Interview with Rock Drummer Legend Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, Blue Murder, Ozzy)

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Carmine! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: As an artist, do you feel that "dreams" can really come true for anyone, regardless of their beginnings…or are “dreams” more of those types of things only available for a very small percentage of individuals?
Carmine Appice: Of course…you just have to believe and have the talent and know what you’re doing. Then you can achieve anything. But must have the talent to be good at what you do.

CV: Given all that you have accomplished in your career, have all your dreams come true or is there more dreaming to be done on your part?
CA: Pretty much I have achieved much of what I wanted. I wanted to be the Gene Krupa of Rock. I think I have achieved that but I would have liked to have had a hit drum single. I did write a couple of huge hits with Rod Stewart and other gold and platinum records. So, that made up for not having the hit drum single.

I never expected to write a classic drum instruction book…that was a surprise.

CV: Your recent work on Lisa Gee's new single, "Love Thing,'" had you co-writing, producing and performing on the song...a solid trifecta.  Tell us how you came to work with Lisa Gee and provide so much of your seasoned experience to the track.
CA: Well she called me on MeetHook, a service to talk to celebs. By the end of the conversation she got my interest. I agreed to hear her music that Kenny Arnoff played on.  I was impressed with her voice and her songs were interesting. So I agreed to work with her only if I produced, co-wrote the songs as well as played on it.

I used my recording and songwriting experience to make “Love Thing” a better song with memorable hooks. I used my arranging chops to put in cool guitar, bass and vocal hooks for the song. When I produce that’s what I do. Plus, I worked with her on her vocals to make her sound better than she ever did on record and gave her a sexy edge....

CV:  It's said that, among other things, “Love Thing” alludes to a chance encounter with The Ramones. Was this the inspiration for the song...can you elaborate for our readers?
CA: That you’d have to ask Lisa. I just took a song that was there, took it apart and put it back together adding and subtracting parts  and recorded it…and getting my buddy Pat Regan, a great mix engineer to mix .

CV: With so many years of experience under your belt, where do you find yourself in the modern music industry? Where as many veterans artists don't bother with new material these days, they feel there is no market for it since fans gravitate mainly still to the back catalogs. So while others seem to struggle for relevance with today's audience, how are you staying at the top of your game? 
CA: I like creating new music.  I now have a studio in my Florida home. I’ve been working on new Cactus, an instrumental album called “Energy Overload” with a great young talent, Fernando Pedomo. A new King Kobra album and a new Vanilla Fudge single, “Stop in the Name of Love.” So I'm busy creating music...a Carmine Guitar Zeus box set. I try and stay busy….

CV: Do you prefer the role of producer or the role of songwriter/musician? Or does each have its own particular set of perks in your opinion?
CA: Whatever it takes…but I always produce my trademark drum sound

CV: You have worked with so many of the greats...Ozzy Osborne, Rod Stewart, John Sykes, Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent, Paul Stanley, Tony Franklin and the list goes on and on.  With such an immense track record of collaborations, do you consider yourself in some way to be iconic as an artist?
CA: That’s what other people say….

When I play with someone, I always get billing…I never change my style. That’s why I'm there, to get the Carmine style, feel and performance. With me come my fans. So you can answer that question….

With Sykes it was Blue Murder, a band with each of us with our sounds. Ozzy and Nugent…I had my own merch on the tour…with Beck it was Beck, Bogert, Appice, equal bill…so….

CV: So much has changed for both artist and fan in the last 15 months because of COVID.  The music business was hit hard. Where do you see the industry going post pandemic? Can it bounce back stronger than before?
CA: I think at first people are going to want to go to shows but will be worried still. That said, I think the smaller venues will open…with the big tours (coming) 2022.

CV: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as an artist?
CA: Too many things in my career to pick one…from being in there at the start of heavy Rock drumming to bands I played with, to influencing others…writing hit records…drum books…so I cannot pick one!!

CV: Is there anything you would have done differently if given the chance to do over? Or is it a matter of "leaving well enough alone and moving on" for you?
CA: Never had done Vanilla Fudge second ruined our career....

CV: What more can fans expect to see coming from you in 2021?
CA: As I said before…instrumental album, re-release of all my drum books by Modern Drummer, new King Kobra, Guitar Zeus box set with new tracks, new Fudge…Cactus already out…King Kobra live at Sweden Rock 2016…a lot going on.

CV: Thank you again Carmine for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
CA: Thx for asking!

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, 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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