KEE MARCELLO – Kee Marcello band, ex- Europe, Easy Action

KEE MARCELLO

INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

Kee Marcello is a Swedish guitarist/vocalist, best known as the former guitarist in the hard rock band Europe. Marcello joined the group in 1987, replacing original guitarist John Norum. The line-up released two highly successful albums, OUT OF THIS WORLD and PRISONERS IN PARADISE, before disbanding in 1992. In 1999 Europe get briefly together, including both guitarists, for a special millennium performance in Stockholm. However, when the band a few years later announced a reunion, Marcello decided not to be a part of it. During the latter years, he has worked on several projects, including a short-lived reunion with his pre-Europe band Easy Action, and released an autobiography THE ROCKSTAR GOD FORGOT (2011). Currently, Marcello is pursuing a solo career and the fifth solo album, SCALING UP, was published at the end of 2016. Kee Marcello band did three show mini tour in Finland on last month, and then I had a pleasure to sit down with the man and discuss the past, the present and the future. Current band members Jonny Scaramanga (guitar) and Darby Todd (drums) were also present at some parts of the interview.

OUTRO

Kee, it’s been a while since you have been in Finland? It was close to ten years ago, right?

Kee Marcello: Yeah, yeah. We played in Espoo, the Nokia town. We were on tour then, but that was the only Finnish show we did.

I remember that on the same day, Deep Purple was also in the city.

Kee Marcello: I know. That was a big mistake. Who is doing that? Let’s see, okay. Deep Purple is in town, let’s put in another band with the same kind of music in there right now.

Jonny Scaramanga: We’ve tried to play in Finland a few times since I joined the band, but it never worked out. So, finally, it is my first time in Finland in my life for me. So, it’s good for me. Being here is good.

Two years ago, you were supposed to play in Helsinki, in a venue called On the Rocks. It was already on sale but got canceled for whatever reason?

Kee Marcello: Exactly. That was supposed to happen. I don’t know exactly why it didn’t happen?

Jonny Scaramanga: You can’t remember anymore “Laughs.”

Kee Marcello: No, it was some sort of… I can’t really tell. “Laughs”

How long time Jonny has been in this band?

Kee Marcello: He’s been in the band since 2010.

Jonny Scaramanga: Yeah. I’m like a veteran now.

Kee Marcello: You’re a veteran in a way.

Jonny Scaramanga: But have I been in this band longer than you were in Europe?

Kee Marcello: Yes. That’s actually true. Yeah.

Kee Marcello band: Ken Sandin, Kee Marcello, Darby Todd, Jonny Scaramanga

 

TOURING WITH JLT

The current tour, is a kind of package tour, with you and Joe Lynn Turner on the bill. How was this package put together?

Kee Marcello: First of all, our promoter Thomas Ståhl had a great idea behind this whole trip. We did three gigs: Vaasa, Oulu, and Tampere. It was smart to combine things this way, and it was really good for us too. We’re having a great time together with Joe and Jorge Salan. We hang out a lot, and we talk about the same types of music, “Ahh, you were in this album, this guy.” It was like being on a teenage party almost.

Jonny Scaramanga: Just the war stories that you get from you and Joe together, like every rock star imaginable has been in a story at some point in the last few days. I think it’s a good fit, because with we are similar enough kind of music that people want to hear both bands. But we sound different enough as well, that it’s not like two and half hours of the same thing.

I agree with most of that, but I was surprised that you played that many Europe songs in your set?

Kee Marcello: Really? We’ve been doing that for quite a while, and we were talking about this last night because we didn’t play, “More than Meets the Eye,” which is from OUT OF THIS WORLD. But what the hell? The album was released 30 years ago now, let’s bring it in.

Real fans love to hear things like that on the shows.

Jonny Scaramanga: Yeah, fans don’t get to hear that song played live that often. I guess it just felt right for these shows. Didn’t it? We don’t always play as a more significant percentage of Europe songs, and like this, I guess it’s partly because we know that we’re playing to an audience that doesn’t know us and that not everyone is there to see us. So, we want to play the songs that people are going to know, even if they don’t know the bands.

