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#TONIGHT: Big hitters, no quitters…from 7pm GMT #classicrock

Tonight’s show, from 7pm GMT, includes some of THE very best cuts from albums of yesteryear, still sounding as fresh as ever!

TCRS tonight

Dio, Iron Maiden, Pantera, AC/DC, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Magnum. Plus we’ve got one or two new tracks, one of which is from The Darkness, as well as your requests.

See ya later!

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

INTERVIEW: Fynn and Philipp of The Picturebooks

thepicturebooks-614x521The Picturebooks are a blues-soaked German duo consisting of Fynn Claus Grabke (vocals/guitar) and Philipp Mirtschink (drums). Recently signed to the highly regarded LA psych/stoner imprint Riding Easy,they released their first album for the label, entitled ‘Imaginary Horse’, in late 2014 in the US and are currently on an extensive UK tour with The Answer to promote the forthcoming UK release of the record.

TPB-Cover-1400-pxRecorded in the same garage where they regularly refurbish and repair motorcycles and choppers (both are enthusiastic bikers), ‘Imaginary Horse’ captures a raw, rich and real energy befitting the room’s natural reverb, industrial aura and spiritual spark. More importantly, it has begun to rev up the boys’ career.

The video for the first single from the album, ‘Your Kisses Burn Like Fire’ is a sweaty, boot-stomping affair featuring a growling Grabke, a driving backbone via Mirtschink….and some beautiful scenery. It can be seen here:

It was at Chinnery’s, Southend-On-Sea, where I managed to sit down and have a face-to-face chat with Fynn and Philipp following a 30 minute set that left those who witnessed the performance breathless, hot and sweaty.

MJ: Boys, what a tremendous show you put down for us here at Chinnery’s . I’ve gotta start with Phil firstly because it looked as though you injured your hand during that set because you were sort of shaking it and holding it and, tell us what went on there.

Phil: Ah, pretty simple, I just hit the rim of my floor tom and it hurt, so… and then it’s probably not the first time, it happens every time, you know. I’m used to it.

10645213_10152717153075775_7388073654010946158_nMJ: I’ve not seen anyone hit the drums so hard since I saw Tommy Aldridge with Ozzy Osbourne!

Phil: Thank you.

Fynn: Ya. I don’t call him a drummer, he’s a destroyer!

MJ: We were talking earlier Fynn about your start to the set, and it wasn’t the first time you tell me you broke a string. Not just one but two.

Fynn: Ya two on this, the other night I had three strings, and once… I don’t know. I, well we change the strings all the time, and they were really fresh, I don’t know what’s, something’s wrong this tour with the strings. I’ve gotta check what’s going on there. I don’t know, ya it broke I think the second chord I played.

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MJ: But hey, that’s live rock and roll.

Fynn: It is, it is, you know, our saying is always a broken cable or a broken string is half of the show you know, sometimes.

MJ: Now let’s just talk a little while about your album Imaginary Horse. What is an Imaginary Horse?

Fynn: It’s a funny story. When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend, an imaginary horse called Ponpon, and that’s what the song is about. The version that’s on the album is a very short version of it. There’s a longer version, but we decided to take a little, that version a little shorter one because it just made more sense, it was much cooler to do it that way. It’s just clapping and me singing to it, and kinda get intimate, I guess that’s the right word, intimative feeling.

RidingEasylogoMJ: And the album, which is out on…?

Fynn: Our international label is RidingEasy Records, they’re in California, Los Angeles, California. And it’s licensed to Noisolution Records in Berlin for Germany, Austria, Switzerland.

MJ: Talking of things International, I hear that you picked up an American tour through your Instagram feed?

Fynn: This happens so much lately. Our first American tour we just got through Instagram, basically, because Cedric Bixler from At The Drive-in and Mars Volta, he just liked our pictures a lot, and he became a fan of the band just through the pictures. And he contacted us, he was like just the pictures look so amazing, I wanna hear something from this band. And we send him some stuff that was unreleased, it was like… two years ago now? So he got like very early recordings of our album, and he loved it so much, and he booked us like two shows in Los Angeles, and we just went there without the right visa, and it was a big fuckup, and they tried to send us back. And it was weird, they showed us private emails, it was crazy. And after these two shows, we were booked out for two months, because they were just the right people. I think Cedric must have done something, I don’t know. And ya, it was a big success.

MJ: So Phil, where are you based, because you got German heritage obviously, but are you Europe based or are you US based?

Phil: No, we are based in Europe, ya. I’m from a small town, Gütersloh in the middle of North Rhine-Westphalia, right in the belly button of Germany. We got the British air force in our hometown. So half of our hometown is Brit. So we grew up with Brits, that’s where, you know, we got our English from.

