Ken Tamplin

Interviewed via by Dave Attrill & Glenn Milligan, BA Hons

Sent: 11th June 2003


12th June 2002

Ken Tamplin (Live at the Gods, Bradford - 2003)

What made you change record labels?

The reason for the label change was that we had hoped to get a record out much sooner than it was taking. Mark Alger had a really full plate and had a difficult time moving in the time frame we discussed. We mutually agreed to move on.

Does the departure from Z Records as a solo artist mean that Shout will leave the label also?

Shout was only a license for one record so yes, Shout has moved on as well.

Were you ever asked to play the Z-Rock festival an if so, why couldn't you?

No, we were never asked to play the Z Rock festival. We would have loved to perform given the opportunity.

What are Chuck, Loren and Joe up to these days?

Joey has been playing for country artist Clint Black, Loren is a sales rep for EAW Loudspeakers and Chuck Kings builds houses. (really nice custom homes I might add)

Does Howie Simon accompany you on guitar duties as much now?

Yes, Howie is my guitarist. I realize he is also now the guitarist for Jeff Scott Soto as well. He would be an extremely difficult person to replace. (if not impossible)

How did you go about choosing the material for The Gods Festival since you had so much you could play?

It was all Howie's idea! No, just kidding, Howie did have a lot of input as well as Mark Ashton. I threw down about 25 songs and between the 3 of us, we picked 12 to perform.

Are you planning to tour the UK soon due to your great response at Bradford?

It would be great but I'm not certain we could pull enough crowds in to pay for the tour. We'll have to wait and see how the CD does to justify that.

What have been the major highlights for you in the making of the 'Wake the Naions' album?

Getting to work with such great players is always a highlight. I also enjoyed just getting to make a record again as I do so much orchestral film work now or music that comes out of my computer that it's a major release to be able to do what I like to do best and that is slammin' rock!

How was it working alongside 'Jeff Scott Soto' and what made you choose him?

It was all Howie's idea! No, really, I have always been a fan of Jeff's voice and since he and Howie were good friends, I jumped at the chance to get his wailing voice on the CD. I love the energy he brought to the record.

What other instruments do you play as well as guitar and for how long?

I play the radio, I play soccer. No, I play bass (of course) a little piano (enough to get myself in trouble) I'm a monster drum programmer, I play banjo, flamenco, mandolin, a little bazoukia and mandacello.

How old were you when you first started to play and what initially made you start?

I was 6 years old and was inspired by Allison Fonte' from the new Mickey Mouse Club. We were in the same school together and I had to find some way to impress her, so I learned Stairway To Heaven for the school talent show. She was a very gifted singer, pianist, gymnist etc. I did win her over.


Have you always intended to have a religious vibe running through your music from the start?

I think when I'm writing for myself I tend to write what is in my heart. When I write for movies or other people (take the song I wrote with Howie Simon called 'Falling Houses' for example) I write much differently. That song is about broken homes.

Ken Tamplin and Howie Simon

(Live at the Gods, Bradford - 2003)

What inspired you as a Christian to blend your beliefs with your music?

I think it's one in the same. I like to say things with purpose. I don't like to babble about nothing. If you have a platform (like music or art in general) you given a great gift of communicating to a lot of people. I believe there is a responsibility that goes along with that. I choose to accept that responsibility and write about things I think matters. In that context, it expresses my faith. That comes quite naturally. I try not to impose my belief on anyone. I hope that my life is such an example that people will know I am the real deal. That speaks louder than any words to a song ever could.

Did you have any doubts early on about how such an approach would fare in a genre usually known to deal with the dark side?

That's a deep question. If there's a dark side, then there must be a bright side. If there's a bright side, then we know Darth Vader doesn't win in the end. I think I'd like to pick the winning side, even if it costs me in the here and now. I'd rather take my lumps now than later where I don't get another chance.

During the 80's, when hard rock was at its peak of popularity, what size of following did Shout have and how did it vary around the world?

Shout did quite well. For a young band on an independant label to sell a quarter of a million records with little or no promotion, only live shows and a couple of videos we made ourselves, we did ok.

What large venues did you used to play that you remember fondly?

We played all those huge 20,000 and 30,000 seat festivals. They were fun. But I have to say, I still really enjoy some of the small intimate dates. I really mean that. It would be nice to have both. On the big dates, you never get to wear your heart on your sleeve therefore it's almost not real. Anu with more than one "emotional" song and you lose the anthemic energy. That's kind of a drag because some of the coolest stuff an artist has to offer is intimacy. That usually only takes place in a smaller setting. A few years ago, we got to tour my Christmas CD called "The Colors Of Christmas" and the shows we played were in candle lit 1,000 year old churches. The vibe was seriously cool. How many people can say they got to do that?

What are your favourite times in the heyday of Shout and why?

