January , 1983
By Gena LaBar
Nazareth: Rock and Roll Disciples
Nazareth... Sounds like your basic heavy metal band whose music appeals primarily to pre-pubescent males.
The mold is broken with this Scottish band. Their track record proves it.
Nazareth has ignored sniping reviews to collect 14 number one records across the world. They were also the first British band to tour Canada and take it by storm with ten gold and nine platinum records that prove Nazareth doesn't play just flak! rock: Their latest album, 2XS, which includes the single, "Love Leads to Madness," is another featherIn the cap that proves their versatility and ability to please transcontinental audiences.
Nazareth lead singer Dan McCafferty-spoke freely after a recent performance about where they are going, where they've been, andhow they feel.
JAM: Nazareth seems to tour a lot. How long have you been on tour this time?
We toured earlier this years for eight weeks in the South and West coast, then went to Germany to film a TV show. Then we came back to the U.S. and started this leg of the tour. When we finish this set of gigs on December 12. we'll have played 48 shows in 52 days. Needless to say, we're ready to go home for the holidays.
JAM: What's it like towing in other countries?
The reception from our fans in places like Brazil and Iceland is great but it's much more restricted and conservative than here. You have to watch what you say on stage. I can mouth off here but I'm a real chicken shit in other countries. We prefer touring in America. It's much easier and much more professional.
JAM: Since you are on the road so much, when do you find time to write new material?
We all collaborate on the road quite a bit. In fact, it looks like we'll go back to the studio in March with our stuff from this tour to record another album.
JAM: What was it like to do the videotapes that are shown on MTV?
It was a new thing for everybody. It's hard to become an actor overnight, but it was fun doing something visual to go with our music.
JAM: What kind of impact do you think this medium will have on the music industry?
I think it's having an impact, but I don't think it will be as big as everyone thinks it will. I mean, who can watch it for 24 hours a day? I watch it for about half an hour and I get bored after that.
JAM: What about your reviews? How do the critic's opinions affect you?
We don't pay any attention to them. I mean, one minute you're great and the next you're terrible. We pay attention to what our fans think of us. That's who we want to please.
JAM: Recently, a TV evangelist attacked rock and roll groups for being satanic or at least harmful for the listening public. Your band was mentioned because of your name, Nazareth. Were you aware of this?
No, not really. The name came from a line in Robbie Robertson's song, "The Wait." We all liked it and agreed on it. It was very simple. I wish I could tell him it was divine inspiration, but it's not. It's just a town in Judea, isn't it? I really can't agree with what they say about rock and roll, I mean, from what I was taught. God sent Jesus here to take care of his flock, not to rub them off. I'd call it religious persecution.
JAM: Nazareth has found a niche with audiences all over the world. What's the trick? How do you become a success in so many different cultures?
Well, I think it's because we don't rely on an image or gimmicks like some bands do. We play what we like to play and our audiences like to hear. And we haven't let the myth of rock and roll get to us. It's not all glamour and fun. It's damn hard work. I think our fans like us because we don't have any pretenses. We just try to play good honest rock and roll. And, well keep on playing as long as they want to' hear us.