The Answer has returned with their sophomore effort “Everyday Demons”. If you are a regular visitor to Hard Rock Hideout, you have read my prattling about these awesome Irish Rockers for a while now. I have been extremely excited to hear this album, and after a couple of spins, I couldn’t be more overjoyed.
“Everyday Demons” is The Answer’s full length debut in the United States. As good as The Answer’s first album “Rise” was, I believe “Everyday Demons” has managed to top The Answer’s European debut.
I love it when a band brings their “A” game to the studio. You can tell that The Answer put a lot of heart into this disc.
I had the pleasure of hearing some of these songs prior to receiving a copy of the CD. “On and On” first showed up on Yahoo Music last month, and I loved this track on the first play. Getting to hear it on a real stereo system, gives me a whole new appreciation for the song. It just explodes out of the speakers just a like a stadium anthem should.
“On and On” isn’t the lone highlight on this disc. There are in fact many great songs to absorb.
“Demon Eyes” is a killer opening track with monster riffs that will get your blood pumping quickly. This song sets the stage for “Everyday Demons”.
“Too Far Gone” sees The Answer channeling their inner Zeppelin. James Heatley’s drums just explode on this track. The Zeppelinesque riff blended with Neeson’s howling vocals really drive this song home. Awesome!
After three upbeat rockers, The Answer drops the tempo down on the song “Cry Out”. This song is not one of my favorites on this disc. I just can’t seem to get into the riff on this song. It isn’t bad, but after the first three tunes, this one falls flat for me.
On the other hand, the song “Why’d You Change Your Mind” is much more to my liking. The music on this tunes oscillates between a moody low tempo number and explodes into an upbeat rocker, before heading back to its original slow pace. This is a cool tune that takes a few listens to fully appreciate.
“Pride” ought to be released as a single off of Everyday Demons. Cormac Neeson’s voice soars on this tune. This one has hit written all over it.
“Walkin’ Mat” is another tune that sees The Answer tap into their inner Zeppelin. You can’t deny the influence on this song, but it doesn’t come out sounding like a rip off aka Kingdom Come either. This is another song that I could hear getting some airplay before long. Good Stuff!
“Tonight” is the type of tune that you want to roll your car windows down and crank up loud. This song has a Thin Lizzy like vibe to it, but is a very happy, upbeat song.
“Dead of the Night” is one of my favorite tunes off “Everyday Demons”. This song is very catchy and gets in your head. This is another hit worthy tune.
“Comfort Zone” is another low to mid tempo song that needs a few listens to grow on you. I like the chorus on this tune, but it seems like it takes a while to get going.
“Evil Man” is the third song on Everyday Demons that has a Led Zeppelin like sound about it. This is a rocking tune that Paul Mahon and Mickey Waters take advantage of with their heavy riffs.
If you haven’t listened to The Answer before, “Everyday Demons” is a great place to start. If you are a fan of classic 70’s hard rock, you will enjoy this disc. The Answer has delivered another impressive release in 2009. Grab it!
Rating: Out of 10
- Demon Eyes
- Too Far Gone
- On and On
- Cry Out
- Why’d You Change Your Mind
- Walkin’ Mat
- Dead of the Night
- Comfort Zone
- Evil Man
The Answer is:
Cormac Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass Guitar
James Heatley – Drums
The Never too Late EP is an awesome introduction to The Answer. Not only does it have some of the best songs from the band’s debut album, “Rise” (which was never released in the United States) it also has a new tune, “Highwater or Hell” which is pretty darn good too.
The DVD included with this CD, has all of The Answer’s videos that they released from Rise, as well as some pretty cool interviews with the band.
This is a lot of music for such a very small price, and is a great prelude to The Answer’s new album, “Everyday Demons” which is due in February.
You can find the Never Too Late EP at most retailers for roughly $6.00. It is worth every penny. Go get it!!
