JAKE E. LEE On RED DRAGON CARTEL's 'Patina' Album: 'I Wanted It To Be Exactly The Way I Envisioned It'

March 12, 2019

Robert Chavez of cult TV show "Robb's MetalWorks" conducted an interview with legendary rock guitarist Jake E. Lee (OZZY OSBOURNE, BADLANDS, RED DRAGON CARTEL) on March 8 in San Antonio, Texas. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his absence from the music scene prior to the release of the first RED DRAGON CARTEL album in 2014:

Jake: "Well, I was always playing, even [though it was] a dozen years or something I stayed out of the limelight. I still played guitar and I still wrote music — I just did it for myself. And I really didn't think anybody else would be interested in it. I mean, I wrote these songs, I played guitar, I was satisfying myself, but I didn't think anybody else really would have cared for it. And then [producer] Kevin Churko convinced me that some people do still care and would be interested, and so that's when I decided to go ahead and give it a go. And I think it worked out really well."

On the long gap between RED DRAGON CARTEL's first album and last year's "Patina":

Jake: "Honestly, I didn't know if I was gonna do another record. Anthony [Esposito, RED DRAGON CARTEL bassist] convinced me to give it a shot. 'Cause I didn't wanna do songs that I had already written — like on the first R.D.C. record, I wrote those songs within the 12 years that I was retired, and I didn't wanna go back to that well. If I was gonna do anything, it was gonna be just brand new shit that I came up with, and I didn't know if I had any in me, really. I'm beginning to sound like somebody who's filled with self-doubt. But Anthony, we got the band together on his ranch, at his studio, and we spent a couple of days and the music was coming out and it was feeling good. So that's when I decided to do a second record."

On whether he is happy with how "Patina" turned out:

Jake: "I think it's a really good fucking record. I know I'm supposed to say that to promote it, but I really truly think it's a really good record. And in case it was my last record, I wanted it to be fucking exactly the way I envisioned it. So we took a long time. We spent maybe six months writing it and then a year or so to record it. 'Cause I just wanted every single piece — every layer of guitar, every drum, every vocal, I wanted it all exactly the way it should be. I didn't wanna make a record and say, 'I wish I'd done this better,' or, 'Ah, I wish I'd done it this way.' So we took our time. And if I get hit by a car right now, or a train, I'll die happy knowing that the last piece of work I put out was a really good one."

"Patina" was released in November via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to RED DRAGON CARTEL's eponymous 2014 debut marks the group's first release with drummer Phil Varone (SAIGON KICK, SKID ROW) and Esposito. The band's current lineup is rounded out by singer Darren James Smith.

RED DRAGON CARTEL's new album was recorded at Esposito's Obscenic Arts studio in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania and was mixed by legendary producer Max Norman, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE, MEGADETH, SAVATAGE and LOUDNESS, among others.

In addition to being the new bassist for RED DRAGON CARTEL, Esposito co-produced the album alongside Lee.

Photo credit: Joseph Gorelick

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