Kane Roberts released his new solo album “The New Normal” through Frontiers Music on 25th January. The guitarist and vocalist is probably best known as part of the Alice Cooper Band in the 80’s, but he has released a number of solo albums in the past. After a long break from the music industry, Kane has returned with a great new solo album that features guest appearances from a number of artists, including Alice Cooper, Kip Winger, Nita Strauss and Alissa White-Gluz.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Kane via Skype on 6th March and we chatted in great detail about the recording of the album, working with Alice and much more. That 45 minute interview can be found on the Friday NI Rocks Show for 8th March. That Show is available on our MixCloud site - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-kane-roberts-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-8th-march-2019/

 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

 

 


 

 

Playlist for the Show

WEST BOUND – Dance of Life

BURNING RAIN – If It’s Love

THE END MACHINE – Burn The Truth

MAVERICK – Asylum

KANE ROBERTS – Beginning of The End (ft. Alice Cooper & Alissa White-Gluz)

Interview with Kane Roberts Part 1 (18 min)

KANE ROBERTS – King of the World (feat. Nita Strauss)

Interview with Kane Roberts Part 2 (15 min)

KANE ROBERTS - Wonderful

Interview with Kane Roberts Part 3 (13 min)

KANE ROBERTS – Who We Are

KANE ROBERTS – Reckless

SUPERSKUNKZ – Queen of the Heretics

BLOOD RED SAINTS – Message to God

TUG OF WAR – Bullet With Your Name

SPIRITS OF FIRE – It’s Everywhere

RHAPSODY OF FIRE – Master of Peace

BATTLE BEAST – Eden

WILD HEAT – Time & Time Again

 

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NI ROCKS – Hi Kane, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI.

KANE – Nigel, it’s my pleasure. Interviews are kinda new to me again because I’ve been off the grid for so long. So they’re kinda fun now and I’m really happy to do this and speak to my friends in Ireland.

NI ROCKS - You released you new solo album “The New Normal” on 25th January and we’ll talk about that in more detail shortly. First of all though, we just played the track “Beginning of the End” which features Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz. We’ll talk about the video in a moment, but tell us first about the song and getting Alice and Alissa onboard.

KANE – I’ll make it quick! The story to get there, was that I walked into the studio and I had ten songs ready to go; but within three or four days we got rid of all of them and started writing from scratch and finding new writers to work with. I ended up working with Brent Smith from Shinedown and Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, some new young artists like Katt Franich, this girl who is a writer-singer and Evan Magness, who I ended up writing “Beginning of the End” with. What happened was that we got into the studio and got a great track down, and I thought to myself as I’m listening to my vocal, yeah I’m singing OK on that. Then the more I listened to it, the more I started to hear Alice’s voice on certain parts of the song. I thought to myself if I ask him to do this, it’s not just going to be a little part, he’s going to sing a duet with me. I didn’t know what he’d say; we’re great friends, but he might be busy or whatever. I called him up and he said “I’m in town, I’ll be right over”. So it literally took ten minutes to start recording it. He came in, we hung out and laughed our asses off for half an hour and then he started working on the song. In no time at all he put that vocal down that you’re hear and it’s got an tremendous amount of attitude and the sounded really amazing. We were very happy.

Then it got time to do my guitar solo, because I’m happy with it and thinking the song is done. One of the things about this record was that we just didn’t want to do things by the book. We didn’t just want to just follow the routine; you know, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo, that sort of thing. I thought to myself, if we were going to do something unexpected, what would be more intense than to have Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy drop from sky and blow the whole song apart. I reached out to a friend of mine, Michael Alago, he had signed me to Geffen and signed Metallica, White Zombie, Flotsam & Jetsam and a whole bunch of bands. He knows Alissa and he asked her and said Kane is going to get in touch. So I talked with her and she said to send the song, because she had to hear it. As soon as she heard it she said she’d do it. And she did an absolutely incredible job. The final phase of the song was that I wanted Aoyama Hideki from Babymetal to play drums because that guy is like a nuclear machine that has gone crazy. He’s a really insane drummer. Finally, we ended up all the elements and I think it sounds really good. I think we came up with a great sound for the song, and then we shot the video. That’s kinda the story of it; for me that song is kind of the nexus or centre-piece of the album.


