2020 will begin with a Magnum album, “Serpent Rings”. We took the opportunity to talk to Tony Clarkin, Magnum and of course this new album was the main theme. – By Miguel Correia
How are you today? I start by thanking this interview. You´ve got another album coming, I already listened to it and let me tell you that is another great job from you. Welcome back Magnum…
Hello Miguel, and thank you very much for the opportunity and your words. Talk about “Serpent Rings”, all I can say is a varied album but it has a lot of things people can expect a Magnum album to have. Above all, it’s a Magnum album. It contains not only fantasy but a lot of reality in there in different songs and its difficult for me to talk of one of them because I will take a lot of time to do it.
Another set of compositions with your signature. How do ideas come up?
(Laughs) I think it’s harder than in the early days. I’ve been doing it for 40 years, every song every lyric but I write better songs now than I ever did and I enjoy every moment of composition without any kind of pressure everything is doing in our time, no one’s put any kind of pressure in us. We go on tour and soon we came of it I start writing riffs for the next album. Sometimes we spent 3 or 4 months on the road and when I get some new ideas, I record to work on it later.
And how are they worked by the band?
I got a studio in my house. I write and record my songs there, bass, program drums, guitar and then I go to a studio just with Bob and ask him his opinion. My ideas for a song aren’t closed for the band contribution, no way. In different ways, everyone contributes to something for each song.
With keyboardist Rick Benton and drummer Lee Morris on the second album with the band, what is it like working with them?
You know, I feel like a winner team…so!
Do you prefer recording or performing?
Performing live above all. Been in a stage with all our fans it’s something that touches a lot in us all but I do like being in a studio as well but, two different art forms. Both are important for a musician.
Well, after all these years with so many albums how the band chooses the setlist?
Usually, Bob, it’s the man behind it. Sometimes he picks a song but when we feel that it doesn’t work live, we change it. And if it works we keep it.
Magnum went from being a cult band to reaching huge arena success in the late 1980s. How was that period for you?
Back in the 80’s I think is when the record company spoiled Magnum in a sense they say you got to do this you got to do that our opinion is the less important in everything for example when we do one album with someone that doesn’t know anything about the band and almost ruined us. It was hard to deal with everything about it. They take away the freedom of art they take away all the things that people like in us. On the other side, I have a lot of great moments, of course. Now I enjoy playing more than ever…
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