The Answer

Rescue Rooms Nottingham 19th March 2015.

It’s not every week that we at music224.com get the chance to review a number 1 selling artist, but this week The Answer’s new album “Raise a little Hell” has done just that and topped Radio 1’s Rock Album Chart, great stuff and congratulations to them, it’s also well deserved as it’s a great album.

Before we get onto The Answer though, we had two great bands providing tonight’s support, the first one being the German duo The Picturebooks – oh, and their charismatic manager, who is was their third band member tonight aswell as also controling how these guys sound on stage!

As stated, there are only two members to this band, Fynn Claus Grabke – vocals, guitar & Philipp Mirtschink on the drums, but where they are lacking in numbers, they make up for it with true passion as every note is played with conviction. Philipp is either really angry or really loves playing the drums, as he kicked the shit out of his kit tonight! As you’d imagine, the bands sound is minimal yet rhythmic, which conjures though provoking images as you watch in amazement! These guys won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and initially I didn’t quite know what to make of these guys but after listening to their new album ‘Imaginary Horse’ I’m warming to them, a lot!

Philipp Mirtschink - The Picturebooks

Bad Touch next then and a band I first came into contact with at HRH 8, who I may have over looked slightly at that event and as tonight’s performance was great, we now have them firmly fixed on our radar for the future! Originally from Norwich, (The same town as The Darkness, ah it now makes sense) the band have won some pretty prestigious awards along the way, aswell as playing some major UK festivals, Download, Steelhouse, Legends of Rock and, as mentioned Hard Rock Hell – twice!

Daniel Seekings - Bad Touch

If I was to sum these guys up in a nutshell, I’d have to say something like “A very original rock and roll band, with great on stage presence” Stevie, on vocals is another charismatic character and a great front man, yet he’s still only 23 years of age. For a young band, they are mature for their years and an example of this maturity was seen by all tonight, when someone shouted something from the crowd, Stevie reassured the band “never ask” hahaha!

Stevie Westwood - Bad Touch

I have to give Mark Drewry, the bands manager/driver and father to drummer George, a massive shout out for finding and keeping safe a piece of very expensive camera equipment that I’d left at the Rescue Roomsand I’m happy to say, I managed to retrieve my property two days later, so thank you sir, you’ve managed to restore my faith in humanity!

So, before tonight’s show, we got exclusive access to The Answer, in particular bass player Michael Waters, who’s turn it was to be interviewed! Funny, I was in a room with the band and said, “so who’ve I got?”, to which the rest of the band all pointed at Michael, haha, they all love doing interviews, clearly.

Michael Waters - The Answer

So, after the obligatory “hello’s”, I got to ask Michael a few questions and here’s how the interview went:

I asked how they were all doing since the tour started a week ago?

“Well, it’s the first week, with a year since our last tour, so we’re all pretty drained getting back into the tour life, but we all get used to it and back into the groove by the second week”.

Are you Northern Irelands answer to rock and roll, as they’re ain’t many bands from that part of the world?

“You’ll have to come to tonight’s show and find out won’t you! Yes, I will, did and loved it!

We did actually see you guys play at Hard Rock Hell, during your tour of the album New Horizon, which was fantastic, can you remember that show?

“ah yeah, that was towards the end of a very long tour, we remember there were a lot of drunk people at that festival! Always!

“Raise a little Hell” is deservedly a number one album this week, what was your inspiration when writing this album?

“Well, we all contribute to the writing process, we don’t like to make stuff up so we tend to write about love, life and experiences within the band. In fact, we wrote a lot of this new album whilst on the last tour we’ve just mentioned”.

Paul Mahon - The Answer

My favourite track off the new album is “Long Live the Renegades” which opens the album, which is your favourite track to play and to listen too?

“To play, it has to be the title track “Raise a little Hell” which is going down a storm on ourlive shows. To listen to I’d have to say “Strange kinda nothing”, it’s just a great track!

There is a Deluxe version of this new album, which features some nice acoustic versions and bonus tracks, do any of these feature in the live set?

“Yes, it’s the first time we’ve tried it. Half way through, we strip it right back and its a real highlight for the fans. For years, we’ve been playing the same songs, pretty much, but we’ve ditched a lot of the old stuff and added in a lot of these new tracks into our live set, simply because we feel they can hold their own. We even have fans coming up to us and thanking us for playing the new material”.

Which has been your favourite night on this current tour so far?

“Glasgow was really good, it was a crazy Friday night”

So not the Liverpool gig then, seeing as it was St. Patricks day? (not sure if you celebrate it)

“We did actually, Cormac emptied two full bottles of whiskey, into glasses along the front row, so the crowd enjoyed it with us!

Cormac Neeson - The Answer

So what have you guys got on for the rest of the year?

“Well, we have the rest of the dates in the UK, then we head off to Europe for two months, basically were on the road until August now. Hell Fest is a big one for us, which were really looking forward to playing, as it’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to”

Who you looking forward to seeing play at that festival, if you get a chance?

Well I love ZZ Top, we’ve played with them a few times, in fact Billy Gibbs lent us one of his guitars to record some tracks on one of our albums once”. really, that’s fantastic!

I’ll finish with this, whilst on tour, do you guys having any games you play whilst on the road?

“Well, we don’t play many games, as such, but we all have a nasty habit of putting random objects in each others beds, which can get quite amusing!

As suggested, after trying to capture the lads on stage, I stuck around to watch the band rip through an amazing set, the new tracks are sounding great live. These guys have my vote, great stuff.

Review, Interview and photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)