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Magnum guitarist Tony Clarkin is a man who seems to never stop working. He is responsible for writing all the material released by the band, and on top of that he produces their albums from the very first demo to the final mix. “As soon as an album is finished, I start to collect new ideas,” he explains. “That’s how I’ve worked since the early seventies, for me that’s the ideal method.” On their latest album, Clarkin and Magnum’s other original member, vocalist Bob Catley, prove all over again just how perfectly this established system works.
Magnum have recorded eleven new songs which feature all the traditional strengths of the British act and also live up to the band’s ambition to explore a more rock-oriented direction. “Thanks to our current record company, we enjoy full artistic freedom,” Clarkin enthuses. “SPV understand how important this is to us. We’ve not always been in such a fortunate position. During the eighties, the label we were with at the time wanted us to sound as pop-oriented as possible because they hoped for better album sales. I used to hate that, despite the success we had.”
The new album was recorded by the Magnum line-up consisting of Clarkin, Catley, keyboardist Rick Benton and drummer Lee Morris, plus their latest addition, bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, Unisonic, among others), who joined the fold to replace Al Barrow. “Unfortunately Al had to leave the band because he didn’t have enough time. He lives in the US, which had always caused organisational problems,” Clarkin explains the background of the line-up change. “Tobias Sammet of Avantasia recommended Dennis, who is a great musician and vocalist, exactly what we were looking for. His contribution to the album surpassed our wildest expectations. We’re really looking forward to touring with him.”
Talking of which: Magnum’s major European tour has been scheduled to start in March 2020, initially with a number of headlining shows, to be continued by a first-rate package together with Gotthard from Switzerland. This extremely successful collaboration first passed the litmus test a few years ago, and Clarkin, Catley & Co. are very enthusiastic: “Along with some classic numbers, we will also present four or five songs from the new release.” the band promises, providing even more reasons for their fans to mark the dates in their calendars.
Tony Clarkin – Guitar
Bob Catley – Vocals
Rick Benton – Keyboards
Dennis Ward – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums