Some people may be surprised to know that vintage Scottish rockers Nazareth are still going strong but, as previously noted on Dear Scotland, the band are currently on a tour of Canada. Later this summer the Fifers will visit Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Tour dates below.
Nazareth celebrated their 40th anniversary last year with the release of a new album titled The Newz. The Newz marked the first new Nazareth album in a decade, showing how the band has changed over time, yet retaining the classic Nazareth feel that their fans have come to expect. Dunfermline born singer Dan McCafferty recently spoke with Jeb Wright about the new album and going back on the road:
Jeb: It is your 40th Year Anniversary. Do you feel that classic rock is a genre of music that touches humanity more than other types of music?
Dan: It does. What I think is incredible is that this music gets less publicity than anything else. It gets less video, less TV and less everything. Then a band called Led Zeppelin decided to get together for one gig and twenty million people wanted to go. I think we get to the people by word of mouth, shows and magazines on the internet, like yourself, but we are not mainstream. We like the internet and our website. People can stumble upon our website and go, “Man, look at this. Nazareth is still together. Let’s check out what is going on with them.” It is great for the hardcore fans as well. They can look at the tour dates and find out where we are at and plan to make a two-hour car ride to the next gig.
Jeb: It goes way back to the beginning of Nazareth, when you earned your reputation playing live and sold you albums on the road.
Dan: That is exactly what it is like. I was listening to a band today, a young band called Kings of Leon. The went round and round and traveled and then people all bought their album. It is not just the older bands; it happens to the younger bands that are playing classic rock style music. They can’t get on the radio because they don’t sound like everyone else that is out there. I think that is where YouTube, and other sites like that, come into play. We have stuff on YouTube and MySpace that our fans have put up that I have never seen before. They also put up stuff that we did last night. It is weird.
Jeb: Were there any special surprises on the 40th Anniversary tour?
Dan: We were breathing on stage [laughter]. We didn’t really plan any big surprises. We just like going out on stage for about an hour and a half and play a really good set of rock n’ roll.
Jeb: This version of the band has been around for…
Dan: Seven years with our drummer, [Lee Agnew]. Timmy [Murrison], our guitar player, has been with us for fifteen years—he is the longest serving guitar player in Nazareth. The kid is brilliant. They tend to keep us on our toes. They make us do songs that we have forgotten about. Timmy will come and say that he wants to do an obscure song on an old album that we have never done live. Pete [Agnew] and I look at each other and say, “Shit, we are going to have to learn that.”
Jeb: Last one: When you joined the band, did you envision a 40-year career?
Dan: Oh, hell no. It was a good laugh and a way to meet girls. It became much more serious than that, when it became a career. We had to make a big decision. Pete was an architect. We were all working through the day and then playing, and recording, at night. We had a lot of 24 hour days. Eventually, we got signed and we decided to give up the day job, for a few years, to see what would happen. We are still testing it out [laughter].
Excerpts from an interview by Jeb Wright at Classic Rock Revisited
More information at www.nazarethdirect.co.uk . Tour dates below.