The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward Talks New Record and Lost Chords

The Moody Blues practically invented album oriented rock, but Justin Hayward's singles still chart new horizons.

The Moody Blues Justin Hayward
Photo: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Justin Hayward is a legend, and not just of the mind as his bandmate, the late Ray Thomas, once described Timothy Leary. The Moody Blues emerged from the British Invasion to become one of the most influential musical units in popular music. This happened after Mike Pinder heard a demo tape and invited Hayward to join the band and ultimately expand their sound. The Moody Blues predated prog, but were at the forefront of musical experimentation. Not only because they helped explain what you could do with stereo and classical music, but because they expanded the musical vocabulary and the mind. Hayward continues to break new sonic ground as his newly released EP, One Summer Day/My Juliette, one track is melodically unlike anything The Moody Blues ever produced, the other could be quite Moody.

Hayward, Thomas, Pinder, drummer Graeme Edge and bassist John Lodge, who returned to the band with the new guitarist’s arrival, all wrote songs for the albums. But most of the hits belonged to Hayward. The first song he brought to the band, “Fly Me High,” went straight to single. “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” became instant radio staples. The band itself forged their own unique sound, a tough thing to do in 1967, the year they put out an album which sonically challenged The Beatles‘ acknowledged masterpiece Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Moody Blues were an R&B band when they formed in England in 1964. But Days of Future Passed was as dramatic departure from the production of music as anything being put down at Abbey Road studios. Days of Future Passed was one of the first albums to be appreciated as an album. There are no grooves of silence between the songs, each one flows seamlessly through the orchestral segues provided by the London Symphony Orchestra. Along with the odd time signatures and progressive scales the Beatles were already using, the two concept albums gave birth to prog and AOR, album oriented rock. On The Threshold of a Dream, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Seventh Sojourn and Long Distance Voyager all went to the top of the album charts and The Moody Blues were the first band to launch their own label, Threshold Records.

Born in Swindon, England, Hayward learned ukulele as a kid before moving on to guitar. He’d already released solo singles before he joined the Moody Blues in the summer of 1966, and resumed when the band took a break in 1975. He put out the Blue Jays album with Lodge, and the song “Blue Guitar” with the band 10cc, before his string of solo albums Songwriter, Night Flight, Moving Mountains, The View From the Hill, and Spirits Of The Western Sky.

Ad – content continues below

Hayward’s upcoming tour and cruise shows were sidelined by the coronavirus but he released two songs for streaming, “One Summer Day,” and “Juliette.” The singer/songwriter/guitarist spoke with Den of Geek about the music, the craft and the act.

DEN OF GEEK: “One Summer Day” is melodically very different from your Moody Blues songs. “My Juliette” is more Moody. Do you have a conscious musical vocabulary for your solo songs than what you’d pull out for a Moody Blues song?

JUSTIN HAYWARD: It’s a different consideration, I suppose, and I think that it just comes out of the guitar that way. A song is a song. There are specific Moody Blues songs that really start in that sort of quiet way. I think that the song would start the same, with me playing, but of course the arrangement would be different. That’s all. There are no drums on these, so the sound in the end would be quite different. But no, I don’t have any rule about that or any shyness about presenting anything. I never did.

In the press release, you said “Juliette” just sort of fell out of you. What’s different about a song that you compose as a craftsman and one that sort of spontaneously combusts?

Well, I think the thing is I’ve had so many small parts of songs that I’ve just enjoyed playing, and it takes me a while to realize actually: “This is a song. If I just work at it a bit more, I’ve got a whole song here.” And then when I put my mind to it, I can somehow finish. Inspiration has to find you working, really and not just toying around. So it’s a question of just prompting myself to actually use some of the bits that I’ve been enjoying on the guitar and make a song out of them. Then I realized that comes really quite quickly once I’ve made that decision.

Staying with “Juliette,” I want to know a little bit more about the theater troupe you worked with when you were young. Did you do more than play guitar? Did you act?

Ad – content continues below

No, I did a few walk-on parts with the theater company, and I went back every summer. The first summer would’ve been 1961, I think, when I was about 13. And then I went back to the same theater company actually with the group from my hometown of Swindon, and we spent all the summer holidays with them in a theater in Jersey, which is one of the Channel Islands, and then at another place another holiday time. Because these companies tend to do holiday seasons. In fact, every year since I was 13 I’ve done holiday seasons somewhere, in my teen years. The very first year I was with Matthew Wilde. The first real professional job I got was with a rock and roll singer called Matthew Wilde. One of the first things I did with him was what they call a summer season at a theater in Norfolk. It’s a kind of custom. It’s like pantomime in the winter and summer shows for the summer.