MJ: Going back to the album Imaginary Horse, it’s got a very raw and real edge to it. How did you put that album together?

Fynn: Ya well, let’s start at the beginning. My dad has a professional studio in Gütersloh where we live. It’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s like on a farm, there’s just like a forest around it. And we always hung out there and we had a practice room next door, and a motorcycle garage where we build choppers and stuff like that. And Philipp and I wrote the whole album in there and we always loved the sound. And when we went next doors in the real studio to record it, the sound just became… ya, the whole song became clean is one word, but well but not clean as in like not distorted, but normal. And we thought we wanna hear it the way we heard it in the practice room, you know, so we tried to find how we could do this. It took us a long time of course but then we found out a technique that was in our garage, we put everything out there that we could so we get more roomy sound of it, so we cut out the carpet and stuff like that, and we put two microphones twelve feet away from us and recorded everything live, and no artificial reverb on anything, this is the real reverb that was made in that room. You know, so, that was the idea.

MJ: Was the video for ‘PCH Diamond’ shot in that same garage or was that elsewhere?

Fynn: No that wasn’t in that garage; that was in Glory Motorcycles in Los Angeles. A very good friend of ours, Justin Kell, he does all the bikes for all the movies. Funny fact, he did the bike for Indiana Jones, stuff like that, and some, he does all the bikes for Tom Cruise, stuff like that. He’s the real deal but he’s a really cool dude. He skates and stuff like that, so we know him through skateboarding.

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MJ: Skateboarding, that’s a big thing with you guys.

Fynn: Ya well, I grew up with my dad being a professional skateboarder since the 80s. So we always had friends from all around the world coming to us, and me coming with them to all these places where he went to contests, stuff like that. So, I guess that’s where my American accent comes from, because we’ve always been in the States a lot. And ya that was always a good thing.

And then, when he started doing music, he was super successful doing music. He had super big bands that toured the States and all over Europe. One band was called Thumb, and the other band was called All-Stars, and he had bands back then, Eight Days, that was like in all the skate videos. So he’s always been into music. So I basically grew up in skate parks, and in a tour van. Basically in a tour bus. He always brought me on tour. And ya, and then Philipp and I met, we met in this… you go…

MJ: Over to Phil.

Phil: That like ten years ago or so we just met in our local skate park, just hanging around and whatever, skated all day, and ya. That’s our skating background I think right?

Fynn: Ya well we still do, we still skate all the time and we just try to find something to do after we’ve skated, you know? We became best friends, and then we were like what do we do now? We skated till darkness, what do we do now? So first it was like go into the pub, but then it was like getting boring at some point. And then we started getting into my attic where all the equipment that my dad still had in there, because he used to have a studio in the attic. It used to be called Cloud Scrap, or wait was it called Upstairs Studio? Because it was all up there. So there was still some equipment lying around, an old Sonor drum set, and some guitars, and that’s how it all started.

MJ: And what are the, I guess you brought your boards out over here?

Both: No.

MJ: So you’re having withdrawal symptoms?!

Phil: To be honest, when you’re on tour you’re always afraid of like, when you go skate are you gonna break your bone or whatever, so… don’t do that.

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Fynn: Ya, the show suffered from it, you know, and that, that was like the worst case scenario because at the end of the day this is what we’re doing, you know? And skating is something that’s fun and it’s cool. That’s something I learned after being sponsored, you know? I was sponsored at one point and I lost all the fun of skateboarding because I had to be at contests and stuff like that, and I quit doing that and just do it for fun, and that’s the thing.

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Phil: We don’t want to get hurt on tour.

MJ: I wanna come to the instruments that you’re using. What have you got, what’s your setup Phil on the drums?

Phil: I’ve got a Ludwig kit, with a twenty six inch kick, a bass drum, I guess ya. An eighteen inch floor tom, and I just, how do you say, rebuilt my old drum set. I used the old bass drum kit and whatever, kick drum ya. I used the old kick drum and turned it into a floor drum, the big one on the right side, it’s a twenty four inch, and I have two snares and that’s pretty much it.

Fynn: And a bell, and the bell…

Phil: And the bell, ya of course.

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MJ: And any effects on that?

Phil: Ya you listened to our record right? So all the sounds you hear live are the same sounds we used in the studio, you know? It’s live recorded, and we try to, how do you say it, we try to…

Fynn: Get that sound on stage?

Phil: Get that sound on stage there, and I have that same feeling…

Fynn: Reuse, re-reuse…

Phil: We use some triggers to get the real bass from the recording in the studio, to get the real snare sound, to get the real chain, chim, chim, what is it called…percussion.

