INTERVIEW WITH ROGER SCOTT CRAIG
After moving from his native Ireland, ROGER SCOTT CRAIG began his musical career in Liverpool, England. His first band LIVERPOOL EXPRESS signed a deal with WARNER BROTHERS and soon had four hit records in Europe and South America, also touring with ROD STEWART.
A lot of session work followed in London before Roger moved to California where he became a part of the band FORTUNE recording with CAMEL / MCA RECORDS. After a spell touring with NINA HAGEN he built his own recording studio in Malibu, California and started a whole new career writing music for television and movies.
Roger also teamed up with former FORTUNE lead vocalist LARRY GREENE to form a band called "HARLAN CAGE" recording 3 records for MTM MUSIC. He has just completed another project for MTM with his new band "101 SOUTH" featuring lead vocalist GREGORY LYNN HALL.
GREGORY LYNN HALL started off his musical career in Los Angeles playing around all the major rock venues at an early age. Greg started out as a drummer but soon moved on to bass and guitars playing with his own band "RAT SALLY". After moving to the Midwest he became a much sought after session vocalist. In 1999 Greg teamed up with Producer ROGER SCOTT CRAIG to form the new band 101 SOUTH.
Fortune, Harlan Cage and 101 South are big favourites of Loud & Clear. Here's our interview with Roger!
1. The 101 South album was released a while ago, what kind of feedback have you gotten about it?
So far the 101 South album has had fantastic reviews in Europe. Probably some of the best reviews I have ever had for a melodic rock CD. The album gets released in Japan in a few weeks so we're hoping for good sales there also.
2. Will this project continue in the future?
I'd certainly like to continue developing 101 South and now that I know the vocal range of our singer,Gregory Lynn Hall, I will be able to make use of his amazing capabilities. So look out for another album in 2001.
3. Some of the tracks on the 101 album have a strong Harlan Cage-like vibe. Were they written for HC to use, or is it just your trademark sound?
That's just my trademark sound I guess. When I write melodic rock songs I just do what feels right to me and I don't resent any comparisons between 101 South and Harlan Cage.
4. What's going on with Harlan Cage? Albums, tours, videos?
I'm not really sure what will happen with Harlan Cage in the future. We've done three albums altogether and so far we've not really had the sales we were hoping for. We are working on very small budgets for these albums and it will be hard for me to justify doing another CD since there's just not much money left over after we've paid all the studio costs, musicians etc. And trying to take a band like Harlan Cage on tour just wouldn't be financially viable.
5. Do you think that there's a chance that we might see a reissue of the legendary Fortune album one day?
We approached MCA records about possibly having them release the old Fortune masters to us but so far they have refused. I guess the Fortune album did pretty well back in the eighties but somehow I never saw any of the money. The record company never reported any sales figures to us and we broke up soon after. They then went bankrupt so we couldn't even sue them for our money. A real rip-off! That was the reason we started Harlan Cage instead of doing a second Fortune album.
6. I heard that you've done a lot of music for commercials/TV etc. Have you written for other artists as well?
Since I moved on to doing music for movies and TV commercials I really haven't been concentrating on writing songs. But a lot of the songs I wrote for my first band, Liverpool Express have been covered by other artists. Placing music in movies is much more lucrative and I still receive substantial amounts from movies such as "The Pelican brief", "Wyatt Earp" and "Richie Rich".
7. If you had a chance to get a song of yours recorded by an artist of your choice, who would that be?
My favourite singers are people like Michael McDonald (who just sang on one of my songs recently) and George Benson although Lou Gramm of Foreigner is still my favourite rock singer.
8. Last but not least, the obligatory Finnquestion: What do you know about Finland (and no searching the web for info now!)
I've done quite a lot of TV and live shows in Scandinavia over the years. My first band Liverpool played a few festivals somewhere in the North of Finland and I have also played gigs in Helsinki with crazy German singer Nina Hagen when I was in her band in the late eighties. The one thing I always remember about Finland was how (in the summer) it only got dark for one hour or so after we finished the show and it seemed like we never went to bed! I always had a great time in Finland so I know exactly where it is on the map!