Kee Marcello live at Tampere 2018

 

SCALING UP

Let’s discuss next your latest album SCALING UP. The album is a way more melodic than your previous records, and the songs, they fit very well together with the older Europe material. So, is it correct to say that, with that album now you’ve gone back to your hard rock roots?

Kee Marcello: Yeah. It’s more melodic hard rock and what this band is all about. We’re like two guitars, bass, and drum band and with loads of vocals. Then both Johnny and Ken Sandin sing great. We can bring that sort of out in a powerful way and especially on the new album, where you have those choruses like for instance, “Don’t Miss You Much,” where it really goes out. We’ve played much more of those songs normally as you said like “Black Hole Star” and all that. But that’s when you put together our harmony singing and playing together, and it gets powerful. The power trip is going on.

I also noticed Johnny’s and Ken’s great singing through the show. It worked out great especially when you’re singing very different ways to each other.

Jonny Scaramanga: Ken takes a lot of harmonies, I make the high harmonies. We’ve got a lot of formula worked up.

Kee Marcello: A formula, that’s for sure. And also, Johnny is playing a lot of leads now. He’s a great player, and when I sing, I can’t really make it sound right if I have to sing and go overlaps. So, it’s perfect, and he’s still a really big part of the band right now regarding playing not only rhythm but solos as well.

Jonny Scaramanga: You should pay me more.

Kee Marcello: I know. Can we skip that question and go back to the one before? “Laughs”

 

MORE ABOUT THE LATEST ALBUM

How the old school Europe fans have reacted on SCALING UP?

Kee Marcello: I think pretty much everybody loves it, including the Europe audience, because it’s for us being back in that melodic rock genre, where everybody feels comfortable with the music I do and all that. So that’s one of the reasons we’re not playing a lot of songs from the two previous albums because this melodic thing seems to harmonize with this band so well. With the way people sing and play and one of the things I had in mind when I wrote for the new album, I was kind of celebrating that whole thing. We even included two previously unreleased songs, “Wild Child” and, “Don’t Know How To Love No More,” which were out-takes so to speak. Actually, those are not even out-takes because they were never recorded for the PRISONERS IN PARADISE album. There’s some of my songwriting which, I think, where some stuff really stuck out, then we do them really well too. Next time we come to Finland we do them.

A few years ago, when you released JUDAS KISS album, you said that that there is no way that you’re going do melodic hard rock anymore, but now you’ve changed your mind. It’s really melodic, but at the same time, I can hear a lot of influences from the bands like Whitesnake and Deep Purple there. In fact, there are some songs on the album which sound almost the same as some of those bands mentioned above. For example, the album title track is quite similar to Whitesnake’s “Ready and Willing”?

Kee Marcello: Yeah, of course. I played with Neil Murray; we did tour together. Yeah, of course, you get influences from that stuff. Yeah. To be quite frank, I fucking love Coverdale. Who doesn’t?

Jonny Scaramanga: Darby, our drummer has played with Robert Plant, Gary Moore and with Bernie Marsden as well So, he can get that vibe, Bernie Marsden vibe as well. He can do the Ian Pace thing. So, I think that’s actually a part of it. Like some people have said that “Soldier Down” sounds a bit like “Burn,” but actually if you listen to the original demo of the track that played us. It doesn’t sound at all like Deep Purple, not even slightly. It was Darby’s drumming; he did this Ian Pace vibe on it.

It really does have the “Burn” feeling on all over it!

Jonny Scaramanga: Yeah, exactly. But actually, the song didn’t start out that way.

Kee Marcello: No, that’s true. We’re all moving in the same elements; we like this kind of music. But I still feel we have a modern touch to it, although it’s melodic hard rock, timeless melodic hard rock. I think we pull it so well and it’s been amazing on these three days. These three days to see how we can come together. We also do a show together, the whole band. The Rock the Night show. So, we’re really together as a band. I look at Johnny, and he knows, okay. Now it’s my turn, and he looks at me, it’s my turn. I look at Ken, and we all take turns. It’s really important for a band to work that way.

