The following is a transcript of the "Armageddon Radio
Interview" LP featuring Keith Relf and Louis Cennamo. It
was originally sent to FM radio stations by A&M Records in
1975 to help promote the release of the "Armageddon" LP
(it is not known who conducted this interview). Many thanks
to Victor Spano for the transcription...

Record begins with "Paths And Planes And Future Gains" cut

INT: We're talking to Keith Relf and Louis Cennamo, from Armageddon...I think,
probably the question that makes the most sense is: why are you here? What
brought you from where you were to where you are?

KR: I think that things had stagnated quite considerably, there was a lot of worry
about depression and vinyl shortage and record companies were cutting back on
who they were signing, being a bit more choosy. We didn't feel it was real what
they were telling us, you know, compared to what we had to we felt we'd
just saddle up and come over here where things appeared to be happening more.

LC: Yeah, there was sort of a desire to a to a communicate to a larger audience...
we knew when we set out basically, if we were to come to America and form the
band then it would be heard in England, but rather to form it in England would
have been very difficult to do at the time because of limiting factors in England.

INT: Keith of course being in The Yardbirds and Renaissance - now back into the
rock & roll. What were the transitions in there?

KR: From the beginning of The Yardbirds, which was very much a people's band...
a blues band, blues based band, very gutsy, very sort of...a gut type of thing which
was happening at that period, with Eric, going through then changing from that and
becoming a sort of pop type-image band, you know, and then finally ending up in
the sort of futuristic soundings of feedback and type of band that we ended up as,
you know, through the psychedelic, "so called" psychedelic era of '67.

INT: How did that lead into Renaissance?

KR: Um, I think that just a conscious desire to bring about change. You know, at
that time I considered a change to be important, an important factor...I felt that I
had been doing the heavy electric guitar type of orientated material and stuff with
me up front screaming my guts out, kind of thing, I thought that it was time from a
change from that and why not try something new.

INT: Renaissance was the actual teaming of the two of you...

KR: That's right

INT: Louie, what brought you to Renaissance?

LC: A mutual friend, a friend of mine, sort of knew Keith was looking for a new
band. I was at that time sort of doing sessions, I was ready to do something new,
you know and we came together then like that

INT: Alright, uh, (sarcastic) " did the band come together?"

KR: Just like this (INT, KR and LC laugh)

LC: Well, it's roots obviously were with Keith and I meeting with Renaissance
forming one bond there, then Martin and I meeting with Steamhammer...

KR: I was so impressed by Martin's playing, and obviously always had been with
Louie's, and knew that one day that one day there was going to be a real big band
formed from this...we had no drummer at the time, though, so we came over, just
the three of us on faith, and not too much bread and you know...

LC: Be honest...very little bread...

KR: Very little bread, and a great deal of faith, yeah, and we kind of knew that we
would meet the drummer, the right kind drummer here in the states, that he would
be American, you know, 'cause we tried many drummers right?

LC:....we tried a lot of the drummers in England, and it just didn't seem quite right.

KR: ...the drive and the energy wasn't there.

LC: It wasn't a matter of England or America, it was just , it was just a sort of
intuitive thing again, I think.

KR: I rung Ansley Dunbar when we were over here, and he had suggested Bobby
Caldwell, one or two other people had as well, you know, and I had met him the
second night after we arrived here by accident, in the Rainbow, and he just started
rapping to me. He gave me his phone number, so a couple of weeks later I phoned
him, and we arranged a blow, a jam together - and there you go, it happened.

LC: ...Just when the clairvoyant prediction comes in now...

KR:"there will be a foreigner in the group" (all laugh), said our clairvoyant once.

LC: Martin and I were off the road you know, we could have gone separate ways
very easily, but something kept us together. Same with Keith, Keith was off in
many different directions, searching for something...and suddenly there we were
with absolutely nothing but the faith element that what we were doing was right.

