Now two of Britain’s best live bands are criss-crossing the country on the best co-headline tour in the world ever (almost).
Editor Simon Rushworth caught up with The Answer’s Micky Waters and discovered that there’s no chance of the Ulstermen resting on their laurels anytime soon – with The Union forcing the four piece to bring their A-game into play every night.
If you miss this tour you’ll miss out – so check the dates and catch them while you can! In the meantime check out what (soft) metal Micky had to say to us in the first of a slew of big March exclusives coming your way on rushonrock.
rushonrock: Does The Answer and The Union promise to be the best double header of 2012?
Micky Waters: The Union are a cracking band. They’re all great players and I think we’ve been playing the best we ever have done during the last five or six months. We’ve just all grown up a wee bit and it shows. We’re even more into our music than we ever were. And I’m having such a laugh at the same time. All of us are just having such a great time. That’s come across in the way we’ve been playing – both during the last European run before Christmas and the shows earlier this year. It’s just a real pleasure to get out there and play every night. Playing with The Union is like a Friday night every night!
rushonrock: Is a two-for-the-price-of-one co-headline show the way to go in the current climate?
MW: It’s definitely the way forward. Everybody is finding it tough and the music business is no different. We just want to get out and play to as many people as possible and show those people a good time while we’re at it. Hopefully off the back of that we’ll sell a few records but two bands on the same bill is the way to go. Even the bigger bands are doing – albeit on a grander scale. Look at Leppard and the Crue last year. You have to reel the punters in by whatever means necessary! Unless you’re AC/DC.
rushonrock: Why aren’t both bands far, far bigger?
MW: That’s very difficult for me to answer but it’s something we do get asked all of the time. We’ve been through a few changes lately so let’s wait and see. But if other people are frustrated that we’re not bigger then imagine how we feel! All we can do is keep doing what we do. We’ve been putting the hours in and working our arses off. We’re already writing album number four and we feel we have to keep releasing new music. In terms of success a lot of it’s down to lucky breaks. With the last album we thought that would be ‘the one’. But there’s still time yet. We’re going to have another crack at America and we have been growing our fan base across Europe. We are bigger than we were but we’d love to be bigger still!
rushonrock: This is the first time many of your UK fans will have had the chance to hear songs from Revival played live – do they get a good airing?
MW: We’re looking at playing maybe as many as six new songs a night and a few tunes from the older records. The set went down a storm in Europe after Christmas but it’s taken us a couple of months to get it just right.
rushonrock: Revival sounds like the most natural title for an Answer album – is it as obvious at it sounds?
MW: Cormac really wanted to call it Revival. It’s a bit of a statement. We’re attempting to recreate good time rock n roll. Rock n roll is as relevant now as it’s always been. People will always love drinking beer and shaking their fists to good live music. We’re trying to revive that. There’s a lack of that kind of unbridled passion at shows these days. There are a lot of gigs to go to but so many of them are popular, mainstream shows. There’s not enough beer or fist-pumping.
rushonrock: New single Nowhere Freeway features the considerable talents of Saint Jude singer Lynne Jackaman – how did that collaboration come about and could she make the odd appearance on this tour?
MW: I saw Lynne at a London show just after we finished tracking Revival. Nowhere Freeway always lent itself to a duet and when I saw Lynne she just seemed like the perfect fit. I thought to myself that this girl could give Cormac a serious run for his money! In the end Cormac liked what he heard and recording the song was just a very natural process. It was just a case of us saying ‘sing this’ and Lynne did it. She’s a very talented girl and a lovely girl. We were going to try out some other singers but there was no point. She’s got some set of lungs on her. There’s been talk of getting her up on stage on this tour – it would be great if her schedule allowed for it.
rushonrock: Revival sounds even better on double vinyl but how important is that format to you?
MW: It’s massive for all of us. We’re all big vinyl collectors. When we’re on the road you’ll always find us spending our money in record shops in every city we visit. People still like to buy vinyl and it will always guarantee another 1,000 sales of the album. Personally I like to buy my music on vinyl. I love nothing better than relaxing with a cigarette and a glass of whisky and a record from my extensive collection. I keep on top of everything The Answer releases on vinyl and I’m going to be having a word about whether we’re releasing anything for Record Store Day again this year.
rushonrock: You’ve been together for nearly 12 years now but are you as solid as ever?
MW: We were really young when we started out but the time has really flown by – especially since the AC/DC tour. But I think we’re stronger and tighter that ever at this point. We’re just more into performing, playing, rehearsing and writing new material. I think there’s a level of excitement that’s more evident now than ever before. It’s a great time to be in The Answer!
rushonrock: What are the biggest challenges facing The Answer in 2012?
MW: Honestly it’s getting the new record finished and recorded before Christmas ready for release early next year. We don’t want to hang about anymore. We might have played to hundreds of thousands of fans opening up for AC/DC but we actually lost a lot of momentum along the way. We changed record labels and took a long time writing Revival. I think that hurt us a bit. 2012 is all about making up for lost time.