Interview with guitarist Tony Clarkin, Magnum (March 19th 2007)

Magnum has been around like forever, delivering one outstanding hard rock album after another. Now they are back with yet another great album.  We have put a few questions together for them.

Magnum has always stood firm and believed in their own capabilities even when things weren’t exactly going your way. No matter if you were experiencing adversity or success you have kept faithful to your selves and your roots. You have been together a long time now, is the band feeling still as strong as ever? And is the fire within still burning brightly?
Tony - Every one is looking forward to going out and playing the new Princess Alice stuff & of course some of the old favourites. As you say we have pretty much stuck to our guns over the years & occasionally our turn comes round again. Even before this album has been released it has been critically acclaimed which we are all so chuffed about. So we are keeping our fingers crossed and our legs as well.

You have a new guy behind the drum kit - Jimmy Copley – why the change? And what does he bring to the band?
Tony - Jimmy joined us on the Storytellers tour we did a couple of years back. He fitted in very well and brought a new element to the band. He has played with so many great names over the years this is just a few… Jeff Beck, Paul Rogers, Toni Iommi & Ian Gillan. We had him in the band & we had no idea that he had played with all these people so it was a decision made on his talent rather than his past history.

What were you looking for when you started auditioning new drummers?
Tony - I had seen Jimmy playing with Bernie Marsden’s M3 and was very impressed. When Harry James could not make the tour we had to look for someone else. Jimmy was the obvious choice.

‘Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow’ has a strong “Storyteller’ feel to it, was that intentional?
Tony - There was a conversation with Olly Hahn at SPV about doing something in the vain of Storytellers. Although we had the conversation, once I started to write the album that was not at the forefront of my thoughts. I think the album developed quite naturally.

How have the reception been so far – most people will of course draw parallels to what many still consider your masterpiece 'On a Storyteller's Night' (still my personal favorite)?
Tony - It seems that every one likes Princess Alice & all the reviews seem to be very positive & of course lots of them refer to Storytellers Night. However the new album seems to be a more finished piece of work.

Tell us a bit about the album art work – this does also have a strong ‘Storyteller’ feel to it, as well as a few things, which reminds a bit of classic Marillion albums.
Tony - Once again Rodney Matthews was called to do the artwork for the new album. We visited Rodney at his home and we discussed some of the ideas I had in my head. He did some quick sketches and carried working on it while we went back to the studio to record the album.

You have a new logo – why did you decide to change?
Tony - This was something Rodney did to fit with the new artwork for Princess Alice. After all the years we have been going it was nice to get an updated version we could use.

Now we have to know – why Magnum? Have you simply named the band after a gun and/or is there some story behind?
Tony - It seems like everything you look at is called Magnum from ice creams to Condoms from guns to cars from TV shows to & measurements of Champagne. So take your pick.

You are going on a European tour in May supporting the new album, what other live plans do you have in 2007?
Will you be appearing at any festival around Europe?

Tony - Yes we are doing a tour of Europe and the UK. We will be doing some festivals this summer but many are to be arranged. Here is where we will be visiting soon.

4th May




5th May

Columbia Club



7th May




8th May




10th May




11th May




12th May




13th May




14th May




15th May

Le Trabendo



17th May

The Garage



18th May

The Academy



19th May

Rock City



20th May

The Academy



22nd May

The Waterfront



23rd May

The Academy 2



24th May

Wulfrun Hall



25th May




26th May

Mean Fiddler



28th July

Rock Of Ages Festival



What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment for you and Magnum, not necessarily sales wise? What are the strengths and where can Magnum improve (if at all)?
Tony - Just being able to do what we do for all these years. I believe our strength is that we play well together as a band. I’m sure there are some improvements that could be made but I feel the band is very strong I think it’s the best it has ever been.

I was wondering – could you name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life - and why?
Tony - I can’t think of any one particular piece of music that has influenced me that much but in the early days rock music had a profound effect on my life.

Which five albums would you bring on your iPod to a deserted island?
Tony - I wouldn’t use an iPod as the battery would run out so I would take a wind up CD player instead.

Which album(s) have put a big smile on you face and has made you bang your head in 2006/7?
Tony - It has been hard to listen to other music this past year as I I have been in the studio most of the time. I must make a point of catching up.

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?
Tony - How things have changed over the years especially with the internet it gives the band a chance to hear what people really think. You can contact us through the guest book at
Finally I would like to thank all the people around the world that take the time to keep on supporting us by buying the CD’s and coming to see us live. Long may it continue.

Cheers Tony Clarkin & Magnum.

Interviewed by Kenn.

Magnum - Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow

Album available on Steamhammer / SPV.

For more info on Magnum - click on the album cover.