I like the guys in the group. I'm still close to all of them. So I would have to say the friendships. The touring was fun becuase I was touring with guys I liked. I also really enjoyed that we were getting to inspire a lot of people. That's always a good thing.

How did Shout get together as a full band, since when when you started there was just yourself and Loren?

Actually Shout started with just me and Chuck King. Loren was still in Joshua at the time. Little by little, memebers of Joshua quit and wanted to play in Shout. We often would joke that the band should have been called UA (United Artists) or actually Joshua without "Josh".

On the title-track of the album 'In Your Face' several other guitarists shared the soloing of this spectacular arrangement. How did it all come about?

That was the brainchild of my photographer Nigel Skeet. He suggested a couple of names and once the light went on in my head, I took the ball and ran with it. The band name Shout was actually my wife's idea. She came up with the name.

What caused the fragmentation of the original line-up after the 'In Your Face' album?

It was simple, we just lost the name. Another band beat us to registering the name. That disouragement led to Chuck and Loren deciding to get a real job. The rest is history.

How did the reunion happen for 'Shout Back' in 1999?

Mark Alger from Z Records encouraged us to do it.

Are there any plans for further Shout albums and/or tours?

Not at the moment, I am focussing on the new CD "Wake The Nations" .

What keeps you interested in stopping in the Music Business?

I just love to create and perform. It's what I was made to do.

What would you like to be remember for?

Is this an epitaph?!? As someone who cared about people. As someone who inspired hope into others. As someone who represented "love" as genuine. As someone who aspired toward excellence. As somone who appreciated beauty. As someone who could be respected for his beliefs, because he lived it.

Peace To All.


A big Thank-you to Ken Tamplin for such an immensely, brilliant Interview.


A bonus interview sent to us by No Boundz PR -

Ken Tamplin Answers the Question:

To Download Or Not To Download?

Many people in the press and media keep asking me the question, is it
ethical or right to download other people's music for free?

I realize it's almost throat splitting on my behalf, but timely and
necessary nonetheless.

Mr. Tamplin, what do you think about the mp3 downloading controversy?

Well, this is obviously something I am going to get flack for but here goes.

Having music as my profession, do I feel "ripped off" when someone steals my
music and downloads it for free, sticking me with the bill of writing,
producing, performing and manufacturing this music? You bet 'cha.

Am I guilty myself? You bet 'cha.

So what do I do with this hypocrisy and apparent conflict of interest within

Let me put it this way;

Since the beginning of recorded music, music groups have been ripped off
blind of their royalties by their own record companies, managers and
producers since day one.

Isn't it a bit ironic (for the most part) that these "record label thieves"
are the very same record executives that are shouting "stop thief!" when
pointing to mp3 downloaders while their own hand is in the till? (this
doesn't in any way excuse the downloader)

In addition, they have had a monopoly on the music industry far too long,
stifling considerable talent predicated on the fact these artists are no
longer under the age of 21 and have therefore become irrelevant and passé.

Now a technology comes along that they can't get their arms around and yet,
this same technology through the internet, has provided the greatest vehicle
for media expansion available. Again, ironic.

For the most part, you can find things that have been long out of print that
these labels weren't even offering. (could be a great source for revenue I
might add).

So what do we do? Sue our fans like Metallica considered?

Take college boys to jail for copyright infringement?

Why doesn't the industry embrace the technology and come up with
interesting, innovative ways to keep the "buying public" interested in
buying, or do they need someone creative to do that for them as well?

Sure that's it, get one of these creative thinking artists or software
designers to come up with a technology so they can steal the idea or
intimidate them out of business to absorb the idea like any good business
mogul would do.

You see, then it's legal.

Oh Ken, you sound like you have an axe to grind. Actually, not really. I
don't make my living in the record industry anymore, I make my money in the
film industry (who by the way will be next in line for infringement). I am
just simply pointing out how we arrived here. We can ignore it, or we can
learn from it.

The way I see it is this; the technology is not going away, in fact, it's
increasing exponentially.

If it were me in the record company seat, I would come up with technologies
like, holographic music. Yes, live music video's recorded with holographic
video and 5.1 surround sound mixes like you were right there at the concert
or recording studio. Then use free mp3's as a teaser to sell the holography.
These files would be WAY too large to download (at least for now). Or how
about offering 8 channels digital mixers with the CD's so fans can actually
make their own mixes of their favorite artists. Intimate interactive
biographies. (like Reality TV hasn't taught us that some people actually
approachable accessible people) Even throw in a couple of bonus tracks on
the song itself of the outtakes or multiple guitar solos that were never
used. This too would be way too large to download (for now). These are just
simple off the cuff ideas and not ingenious. Let's face the music, the
technology is here to stay and is growing.

So it doesn't bother me that the technology is here. What bothers me is how
we are not using this technology in a constructive way for everyone.