On the song “The Actor,” you pause before the vocal jump when you sing “The actor is me.” Were you thinking of the theater troupe?

I probably was. I was still in that mindset in those early Moody Blues years. I never found it easy really being on stage. The wonderful thing about joining the Moodies was being able to record and to go into the studio. I’d never really had that luxury of spending three hours for one song. That was what I wanted to do. I had to really teach myself. The others helped me, through, about how to be on stage. My professional job before that with Marty had been as a backing musician. He encouraged me to come forward. But I think even when I joined The Moody Blues, it wasn’t clear that I was going to be a singer with The Moody Blues. I think that it just took me a while to find how to do it on stage, and I’m still discovering that.

I went back to a pre-Moody Blues song you did, “A Day Must Come,” and love the arrangement and the syncopation. Time is an integral part of your songwriting. “Nights in White Satin,” “Dawning of the Day,” “Never Comes a Day,” “One Summer Day,” even “Forever Autumn,” which you did for Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Do you ever sleep in?

Oh, that’s why I became a professional musician, I think. It’s a very good reason. In my home town, it was quite an active music scene, and people were forever asking, “How have you gone professional yet?” Which usually meant that you just stay in bed in the morning. You didn’t have to do a job. You could try and support the payments on your guitar and that kind of stuff through doing music work. So yeah, sure, I actually did.

You were at the forefront of Stereo Recording, and it was only a gig, but you got to collaborate with the London Symphony Orchestra on Days of Future Passed in a way George Martin couldn’t even do at the time. What was it like to have all those toys?

Ad – content continues below

We were never in the studio at the same time. Our songs were recorded quickly and quite economically within two or three days, although Nights had been recorded several months before the album was released. But we were never in the studio with The Orchestra. There were a lot of people involved. I wish we could take the credit. But in reality, we were a small part of that idea. I think it just became a Moody Blues album that is beautiful and seems to define us, really, in a wonderful way. I’m very grateful for that.

None of us in the group could take the credit. We had no idea how that was really going to turn out. There was no plan or anything like that. It was just a wonderful gift to us from Decca, who had that concept. But even they had no idea how it would turn out. They really wanted a demonstration stereo record to demonstrate their stereo systems. That was their whole purpose in making Days of Future Passed. We were just lucky that the arranger that they commissioned for it was Peter Knight, who was the best romantic string arranger I’ve ever known, really, and as a composer as well, right up there.

Speaking of romance, when you sing “Oh, how I love you” in “Nights in White Satin,” you do it with complete abandon. Is it still fun to get caught up in that musical moment?

Well, I don’t think that any of us ever thought that that music was going to be heard from Days of Future Passed. Like I said, it was made as a demonstration record, and so none of us had thought about how it would be received or the risks that you were taking within a song. For me, it just came from the heart. Like I said, I honestly didn’t think anybody else would really be listening. It just made sense in that moment, and it was what I was feeling at that time.

But even on stage, I’ve seen it a few times, you just close your eyes and just let go.

Well, it’s something in the voice that just seems to work there with those phrases and those syllables and the way it comes out. I’m not sure that any other words would work in that particular range in that particular way. But I’ve never really thought about it. It’s a song that’s a joy to play and to sing, and it belongs to the audience in a way. They bring something to it. You can do it in a sound check and it’s okay, but it has a completely different feeling. But when there is an audience there, they bring something to the songs, and particularly that one, that is a kind of magic in the room. It’s a very old thing, but it’s like a drug; once you’ve experienced that, it’s something you never want to give up.

Ad – content continues below

You write some of the most revealing romantic lyrics. “If only you knew what’s inside me now you wouldn’t want to know.” Do you ever think you reveal too much? Do you ever, on retrospect say, “Hmm, maybe I should have held back?”

Well, it’s not particularly about revealing. Yes, I do think about that, but only in the context of, sometimes it could be taken too literally. Sometimes it’s just a story. Sometimes I’m just writing a story and that fits together and that seems to work. In the tradition of the songwriters of the mid-20th century, really, it doesn’t always have to be about me and about revealing something.

