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Ten Questions with...

Check out our Bob Catley audio interview!


Bit of a honour this one as I am a BIG fan of Magnum. Thanks to Annie for conducting the interview with Bob, David at The Music Index for arranging it and to the Newswire and Magnum Yahoo! fans group who e-mailed questions for Bob.

1. What are you currently up to?

I'm busier than ever at the moment, we are in the middle of rehearsing for the Magnum Christmas tour that starts in Cardiff on the 2nd December, I've started recording tracks for my new solo album which my keyboard player Paul Hodson is writing for me, then we (Magnum that is) are off on tour, I get back in time for Christmas then it's back into the studio with Paul to finish my solo album, that should be out by May so we'll be touring to promote that in the UK and Europe and then it's straight into the studio with Tony to work on the new Magnum album, phew !

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

I think the highlights would be playing the NEC and Wembley and touring the States with Ozzy in the 80's. The low point has to be the day Magnum split up, so reforming was a real high point for me.

3. Who have been your biggest influences on your career?

I think I would say Tony, yes he's definitely been the biggest influence on me.

Magnum 2002

4.How has the new CD, 'Breath of Life' been selling? Have you been pleased with reviews and performance so far?

Yeah it's been going well, we've had some great reviews on the whole, and some great performances, The Sweden Rock festival earlier this year was tremendous, they've all been great, most of the UK dates were sell-outs.

5. The new Magnum line-up is a strong one but will Harry James be a permanent fixture now that Thunder seem to be back for an album as well as the reunion tour? Whose idea was it to get Harry into the band? Would you ever consider a 'one-off' reunion gig with ex-members of Magnum?

We really hope Harry is going to be a permanent fixture, he's touring with us again at Christmas, Tony has asked him to play on the next album, as long as he can fit us in in his busy schedule now Thunder are back together again, who were great at the NEC the other night by the way, yeah we really hope he will be with us all the way. It was a Management and band decision to approach Harry in the first place, we needed a great drummer and luckily he was available at the time, it seems to be working out really well.

6. Have you seen any new generation of Magnum fans at gigs? What are you hoping to achieve with the reformed Magnum? Are there any countries you would love to play but haven't as yet?

Oh definitely, there's been lots of familiar faces but there are certainly new ones among them, older and younger generations which is great to see. I'd love to play South America and Australia, it would be great to go back to the States again too.

Bob Catley

Photography: Martin Kessel

7. You did a few songs for Tobias Sammet's Avantasia project (The Metal Opera Part II - you sounded superb, by the way). How did that come about? It's a different genre to what you're used to doing - would you consider doing something like that in the power metal genre again?

Tobias contacted my Manager, it sounded like a great project to get involved in, so I went over to Germany to meet Tobias and record a couple of tracks, we got on great, I love both the albums part 1 and 2, yes I'd love to do another one.

8. Hard Rain - were you generally happy with this band? (I personally loved both CD's but it was really hard to find them in the shops!) Would you both consider working together again outside of Magnum?

Yeah I really liked being in Hard Rain and both the albums, but I love being back in Magnum and working with Tony again. I only see being in Magnum and my solo career for the foreseeable future but you never know what's round the corner !

9. You've done a lot of writing with Gary Hughes on your solo projects. What prevented you from doing the same with your coming solo album?

Yeah it was great working with Gary, we did three great albums together but he's so busy now with Ten and his 'Once And Future King' project it was looking really hard to find a time when both Gary and myself weren't busy, we've both got really tight schedules at the moment which is great for both of us of course. I really wanted to continue with my solo career though, then Paul Hodson my keyboard played me some demo's that he was working on, I loved them, they were right up my street so that's what we are working on now.

10. Message for your fans...

Thanks to everyone for sticking with us all this time, we're looking forward to seeing you all again on tour this Christmas, see you at the bar !

......and a few extra ones if you have the time! (I had a lot of response for questions for you including Magnus in Sweden who says a 'big hello'). In 1974 the did a session of 4 songs at studios Nest in Birmingham, these song can be found on the Archive album, did they do more than these 4 songs?

Hello Magnus, how you doin'? I think there was about 11 or 12 tracks on the album.

Talking about the 1974 session, one of the tracks, Captain America has a very high pitch chorus/choir, similar to the choir the group Sweet became famous for, and one of the vocals on this tracks even sound like the bass player from Sweet, Steve Priest. Did Steve have something to do with this song? Or did you get inspired by Sweet to do such a chorus/Choir? Do you know/knew any members from Sweet, or did you play at the same time at any occasion?

No there's no Sweet connection, I'm going to have to dig it out and have another listen, I've not played it in years !

What did you do pre-Magnum, were you a singer in the group Paradox? Or what other bands did you sing in?

Yeah I was in quite a lot of bands before Magnum, one of them was Paradox, Capital Systems, Life and another one called Clear Water, I can't remember any others !

10. (One from top Glaswegian melodic rockers Cry Havoc)Why are you not playing Glasgow on your forthcoming tour ? Can we open for you in Edinburgh? Paul (Cry Havoc).

It's only a short UK tour and we played Glasgow last time so our agent thought it was a good idea to play Edinburgh this time, sorry Glasgow!

Related> Al Barrow interview

Related> Harry James interview

Website: Magnum Online

Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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