Fynn: Ya you know we, for Philipp said, all the instruments and something you hear on the album is something that Philipp and I always work out together. It’s not like it’s just him drumming, it’s not just me playing guitar, it feels like we’re both playing it. And so we built these pits, just go into the music store and buying normal, traditional tambourines and stuff like that, just bored us at one point. And it felt like, this sounds like every other shit that’s already out there. So we started building our own percussion instruments you know, because we’ve always been inspired by Native American music and all the tribal stuff, and it never sounded like something you could buy in a music store, you know? So we were really creative…

Phil: You can do that but it’s fuckin expensive to do that so…

Fynn: Ya, you can do it, it’s expensive first of all and it’s, again the easy way to do it. So we build them ourselves.

In the beginning, it was weird because it felt like cheating, and it was like it’s not the real thing but you have to hit it hard if you want to sound it big you know? The album was recorded in a motorcycle garage, and we used the actual reverb, and just recorded the entire album with two microphones. Not like everyone else would, close mic-ing it and then all these mix tricks that everyone has. Then when you wanna put it on a stage you realise a bass drum on a stage all of a sudden isn’t in a motorcycle garage anymore, so you get the typical bass drum sound, and it didn’t sound like what we had recorded. So to be able to do that we have a trigger that actually triggers the bass drum and snare sound to sound like that, that’s all.

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MJ: It’s an awesome sound. Sounds really cool. Fynn tell us about the rig that you’ve got set up.

Fynn: Ya well, um, I tried out so many guitars and, like, from no-name stuff to all the good stuff that’s out there, and I always try to get like newer guitars because it’s not like that complicated and you can get them everywhere, and some of them are really cheap. But they always sound very plastic to me, like, I just didn’t like it. So what I did was try out all the old stuff, and it started out with the old Gibson my dad had.

We were hanging out in Los Angeles while we were recording the, and still writing the album, and I bought this very old Gibson ES125, which is an old cut-away and almost looks like an acoustic guitar. I think it’s like from the early sixties, and I bought it for super cheap from this awesome guitar store in the middle of nowhere. Like it was in Los Angeles in this street called Santa Nella, and this dude, he was a great dude, he was the weirdest dude ever. It was a funny story behind it. Anyway, I bought it for super super cheap, and basically that’s the whole sound of the album is that guitar, a very very cheap preamp, and through a custom made amp I made. It’s actually a Marshall amp that I put into an old Jennings, which basically is Vox combo, ya.

pbMJ: And, you’ve got some stomp boxes as well which you tend to tinker around with to your heart’s content.

Fynn: Ya well the thing is on the album I really just use that, but you always have to re-create it for live, you know, because our set is very dynamic, and if you just use that setup it doesn’t come across like that, it always feels like one, it’s the same loudness, you know, the whole set. So I’ve got two of these preamps to get a one louder one, and one for the other guitar because it sounds a little different. And then I have a delay where I do funny stuff with, I got a fuzz to get it much more fuzzier, what else do I have… it’s a funny thing, it’s a handmade, like a handmade preamp too. It’s a booster, it’s called the Moon Booster from a company called Redson Effects. I wanna mention this because they’re… I just found out about these and they’re super good. I got that one in my set now. I got a Fender… ya he made it for me. That’s another thing, ya he made it for me, which is… I love when it’s custom made for someone’s stuff. I got a Fender reverb, it’s like a remake of a big old Fender reverb, with like a small pedal. And then I have another thing that’s like re-creating the roomy sound that I always have, that’s over everything. Ya it just has a little room sound to it.

Another thing I’d like to mention is for this album we forbid ourselves to listen to music for two years so we don’t get wrong influence, you know? Because it happens so fast today that you listen to something new, that’s like a new band, and you’re like oh wow that’s awesome, and you end up in the practice room sounding just like that. And to not have that we forbid each other to listen to music. So all we had was Katie Perry and Lady Gaga for like two years.

And then what happened is like, so the thing why we did it, we wanted to get the raw, raw’s always a good word, a raw sound out of it. Like, what’s us without the influence of other bands, just like from now on. And we got inspired by so many other stuff that has nothing to do with music, just being in the desert in California or stuff like that, you know. That’s why sounds like PCH Diamond happened. PCH is the Pacific Coast Highway that goes along the whole Pacific coast, and stuff like that. So that was a cool experience. I just wanted to say that.

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MJ: I take it that the tour your has been going really well?

Fynn: It’s going really well, The Answer are super cool dudes, and became really close friends with them. And ya, the other band, Bad Touch too, shout out to them, ‘cos they work really hard too. So ya, it’s a cool tour.

MJ: Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time, and all the very best for the rest of the tour with The Answer.

Fynn: Well, to everybody that doesn’t know us yet here in the UK, everybody that knows us and hasn’t seen us, would be rad, we’re coming back for sure on our own tour in May!