NI ROCKS – It’s a great video. What can you tell us about the video and getting everybody together?

KANE – Well you can imagine! My attitude is, and it has always been this way, that if you want something you just do it, and you ask. If it works out it does, and if somebody says no or fuck you, then you’ve gotta give them a smile and move on or whatever and do something else. My first order of business was to see if I could find a slot, because Alice was on tour, where he had a day off. It turned out that he had a day-off in Vancouver and I know he likes to golf on his day off, but I asked him if it would be cool and he said alright, I’ll do that. Then I had to get Alissa there on the same day; and she’s on tour with Arch Enemy! To show you the type of person that she is; if she is into something creatively, she will move heaven, hell and earth to get there! That’s the way she is. She flew from Europe, all the way to Montreal, and then waited at the airport for four hours; then flew six hours to Vancouver to be in the video. For her, it’s a creative thing, she is that kind of committed, passionate artist and I’m really lucky to have gotten these people involved. Lucky me! So, all three of us are there. Anytime you shoot a video there are a lot of crazy things that go on and things are blown up, and fires that you have to put out, but somehow we got through it and we were able to edit the video and get it onto YouTube.

NI ROCKS – It’s a great video and looks a lot of fun!

KANE – Yeah, what I decided to do on that by the way, was to not have band members make believe that they were playing or whatever; somebody with a bass or a microphone. I wanted to make it a little different. It’s almost like a musical, a violent musical, that just sets everybody up and is something for everyone to watch and enjoy. It was a lot of work and I ended up doing two or three shoots – one in Colorado, one in LA and one in Vancouver, but we finally got it clued together. We’re pretty happy with it.


NI ROCKS – As we mentioned, the album “The New Normal” was released on 25th January. That is your first new release in quite some time. What motivated you to get back into recording something now?

KANE – You know, I left the music industry because I was bored with the music industry, not with music or fans or guitar; I never stopped playing guitar. I’d go into the studio and record something and sing every once in a while. But to get back into the so-called public jetstream or public view, I knew what I’d have to do; I’d have to sign with a record company and then it gets into this whole thing, it just doesn’t excite me. Then my friend Kip Winger heard one of the songs that I had recorded and said that I ought to call up Frontiers Records. So I did, and of course I’m a little cautious and it took me three years to record the record. You can imagine how they felt! At one point, it was like ‘where the fuck is the record, what are you doing?’ The point is though, that when they got, they as a record company are all about the music. It’s why the excist. Of course they have a business model and of course they make money, but the reason that they are there is for the music. Especially the guys at the top, Serafino and Mario are both badass people who are just really into the music. I felt like I was kinda lucky to be with a company that I kinda like. I like everybody on-board. It doesn’t matter what part of the company. What had happened was that I’d been away for so long, and I always tell people, the creative animal once you let them loose; like what I did in the 80’s and 90’s, they eventually have their way again and it forced me to get back into the studio.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned the writing process earlier. There are ten tracks on the album. When did the writing process start? Have some of the tracks been around for a while and been revamped or was everything new?

KANE – Like I said, I walked in there; I took a shower, combed my hair and I had a shirt on and I had pencils, paper and everything and I walked into the studio and said Ok I have ten songs. And we got rid of almost all of them. There was one song called “Wrong” that we kept, but the other ones – we just got rid of all of them and started writing from scratch. I called in different people and what you’re hearing is the evolution of what the album is about. To us, and when I say us I mean my co-producer Alex Track and I, we wanted to make each song kind of like a cinematic experience, like the lyrics are a script to a film, and the vocals and the melodies and the background music and all that stuff, is all kind of a soundtrack. It’s the score to a film. If you listen to it you will hear that the songs go through different phases and different sort of atmospheres. For example, when I’m doing a guitar solo, we only wanted to put in a guitar solo where it made sense to do it. And when we did that we didn’t always just use the chords from the chorus or whatever. For example, there’s a song called “Leave This World Behind” which is one of the songs that I co-wrote with Brent Smith from Shinedown. On that particular song you’ll see that it goes into a solo, but the whole rhythm section goes away and it’s just sort of a drum band underneath me while I’m playing the solo. We thought that was the type of thing that it needed; and then it goes into this bridge that is almost like a ballad bridge. So you can see what we’re doing is that we’re looking at each song as a story and trying to tell it with the sounds that we’re creating. That sort of concept evolved as we were writing the songs. Some of the ideas had been in my head for a while, but some of them I just welcomed new ideas from new writers or artists that I had never worked with before. I think that is the most fun thing to do; to just let other people in and create with them.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned a few of the people that you wrote with. One of them was Lzzy Hale from Halestorm who co-wrote the track “The Lion’s Share”. How did she come on board?

