The Answer is a rock’n’roll band hailing from Northern Ireland and are currently getting ready to release their brand new album Raise A Little Hell. We caught up with guitarist Paul to find out a bit more.
You’re currently getting ready to release your new album Raise A Little Hell. How would you describe your writing and recording process?
The process has evolved through the years. We began by just jamming all together in the same room and when we happened upon something good we would just hammer it out there. Then when we had something close to a song, it would be refined outside of the practice room. Or we work on ideas individually and bring them to the rest of the band – some of these may be 80%-90% finished but it doesn’t become an Answer song until everyone has put it through their own filter. It takes longer but it stops us repeating ourselves and it helps to make songs that may be in a traditional format and style but they come out just a little different. This is something we worked on through the years and I think it’s an advantage we have compared to many of the bands around today.
When recording them, we consider the song and what approach will suit it best. We have learnt through the years that different songs need different approaches to bring the best out of them. Sometimes you need to build it up in layers from the drums to get the best out of it, sometimes you need everyone in the same room doing it live, and sometimes its a combination of the 2.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to put down or did everything go largely to plan?
Nothing ever goes completely to plan. Some songs go down as you expect, some are easier and some are an almighty pain in the ass for reasons you wouldn’t expect so you have to plan for that. In terms of guitars, tuning is always lots of fun during recording but you get there in the end. Sometimes the groove in a song can be tough for the drums and sometimes you discover a song as you record it. Strange Kinda Nothing was one such case during this record.
Which song on Raise A Little Hell are you most proud of?
I like and am proud of the title track as we recorded it after the main sessions in our home studio, I really like Cigarettes & Regrets as we had to reinvent the guitar part and it came out really nice. I like the atmosphere of Last Days Of Summer and I really like the solo on Long Live The Renegades.
Any interesting studio stories?
We recorded the album outside of Madrid in the mountains in a little town called Moralzarzal. We chose this location as it was away from the temptations of the city and we could focus on the recording but it turned out it was the time of the annual fiesta. This meant recording was punctuated by breaks to go do the bull run in the morning and then back to record some tracks.This continued over 4 days and somehow we survived unscathed!! I think it gave us an extra supply of adrenaline to record and maybe accounts for some of the aggression on the album.
You’re also going to be touring extensively in support of it. What can fans expect from the shows?
We now have 5 albums of material to choose from so the setlist will be much changed from previous tours and we will be playing 80% new material. There will also be some production in the show inspired by the album artwork.
Is there anywhere you’re most excited to play?
We start the tour in Belfast and the home town show is always much anticipated and exciting to play. It’s a full on party for fans, family and friends. Outside of the UK, Spain is awesome to play and I’m really looking forward to Bilbao and Madrid as the crowds are always crazy there!
What do you like most about touring?
I enjoy that every day is the same and different at the same time depending on your state of mind. If you make the most of it, every show can offer something different. You get to explore a different city everyday and you get to see and experience a lot of things most people aren’t privy to in everyday life – some good, some bad but always something interesting. We have made a lot of friends over the years and its always great to see them and catch up.
Is there anything you dislike?
The constant hangover and lack of sleep can get to you after a while! The search for a laundrette too; clean clothes are like gold dust when you get halfway through a tour. It’s also a terrible place to get sick as the show must go on and there’s no sympathy for man flu even if its very serious!!!
If you could replace the soundtrack to a movie with your own music, what would it be and why?
I think Raise A Little Hell would be the perfect soundtrack for Raging Bull. It covers the whole gamut of emotions experienced by Jake La Motta throughout the movie – Long Live The Renegades could be the soundtrack to his rise, Last Days Of Summer could score his descent into darkness and Raise A Little Hell would work perfectly over the last scene when he’s telling the joke. Just picture it!
If you could choose an animal to represent The Answer, what would you choose?
A Bengal tiger as we have the same tiger blood and are the last of a dying breed hunted by many with only our strength and cunning to survive!
And if The Answer could put their name to a product, what would it be?
We are currently developing our own line of beer, a different type for each member of the band to represent their character. James is working on clear crisp lager, Cormac on a full bodied stout, Micky an American ale and I’m brewing a hop loaded double IPA. Of course it would have to be alcohol related!!!