Go visit…Like/Follow www.thepicturebooks.com Facebook Twitter IG YouTube

Cheers

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

 

INTERVIEW: Bad Touch discuss their debut album ‘Half Way Home’

A Norfolk five-piece who are turning heads and going places in the industry, Bad Touch blend together elements of classic, 80’s rock with blues licks to create a powerhouse of melodic rock. Listing Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes and Rival Sons amongst their influences, they are a band who love to turn up the volume, but also infuse their songs with subtlety and melody.

It bodes well for new album ‘Halfway Home’, due out at the end of April, and we got a taste of their style when we played their lead single ‘Wise Water’ on the show last week

https://soundcloud.com/bad-touch-demo/wise-water-1/s-h6g57

The album has been a long time coming for Bad Touch as it’s been 5 years since their inception. Having started with cover songs, their set has evolved into their own material. Which they have taken the time to hone and mould into their own style. Patiently working on their own material before launching into a debut album, the result is truly impressive.

Bad Touch are currently supporting The Answer on their UK tour and prior to them taking the stage at Chinnery’s, Southend-On-Sea, last week, I sat down with all five members of the band and began by asking about the length of time it’s taken them to release their debut album.

btouchMJ: ‘Half Way Home’ is your debut album. It’s been a long time coming. We played the lead single ‘Wise Water’ on the show last week and I can tell you that it went down really well with the listeners.

Stevie: I’m glad that you say your listeners like Wise Water. Yes, it has been a long time coming. Well, it was just that we all wanted to make sure that, when we got this album out, we wanted to do it right. So, you know, we wanted to make sure that people wanted it. We’d done a few UK tours, and we got our name out there. So, we thought, let’s do the album because people want it.

MJ: There’s a lot of people that have seen you fellas play. They like your music and we get requests to play Bad Touch. Seeks, how’s that sound to you with the reaction that you’re getting from the album?

Seeks: It’s lovely. It’s great that people are asking for us to play our own music. It’s fantastic. I mean I don’t know how anyone else would feel about it, but just for people wanting our music being played is the whole point we do it, you know?

MJ: Let me turn to Bailey. What is it you’re enjoying most about this album?

Bailey: I’m loving it. We spent ages writing it, recording it. And it’s now actually out there for people to listen to. That’s nice to actually hear them say that they’re enjoying it as well.

IMG_3459MJ: George, tell us about the songwriting on this album. Have you all taken a share of responsibilities?

George: We sort of write each song in a different way. Like on some of them one person might have written 90% of it, but other songs you might just get a guitar riff and then we all sort of collaborated together. But, in general, it’s hugely more or less one person has the germ idea, and then we all take it away, and then we all write our own parts to it. And lyrics can be done in one night or one year, you know?

Stevie: That’s one of the things I love about being in Bad Touch the best is getting everyone else’s ideas and going, “Wow. That sounds awesome. I’d have never have thought of that.”

MJ: Rob, you’re obviously testing out the new songs on this tour?

Rob: On the set at the moment is all the new stuff from the album. There’s no sort of old tracks from the old EP. But, we’ve got a couple more experimental tracks on the album where we sort of do our thing where it goes on for a little while. They’re blues-y, slower. So, we try to keep it more upbeat with the set that we’re doing. But, obviously, we’ve got half an hour set, so we sort of want to get on there, do our thing, and then come off. So, it’s going well at the moment. The Answer guys, they sort of pick the particular tracks they like, and they’ve been really cool about it. So, it’s all going well.

MJ: And the feedback, Stevie, on this tour with The Answer has been really positive.

Stevie: Yeah. It’s lovely to have all these people saying how much they’re enjoying it, both the album and the live performances and stuff like that. I mean, but we take criticism where criticism is due just like we take credit. We’re quite aware that we’re not breaking any sort of boundaries with regards to musical experimentation. We’re quite happy doing what we do and it being feel good, rock music, you know? I think too many times people are caught up in it and the brains behind it and think, “Oh, we’ve got to be new. We’ve got to…” It’s like, if it sounds good and you enjoy playing it, then that’s all that matters. And, if people enjoy it, then even better, you know?

badtMJ: You seem to have found your feet with this album.

Stevie: Oh, that’s very kind of you. No, we definitely wanted to make sure that you say that. The thing with this album, which I’m most happy is that it sounds like us. If you came to see us and bought the album, you wouldn’t get the album home and go, “This doesn’t sound like them.” It captures us or what it is to be Bad Touch, you know?

George: In the album, we’ve tried things on the album that is different, but that’s the whole point of an album. But, it’s not like we’ve gone synthesizers, and electric drum kits, and things. It’s basically a five-piece rock band doing what they do, you know? And we did everything on the album.

