Interview with Producer and The Rods Drummer Carl Canedy

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Carl! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.
Carl Canedy: Thank you for the support!!

CV: The nature of the music business is that so many bands come and go, and even less seem to stay. What do you think has been The Rods special staying power all these years?
CC: I believe our fans, Wild Dogs, have been super supportive over the years and they’ve kept us going. Also, we’ve been together so many years that we know each other well enough to make things year after year. Not an easy task and we’re proud to say we’re still the original three members.

CV: Maintaining that vintage sound, as The Rods do, is definitely part of the band's signature calling card that separates them from the pack.  Do you feel Metal fans are longing still for that early era style as compared to more of the modern Metal interpretations?
CC: Metal has so many genres and sub-genres now that there seems to be fans for all types of metal. The Rods have been true to who we are as musicians. If there’s a difference it’s in our songwriting. I believe our songwriting has matured and grown, while still being true to who we are.

CV: Or do you think the "vintage sound" is limited only to the liking of the aging Metal demographic? If specific age demographics would be the case, is it then more nostalgia or is the music really better?
CC: I’ve found that we have a mix of ages at the shows and they seem very appreciative of what we do. The drumming community has been very kind in accepting my style. There’s a very nice camaraderie with drummers. It’s great to meet the fans and to see younger fans embrace our music as well as our older fans.

CV: The Rods signed with Steamhammer/SPV to release "Louder Than Loud," and you were quoted as saying "...third time's the charm" referencing previous unsuccessful attempts to work with the label.  Has it been a charm this time around for the band?
CC: It has been quite a fun trip thus far! Olly, our rep, has been amazing! He asked us to make a great Rods album and then left us alone. He never inserted himself into the process and has totally supportive! He suggested an updated cover and it was a very cool idea that we all loved. Eric Philippe (Metalangleo) has topped his best with this cover.

CV: Carl, as an individual, you wear many hats; drummer, songwriter, producer, Metal icon, business man and father...How do you work to balance everything and stay focused on the important things?
CC: I still have a strong passion for playing, writing and performing! By the way, those were some very kind and hardly deserved titles! Clearly being a father is the most important thing. When my daughter, Erin, was born it changed my life. I was no longer the center of the universe (a huge shock to the system) and I happily became “Erin’s dad”. My life really consists of music and real estate. My daughter has a saying when I say I’m going to practice “drums, drums, drums!”, I believe she’s comparing me to “Rainman” in my singular focus on playing.

CV: Is there one hat in particular you've worn over the years which you have found most rewarding above all the rest?
CC: I love being in the studio and producing. I’ve been involved with writing and arranging songs since my early days. It seems to come naturally to me (or perhaps I’m just crazily opinionated) so I will usually first look to making sure an arrangement is as good as it can be. Drumming has to be the most rewarding. I was just saying the other day how drumming probably saved my life. I was in a band (they must have horrible) within six months of getting a set of drums. I was the youngest in most of the bands I performed with in the early days and I saw people getting busted and becoming alcoholics and it just wasn’t pretty. I made a vow to myself to never drink or do drugs when I played. I practiced 6-7 days a week and then began playing professionally 5-6 times per week. I kept the vow to myself and that helped keep me out of trouble. So definitely drums have been the most rewarding. “Dear Drums, thank you for saving me from God knows what! Amen!”

CV: Europe and the US are two completely different beasts when it comes to musical tastes, trends and relevance. The Rods are still very popular with the European audiences. Has this always been the case even back in the band's early days?
CC: Yes, England was the first country to embrace us! I remember we released our first album and we were told that it received 5 stars in Sounds Magazine (4 or 5, I’d hate to exaggerate) from Geoff Barton. We heard that we were the “American Motorhead”. We had not heard of them and when we saw the cover we couldn’t believe how badass they looked. The Iron Maiden, “Beast on the Road’ tour helped solidify our fan base in Europe. Thankfully those fans and many new ones have kept The Rods music alive.

CV: Looking back on the band's catalog of music, what album have you found resonates with you the most and why?
CC: The first album (self titled), In the Raw and Brotherhood of Metal…each for different reasons. The first album we were struggling to record and perform. I have a journal of us on the road for 61 days straight! We lived on very little money and it formed a bond. In the Raw, was an album that was us just putting down demos for what we hoped would be shopped for our new album. It was us performing live in the studio with minimal overdubs. Chris Bubacz was the manager and engineer of the studio at that time and was kind enough to allow us to record our songs. We did it all in two days or 50 hours. It definitely has resonated with our fans. I believe the organic nature of the performances connected. Brotherhood of Metal…because we have so much history with each other and have many albums between us from the first Rods album. I love that we’re heavier now than when we began and that our songwriting has gotten stronger while staying true to our initial sound.

