#NEWS The Darkness to unleash a new single ‘Last Of Our Kind’ 21st August

Thedarkness-logo.svg

Having recently stormed Download with a secret set backed with a crowd of barbarians (and a 30 row strong crowd outside the tent!) The Darkness unleash a new single on 21st August.  ‘Last of Our Kind’ is the title track of their recent 4th album which entered the UK charts at No. 12 on its release in June. The song has been described as ‘part Van Halen, part Waterboys, ALL The Darkness’. It features a record-smashing choir of several thousand Darkness enthusiasts (The Darkness Army) who each contributed their individual performances using the Internet service.    The single, described by one reviewer as “(the track’s) effortlessly catchy hooks and righteous leads deliver pure rock perfection”, is a stomping rocker which demands hands be thrown in the air (when not playing air guitar on the excellent solo).

The album ‘Last of Our Kind’ has received some of the best reviews of the bands career to date with Classic Rock proclaiming it “A glorious return to form for the flamboyant rockers … they’ve only gone and made their finest album since Permission To Land” whilst Total Guitar said “Their very British blend of battle rock and classy ballads still hits the spot.”

The band have also announced a UK tour for November/December where they will entertain and astonish fans all over the country with their marvellous tunes and killer riffs.  A few UK festival spots will also warm them up nicely.

Summer:

4 July                         WICKLOW, Groove Festival (Ireland)
5 July                         WATERFORD, Daytripper Festival (Ireland)
12 July                       CHELMSFORD, Brownstock Festival
9 August                    NEWQUAY, Boardmasters Festival
30 August                  PORTSMOUTH, Victorious Festival

Winter:

30 November          NORWICH, Open
1 December            CAMBRIDGE, Corn Exchange
2 December            NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
4 December            NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
5 December            GLASGOW, O2 Academy
9 December            LEEDS, O2 Academy
10 December          MANCHESTER, Academy
11 December           BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy
13 December           BRISTOL, O2 Academy
14 December           SOUTHAMPTON, O2 Guildhall
15 December           BEXHILL, De La Warr Pavillion
17 December           BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
19 December           OXFORD, O2 Academy
20 December          LONDON, Roundhouse

Tickets on sale now priced £25.00 & London £27.50 adv.
http://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/the-darkness-tickets

The Hawkins Brothers, Frankie Poullain with new drummer Rufus Taylor

The Hawkins Brothers, Frankie Poullain with new drummer Rufus Taylor

THE DARKNESSJUSTIN HAWKINS (vocals/lead guitar), DAN HAWKINS (guitars/backing vocals), FRANKIE POULLAIN (bass/backing vocals) and RUFUS TAYLOR (drums)

Follow on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/TheDarknessSpotify
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedarknesso…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedarkness
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theactualdarkness

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

INTERVIEW: Diff’rent Strokes for different folks. SOiL’s Tim King and Ryan McCombs talk candidly.

SO_W-P07_smallThe album “Whole” (AFM Records, 2013) redefined what Soil was all about. Ryan McCombs, having returned to the band in 2011, bringing back his trademark punch-in-the-face vocals and lyrics, matching the killer riffs and rhythms of Tim King (Bass) and Adam Zadel (guitar).

Last year (2013) following a more than successful tour with Skindred, the band returned to the USA only for Ryan to then suffer a Stroke while at home. Not unsurprisingly, Ryan’s stoicism and dry sense of humour held fast throughout this episode. His recovery has, thankfully, continued to progress well, such that the band have been able to use the unforeseen time out, to focus on their own health, family and friends. 

Soil have now made a welcome return to the UK in support of Coal Chamber’s ‘Rivals’ tour. We sat down with Tim and Ryan before they took to the stage at The Waterfront, Norwich. As usual with Soil, there’s a lot of humour and laughter in the room.

TCRS: Welcome back to Norwich. The last time we saw you in the city was with Skindred back in January 2014.

Ryan: That was a great tour.

TCRS: ‘Whole’, your last album, had certainly gained a lot of traction with the fans by then.

Tim: Yes, it’s actually done really well for us. The fans received it really well and it sold well. We couldn’t have asked for anything more in this day and age.

Coal Chamber UK tour dates

Coal Chamber UK tour dates

TCRS: You continue to move your setlist around, keeping it fresh.

Tim: Yeah, we’ve been throwing in something a little special each time we come, so it’s not the same show.

Ryan: There’s a handful of songs we have to play, otherwise we’ll get lynched afterwards! [laughs] If we didn’t play ‘Halo’, somebody would’ve definitely poked my eyes out after the show. So there’s a handful of songs you have to play, but we always try to throw in a little something different here and there depending on the length of set.