MJ: Well, we’re going to leave it here because you’re off to sound check. Thanks so much for chatting with us on The Classic Rock Show. Last few words from you guys for the fans out there?

Seeks: A big thank you everyone and to your listeners for the support.

Rob: Yeah. Thanks a lot everyone. You’ve been great.

George: Yeah. Keep coming to the gigs and keep rocking!

Bailey: If you haven’t heard the album yet, we hope you enjoy it.

Stevie: Just want to say thanks for listening and, even more so, thanks for wanting us. And thanks too to The Classic Rock Show for putting us up.

Bad Touch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeInstagram and www.badtouchrocks.co.uk

Cheers

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

NEWS: Metal Icons W.A.S.P. Sign to Napalm Records! New album coming in August!

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Almost six years have passed since the world saw a new studio album from Metal Icons W.A.S.P. That is about to change as W.A.S.P. has signed a new worldwide record deal with Austria’s Napalm Records. W.A.S.P. will release their 15th studio album titled Golgotha this August.

W.A.S.P. are excited to announce they have signed an exclusive recording contract with Napalm Records.  We chose Napalm for their personal belief and professional commitment to our career.  We’re looking forward to years of great success together starting with the release of our upcoming album Golgotha“, states W.A.S.P. front man Blackie Lawless.

Vice President of Napalm Records Thomas Caser on W.A.S.P. joining Napalm Records:
“It is a true honor to announce this signing today, a dream has come true. With their impressive career and ability to create musical masterpieces W.A.S.P have always been one of the most influential Metal bands out there since the beginning of their career. We are thrilled about the upcoming album Golgotha which will be released this summer!”

W.A.S.P. came out of the Los Angeles Metal scene in 1982 gaining notoriety for their shock rock antics. With a career spanning over 3 decades, 17 world tours, and now their 15th studio album, they are a metal band that has evolved in maturity without having lost their signature sound, unlike many of their peers from their origins. Golgotha will continue down the path that 2007’s Dominator and 2009’s Babylon started on, both in production style and theme. Six years in the making, Golgotha will undoubtedly lead the listeners on the emotionally epic undertaking that W.A.S.P. has become acclaimed for!

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

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INTERVIEW: The Answer’s Micky Waters on their new album ‘Raise A Little Hell’

imageThe Answer’s new album ‘Raise A Little Hell’, out on Napalm Records, crashed into the UK charts with their highest chart placing ever. Making number 44 in national UK Album chart, Number 1 in the Rock Chart and Number 6 in the Indie Album chart.

the answerFeaturing larger-than-life riffs, unforgettable melodies and a return to their raw bluesy roots! ‘Raise A Little Hell’ presents a collection of hard hitting anthems that point to the spirit of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy. The album is a follow up to the critically acclaimed 2013 release New Horizon and was preceded by their first single “Red”, roundly given the thumbs-up by our listeners.

“Red” was penned by Nashville writers Neil Mason (The Cadillac Three) and Tyler Bryant and was one of two previously penned songs that The Answer very much wanted to record as part of the ‘Raise A Little Hell’ album and to give their own unique sound to. The single video was directed by Darren Lee from Maverick Renegade Productions and features uniquely designed ‘Monster’ costumes created by Belfast based Christine Boyle whose design credits include Game Of Thrones and Universal’s Your Highness.

The new album, produced by Spanish producer Guillermo ‘Will’ Maya and recorded in his Madrid studio, September 2014 was also mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Garbage) in London, October 2014. Cormac Neeson from the band commented:
“We’re delighted to announce our new album ‘Raise A Little Hell’. This is a special record that reflects a return to the hard ass blues rock ‘n’ roll we hold so dear. This album truly showcases who we are and the best of The Answer in full flow. We can’t wait for you all to hear it!”

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Following on from their single release “Red”, the Irish Rockers have now released a brand new lyric video for the track “Long Live The Renegades”. The band commented on the song:
“‘Long Live The Renegades’ is the opening track on our new album ‘Raise A Little Hell’. It’s a bit of a rocker and we tried a slightly different production technique on this track by keeping it very dry. The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality. This is our fifth album and we’ve gone back to our earlier blues and roots style with what we think are harder rockin’ grooves. Hope you like it as much as we do!”

Earlier this month (March 2015), The Answer embarked on a 40 date headline UK and European club tour followed by a series of summer festivals and soon to be announced US tour plans!

We caught up with Bassist Micky Waters down at Chinnery’s, Southend-on-Sea, where they performed later that night to an audience who were sufficiently familiar enough with songs from the new album to sing along to them.

MJ: Raise A Little Hell. It’s number 1 in the UK album charts! Congratulations!

