|Harlan Cage is one of the best bands in the melodic hard rock genre. The new album of the band "Temple Of Tears" was a "big" surprise for all of us. Let's see what Roger Scott Craig (keyboards) and Larry Greene (vocals) told us...|
|Congratulations on "Temple Of Tears". As you can see from the review of the album I liked it very much. Tell us who's behind the band and generally introduce us the band.
RSC: Harlan Cage is really just myself and singer Larry Greene with an assortment of different musicians. It depends who's available when we start to record but generally Billy Liesegang from London is our main guitarist. Over the years we've used all sorts of other players but we like to keep an open plan structure so we are always free to use whoever we want.
Can you tell us how did you get your name? Who's idea been?
LG: The name came from an American folklore book. Harlan Cage was kind of a mystical, carpetbagger character in the southern black community in the early 1900's. I think he was both a thief and a preacher somewhere near the Louisiana Bayou. I wish I could remember more of his legend, but basically, I just liked the way the name sounded..
Do you write the lyrics? Can you tell some things about the lyrics of "Temple Of Tears"?
RSC: I do the music mostly but quite often I will suggest some hook lines to Larry but he does most of the lyrics.
LG: I try to paint a broad picture with the lyrics. Sometimes Roger gives me ideas when he comes up with the melody, but mostly I just take it all from personal experiences. Among my favorite subjects - drunks, hobo's, prostitutes, carnies, transvestites, suicides and a few stray
What do you expect to achieve with this album? As far as I know you have got many good reviews from zines.
RSC: We don't expect too much from any album except to have people enjoy what we do. Melodic rock isn't what it used to be and we don't expect to become millionaires with Harlan Cage. But the reviews have always been pretty good for our CD's and that's encouraging. And over the years we've actually had people say that our music had actually saved their lives and that's a great feeling.
Where exactly is the "Temple Of Tears"? What's the idea behind it?
LG: I went through so many emotions while making the CD, the name just seemed to fit. The actual Temple of Tears was a structure built by a few artists for the Burning Man festival in the Mojave desert. They do this once a year. It's really fascinating. Once they finish building
the temple, they burn it down in a tradition showing that nothing is really ours to keep. I have the feeling that's what the record companies do with our royalty checks.
What are the things that inspire you to write music?
RSC: I am just lucky enough to have been able to make a living for thirty years with my music. I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic musicians and singers. And most days I just boot up my computer and start playing my keyboard and if something inspired comes out of it then that's great. I guess nothing in general inspires me when I write. But I have been very fortunate to live in some of the most beautiful places in the world. My studio in Malibu overlooked the beautiful Pacific Ocean and my new studio has a view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains rising up to 14,000 feet. That's certainly very awe-inspiring for me as a composer.
Can you analyze more the lyrics of the song "One New York Morning"? Did the attack of the 11th September, infected you to your work and personal relationships?
LG: There'ss really no underlying mystery to the story here. I wrote the lyrics September 21st from the Hotel Edison in mid town Manhattan. I'd never seen the city is such a state of shock and disbelief. The sound of bag pipes playing Amazing Grace emanating from nearly all the churches. Flowered memorials in the entry ways to the fire stations and police stations. All in total contrast to the normal vibe of the city. Unfortunately it's probably only the beginning. To take a line from the song, knowing that the doors been opened for the young, the old, and those unborn, - all that can be said, - is pray for the innocent. And yes, I lost a couple friends. So did a lot of people.
Are there any plans for a tour? In which places are you gonna play? And with whom would you like to be on stage someday?
RSC: Harlan Cage is really just a studio band now. There's just not enough support for melodic rock to make it worth us going out on the road nowadays. And we don't have a major record company behind us to provide tour support like in the old days. Well I've jammed with Led Zeppelin, had a duet at the piano with Pete Townsend of the Who, had Michael McDonald sing on one of my songs and toured with Rod Stewart. And those are a lot of my heroes. So I've really had an amazing career.
And now let's go to some weird questions: imagine that your wife/girlfriend once sells your record-collection in order to buy a designer dress. How would you react?
RSC: Well it wouldn't bother me one bit. I don't really have much of a record collection anyway so it would be no big deal! Plus I would enjoy seeing her in a new designer dress.
You're sitting in a time machine, to which time zone would you travel? And what would you do?
RSC: I wouldn't mind going forward a thousand years to see what the world would be like then. I wouldn't really want to go back in time since there were all sorts of problems and diseases back then. What would I do? Guess I'd get a kick out of seeing how technology had improved people's lives.
What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
RSC: Playing to 20,000 people in Brazil in 1977 and my band, Liverpool Express blew the local sub-power station when we started our show. We hadn't realized how bad the power supply was in South America and sitting in that stadium in the dark with all those fans was very embarrassing.
for your time. The last words of this interview belong to you.
RSC: Hey Thanos, It was my pleasure. Check also the new 101 South CD "Roll of the dice".
by Thanos (Mc)