1. Never Too Late
2. Be What You Want
3. Under The Sky
4. Come Follow Me
5. Let The Good Times Roll (Tour Footage)
6. Keep Believin
The Answer is:
Cormac Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass Guitar
James Heatley – Drums
HRH: I haven’t posted too many of the Answer’s updates from their blog, but this one was too cool not to share!
After L.A. we got onboard the rock’n’roll train to phoenix, Arizona.It was agreat show and when we came off stage we were greeted by someone who looked familiar and said to us,”guys that was great but you’re just getting started you need to go out there and do another hr!I’ve got another gig across the street for you if your not done yet?’,it was Alice Cooper!We’re not worthy!we talked to Alice about rock’n’roll and golf,he’s playing off 4 but at this point in time is playing alittle better than that.After the show he invited us over to Cooperstown for a few drinks.It sure was fun hanging out with Alice and next time we are hitting the course!Thanks to Alice,Danny and Ralph for taking care of us!
The next show was in san Antonio and we got to meet up with our old friends the Gaults.When you go to sxsw festival in Austin texas most of the bands stay with a family in the area and the Gaults became our surrogate family during our stay!It was great to see them and hang out in Austin for a aday or 2.On our day off in Austin we did an interview and photo shoot for French magazine rockhard and spent some time on 6th street.Its quite a different atmosphere at this time of year compared to sxsw time,alittle more relaxed.After a day off we rolled out to Houston.I cant remember much about Houston other than watching “for those about to rock” from the side of the stage and the cannons not being as loud as I was expecting,I must be going deaf,they usually take your head off!Maybe my earplugs have started working.
We had a long drive to Athens Georgia ahead of us after Houston.Tiger woods golf and flight of the conchords helped us along the way.Athens is the home of rem,drivin’n’cryin and our tour manger trey.And who did we bump into in little italy but Michael stipe,he was sat in the corner……..well maybe not but mike mills came to the show a few days later.We had dinner in a great sushi bar,shots at the 40watt and few other bars.We had a dc show in Atlanta,agreat rock’n’roll town and a great audience to play to,looking forward to going back.The we had our 1st headlining show of the tour in Athens Georgia.We had hoped to do more but it didn’t work out with all the long drives we have been doing.We have only been doing 30mins a night with acdc so there were a lot of songs we hadn’t played in a while and some new ones we have yet to play to an audience.We went into a local rehearsal room,nuci’s space,in the morning to blow the dust off some songs.Then we loaded into the 40watt.It was more like the sort of gig we are used to back home.Our set was abit longer and we played come follow me,
Never too late,
On and on,
Under the sky,
Encore-Dead of the night
It was good to be playing alonger set and after playing arenas for a few months we had almost forgotten what it was like to play a show but after a few tunes we were tearing it up like usual!After the show we indulged in double shots of patron and thin lizzies!!Thanks to the dumps and pride parade for supporting and rocking out.Look forward to seeing you guys again.Big thanks to ,nuci’s space,Rick,barrie and all at the 4owatt for making it happen.And clay enough with that george jones stuff you better know the chords to sin city next time we’re back,that’s all im saying!!
When you live on a tour bus one thing I’ve noticed is that your perception of time goes right out the window and so it goes we played charlotte yesterday and I’ll be damned if I didn’t get up at 5pm and go onstage at 7.30pm,we still rocked though!!I guess you become conditioned to put everything into that 30mins everynight and the day revolves around that whether you realise it or not,I guess dave lee roth was right!
And today here we are in jackson,no sign of any gin-soaked barroom queens unfortunately.We are beside the beach and its as warm as an irish summer,I hope its snowing when I go home!!!!Anyway we have 2 more shows to go,1 in fort lauderdale and one in tampa,then we will fly home for xmas!!!I guess we are just about ready to go home for a few days though Im sure im gonna wake up in the middle of the night,grab my guitar and wonder what time we are onstage and think damn im at home!!But sure we will be back to do it all over again in january!!If I don’t put anymore blogs before I go home I would just like to say Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to everyone!Thanks for all your support and looking forward to seein all our friends old and new next year and playing everyday demons for y’all!