Tim: Like in this one (tour) we threw in a song off the Redefine album called ‘Pride’ and we haven’t played that in awhile [Editor’s Note: 10 years?] and we brought ‘Black Betty’, the Ram Jam cover, back in on this one too. A little something special.

TCRS: How’s your health, Ryan?

Ryan: Shit! It sucks!

TCRS: But you went through a bit a spell last year where things weren’t…

Ryan: Last time I was here, I went home and decided to have a stroke.

TCRS: How are you now?

Ryan: I’m fine, until we get tired, my speech starts to slur a bit. I get tired and I got this stupid right leg that it doesn’t let me run really, so if a bear jumps in the room real quick, all it has got to is outrun me because I brisk walk it will outrun me at this point [laughs]. But I was so lucky, the type of stroke that I had, the recovery time that I had from it, doctors were just amazed by it and didn’t understand it and so I was really blessed by the after effects were so minimal in my case… so yeah I went home, I went to bed that night, straight from getting off the plane from being over here and woke up with a stroke! But it’s been cool, because I’ve had a good surroundings, you know whether it’s at home or whether it’s the band members and stuff. We took the needed time off to make sure that I could do it without my brain blowing up. It’s just a matter of being smart about what I do and taking life in moderation, dealing with the old chest thumper and the head jelly and making sure everything is going to be fine.

TCRS: Tim, seeing Ryan the way he was, what was your immediate reaction?

Tim: It scared the crap out of me! My long term girlfriend, she also had a stroke, so I…

Ryan: My ‘Stroke buddy’.

Tim: Yeah, I mean it hit double as hard, because I had to deal with her stroke and then Ryan. But it actually kind of helped me, because I knew what she went through, so I was able to know what Ryan was going through and really try to be there as much as I could for him and figure out stuff for the band.

Ryan: Yeah he sent me a book ‘Dealing with a Stroke for Dummies’ [laughter]. I think what we really need to pay attention to though is the one common factor here, there’s two people that had strokes and Tim knows them both! [more laughter]

Tim: We didn’t really know what was going to happen to the future and we kind of looked at it as, you know, “What if it is over? We have had an amazing time, but if it’s not, we’re just going to change some things and do whatever we need to make it to where we can keep on doing it” and that’s kind of the approach we take with it.

Ryan: Luckily my time away from the band there was a couple other singers though, so if I do happen to stroke out, there are always replacements [laughs].

Tim: No we’re not coming back. When one of us has gone off the list, I think it’s time to say “Sayonara”.

Ryan: Not the way I see it, I’m getting cardboard cutouts of you guys! Can we do that next tour? I’m getting old [laughs]. Seriously tho’, one of the great things about these guys is that they go into every run with the knowledge that I need to take life differently than I use to. So when it usually comes down to sleeping I make sure that I get my sleep. They’re being mom and dad, making sure I take my medicine and stuff. Everybody is very conscious of the situation, just really helping to make sure my butt is in the quietest place in the bus and I’m getting some rest.

TCRS: Ryan, I know you’re huge Football (American Football) fan. How was the draft for the Browns (Cleveland Browns)?

Tim: They’re an awesome basketball team.

Ryan: That’s his knowledge of sports right there!

Tim: That’s my cue to exit! [laughs]

Tim: I loved it. The two players that they took in the first round, Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving, were two of the three guys that I had said like a week before that I would take, so I couldn’t have been happier. First, I got to go for the first me and my brother talked about going to the draft for 25+ years and actually be there and I won my pass and I won. I’ve never won anything in my life, so I got to take my brother. So after 25- 30 years of talking about it, we were finally there, at the draft and it was a really cool experience! But I think even in the later round picks, I liked the kid from Washington State (Xavier Cooper), the defensive tackle. I couldn’t complain, even their 7th round pick to take the Cornerback out of the Cardinals…should’ve been the first round pick because he was still healthy last year. So I think they really filled a lot of holes.

TCRS: And “Deflategate“?

Tim: Man, I’m so… so tired of it. If something was right, I’d say it was right. If something was wrong, I say it’s wrong. In their (New England Patriots) case, if you broke the rules, you pay the price, it’s that simple. When you refuse to give items up, to be looked into, such as in his case, they wanted to take a look at his emails and take a look at his cell phones, text messages and stuff, and he refused to do that, to me when you refuse to show that you’re innocent, that means you’re hiding something. It’s like all these guys in sports, regardless of the team, regardless if they get in trouble for something and they pay the situation off. If you’re innocent of something bad, you want to be known that you’re innocent. At least I would want to know. If I’m getting blamed for jay-walking and I wasn’t jay-walking, I want to be known that I’m innocent of it. I’m not going to go pay somebody off to show that I’m not innocent or not give you the stuff that would prove that I’m innocent. To me, when people do that, you’re guilty, it’s done.

