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Interview: Larry Greene on Australian Radio promoting Harlan Cage CD "Double Medication Tuesday"

Thanks for your time Larry.
Thanks for your interest and support. I enjoyed touring around your web site last week. It's nice to see people responding to the kind of music we like.

The new record Double Medication Tuesday is a proper band project. You must be happy with the result?
We're very pleased with the way the album turned out. There are always things you wish you could have done differently, but that's usually the case. We felt the best way to paint the songs with a live feel was to use a full band. It's also a hell of a lot more fun.

The whole album seems like a step up - better songs, better production, better singing even!
Well thanks. Glad you like it. The first album was more of a collection of songs as opposed to a wire to wire project like this one. I think there's more continuity this time around.

Is this the way you intend Harlan cage to remain, with this line up?
This is a great band to work with. Both drummer Michael Lawrence and bassist Jamie Carter had been working together for several years in a band called Sun 60. They're quick to learn and fun to jam with. Billy Leisegang is the piece of the puzzle we were always missing until now. So to answer your question, yes, this is the line up we want to stay with.

Are you going to tour anywhere with this album?
There's been talk of Europe and Japan sometime this summer. We'll be doing a few shows around the Los Angeles and San Francisco area in the next couple of months as well. It really depends on how the new CD does.

I am impressed with the quality of the songs on DMT. How did you go about writing for the album?
Roger usually gives me a musical idea and I'll come up with the lyrics and hook. Then we'll get together and ether finish it or trash it. Pretty simple really.

The debut album a few years back was mainly the two of you wasn't it?
Yeah, we originally didn't want to do a band deal. Too many problems. But that has changed with the guys we have now.

Even with the debut record you had a great sound!
We had top session guys on that first album. I still work with some of them on other projects.

How does Harlan Cage compare with being in Fortune? How did the whole project get put together?
Fortune became just 'too much music to play', if you know what I mean. Too many lawyers, accountants, A&R guys, all with too much time on their hands. It's a scary thought! Harlan cage is easy.

Magnus Soderkvist got a hold of me through a publicist and asked if I'd like to do another album on a label he was getting started. Since Roger and I had been playing our songs around town in a band called Big City, we decided to do it. Not much to loose, eh?

On the first record you covered 99 In The Shade, and now you have covered Dearborn Station. Why re-record the older songs?
We had a lot of songs to choose from. We did '98 In The Shade' and 'Dearborn Station' at the request of the guys in Sweden and Japan. Basically they caught us on request night!

There were a couple of impressive names collaborating on the debut - Tom Whitlock, Steve Porcaro, Billy Liesegang and Aussie Brett Garsed. Is there any stories you could tell from working with these guys?
Tom Whitlock and I go way back. We worked together on 'Top Gun' and 'Over The Top'. I love the song 'Kiss Of Fools' we did on the first album. That's the first song I heard of his without Georgio Moroder involved. He and Terry Wilson wrote it and when he offered it to me, I recorded it that week.

Steve Porcaro's like a brother to me. I'm close to his family. He's pretty much involved in film and television now, so it's tough to write together on a steady basis.

Not much more to say about Billy, he's a great guy, great player. He's good on taking abuse too. I mean, he has worked with Nina Hagen for years, what's that tell you?!

As for Brett Garsed, I met him through my brother who owns a studio. We only worked on one song together, but he's a fine player and has a real diverse style.

DMT has been out a couple of months now, are you happy with the response?
I hear it's doing good. I hadn't realized it's been out for two months. It seems like we just finishes it. Imagine that!

Can you tell me something about some of the songs? Blow Wind Blow - I think this song is a killer. You never overuse the chorus.
Yeah, it is one of my favorite songs. It's basically about giving up trying to control your life and letting the wind blow where it may.

My Mama Said - A particularly strong vocal performance I thought.
That songs was originally titled 'Sunday Clown'. It's pretty easy to figure out. Love brings everyone to their knees at least once.

Defend This Heart Of Mine - Another strong track.
I wrote that in San Francisco. A guy on the street asked me for change, and being in a pissy mood, I told him I was one check away from where he was and might need it back. He refused to take anything. He defended his heart at the expense of his stomach, or most likely his habit. Anyway, it stuck with me.

Halfway Home?
It's about unfinished business. It's a pleading kind of song. Probably Roger's best keyboard performance on the album. He really created the mood.

You have a fairly unique sound. Does that come from anywhere special?
Roger comes from classical training, as a kid in Ireland. I come from a blues background. I guess if you mix the church and the gutter it's bound to sound unique, if nothing else.

Do you favor how is used to be, or where you are at these days? What are the differences?
Of course when melodic rock was the mainstream, the money was better. Now it's easy to see who does it for the love of music. So in a way I suppose things are better now. They have to be. What's the alternative?

Absolutely true. So where to from here for Harlan Cage?
We'll continue to write and perform with the band. Hopefully we'll be doing shows in Europe and Japan, if all goes according to plan. We're having a lot of fun with this project and we want to keep it going.

Any other projects you are working on?
I'm working on a film called 'Glass Cage' with Eric Roberts. Roger's producing a fine R&B singer named Gigi, and we're both hoping everyone will buy the new Harlan Cage CD.

I am sure they will Larry. Thanks for taking the time out to talk.
Say hello to all our friends in Aussie land, and thanks again.