Jonny Scaramanga: I think we just played that stuff a little bit heavier. I guess that’s the thing and also like the drum sound isn’t like an ’80s drum sound, it’s like a modern hard rock drum sound.

Kee Marcello: Yeah.

Jonny Scaramanga: I guess the same, the guitar sounds a bit heavier. So, like its classic hard rock. But like you say, it’s not…

Kee Marcello: It’s more now.

Jonny Scaramanga: Yes. It’s not like we go into the studio and like go, ‘”How can we recreate OUT OF THIS WORLD” It’s not that.

Kee Marcello: That wouldn’t work, I don’t think so. What we did, that was on the REDUX EUROPE album. We played everything on dropped D and that way. It sticks out in a different way, the way we want it to sound right now.

It’s kind of funny that your former band is also going towards that style and direction. The latest two or three albums sound a lot like Purple and Whitesnake. I’m not saying any names, but it seems that someone else likes Coverdale too.

Kee Marcello: Yeah, no. The thing is… How can I say this? They don’t have the songs! And I don’t think they have quite the same direction. One of the reasons for that is that I’m doing my type of songwriting and what we’re doing right now is that we don’t want to write that. So, we’re in different directions that way. I have to say this, to be quite frank. I think Europe lost their songwriting. I don’t know what happened.

Jonny Scaramanga: I’ve heard that Joey Tempest says… I didn’t hear this first hand but I gather that he said that he doesn’t want to write singles, he wants to write album tracks. So, I guess they kind of go in for that ’70s kind of thing. But we’re not afraid to write short and catchy songs.

Kee Marcello: Exactly. Like, “Don’t Miss You Much.”

Jonny Scaramanga: Yeah, exactly. We’ve got some songs that sound like they could be radio songs. There is not a lot of rock radio now. But if there were, we would be on it.

Kee Marcello band live in Finland.

 

EUROPE CONNECTIONS

So what kind of connection do you have with the Europe guys nowadays?

Kee Marcello: The thing is that when I did a tour with Rock of 80’s, an arena tour, and one of the nights, it was Saturday in October 2016. We did a release party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm, and both Ian Haugland and Mic Michael were there to be a part of it. We don’t have a problem as per se, these guys are great. So, it’s never been like… I never had a beef with… Let’s make this straight. I have never had a beef with John Norum, we have always been friends. When I was signing my book, my biography, John was there with his son and said hi. It’s never been a beef. It’s just media shit.

 Am I right, that you still own a part of the Europe company?

Kee Marcello: Yeah. We haven’t sold that quite yet. But I feel more positive about solving that right now, much because of their current manager. Who seems to be very willing to make up the thing BUT big reason here is that Sony, Epic and they haven’t paid us. He realizes that I own all these albums. I actually own all the Europe albums, down to the new stuff. I bought John Norum out in 1986. But yeah, the thing is Sony in America are claiming that they don’t owe us anything. This is a long story, and it’s very boring. But now there is a new time; after 30 years, the artists can get their albums back. So, we’re working on that right now. So, I think in the long run, this is going to turn out amazing and we’re all going to be friends. We’re going to be partying at the big festivals. We’re going to have fun “Laughs.”

So, do you see that there is a possibility that you will share the stage with the Europe guys again someday?

Kee Marcello: Johnny and I were talking about that right before this, but we can’t really reveal any details. It’s been thirty years since OUT OF THIS WORLD was out, so to celebrate it like that would, of course, be a dream. Kee Marcello band and Europe on the same stage. What would it be? Like an eight-man band? More, ten men band.

Kee Marcello, Ian Haugland, Joey Tempest, Mic Michael, John Leven in 1987

 

THE MILLENIUM SHOW IN 1999

In 1999 you did a kind of reunion with Europe when you performed with the band in Stockholm on New Year’s Eve. Was it like a clear thing for you to do that show with Europe after all things what had happened in the past?

