Nazareth Interview (1989)

Posted: August 26, 2019 in Classic Rock, Classic Rock - Interviews, Deep Purple Family, Jämtland (County)

I thought it would be good fun to add one of the old interviews I did back in the day to the blog (again) since it is obvious that the classic stuff (Purple, Sabbath, Coverdale, Dio, Turner, Nightwish, Priest, Toto etc) is a major draw. I located a press cutting from September 2 1989 (LT, Jämtland County) with Dan McCafferty of Nazareth so that is 30 years ago right about now (not sure exactly what date they played in Stockholm, but I met Dan at a hotel outside of the city, that much I remember). If I had a camera with me I have no recollection of it now (I do recall an earlier photo shoot some years before, but I sent them to CREEM Stateside and never got them back). Nazareth had their 17th album “Snakes´n´Ladders” out at the time. The shots used in the article was from a gig in Östersund back in 1984 (credit to Hans Ohlsson). I just snapped a quick shot with the article surrounded by some classic albums for this post. In any case, here is his opinions and answers to some of my questions.

THE PRESS

– The press bores me at times. They have ignored us and given us bad reviews for so long, but that does not stop the kids to come to our shows. I think the journalists forget that it is just entertainment. What colour your hair is should not matter, the fashion of the day. I have had people ask me “Are you not going to quit soon?”. Then I say something like, “Look, we have done this since you were in school and we are still here”.

RADIO

– I have given up on the press but the radio is another matter. It looks like the radio ignores you if you have been around for a while. That is sad because we need air time as much as everybody else in this business. An album can live or die depending on the radio.

DRUGS (TOMMY BOLIN/JIMI HENDRIX)

– We may not have been angels but we always avoided the hard stuff. We toured with Deep Purple in the States in 1976 and I worried about Tommy Bolin. He was a beautiful man and a good guitarist but he did not want to listen to people that warned him about that shit. I tried to talk to him and he said “Jimi Hendrix did it and look how good he was”. I said, “But Tommy, Jimi is dead!”. I actually saw Hendrix early on and it was way better than the last time I had a chance to see him. Tommy Bolin was one of these guys that this business just eats up. It was a good tour for us, we did better than Purple really.

DIRTY DEEDS

– The band started in 1968 and the first album came out in 1971. I guess we really established ourselves between 1973 and 1976. We have had our ups and downs and a few lawyers got rich on the way. We got totally screwed by two managers on different occations. Now we do not even know how many records we have actually sold.

THE CATCH

– We go out for about six or seven weeks now, then we take some time off. Longer tours are not good for you. You get sick of it and that goes for the crew too. On the last couple of albums we have concentrated on material that works live. When we did “The Catch” (1984) a few years ago we really thought it was a bold direction. Then we started rehearsals for the tour and it did not work. That taught us a lesson. We try to catch as much as possible live in the studio now. It is all about being properly prepared when you walk into the studio.

HOME SWEET HOME

– We still live in Scotland in this small town. The music scene has always been good there. Some people have succeeded, like Big Country and Ian Anderson. I check out the younger bands if I can. We tend to meet bands more than we see them live, in hotels, airports, trainstations… When I have time off I do ordinary things, I paint the house, spend time with the kids, go the the movies.

MUSIC VIDEOS

– A necessary evil. Some videos out there have budgets that are criminal. Five bands could record an album for that kind of money so you start to wonder. Some artists live on videos. Rock acts are still building their careers through touring, meeting the audience face to face. We tried to make an effort to get the new live video to look good. It felt right because some of the songs are quite serious. I am not trying to force opinions on people, but we have songs about nuclear weapons and how crazy it all is. “Donna – Get Off That Crack” from the new album is a song like that. An anti drug song.

THE FUTURE

– We will do this for as long as we enjoy it. Or as long that we have an audience. We have learnt that the band comes first, not the individuals in it. If somebody is in a bad mood we just give him some space. Let him read his book at the hotel or whatever. In a couple of days it will be fine. Some bands split as soon as they have a few arguments. We figured it out a long time ago. For us, Nazareth is a way of life.

(My shot of said article & the classic albums)

Interview by Mike Eriksson (1989)

 

Comments
  1. […] Trinkelbonker (Michael Eriksson) interview with Dan McCafferty of Nazareth from 1989: […]

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