If you have been a regular reader at HardRockHideout.com, you have heard me carry on more than a few times about this awesome new band from Northern Ireland called The Answer. Hard Rock Hideout recently had the pleasure of speaking with The Answer’s Cormac Neeson. We talked about the history of The Answer so far, the bands’ current tour with AC/DC, and their soon to be released album. Take a few minutes, and get to know The Answer!
The Answer is:
Cormac Neeson – Lead Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass
James Heatley – Drums
HRH: Tell us a little about the history of the Answer. How long have you been together?
Cormac Neeson: We have been together close to eight years. We got together. Originally it was Paul Mahon’s idea to get a band idea together to play this hard rock like we are currently playing. They have been in out of different bands from fourteen years of age. They wanted to do it right this time. They got in touch with me. I was back in America at the time. I was working in a pizza place in New Jersey. They sent me a letter and said if you are coming home any time soon to look them up and get the band up and running. As luck would have it, I was heading home a month later to enroll in the University. As it turns out I was in the same class as Paul, which was quite a bizarre twist of fate. So we got a practice organized and got James on board on drums, and after that we haven’t really looked back since.
HRH: It almost sounds like it was meant to be.
Cormac Neeson: It sounds like it yeah, I am afraid so. (laughs).
HRH: Who are some of the key influences in your music?
Cormac Neeson: Key Influences would included a lot of late 60’s and 70’s rock and roll bands, like Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Rolling Stones and stuff like that, but also I suppose The Black Crowes and a lot of varying influences. Paul is into the 80’s metal. We all have different influences, but the music we play is kind of where we all meet in the middle.
HRH: Are you listening to any of the current artists that are out there today?
Cormac Neeson: I suppose today we are into bands like Queens of the Stone Age, The Raconteurs. Any bands that are playing the hard style of rock and roll we would be in to.
HRH: How do you think the music scene differs in the United States as compared to Ireland?
Cormac Neeson: I think there are a lot more choices in America. I think a lot of that has to do is the number of radio stations playing the different genres of music over here. At home everybody listens to two or three of the same radio stations and thats about it, you know. Definitely there is a lot more diversity, which is very healthy, I think at home. A lot of people kind of fall into specific categories that are heavily influenced by whatever radio DJ they are listening to. Over here you have so much choice. People tend to make up their own minds, which is a very good positive thing I think.
HRH: I first found out about The Answer when you won Classic Rock Magazine’s Best New Band of 2005. What was it like receiving such a cool award, and how has that affected your career so far?
Cormac Neeson: That was great. That was the first taste of success that the band had. We haven’t even released our first album at that stage, it was all based on a couple of EP’s that had been released before hand. I suppose more than anything else, it was a great boost and great encouragement, and obviously it got us a lot of positive press off of the back of it. It was a nice platform, from which to release our debut album and kind of take things from there. It was an enjoyable experience that I can look back on. I got to meet Jimmy Page that night. It was great.
HRH: Prior to your tour with AC/DC, you have played with Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, The Who and in front of 80,000 people with the Rolling Stones in Serbia. What has it been like playing with so many classic hard rock acts?
Cormac Neeson: It has been amazing. If I had to pick a favorite gig that we have played, that would probably be it. The sheer number of people, standing and clapping their hands. It was breath taking. It was as far as the eye could see. Up to this point, we haven’t managed to play for more than 80,000 you know. The fact that is was supporting the Rolling Stones you know, I mean The Rolling Stones and AC/DC are probably the two greatest rock and roll bands still currently touring. It was unbelievable and breath taking.
HRH: How have these bands reacted to your music? Have they given you any advice?
Cormac Neeson: Different bands react in different ways. Some bands like to keep to themselves. Other bands like to take us on, and take us in as part of the family. AC/DC is one of those bands. Brian Johnson is consistently coming in to the dressing room and making sure that we are all right, and having a good time. When we toured with Whitesnake we were made part of that touring family which was great, you know. A band is going to give you advice, it is always to keep our heads down, to not to do many drinks and drugs. The usual kind of stuff. It is nice to know we have friends in high places that keep an eye on our progress.