TCRS: Tim do you think that question has got it out of this system for this tour?

Ryan: He heard “Football” and his mind was like *Ping* [holds up a bottle of water] “Man this is the best water I’ve had in ages, this is really good water…I wonder what’s in this water, where’s this water from?”

Tim: I mean you guys may have just been talking Spanish for all I know, I just kind of shut the switch off and turned it back on.  [laughter]

Soil-TourTCRS: For Soil, obviously you’ve got this tour with Coal Chamber here in the UK, and then Europe. Straight after that, it’s back to the States?

Tim: We do the UK and then we have four European shows with Coal Chamber and then we’re going back to the States for two weeks, then we start up with Powerman 5000 on a tour of the States. So it’s just kind of like this is a proper third leg of the whole cycle [with ‘Whole’], so we actually did like three proper UK, Europe and States tours in this, so it was kind of cool to have it like that instead of non-stop tour. We’ve been out for a long time on this record.

Ryan: We had to sit still too long while I was wrestling around with the brain. These doctors are sucking my wallet out clean. We’ve got to get out of that place and get some air!

TCRS: And put down another record?

Tim: Funnily enough, right before this run, we were talking about doing new songs and stuff and throwing some rough ideas and discussing it. So we’re a little strapped for time right now because we do this and then go into Powerman, but you know definitely after that we’ll work on some new stuff. It’s kind of like the age old, it’s so weird nowadays in the business, whether you put out a few songs, put out a full length record, so we’re just going to see where it takes, see how many songs we get and more likely there’ll at least be some EP of some sort.

TCRS: Well listen fellows it’s been an absolute joy to catch up with you guys again and get to see you perform back in the UK. You’ve got a strong following here.

Tim: It’s been a blessing. The UK crowd in particular, has just embraced us from day one. It’s always fun. We were laughing earlier, we’ll come here as long as they let us and even after they stop letting us, we’re coming back to annoy the shit out of everybody.

Soil are currently touring the UK with Coal Chamber, along with the Defiled and Dope.

Official Soil links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

UK Tour w/ Soil, the Defiled & Dope
20.05.15 UK – Leeds / Stylus
21.05.15 UK – Norwich / The Waterfront
22.05.15 UK – Warwick / Copper Rooms
23.05.15 UK – Nottingham / Rock City
24.05.15 UK – Glasgow / O2 ABC
26.05.15 UK – Bristol / Motion
27.05.15 UK – Exeter / Lemon Grove
28.05.15 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2
29.05.15 UK – Wolverhampton / Wulfrun
30.05.15 UK – Manchester / The Ritz
31.05.15 UK – London / Koko [Sold Out]

Thanks for visiting.

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

#INTERVIEW: Coal Chamber’s Mikey and Meegs on proving themselves over again

“It’s been 13 years since Coal Chamber put out a record. We all worked so hard on this music to make sure the whole album was a stellar push forward for the band and not some nostalgia trip! If you like it heavy and unique you’ll love ‘Rivals’! This record is full of crushing huge hooks and big down tuned riffs to move ya. Support Heavy music in all its forms!” says Dez Fafara on their new album.

When we eventually come to look back on this year, 2015 will be marked down and under-scored as the year in which the reformed NuMetal band Coal Chamber made a welcome return to the world stage. Not only did they return to the stage, but they came armed with a highly anticipated and stunning new album – ‘Rivals’ – released on Napalm Records.

coal-chamber-rivals

If you thought that Coal Chamber were just going to go through the motions and regurgitate the sound from their previous two albums ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Chamber Music’, then think again. ‘Rivals’ is truly invigorating, helped, not least, by Mark Lewis’ (Producer) deft touch in the studio and the bands’ maturity in their songwriting, as well as how they now handle their own personal relationships. The latter had undergone such extremes, it ultimately lead to the band’s break up some 13 years ago.

We caught up with Mike ‘Mikey’ Cox (drummer) and Miguel ‘Meegs’ Rascón (guitar) at The Waterfront, Norwich, on the second date of their UK tour. We began by asking about how the album was put together and the reaction to the release of ‘Rivals’.

