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Ken Tamplin has been the master of catchy melodic hard rock tunes for over two decades now, firstly with his band Shout and then as a successful solo artist. His new solo album, 'Wake the Nations' is out next month (on Now & Then) and promises to be a good 'un with a big guest list inc. Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman/Takara), Whitesnake/Dio guitarist Doug Aldrich, Richie Kotzen (ex-Poison) & more!

1. What are you currently up to?

On tour with I just finished producing the new Laudamus record that features several of the guest performers that are on my new Wake The Nations CD such as, Marty Friedman, Jeff Scott Soto, Howie Simon, Rob Rock, Kee Marcello and Mattias Eklund. It will be going out on Escape records. I also just produced the soundtrack for a new Keifer Sutherland movie called To End All Wars with composer John Cameron and the Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra. That was a lot of fun.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Low points for me was the day commercial hard rock died. It was at the zenith/climax of the group Nirvana. It seemed that what I had worked toward all my life (commercial hard rock) and had the rug pulled completely out from under me. It also was the thing however that drove me to produce music for film an TV so it's a double edge sword. I am grateful for that now.

3. Which song(s) are you most proud of and why?

I have to admit I'm pretty proud of most of the songs from the new CD Wake The Nations like Falling Haouses, The Story Of Love and God In Heaven. I also like songs I've written in the past like Loving You Loving Me, and Don't Let The Sky Fall On Me. I know others are big fans of songs like Radio Bikini and You Never Give Up and In Your face.

4. Could you tell us a little about the upcoming album 'Wake The Nations'. How did you assemble such a great line-up of musicians? Which ones gave you the greatest buzz in the studio? If you tour with this album who will be in the band?

Wake The Nations was a record I've wanted to make for some time but felt there may not be a strong enough market for. It was guitarist Howie Simon who convinced me that there are still a lot of guitar fans out there that would be into it and from what I've seen so far, I believe him.

It sort of happened by osmosis. I just asked myself who some of my favorite guitarists were. Many of them I have known over the years. Like Marty Friedman played on a Shout album, Doug Aldridge I had worked with before, Howie Simon of course as well as many others. Howie Simon did hook me up with Jeff Scott Soto, so other friends also helped out on getting artists' participation. Niki Baldrian from AOR Dreamzones also was really instrumental in helping with this as well.

Some of my favorite playing is Howie Simon's solos, Jeff Watson's solo, Mattias Eklundh's solo and Pete Lesperance's solo. I also like the stuff Scott Van Zen did as well. All in all, everyone played great and it was fun to work with all of them.

The first show we are playing is The Gods festival in England and the line-up will be me on vocals and guitar, Howie Simon on guitar and backing vocals, Tim Luce on bass (bassist for Graham Bonnet and Roger Daltry) as well as Beautiful Creatures' drummer Glen Sobel on drums.

5. Any personal highlights on the new album and why?

Personal highlights would be me hearing the whole thing come back to me when I'm playing the final mixes. You get to hear the consummation of months of hard work coming back to you. It's a very satisfying and gratifying feeling.

6. You've been actively involved in fund raising for Sudan. How has this been going and what brought your attention to this?

As far as the Make Me Your Voice/Sudan Project/ CD is concerned, you can go to or to check out the CD. I was able pull together some pretty influential like Andre' Crouch (who did a lot of the soundtrack for the movie The Lion King for example), all of whom have seen what the Muslims are doing to Christians and animists in the South of Sudan. They have murdered over 3,000,000 people and are getting worse by the day. I was able to testify before several members of the United States Senate and Congress and were able to get a bill passed that provided $300,000,000.00 worth of aid to stop the wholesale slaughter of the Islamic government against the black Africans in the south of Sudan. I really feel like these people deserve basic human rights denied them and selling 9 year old girls into prostitution slavery must be stopped as well as the other horrible crimes against humanity their government is inflicting.

In fact, I got to meet president George Bush. He is a very kind, attentive, sincere, hard working reasonable man. It's a shame that Hollywood has given him the bad wrap they have. In time we will see how his efforts were the right thing with regard to the war on terrorism.

7. Shout - how did the comeback album 'Shout Back' fare? Are there any plans for more Shout material and/or shows in the near future?

Shout did OK. I think it could have been better but our budget was pretty limited and we didn't get to follow it up with any shows. I don't see any more Shout stuff in the works for the future but I try to never say never. There were some good things about that CD. I like the tracks Dreams For Sale (Howie plays a burning guitar solo and the track has a Lenny Kravitz vibe) and our cover of the old rare Earth song 'I Just Want To Celebrate' came out great as well.

8. Is there anything you would still like to achieve in the music business? Anyone you would like work with still?

There are all kinds of things I still want to do. I like to score for films and want to continue the pursuit of this. I also want to put out a first class flamenco CD as well as a smokin' blues CD. I'm sure once that is accomplished I will have new desires and goals.

I am looking into doing another record that will involve quite a few musical heroes of mine. I'll keep you posted as it develops.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I wine and dine my beautiful wife of 19 years and play with my kids. My son is a big sports head and my daughter is becoming quite the pianist.

10. Message to your fans...

Do your thinking for yourself! Don't let the media or Hollywood do your thinking for you. We live in times of a lot of mis-information. Find out the facts. I think you'll be surprised at what you'll find. I hope I have been an inspiration to you and that my faith in God has opened up a window for you to see a loving God full of peace and grace.

Peace to all, KT


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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