HRH: When did you find out that you landed the AC/DC tour, and what was your reaction?
Cormac Neeson: We found out literally, two weeks before we packed our bags and headed for America. It was a whirlwind. It was an unbelievable shock for the band, but obviously a great shock. One day we were in London recording B-Sides for a future single. He took us out for a pint and sat a paper face down on the table in front of us, and said boys, I have some band news. You can’t do the European tour that we had planned for you this November. I said “Why”, he said flip that page over and you will find out. There were 42 dates on the page with AC/DC for all of across America. It was a real cause for celebration. It happened so fast we really haven’t had time to step back and think about it all. We have a week and a half off at Christmas. We will take stock of where we are at. This is a great opportunity, and hopefully we will make the best of it.
Cormac Neeson: We were yes. That was the initial plan, but obviously you can’t turn down a band like AC/DC if they ask you to come on tour with them. Black Stone Cherry are a great band. We were very much looking forward to that tour, but it wasn’t meant to be.
HRH: How have the U.S. fans reacted to your live show?
Cormac Neeson: Very positively. I think the cold weather, the rain and the wind, helps get everyone into the arena. We are playing to 80 to 90 percent in arenas every night. We were told and warned in fact that the support slot for AC/DC is no easy task. They haven’t played here in 7 years or whatever it is. You expect crowds to be very impatient. We have been getting standing ovations every night, and a lot of hits on our myspace, and a lot of positive stuff. We seem to be really devolping a good solid fan base over here, which is great considering this is our first tour of America.
HRH: Last Christmas you performed with Paul Rodgers at the Planet Rock Christmas party, which you later turned into a live CD later on. How did that opportunity come together, and what was the experience like playing with Paul?
Cormac Neeson: It was a dream come true for myself. Paul Rodgers is probably my greatest influence as a singer. It all came together, just a lucky coincidence really. Paul Rodgers was supporting Led Zeppelin the night before our gig in London. He got word that we were playing, and said he wanted to come down. We suggested that he get up and do a song or two. He came down, and we rattled through “Mover” and “The Hunter” during soundcheck, and decided we would give it a go. We had a great gig from the offset, and the fact that Paul got up and did two songs with us was amazing. It was also great that we caught it on tape and could release it as an official bootleg. It was nice to have that part of history documented.
HRH: Why did you choose to release the Never Too Late EP instead of your CD “Rise” in the U.S.?
Cormac Neeson: Unfortunately we tried very hard to get our first album released over here, but we just couldn’t get the label to get a date over here in time to release it. By the time we released Never Too Late a few weeks ago, we have our second album ready to go with the released date of 17th of February. Rather than release two albums in such quick succession, we thought we will release an EP, and whet peoples appetites a little bit. Then we will hit them with a full album in February. People can always go back to Rise if they like what they hear. Our opinion is the second album is better than the first, so why not give America the best we have to start with. Then people can trace us back to our roots.
HRH: Do you foresee Rise getting a release in the United States at a later date?
Cormac Neeson: I am sure it will be released later on down the road. We don’t want to short change our audience. We will keep putting out fresh material. If there is a demand for it, we will put it out there.
HRH: You recently had a couple of your songs used in the video games Guitar Hero World Tour, and Pure for the Playstation 3. How did that come together?
Cormac Neeson: To be honest, I don’t really know, their must be somebody in the gaming industry that likes the band, and puts our songs in those games. That is an unbelievable opportunity to get our name out there. Guitar Hero sells millions and millions of copies worldwide. In fact on the AC/DC tour, coming in every day, I hear “hey man I was playing your songs on Guitar Hero last night, drinking beers”. Between that and that AC/DC tour, and our new album, it is all coming together nicely for us.
Cormac Neeson: I have my fingers crossed. (laughs)
HRH: You have a new album coming out in February. What will the new album be called?
