An Interview Northen Irish Rockers The Answer
Band Photo: The Answer (?)
The Answer is rapidly becoming one of the hottest bands in the rock world today, securing support slots with the likes of AC/DC and Aerosmith and touring extensively. The band will be releasing their second album soon and we caught up with them to find out more about the new album as well as the origins of the band and what the future holds.
Diamiond Oz: When did the band first begin? Are you all the original band members?
The Answer: The band began in the summer of 2000, yep we still have the four original members.
Diamond Oz: Has the band always used the moniker of The Answer?
The Answer: In the beginning we had a few different names, for one gig we were called Redhouse, for another we were called Riverplate and then we realized we had to stop changing the name of the band for every gig and james came up with the name The Answer and it stuck.
Diamond Oz: What's the rock scene like in Northern Ireland?
The Answer: It is getting healthy again.When we started they were not many rock bands on the scene, I can think of maybe one other hard rock band on the scene so in the early days we played on bills with lots of indie bands and we stuck out like a sore thumb which actually served us well in the end. Since we have come through a lot of new rock bands are coming through.
Diamond Oz: How has the tour with AC/DC been going so far?
The Answer: It has been going really well, much better than expected. We had heard these horror stories of buddy guy getting booed offstage in Germany and Slash's Snakepit getting the same treatment and thought 'what chance will we have,' but we have been given a great response by the AC/DC audience and getting more comfortable on the big stage each night.
Diamond Oz: You've supported some of the biggest names in rock music. Who were your favorites to share the stage with?
The Answer: We did our first proper tour with Alter Bridge in the U.K. and they were true gents, we used to jam in the warmup room and on the last night of the tour we got up and played rock’n’roll with them. We had a great time with Whitesnake as well, the band and crew were cool and really helped us out. I got on great with Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach and David Coverdale would always come into the dressing room and give us advice on the rock ’n’ roll business and women!
Diamond Oz: Have you had any bad experiences with any of the bands you've supported?
The Answer: Not any of the big names, they have all been very cool to us. It tends to be some of the bands that haven’t made it yet but act like how they think rockstars should - they tend to be the assholes.
Diamond Oz: What was it like appearing on the David Letterman show?
The Answer: It was quite a surreal experience as you can imagine, the studio is much smaller than it looks on T.V. and it is very cold. Unlike most T.V. shows they don’t tell you to turn down and are used to bands playing loud! Its funny the house band plays during the commercial breaks and when we were setting up I got to jam along with them playing "Love Rears Its Ugly Head” by Living Color. We also bumped into Bill Cosby!
Diamond Oz: Were you were surprised with how well the reception was to your debut album, "Rise"?
The Answer: Yes and no. We knew we had made a good record and that people that were into good kickass rock ’n’ roll would get into it. We were surprised that people in different parts of the world got into it. We sold about 15000 copies on the release day in Japan and our first show there was to 3000.
Diamond Oz: You have a new album coming out next year. What's different about this one than "Rise"?
The Answer: Like most debut albums, "Rise" is very much a product of our record collections and you can hear our influences coming through on the new record, "Everyday Demons." It sounds like The Answer. With this album we worked very hard to capture and define the Answer sound. I think its more diverse than "Rise" and its not as straight ahead bluesy as "Rise" though still has roots in the blues.
Diamond: How many songs have you written for the album so far?
The Answer: We wrote about 25 songs, recorded 16 and got that down to 11 songs for the album.
Diamond Oz: Do you have anything different in mind for releases anytime soon? A DVD perhaps?
The Answer: We released a live show from London last year - we were joined onstage by Paul Rodgers for two songs. We recorded our first show in Japan too so maybe that may see the light of day sometime soon.
Diamond Oz: What country would you say holds the biggest fanbase for you right now?
The Answer: Probably the U.K. and Japan.
Diamond Oz: What songs are your favourite to perform live?
The Answer: I like playing "Come Follow Me." It’s the perfect set opener and has worked with audiences all over the world whether we are headlining our own shows in pokey little bars in Germany or opening for The Stones in Belgrade. I also like playing "Under The Sky." We usually play it at the end of the set and it has a cool jam at the end and we play it a little heavier than on the record so it satisfies my metal urges!
Diamond Oz: Do you ever get sick of constant comparisons to Led Zeppelin and other such bands?
The Answer: In the beginning it was a pain in the ass, as every interviewer said this, sometimes as a compliment, sometimes as a put down. It used to annoy me we got singled out for this when other bands sounded even more like these bands than we did but the press didn’t give them the same treatment. I think now that we have made our second record and it has our own distinctive sound we aren’t bothered about being compared to those great bands, in fact its a great compliment and we are keeping good company!
Diamond Oz: You recently had a song featured in the game Guitar Hero: World Tour, have any of you played the game yet?
The Answer: I played it at the launch of the game, I played Bon Jovi's, "Living On A Prayer" and couldn’t get past the first chorus! Ha ha. I prefer the real thing.
Diamond Oz: When will your next headlining tour start and where will it be?
The Answer: When we go to Europe on the AC/DC tour we have some our own shows planned. On the tour there is a gig then a day off and on the days off in Europe we will play our own shows.
Diamond Oz: Do any of you have any side projects on the go?
The Answer: We haven’t really had any time to do side projects, what with making the album this year and being on the AC/DC tour. When I have been home I have been doing martial arts and writing for the next Answer album. James and Micky have talked of getting a side project called The Honeysluts off the ground. They play supersexy rock ’n’ roll and are terrible!
Diamond Oz: Do you think in the future The Answer's sound will change drastically?
The Answer: At this point its hard to say, we will always want the band to progress otherwise whats the point, though we will always have one foot in the blues!
Diamond Oz: Thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions. Do you have any parting words for your fans?
The Answer: Thanks to everyone for supporting us - we couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for patiently waiting for the new album, we look forward to taking it on the road and playing it for you guys and if you see us around make sure to say hello and have a drink with us!
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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