Little Caesar recently visited these shores for a whistle stop tour to plug new album ‘Eight’, perfectly timed just as the ‘Beast From The East’ hit. Guitarists Loren Molinare and Mark Tremalgia were well wrapped up when we sat down to chat before their show in Glasgow. Part one of our chat is here.
It’s impossible to talk with you Loren and not mention your other band, The Dogs. Punk is generally associated with Malcolm McLaren, The Sex Pistols, and the UK, but if you think about it, the seeds were sown back in Detroit with Iggy and The Stooges, MC5 etc.
Loren – “Yeah with Iggy, The Stooges, MC5 that whole scene. I was 14, but that all influenced me. When I was 15, The Dogs played with MC5 a few times, and that was amazing. Detroit is like Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow; industrial, dirty, gritty towns, and then you have the Young family living here before they emigrated to Australia. It’s all about the surroundings. People say that The Dogs were punk and we were involved with that scene in the late ‘70’s. We even moved to England in ‘78, ended up on a disastrous tour, and ended up squatting in a house! We were doing it before the word punk was big. People can call it what they want, we just call it Detroit rock n’ roll. 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the The Dogs, and we are still gigging!”
What do you remember from when The Dogs opened for AC/DC on their first American dates?
Loren – “That was a real treat. It was three nights at The Whisky in LA, two shows a night. First thing to tell you is that the Whisky management told The Dogs to turn it down! That we were too fucking loud. We were just a trio! When I saw Angus Young for the first time, it just blew my fucking mind… so much energy. They were cool. Bon came into The Dogs’ dressing room with a bottle of Jack. I got to have a drink with him, and he was just a really cool guy. It was mind blowing.”
You are also working with LA’s Glitter Trash as well, yeah?
Loren – “I ended up being pen pals with Jenna [Talia, lead singer of Glitter Trash]. We became buddies because they were the best band from Detroit that I had heard since The Stooges and MC5. She came out to LA and we wrote some songs. She knew that I worked with Blackstar Amps, so she suggested that I get Blackstar to backline the Rebellion punk festival. They were playing, and we were hanging about backstage, so we ended up putting a band together. I convinced her to come to LA and now we are playing with PIL in August. Once Little Caesar get back home, I am playing with Glitter Trash in San Diego.”
You don’t seem to stop!
Mark – “He Doesn’t!”
Loren – “I don’t try and look for gigs. Fun stuff comes along. Mark stays busy as well.”
You teach guitar, don’t you Mark?
Mark – “Yeah, I teach online, and I also go to people’s houses. I have another band called Disreputable Few, I back some singers, and have other projects.”
With Little Caesar, the current tour is built around your appearance at Hard Rock Hell AOR. Who are you hoping to catch up with?
Mark – “The guys in Enuff Znuff I’m looking forward to seeing. Skid Row are another… hoping to run into them.”
With both of you being Gibson players, I have to ask; what the hell is going on with Gibson supposedly on the verge of bankruptcy?
Mark – “The management are blaming the stores for some reason?”
Loren – “The CEO [Henry Juszkiewiczis] is out of touch, I think. When companies end up getting too powerful, they end up, I think, pushing down the local dealers too much. I think the beginning of the end was when they put the Robot tuners out and they were like.. well, you gotta buy these. To me, that was them losing touch, and then the quality… anyone I know ends up buying an used Gibson rather than a brand new one. I hope that they get their shit together. I’ve read that they’ve already fired people in the custom shop. You can’t find people like that anymore.”
Mark – “They’re the experts in that field, so why fire them?”
It’s not the whole “no-one is picking up the guitar anymore” doom and gloom that people are trying to make it out to be?
Loren – “Look at PRS. You have a waiting list to buy a PRS, and those are not cheap, so people are still buying guitars. There are a lot of smaller custom brands that are doing great. Gretsch are doing great, Fender are doing great. People like to tell you that there are no more guitar heroes, or that there is no scene anymore, but I think live music is as popular as ever! In America, because I work in the industry with Blackstar, they say that the fastest growing marketplace is young women picking up instruments, and that’s really refreshing. I work with a band from the UK, Bones UK, and they are amazing. I think the scene is healthy. It’s like, what else makes sense these days… live music!”
Mark – “I just saw a clip of Gene Simmons from 1997, I think it was, and he was saying that rock is dead, there is no more rock music… but here we are, twenty years later, and rock is still going.”
Who are you listening to now?
Mark – “Oh man, I love Gary Clark JR, Tedeschi Trucks… so much great music out there! Duane Betts is another great guitar player to look out for. He’s playing with Devon Allman right now. Incredible.”
Loren – “We had Jared James Nichols play with us the other night at The Underworld in London, and he is incredible. At the minute I love Liam Gallagher’s solo album, great songs. There are a lot of great bands out there in LA at the minute; Dr Boogie are one to check out, very Rolling Stones/Faces like. The Crazy Squeeze are another, New York Dolls/Sex Pistols like. There are plenty of great bands out there, you just need to go look.”
Amen to that!
Little Caesar released ‘Eight’ on March 16th through Golden Robot Records. More information here.