Cormac Neeson: The new album will be called Everyday Demons.
HRH: What was the writing process like for the new disc?
Cormac Neeson: It was very positive, and completely different from the process of the first album. Obviously, every bands’ first album is going to be a collection of tunes basically dating right back to the very beginnings of the band. In our case we had three or four years worth of songs to choose from. In contrast, this album was written in six months just before last Christmas. As a result it is a lot more consistent, and a statement that we are trying to make is a lot more fluent. The band is captured where we are right now in our song writing, musical ability and everything like that. It is a true statement where The Answer are currently at. It is good.
HRH: How long did it take you to record it?
Cormac Neeson: It took us two months. We did 5 weeks in L.A., we did a couple of weeks pre-production before we came to L.A. and then Paul did some more guitars in London for about a week and a half on the way back from America. It was very intense and very hard work and not a lot of breathing space, but the end result was well worth it.
HRH: With so many cool videos under your belt already, do you have videos planned for the new record?
Cormac Neeson: We actually just made a video for a song called On and On, which is the third track on the album. It is going to be the first single on the album. We had a gig in East Rutherford, New Jersey recently. We had the day off the next day, and went to Brooklyn to a big studio and set up a lot of different backgrounds, and shot a video for On and On. It was great you know. I got to a lot of work with a with a beautiful model which is never a bad thing.
HRH: Do you know when the single will be released?
HRH: What do you feel are some of the highlights of your career so far?
Cormac Neeson: Nothing is bigger than the current tour we are on, but as we already mentioned the Serbia gig with the Rolling Stones, we got to meet them as well, they are living legends you know, signing with Paul Rodgers and supporting Paul Rodgers in the Albert Hall was amazing. We always really enjoy getting out on tour for ourselves. We would like to be playing for an hour forty or an hour fifty minutes, getting to really entertain the audience for long stints of time. We did a couple of tours in Australia and Japan which was a great experience. It is always great to get back to Belfast at the end of a long tour to do homecoming gigs.
HRH: How long do you expect to be on the road with AC/DC?
Cormac Neeson: We honestly don’t know, we are hoping that they will give us some of the European bits. Nothing has been confirmed yet, so we can’t really presume that we are doing that. We are on tour with them until the end of January all across America. If that is all we get, we will be happy with that, but obviously if we get some more gigs, we will be even happier. (laughs)
HRH: If not, hopefully you can come back to the U.S. and do a tour of your own.
Cormac Neeson: Absolutely, as soon as we come off of tour with AC/DC, we are going to start having to do tours of our own in America, and Europe and Japan and Australia. It is going to be a very busy couple of years.
HRH: What would you like to tell all of your fans?
Cormac Neeson: I would like to say keep your ear to the ground, and don’t forget about us. Check us out. If you are into your rock and roll, we are a good honest hard hitting rock and roll band. I think you will enjoy us very much. I hope to see you very soon at a gig of our own, where we can entertain you for a couple of hours, and have a few beers with you after the show.
The Answer Guitarist Paul Mahon issued the following update at his website, on the Answer’s first visit to Los Angeles. This is a good read, and I though you all would like to read this.
After our little trip to Texas we set off for our 1st westcoast experience. It was time to hit the city of Angels! I was quite excited about visiting L.A. The 1st music I was passionate about was of course the sunset strip scene of the 80’s Motley Crue, faster Pussycat,G’n’r, L.A. Guns,W.A.S.P. Ratt and bands like Janes Addiction,Rhcp and Fishbone who came in spite of or as a reaction against that scene ,I liked them all.then I discovered the west coast bands of the 60’s buffalo Springfield and their off shoots csny etc, Love and my favourites Spirit. So visiting L.A. had the undercurrent of being a bit of a musical pilgrimage.
