Pete Agnew of NAZARETH - Interview, Nov. 10 '08 Page 4
by Martin Popoff
Can I ask you a couple of No Mean City things; I guess first off, what generally was the concept for the album, the Glasgow gangs?
Yep, that was for the title. We lifted the title for that, because there's a book called No Mean City. It was written way back in the '30s, about the razor gangs. It was a rough place to be at that time. And we all read the book when we were younger. And well, you can't see the heel, but the guy in the book that is the main man, he was The Razor King, and he had two razors, and that's why you've got Fred, as we call him, on the front of the cover? With his two razors. And the album wasn't really written about that. The song itself was about that sort of time, and about those kinds of people, but in this time, or in that time when the album was done. The rest of the album was, I suppose it does fit because it was hard rock album. It harkens back to those days. But we didn't really go into the idea with a concept. At the time when we did that album, Zal had just joined us, Zal Cleminson, and he came in with a couple of songs, and we all had some songs, and we just decided to make them into an album. So we didn't really say that we were going to do a concept. But I suppose, when you look at it from a fan's point of view, it does sound like that a little.
It's definitely heavier than the previous couple, no?
Definitely, definitely, I mean, we went for, we had done... we tried different things, and well, we did that, we did No Mean City, and then of course right after that was Malice In Wonderland, which was totally on the other side, much more, I would say lighter. But the same lineup, but that was that lineup getting used to each other. And that's why that happened. But No Mean City was heavier by nature, if you will.
Do you remember anything about the recording sessions in, I guess it was Isle of Man?
Yeah, yeah, what we did was, we got Jethro Tull's mobile. We brought that up. We had a big farmhouse up there. We were all living on the Isle of Man at the time, all the band. And they decided, we've got this farmhouse where we were rehearsing and writing, and things like that, and it was decided that we loved the place, so we were very relaxed there, loved the atmosphere. Actually, if you saw where it was, it was so idyllic, and you see the kind of music we were actually playing there, it was actually very funny. Because the place is like that (laughs). We didn't record all of it there. We did all the backing tracks and stuff there, but the vocals, you can't do a lot. You can get the tracks down, so we did that there, and then we went to Queen's studio, in Montreux Switzerland, and that's where we did all the vocals. Over there, at the casino, when Queen owned the studio there, we did the vocals. And I think we did one or two, I think we did one or two guitar overdubs there. But most of the the album was done in Isle of Man, and the finishing stuff was done in Switzerland.
Pete Agnew of NAZARETH - Interview, Nov. 10 '08 Page 5