THE ANSWER (Eng.)

– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything going right now with THE ANSWER? What are you currently up to?
Hello, Cormac from The Answer here! We are just embarking on the European leg of our headline tour and are especially looking forward to playing in Spain in May.

 

– You will soon start to tour Europe, and in May you’ll be playing at our country Spain so, what can our readers expect to see from you on stage?
It will be our usual brand of high energy rock ‘n’ roll. We will be playing around 6 songs from our new album Raise A Little Hell and some material from each of our other albums. It’s a great set and was really well received on the UK tour so I think you guys are going to enjoy it.

 

– First off I would like you to tell us a little bit about the band’s name. What is this band «the answer» to?
It’s not really an “answer” to anything as such. A lot of media always try to see if there is a deep meaning in the name but there’s not really any major thought process behind it – it just sounded good to us at the time!!

 

– You have just released your newest album, «Raise a Little Hell». What are your feelings on the final outcome? And how are the reactions being thus far?

the answer
We are really pleased with how this album turned out. It has a very open and good feel about it – the performances and recordings just flowed and I think you can tell that from the tracks. The reactions have been great and a number of media has said it’s our best album since Rise if not better than Rise.

 
– I think the album title depicts perfectly the musical content on it but, how did you want to express with it?
We wanted to go back to a more earthy blues rock ‘n’ roll without any restrictions. Our main goal was to convey more expression and sense of freedom in this album recording and to just go for it a bit more.

 

– I personally think «Raise a Little Hell» is more a comeback to a more Blues Rock sound, leaving aside some Funk moments you had on your previous «New Horizon». Was this how you envisioned the album or just how things came out?
As I said above it was about making sure we expressed ourselves a bit more. There are more flowing solos and I experimented a bit more with different approaches to my vocals. We definitely tried a specific direction with “New Horizon” but it didn’t have as much pure blues elements as this new recording does.

 

– I think one of your trademarks is the excelent blend between a really powerful yet melodic sound. Is it easy to get a good equilibrium?
If it was easy then everyone would be doing it!! It’s certainly not easy to attain that balance and there are some songs and vocal lines that require a powerful vocal delivery whereas there will be others that work better when they are more understated. It takes a bit of experimentation and we do try lots of different approaches before settling on the final one.

 

– And even though your roots are quite classic, dating to past decades, you manage to bring a lot of details to this traditional sound so, what music styles do you get inspiration from?
We are obviously influenced heavily by the blues and by great rock ‘n’ roll energy and grooves. Great rock artists like Rory Gallagher, Robert Plant, Free, AC/DC are all influences but my inspiration also derives from some Celtic folk and Irish music traditions.

 
– In fact I would like you to comment a little bit on some tracks that specially caught my attention, as «The Other Side», which is really heavy.
Yes this has a great groove and is a very personal song for me lyrically. As you say it also has a very solid heavy and grounded groove which is just nailed on! There are also some nice acoustic guitar layers in the guitar work which add to the overall sound of the finished track.

 

– «Last Days of Summer» is also quite heavy, with a certain Stoner flavour I could say. What’s the story behind this track?
Yes this is a real stoner track for sure and is one of our favourite tracks to play live on this new tour. It has a very trippy vibe with lots of colour and dynamics. It started from a distorted bass groove between Micky (bass) and James our drummer and just developed from there.

 

– And then there’s «Aristrocat», with a galloping pace, with a subtle Metal flavour. What could you comment on it?

the answer raise a little hell cover
This definitely has a bit of 70’s Led Zeppelin about it! Some nice guitar FX that work really well with the groove and I also got to go a bit mad withsome harmonica work with crazy echoes!

 

– Sound-wise I think this record sounds more traditional, more organic and natural. How did you work on the production process and who take such duties?
We decided to go back to our roots and work with our very close professional and personal Spanish friend Guillermo Will Maya. He worked as an engineer on our first RISE album when we were at Albert Productions and he has a deep understanding of our sound and who we are as people and performers. He has a great residential studio in the mountains just north of Madrid and the month we spent with him last year was one of the most enjoyable recording sessions we have had in a long time. As you say, it all just felt organic and natural and Will did a fantastic job in guiding us to a great result!

 

– Bass is more audible here. Was this something you focus on or rather a product of the mix you had?
I think that’s more to do with the approach in the mixing. Chris Sheldon is someone we love to use for mixing as he really nails our sound very quickly. Chris knows how to get the best mix for The Answer and we’re all very happy with the results especially Micky our bass player 🙂

 

– All this about «Raise a Little Hell» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Blues, Rock, Roll

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
After our Spanish dates in May we are playing some festivals (Hell Fest, Wacken, Nova Rock, Greenfield) and will then be touring the USA in June / July playing some shows with Whitesnake, some US festivals and some of our own headline club shows. We can’t wait to get back to the USA and we also can’t wait to see our fans in Spain in May! Thanks, Cormac (The Answer)

Tania Giménez
tania@queensofsteel.com

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