Flying into LA.X you get a great view of the skyline,not as many skyscrapers as you would expect but an amazing view of the hills. We touched down still a little hung-over from Austin and headed for sunset boulevard,we stayed across the street from the hyatt and the comedy store. Round the corner you can hit La cienega and go look for a liquor store with ryan adams or head up the street to the whisky,the viper room,the roxy,the key club or the Rainbow. We went straight to the rainbow for margaritas,the drink of choice for this trip.
The purpose of our trip to L.A. was to meet producers for the next record and play some shows,one in the spaceland ballroom in silverlake and in the infamous viper room on sunset. We met our old friend David Coverdale in the sunset marquis for Guinness and whiskies on st pats day and he kept us entertained with tales of the 1st time he came to L.A. with Deep Purple.We also went to the key club to see the phenomenon that is Metal School. Its basically some guys dressing up like an 80’s hair metal band doing note perfect renditions all the hits of that bygone era.The playing is impressive and the music is fun, they have also incorporated an element of humour into it , basically every groupie joke that’s ever been told in between songs, on the surface it can all be taken with a pinch of salt but there is no sense of irony to the humour, its just full on misogyny and borderline racist,that coupled with the fact that they didn’t seem to know any Vain made me leave after 20mins and head to the rainbow, they have “no respect” on the jukebox there!
On Tuesday before rehearsal we got to head up to Griffith park observatory, the one from rebel without a cause.You get the most amazing view of L.A. from up there and you can get pretty close to the hollywood sign too. After that we went to S.I.R. rehearsal studios and got in a little practice for Wednesday’s show. S.I.R. has abit of history, the picture on the back of appetite for destruction is from there, but looks like any other rehearsal studio,when you’ve seen one you’ve seen em all but they do have some cool guitars in there.
Wednesday came knockin and it was time for our 1st show in L.A. A short journey out to silverlake and we were at the Spaceland ballroom. I guess its abit like a barfly though not as dirty and slightly more welcoming. It was a showcase gig for us with every producer, booking agent and A and R man in town attending. Ah well no skin off our collective nose we’d done this sort of thing once or twice before and did what we always do, got onstage and rocked liked motherf**kers and it was one of the best shows we’d done in a while. 4 new songs made an appearance in the set and worked really good, its exciting and satisfying when you add in new songs and they make the set better and take it to a new level!
Thursday was a busy day for us. First we had dinner with redd kross then we had a photo shoot to attend at the sunset marquis. Robert.M.Knight was shooting us. Robert was the 1st guy to shoot led zep in the states and is a legend in the business, in the prescence of such company it would not be out of the ordinary for one to be nervous but Robert was a pleasure to work with and everyone was pretty comfortable with the situation straight away. He was also making a film, a documentary on guitar players in rock’n’roll including most of the guys he has photographed over the years,everyone from jeff beck, steve vai, carlos Santana, slash, billy gibbons etc.So we filmed a short interview for that too. After this we hot footed it to the viper room.Playing the viper room is a rite of passage for any band on their 1st trip to L.A. Again looks wise it isn’t dissimilar to a barfly maybe slightly nicer but there is the added bonus of table service and $1000 bottles of crystal on the wine list, it would have been rude not to order one bottle though im still paying that one off! We were on 1st so it was showcase rules again, no sound-check just get up and go for it and come out bangin for 30 mins, which we did and it was apretty good show. Aftershow we ended up in the sunset marquis bar , had a whisky with kerry king and may have been asked to leave due to noise pollution and wait a minute did Lars Ulrich just walk past???
Anyway Friday was our last day in the city of Angelas so we skipped breakfast cracked open a miller lite, hit the cocktail bar and went down the beach in Venice. Later we went on a tour of bars in west hollywood and that was pretty much it, a hangover and a long haul flight back to N.I. beckoned on sat.Thanks to everyone who came to the shows,all at Jensen P.R ,Robert Knight, Zematis guitars, Prs guitars, craig for making us sound good and last but not least Jannicke for driving us everywhere and more importantly taking care of my guitars,bang those rocks baby! Cu all soon. Cheers,
If you haven’t got to know the Answer yet, check out their myspace page!