KANE – I have a friend from back in the day, whose name is Matt Messer, and he has a record company now called El Camino. But back in the day he was the VP of acquisitions or A&R, like signing bands with EMI. He signed Tool and Slipknot and the guy’s ears are incredible. I said to him do you have anybody who might be cool to write with? And he hooked me up with Brent Smith, Lzzy Hale and Dave Bassett. It was all through him. And they were kind enough to let me change their songs and make them so that they fitted me, and write new parts and stuff. So it was very cool and very easy.


NI ROCKS – Who did you work with in regard to recording and producing the album and long did it take? You mentioned it took three years from start to finish?

KANE – It took three years. It’s one thing to do demos, it’s one thing to play in your underpants in your bedroom with the guitar and all that stuff; but once you step up to a microphone and you’ve gotta get real, you’ve gotta enter the show again so to speak. It’s a bit of a process. So it took me a little while to realise the range on my vocals was still there. I felt a little different. We all change as time goes on, so my vocal approach is different, my writing approach and my guitar playing. These things would evolve. We’d get...for example, the song “Who We Are”, we recorded it once and then three or four months later we listened to it again and just re-recorded it. It’s a great song, but we decided to redo it and decided to have Katt sing the middle section instead of doing a guitar solo. You can see how the songs different parts would come and go.

The fact that Frontiers let me take that time to rediscover my roots and move forward into a new phase of who I am, because there is so much amazing music out right now. The United States has come kinda wall up against metal and hard rock right now, but in the rest of the world it’s really incredible. I think it’s a real resurgence. Not even a resurgence! These new artists are emerging who are just absolutely incredible – Arch Enemy of course with Alissa, Volbeat I think is one of my favourite bands, I love Doyle’s new band, I went to see them at the Whiskey and it just looked like they were at an arena – they were that grade of a band. Lacuna Coil, not a brand new band, but just really fantastic. I ended up absorbing tons of new music. I listened to everything from Ghost to Led Zeppelin, re-establishing myself. So it took a little while to have all that stuff assimilated and translated into the new songs.


NI ROCKS – Who were your main production team?

KANE – I met Alex (Track) a number of years ago and the reason why he and I ended up producing this together is because I didn’t want to record the album at my home. I have a studio, fully set up to do it, but there is too many comfort zones here. I have this gigantic couch – if anyone ever comes over they’re welcome to just get lost in it. As soon as you lie down in the thing it takes you like five minutes to get off it’s so big; and you just fall asleep. And I’d be doing that – grabbing a cup of coffee or something to eat and watch TV; I couldn’t do that. I had to take myself out of that and I went to his studio. He’s got a great studio. He has Rob Cavallo who produced Green Day and all these bands. There’s a lot of big name producers there. But we had our own room for three years. I’d go in there at 9pm and leave around 2,000 o’clock every night! It was five nights a week. With that kind of schedule you can see how that stretches things out a little bit. Every once a while at 3am in the morning we were just staggering around and couldn’t do anything. Alex has a huge backlog of classical music and he has been in some great bands himself. He’s really creative – a great writer, great singer and great drummer. He played drums on some of those songs and really killed it. So it was really a perfect scenario for me, to have such a great musician to work with.


NI ROCKS – The next track from the album that I was going to play is “King of the World” which features current Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss. Tell us about that track and how you linked up with Nita.

