For more than a decade, "Renaissance" has been churning out
their unique brand of rock music.
The group has recently switched record labels, leaving Sire, for I.R.S.
Records, and a new album release titled, "Camera Camera".
Changes in "Renaissance”, include the departure of drummer
Terry Sullivan and keyboardist John Tout, and the addition of Peter Gosling
and Peter Barron.
Currently on a U.S. tour, we spoke with lead singer Annie Haslam about
the "Renaissance" of today.
Q. As I recall, when "Renaissance" played
in Syracuse four years ago, you were unable to do an encore because of
vocal strain. How do you prevent something like that from happening all
A. No, it wasn't a voice problem. Actually, at that time I had the flu,
and I was singing and I shouldn't have been. I shouldn't really have done
the date. I probably would have ruined my voice for the rest of the tour
had I done the encore. Now, my voice is a lot stronger than it was.
Q. What happened to the original five piece line-up of the group?
A. There's still five people in the band, but the main nucleus is Jon,
Mickey, and myself. We make all the decisions and things like that. Peter
and Peter kind of augment the band like a Genesis situation. When they tour,
they take people with them.
Q. Is it true that this is the first tour you've ever made money on?
A. The American tour, we did right before Christmas is the first tour
we've ever made made on. Mind you, we've cut down on a lot of equipment
and things like that. We're still quite big on the East Coast but we've
had to do a lot of clubs, especially on this tour, in places we haven't
been to in four or five years. It's like starting again. We used to spend
a lot of money on effects, lights, and backdrops. It is necessary to a certain
degree but not if you've got to make money out of it, and it is a business
after all, unfortunately.
Q. Can you make any money on overseas tours?
A. We made a little bit. Yes, we did, because they have the P.A. system
out there which saved us money. You can do it, if you go out and just take
Q. Any plans for a Syracuse concert?
A. I think we will in the fall, because we're doing a three month tour
Q. You weren't too happy with your former record label, Sire Records.
What kind of problems did you have with them?
A. Distribution. It was never in the shops. The thing was, it was Warner
Bros. /Sire and the thing with that record company is if you're not a big
band, then they don't want to know you. They always give you a reception
and say you're the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that's as far
as it goes. You don't see any more of them after that unless you're a big
name, something they don't have to work on. It's very hard now a days. We
were very surprised when we came back just before Christmas because we'd
been away two years and we weren't sure what the reaction would be to the
new music and and whether the old fans would still be there after two years.
Byt we’ve been very surprised, the audiences have been great.
Q. Critics seem to feel "Renaissance" has
turned into more of a rock 'n' roll group. Listening to the latest album,
there doesn't seem to be that radical of a change.
A. No, there isn't really. It's just updated. There's a lot more energy
in the band. It is a bit rock yet actually, the live shows are. It's bound
to be different, because the keyboard player and the drummer are different.
Q. Is change a necessary part in the business?
A. It is. I had to change my image because my image was the long dresses
and the long hair. Because the music had changed, I had to change my appearance
to go along with the music.
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