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The Way We Live / Tractor

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Dean View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 14 2012 at 15:33
The Way We Live / Tractor interview
From their beginnings as a beat group in 1966, The Way We Live released one Psychedelic rock album under that name, (and contributed one track to a Dandelion sampler EP that also featured tracks from Stack Waddy, Principle Edwards Magic Theatre and Kevin Coyne’s short-lived Siren), before changing their name to Tractor on the advice of DJ John Peel whose Dandelion Records they were signed to. After reforming in 2001, the band has been active on the festival scene for the past decade. Torodd Fuglesteg sent them a few questions by email to see what they’ve been up to  in recent times.
Your biography has been covered in your ProgArchives profile so let's bypass the biographical details. But which bands were you influenced by and why did you choose to call yourself The Way We Live?
The Way We Live was a school band formed by Jim Milne guitar and vocals and Steve Clayton on drums. We were heavily influenced by Cream and John Mayall’s Blues Breakers as well of course by the Beatles.
This is an archive based interview also intended for the fans you get well after both you and I have passed away so let's go straight to your albums.
Please tell us more about all The Way We Live album...
The Way We Live released one album, “A Candle for Judith” originally released on John Peel’s Dandelion Records label but now available on our own Ozit Morpheus Records label www.ozitmorpheusrecords.com
The album was recorded at Hollick and Taylor in Birmingham and mastered at Spot Sound in London where Cream recorded. The original demos were done in our first attic studio Dandelion Studios Rochdale and in some ways sound better which is why we went back to attic recording for the Tractor albums.
How is the availability of this releases now?
Available on both 180 gram deluxe vinyl  and also as a cd with bonus tracks from our website After a meeting with John Peel, you changed name to Tractor.
Why did you choose that name?
We didn’t, John Peel chose it in late 1971 whilst looking out of his window at his house in the countryside Nan True’s Hole / Peel Acres and he saw a tractor in a field. It was a shorter punchier name than The Way We Live which Steve Clayton originally chose in about 1966 from a woman’s magazine problem page.
I am confused about which and what albums you released due to re-releases and so forth. Please name and tell us more about all Tractor albums.
“Tractor” (Tractor) 1972 on vinyl on Dandelion and available again now on our Ozit Morpheus Records label as a cd or 180 gram heavy vinyl; it also came out with flying tractor on cover on LP in 1981 on vinyl Thunderbolt Records; and again on LP and CD on Repertoire 1991
“Worst Enemies” (Tractor) CD 1991 on Sunflower and currently reissued on our own Ozit Morpheus Records
“Steve’s Hungarian Novel” (- The Way We Live /Tractor) LP on Psygressive/Ozit double lp set
“Before During and after The Dandelion Years” (Tractor) CD album
“John Peel Bought us a Studio and a PA” (Tractor) CD album
“Peterloo” ( Various artists) but featuring 10 tracks from the “Tractor” CD album
“Beyond Deeply Vale” (Tractor) DVD of a live concert in 2003
Dandelion Records DVD featuring Tractor
How is the availability of these albums now?
Most are available from www.ozitmorpheusrecords.com
How would you describe your music and which bands would you compare yourself with? 
Very early Hawkwind, early Pink Floyd, Cream, Led Zeppelin...
Did your music change much when you changed name to Tractor? 
No, only the name although we never gigged after the Way We Live album came out, but we did when the Tractor album came out.  [we] Even shared a stage with Bon Scott one night.
We became heavily involved in the northern free festival scene and the birth of deeply vale festivals.
As I understand it, Tractor is still around, or is our biography is totally out-dated?
Yes, Tractor are still recording and have done a few festivals since reforming again in 2001 including Glastonbury and Canterbury.
Please tell us what you have been up to during the last years. What is your current status  and what is your plans for next year and beyond?
We have been working on a brand new album after finishing the Peterloo suite of songs which we started for John Peel in 1973 and finally finished in 2010. The new album we started about 2002 and hopefully it will be out sometime in 2012- 40 years since we released Tractor (Tractor). Steve Clayton our drummer had his first book published a couple of years ago. “The Art of Being Dead” by Stephen Clayton and is currently writing his second one. We are available for gigs and festivals but it takes a lot of production even though the band is currently a two piece as it was back in the early 1970s.
(with thanks to Torodd Fuglesteg for the interview)
"You know what uranium is, right?
It’s this thing called nuclear weapons.
And other things.
Like lots of things are done with uranium.
Including some bad things.
But nobody talks about that."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sagichim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2012 at 16:13
I'm glad to see a post about tractor.
A year ago when i had the chance of hosting a radio show, i played one song from tractor's album. And from an original vinyl!! I'm sure it was the first time ever in my country.
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