Kee Marcello: It was absolutely clear to me. What happened was this crazy billionaire guy, who unfortunately passed away only months after that, because he was too rich, he was just fat. He was a billionaire, and he had a fucking castle in France, and he had his own medics and everything. If he hadn’t been so stubborn, he could have been driven to the hotel in Paris and survive, but he refused to do that. He wanted to stay at this castle and have people revive him, and he got a heart attack, and he died. He was a former football player; he had legs like mine, but his stomach was like he had swallowed the medicine ball. But he made that gig, and he built a raft in the middle of Stockholm stream, and of course, I wanted to do that ever since Joey would call me and says, “Man, let’s do this gig. It’s going to be only two songs, and we close the Millennium.”

Was that the first time when you had any connection with the Europe guys since the breakup?

Kee Marcello: Musically, yeah. It was the only gig I ever did with John Norum. It was great, two guitar players like we’re now. But, we did only two songs, not the whole show. The rest was Abba material with the symphony orchestra and shit. There is a raft in the middle of Stockholm street. But anyway, he built the raft in the middle of Stockholm stream. It was minus ten celsius and the guitars, just to make them be in tune and all the people from the philharmonics, they had like perfectly tempered… What do we call it? Warming devices, because that stuff is worth like a fortune. So, they had to be in safe. But we were on the front stage, and nobody gave a fuck about us, and nothing got out. So, when we did the sound check, I came out. I had my Strat, my 58 Strat and we started, one, two, three, four, “The Final Countdown.” We played like four different songs because the guitars were out of tune. We’re sitting in a bus with guitars like this. So, before the gig, we all got kind of gloves, square gloves. So, I pulled out the guitars, mine and all the guitars outside. So, they were minus ten. Then when we came out of the tour bus, basically being twenty degrees plus. It was a big challenge.

Kee Marcello

EUROPE REUNION

So, the Millenium thing was the very first thing you did together musically, but you had some kind of connection still all the time, right?

Kee Marcello: Yeah, absolutely. In 1993. Yeah, ’93 we went separate ways. I did the Red Fan and then my solo album. So, I talked to Tempest a couple of times on the phone and Michael and Haugland. But he, Tempest, called me like a month before this and said, fuck you, we’re going to do this shit. They want us back. We would just do two songs to celebrate Millennium, and we got the fuck out of there. What do you say? I said, yeah, let’s do it, motherfucker. It was great.

It took several more years before the band actually reunited. In 2004 it finally happened, and then Europe started to work on START FROM THE DARK album, did they ask you to join the group as well?

Kee Marcello: We had talked about that, and we had different opinions on which direction to go. Back then it was still like kind of grunge thing hanging over, like a grunge hangover I would call it. And I was never into that. I don’t mind listening to grunge, but I don’t see Europe doing that stuff. I told Joey, and I said Michael and everybody that I don’t want to do that stuff. Then they went on trying to do something in between, and I wasn’t there, and I’m happy with that. I think they should do their thing. I’m never going to join that band again; it’s not going to happen. Only if we do a show with the full Kee Marcello band and the full Europe show, as a celebration for others, I’ll consider it. But as I said, it’s a bit of secret by now if this is going to happen or not. We’re not enemies or nothing. I mean Darby loves Haugland.

Darby Todd: Yeah.

Kee Marcello: You love his foreskin.

Darby Todd: I thought you were going to say I love his big groove, but it’s fine. If that show happens, I would probably just go on the shaker or a tambourine. I’ll leave him to do the heavy lifting.

Kee Marcello: Of course, it’s going to be a two drum kit. If you’re doing a double band thing, it’s going to be three guitar amps, two bass amps, double drum kits. Everything. Fireworks, fucking bombs.

 

EASY ACTION AND POISON

What’s going on with Easy Action? I actually saw the performing in Sweden Rock back in 2006, and then you had some big plans, but not much has happened since then. Why didn’t you do more with the band?

Kee Marcello: There were all kinds of stuff. What happened was that we did some festivals, we supported Twisted Sister. The shows with them were complete bollocks. They only thing that was working in that band was Dee, the singer; the rest was shite.