Your song “Question” was about Vietnam, Pinder’s “Lost in a Lost World was always kind of like The Moody Blues’ “What’s Going On” for me. The band was never afraid of political songs. What got you angry then that’s still pissing you off now?

I think it was the time then when we hadn’t really had any big commercial success, although it appeared like that was going to come along, and it was going to come along in a rush just after that. I particularly loved “Lost in a Lost World.” I loved playing everything of Mike’s because rhythmically, he was a great, rhythmically, everything was always just perfect. He had exactly the right kind of groove in his songs, and he was always so well-prepared, which was refreshing. He’d have it completely finished, and then he and I would play it and work it up. I loved that. But I think at the time, we were doing so much, so many universities and student functions, and that was our audience. I think we were just reflecting what was going on around us. Those nights on tour, we’d do the gig, but then we’d also go to people’s apartments afterwards and have a turn on and just listen to music and talk. It was very much like that in Britain and in the U.S. when we started to go to the U.S.

But I think we were only reflecting the general conversation of young people at the time. For me, I was 21 or 22 years old, and we were reflecting a lot of that. We were lucky enough in Great Britain that what they called conscription finished, but of course so many of our friends in the U.S. were being drafted. It was a very disturbing time for young people.

You backed the Four Tops. How were you approached, and how did “Simple Game” come to their attention?

Ad – content continues below

Well, Berry Gordy liked “Simple Game.” That was the plain truth of it. He came over to meet with Tony Clark, our producer, and then Tony was assigned The Four Tops, which was like a dream for all of us. It was probably only myself and Mike that played on those records. The rest was an arranger called Arthur Green Slade, an English arranger. But I certainly played on them, and I loved every moment of it, and just being in their company and the fun and the laughs. They were kind of grown up as well, they were a few years older than us. But it came about because Motown approached Tony Clark, our producer, and then he was taken on by them.

What were those studios like compared to Decca’s?

We did those sessions in North London. They weren’t done in Detroit, although we did do some things there. We recorded different things in Detroit and in Chicago. But I think we’re just talking about miscellaneous things like Coke commercials and stuff like that that everybody was doing at the time. They were recorded in North London.

I love your use of fuzz and feedback. Your distortion on “Higher and Higher” is amazing. How do you explore sonics, or are they just intuitive?

Well, it has to be intuitive. Just today, I was playing with an old rack-mounted Roland unit that I’d remembered, “Oh, I put my sounds into that.” I remodeled those sounds. And then of course when you switch it on and go to those particular presets that I’d set, I thought, “Oh, this is absolutely brilliant. I’ll use it again.” It’s just that you move forward. Electric guitar players move forward. They’re always interested in new things and different things. Sometimes new isn’t always better, so we’re always moving forward. But every time I found a piece of equipment that I really loved, I would stick with it for a couple of years. Those early sounds, really, are to do with the 335 and AC30 with a top boost in the normal channel to and fuller. You’ve got to stand in front of the amplifier. It’s very tough because that kind of wattage, full-on, is hard to take.

So I never had anything in the cans except the track if I was doing an overdub. I couldn’t stand there and listen to the guitar, and the headphones were to keep the noise out. But that’s the way, by standing. You probably know that if you get really close to those amps, those kind of sounds will come out of it if you overload it. And then of course after the ’60s and the ’70s, companies would start to model those sounds in different pieces of equipment so that you didn’t really need to stand close to it. Apart from the guy from ZZ Top who’s always managed, I don’t quite know how, but those kind of overlaid harmonics that sometimes come out with really, really high volume. That’s something that I don’t think anybody’s ever really achieved yet, but I’m sure they’re working on it.

Ad – content continues below

You came up in early rock and roll. Did you sing in men’s rooms to catch the echo, things like that?

The studios that I went to in London and Decca as well had real echo chambers. So they had actual rooms on the roof of Decca where we recorded the first seven albums. It was literally a room, maybe 30 feet long and 10 feet wide, with speakers at one end and microphones at the other end. The microphones were placed at different places along that room, further and further away from the speakers. To get them signed in the studio, they were all there and then they went to plate echoes, and then of course to equipment that could make those echoes. I remember on early tours with Joe Walsh from The Eagles. We did a tour with him and his band, which was absolutely great. My fondest memory is finding a stairwell. It was always the best place. A stairwell is always the nicest place. And Ray and I would go in a stairwell as well because his flute always sounded so nice. But I remember evenings on that tour after the gig. We’d go back to the hotel or we’d find somewhere, and myself and Joe would go in the stairwell and just play and have tremendous sound. Nobody else ever goes to those things unless there’s a fire or something.

