Archives - Wired For Sound

pic from Diabetes Forecast
this picture also accompanied the original article

During Gregory's first few years with XTC, there were four members in the band: Partridge, Moulding, Gregory, and drummer Terry Chambers. The first album Gregory recorded with them was Drums and Wires. This album had the imaginative lyrics and contagious energy found in XTC's first two albums, but their sound was becoming more tuneful. Gregory's abilities on both guitar and keyboard fit in perfectly with this new style. They began making music that was more approachable and their popularity increased. Their next album, Black Sea, made it to the top 50 of Billboard's LP chart.

"It was non-stop work," recalls Gregory. "When we weren't rehearsing or recording, we were out on tour. We played in just about every territory in the world. We even went to South America. It was an education every tour and a real adventure for me."

He admits that during his first few years with the band, he let his diabetes care fall by the wayside. "I did ignore my condition. My blood sugar ran at pretty seriously high levels for most of it, which must have impaired my performance. It's only really in the last 6 or 7 years that I've taken the illness seriously and gotten down to monitoring it. Some days I would come to the studio and not even be able to play the guitar. It was basically down to the fact that I ignored my health and was really silly about it, but I know better now. It's in a lot better state than it ever was."

Although touring was exciting for Gregory, the band's creative energy was getting squashed under the gruelling schedule. During tours to promote their English Settlement album, Andy Partridge suffered severely from the stress. His nerves were so frazzled that he was becoming physically ill before concerts. Finally, during a performance in France, he had to leave the stage before the band even finished their first song.

"It's just that we were overworked," says Gregory. "We weren't given enough time to relax and concentrate on the important stuff such as writing and rehearsing, and just developing things. It was the classic situation of chopping up the goose that laid the golden egg. It got to be too much for Andy and he cracked under the pressure. We've never toured since."

When XTC quit touring in 1982, Terry Chambers left the band to go and live in Australia. Since then they've hired several different drummers on a per-album basis.