Mikey: Yeah, like the response has been crazy! You know, we kind of just write, we don’t plan on “Oh my God that’s right”, like we tried in the past. You try to write a certain way to try to envision what people want to hear. You write it, and you’re like “Yeah, this sounds like us”. With the new record, I think a lot of it is the fact that we’ve all matured as musicians. We just got older, wiser and me and him (Meegs) spent more time on really locking in all the individual parts, but it still sounds like us.  Our Producer, Mark Lewis (who has produced from Whitechapel and DevilDriver), helped us a lot. We wanted a live, nasty, not perfect record; we didn’t sit and make everything perfect. We did Click Track on the record like we always do, but our tempos go up and down like live, you know? We tried to do it with one tempo and it sounded horrible. It sounded boring, because we’ve always been a band that pushes and pulls. When parts get heavier, we go! All the tones on the record, all his (Meegs) wacky guitar shit, we spent four days just getting drum tones alone, which is crazy! It’s a nightmare going through the process, but in the end you know it just sounds nasty. We wanted a nasty record, that’s my best term for it, ‘nasty’.

TCRS: If I can turn to Meegs – Mike’s been talking about what’s gone down in the studio, but could you explain to us what is so different between how you put this album together and for instance ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Chamber Music’?

Meegs: Well on a personal level, the comradery and the way we treat each other is obviously like night and day. Back then, it was all wacky and fucked up and that definitely kinda like penetrates into your music, you know it definitely affects your music, whether it’s bad or good, but now it’s like you know we get along. We’re great friends and on a personal level it definitely shows in the way we write and also from ‘Dark Days’ to Rivals there’s a big gap. Musically, its progressed to the better, so yeah, so just personally and musically it’s just like night and day, definitely.

TCRS: We were catching up with Dez (Farfara – vocals) earlier, and he was recalling the time all got together and listened back to the final mix of ‘Rivals’, and it was quite an emotional moment for you all?

Mikey: Yeah, I mean when you’re writing the songs… you know, we holed up in a shitty rehearsal space and just do it old school. So me and Meegs always had the vision of how it’s going to sound recorded. Other people walk into a rehearsal space and you’re just jamming this loud, it sounds like shit and you don’t envisage how it’s going to sound polished on the record. When I got that music back, even before Dez did any vocals, I used to work for Snoop Dogg and I would travel four hours total in the day, two hours in the traffic and two hours back, and I listened to it on repeat for months and months and every day I was like I can’t believe how good it sounds and it captured everything we were trying to get and the ones Dez laid vocals and I got just the rough, I was like holy shit! To this day, I can’t believe it came out as good as it did. I’m not saying we’re not capable of it, because obviously we are, but you have a vision of where it’s going to go. Sometimes you get a record and oh shit it’s not as crazy as I thought it would be, you know This song is not as heavy as I thought it would be. With this record, I was like every song, top to bottom, I was like “Holy shit! This sounds good!”. Once we heard the final – we only changed the mixes just a little bit, perhaps three or four times with Mark (Lewis), it was very emotional, because I never in a million years thought we would be sitting here, let alone do a record ever. Mark (Lewis) really helped us and every really stepped up their game. To finally get it to happen, it was very emotional. We’re really proud of the record.

unnamed (2)

TCRS: You’re currently on tour here in the UK. You’ve certainly got some fond memories of the UK, right?

Mikey: Yeah first time we did a signing here was at the Virgin Megastore in London. I was 19 and we were there for like five hours. Got in the cab and they were chasing us down the street in the cab! I called home and I was like “Mom I’m a Beetle, I’m famous!”. I’m so famous, I’m not rich but I’m definitely famous over here.

Meegs: Definitely not rich! [laughs]

Mikey: Yeah. It’s been really good here. We’re looking at it as starting over. We have the old songs we have to play. We love those songs, but for taking that much time off you have to reinvent yourself and you have to prove yourself all over again. You can’t expect to have the same fan base as when you broke up. 13 years is a long time and a lot of bands come back after two years and don’t do shit!

TCRS: No doubt you’ll be introducing a few more new songs to the setlist, but for the time being you’ve got ‘Rivals’ and ‘IOU’?

Mikey: Yeah. We don’t want to play songs that people over here haven’t heard through someone’s iPhone recording and then post it and people think that’s how the record sounds through someone’s phone. Once this tour is over, we’re going to add four more new songs to the set.

IMG-20150521-WA0004

Coal Chamber’s Meegs and Mikey at The Waterfront, Norwich

Meegs: The fans that we do have, obviously, they’re here to see us preform the old songs. But we want to expand the fan base and have the people really hear what we’re doing now, than what we’re doing in the 90s.

TCRS: You’ve moved on?