When I was 13 and started playing guitar I bought songbooks by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Jethro Tull and The Moody Blues. Your chords were finger crushes. I cursed you by name and formed a Ramones cover band. You came up during rock and roll, the 1-4-5 structure, were you musically excited when The Beatles opened up chordal possibilities. Did you know that every C diminished you threw into a song was going to expand the genre?

Well, what I can say about that was that I learned a lot in those early years about chords, open tunings. “Question,” which is a big open C tuning, and “Never Comes a Day,” an open G. We played a few times with Richie Havens, and he showed me quite a few tunings backstage at gigs on that lovely good old guitar of his. The Beatles changed everything, didn’t they? But so did people like Henry Mancini. They changed it as well, and they moved it forward. Of course, Buddy Holly was the number one for me, but I do remember, before I went to London, hearing “Love Me Do,” on the radio and walking out into the street and knowing that life was going to be completely different after that, because The Beatles were in it.

I knew, and I can picture it now quite clearly, just by the way that they sang, just by the way that they put a song together, it was just so interesting. And then everything took us sort of sideways and then carried on climbing in the most wonderful way. But we all of my generation owe them such a tremendous depth. Still hard to believe that, of the heroes in London in the ’60s, that really two of the Beatles are gone, and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as well. You can’t imagine how huge Pete and Dud were at that time as well.

What did you get from them?

Ad – content continues below

I grew up with it. We had The Goons in the ’50s, and then Tony Hancock, a very, dare I say English, way of looking at things, a sarcastic, sardonic, resigned schoolboy kind of upbringing that was in every school at the time. And it just resonated completely. Peter Cook opening up the club in the West End just changed everything. And then I think it all came to a head really when he booked Lenny Bruce, who was then kind of censored by the magistrates or whoever the censorship person is. But of course it only made it that much more interesting to have things censored. It just made it more interesting for all the young people.

Did it make your own press conferences more interesting, being able to play with the press in a funny way?

I don’t think we ever had a press conference. I don’t think anybody was really interested in what we were going to say, to be quite honest. We didn’t even have a press agent until the ’70s. It wasn’t something that we thought about.

I know you’re a huge Holly fan. I always think of a Keith Richards line when he said that all Elvis fans dressed in leather and Buddy Holly fans all look like Buddy Holly. What was it about Buddy Holly’s music that was more appealing than Elvis’?

It was the fact that none of us could be Elvis. None of us could imagine ourselves as Elvis. Every girlfriend I had when I was young always loved Elvis. He was always the King. But you could never aspire to that. But with Buddy, suddenly, you had something, “Hey, he’s part of a group, he’s writing the songs, he’s singing, he’s got those fantastic little guitar sound chords, and you could actually do that.” It’s why very few semi-pro groups in the early 1960s would ever attempt to Elvis things unless they had some guy out front. You have to be out front of a group. But with Buddy, you could be in the group, and that’s why there was such an explosion, I think, in the UK. We had Cliff Richards and The shadows, which were fantastic, absolutely wonderful, but there was still somebody out front of the group. I think for all of the musicians, it was just more interesting.

What did Acid bring to the music? Your lyrics have been interpreted, but what musical theory captures the drug or spiritual experience?

Ad – content continues below

What was happening around us resonated with us. The songs are always inspired by what’s happening around us and what’s happening in our personal lives as well and the experiences. So they reflect our own relationships, not particularly romantic ones, but just relationships and people around. I’m not sure that we ever sat around and thought, right, let’s do something to latch on to, a certain kind of event. I think the closest we ever got to that was an album, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which was really driven by Tony Clarke, our producer. It was something that he really wanted to do, and I’m glad that we were able to share that with him.

The Moody Blues never followed trends, you didn’t go disco. Didn’t John Lodge ever want to do those octave jumps that Bill Wyman did?

I just didn’t think it was in us to jump on a kind of trend. I think after Mike left, we started to think about that more and more. It was nothing deliberate, but I think after Mike left, we were attracted to producers that could really contribute to the sound. Of course, the best of those was Tony Visconti, who we had tremendous success with in the 1980s. Tony is more than 50% part of those hits of “Your Wildest Dreams.” I think he’s someone that really just moved the group forward into a different dimension and is exactly what we needed.

