Carl Canedy is a true American Metal Icon. Beginning with THE RODS, and MANOWAR, Canedy was known as a powerful and skilled drummer. His producing skills would later elevate such metal luminaries as, ANTHRAX, OVERKILL, EXCITER, and HELSTAR to name a few. Later he would help create the ST.JAMES band and culminate all of this experience in his own band, CANEDY. We chatted about the changing scene, metal, and the endurance of bands like the Rolling Stones.
How did the St. James project come about?
Actually the band started in mid 90's. The drummer got sick and as a result I ended up joining the band. I had done the pre production so I knew the songs. We just knocked it out. But I knew the material and we were running out of studio time so we just sort of banged it out. It was a band that I really tried hard to get a deal. We got caught up in the Seattle thing. The flannel had started. Labels began looking specifically for those types of bands. Before artists could release product on their own...back then you had a narrow pipe line that major labels had. We just could not land a deal. I had the archived recordings. I told the guys hey look what I found. We thought it was great and it should be out. So we re mastered it and hopefully soon the vinyl will be released as well.
Vinyl has made a comeback.
It's crazy. You know I record digitally. I listen to cds. How much difference could it make? So I pulled out an album and I was blown away. There is a reason why people like vinyl.
I have a large vinyl collection. I just cannot part with it. When I was a kid before cds we would buy albums. I would read everything on the album. I was always curious. cds now I cannot even read it.
What is on your horizon?
I'm doing a new Canedy album. I'm really excited about it. You know all these years of recording and doing my first solo album was a first for me. I've produced at least 50 projects. With this it was just me. Everyone contributed to the album. It was great but I was the only one with the big picture. There was a lot of self doubt. I had no idea on this. It was just me. I had a meltdown. But I was told to just play by rob Reiner. It was odd to be faced with that. On this album it was done jointly. I am excited for people to hear it. It has been energizing for me. It has been fun for me. I'm having fun.
I think if I had been involved…for the artists I worked with..It could be potentially millions of dollars lost. Especially if you're doing an independent release. But I have no issue. As a kid if someone gave me a free tape or whatever. I would listen to it and then buy the product. It allows you to have access to a target market and that is very important. Reaching fans. There is a brutally honest feedback at times but that can be good to get that honest feedback. Within the criticism is there something that can help you. Modify it. Touring is really the key to financially for bands anyway. You have to get your music to sell product. You won't sell a lot of cds at a gig but you will sell t-shirts.
How did you get into producing?
At the end of the day you just can't play drums all the time. So I would play guitar at night. I couldn’t bang on my drums all night. I started with tape recorders and re-taping songs I would create. Overdubbing it all into noise. So it progressed from there. Started to doing sessions and learning from engineers. I always had an ear and a knack for arrangements. It was natural for me. For the RODS we had no money so we had to produce ourselves. Then bands began to ask me to do demos. Johnny Z asked me to do some and it was very organic. I never set out to do that but it all happened. I produced the first 3 ANTHRAX albums.
What's the longevity of metal?
Who knows? With people taking care of themselves these days. Who knows? As long as there is an audience for it there will be bands. Musicians don't retire, they just die. You're going to play at some level no matter what. If you love it you're going to find a way to do it. I've been a Rolling Stones fan for quite some time and Keith Richards has certainly pushed things. There he is still cranking out cool stuff. Keith is a real blues guy. He lived it. He has always been passionate about it. When you do something that you have a passion about whether it is blues, thrash, or rock or whatever I think it is a big incentive to keep going. As musicians all we want to do is play. Like musicians it's a drug, like crack. We just want to sit in our homes and do our crack…Just want to play my music.