Northern Irish rockers The Answer are living the rock and roll dream and appear to be in a position here they can do no wrong.
They are making the music they want to make, have a record deal and have had hugely successful tours of the US and UK.
The County Down four-piece have also been fortunate enough to share the same stage with some of rocks heaviest hitters, including Aerosmith, Whitesnake and AC/DC (opening for them during the Black ice World Tour).
The Answer are currently back in the UK for a co-headliner tour with The Union, Fame caught up with the band frontman Cormac Neeson to discuss this tour, current album Revival and much more.
Your third album Revival is selling well across the globe by all accounts. How are you finding the fans reaction to the songs, are they as popular as some of your earlier works?
The new stuff is going down even better than we had hoped. This is the first tour we’ve ever been on where the fans are shouting “play more new material” instead of “play more from the first album” and thats great!!
You are co-headling this tour with The Union, how did that partnership come about?
There had been talk about gigs with The Union for quite a while..especially on the band forums. So when this opportunity came about both bands really embraced the notion of having two of the best rock n roll bands in the world right now rocking out together.
What does a typical live set consist of, do you mix it up every night or stick to a set list?
We’ve got a few songs that have become live standards and unless we run out of time we’ll play them. But recently because theres so much new material kicking around its been nice to mix it up.I remember the band playing small gigs around County Down, did you ever think you’d be this successful back then?
Absolutely. I knew from an early stage that this group of guys were as talented as anyone else on the scene so why not set our sights high. We’ve still got so much more we want to achieve but we’re getting there,
What does it mean to you as a band when you get approached to open for an act like AC/DC?
It blew my mind…it was the best news a band could ever hope to get.
What was the Black Ice Tour like to be a part of?
One big rock ‘n’ roll travelling circus. I loved it!!
What’s best for The Answer as performers, a huge arena show or a more intimate one?
Both have their own unique draw. I do like getting into the crowd and being able to look my audience in the eye but playing somewhere like Wembly Stadium or Madisin Square Garden isn’t to be sniffed at either.
You stop off in Belfast as part of this tour, will many friends/family be there to support you?
Absolutely…Belfast shows are great because there’s alot of people in the audience that have been supporting the band from the beginning,
What inspires your songwriting?
The rollercoaster that is our journey through life and all the trials and tribulations that present themselves to us along the way..
Can you explain brielfy that writing process?
It varies…sometimes songs emerge from jams in the practise room. Alternatively any one of us could arrive at the rehearsal room with an idea for a song and then we’ll jam it out until we consider it perfect.
How much input do you have into your albums, I.E. content, artwork etc?
The buck stops with us. We have final say over all the creative aspects of our career which is a good thing to have.
What’s next for The Answer after this tour wraps up?
We’re actually going to work on album number four for a little while and see where it takes us. We’ve also got some festivals and gigs lined up for the Summer.
Have you any advice for fellow rockers who are playing small gigs for little or no money, but dream to emulate your success/
Never lose heart. Believe that you’re the best and write good songs!!!
Finally what do the band do to chill and relax in between gig/tours?
Get wasted every night of course.
The Answer live:
2nd – Dublin, Whelan’s
3rd – Belfast, Mandela Hall
4th – Cork, Cyprus Avenue
Revival is available now.