INT: But that was 18 months ago...what happened between then and today when
finally there is an album out on the streets and a tour imminent?

KR: Um, one morning I had an appointment with one of the chaps here at A&M
(more laughter) at that point we were incomplete and we haven't got the drummer
together, he said "yeah, well, it sounds good, why don't you come back when you
got your drummer and we'll listen to it...". In the meantime, we met Bobby, and um,
had a short rehearsal, or just a jam really, and the following day had a jam here at
A & M, and the people here seemed to dig the energy that was going down and
said "yeah, we want the band", so then we embarked upon a series of lengthy
rehearsal periods.

INT: I'm curious about the name, where in this entire evolving process did the
name come about and why?

KR: Why?. To be really honest with you I got it from the dictionary, I was looking
down through the A's and there towards the end was Armageddon, but, it did stand
out to me really strongly, and it did seem to be very very appropriate for the both
the personalities involved in the band and at the times we live in, you know, it s
eemed to be a potent, up front kind of word....

LC: It's a vibration, it's a vibration, sort of behind it all, though it came about in a
very mundane way, as soon as we come to realize just what the word was all about
it took on a completely different feel, we started to identify with it in the true sense
of the word.

"Last Stand Before" cut plays

INT: Let's talk about the album a little bit. Talking before about "Last Stand Before"
...I was wondering if you cared to elaborate on that at all (a short silence)? You can
say no if you don't want's perfectly all right with me....

KR: Generally it's a very obscurely written allegorical sort of statement opposing
heroin, I suppose. It came from there really, but you can read whatever you like
into the lyrics...really, but I mean, it's um...they're not...

LC: It's perfect. I mean if you compare "Last Stand Before" with "Silver Tightrope"
you get another view of the dual Armageddon feature. "Silver Tightrope" expresses
one end of the scope and "Last Stand Before" is basically the other pole's
a wide scope of expression, you know, or experience rather...

"Silver Tightrope" cut plays

KR: ...I happen to like "Silver Tightrope" closely followed by "The Buzzard"...

INT: Why "The Buzzard" ?

KR: I don't know...that's another allegorical thing really.

LC: Also the riff from "The Buzzard" dates back to the original Steamhammer
band, and Keith was associated with it when we got that together, as it stands on
the album, it's sort of a progression from an original idea, which was an old sort
of a riff of Martin's....

KR: it was at one time only an instrumental, wasn't it...?

LC: Yeah...

KR: "The Buzzard" was just a reference title for it, too, wasn't it...?

LC: Basically...yeah..

KR: When it came to me last year, I just took that reference title...

LC: ...took the title and made it into more than a title, more into an actual theme.

KR: ...the forces of good and evil, that is Armageddon.

"The Buzzard" cut plays

INT: What about the "Midnight Sun" cut?

KR: There is nothing greatly relevant there, I don't think...there was just a basic
rhythmic thing worked out, wasn't there?

LC: Basically the idea for the lyrics started, stemmed from Bobby...and not from
Keith, so you got a different viewpoint...

KR: That was the one number that Bobby had like a couple of verses for...and that
was the title of it, so therefore, the first two verses are Bobby's, it goes into
"Brother Ego" which is mine, then the last verse which is mine as well, so it was
really a total collaboration...

INT: What are we going to see on the second Armageddon album?

KR: I would hope progress, you know...probably more of a marriage, now,
between the very heavy and the lush.

LC: The next album should be in every way, will be a vast improvement,
by that time the band will have been born as far as playing live is concerned .

KR: There will be maturity there. I would hope the next one would be much
more subtle.

LC: We're going to try and enlarge the scope of the sound of the band and make
it more than just a bass-guitar-drums formula, just make the whole thing sound

KR: ...and clean...

LC: ...clean, yeah, well...clean and dirty and heavy and light, and so on and so

KR: It feels logical and it feels like the right time and place to be in. It's simply
that, really.

"Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun (Reprise)" cut plays
Return to the main page