Martin Popoff of Bravewords recently conducted an interview with Pete Agnew Of Nazareth. Read excerpts below.
Love the way these Scottish rock dogs Nazareth are just, well, doggin’ it… around the world, from classic rock fests in rural North America, to all over Europe, regularly to their stronghold in Russia of all places. And they write vital and biting as well, “Big Dogz” being the follow-up to “The Newz” from not long ago, ’08 to be exact. The band consists of Jimmy Murrison on guitar, original members Pete Agnew (bass) and Dan McCafferty (vocals), plus Pete’s son, Lee, on drums. And it’s a family affair all ‘round, between staffers and banders, between rabid fans and the band’s classic anthems that never sound old, not as old as the seniors singing them, anyway.
“We were trying to not do “The Newz” again, but be a little bit more rhythm and blues, if you like,” explains the amiable Agnew, asked after the mission for this decidedly darker, more contemplative Johnny Cash of an album. “And we used very, very little overdubbing - it was kind of live in the studio, if you know what I mean. Obviously you’ve got to do overdubs for solos and stuff like that, but we didn’t go over-the-top with overdubs. We were trying to make it studio live, if you like. That’s what we tried to achieve, and I think we’ve kind of done it, because most people who’ve phoned me have kind of mentioned that.”
Still, Pete doesn’t really buy that the band is appreciably bluesier than the bulk of its past. “No, I don’t know, I think in the early days it was what you used to call hard rock, heavy rock, whatever it was. But it all came from the blues, rhythm and blues, and that’s the way we grew up. We grew up with Chuck Berry, playing the rhythm and blues stuff, so I think all our albums are like that. Things changed a little bit in the middle, maybe a bit more poppy in some cases. But this time we just felt we’d like to just go back and groove. And the songs that we laid out… well, we think they’re modern songs, but done with that approach - we wanted to sound like a three-piece Delta band. We did the songs, and we thought, ‘How would we have played those things in 1973?’ That’s how we wanted it to work.”
Read the entire interview here.