The whole prog rock movement came after us, but somehow, we were put into it later. We were before it, but it seemed to swallow us up. I’m not sure that anyone ever felt like that about exploring those things. So with Tony, I think he gave us a way forward as a sound as well, and we started to learn so much from him, and I think things really did change for us. Probably the audience that I see now when I tour, most of the people, came to the group in the 1980s.

I’d like to say there were more people of my own age, but I think there are more people from that particular era, in the ’80s. I remember that, and the ’90s and the rest of them following that. But the ’80s was such a huge decade for The Moody Blues, to have a couple of number one albums to go round again with success and was just so wonderful for me. I kind of missed it the first time. I wasn’t paying attention. To be straight and sober and clean and to be part of it and to be recognized as well, was a wonderful, wonderful thing that the music business gave us.

When you’re writing a song, how much of the arrangement do you hear? Do you know, “Oh, the strings come in here, I’m going to get a heavy on the percussion here,” when you’re actually composing it?

Ad – content continues below

Yes. I do. Yes, I feel a duty to do that to a song. Yes, I know exactly what’s going to happen, but that’s the joy of it, really making those things work in the studio. Yes, I’ve always felt like that, but then I was one of those kids when I was younger who did my homework and got it out the way. I never came to the studio when I was unsure about anything, about how anything would work. I must have been the group member from hell, because I’d insist on doing what I had in my mind, and I was lucky enough to be in a group that accepted that.

The biggest contribution outside of that was always Mike Pinder and the way he did the Mellotron and the parts that he played, which was something. The phrases that he played, I could never have imagined. I knew where, say the strings, would come in, but someone like Mike and Tony Visconti putting those details on the top makes all the difference.

Besides George Harrison, The Moody Blues are probably at the forefront of exploring different types of Eastern sound. Can you tell me about playing with different strings?

There was, in the upper Tottenham Court Road, a shop that I’d been past, that I’d walked past that had those tablas and sitars. I’m not sure anybody was actually paying attention to it until George drew our attention to it. And then suddenly, we were allowed to explore it. I think George, in a way, gave us permission. I don’t mean he phoned up and said, “You have my permission.” But because he had just been there and it was like, “Oh, that’s so interesting that you have to find out.”

I think most guitar players explore every kind of string instrument that they can get. As soon as I had some money, I was looking into loots and then I bought myself a double bass, which I played on quite a few Moody’s records, a big standup double bass. Probably still in the studio now by the national opera. So I went up there into that shop with Mike one day, and we sat down and I played the sitar, and he played the tambora, which I think is the name for that resonating instrument. And we thought, “Oh, this is absolutely brilliant.” So we came away with a lot of stuff, and it was a joy to use it on an album.

Is meditation any more effective than getting lost in the guitar? Are they the same vibe?

Ad – content continues below

They certainly take you in the same direction. They certainly take you in the same direction. It’s a parallel direction, but it’s the same direction. Yes. I loved every moment of that TN experience that we had, and I’m not sure it’s there anymore in London. But I loved every moment of it.

With four out of five Moodies into TM, did you slide into groove jams?

I think between the four of us, it was myself, Ray, Mike, and Graeme. Between the four of us, it gave us a bond that we went through together under the experience that we went through together. It’s the same four that went through the psychedelic experiences as well. So we had something. We’d opened a particular door together and at the same time, which was a wonderful thing to be able to share. Some took it more seriously than others, but that didn’t matter. All of those things, they’re there for you to take what you need from it and what you want and to be able to give what you can from it.

I think we were able to take those experiences and hopefully pass them on. That’s the only credit, I think, we can take. We were had just an intermediary for some of those moods, and that we refreshed those particular ideas in a different way. Really, we were just middle class kind of English guys taking in what we can and then passing it on, I suppose. But there’s never been any kind of plan. I wish I could say that there was, but things just magically happened, which was by far the best way for them to happen.

I know that you did TM in Eaton Square, the same place as The Beatles. Do you remember the acoustics or the vibe of the place? Was there something about that room that was special?

There was certainly something about the rooms in that building, but there was no acoustics or anything like that. There was just a quiet. There’s a quiet stillness about it. As you got deeper into the rooms, stillness grew and the atmosphere became more precious and truly wonderful. Yes, it’s absolutely clear in my mind. Like I say, some of us took it more seriously than others, which was absolutely brilliant that way, that we weren’t all the same, didn’t all feel the same way about it.

