Musicscan: So schaffen sie den stimmigen Kontext für fünf Dokken-Klassiker, die von T & N neu aufgenommen und einer Frischzellenkur unterzogen worden sind. Noch unglaublicher ist aber die Tatsache, dass „Slave To The Empire“ mit hochkarätigen Gästen aufwartet, die mit ihren markanten Stimmen Referenz-Tracks der Marke ,Just Got Lucky‘, ,Alone Again‘, ,Into The Fire‘ und ,Kiss Of Death‘ (ein Hammer!) performen. Skid Row-Fronter Sebastian Bach, Tim „Ripper“ Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth) und Doug Pinnick (King‘s X) sind diesbezüglich zu nennen, während mit Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne) ein erfahrener Schlagzeuger rekrutiert worden ist, der sich mit stimmungsvollem Hardrock bestens auskennt. T & N legen mit „Slave To The Empire“ ein tolles Album vor, das an die großen Tage des Heavy Rocks der 80er Jahre erinnert und Spielart-Fans und Zeitzeugen Freudentränen in die Augen treiben wird.
Musicscan: You guys have been around with different bands and projects for ages now. What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?
T & N: We love music. I still get a huge buzz making music- it's an honor and a great privilege.
Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of Dokken in the early days. Has the intention / the spirit changed in any way until today and what you are doing with T&N now?
T & N: We wanted to be heavy- but write great melodic songs. That part really hasn't changed over the years. I just think our depth has grown and our ability to tap into deeper feelings has improved over time (and age).
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song for/with Dokken and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song for/with T&N? How has your relationship to the music changed?
T & N: I remember so much. The first day George ever came over to my house (1983) he walked through the door- saw a guitar and we began throwing ideas around right away. That hasn't changed. Now it's just so nice to write something, then be able to see it through to the end, no filter, compromise, etc. Dokken was a great experience, but now it's wonderful for the two of us to be able to write and record (in my studio) and finish our vision. It's very artistically satisfying.
Musicscan: Speaking about the scene you came from and the feeling of community: Do you feel that the sense of unity in hardrock and heavy metal is still as strong as it was in the 1980ies? A lot of bands claim to not be interested in the scene as such anymore. Do you still stick to that scene?
T & N: Most of my friends are still related to rock music somehow, so I guess that's part of the scene. But there isn't near as much live music in the scene anymore. There's still a sense of community, but it has grown up a bit.
Musicscan: Many of today’s bands seem to miss passion. T&N has lots of it and that's why I enjoy your album so much. Is it just a question of the right attitude? How do you go about being a band?
T & N: We're motivated by our musical chemistry, and the fact that we both see so much unfairness in the world and want to speak our message through our music. That's a very powerful bond.
Musicscan: And being around the heavy scene for awhile now, does it bother you when you see or meet listeners who ignore you or who have a different understanding of what hardrock and metal mean to you?
T & N: No, people are entitled to their opinions and I can't change that. I don't like it when people are closed minded, however.
Musicscan: If you compare the visions you had of Slave To The Empire before the record was produced and compare it to your impressions listening to the songs now – what´s the difference? Is there any?
T & N: It's not too far from what we originally envisioned. I think we stretched out a bit more than we originally intended, but it was only out of inspiration. All in all it felt like we pulled it off.
Musicscan: What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the writing and recording of the album? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the album?
T & N: The chemistry is everything. In fact I think next record will have even more of a bond- now that we have one under our belt.
Musicscan: What was it like to rerecord those old Dokken tracks with all those famous guests? Why did yu pick especially the tracks that are now to find on Slave To The Empire?
T & N: It was great. Working with Wild Mick was so second nature, and the vocalists all really came in and kicked ass. We couldn't have asked for a better situation.
We recorded 12 Dokken tracks with Mick, so it was up to what worked for these singers that made us decide on these songs.
Musicscan: A lot of musicians and bands change their sound over time, but much to your credit you have kept the successful sound your fans have grown to love. Concerning Slave To The Empire – has it been hard to stay true to that sound or do you guys just play what feels right?
T & N: We just did what we do and tried to make it something we loved and hoped the fans would agree!! One thing I've learned is you can't be contrived about the music- it just doesn't work. So let your intuition be the guide.
Musicscan: In general: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can rock and metal basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?
T & N: Oh there's always new things. The real question is will the music business evolve enough to allow new sounds to be part of the landscape.
Musicscan: What kind of success did you hope to gain with Slave To The Empire?
T & N: Success would mean being able to continue making music together for a very long time.