Mikey: I think with our area of music, with all the bands that grew up with and toured with back in the day, we all turned into crazy assholes and the bands couldn’t stay together and now I think everyone is growing up…

Meegs: We’re no longer in our 20s, so it’s like you’re kind of invincible, you know, in the head space and physically in your 30, 40s.

Mikey: I mean we pretty much lived the life of 50 people, with all the shit we’ve done and experienced in travelling, that’s more than 50 people combined do.

Meegs: Yeah, like here we just became normal and just we’ve done so much that you’ve lived like a couple lifetimes, so we’re good, we’re not going to be old people going oh we should’ve done it, like “No, we did it!”.

Mikey: Yeah, we’re still a bunch of nut cases, we got our things you know… I think every musician is a fucking nut job, all of them.

Meegs: You kind of have to be.

Mikey: We all think way differently from the rest of the world and you know stuff is not realistic and you’re living in a travelling submarine, so your grasp of reality is weighed. When I get home and I do normal stuff with my son. It takes me a second to go “Oh wow! This is normal!”, because you literally in airports and throwing around and pointing in one direction and but it’s definitely a dream come through.

Coal Chamber’s tour support comes from as. These three bands are worth the admission price alone and didn’t disappoint the Norwich faithful on Thursday night (May 21st, 2015).

Coal Chamber came, saw and conquered, rounding off a splendid evening with 13 songs, all delivered with aplomb.

Take it from us, these guys are more focused than ever before…go check ’em out on tour and pick up a copy of ‘Rivals’!

UK Tour w/ Soil, the Defiled & Dope
20.05.15 UK – Leeds / Stylus
21.05.15 UK – Norwich / The Waterfront
22.05.15 UK – Warwick / Copper Rooms
23.05.15 UK – Nottingham / Rock City
24.05.15 UK – Glasgow / O2 ABC
26.05.15 UK – Bristol / Motion
27.05.15 UK – Exeter / Lemon Grove
28.05.15 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2
29.05.15 UK – Wolverhampton / Wulfrun
30.05.15 UK – Manchester / The Ritz
31.05.15 UK – London / Koko [Sold Out]

Coal Chamber band links: Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Thanks for visiting this site. We hope you enjoyed reading the interview.

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

NEWS: Back To The Future? This time it’s no accident we’re going 30 years into the past

DeLorean’s, flux capacitors and Casio calculator watches aside, it’s no accident we’re going 30 years into the past!

This Thursday ‘The Classic Rock Show’ is going to take you back to 1985 in Part 6 of our series of shows entitled ‘Back To The 80s’.

maxresdefault

Join us for little musical trip down memory lane (interspersed with news events from the year): Dio, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Magnum, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton, Asia, Uriah Heep, The Power Station, Heart, Pat Benatar, Kiss, Saxon, Dokken, Ratt, ZZ Top, Mike + The Mechanics, Dire Straits, Rush, Aerosmith, The Firm, Marillion, Night Ranger, Simple Minds, The Cult, AC/DC, with plenty more besides, it’s sure to be a bit of a belter.

Tune in from 7pm (2pm EDT) this Thursday, 21st May.

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

 

TONIGHT on ‘The Classic Rock Show’…

Another week has flown by and we’re here again ahead of tonight’s show letting you know what we’ll all be rockin’ out to later.

TCRS tonight

We begin, as is the norm these days, with two tracks from albums which were released around about this week back in the day; two prime cuts of well-hung beef in the form of Van Halen and Krokus. Also on The Classic Rock Show tonight (from 7pm BST) are Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath (x3), Queen, Magnum, Sammy Hagar, Led Zeppelin, Atreyu (who absolutely killed it last night at The Underworld, Camden), The Cult (from their stunningly brilliant Sonic Temple album which was released 25 years ago and still sounds awesome!), Buckcherry, Hinder, Blackberry Smoke, Anti-Nowhere League, Pearl Jam, W.A.S.P., Children Of Bodom, Alestorm, Rainbow, Savatage, Def Leppard, Kiss, Status Quo, Peter Frampton…and so the list goes on!

Join us on Twitter @classicrockshow (use the hashtag #TCRS) and/or our Facebook Group.

Listen links can be found on the homepage…see you at 7pm BST for three hours of great music.

 

 

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.

pictbooks-dannykoetter-614x409

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.

picturebooksskate

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.

maddin-drummer-claus-614x409

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.

fynnskateclausgrabke2

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.

the-picturebooks_vice_970x435

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.

blog_picturebooks

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.

TPB-Tourposter2015-web

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: 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!”

image

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.

unnamed (2)

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.

micky

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