To be honest, the performance that Easy Action did in Sweden Rock wasn’t that great…

Kee Marcello: I know, but Zinny was great, he did a fantastic job. His voice is awesome. And the band did an amazing job. Björn, Simon, and Micael did a great job. Myself was a different story though. It was horrible. It was absolutely fucking annoyingly horrific. During the rehearsals, I used a regular cord to the amp, but during the gig, at Sweden Rock, I was thinking I’d use the wireless the festival crew could supply me with. The one they gave me was fucked up or calibrated the wrong way. No gain, no sound! It felt like playing a fucking banjo! I think the rest of the band rocked like hell though! Anyway, we started writing for a new studio record when the bass player, Micael Grimm, suddenly passed away. He was one of the strongest forces in the band, and that really killed the whole project. RIP Micael.

 

Kee and Zinny Zan in Swedenrock 2006

We can’t talk about Easy Action without mentioning Poison as well, right?

Kee Marcello: Absolutely!

It’s a well-known fact that Poison used the chorus of Easy Action’s 1983 single “We Go Rocking” in their hit single “I Want Action” which led Easy Action suing the American band and winning a financial settlement in the case.

Kee Marcello: Yeah. The thing is what happened was they stole my song, and then they didn’t have the balls to admit it. What happened was that the bass player and the singer of Easy Action, they needed cash, and I didn’t really need any cash at the time because I was in Europe and we were making tons of money. But they said, “Kee. We need some funding cash. Let’s set out a court, and we get quick money. Let’s get the fuck out of here, let’s all forget it.” But the thing is to this day I regret that we did it. Because one, they never had to put me as a credit on the songwriting thing. That’s one of their biggest hits and, it is a good song. Poison, they stole my song.

Darby Todd: Yeah, I know. But could you sue them again? Like double jeopardy.

Kee Marcello: No, that’s impossible.

Darby Todd: Just sue them for playing it badly.

Jonny Scaramanga: They did finally admit it, and I have seen transcripts of it. It’s on the internet, you can find it. When I guess C.C. DeVille was in a dark place and he was drunk. He phoned up a U.S. radio station, while Bret was being interviewed. He was saying a lot of stuff that he probably shouldn’t have been saying, and one of the things he said was “Bret we ripped off that band from Sweden, Easy Action.” You could find the transcripts of this online. Bret was like, let’s not talk about this C.C.; now it is not the time.

Kee Marcello: He actually said, “shut the fuck up!” Yeah, he got furious. The thing is, it is out there, and everybody knows it. The thing is how much do you want to sue anybody until, like, it’s straight? I don’t give a fuck about that right now. But I think everybody in the business knows about it. So, I’m happy with that. I would have done that differently in retrospective, but I was thinking about my bandmates, and that’s apparently the most important thing to me. To be quite frank, I cared more about the guys of Easy Action than Europe at the time, and they were out of money. I definitely can relate to how it feels to be completely broke. So, we did settle out of court, and they got some good money, and we all did. But the big difference would be that in my world, it would have been like cosmic justice if they always would have to pay me a royalty every time that fucking song went on air because it is a total rip off.

Do you know, how did they knew Easy Action and the songs?

Kee Marcello: They were fans of the band. What happened is this guy, Ric Browde, the guy who produced the first Poison album, he was a big fan of Finnish and Swedish Glam rock. So, the two out of those he brought to the studio, were Hanoi Rock’s first album and Easy Action debut album. Those two. They listened to all that. They loved the image. They loved the attitude and everything. Then they ultimately got stuck on “We Go Rocking,” a nice song. “We Go Rocking.” They said, fuck, let’s do this. This producer, Ric Browde, I heard this straight from him, I talked to him on the phone. He said that I once asked him to be part of the lawsuits for this, but the thing was that he had another lawsuit against the band. So, it would have been like… What do you call it?

Jonny Scaramanga: Conflict of interest.

Kee Marcello: Yeah. So, he said to me that he brought those albums to the studio and they said, “the fucking Scandinavian glam band Easy Action. Who’s going to fucking know? Let’s rip them off.” That’s how they did it, and they just stole it. They copy pasted the chorus, changed the lyrics and just did it.