CV: Carl your musical resume reads like a who's who in Metal; touring with Ozzy, Priest and Metallica while producing albums for Anthrax, Exciter, Roxx Gang and Overkill. Aside from these notable credits as well as your solo time with Canedy, you also work with a number of other bands such as St. James, Adam Bomb and Killen. How do you find the time to do it all?
CC: Honestly it’s tough. It’s also frustrating. We are now almost finished with the new Canedy album! It’s now a band project and now a solo album like my first one was. Mike, Tony, Charlie and I wrote the material together as a band. I’m really excited for people to hear this one. As for St James, I’m heading to Miami on April 28th to finish the new St James album. That music is totally different from either of these projects and people who’ve heard it have had very positive reactions. My hope is to find a label for both as I’m very proud of the music on each album. I’m also recording with my band Kelakos. We have been releasing songs via the internet for a 3 years now. I’m also doing some work for John Hahn on his new album, a song for Jim Crean’s new album and possibly contributing to a Jack Starr project!

CV: Being both as an artist and producer, are there ever times when the lines are blurred with regards to your role in a project? Or does having such a unique perspective and skill set offer an overall better experience and project involvement on your part and the part of others?CC: On my first project it was odd to not have someone to bounce ideas against. Now I find that I listen and wait until there’s something that I feel needs to be moved in a different direction. I’m not quite the control freak I once was.

CV: What do you feel is the best possible advice you could give to a young band starting out today?
CC: Read and learn about the business, keep your publishing, build your social media and be true to yourselves and your music. It may be all you have at the end of the day so stay true to your instincts and don’t follow trends!

CV: Some critics feel that the massive amount of splintering that's taken place within the Metal genre over the years has, in fact, lessened its credibility and over impact.  Do you see all the sub-genres now associated with Metal as a detriment to the genre or more of a way for artists to connect themselves to the right listening audience? What are your thoughts?
CC: It can be confusing, yet it’s music and it’s how artists want to showcase what they do. I actually think that what I see of European audiences it’s opened them to all types of music to be judged on it’s own merit. I see it as a return to when I first started where you could go to a show and you might find an acoustic act opening for a heavy act. No one cared if the music was good. Ultimately it’s about the songs. They are either good or they suck. Usually if bands don’t have good songs they won’t last long. 

CV: With the resurgence of new and classic vinyl now back in the mix as a listener choice, does having the option to release music on the vinyl medium given veteran bands of that era, like The Rods, an opportunity to possibly create and dominate a niche market again with fans? Or is it more like a passing trend or nostalgic dinosaur?
CC: That is a great question that I have no way of answering. I do know that as a fan of album covers, I think it’s great that fans get to experience that. I use to voraciously read album covers. Vinyl still sounds better than a CD, however, vinyl has its limitations. I would not want to lug a box of my albums to a friend’s house when I could bring my phone and Bluetooth it into their system and crank a thousand songs. 

CV: The band's new album, "Brotherhood of Metal," is set to release in June through SPV/Sreamhammer. You've been quoted, regarding the album's overall delivery, as saying, "It’s balls-to-the-wall heavy metal, song after song..."  I am sure fans will not be disappointed. How do you see this album as different from previous releases? Do you feel this new album is a pinnacle of the band's time in the industry with everything coming together in terms of songwriting?
CC: Our music and lyrics have matured. We are developing musical ideas a bit more on some songs. We are already writing songs for the next album so hopefully that will be on par or greater than Brotherhood of Metal! It's all about the music for us!

CV: Are you a digital downloader or do you still like purchasing the real thing?
CC: I do both! If I love the music I buy. If I know the artist I will support by purchasing. I love Apple family share which my daughter has shared with me. I can listen to new music and check our far more now than I’ve ever been able to, even when Monte Connor would load me up with the latest CDs!

CV: What's next for you Carl?
CC: My hope now is to play some Rods shows, finish the Canedy and St James albums and find both a label. I’m also looking forward to releasing the new Rods album.

CV: Thank you again Carl for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
CC: Thank you so much for your support! It’s support from people like you who help keep our music alive so we salute your for that!!
We can also never thank our fans enough for their support as well. WE love hearing from our fans so or find us on Facebook. There will be a pre-order link on our website as well.

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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