With multiple sell out shows and rave reviews from their last outing, Disco Superstars BONEY M (Feat. Maizie Williams) are back performing all of their Greatest Hits across Australia. Their amazing run of chart-topping singles and relentless touring schedule established BONEY M as a genuine pop super group in the 70s and 80s. Their high energy, sing along shows feature outrageous costumes and a wicked live disco-funk backing band, for an out of this world experience.
BONEY M’s insanely catchy songs gave them an amazing run of chart success in Australia. Their first single Daddy Cool went to Number 5and the follow up Sunny made the Top 40. Ma Baker gave them another Top 10 in 1977. The following year they went on to achieve a remarkable feat – 2 Number 1’s! The double A-side Rivers of Babylon with Brown Girl In The Ring, and the disco stomper Rasputin (aka Russia’s Greatest Love Machine). BONEY M became massive in the clubs, at parties and all over the airwaves. It was an absolute pleasure talking to Maizie Williams about Boney M’s musical journey.
Another Australian tour, how many is that now?
I don’t know but I should take up residency there. Looking forward to it once again. The fans seem that they cannot get enough of us and we can’t get enough of them. I think we have had a major impact on our fans over there and isn’t that wonderful after all of these years, wow! They love Boney M music and we love them, without them we would not be able to work as we are today. It is wonderful that we still have them on our side.
Does it still amaze you that after forty years the interest is as strong as ever?
Yeah, we have the new generation today, we have all the generations from babies right up to grand mamma and papas, it’s beautiful and is a wonderful thing, we’re just blessed.
It must be great seeing that generational shift at the live shows as well?
Exactly, at least you know the mums and dads grew up with our music. The kids, the babies are singing all the songs Brown Girl In The Ring, Daddy Cool and I’m thinking how do they know all this? It is such a lovely feeling to know that even the new generation of today who should be listening to rap and hip-hop are listening to Boney M music. Isn’t that wonderful? Good songs is what we have on our side, Boney M music is the type of music everyone and anyone can listen to and relate to, sing-a-long to the lyrics and the melodies are easy to sing-a-long with. Everyone can relate whether that’s the youngest person or the oldest, we’ve got that on our side, thank god for that!
Is there any pressure to release new music when you have such a strong back catalogue?
It is wonderful when your music can touch everyone and anyone. That is what you call success. We didn’t when we started didn’t realise we would get this far and achieve what we have achieved. I still pinch myself sometimes to know we have had such a major impact on peoples lives when it comes to our music. I think that is something you have to appreciate and be grateful for or take for granted. Once you have that on your side then it’s like your music keeps on going from generation to generation.
Do you think you will release any new music?
As a soloist yes but not Boney M. We can’t better what we have done and if the original members of the group aren’t together I think the sound will change somewhat. People just love the old material and that’s what they want to hear and I don’t think you should mess with that, leave it alone and just move on.
With all these downloads no one sells as many albums as they used like in the seventies and eighties. In the nineties people were still buying records, today you have so many downloads but I guess the main thing is that people are still downloading the songs, still listening to our music and that is a plus when you consider we have moved in to 2018 and our music still has an influence on the public. When we do our concerts it is amazing the response that we get from the crowd, they just go wild and it’s like wow after forty odd years we’re still getting this response. That is something to respect and I’m grateful for that.
Is that the ultimate compliment seeing the fans sing your songs back to you?
That is the best feeling ever, when you step on that stage and you start reeling out the hits one after another the audience is right there with you. It’s like we should stop singing and let them sing, they know all the songs and all the lyrics and that is a really lovely buzz. This is what I enjoy doing and I love it, there is a downside when it comes to the travel moving around from country to country and that can become very tiring but you know what it comes with it. If you can’t move around you would’t have the success we’ve had so that’s part of it. When you step on that stage that makes up for everything else for all stress we go through daily.
What are some of the career highlights of Boney M that sticks out most for you?
We have had some major highlights and the one that stood out most for me is when we got invited to Russia in 1978 and it was the Russian government that actually invited us. We were the first entertainers ever to enter the Iron Curtain and it was amazing as we didn’t know what to expect when we got the invitation to come. We played ten concerts in five days , we thought oh gosh this is communist Russia, how are we supposed to conduct ourselves, how are we supposed to deal with this situation. Once we were there we found that we had the same influence on people no matter who you are and once on stage they reacted to the music, they were up out of their seats, even the dignitaries who were the ones who could afford the tickets. It was amazing, they were all up out of their seats singing along and dancing, enjoying the show.
Music has the same influence on people no matter where you go in this world. That was lovely and a really amazing experience to be there in communist Russia in the Red Square. I’ve never felt coldness like that in my entire life, is this normal? It was that cold and we were filming the video Mary’s Boy Child in Red Square even our white fur coats weren’t keeping us warm. Everyone now and then we had to go in this coach which was heated all the time, take our shoes off and wash our feet and hands in vodka and every night when we played we were so tipsy from the vodka trying to keep warm. It was a good experience.
Looking back do you think you appreciate the journey more now than you did when you were younger?
Oh yeah, at the beginning you were so busy enjoying it and not as mindful in thinking that this is amazing. We did enjoy enjoy the journey and success but now we can relax and appreciate the fact that was really a journey and an adventure. Speaking for myself, I enjoyed the journey and would not change a thing. it was perfect, we had a few ups and downs but that doesn’t matter, it comes with it and we had an amazing time doing it and achieving what we did.
Do you see yourself keeping going?
I do see myself slowing down somewhat, with age you have to pull back because you can’t do much as one used to. Even this year we have pulled back from travelling so much and amazingly most of the shows this year and here in Britain so we don’t have to jump on planes and go from one country to the next like we normally do. I’m appreciating this time that we are more relaxed and playing shows mainly on weekends. That is wonderful!
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Boney M on the following dates and tickets from https://metropolistouring.com/boney-m-featuring-maizie-williams/