Micky: Thank you, we’re really proud of it, actually, this record to be honest is the first we’ve been in the studio without an agenda at all. We just really had a bunch of really fresh ideas, some cool riffs, some chorus ideas, and trusted in each other’s I guess ability to put the songs together on the spot. And that was the vibe. There were a couple of songs that were almost there but even they were kind of rewritten in the studio, just soaking up the atmosphere of the four of us being up in the mountains in the middle of Spain hanging out there. Just getting stuck into it, you know?

MJ: A different approach for this album, then?

Micky: Yeah, it really is. Honestly we really don’t care anymore. We’re just doing what we want to do. In the past we had been told, “You’re too Led Zeppelin or you don’t have a song to get on mainstream radio”. We were told all these things. We listened to all those things. This time around we’re like you know what? We’re all in our early 30s now, we don’t really care, just going to go in the studio and do exactly the kind of record we can get off on. And that’s the result of it.

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MJ: This is your fifth album. It must be very pleasing for you guys to get the album sounding in such a way that everybody throughout the band is pleased with it.

Micky: Yeah this is probably the first one that hasn’t been dented by being passed along, demo a song, then listened to it, and re-demoed with it, tweak it, tweak things, add things, take things away, this one everything that you hear is fresh. The first idea that was written that was put down, that’s exactly what it is. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, we’re proud of every record we’ve ever done. We put our heart and soul and a lot of work into every single one of them, but this one in particular is a lot freer. There’s a lot more expression on it I think.

MJ: And it’s come easier this time around?

Micky: Yeah it came so quick. Was only I would say a month, two months, we finished tour last April/May time, and basically took a month to chill out, and then stuck it in and we were finished by September.

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Micky Waters

MJ: And working with Will Mayer, you’ve known each other for quite some time now.

Micky: He’s a very old friend. Again he knows us guys as musicians and personally better. He’s just very good at getting a performance out of us. And creates an atmosphere that is funny and vibey. He’s a very funny guy. He keeps us going and laughing. You know? He’s very creative. We were making Talk Boxes and setting up a strange kind of, setting up the Ampeg flight case and putting a beater on it to get a sound. Pots and pans and everything….trying everything and recording it to see what would happen. We’ve never done that before. So lots of creative things going on all the time.

MJ: “Red” has been very popular on the show.

Micky: Going down great every night. Not that it surprised me, but it’s actually going down a lot better than I thought it would. Last night, in Liverpool, Cormac was in the front row. It was St Patrick’s Day, and he handed round some whiskey and little glasses to the front row. And we started playing that song. Had a bit of a groove going. The whole place was going off. It was really good fun!

MJ: Tell us about you’ve been evolving through this tour.

Micky: Again, this tour has been really…we just want to refresh everything. We believe we’ve got strong material now that we can replace some of the older songs and create a different show for our fans to come to and I have a chat with our fans every night and actually thanking me for replacing and refreshing the set. It’s a different vibe, you know?

10995297_10153569539371102_1033716420126972622_oMJ: You’ve been ably supported by Bad Touch and The Picturebooks on this tour.

Micky: Great bunch of lads. The Picturebooks have got a really interesting sound going on. Really interesting set up. The Bad Touch guys really have their stuff together. More than most bands that have played with us before. They’re really tight, really good musicians. Pleasure to have both of them on board, to be honest.

 

MJ: Other than rounding off this rather extensive tour, what else have The Answer got in store for us in 2015?

Micky: This is really the warm up, we finish the UK, then we go to Europe until mid-May. And then we do a couple of festivals, couple of really good ones including Hellfest, in France, which is in my opinion the best festival in Europe. Pretty awesome lineup there. Really excited about that. Airborne going right after us and we know those boys pretty well. Going to be a good laugh. We’ll all be beer drinking at dawn that day. And then we’re off to the States for six weeks to tour. Some shows with Whitesnake and a lot of shows by ourselves. So it’s, you know, that will take us up to August, then after that who knows. I kind of take it one day at a time to be honest.

MJ: Well, Mickey thanks ever so much for sitting down with us today. You’re going to be running off very shortly for a sound check. Last words for the fans out there?

Micky: Thank you very much for supporting us. If you haven’t gotten it already, go get our “Number 1 Rock album” Raise a Little Hell…stick it on. turn it on really loud and enjoy.

MJ: Doesn’t that sound good saying “Number 1 Rock album”?

Micky: (Laughs) It does, actually. Cheers!

The Answer are on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramOfficial Website.

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
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Live and direct from 7pm GMT…Tonight! #classicrock

This week has come around so quickly. More great music is in store, however, including your requests as well as a sprinkling of album tracks from LPs released this week back in the day from the likes of Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Extreme, Pantera, Europe, Poison, Kiss, Aerosmith and Coverdale Page.

