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
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

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