KANE – Well, it really pissed me off that she was so good (laughs). No, I’m kidding. To me, she’s like Alissa, and there are others; there’s Lena Scissorhands, she’s in Infected Rain, and there’s a whole bunch of them out there, In This Moment and there’s all these women out there that to me represent the ‘new normal’. If you look at Nita, and see her face, you could see her in Santa Monica somewhere; she looks like a blonde beauty who should be surfing or whatever. Then she steps out on stage, full metal jacket, and just shreds the fuck outta the guitar, you know what I mean. She’s like a beast, she’s absolutely incredible. I just wanted that energy on my record. It’s one of the main reasons that Alissa is there and one of the main reasons that she is there. Also, I thought that the character in this song, he is saying that he is ok now, he’s over this girl, he was way over his head and she broke his heart, but he’s fine now. But, actually he’s not! When he says he is king of the world, nobody believes him. In the middle of the song he goes ‘no matter what you say you never fade away, no matter how I pray’ and I scream ‘you never fade away’. I thought how perfect would it be for Nita, the new guitar player for Alice Cooper to just come in and shred the fuck out of the line while I’m screaming (laughs). It was so perfect. When I heard what she played it made me think, I’m going to have to wake up and play pretty good here because she just played so good. I was just really lucky and really pleased. I wasn’t surprised it was as good as it is. She and I went back and forth. She played the first line, I played the second, third and fourth back for forth like that. It turned out to be a really cool guitar conversation.

NI ROCKS – Yeah, she’s very good and a very nice person too. I interviewed her a few years ago. Her new album “Controlled Chaos” is excellent too.

KANE – Yeah, awesome, she’s just so sweet. Really good, really good.

 

 

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NI ROCKS - In addition to guest appearances from Alice Cooper and Nita Strauss, your former Alice Cooper Band mate Kip Winger also provides bass on the track “Above and Beyond”. Had you worked with Kip since the “Raise Your Fist and Yell” album and that tour?

KANE – He also plays bass on “Beginning of the End”, sings with me on the song “Wrong” and he also arranged the strings. He and I speak quite a bit, a few times a week. I would run the songs by him and say what do you think? How’s this one and stuff. He is one of those trusted, creative partners and I think he has one of dirtiest, best bass sounds of anybody out there. That’s one of the main reasons that I wanted him on the record, never mind the fact that he’s going to pick the perfect notes to play. If you listen to “King of the World” he does this riff, right before the last chorus, where he is just climbing up the bass. It’s just so amazing, his choice of notes, and I didn’t tell him to do that; he just threw that in and it’s perfect. Kip is one of those guys that I’m constantly in touch with and we work together every one in a while; he is all over the record.


NI ROCKS – Many people will of course know you as Alice Cooper’s guitarist for a period in the 80’s. I’ve interviewed a few current or past members of his band and they all without fail say he is one of the best bosses you could have. I presume you’d go along with that?

KANE – My thing with Alice was strange. I always had this believe that if you work really hard and if you really put your mind to something, and make yourself as special as you can be; and I’m not saying I’m special, I’m saying that is what you’re going to do – you’re going to make yourself the best that you can be. The world will beat a path to your door. So if you think about it Nigel, when I tried to get into the music industry, I was 200lbs, this big guy, I looked completely wrong! There was only one band on the planet that would have hired me and it was Alice. And somehow he found me. If you think about it, it’s crazy you know! After that, people asked how many bands asked you to join them and I said zero, partly because the way I looked. I don’t think Cinderella is going to call me, I’m 230lbs, and by the way they’re a fantastic band. My point though is that with Alice I was off the beaten path; as he was way off the beaten path when he first came in and he changed culture and the way that people think about so many things. When I went down to meet him, I first talked to Bob Ezrin, who was the guy that said this is how it’s going to be son, that sort of thing. Then I went in and met Alice and Alice and I became best friends literally within fifteen minutes. I’ve said that a thousand times, but it is definitely true. When we were together shooting the video, he and I immediately just started laughing about everything.

