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An Interview With Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

12/02/2013 10:42 GMT | Updated 12/04/2013 10:12 BST

On his road to winning the X-factor in 2010, Mathew Cardle performed Nights in White Satin, which he believed to be a, 'forgotten classic.' Soon after, the original reentered the charts, and a new generation was introduced to The Moody Blues. The Moody's forged their identity in the 60's and have since weathered the divisive egocentric storms groups normally endure. Last year was the 45th anniversary of their seminal album Days of Future Passed, of which Nights was a single.

Today The Moody Blues remain incredibly active and tour for their legions of fans around the world. I was fortunate enough to interview guitarist and lead vocalist Justin Hayward, to speak of all things past and present. The full interview can be seen below, yet here are a few of our exchanges...

S: Tuesday Afternoon and Nights in White Satin are tremendous hits...how proud are you for writing such timeless classics?

J: Well, I didn't know that was going to be like that at the time! I only wrote Nights because Mike (Pinder) had written a song called Dawn is a Feeling, which I really loved and he asked me to sing. Then I wanted to write a sort of counterpoint for that, for the stage show, which I did in Nights... Tuesday Afternoon was done quite late on, not far before the recordings of Days of Future Passed...and introduced people to the album.

S: There was a forum online claiming you to be the unofficial fifth Beatle: did you ever look at them longingly or think what if? Or were you content with the product you were producing?

J: The Beatles were in a different stratosphere, a different planet to the rest of us. All I know is when I heard Love Me Do on the radio, I remember walking down the street and knowing my life was going to be completely different now the Beatles were in it. You could just tell from that one record, it was something special and something magical. As long as they kept it together they were going to do it. There was no envy for them. They were our leaders, and we were very lucky to have them as our leaders.

S: What can we expect from your new solo album Spirits of the Western Sky? A similar sound to the Moody Blues?

J: A lot of similarity I expect. It's made in the same studio that we've done a few of the Moody's recordings in the last few years; in Genoa and in Nice and in a few places around Europe and in Nashville.

S: Is there any meaning to the title, Spirits of the Western Sky?

J: I was born in Swindon... a place that always looked west. I found that wherever I go I love to have a room with a view of the western sky. My late brother and I, when we were small, had a room at the back of the house that overlooked the sunset; and both for he and I it was kind of magical. I could almost see towards America knowing that one day I would be there. To this day I have to live in a place that sees the western sky.