They probably thought that they would never get caught?

Kee Marcello: They got caught. But they wouldn’t know that two years later would be signed to Warner Chappell International and signed by Sony, and that’s where the shit hit the fan. The thing is I was already signed to Warner Chappell, so it was bound to happen anyway.

 

THE BOOK

Your biography was released in 2011, but it’s available in Swedish version only. When you release the English edition, it was announced that it was in the works already many years ago?

Kee Marcello: The thing is it’s really difficult because I come from Umeå and then I moved to Stockholm. But soon I moved out of Stockholm and went abroad. I lived in London; I lived in L.A, San Francisco, in the Caribbean. So, the way I speak “Stockholmish” is completely native. So, it sounds like a fucking moron in Stockholm, when I speak in the book. That was the point because that’s being like a mixture of ’80s dated slang, L.A music business corporate bullshit and some fucking guy hanging around in the Caribbean. How the fuck can you translate that into something that people will understand in English? There are so many challenges. Also, I’m having a lot of references to the killing of Olof Plame; my father was a politician. So, there is a lot of complicated issues there. I had four guys, two women, and two guys, trying to translate this and it’s been a complete failure so far. I have found another guy right now. He is a journalist, and he lived in New York, and he lived in London which is helpful to me because my English is both English and American. He’s Swedish, and he’s super talented and knows about six times more everything than me. All the political stuff you can think about. So, I’m hopeful that we can have that out at the same time as when the new album is ready.

And that would happen?

Kee Marcello: In 2019

 

LIVING IN CARIBBEAN

Soon after you joined Europe, the band relocated in the Caribbean, and the reason for that was trying to avoid Sweden taxes, which were insanely high, right?

Kee Marcello: Yeah. What happened was back in the ’80s, it was really expensive. You can pay a lot of taxes, and we figured that we’re not going to make this kind of money forever. So, let’s go somewhere we don’t pay that margin tax that you also pay in Finland. With that like the author of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren. She paid 115% in tax, that’s more than you earn. It doesn’t work. That was the time when we felt like, okay. We were very intelligent in that manner. We said, let’s get the fuck out of here and move to a place where it’s tax haven, and we might perhaps be able to save money because we knew it’s not going to last forever like this.

So, how long time you stayed in the Bahamas then?

Kee Marcello: I moved out in 1987. I moved straight to Nassau. I was there for a year, and then it turned out that three of the guys in the band had a criminal record. So, they wouldn’t let us in. Three, not one. But, I can’t tell you the names “Laughs.”

Jonny Scaramanga: There are only four people who can it be?

Kee Marcello: Do you really think I can give you the names, it wouldn’t be fair?

Jonny Scaramanga: Which is the one innocent member of Europe? Is actually the question they’re asking here?

Kee Marcello: Shut up! “Laughs” But I could have stayed in there. I could be a tourist and all that, but if you want to be a resident. You can still reside in the place, not being a citizen. We were never aiming for being citizens of Nassau, the Bahamas. We just wanted to reside there so we can bring our companies in there and pay zero taxes as everybody else did. But they wouldn’t let us, because we had three guys in the band that had criminal records.

Jonny Scaramanga: What were the criminal records for? That’s what we want to know.

Kee Marcello: Now you’re becoming the enemy. I can’t reveal that. So, I stayed there for a year and then we went to BWI, British West Indies on an Island called Turks and Caicos. After a while there, we just got fed up with that sort of life. I think especially me. I wanted to be in L.A. I wanted to be somewhere where I can go to guitar centers, and hang around with Paul Gilbert and do things like that.

Jonny Scaramanga: So, you can’t tell us what the criminal records are for. Does it rhyme with “bugs”?

Kee Marcello: Yes.

Jonny Scaramanga: Does it rhyme with “pocaine”?

Kee Marcello: Hmm… Yes “Laughs”

 

MOVIN LA AND THE BAND BREAKUP

Like you said, after living in the islands, you moved to L.A and stayed there for a couple of years.