We’ve also got the new single from Motor Sister who are fast becoming my fave band of Q1 2015, along with a homage to three musicians who passed away this past week…Mike Porcaro (Toto), Bruce Crump (Molly Hatchet) and Andy Fraser (Free).

Join the listening rock party from 7pm GMT www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk

TCRS tonight

 

INTERVIEW: “Oh-Hell-YeeHaw!” WhiskeyDick are coming to the UK!

Cult favourites WhiskeyDick return to the UK this March to blow minds with a double barrel blast of dreadnaught shredding and hillbilly bellowing that makes you want to knock back a shot, stand up tall, and holler “Oh-Hell-YeeHaw!”

The Fort Worth duo carry on the Texas traditions of super-powered guitar slinging and clever songwriting that make lone star music a worldwide curiosity, except Reverend Johnson will remind you more of Dimebag Darrell than Billy Gibbons and Fritz remains more lyrically akin to David Allen Coe than Robert Earl Keen.

WhiskeyDick’s live show is a true spectacle: two giant, tattooed, mean-looking dudes saunter on stage and sit down on 2 chairs, then pick up acoustic guitars and proceed to amaze everyone by generating more power than a full band by means of Fritz’s deep, rich vocals, Johnson’s unapproachable acoustic guitar heroics, and their triumphant songwriting.

It’s their approach to music and the message they carry that’s resonating with the legion of Dimebag Darrell’s fans and viewers of hit tv show ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ which has resulted in the duo’s song ‘Drunk As Hell’ fast approaching 1 MILLION views on Youtube.

WhiskeyDick release their best of album ‘Welcome To YeeHaw County’ 24th April 2015 via record label Rusty Knuckles. We spoke to Fritz ahead of their forthcoming UK Tour.

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MJ: Welcome to the Classic Rock Show, Fritz. How on earth does a name like WhiskeyDick come about, firstly?

300x300F: Thank you. Man, I appreciate it. Yeah the band name. Well, we kind of did some drinking a couple of nights in a row and we were playing some shows and didn’t really have a band name, this was about ten years ago, a little more than ten years ago, actually, and after one night of the heavy drunken debauchery, we had a couple of names floating around in our heads and we knew we liked whiskey, and we were on our way to a show, actually, and I was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle and it just kind of hit me and I blurted it out real loud as we were going down the road. And actually Reverend Johnson (Whiskeydisck’s lead guitarist) wasn’t really happy, didn’t really like the name right off the bat, but kind of stuck after a couple of minutes and then kind of I called the venue right then and said we’re coming, we’re ready to play, and we’re Whiskey Dick and it just kind of stuck. And here we are ten years later with the same band name.

MJ: We’re talking via Skype and I can’t help noticing a poster behind you of the big man himself Hank Williams. I guess you are a big fan of Hank and of country music in general. I dare say there’s a Doc Watson photo or poster somewhere in the Fritz household.

F:  Yeah, there is one out in the studio somewhere. This is a gift. I am a huge fan of the [Hank Williams] Senior and we come from metal roots but we always loved our Country [music] that we’ve grown up with and it’s kind of a way of life around here, where we’re from, so kind of born and bred into it.

10250038_855339887864339_3721610910997277075_nMJ: How much of those guys influence you?

F: I tell you, I’m very heavily influenced in the old country stuff, Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings, and I think a lot of it comes from growing up and listening to the music on old vinyl records. Wasn’t just the old country, but it was Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan and a whole slew of amazing artists growing up. And I think that my vocal range was more in that register, you know, with the way I have a very low twang, I guess, I think I mumble, [laughs] but the old sound and kind of really honed in on that. So I try to surround myself with all of the music that I’ve been influenced by my whole life. My writing style and all that stuff and taking shape and mould it into my own. But there’s always a little piece of Hank Senior in my head and Waylon Jennings floating around there too. Heavily influenced by those guys and the way they lived, they lived their music. So that’s what me and Reverend do. We live every minute of it. So, the night I spoke it and it kind of goes hand in hand.

MJ: You share song writing duties?

F: Yeah. The way we write, you know, we take life experiences that we’ve lived through, you know, and take them and sometimes alter them a little bit so they don’t sound so drab or anything. But you know, things that we’ve lived through and come out alive still, are amazing, some of the stuff that we’ve gone through and try to take some of that and use it to our advantage and our music. And I think that’s another reason why when we play live it’s more of an emotional thing for us because we’re really tapping into some stuff that we’ve been through all together and being apart and being together we’ve gone through a lot of stuff. And to me, real good soul music, music from the soul, is good for the soul. And we try to incorporate that as much as we can in our music. Because I mean it’s all we do. We live it and then we write about it. You know? That’s the way they did it back in the old days.

