Interview : By Robert Cavuoto
The Australia quartet, Strange Karma, have just released their kick ass sophomore CD called Cold Blooded, which runs the gamut of vintage hard rock anthems. The band is comprised of brothers Martin Strange (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Paul Strange (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Jason McDonald (drums).
I had the chance to chat with Martin Strange about the band and the making of Cold Blooded.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me a little about the band’s origins?
Martin Strange: Strange Karma formed around 2004 in Sydney Australia. Three very determined and resilient individuals who wanted to see classic Rock return to the mainstream.
Robert Cavuoto: How did you approach writing and recording Cold Blooded?
Martin Strange: With Cold Blooded we had time for pre-production and working on the song arrangements. Working with a great producer like David Ivory brought the best out of our songs, as opposed to our first album where we had one week to lay the tracks down and then them mixed. It was an amazing experience and a great learning opportunity for a songwriting and production standpoint.
Robert Cavuoto: What did you learn from making your first CD; Volume 1/America that you applied to Cold Blooded?
Martin Strange: That pre-production and song arrangements are very important. Having a solid song structure with the right tempos are crucial especially if you want to get your songs on the radio. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your album release.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell us about the songwriting process for the band. Did each member contribute to the writing of this release?
Martin Strange: Songs for this album song were written over time. They all come from different places and time periods. A lot of the songs on this record came from my experiences and imagination. Although songs like “Cold Blooded,” “Devil from the Moon,” and “Should’ve Seen it Coming” came from Paul’s kick-ass riffs. Over time everything collaborates one way or another. Even Jason’s drumming is very special holding everything together strong and tight with an artistic flair.
Robert Cavuoto: My favorite song is the title track, what insights can you share about its creation?
Martin Strange: “Cold Blooded” was written while in Cardiff Wales, UK before Strange Karma ever came about. I remember that day really well. I had just finished a relationship with a woman and came back to the band house that we were sharing with 6 other guys [laughing]. By that time Paul and I were left alone in that house everyone else had bailed to do other things. I was bummed out and Paul played this sexy bouncy riff and said check this out, bro!! I loved it straight away and started sing on top of it. When we reformed as Strange Karma “Cold Blooded” was the first song we ever demoed. We uploaded the song on MySpace, at the time knocking over 250,000 plays. The three of us always knew that this song will kick ass someday. To be honest we didn’t really change anything just recorded it better.
Robert Cavuoto: Cold Blooded is being released on vinyl, tell me about that approach?
Martin Strange: I think that most bands are releasing records now. The industry can’t function on free downloads anymore and people are sick of bullshit compressed jingles. People want quality music back and the people that are buying vinyl are the ones at the forefront of that movement. They appreciate the beauty of an album, listening to it as it was intended.
Robert Cavuoto: What do you want fans to take away from this new album?
Martin Strange: Any classic rock, hard rock or progressive rock fan will definitely appreciate this record. It’s fresh and exciting, it has it all. Not one song sounds the same and you will play it over and over again finding something new each time, just like you used too with killer bands back in the day.
Robert Cavuoto: Who do you hope it speaks to?
Martin Strange: I hope that this record speaks to all the Rock n Roll Rockers out there. We believe that it has a lot to offer. Most importantly I hope it speaks to the general listening public, and believe that the songs will cut through.
Robert Cavuoto: When can we expect to see you guys on tour?
Martin Strange: As soon as this record gets traction and we have everything in place.