Roger Scott Craig talks about the 101 South album - track by track!
1. FREEWAY RIDE
This track was written as a feelgood, balls to the wall rocker and you should crank it up real loud when you get on the autobahn!! Here in California, the main freeway I use is the 101 South which takes me into Hollywood and it's a blast to crank up my car stereo as I'm headed into the city. Sometimes when life isn't going too well it's great to just get in your car and take a Freeway Ride. The end of the track really showcases Greg Hall's fantastic vocals.
2. RUN LIKE A TIGER
Sometimes you realise that you should have listened more carefully to your Dad cos with all his experience in life he knows a lot more than you do. And when he kept tellin you to change your ways you should have paid attention to what he was saying. You'd better run like a tiger...
3. WE TOOK THE WRONG ROAD
Well we all have regrets when we've made bad decisions with relationships in our past, don't we? Things were going great until you headed down the Wrong road and Bammm that's the end of the relationship... It's about regrets. This track was alot of fun to record although Greg wasn't too sure at first whether he could really nail the high notes in the chorus, but boy did he!
4. BOAT OUT ON THE WATER
This song is all about driftin apart. Two boats just slowly driftin into separate harbours, two people just headin in different directions. You can really hear the texture of Greg's voice on this track, he has a real sensitive style too! Mike Turner put some great guitars on this track.
5. NOWHERE TO RUN
Sometimes in relationships some people just keep on complaining about everything. No matter what happens there's always something that's not right and no matter what you do it'll never get any better! I stacked alot of backing vocals under Greg's voice on this track and again another real melodic guitar solo from Mike Turner.
6. YOUR RAZOR IS SHARP
The chorus says it all. "The grass is it always greener on the other side of the hill?" You know people always getting divorced because they think their marriage sucks only to find out in their next marriage that things soon are just as difficult as before. I love the ending of this track. It has a real emotion to it and Greg nailed a top C at the end which blew me away. Featuring my good friend Billy Liesegang on guitar, many people may recognise his style on this track.
7. CASUALTY OF LOVE
A lot of guys take advantage of girls and after a brief relationship there's always some excuse! Here the guy is explaining that she's just another casualty of love, a victim of fate when really he's just bored with her and wants to move on to the next one night stand! Wow, listen to the first few notes Greg sings at the beginning of this track.
8. SHE JUST WALKS ON WATER
Well, I always like at least one rock ballad on a CD and most people can understand the message of this song. When you see the girl of your dreams for the first time. What a beautiful sight. And what a beautiful vocal from Greg again. He nailed this one in about fifteen minutes and I was real happy how the track sounded. Paul (Pablo) Schirmer guested on guitars and did a great job.
9. YOU'RE SO COLD
When you're trying real hard in a relationship and she's just so cold to your feelings all the time. How frustrating! I think we've all been there a time or two. I wrote this song in New York as I sat in a hotel overlooking Manhattan and was woken up real early by all the noise and bussle of the city.
10. NOBODY MOVES A MOUNTAIN
The title says it all. Insecurity in a relationship can destroy it and when things fall apart it seems like you feel that she expects too much from you. Problems and disagreements are a part of any marriage. In the chorus he's headed back to her hoping to patch things up, start their love over again. Tried to feature the old "Moog" synthesiser sound in the bridge section, one of the few times the keyboards are featured on this album.
11. THERE'S A TRAIN COMING
Billy Liesegang says I should dedicate this track to British Rail. You can never be sure what time the train arrives! Again Billy guested on guitars and created some really good atmospheric sounds. Greg wasn't sure he could really do this track justice but early reviews of the CD say this is one of the best tracks!
12. LIVE FOR THE MOMENT
We thought this was a good track to finish with. You know you never know how much time you've got left on this planet so you might as well make the most of everyday, live life to the fullest. A straight ahead rocker with powerful guitars by Mike Turner. Greg's voice just sails through this song, effortlessly.