It has been fifty years since the band that was later to become Nazareth first played and performed together, and coinciding with that date is the release of new album, Tattooed On My Brain, which features new vocalist, Carl Sentance.

Bassist and founding member, Pete Agnew, spoke with The Fountain about what their fans can expect from the album as well as how things have evolved.

TF: You’ve recorded a new album to commemorate fifty years of Nazareth being together as a band, what can we expect from this LP?

We recorded the album because it has been four years since our last release and it was time for another one. We knew when we went into the studio to do this album that it had to be a cracker because due to the appointment of a new singer after all these years, we’d be given no ‘wiggle room’ when it came to be reviewed and judged by critics and fans alike.

I’ve done around fifty interviews in the run up to the release and so far almost every interviewer who has been given a listen to the album has thought it’s the best thing we’ve done in many years. Let’s hope the fans feel the same.

TF: And you originally all formed in Fife in Scotland, can we expect a 50th anniversary gig in Dunfermline?

We have a very heavy touring schedule planned for the rest of this year and next but so far we haven’t got any shows in Scotland happening. But as I’ve tried to explain time and time again,….it’s fifty years this year since the four members first played together in the band (The Shadettes, a 6 piece then) that would eventually become Nazareth. We didn’t change the name to Nazareth until we became a four piece band in 1970, although tour promoters, agents , record companies etc. are advertising this year as the 50th. Whatever… we don’t want to rain on their parade and what’s a couple of years among friends? Anyway, in answer to your question about a hometown 50th anniversary gig…..yeah, I’ll definitely be up for it in 2020 if I’m still this side of the grass.

TF: You have a new vocalist with Carl, how is he fitting in with the Nazareth sound?

Carl’s a great singer and has brought a lot of vitality and fresh approach to all the songs, new and old. There wasn’t really any sound to fit into because although we are always put under the heading ‘heavy rock’, we’ve never been a band that was settled into one genre, and always liked to record any type of song that took our fancy. It’s worked very well for us too because Nazareth fans expect a diverse compilation with every new album. Also in this case Carl has written five songs for the album so you could say he’s more creating the Nazareth sound rather than fitting in.

TF: And you have obviously evolved since that debut in 1971, but how do you feel your sound has changed over the last fifty years?

I think the answer to the last question pretty much covers this but as you say, things have obviously evolved, mainly the song writing gets better I think.

TF: An eclectic, varied album, this album will probably appeal to a wide crowd, and not just the fans. And how was it to record in the beautiful surroundings of Rosyth, did this impact on the album at all?

I’m sure this album is going to surprise and impress a lot of people who have been waiting to see how things would develop given the new line up and we can only hope that spreads. I’d love to say that the ‘Garden City’ brought out the best in us, but in truth, the best thing about recording at home is just that…..it’s home!

Tattooed On My Brain is scheduled for release via Frontiers Music on October 12th.