RATTLE THE CAGE AGAIN ...
INTERVIEW BY MARCO SPAETH
When you started working with Dario, did you plan from the beginning to record a second album someday or was it more a spontanous decision?
“I had no idea if we could do more, but hoped it would be possible if it could be better than the first and I know it is.”
When did you start working on the new album?
“I can't remember!!! Last year sometime.”
How is the chemistry between you and Dario when working together? I mean, he is a hot blooded Italian while you are a British gentleman. Two worlds colliding or two worlds in perfect harmony!?
“Who told you I was a gentleman??????????”
Is THE CAGE only Dario's thing or is it a real teamwork between you? Can you maybe describe your own creative input in THE CAGE?
“Yeah he plays guitar and I write the songs!!!!!!!! First he records the whole music thing as he sees it, then sends it to me and I chop it up into tiny little pieces and move things around till it fits what I want to sing, then I write the lyrics and sing it. Then send it back to him and he re-records the whole thing so that it sounds like a real song.”
How goes songwriting for THE CAGE? I mean do you exchange ideas or demos, are you jamming together?
“We hardly meet. Just a few moments in each year which is amazing really that we can write and record stuff like this with little contact.”
On the new album you sing a few lines in Italian language. Was that your idea or who came up with it?
“Yeah it was my idea, but I had to have Dario translate and teach me what to sing.”
What do you think are the main musical differences between the new album and the debut?
I think your voice has changed a little bit since the days with Black Sabbath. To me it sounds a little higher and clearer. Do you agree?
“That's cuz I wear tighter trousers these days, can't fit into them like I used to!!”
I think the new album is a classic Hard Rock album with some really fresh ideas. For example the contrastful background vocals on "Terra Toria" or the unusual singing on the verses of "Life, Love & Everything". Was it your intention to combine classic sounds with new elements?
“Yeah I love playing with vocal rythms, and tunings, and I intended to get as muchout of the songs as possible.”
I think that Dario's playing has extremely developed since the first album. Would you agree that he has become a much better and various player since then?
“Absolutely, he picked up on the fact that he can play slow as well as fast and has put melody into his playing which is a big loss in in the industry. Not many players play anymore, it's called fretwank!!!!!!”
A funny thing is the cover of the new album on which you hold a guitar in hand even though you are "only" the singer on it. Did you plan this while the photo shooting?
“Actually I do play guitar, but also on the album I play violin, the first part of the solo in “Overload” is me playing violin. I can also play keyboards, drums, bass, harmonica, bagpipes pan pipes and about twenty other things.”
What are the lyrics about on the new album? I guess it's a release for you that you don't have to write any longer about the devil, his daughter and the headless cross?
“I write to what is needed at the time. Black Sabbath didn't want love songs,and The Cage doesn't need death songs.”
Do you have any plans to play live shows with the new album? It would be great to see you back on stage again!!!
“I hope so I would really like to try. I'm touring with other people at the moment but it would be good to get The Cage out.”
The line-up on the new album features bass monster Tony Franklin. How did he get involved? An old friendship since your days with John Sykes/Blue Murder?
“I Like Tony a lot. He plays great, and got fucked up by the Sykes thing. Dario's choice though.”
I guess many people still don't know that you were working with John Sykes. Can you tell us a little more about your times with him?
“I went to see if there was a possibility of working with John, and while at his studio in Blackpool we worked on the songs that became “Valley of the Kings”, I wrote a whole lot of lyrics and melodies for it. Some of the lyrics were kept mainly “Valley of the Kings”, and most of the melodies but I never got paid for any of it and to this day never got a penny.”
I would still love to hear you singing "Valley Of The Kings" as I think your voice is perfect for this song. Any chance you will maybe play it live someday?
“I sing it on tour now, if you get to any of the shows you will hear it!”
You will also be singing on the forthcoming album with RONDINELLI. Can you already tell us a little more about what to expect from this album?
“It's American rock with wierd lyrics. I have very little input other than to sing on it as a favour to Bobby really cuz he came over to England to play at the Cozy Powell memorial concert and so I am returning the favour. Some great songs and I like it a lot.”
The line-up of RONDINELLI will feature three former Black Sabbath members. Aren't you afraid that people/press could devalue you as a rip off?
“Not when you hear it!!!”
Are you still in contact with Tony Iommi and do you think you will ever work together again? Maybe not as Black Sabbath but maybe under a different banner!?
“Tony hasn't spoken to me since the break up. Don't know why, just busy I guess. Don't know if we will work together but it certainly wont be as Black Sabbath.”
How would you compare Tony Iommi with Dario Mollo - as guitarists and as musicians to work with?
“Daft question!! They both play guitar, but arn't the remotest bit similar.”
It's a while ago when you release the "Back Where I Belong" solo album. It was a really good record and I still play it a lot. Do you have any plans for another solo release?
“I've got loads of plans but the record companies have other ideas. If one of them gives me a deal then I'll do a new solo album.”
I was surfing in the internet today and for the very first time I read that you obviously had a fight with cancer some time ago. Is that correct and why didn't this news go through the international music press?
“It turned out to be nothing in the end and there's no point in running a stry like that unless you're sure that it's the truth.”
OK, I thank you for your time and patience to answer my questions. I really wish you all the best for your future project and I hope it won't take too long to hear from you again on another great album!?
“No problem buddy...”