Little Caesar came out of the LA scene in the late 80s, but were that band that didn’t subscribe to the “Hair Metal” look or genre. They were equal parts biker, blues and rock. While on tour in Europe, lead singer Ron Young, spoke to us about their fantastic new record “8” (which is coming out on Australia’s own Golden Robot Records), touring, and dream triple bills. So sit back and enjoy our chat with Ron Young, of Little Caesar.
H2Z: Hi Ron, Thanks for your time. Its been 6 years since your last studio album, when you went in to record did you have something you wanted to convey?
RY: After we put out our double live album, I decided, before we went in the studio, I wanted to have 5 solid members in the band, as we have always had a revolving guitar player, and while they were all great players, that also made them so busy, which meant they couldn’t be that full time member that is involved with the writing. For me, I have always seen a band like a Motorcycle Club, it carries a certain family type thing, and it needs to feel full. So along the way we started getting general ideas, but then when Mark Tremalgia came along, and he instantly fell right into place. So we pulled out all the song ideas, and they came together really quickly, and then Mark added his spice into the stew, and we jumped right into the studio, and 23 days later, out comes the record. It was so fun and spontaneous the way music should be. I feel once the music becomes molecules, it really suffers for it. We had a natural and spontaneous experience making it, and the response so far has been great, and we are really thankful for that.
H2Z: Listening to the album, it has a very big sound, but also quite a vintage sound and feel to it, which seems like it was easy and natural for you all in the studio, would you agree?
RY: We have such a great producer, who is a really great friend of mine, and he does a lot of behind the scenes work with Joe Perry and The Hollywood Vampires, and he has a very roots-y and organic approach to recording, and like us, he has an affinity to when records were made with the imperfections and rough edges left on, which makes the personality of the band come through, which was lost with a lot of the bands in the 80s and 90s. We just decided to get good equipment, then concentrate on good sounds, then good performances, and then just don’t overthink it when you mix it. That’s how it came together so well, with a continuity, and we didn’t want to waste time and money trying to mess with anything.
H2Z: The album has a very “warm” sound, which has been missing for a long time.
RY: Thank you!, I don’t know what happened to music, maybe due to technology. Everyone is listening to music through ear buds, and everything is digital, and all the old, great stuff was all done analog. We tried to use a lot of old analog equipment, but only a very small amount of digital technology in the process.
H2Z: When you went in to record, did you go in with a bunch of material, or just enough for the album?
RY: Just enough for the record. I would love to say we have the luxury of time for writing, but we don’t, we have been doing this along time, and just because you think you create something that is good, doesn’t mean it cannot be criticized. In the process we had songs we threw out straight away. You can’t just write a great song, you have to look at an album as a whole piece of music. At the end of the day we were fans of music before we were creators of music, so we want our love for music to show in the songs, and pay tribute to our influences in our songs, for instance saying, “Hey do a Malcom meets Angus solo right there”. That does the listener a service, because we wear our heart on our sleeves, and we are totally fine with that.
H2Z: Did you end up with a personal favourite on the album
RY: Im a little to close to it to pick one, but I go through phases, or I might get an affinity for singing one live.
H2Z: For me “Time Enough For That” is a real standout, its almost more of a story than a song. Can you tell me more about that?
RY: Actually, Pharoah, our bass player wrote that. It’s the first ever time I have sung someone elses lyrics, in the band. I once made an album with the guys from Whitesnake (Manic Eden), and Adrian is Dutch, so sometimes his lyrics did not translate well into English. And when I tried to explain this it lead to (laughs), very warm and passionate discussions. But Adrian is an artist, he is actually a painter, and so was not very flexible on changing his lyrical content. So when Pharoah bought in the song, I was saying to myself, “Please don’t let it be stupid, please don’t let it be dumb”, but when I heard the song, read the lyrics and the concept, I said to him “Wow, this is really great” and we worked so well together on it and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.
H2Z: You mentioned you are in the UK at the moment, what does the rest of 2018 have planned out for Little Caesar?
RY: Finishing up here in a few days, but back over to Europe in May, and our great family at Golden Robot Records are trying to help us map out more stuff, so we want to add more shows, and maybe try to get out to Australia as we have never been out there, and just see what our blessings with the record afford us. Expectations lead to disappointment, so we have none, especially with things as weird as they are these days in the music industry, so we are just revelling in the fact we made a great piece of music that people are consistently happy with.
H2Z: One last question for a bit of fun, You get to pick your dream triple bill, and you can play any slot you want
RY: Living or Dead?
H2Z: Anything you want. Your dream
RY: If it was my dream it would be, AC/DC, Bad Company, and Little Caesar. It would have to be Bon Era AC/DC, and where I would go on, is I would shine all there shoes before they go on (laughs), but its important no matter who it is, people get out and see their favourite artists before we lose them. We have lost so many great artists recently, people shouldn’t wait until its too late
H2Z: OK Ron! Thanks a lot for your time, safe travels and look forward to seeing you in Australia sometime soon.
RY: Thanks so much for your time.
Pre order “8” by Little Caesar here