Prior to their gig in Kinross recently, Gary pulled up a chair and sat down with the nice chaps in Carousel Vertigo…
Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us at The Moshville Times and welcome back to Scotland. How has the tour been going with tonight being the fifth night and surprisingly only Evesham cancelled due to the weather?
Yeah, well, y’know, we didn’t know how the snow was gonna affect everything. We’ve been caught in the snow before in England and it’s always been an experience. The only show we had to cancel, and that came from the venue, was Evesham, and we’ve played there before and he was like: “There’s no sense in trying to get the people to come out as there was too much snow, no sled dogs!”
It’s been really great, the Dover show we do because we love playing the pub there, it’s so great and it’s so close to when you get off the Euro Tunnel. Plus it makes a great breakfast for us the following morning, it’s all about the English breakfast, and the gammon! Then we played Horsham, and we had Rhino Edwards from Status Quo sit in with us at Horsham. We’re friends with Rhino, and we are also label mates.
It’s been almost 4 years now since you played Bannermans in Edinburgh. Why such a long gap between tours?
Well, we have standards; good music takes time to make, it takes time to record. We never forgot and we’ve come back and we’re happy to be back, we have standards in our creative process. We appreciate everyone waiting and their patience, but we feel very comfortable and confident about the quality of the product and our artistic vision.
The Moshville Times reviewed Revenge of Rock and Roll in August last year. There was four years between the new album and your first album Mighty. Did you intend to take as long with the album?
I don’t think there’s ever any intention “Well, we’re gonna put this record in three years”. The beautiful thing about what Vincent and I have is, we’re given the creative freedom to do what we feel is at the level we want to do it, and that to me is a blessing, and we don’t have a label breathing down our neck with deadlines. But we will give you a scoop: we recorded like 21 songs so the next record won’t be four years, I promise you that and it’s not filler. It’s great stuff and we co-wrote a song with Ryan Roxie from Alice Cooper’s band, Ryan is a dear friend of mine.
The new album has a fuller, more mature sound like you have revised the 70s feel and given it a more modern twist, what sound were you aiming for and do you think you got it?
Vincent: Yeah it’s a good sound, it’s a fuller sound.
Jansen: It’s organic, it’s not predisposed. We play guitars, and we never scratch our heads, if we have to scratch our heads we move onto another idea. Yeah, I would say it’s fuller, we have the horns on one song, we wanted to have a little bit of fun with that. We’ve got some keyboards rounding it out and we got us cranking our guitars.
I rated the album as my album of the year when I reviewed it last year and that still stands. The press reviews have all been glowing which must have pleased the band.
We’re always thankful that our art is appreciated and it has its rightful place I think in today’s music and we’re very humbled by it, and it’s a testament to the vision from Vincent and I. It’s very, very humbling.
From the album launch in Paris up until now, how have the new tracks gone down live?
Vincent: It’s even better!
Jansen: You’re gonna see it in about 35 minutes! We didn’t bring a horn section. I got a friend of mine who just toured with Supertramp, he’s a sax player and put it together. It came out great, and we’re very satisfied. When you don’t work with horns, and bands don’t play with horns, it’s kinda hard to come up with an arrangement. How is it going to apply with what your music is? Mike did a great job scoring it, so we’re really happy with that.
How and when did you first get together as a band?
Wow, I wanna say September 2008. We were at a music live event down in Paris and we were doing some work for Gibson Guitars, and one of the executives at Gibson said: “Would you guys mind doing like a jam?”
So over at the Bose stage, I said to Vinnie: “So what do you wanna do?” and he’s like “Well: what do you wanna do?” So we did Vinnie’s backing track because we’d been hearing each other play, and the stage was completely empty, and we started playing to an empty room and we played “Get to You” and there was about 250 people there by the end of the first song, it was kinda nuts! At the end of the weekend Alex was like: “You guys should start thinking about starting a band”. And we did! That’s how it all came about…
Any more dates after the UK run? America possibly? Festivals?
Oh wow, I wish! As regards America, we’re still working on that. We have a show April 26th in Paris with Rhino, we’re playing May 11th at the Cross Guitar Festival in Holland. We’ve got some other dates coming up that we can’t talk about right now. So after this tour, for folk who want to come down and see us, it’s not that far to Paris, grab a cheap flight, spend a long weekend in Paris, hangout and rock.
If you could be part of any 3 band line up who would you play with?
Jansen: Three band line up and one of the bands is us…I would say Bad Company, Foghat and Carousel Vertigo, that’s not bad, right? That would make sense right?
Vincent: The Dead Daisies and Thunder.