A Talk With
CARL CANEDY (Drums)
Questionnaire by Stefan
Classic US Heavy Metal maniacs must surely have heard of the mighty drummer from The Rods called Carl Canedy. He also lent his professional talents to numerous other bands throughout so many years, Carl’s a top notch producer as well ! My first conversation with this drum legend dates back from September 2009, feel free to read the full story right HERE. Almost 6 years later on now and I’m ready to speak with Carl again, I’d like to know some more about the release of the man’s debut solo album entitled “Headbanger” and stuff. I have much admiration for this very talented musician/producer so let's start with the sequel to our previous conversation !
Q: Hi Carl, I am delighted to welcome you here at MTI for the second time… how you doing at the moment?
A: Thank you for the kind words and inviting me to chat with you once again. I’m a fan and appreciate all that you do for metal. I’m busy as hell but excited about all that’s going on in my life. We are leaving for European dates Sunday and I’m finalizing a new Rods release. A collaboration with Veronica Freeman of Benedictum. We’ve recorded a song of David’s called Smoke on the Horizon with Veronica handling the lead vocals. It hits Itunes tomorrow.
Also, No Remorse Records has re-issued Apollo Ra, “Ra Pariah”. We remastered it from my original master tapes and added two new bonus tracks. My album is out and I’m promoting it and working on the new Video of “My Life, My Way” and a few more projects that we’ll be announcing soon.
Q: First and foremost I want to congratulate you on the release of your debut solo album “Headbanger”. It this a challenge or all has the do with ambition?
A: Thank you. I worked hard on this album as did my friends who contributed their talent. It was a huge challenge. I’ve always either worked with The Rods or Produced bands who had a direction and my job was to help them make the best possible recording. With Canedy I was the only one who knew the direction, how things were sounding, what was needed and how the pieces were going to fit together. It was uncharted waters for me. I loved and hated it.
I’m not sure about the question of ambition. I’m driven and felt it was time for me to present an album of my material. I figured that anyone who bought my album would know that I can play drums. I wanted this album to be about my songwriting and songs.
I have to thank John Hahn who played all guitar tracks (with the exception of two tracks he traded solos with Chris Caffery) for helping make this much easier that it might have been. He was amazing and delivered great tracks every time. If you’re asking if I wanted to become a Rock Star or get rich from this album...hahahahaha I think not. It was purely a labor of love.
Q: Which festivals you've played to promote this CD Carl?
A: As Canedy none. The logistics of getting all of the players together has proven too great. We’re all working musicians and the schedules will probably never line up. I’ve love to have Mark Tornillo and Joe Comeau out front doing these songs live but I doubt it will happen.
Q: The Rods’ latest cut “Vengeance” has been unleashed in 2011, can you call this release a roaring success?
A: I think it proved that we were back and still as heavy or heavier than ever. It also showed that we were still The Rods. Not a watered down version of ourselves.
I also felt the album might have had more support from the label but I’m sure every band out there thinks that way. It was a success in that we each now have our own studios and we’re able to record very easily and quickly. That makes it all much more enjoyable and much less expensive.
Q: The Rods has been printed on the poster of Belgian based Heavy Sound Festival, edition 2015. This outstanding feast on Metal has been around for decades, especially the first two editions will stay with me forever. One happened in 1983, the second in 1984… I was present and saw great performances Ostrogoth, Viva, Slayer, U.F.O., Lee Aaron, Crossfire and many others. What to expect from The Rods’ participation this year, which songs will be on the songlist?
A: After that statement I’m afraid to take the stage for fear we’ll not live up to the tradition other bands have set. I can only say that we’re really excited to play Heavy Sound Festival. It’s an honor to be asked and I can only hope that we do a good job. As for our set list, that’s usually something we don’t announce. We try to change it up and keep it fresh for the fans. It’s hard to please everyone because we have so much material.
We do have a special guest on these dates. Veronica Freeman will join us onstage for a set of Dio/Black Sabbath songs. She rocked the songs and the crowd at a recent warm-up date and I’m sure the European fans are going to love it. We also recorded a single with featuring Veronica on Vocals... Smoke on the Horizon. I’m hoping the fans will love this track as much as I do.
Q: Throughout your musical career, which was the most unforgettable performance – what made it so special?
A: My first concert opening for Blue Oyster Cult. It was in our hometown arena in front of 10,000 people. The fans went nuts when we hit the stage and it was a huge moment for me. I also tossed my sticks way out into the crowd, as I’d seen and envied many other drummers do. I was told to never do that again (to avoid a lawsuit. Big Time buzzkill).
Q: Can we expect a new album from The Rods?
A: I’m thrilled to say YES! We’ve begun work and we’re hoping for a January release.
Q: Your new solo album “Headbanger” features a whole lot of guest musicians. You handpicked these talents by yourself I suppose, for what reason?
A: I asked my friends and people I admired to lend their talents to my CD. John Hahn was the first choice for guitar. We’ve been friends for a long time and I played drums on his first CD so it was a good fit. He’s an amazing player and I was lucky to have him. Joe Comeau, Mark Tornillo, Chris Caffery and all the other players didn’t hesitate to say yes. I can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness in bringing all their energy and talent to my CD. It would not have been the same without them.
