I shared this in a 'Steve Hoffman' website Supertramp forum. Since this is a Supertramp thread, I thinking I can put it in here too 😊. Besides, we don't have many archived interviews from this talented musician 😊.
There are some more Mark Hart interviews...
I found this archived 1998 interview with Mark Hart on The Logical Web promoting It was the best of times.
It's an interesting read about performing live.
I've attached the full interview here in case your web browser doesn't translate the link from Spanish to English.
Mark Hart en "EMI Records" (Noviembre 1998)
Mark Hart on 'EMI Records' (November 1998)
Interview with Mark Hart distributed to radio stations by EMI Records to promote Supertramp's live album "It was the best of times."
QUESTION: Tell us about the new album.
MARK: Well, it's a live album and we're mixing it right now. It contains a lot of songs, about twenty-three, and it was recorded last year during our tour. Hope that sounds good ...
QUESTION: What are the differences between recording live and recording in a studio?
MARK: The failures, for example. If we have bugs and we can't do anything to fix them, it's a problem. And there is also the energy level. You are playing and you know that it is the only opportunity you have to do it well, that you will not have a chance to repeat it. This is live music and it is impossible for everything to be accurate or to be seen through a microscope. You're just acting, so it's a very different thing than working in the studio.
QUESTION: Is there a different type of energy?
MARK: Yes, when you are playing in front of an audience it is always very different than when you are playing in a studio in front of anyone.
QUESTION: Are you relatively new to Supertramp?
MARK: Yes, I've only been in the group for about thirteen years (LAUGHS). I started playing with them in 1985 and it was about three years until they stopped playing and took a long break. So I started doing other things and when they got back together I was lucky that I had just finished what I was doing, and I was able to join them. So thirteen years may seem like a long time, but in reality it has only been five or six years that we have been working together.
QUESTION: How did it feel to go back on tour with Supertramp?
MARK: Well, I felt very comfortable and I had a feeling like coming home, because everything was very familiar to me. I know the songs very well and I know all the members of the group, so it was not traumatic at all, but fun.
QUESTION: What was the highlight of the tour, musically speaking?
MARK: John's baritone solos always stand out ... I also like Rick's piano solo on 'Another man's woman', he does a very long and free performance ... And there are many other things, like the trumpet solo on end of 'Sooner or later', which I also like a lot ... I don't know, it's a difficult question.
QUESTION: Tell us about the audience of the concerts. What was there more, old fans or new converts?
MARK: It really was a mix of everything. I was surprised that there were so many young people in the audience. In Europe they don't care if a group is from the 70s, in that sense they have a very open mind. But there were also a lot of old fans, so it was a very nice and enthusiastic mix.
QUESTION: What was it like going on tour with a team that includes a father and son?
MARK: It was great. During the tour Bob never acted like a father, he always let the rest of us do it for him (LAUGHS). So we all end up being parents, giving advice to Jesse and all that ... Jesse is not that young, I think he is 22 years old, but we all were forced to act as his parents and therefore Bob did not have to do nothing (LAUGHS). It was fun!
QUESTION: What songs received the best response from the public?
MARK: Well, logically people enjoyed the old hits more. Those were the songs they responded the best to, and I think that's normal. And the old songs have a certain added value in terms of production themes, like the train ride in the case of 'Rudy'. That was always a highlight at concerts.
QUESTION: Do you find something new in those songs after having played them for so long?
MARK: Yes, after having played a song hundreds of times, sometimes you realize that you should have recorded it differently, but it is too late. The songs always keep growing, and that is part of the whole process. And another good reason to record a record like this is that there are small changes to the arrangements that are made to make the songs work well live.
QUESTION: Does that mean that on this album the fans are going to have a deeper interpretation of the music?
MARK: It's basically our deepest interpretation of how each song should be, because when you record it in the studio, you've only been rehearsing it for a week or two, and in such a short time you can't capture the best of it. You end up recording something that becomes that song, but after a while it grows and transforms.
QUESTION: How did you decide to do the recordings at the Royal Albert Hall?
MARK: I found out that we were going to record a live album, but I don't know why the decision was made to do it there ... I guess it was because we were playing five consecutive nights and it was better to have the whole assembly in one place than to take it along from side to side. So we played the first two nights, which were amazing, and then they set up the mics and everything else for the recordings. It is impressive how some performances were much better than others. Almost all the songs on the album were drawn from a single performance, which turned out to be the best.
QUESTION: Any other thoughts?
MARK: About the band? I don't know, I can't think of anything else ... I've thought about it enough!