Interview: Larry Greene "Harlan Cage"
After not working together since 1993 former Fortune members L. A. Greene (vocals) and Roger Scott Craig (keyboards)
rejoined forces in 1996 and formed a band called The Big City, which shortly after that became Harlan Cage.
The debut was out in the summer of '96 and was a magnificent piece of
work (even if it took me about a year to realise it...) the same and
more goes for the follow up "Double Medication Tuesday" which was unleashed
earlier this year. I had the opportunity to talk to Larry "Amazing"
As said earlier, Larry & Roger was part of a band named Fortune who released a beloved record for people of melodic rock in 1985.
After that he has done a lot of work for film and television, he's worked with new acts as well as written songs for others.
Film & TV work
"Besides "Top Gun" and "Over The Top" I've done songs for maybe 30 films. I did 2 songs in "Mystic Pizza", which was Julia Roberts 1st movie,
but most of those films didn't have a soundtrack album. If it doesn't have a soundtrack album, as an artist you don't make a lot of money doing
it so you have to do twice as many. The kind of music I've been writing and recording with Harlan Cage is what I'm loving doing right now.
The work I've done for films and television I do to fit to a certain film or TV show, sometimes it's anywhere from 10 seconds to 4 minutes.
It's no big mystery, we all try and do those kind of gigs" Larry tells me.
Finish or trash it
Larry tells me that the first album was more of a collection of songs, some ideas had been thrown around for a while, some more recently. They
just wanted to put a record out to see what people would think of it, maybe be able to do another one.
"The reviews we got were pretty positive. Honestly, if they wouldn't have been positive Stefan, we probably wouldn't have done another record," Larry laughs.
They started working on the 2nd album about six months after the 1st had been released.
"We wrote all the songs pretty quickly, it took longer to record them. That's usually the case with us," says Larry.
How does the team Greene/Craig work when they create their high-class FM-rock material?
"Roger usually has some sort of musical idea. He gives it to me and I'll come up with the lyrics and the hook. Then we get together and finish or trash it.
I think for great songs, the lyrics have to really fit the melody and music, and the music has fit the lyrics as well. As far as inspiration, sometime it'll
come from the music, sometimes from the lyrics and sometimes from both," Larry explains.
Tuesday, a tough day...
The title of the new record seems a bit peculiar and really leaves open for discussion. Is there any specific reason behind it? Larry gave some suggestions.
"Well, originally it was titled "Tickets For Dreamers", but by the time we had finished the record it seemed pretty appropriate (Laughs). There's a million
songs written about Mondays, "Stormy Mondays" & "I Don't Like Mondays" , I just wanted to give Tuesday its fair due. That's probably the toughest day of
the week for the working man. One day I was in Orlando, Florida at Disney World with my family. The happiest place on earth supposedly. We were just
sitting looking at everybody walking around all "wall-eyed" and I kind of made a joke about how it must be "double medication Tuesday". Honestly I didn't
think the MTM guys record were going to like it, but they did. It's nice now and then to ruffle a few feathers," He laughs.
A Vegas bar band?
What already seems to have become a tradition is to re-record an old tune from the Fortune record. Last time it was "98 In The Shade",
this time "Dearborn Station". How come?
It was by request from MTM Music. We take requests, we're like a Vegas bar band (Laughs). It was fun, we basically recorded it live.," Larry tells me.
Has there been any pressure of that they "must" do an old Fortune tune, or has just been inspiring?
"There's the kind of kicks you get doing a song you like and that's fresh, and then there's the kind of kick that you get from other people asking you to
do one of your older songs that was popular. I don't mind doing that, as long as it's one of the songs we like," Larry says. Who by the way likes the
new version better just because it's raunchier and more live.
More from Harlan Cage?
Something a lot of us friends of melodic mayhem would like to know is if there will be more coming from Harlan Cage in the future?
"As far as the next record, we have a few songs we'd like to record right now, but we're going to take a little break. Both Roger and I have projects that we have to finish," Larry rounds off.
-- Written by Stefan Edström,
28 February 2002