Ad – content continues below

Do you have any favorite cover versions of your songs?

My favorite is Bettye Lavette’s version of “Night in White Satin.” I wrote to her and she wrote back, which I really wasn’t expecting. Bettye Lavette, Bettye has an odd spelling, I’ll let you discover how it is. But she did a version of Nights, which was truly wonderful. And then just lately, somebody did some sample version of “Question,” and I thought, “Oh, that’s absolutely brilliant.” They’re called The Goodie Mob.” [The song is “Power” from the album Age Against The Machine].”

I can’t talk to a Moody Blue without asking about “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window. Whose window was it?

I don’t know. And if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.

You wrote the song, “I Never Thought I’d Live to be a Hundred,” have you had access to views you’d been refused before?

God. The changes in the world are so large and so unexpected, aren’t they? There’s an honest answer, which is, I don’t know. I don’t know. I never thought I’d be a hundred and I never thought I’d be a million. Just seemed like something that was kind of atmosphere and the time that I did something to those recordings, just a small voice on those albums. I don’t think I meant any more than that. It was just something that I thought needed to be there in some way to give it some distance, to add to the distance that the album was providing. We were a group that recorded at night when the rest of the world was silent, and I still do that now. I write when I’m the only person in the world that’s awake, and that’s the way I like it.

Ad – content continues below

I record with a discipline from 10 until seven. But writing is a different thing. To have the opportunity putting that dimension into a record now and again in a quiet way is very rewarding. Particularly with those two little songs, I don’t think there’s anything else on them, just a guitar and voice. Very plain too.

You’ve gone on tour with big bands, the regular band, and you’ve done trios and solo acoustic shows. When you’re not actually in the middle of a tour, which is your favorite?

I love the acoustic thing. I love being with Mike Dawes. He’s an inspiration to me, and Julie Reagans. They’re two of the most inspirational and brilliant people I’ve met in the last 20 years. Mike Dawes’ drive and energy and his playing. Within a minute of meeting him, I was just completely, he had me there. To be with them is a joy, to hear every nuance. I think that’s what Mike likes too. Julie’s of that mind too. She’s sometimes thinking she wants to get things exactly right. With Julie, playing less is somehow more. Sometimes less is more, and she just focuses on the exact parts. How she does that, I don’t know, but she never tries to ad lib or cover up with too much of a swamp of chords or anything like that. She has the instinct to be able to do that. What I’m able to do now, particularly with Karmen Gould, the flute player, I realize now it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing.

Is the EP going to be part of something larger? Is there is an album coming?

Well, I think that’s down to me and events in the world and how I put the things. I’ve collected so many little parts of things, I have to… Like we said at the beginning, I have to kind of put them together and to make some cohesive sense out of all of these small parts. That’s what I’m going to put my energies into. Yes.

There are bits around, it’s about collecting them and putting them into a format.

Ad – content continues below

I know your tour and your cruise were postponed. Do you get performance interruptus?

Oh, totally, I love being with the crew, I love the humor of being on the road with other people and musicians. Yes, of course. But I’m sure we’ll be back.

What gave you the idea to do cruise tours? Was it because of “Driftwood?”

I wish I could say I had the idea, but we do what we’re offered. It’s just as simple as that. If what we’re offered is nice and we want to take it, then it’s wonderful and enjoyable. I’ve never been able to say, “Well, I’d like to do that, so I’ll go and do it.” I’d like to. I have a lot of things, but we have what people want to share with us and what… The road is about what you’re offered. Sometimes it’s about what you can create if you have that power and that kind of money, but the rest of the time it’s… I’m very grateful, but that’s all. To all the promoters, I just hope everyone survives all of this. We were interrupted there, but I’m sure we’d be back.

Beyond lyrics in music, is there a creative process behind your overall message?

Do I have a message? I’m not sure that I do. I just have something to share. I’m not sure that I have a message.

Will The Moodies be going out again on tour?

The honest answer to that is: I don’t know. I can only give you the honest answer instead of making up some sort of promo idea or something. I don’t know.

The question I wanted to finish with was, you’ve been given answers to the universe through your explorations. Is the lost chord C diminished?

That’s right. God, I think Jimmy Durante had it planned, didn’t he? He’s the one who found us. He wrote the song “I’m the Guy Who Found the Lost Chord.” It’s something we’re all searching for, isn’t it?

Justin Hayward’s latest EP, One Summer Day/My Juliette is available on all digital formats.