MJ: “Drunk as Hell” written some few years ago now, has really came to prominence on the back of having been on the soundtrack to “Sons of Anarchy” episode. For a two-piece band to get a song on a mainstream TV show, tell us about how you felt the reaction yourselves?

F: You know, it’s still kind of shocking. Just for them to even contact us and want to use our music was mind-blowing to us! We’re just two dudes and you know for someone, for anybody, for that matter, to take something that we’ve written from in here in our souls and our hearts and actually like it enough to want to use it for a show was, we were floored by that, you know. We’ve always been a two-piece and so it’s just the two of us and kind of look at each other like, wow! [laughs] I don’t think some of it has even set in all the way yet, you know, all together, how far we’ve come and just doing it with hard work and lots of hard work and sticking with it. And fighting through whatever it is that comes our way and got to overcome all of that stuff. So I think as a two-piece we’ve been able to do that pretty successfully.

yeehawcountyfrontgoodMJ: You guys have been together for not far short of 10 years. Five studio albums and a live album as well, you can rattle through quite a number of tracks, what can the audience look forward to?

F: We try to mix it up and do a little bit off of every album. We’re doing a lot of songs, like I think four songs and five songs in our set from our Drunk as Hell album which is our third release that we released in 2010 and “Drunk as Hell” is actually the title track of the album. So, that one we always try to incorporate in our set just because it’s fun to play and the people seem to really like it and relate to it. We have a couple new songs off of the Devil’s Boots album that we’ve really been playing live a lot, “Yee-Haw” is one of them and it’s another acoustic metal kind of feel to it, over here in the States we call it like a Southern Metal groove kind of song. There are some songs from our Wicked Roots album which is our fourth release that we released in 2012 and that was more of an acoustic-driven song. There’s no distortion or anything on that whole album. “Murder Love Song” is one, “Mountain Town,” from the First Class White Trash album. And we do “Train Riding and Gun Totin’” [laughs] and that one is always good because it gets everyone moving and wanting to drink some beers with us. So we try to mix it up a little bit. This tour we have got a compilation album that we’re putting out called ‘Welcome To YeeHaw County’, only released over in the UK and it’s 13 songs and I believe we’ve got at least 3 songs from each album. So we’ve been playing a lot of those songs, too. We’ve got some old songs that we’re going to pull out that we haven’t played even in the States in a while and as we realised the other day, as of right now we’ve got 74 original songs so we’re trying to weed through them all and pick out the ones that we really want to focus on and play them to the best of our abilities.

MJ: You were over here in August/September last year [2014]. What are you looking forward to most when you come back to the UK?

WDUKTOURPOSTERF: We’re really looking forward to getting back over there and playing some music and meeting the people and having a good time. It’s what it’s really all about, you know? We’ve had a boost of fans from our last tour online and stuff and a bunch of them are planning to come out to a lot of the shows and we’re just really looking forward to meeting the people and playing and putting on a good show for them and really kind of putting our foot down and saying here we are, we hope you like us, and let’s have a beer. That’s the goal of ours, to frequent over there and tour over there as much as we can. It’s a new area and we’ve been touring the States here for almost the last five years pretty much non-stop. And it’s a whole other world over there. The first time we went over we absolutely fell in love with everything about it. So we’re really looking forward to getting back over there and putting on some good shows and having a good time with everybody and raise a little hell.

MJ: Great to finally hook up with you Fritz. Good luck with the UK Tour and the compilation album

F: Yeah, I believe we’re playing, we haven’t really set everything in stone yet but we’re already trying to come back in the fall.

F: Just want to thank you for having me on and really, really appreciate it and we’re looking forward to getting over there and playing some good ole southern acoustic metal/country hillbilly yee-haw music. We are going to have a lot of new merchandise with us on this tour. Some hats, some shirts coming with us and some of the new compilation album which we’re really happy about. Just looking forward to getting over there and doing out thing, man. And like I said I really appreciate you having me on, MJ.

WhiskeyDick release their best of album ‘Welcome To YeeHaw County’ 24th April 2015 via record label Rusty Knuckles.
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WhiskeyDick March 2015 Tour Dates:
Thu 19th – LONDON – The Big Red
Fri 20th – PETERBOROUGH – Iron Horse Ranch House
Sun 22nd – SHEFFIELD – South Sea
Mon 23rd – LIVERPOOL – Caledonia
Tue 24th – DARLINGTON – The Quakehouse
Wed 25th – EDINBURGH – Bannermans
Thu 26th – BRISTOL – Maverick Studios
Fri 27th – CARDIFF – The Moon Club
Sat 28th – BOURNEMOUTH – The Anvil
Fritz and Johnson return to the UK in May 2015:
Sat 2nd – OXFORD – The Wheatsheaf
Sun 3rd – MILTON KEYNES – Craufurd Arms
Hit ‘em up!