Carmine Appice recently spoke about working with Pink Floyd on one song as a session musician and named the song he played the drums on instead of the band’s iconic drummer Nick Mason because they wanted ‘new blood.’
Carmine Appice collaborated with many artists throughout his career, including King Cobra, Paul Stanley, Rod Steward, and Ted Nugent. In 1987, Appice teamed up with Pink Floyd with the help of the producer Bob Ezrin.
At the time, the band was going through a difficult time with the tensions rising with Roger Waters. However, Waters quit, and the band started to work on the album ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ without him. Being the first album with a lineup change, the band wanted new blood in the production.
Bob Ezrin, who was producing them, reached out to Carmine Appice to record the song ‘Dogs of War’ with Pink Floyd. Appice questioned where Nick Mason was but agreed instantly and went to the studio to work with Floyd. Mason had decided to concentrate more on that album’s sound effects, and Appice replaced him on drums. When he wanted to hear the song before its release, Ezrin stalled him until it was released. Hence, Appice only got to listen to the track at the same time as everybody else in the world.
Here is the story as told by Appice:
“It was simple. I knew Bob Ezrin, he was the producer. I came home one day, the days when you had the voice machine with the little cassettes. There was a message from Bob saying, ‘Hey Carmine, Bob Ezrin here, I’m producing a band that’s just screaming for Carmine drum shows.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So I called him. I said, ‘Hi Bob, Carmine, what’s up?’ He goes, ‘I wanna put you on this track.’ I said, ‘Who’s the band?’ He goes ‘Pink Floyd.’ My immediate reaction was, ‘Where’s Nick?’
I knew Nick. I knew Pink Floyd. We used to do gigs with them in the early days of the Fudge before they were huge. I continued to know them, and he said, ‘He’ll be there, but he’s been racing his Ferraris, and his calluses are soft, and they want some new blood.’ I said, ‘Well, yeah. I’d love to do it.‘ I said, ‘Nick’s gonna be there?’ He said, ‘Yeah, they’re all gonna be there.’ I said, ‘Oh my God.’ So I went there, had my call and my roadie, brought my drums there. I set them up and got a drum sound. I had my pearl kit at the time.”
He then said the following:
“I remember Nick being there and watching, and we recorded 24 tracks at 30 minutes, I don’t know what speed they did to that, but it was fifteen. We did about six reels of me playing that song. I kept saying to him after the session, they had a song on four tracks, and they put me on the 24th track, and then they must sync them all up. They finished it, and I kept trying to find out what my drum sound was. I mean, I heard the drum sound, the studio sounding massive. I said, ‘You’re piecing it together from all these different parts, I’d like to hear it before it comes out.’ I kept calling Bob, he called me next week.
He started working, I said, ‘What’s it like?’ He said, ‘So far, amazing, call me in a couple of weeks, it should be done.’ I called him in a couple of weeks ‘How’s it going?’ ‘Unbelievable’ ‘So when am I gonna hear it?’ He goes, ‘Give me another week or so.’ I call him back. I went to Canada to do a movie called ‘Black Roses’ where we did some of the soundtracks, and we did some of the soundtracks, and they asked me to be in the movie and be on stage. It was a heavy metal horror movie. I ended up turning into a monster in the end. It started my daughter into wanting to be a special effects makeup artist. That’s what she does. And I heard that Pink Floyd record was just released.“
You can listen to his interview and the song below.