The night before UFOR II we had a chance to chat with Mr. Gary Barden, former vocalist of MSG and the current singer of Silver and Statetrooper. It was the eve of his first solo gig and with a new band, so there was excitement in the air...
So, what's going on in the world of Gary Barden these days?
Gary: Well, not a lot actually...but Khalil (Turk, Escape Music) brought me here in Stuttgart and I'm doing this wonderful concert with these 8 other bands. Let me tell you, it's the first time that Gary Barden has played on his own!
The first "Gary Barden Solo" gig...
Gary: Absolutely, and I'm nervous as hell! I've now met the guys backing me and we've rehearsed...nice'n tight it sounds and I'm happy and they're happy! I've actually met them for the first time here!
So who are these mysterious guys who are playing with you tomorrow?
Gary: Here is Chris from the band with a list of the guys, so you'll get their names right!
About tomorrow, what are you going to play?
Gary: We're gonna do half the album, "The Agony And Xtasy" and then we're gonna do half set of Schenker songs, because that's what people ask me..."Love the Schenker songs, sing from the old days, could you..." So they're gonna hear "On And On", "The Mad Axeman", "Cry For The Nations"...
You have a lot of things going on, like your solo career, Silver, Statetrooper...
Gary: As we're speaking, we're doing the Statetrooper live album from SwedenRock, and it's nearly done. After three years...I don't know why it hase taken three years, but it's nearly done. I'm really happy about it. There were hardly any changes, not me anyway...just a couple of harmonies, a bit of this and a bit of that.. it sound really punchy and it was a good night. Nice audience, they knew the songs, sang along...
Then there's Silver...
Gary: Yeah, Mike (Voss) and I are thinking about doing one next year. It should be nearer to the style of the first two Silver albums, not so dark and heavy as Andreas (Broon) and Michael did... him and I should actually be able to come yp with a pretty good album I think.
You've done five Silver albums in a short period of time. That's quite a lot.
Gary: Yeah, that's like 50 songs in 5 songs. Fair enough, bands used to release an album every year.
These days it's not so common.
Gary: Iron Maiden took three years...
Not to mention Def Leppard or Boston...
Gary: Or like The 'Troopers! "The Calling" was released 19 years after the first album!
That must be some kind of a record. And the next one will be released in 2020?
Gary: No No No. Like in 2007. Jeff has written some 15-20 songs, I just have to analyze them, write the lyrics, some melody lines...but they've got the verses, bridges and choruses, so it's gonna happen. It's a chemical thing again, you know you've got to have all the basics, put 'em all together, chuck 'em around a bit, and then put your hand in and see what comes out!
I guess we can't miss talking about Michael Shenker?
Gary: Yeah, Mike...I talked to him, he's got problems again at the moment...I think he's back home in Germany now. I know he's got something coming up which could be quite... exciting!
So he's not retiring as he threatened?
Gary: No, he's got years in him! ...He's a lovely guy.
Do you have any new projects in the planning?
Gary: Yeah! I'd like have a sleep occasionally, take a holiday every now and then...I have a wife and a little girl, and two dogs...these things take a lot of time. But you know what I'd like to do actually - Something like Priest are doing with "Nostradamus", a rock musical thing. I'd like to something like that. With an orchestra, grand guitars, big drums, choirs, lots of girls...screaming...that sounds good to me! I'm moving to Thailand next year, so I'll have a little time to think about it...
Gary: Yeah, I go back every year. I have a lot of time there, because my Thai isn't actually very good, so I can think... lots of english things in my head!
Not that much distractions?
Gary: Not really, except for the girls...not that much...
Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Gary: If you're not here, It's a happening place at the moment and it's gonna be an interesting little gig tomorrow...If I make it through the flames of hell tomorrow as it's my first solo gig, I will do some more... and you should come to see us if we come to your town or city. It's gonna be rock'n roll as good as it gets!
Interview & hotel photos by Kimmo Toivonen,
Check out RockUnited's UFOR 2006 special for more interviews and an in-depth report!