Also, Brian New mixed the album and did an incredible job of making it sound like one band and not many different projects. Tom Borthwick of Sound Investment Studios, in Old Forge, PA was also a big help in mastering the album. Truly a team effort with everyone giving 100%.
Q: Your daughter Erin also contributed to the album, how does her musical background looks like?
A: Erin is 24 and has a degree in Music Education. She was a voice major and has a beautiful voice as can be heard on The Code and Cult of the Poisoned Mind. I had a little keyboard idea on Cult and as she walked by my studio room I asked her if she’d sing along with the part to thicken it. She turned it into the choir you now hear. It totally elevated the song. I was proud as a dad but also amazed at her talent.
I envy many of her talents that I do not possess. I recognized that she was beyond me when she was 8. I was reading the sheet music while she was singing Memory from Cats correctly with the odd meters. It was a timing change I hadn’t heard or knew of until I read the music. I know she was way beyond me at that point and I chose carefully any suggestions I had from that point on. I respect her, as I would any of the other musicians on my CD, only I also have the pride of a father as an added bonus.
Q: Did you wrote and produced the songs by yourself - what to say about the content of the texts?
A: I wrote, arranged, produced the album. All the songs are 100% mine, Music, Melodies, Lyrics, Arrangements etc.. Many of my lyrics are political statements of one sort or another and some are just fun.
My Life, My Way was written about my best friend Jim Nunis (www.JNunisguitars.com) . Jim and I started out together when we were 14 and became best friends. He died a few years ago and before he became ill he’d mentioned that he’d gotten a new tattoo. He never told me what it said. When his friends told me of his last minutes it was very powerful for me.
They said when he passed his arm turned out showing his tattoo which read My Life, My Way. His friends felt it was a last statement by a man who lived his life that way. I went off and wrote the song about him in 20 minutes. I dedicated it to Jim and my friend Billy Hilfiger. Two great guitarists and musicians who left us much too soon.
Q: You have deliberately opted for two singers with varying timbre, why?
A: I actually have three singers. Mark Tornillo, Joe Comeau and David Porter (805 google them. They were an amazing band). I presented each singer with the songs I felt would fit their style and they choose their own tunes. I think they all nailed their respective songs. I’m very happy with the vocals.
Q: Did the recordings went smoothly, who was the conductor to keep everything on track?
A: As I was the producer I kept everything as organized as I could. All of the players are professionals so it was an easy job. No problems or egos whatsoever.
Q: One of my favourite songs is ‘The Code’ (featuring the one and only R.J. Dio) has also been added to the tracklist of “Headbanger”, for what reason?
A: The Code was added as a bonus track once the album was completed. I had no intention of adding the song but as I finished the album I realized that it was a highlight of my career having Ronnie James Dio sing a song I’d written. I knew to truly represent my songwriting I had to include it on this CD as a bonus track. There were also a few minor riff changes I wanted to make.
Q: May I ask for your favourite song(s) and the reason why you like them so much?
A: My Life, My Way because I captured my friends memory and attitude in the song. Cult of the Poisoned Mind because it was a statement I’d wanted to make and the addition of my daughter’s vocals took it to the next level. The Code because it was truly the highlight of my career to have had Ronnie James Dio sing a song I’d written. It was also an honor to watch him perform. Having worked with so many excellent singers I was surprised by his amazing talent. A memory I cherish.
Q: It was Benjamin from Online Metal Promo who brought me up to date concerning the “Headbanger” release. How’s the collaboration with him come about?
A: Ben is a great guy and has worked with us in the past. I knew he would be the guy to help me get the word out about Headbanger. I was right. The man works hard and does his job incredibly well. I can’t thank him enough.
Q: Are certain record companies interested in releasing the cut?
A: We have not spoken with labels at this point but we are considering a label for the new release. Record Labels with large advances please apply within.
Q: I know that you are a very meritorious producer who worked with innumerable bands in the past, how’s the current situation with regards to the production of albums?
A: I’ve recently done some work with a young pop band www.BlackTieStereo.com . I’ve also been approached by a couple of former bands I’ve worked with and a few new ones. I’m busy so it’s not always possible to take on new projects but I’d love to work with some of these artists so we’ll see. As for the current state of music for a producer, it’s pretty much the way it has always been. If you do an album that a band loves then they will seek you out. I suppose the biggest difference is that you are less likely to have label reps bring you a band. Budgets are smaller so you need to be creative to make a killer album for fewer dollars. I’ve always worked with a guerrilla approach to budgets so it’s really nothing new to me.
Q: Do you have an ultimate dream that you want to see come true sooner or later?
A: I’ve been blessed. Anything that happens to me now is the proverbial icing on the cake. I take each day as if it were the last and try to make it the best I can. I am really looking forward to making this new Rods album.
Q: My questionnaire is ending so time to finalize Carl, the pleasure was mine to spread the word of Canedy’s “Headbanger” effort, also big thanks to participate in this interview ! Do you have a last few words for us in store… keep up the outstanding works brother !
A: Thank you for the kind words and support for all these years for both The Rods and metal in general. I’ve been a fan for years. I want to thank the fans for staying with us all of these years. We love meeting you at shows so please feel free to say hi whenever possible. The fans are the reason we’re still out there and we can’t thank the “Wild Dogs” enough.