He is one of the most brilliant guys that I’ve ever worked with and he is also one of the funniest guys that I’ve ever known. The song “Prince of Darkness” which is off the “Raise Your Fist and Yell” album, which I think is a really great piece of art; I remember he was at my house, sitting on the couch, eating Dorritos or something and I was staring at the wall drooling, I don’t know what I was doing. He suddenly sat up after fifteen minutes and said I think these are the lyrics to “Prince of Darkness”. If you look at those lyrics, they’re unbelievable, and he just sat down and got in a zone and fifteen minutes later they’re done! And those lyrics are absolutely incredible. Alice is just one of those guys that, if he is in the right mode, you’re going to get stunned with what he can do. On stage there were moments where I could tell that Alice had transitioned into the Alice Cooper guy, he wasn’t the guy I was hanging out with, driving around Hollywood and stuff. He was that guy; you could see the look on his face. I have so many photos of it, and it even happened during the video occasionally; it was just a look in his eye. He accesses this character better than anybody and it takes a certain kind of genius to be able to push that button and turn it on and off.


NI ROCKS – Following your departure from the Alice Cooper Band you released a couple of solo albums in 1987 and 1991 and then the next release was the Phoenix Down album “Under A Wild Sky” in 1999. Were you still writing during the period in between the solo albums and Phoenix Down or what were you focusing on?

KANE – I was still writing off and on. What happens thou, when you decide to quote/unquote ‘leave the music business’ you go on to do different things and they have to be creative. If you say ok, I’m going to go from playing on-stage for 20,000 people with Alice Cooper to sell cars, I don’t think that is a happy life and don’t think that really works out. I ended up getting into doing a lot of motion and graphics and film work and stuff like that. I ended up keeping with my creative urges and I’ve always felt that music and visuals go together. That’s why music videos are so awesome and why movies get really juiced up and the scenes optimised when the proper music is added to it. I think the two things go together. It was one of those things where I was able to work music and visuals together and that’s one of the reasons why, with this video, I decided to just make the music a soundtrack to a series of events and people could write the narrative to it or whatever. It’s part of that influence. Then I was able to shoot the video for not that much money because I pulled in a lot of favours. I know a lot of film people and stuff who were able to help me out.

The whole thing about Phoenix Down and that sort of period – I was writing off and on in-between moments when I would have a chance, because I was always sitting down with a guitar. I make sure I play at least an hour or so a day and I couldn’t help writing then. Some of those songs just kinda got glued together and I went in and recorded the Phoenix Down album. That’s one of my favourite records and it was done on kind of a shoestring and in a very small studio and everything. But I think some of the writing still holds up; especially that song “Reckless” that I do with Mike Slamer who has got to be one of the most creative and best guitar players around.

NI ROCKS – Yeah, I was just listening to that song again today funnily enough, when I was doing a little research; it’s a great track.

KANE – It sounds effortless doesn’t it and it’s because of him. The atmosphere that he creates, because I recorded it at his studio. As soon as I heard that riff underneath (Kane does the riff vocally) – that thing that he was doing – the lyrics just came out really fast. ‘There’s a hunger burning way down deep in my soul’. He is just an amazing person to work with.


NI ROCKS – Did you ever think of doing a second Phoenix Down album?

KANE – Oh, well, I think what happens with me is, and a lot of people find this to be an irritating aspect of my personality, as I move from different things and each part of my life, I don’t eject it, I certainly keep it inside my heart and soul and mind; but I sort of move on to the next phase. I don’t own a copy of “Saints and Sinners” in my house. I don’t have any memorabilia, gold records; I have nothing. None of my gun guitars are here; I just sort of move past it. I’m not throwing the stuff out the window, going ‘fuck”, I’m not doing that. I’m just saying that if some kid wants a guitar, I’ll give it to him! The gun guitars are at different Hard Rock Cafes, one in New Orleans and one in Israel I think. I just kinda spread the stuff around, but my point is that I move into each phase of my life and don’t really hold onto stuff. I’m constantly sort of hitting the eject button – not in an angry way, just not to have any baggage. So, if I do another record, I have no idea what it’s gonna be and I don’t know if I’m doing another one.


NI ROCKS – Getting back to the new album, “The New Normal”. The album credits mention David Balfour who is the frontman for Northern Ireland band Maverick. That follows your appearance on the Maverick track “Asylum” in 2016, which was probably your first recording in quite some time. What can you tell us about the relationship with Maverick and David?

