There are vocalists’ bands, and there are bands where a vocalist can be replaced without ruining a collective soul. Yet there are collectives where it’s not a voice that matters but the voice. Which is the case of NAZARETH. Whatever guise the Scottish finest take on, Dan McCafferty’s voice is an instrument that makes the ensemble recognizable once these pipes start calling. On the verge of the band’s second journey to Israel, Dan – with a little hellp from McCafferty clan members – pitches in.
– This year marks 35 years since the release of NAZARETH’s debut album. How far do you think you’ve come since then in creative terms?
A lot more creative, just through experience and travel. Seeing different things and places. We’ve come a long way since our first album.
– What’s your biggest achievement, then – I mean not charts-wise?
The biggest achievement is being able to stay together for so long and stiil perform.
– There are some bands, AC/DC one of those, where vocals seem to reflect your style. How often do you hear your voice in somebody else’s manner?
I don’t really listen to bands to see if they sound like me. It is always flattering, however, when someone from another band mentions you have influenced them.
– You have two solo albums under your belt. Will there ever be a third one?
Who knows? There is nothing on the cards at the moment but never say never.
– You’re playing the bagpipe on-stage. How did that trick develop?
The bagpipes came about because we’re Scottish and we thought it would be good fun.
– Could it be you influenced Peter Frampton who does something similar with his own gizmo?
I don’t think we had anything to do with Peter Frampton.
– With this rich back catalogue that you have you surely can’t please everyone in the audience. So what do you think of the punters’ reaction to Frankie Miller’s “Danger Danger” which you’ve really made your own now?
Our prerogative has always been to do music we like and hope the fans like it too. As for “Danger Danger”, we’ve always been Frankie’s fans since we were kids, and it was for a special album to assist in Frankie’s medical expenses.
– There are quite many versions of “Love Hurts” but it’s yours that’s considered a definitive one. What’s the secret?
It’s an emotional song and is considered one of the first rock ballads, which I’m sure helped it get radio play at the time.
– Sam & Dave are still big with you, yet what music today can send shivers down your spine?
Hundreds of artists. Some new and some old, there is always something interesting out there.
– Now there’s two ‘vintage’ guys in the band and two young ones. How does it feel to play with Lee and Jimmy who surely think of music differently from you and Pete Agnew?
Jimmy has played with us for more than ten years and Lee more than six. The band listens to all sorts of different music, which we find healthy. When we write together we try to make the songs sound like NAZARETH and everyone’s taste is obviously involved in this.
– How important is it to you and Pete to keep the Scottish blood in the band?
It so happens that everyone in the band is Scottish because when people join it’s because we know then locally. If we lived in London or L. A. it might have been different.
– Your band is named after the American Nazareth that’s named after the Biblical one which you’re going to visit now. Is the visit something you’ve been looking forward to?
Yes, we’re looking forward to going to Nazareth. It’ll be nice to visit it after all these years.