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Here's an updated interview with melodic rockers Sacred Heart who continue to go from strength to strength... Sacred Heart appear at the Melodic Rock Xmas Bash to be held at the legendary Ruskin Arms on Sunday December 4th. A fantastic bill of UK hard rock bands and all for only £8! Over to Sacred Heart's drummer Claudio Cafolla and vocalist/guitarist Paul Stead...

1. What are you currently up to?

Claudio Cafolla (CC): We've a few gigs lined up, including support with The Sabbath, a headline festival show and of course we're really looking forward to performing at the MRXB, our Christmas party if you like! See for full live listings.

Paul Stead (PS): We had a pretty quiet summer, with band members going on holiday etc, but schedule wise we've just played some great venues; The White Room in Hull & Stripes in Brentford and have some more great dates lined up.

2. You're appearing at the MRX festival on 4th December. What sort of set are you planning?

CC: We've put together a set for the Autumn/Winter 2005 dates featuring a selection of tracks from "A New Dawn" and "Lay It On The Line" with the addition of a couple of new songs that we think will help blow the audience away! New bassist Darren Jhuboo has been sounding really good in rehearsal and the band are really looking forward to playing in our new formation.

PS: Darren had pretty much learnt the whole of "Lay It On The Line", and some of those songs we hadn't played for a while, so it was a kick up the backside forĀ Claudio, Mark & IĀ - he knew some of the tracks better than us!

3. How do you view the current melodic rock music scene, particularly in the UK? Has there been an upswing in interest following Firefest and bands like Styx & Kansas finally making it over to the UK?

CC: With the great reaction we've had from audiences, we're convinced that with the right publicity the melodic rock scene could garner a lot more interest. Styx and Kansas will be pulling in older fans but hopefully also bringing the sound to a wider audience. We need people like you guys to keep plugging away!

PS: I think we see the same bands come over a bit too regularly and the excitement, interest and crowds get smaller each time because of this. Promoters are milking the established names but only promoting on a small scale - this means it's only the same people that hear about this kind of thing. It genuinely seems like there's no-one out there doing anything to create a larger rock fanbase or increase the market by encouraging new people to check these bands out. I agree with Claudio, it takes people like GRTR! plugging away and finding a balance between supporting the old and establishing the new.

I think the mindset has changed with music fans too. There doesn't seem as much interest in new artists live as there was 10 years ago. Granted, not as many venues doing their bit - but even when they do, they often struggle to get the numbers.

4. You released your debut album, `Lay It On The Line' just over a year ago. How has the reaction been so far both reviews and fan wise?

CC: Reviews have so far been very positive, and the more people that we get to listen to the album, the better the feedback seems to be.

5. Where does the band get their songwriting ideas from and who musically is an influence on you all?

CC: Paul and Mark will bring ideas to rehearsals, both parts of songs and the structure of songs. The band will then discuss the ideas, play them through and adjust as appropriate. Bands like Europe and Warrant will influence the type of songs we play, but each has its own individuality and character. Each member of the band has different influences and styles to bring to the songs to make them "Sacred Heart" songs.

PS: Whenever their is a basic idea - or even a completed song for that matter - brought to the table, everyone is given the opportunity to stamp their unique style on it.

6. Which song(s) do you think best sum-up what Sacred Heart are all about and why?

CC: I think every "Sacred Heart" song contributes. Newer songs like "Shake" and "Perfect" define our evolving sound, but older songs like "Carry On" and "Crazy World" are sounding better than ever.

PS: I totally agree. Now, more than ever, Claudio is instilling his style on the songs, especially the newer ones. His influences stem further back than the rest of us and we're finding a really nice balance between the 70's rock/metal that got him interested in the first place and the hard rock of the mid - late 80's that got the rest of hooked.

7. Any other bands/artists out there who have impressed you recently and why?

CC: Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes in producing a classic rock album that still sounds modern. Also bands like Alter Bridge and Audioslave who are working very hard to promote rock to as wide an audience as possible.

PS: "Welcome Home" by "Coheed & Cambria" - superb, and having just heard the new Bon-Jovi single "Have A Nice Day", I have high hopes for their new album.

8. What have been the most memorable gigs and why?

CC: The Stripes gig on 12 August 2005 was memorable in that the whole band was in the zone and we had great positive audience feedback. It showed the band are getting tighter and tighter and we all really enjoyed the feeling of playing well together in front of the audience. There was also our support slot for Kee Marcello at the Camden Underworld where we played a blinder and had a good laugh too. Also, playing at the Celtic Warriors last year to a huge hall of people was a great buzz!

PS: Yeah, Stripes was wicked, dude! K2 at the Underworld was rocking too and our first venture up north to Hull at the start of September was excellent - the crowd were superb!

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

CC: Playing drums!

PS: City breaks, chillin' out, Cinema, eating out and the company of good friends. Writing songs, all the usual really.

10. Message to your fans...

CC: Thanks for all the support!

PS: Please join us, "Pride", "Lost Weekend", "Double Cross", "The Dregs" & "Escape" on Sunday 4th December for our Melodic Rock Christmas Bash at Ruskin Arms, London - it's gonna be one hell of a party!!! Full details & mini-site at

Cheers to Jason and all at GRTR! for their continued support, and many thanks to YOU!

Melodic Rock Bash


Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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