KANE – One of the guys said “Hi” to me and mentioned the band. It might have been Dave or Ryan (Balfour), I can’t remember which one. I heard their record; this is back in 2015 maybe. Just absolutely really great musicians; very, very strong and really confident in what they are doing. You just get that feeling and I loved the way they played. I loved the energy and I loved Dave’s voice and Ryan’s sensibilities as a guitar player. I just thought to myself, if I ever do play live, I want to have those guys as my back-up band and have Dave come along and sing with me and stuff. It could be one of those things where they could even do some Maverick songs. It would just be like a great communal effort of musicians. They happen to like my stuff. It’s funny, they sent me a video of the bass player playing “Reckless” on his bass. They’re into what I was doing as well, so it’s kind of a mutual admiration society. I think all the guys in the band...and I know the personnel changes once in a while, but every time I listen to any of that stuff it blows me away. And I was really just jazzed as fuck to play a solo on a Maverick record. They’re one of those bands!

It’s really funny. In the music industry, what is it we’re supposed to know how to do? Well these days you’ve got to know how to work YouTube, you’ve got to know how to work the social networks, you’ve gotta have the sort of momentum and drive to get yourself out playing live and do as much as you can. Because the record companies don’t help anymore! Back in the day when I did a record you had these outrageous budgets and you sort of waited for them to tell you what was going to happen – we’re going to have you tour, or we’re not going to finance one, we’re going to give you a video or we’re not, you’ve got this promotional tour, you’ve gotta get on a plane and go here! Now, these days, the reality of it is, that most artists have to take their lives into their own hands. Which, I think, is superior, but the thing is that we have to protect the creative animal inside of us at the same time. We don’t want to be like total businessmen; so you’ve got to make decisions all the time in that regard, to get the type of exposure you need. It’s a little bit of a mystery. I think the lynchpin, or key, is YouTube still. It may not always be, but at this point that is what you have to do. That’s one of the reasons I focused so much on the “Beginning of the End” video for YouTube; because I thought that would be the main exposure. Look at it this way; I have Alissa and Alice on a video, that alone is enough to make people think ‘What the fuck!’ if you know what I mean. I’m just blessed with the fact that their performances are so amazing. That’s sort of the mindset that every artist has to get into their heads. I worked with a company called Movieclips.com or one of the guys that works there. If you look at their YouTube channel they have 22 million followers and all their money and all their equity is based on how many clicks their videos get. That’s the new world and that’s where you just have to drill in there as hard as you can and get medieval on that part of life.


NI ROCKS – We’re going play another track from the album now. I’ll let you pick a track to play and tell us something about it.

KANE – We’ve played “Beginning of the End” and “King of the World”; I was thinking the song “Wonderful” has a little bit of a story with it. I was getting ready to sing the bridge, which is a little bit ‘R’ or ‘X’ rated, depending on how you look at it. Right before I went in to sing it, I was watching Cristina Scabbia on a video and I just got kinda obsessed with her! She is, to me, one of the most stunning women, but as an artist and creator she is also....her skills are just so incredible, she just gets in your head. Because of her voice and how she interprets songs and the way in which she works herself visually; it’s just really fantastic. A great band by the way as well. So, I started thinking about her when writing the lyrics and singing it. Then I went to do the guitar solo and I’m still obsessed with her, thinking about her while I’m soloing. It’s one of the best guitar solos that I’ve ever done, so I want to thank her! I’ve never met her and I hope she doesn’t think I’m getting strange about her or whatever; I just want to thank her for that great guitar solo! Check it out, it’s called “Wonderful”.

 

 

 

NI ROCKS – In the past you’ve written tracks for bands such as Kiss and Berlin. Is that something you’d like to get more involved in again – writing or even production for other artists?

KANE – Yeah, one of the things I do want to do, is write with other people. I’ve rediscovered how amazing that is through this record. I’m trying to reach out internationally, like to Japan and Europe, and different bands and stuff like that. If the situation is right and there is a good blend creatively to get into some kind of production role, or to play on other people’s records. I am one of those people, where if it doesn’t feel right, I’m not going to do it. I’m not just trying to get a cheque and go somewhere; that’s in all aspects of what I do.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking of doing that, and it started back in the day because I collaborated with Alice right off on the first day. We started writing for an ill-fated movie that was going to have Def Leppard and all these bands in it and everything. Then he and I wrote two albums and put together two tours together. That kinda creative environment gets you addicted to it. Then I wrote with Diane Warren, with Paul Stanley – I wrote “Take It Off” with him for the “Revenge” record – then Desmond Child. It is one of the most rewarding things that you can get into, because it requires you to be very honest and really be awake for the moment. I think those are some of the most rewarding things that can happen. So, I’m looking forward to doing that some more. Right now also I’m going to shoot one or two more videos for this record because that has always been my intention, win, lose or draw, I want to make this record an audio-visual experience.