Kee Marcello: I stayed there for three years, I got stuck. The other guys left, but I sort of overstayed there. I always liked the city, and we did an album there, PRISONERS IN PARADISE and all that, but I got a lot of friends there. Some good, some bad friends, but I had a great time in L.A, and I stayed there. I actually came back a couple of times after moving back to Sweden. I really came back to Sweden in ’94. Then I moved my bags and went back to where I came from.

You mentioned the album, PRISONERS IN PARADISE; it became the last Europe album for you. Although the album sold solid numbers, you decided to break up the band after the next tour. Were you disappointed for the record and how it came out or what was the main reason to quit the band then?

Kee Marcello: No. We loved the album. I was really happy with the album. I thought it turned out great. I think Beau Hill did a fantastic job mixing it. I think it sounded amazing and everything was okay, but then the grunge came in. We had to talk about this, and we said, we can’t see ourselves in the grunge world. We discussed a lot about this because there were so many embarrassing experiments with people.

Jonny Scaramanga: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. I think that if you listen to like mid-’90s albums by like Skid Row and Warrant and Motley Crue and stuff. They were all trying to sound like Soundgarden, but not doing it very well. I think it’s much better to just to bow out gracefully and go; we’ll come back in a while. We know we can be ourselves.

Kee Marcello: Yeah, that’s precisely what happened. We felt that we don’t feel at home right now. The thing is we sold 2,000,000 albums. Who the fuck sells 2,000,000 albums of PRISONERS IN PARADISE? Sony or Epic, the Sony label, they were crying, please do a new album. But we didn’t know what songs to write. You know what I’m saying? We were not those type of guys to try to write a grunge album. It was not for us. Maybe this is the exact reason why SCALING UP works for us because we’re not the guys that can hook on a trend. Maybe this is our destiny?

Kee in action

THE NEXT KEE MARCELLO ALBUM

We’ve covered plenty of old stuff, so, maybe it’s the time ask something about the future of this band as well?

Kee Marcello: I never thought you would be asking this question! “Laughs”

SCALING UP was released eighteen months ago. Do you already have plans for the next Kee Marcello band album?

Kee Marcello: Yes. I haven’t talked it sincerely through with the rest of the band. I have been mentioning to you, but I would really love to do it in Umeå. I come from Umeå. We have this great friend of ours, Matthias Eklund making tracks. Who is an amazing studio guy and it would make sense sort of to be like that because we had a good time in Umeå last time. So, a cool thing to do it in my hometown, which it is. I think that it’s all that we got right now. We have a couple of songs, but…

Jonny Scaramanga: I’ve got some riffs on each player at some point, I think my work for this band.

Kee Marcello: Absolutely. We’re going to go through all the riff recordings, and also I’m going to do the next album. We go in there, but we just jam and see what riffs take out. You just make melodies and riffs, like in the old days. I love that shit.

Are you going to continue the same melodic hard rock style what you had on SCALING UP`?

Kee Marcello: I think so. We’re on a winning streak on that one. I think melodies used stick out, both in the guitars and the vocals and…

Jonny Scaramanga: People really dig that album. Like this is the first time since I’ve been in this band, that when people find out that I play in the Kee Marcello band and they’re saying to me, SCALING UP is a great album. Like in the past that people would say JUDAS KISS, which I thought was a great album, but when I tell people, I was in the Kee Marcello album, and we’re doing that stuff, they were like; you’re the guy from Europe, the guy from Easy Action. But now people are saying to me, SCALING UP is cool.

Do you already have a tentative timeline for the album release?

Kee Marcello: The timeline is sort of insecure. But I’m thinking, at the beginning of 2019; I think we need that time. Seriously, if we’re going to make plans for this, we’re going to find time to go to work with Matthias in Umeå. When everybody has time to do this? I think that a realistic timeline for the new album would be like February of 2019.

Darby Todd: That would be interesting because the last record we did SCALING UP was done really fast. Like I did all the drums in two days.

So, you were just knocking the songs out, because you were having a good month.

Kee Marcello: That’s what happens, and this will go even faster if we can get like a jamming thing and trade riffs and do that. It’s going to be even faster. But in 2019, the album will be out.

 

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