This is the real heart of the thing for me – I have no ambition to be judged amongst the virtuoso guitar players out there, many of whom Doogie has worked with and is still working with on other projects. I have no illusions about where I stand next to those guys, many of whom are my heroes! I have just been lucky enough to write a lot of songs with Doogie, songs that we both really enjoy and are proud of, and then we get to play them with the great musicians in La Paz. I guess that if you believe that music is an art form, you could think of me as the guy who makes the canvas upon which others can create some magic! ‘Granite’ was a great album for us to do, but in a lot of ways we were playing music that we already knew really well. This was much more of an exploration of new territories for everyone and we all have had SUCH a blast putting it together.”
Doogie: “Chic is very driven, creatively and emotionally, and I get bored when I am not working. It therefore makes for the most wonderful combination for us to write songs together. I personally never thought that La Paz would never record another album. I knew we had at least another one in us. It’s a natural thing we have. Chic knows, I know, and together we both know that between us we can write a song or two. Then when you add in the solid foundation of Big Al and Wee Paul it’s all there. Of course ‘Posh Boy’ Andy has his part to play on the keyboards to make it really become La Paz. Chic’s songs for this album have ‘traditional’ La Paz influences but we are older and more travelled and his ideas outwit the great traditions of what La Paz should sound like, shines a new light on the music we write. It was challenging for us both to write it, but we knew what we needed. For some people, a few of the songs may be challenging and unexpected, both musically and lyrically. But that’s the joy of La Paz. We came from nothing and we may return to nothing but the road we ventured on has been so satisfying and creative. We may even send each other Christmas cards this year! I think we have made ourselves proud with this record. ‘Granite ‘ was easier as it was taking old ideas and revamping them. Then we added some twists on the new songs. ‘The Dark And The Light’ is different but when all 5 of us are working together like that it fair brings a smile to one’s face.”
La Paz were formed in Lanarkshire, Scotland in the summer of 1984 by Chic McSherry (guitars), Doogie White (vocals) and Alex Carmichael (bass). At the first rehearsal together they hit it off immediately on a personal level – they also liked the same music and they had the same influences and heroes (Purple, Rainbow, Journey, Gary Moore) so they started to recruit other members to try to form a band and go do some gigs. Andy Mason (keyboards) joined the trio and he fitted in from the start, even though he was still at school when he joined. Drummers were always a problem and, over the life of the band, La Paz went through almost as many as Spinal Tap. Unquestionably the loudest and the most accomplished was/is their current drummer, Paul McManus. La Paz played live regularly, sometimes playing up to a hundred gigs in a year. They played the world-famous Marquee Club in London as well as at some festivals in Milton Keynes and they were featured regularly in Kerrang! (Derek Oliver becoming a big fan of the band) and attracted interest from a number of UK and US record companies, finally agreeing terms with one of them for a three album deal. But it was not to be – for reasons which were never explained by the record label the deal fell through at the very last minute. Sadly the band didn’t survive for very long after that. They did their last gig on 15th October 1988 and then Doogie moved to London to join Midnite Blue, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen and now the mighty Tank. And then legendary DJ Tom Russell of 96.3 Rock Radio called Doogie and asked him if he would do some acoustic numbers at The Garage in Glasgow for Rock Radio’s Birthday Bash in January 2008. Doogie agreed and asked Chic to play guitar. It was a big ask after 20 years: almost 1000 people, Doogie singing alone and Chic with one flamenco guitar! “We had such a blast though and it woke up so many great memories in both of us that we decided to give it a go with the full band for my 50th birthday” said Chic. And so the full band started to rehearse and it was clear that they could still play a bit. The band just gelled: just like old times and the gigs were a terrific success. And so the idea of re-recording some of the favourites from the set that had never had a proper production job was conceived. The final result could be heard on the album “Granite” released in early 2012. It was an album with its roots in the past but its energy in the present. And today the band return with their sophomore album entitled “The Dark and The Light”.
Doogie White – Vocals
Chic McSherry – Guitar
Alex Carmichael – Bass
Andy Mason – Keyboards
Paul McManus – Drums