NI ROCKS – We mentioned the Maverick track that you did, do you get approached by many other bands and younger bands in particular to get involved in projects?

KANE – No, I’ve really been gone. If I did I’d probably have said no. There were few, I don’t want to say who because I said no, but there were a few moments were I said ‘no’ and it didn’t mean I didn’t respect or love their music or whatever, it just meant it’s not the right thing. We did some short films and I was executive-producer at a motion graphics place where we had commercials on the Super Bowl and stuff, so I was kinda up to my neck in stuff. To go back and forth between those two worlds – I’m either locked into one mode or locked into another. I don’t know if you’re like this, but I can’t do two or three opposing tasks at the same time (laughs). One of them is going to suck! Probably the one that makes the less money is gonna suck – you can’t help it!


NI ROCKS – You mentioned earlier some of the music you were listening to yourself. Do you tend to listen to the older bands or do you try to keep up with the new bands as well?

KANE – Yeah, I listen to a lot of new music. A lot of it started when I heard “Fallen” by Volbeat and was taken by that guy’s vocal phrasing and the sound of his voice and the writing and everything. It was so locked in together and I just thought it was absolutely incredible. And like I said, Lacuna Coil and I did hear Alissa first with The Agonist and then she went on to Arch Enemy; I love both those bands, both have some incredible stuff. I’ve been listening to In This Moment, Taylor Momsen is really, really good. Five Finger Death Punch, I can’t say how great some of those songs are, they’re just absolutely amazing; fantastic. And of course Shinedown and a lot of people like Nickelback. It’s so funny, Nickelback have so much exposure and I talk to some people and they say jeez, another Nickelback song, but they’re standard and if you see them live too they’re absolutely incredible.

NI ROCKS – They get some slagging, but they are a brilliant live band.

KANE – It’s a brilliant live band, just absolutely incredible. I actually did a couple of those Rock n Roll Fantasy Camps and got to hang with the guys from Alice In Chains and some of those people again. And I got to meet some of my idols, like Roger Daltrey and those people, so it was kinda cool. The funny thing about Roger Daltrey is that he is still the same kid that was in those videos a hundred years ago (laughs). I had a band; what they’ll do is they’ll get some quote/unquote ‘rock star’ and give you these people who are there. They’re campers, but they pay a lot of money; they’re all older guys with serious cash. One of the guys was wearing a cowboy hat and Roger Daltrey is talking to him and they start singing and laughing; then he punches him in the arm and then he knocked his hat off and the guy is bald and Roger starts cracking up! I was going – that’s right out of one of those old English videos from a hundred years ago; exactly that type of thing! I think The Beatles did that stuff too! I felt bad for the guy, but he didn’t really care. It was just one of those things and I was thinking it’s the same kid! I got to play “Behind Blue Eyes” with him, which was an amazing thing and his voice sounded absolutely incredible. It was very cool.


NI ROCKS – A question that I often like to ask people when I’m interviewing them. What was the last album that you bought, if you still buy albums, and the last band you went to see?

KANE – No, I haven’t bought an album....what was the last album I bought? Jeez, I don’t even remember! I just go onto YouTube and make a playlist and listen all day, that’s all I do. You know, it’s really funny because it’s a cultural thing that is managed by technology. First of all we bought all these vinyl records, then we bought CDs and then we started downloading stuff onto our devices. Now, nobody wants to own anything; they just want to listen to it, streaming from some source. And it’s the same with people – they don’t want to own cars, they want to use this service that we have out here called Uber. And then they don’t want to own a house – they’re either rent or stay at home with their parents or something. Everything is changing a bit, which is fine, it’s probably for the better; who knows? The whole culture is changing that way.

NI ROCKS – Yeah, I’m a bit old-school; I still like to own something, even if it is a download.

