– To start, thank you for answering this interview and well, how did this new effort of bringing KING KOBRA up arise?
You previous album was released in 2001. What differences can we find between these two albums?
Well,the 2001 cd was not the original band as I was not in touch with thewhole band at the time. Musically it was a bit more modern sounding. The new KK album now has the original line up of the band ,with Paul Shortino singing and the music has the original King Kobra sound..
– Personally, “Hollywood Trash” was a record that didn’t leave me really satisfied, but this bran new CD it has surprised me in a good way, moreover the line-up is just amazing. How has been the recording process for the album?
This album was done differently in the studio,because none of us live in the same town when we recorded it. I went to Las Vegas 3 times to work with Paul at his studio. We did the drums analog at Hit tracks studio in Vegas…then sent it to Dave M Phillips in Phoenix Arizona..he did his guitars, then Johnny Rod came to Vegas to put the bass on then ended up living there. After all that Me and Paul did background Vocals,Paul did lead Vocals ..sent to Mick Sweda in Fresno ..he did his guitars..then we sent it to Michael Voss in Germany to mix…so it was fun but different. But it rocks like our first album !!
– Do you think Shortino’s voice brings back to KING KOBRA part of that great band that gave us such awesome albums during the 80’s?
I don’t think it was Paul s voice but the song writing that we did . Frontiers wanted an 80s sounding album. So when we wrote the songs we wrote in the 80s style. Paul, Me and Dave did most of the writing so Paul can sing things he wrote really well. Since is is a great singer ,he really makes the songs believable. He is raunchier and more blues than mark/Marcies. His voice fits in well. It’s the lyrics and melodies that make it all work with the King Kobra song structure of my drums and Daves guitar chords and style which helps create the signature KK sound.
– Coming back to the album, it sounds really fresh and some times quite raw, so rocker but without losing that melodies the band has. Is that the actual sound you were looking for or did it all happen the first time without thinking too much?
As I said …my drums Dave s guitars create the basis. The last album we did together King Kobra III had those elements. It is fresh sounding with a lot of energy. This comes from the fact of doing this together again and everyone is excited. I knew it would be raw, kick ass and would great melodies and hooks because that’s what we do..and we know how to create excitement on a recording !
– You are an experienced drummer which, since the 60’s, has been playing with different bands and musicians. Is KING KOBRA the band you always wanted to have or, maybe, was the one better result gave you?
At the time I put this together in the 80s. Image was important so I wanted a good looking band. With blonde hair with colors in the blonde hair. But I also wanted guys that were kickass players and not wimps. So at the time that is what I have. It turns out now all the guys in King Kobra of toay have all improved in playing, song writing and recording experience..so I am happy to play with them..
– Still in the past, we would like to know how were the first Carmine Appice’s steps, which were the 60’s and 70’s with VANILLA FUDGE or CACTUS. What are your memories from all that?
Well Vanilla Fudge was a different kind of band at the time. No one else sounded like us . We influenced many bands like Yes, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin….we came out at a time that everything was breaking open..the whole business was starting to explode. It was a great time in the music business. The beginning of groups like Jimi Hendrix, The Who,The Cream etc. A really great time for virtuoso players.
Cactus was right at the right time for Jam bands. We also played with the best bands Hendrix,the Who,Ten years After..Badfinger,Sabbath, to name a few..it was an awesome time for music..
– Already in the 80’s, you joined Rod Stewart and, during the mid 80’s, you formed KING KOBRA. I have always wanted to know how did everything start; which ideas you had in mind before forming KING KOBRA and giving that image of being a band with Glam details (as many American bands did back then)?
The image came from an Idea I had when on tour with OZZY…On tour with us was Motley Crue. They had a wild cool image. Three with black hair and Vince with blonde. So I always said on that tour that if start a band I would do the opposite me with black and purple hair and the rest of the band blonde. So when I left the Ozzy tour I started King Kobra, I had mark Free who already had blonde hair so we got the rest of the guys ,Johnny had Blonde hair so did Dave. The only onre who had to bleach was Mick…then we put my colors in their hair. On the blonde hair it was really wilde. I loved it the crazier the better. So after I auditioned and found each guy he also had to look great and be a great player..so in the end we had abgreat image for MTV, everyone looked great for the girl fans,and everu=yone was a kickass player..
– Also at late 80’s and early 90’s BLUE MURDER appears and was quite far from what KING KOBRA was and personally, was a super-band of that period. Why didn’t that project have continuity?
Well there was something missing in the business part of the band. We had again a great image..great player..Sykes was amazing, tony was amazing..and me it was a great band with really great songs…we all thought that the first BM album was going to be big. We set up all our business deals witheach oter to be a big group. When the album didn’t see to our expectations…it blew our mind. John was especially freaked out about it and didn;t do anything with BM again until 91…then grunge came in and it was over !! But now that first album is legendary..most metal fan worldwide love it and ask me when BM is getting together?.
– From 90’s on, you did some more things as GUITAR ZEUS or TRAVERS N APPICE. It looked like you were really into these king of projects, did you think you could record again things such as KING KOBRA or was it something already had each proper time?
Guitar zeus was my solo albums. I had this idea to do an album of really good songs and then I would put many of my guitarist friends on the album to take solos and draw attention to the records. The records did well in Japan and Europe. Then I did a second album. It did ok..I did a Guitar zeus Japan and Korea..then 5 years latter did The ultimate Guitar zeus. In USA and Europe…It never seemed to die most recent in 2009 A double Guitar Zeus cd with 1 and 2 cds was released..as Conquering heros..it was a great fun project for me and made good royalties from it.
Travers N Appice was a series of albums and tours that just was some great playing and really cool fun song writing…Pat is one of my favorite players
– Going back to the golden age for KING KOBRA; how were like the 80’s for you? Which good things provided you that period and what did those magical years for Hard and Heavy mean to you?
Actually the beginning and the end of the 80s was better for me . The middle with King Kobra ws ok ,but we did not have the big success like my other bands…by the end of the 80s there were a lot of bands I thought sucked..then I joined BM ..and I was back in a band
with resprcted players like my earlier bands. It was an ok time but not as good as the 60s and 70s..
– Now focusing in your present; what are the immediate plans for the band?
Our manager is working on getting KK playing live shows. With the bad world economy it is really hard to do that. We are working on it..
– And your future plans?
I am doing a farewell tour with Vanilla Fudge around the world..I am finishing my life story in a book “The International Rock Guide to Hotel Wrecking” doing drum clinics , Playing with MSG, Cactus and shows woth my drum show SLAMM,. Have a new drum book coming out
Realistic Drum Fills”:Replacements in June on Hudson Music. Just as I ‘ve always done.. just try to keep Rocking. There may even be a new Guitar Zeus cd..
– Have you ever been in contact with Marcie Free to get back the old days of KING KOBRA?
Yes before we were even thinking of recording the cd..i was asking about maybe doing some KK shows..he/she not interested. KK was always a little to heavy according to Mark. That’s why he left in 87..So I didn’t bother to ask about the new album..but he.she had the biggest success with KK and hasn;t match that success yet with any of the project tha he/she does..besides Paul Shortino is a much better fit to our music today..