Ready to ROCK!'s Features Editor Pete Feenstra quizzes Rod
Argent about the new album...
Do you think recording this album was easier simply
because you are more experienced than the old days?
I think it's more to do with
the fact we approached this album as a band project and we
recorded as much as possible with us all playing together.
Back in the old days we had
to record everything in about three hours as there was no
money for studio time or production. It wasn't until
'Odyssey & Oracle' that we were first introduced to multi
So initially on this album we
just laid it all down and like in the old days it was a case
of getting it down quite quickly.
How long have the songs
for 'Breathe Out-Breathe On' been around?
Well some of the songs
actually came at the end of the session. One example of that
would be one of my favorite tracks on the album, 'A Moment
And the basic idea for that
came from our guitarist Tom (Toomey). He was sheltering from
the rain backstage at a festival in Bordeaux and played a
particular lick that I thought would be great idea for a
song. I then worked on the chorus and then the song as a
On the other hand 'Breathe
Out, - Breathe In' the title track was something that I had
kicking around my head for ages but I hadn't quite
crystallized it yet. So I guess altogether the CD took about
a year to make, though only a few days of actual recording
time in the studio.
And Colin has written a
gem in 'Any Other Way' hasn't he?
I was so pleased that Colin
came up with 'Any Other Way'. He was just singing a melody
which had no lyrics at the time and he sang a bit of a
And I loved it immediately
and said, 'we should do that'. In fact he didn't think it
would be right for The Zombies, but we worked on it.
It's a bit more of a
straightforward version on stage and was a little more
pedestrian in the studio, so we put that Latin feel in there
and the acoustic guitar part.
You also sing an
impressive lead vocal on 'Show Me The Way'?
Well it was the result of the
same approach to most of the album in that it was written
very quickly. I originally suggested to Colin that he sing
it, but then I said to him that I'd always had one song on
every Zombies album and I ended up doing it.
There seems to a definite
Beatles vibe to both 'Play It For Real' with its 'Hey
Bulldog' intro and 'Shine on Sunshine' which reminds me of
'The Long & Winding Road'. Is that fair comment?
Well you're not the only
person to mention 'Bulldog' in particular. In my head I'd
wanted a strong keyboard riff for the intro and then for the
guitar to take up. And I've obviously heard 'Hey Bulldog'
before, but I was solely concentrating on the opening riff.
Someone called it an
affectionate nod to the Beatles and in a way it is, though
it wasn't conceived as that, but simply the opening riff of
a song that goes elsewhere.
'Shine on Sunshine' came from
my Argent days ('Circus') It was a 70% re write as I didn't
think the song was fully realized with Argent, so I redid
the chorus, added a new bridge and some new lyrics and
basically built a new song.
And you also rejigged the
Argent song 'Christmas for the Free' from 'In Deep'?
That was because I always
wanted to hear Colin sing that song. He also really liked it
so I thought this could be our only real re-visit. It's
funny as it was originally an Argent Xmas single that our
record company released in January!
There's an obvious Gospel
feel to 'I Do Believe'. Where did that come from?
Well it seemed a kind of
natural song to do for me as we wanted to utilise the three
part harmonies in the band. But the original part of the
chord sequence came to me when I worked with Edgar Winter on
Ringo's 2006 American tour.
We were all asked to
contribute a couple of songs and then we had to sing
everyone else's song , so Sheila E, Billy Squire, Hamish
Stuart, Richard Marks and me got round to playing a great
song of Edgar's called 'Livin' To Die' (ed note; from 'Edgar
Winter's White Trash').
I hadn't heard the song
before, though Colin knew it. Anyway Edgar played this song
and asked me to put a bit of a string part on it. So I
sussed the chords and loved the chord changes and basically
played around with that sequence. And that led to 'I Do
Believe' one of the songs that we subsequently 'played in'
before we recorded it.