KANE – Absolutely! There’s a thing in LA they have now. These little scooters – you put your two feet on it and there’s a little motor on it. What you do is, you find it on your phone with a GPS and you go over, you put your credit card in. You ride it somewhere – let’s say you want to go to the drugstore – you go to the drugstore and you just leave it there! Then you go on and do the rest of your day. So there’s these scooters that are all over the place, with people just picking them up and going to a meeting and leaving it at the building; you don’t have to put it anywhere. It’s crazy; very strange! Kinda cool.

NI ROCKS – We’re old time here! We have bicycles here rather than scooters!

KANE – Yeah, it’s probably a superior world. After a while, they’re going to put giant engines on these scooters and everyone will be able to drag race with them!


NI ROCKS – What about the last band you went to see. You mentioned going to the Whiskey to see somebody? Was that the last band you saw live?

KANE – It was Doyle (from the Misfits), I saw him at the Whiskey a couple of months ago. Absolutely incredible.

NI ROCKS – That’s Alissa’s partner isn’t it?

KANE -  Yeah, he was at the video shoot and he and I became immediate friends. Me, Alice and Doyle became friends and of course Alissa; she’s like a true friend now. I really, really like her; she’s just a really great person. Really bright and communicates really well. Makes you feel like she wants to talk to you, very helpful and so down to earth. I’ve got to be honest with you, I have so much footage of her from when we were editing the video and some of the stuff, the camera is literally inches from her face. She just always puts a great performance in and always looks amazing. The guys here who were working on the film said they didn’t think there was a bad shot of her (laughs), which is really bizarre. She’s blessed with all that and she’s also blessed with incredible talent and intelligence. She’s a great person. But Doyle’s band blew my mind because, like I said, I’m watching them in a small club, The Whiskey, and on stage it was an arena performance. They’re going to do really well.


NI ROCKS – Speaking of live performances, are there any plans to do any live gigs yourself?

KANE – Right now, I’m not planning on it because I’m more concentrated on the videos. If it turns out that there is enough interest in shows and festivals, I will call up the boys in Maverick maybe or see what I can put together. I’m going to have to rehearse for a while. I did a show years ago (2011) called Firefest and I hadn’t performed live for a really long time. We did two rehearsals and it wasn’t something I was very proud of. This time around, if I do it, I’m going to make it sound exactly the way it should sound, so that we move the audience into a different world.


NI ROCKS – What plans do you have for the rest of 2019?

KANE – I’m going to try to take a lot of naps. Sleeping is really good! No, I’m going to shoot these videos for the record. That takes up a tremendous amount of time to set these things up properly. I’m not going about it like the normal thing where you want to shoot it all in one day and just jump onto the next and edit it and get it out there. We’re going to make them part narrative; the next one is either going to be “Who We Are” which is the acoustic ballad that we have on the record or “Wonderful”. We’re putting together scripts and treatments for them now. I think I’m going to have the artist and girl from my album cover, because she has such a striking look, so I’m probably going to have her in the video. She’s just an incredible performer and you can tell if you look at the album cover; that look in her eye is a real actress, because it’s so telling, there’s just so much story and she just captured the moment perfectly. She’s just really great on camera so I’m going to try and capitalise on that.


NI ROCKS – That’s all the questions I have. We’re going to play another track from the album to finish off. Again, I’ll let you pick which track and tell us something about it.

KANE – Well, maybe play “Who We Are”. That song is about the way relationships are kinda going today. This one is slipping away from these two people. I think a lot of relationships are about timing. We get with somebody and we quote/unquote ‘fall in love’, but if one of the people is at a different point in their lives or moving into a different career or whatever, there is some part of them internally that changing it’s tough to hold the relationship together. You can see these two people are still in love with each other, but it’s fading away. “Who We Are” is a song that features Katt Franich’s vocals in the middle of the song and you’ll see that she’s an artist that is going to be doing something, probably this year; she’s gonna have a record out and stuff. Take a listen to it and I hope you enjoy it.

NI ROCKS – It’s a great track. We’ll play that one. That’s great. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us and best of luck for the future.

KANE – Nigel, this was a lot of fun. Thank you so much.

 

Last Updated (Saturday, 11 May 2019 21:53)