort of music do you like to listen to?
M: Usually I like a total mixture ranging from classical and R&B to early stuff like
the Beach Boys and Beatles.
Q: Which British musicians do you most admire?
M: I've always admired Pete Gabriel and musicians like him, who've had longevity - I love
anyone who can last this business because there's not many of us around. It can be really
difficult to cope with immense success in the music world because you can take it for
granted and don't think it's going to end but, when it does, that's when the alcohol and
drugs can come in.
Q: What do you miss the most about Britain when your away?
M: Believe it or not, I really miss the rhythm of the rain. I also love British comedy.
Thankfully we've got BBC on satellite, so we get lots of programmes in the States such as
the Fast Show and Only Fools And Horses . Whenever we're over in England we always raid
the video shop to have a look at all the comedies.
Q: Finally, tell us how you, Barry and Robin came up with the unusual name the Bee Gees?
M: When we were about five or six we decided to call ourselves The Rattlesnakes. Later on,
after we moved to Australia, we were singing at a racing event in Brisbane when we got
chatting to a DJ called Bill Gates and a racing driver named Bill Goode. They came over to
our house and there was my mum, Mrs Gibb, the brothers Gibb and Barry Gibb, then Bill
gates said there were so many Bee Gees in the room that that was what we should call each
other, and it stuck.
The single This Is Where I Came I, will be released on March 26, and the album on April 2.