The Answer have been a prominent name in the world of rock music since their debut release, Rise. Raise a Little Hell is the next installment in The Answer's discography, with hopes of it reaching it's the charts more than the previous albums have done. As they are ready to set sail around the world playing venues and drinking exquisite beer, I managed to have a chat with bassist Mickey Waters - I like having chats.
Raise a Little Hell has been released, have you enjoyed making this album like you have done with the previous ones?
I have, more than most to be honest, this one didn't have any agenda going into the studio it was very much just taking off with a bunch of fresh ideas and making the most of hanging out in a comfortable studio. It's definitely the most honest record I've ever done because we pretty much trusted ourselves to come up with strong ideas and under the pressure of the studio atmosphere, but not forcing it as it was a cool idea to jam for an hour and hit the record button.
Why did you record it in Spain?
We did, we chose the producer of this record is called Will Maya, who's an old friend and worked on our first record with us almost ten years ago, and since then he worked in the background with us with b-sides and live albums. He really wanted to do the record and he owns a residential place an hour north of Madrid in the mountains, it looked like a theme from a spaghetti western! It was a really cool atmosphere and a different place with a lot of inspiration to think about what we are doing.
Did he produce the rest?
Yeah, he has credits in pretty much everything what we do. We used to be pretty fussy by going to meet producers and pick someone who will bring something to the album. What he did bring to the album is that he knows us so well and can bring the best out of us. He was trying to put his own stamp on the record and wanted to get the best out of us performance wise.
What was so difficult about recording this album?
I guess asking ourselves “How good can we be?” or “Are we good enough?” to be put on the spot and come up with ideas. When you turn on the red light and you come up with a chorus and a melody, and musically we're coming up with these ideas on the spot was very challenging. I think that's why this record has more edge because the last couple we rehearsed like hell in the studio a month before we went the studio to know where all the riffs were, the bass line were as they were all marked out, but with Raise a Little Hell it has more edge than our previous records because it's all kind of new, I did a session now in Belfast and I had to rehearse the single because I was like “did we change that a little?” and it's never happened before, but it keeps everyone excited and on edge, and that gets a better performance I think.
How long does it take for you guys to write a song?
I think I am what I am has wrote in 10 minutes, it's been knocking about for a while and that was started on the last album and wasn't quite finished and then shelved it. We've done that a lot in the past, like the song Renegades, some of these have been two years in the making whilst some have been made in five minutes.
You've consecutively charted in the UK and Japan since Rise, are you expecting the same reception?
I mean, touring is pretty good and hopefully with the album I will get top 20 in the UK and we do well in the European charts as well, Germany, Spain, France and we want to do well in the States as we have been getting a lot of press there recently and we're going to tour there for six weeks. We want to make some sort of impact, with rock n roll we have got to get touring, and for the next 6 months we will be hitting the road to see what happens.
Are they your favorite places to tour?
We love playing the UK because we have so many friends there and we've done it so many times and we know somebody we're gonna get a beer with, but when we tour across America, you know that dream you have as a kid where you go on a tour bus and you're going to places like San Francisco, Seattle and you have to picture yourself doing it, and it's our favorite place to tour.
You guys have stuck with the same line up since day one, how does that feel knowing that?
Yeah we have for over 10 years now since we were teenagers.
Have you had any arguments?
Ah yeah we fight like hell all the time, we've had fist fights and a drunken brawls regularly, but the next morning it wouldn't occur. It's kind of like a marriage to be honest, having fights all the time with creative business and you're never out of each others pockets when you're touring, and we've been touring a lot. At the end of the day, it's our job and we've been doing this, we love what we do, when we have a good show everything is fine, but we're hard on ourselves and if we aren't performing well it gets us down. We're working as hard as we can, and people are buying tickets with their had earned money to our shows, so we want to give it our best.
What's the key to your live performances?
I think we are passionate for rock n roll music, and if you're honest with yourself and know your capabilities and you have that gel, it wasn't easy to find. We locked ourselves in rehearsal rooms in school every day for years just to practise and practise until we knew what we are doing. I already look at James and know when he's doing something, it's that natural instinct we have for each others playing and we know what we want to do next that makes it a little bit of magic when it goes well. Sometimes it doesn't go well when there is something going wrong in your life, so we try to keep things consistent.
Are you booked for supporting bands like AC/DC again?
Yes and no, I think we felt for a little while we were a support band as we supported bands like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and in a way that pissed us off a bit because we wanted to do our own thing, but on your first album and these opportunities come you have to cease them as you;re spreading the word on a regular basis, it got us noticed, but we wanted to do our own thing a little bit more.
You were featured on the Black Ice tour, was that the best tour experience you've ever had?
We knew when we were on that it was the biggest tour in the world because of the figures coming in every night, I knew it was special and they knew it was special. I think they couldn't believe how well this tour has done, the right things happened at the right time. It was an amazing experience, everyday was an adventure.
Have you listened to Rock or Bust?
I've only heard the single, I've got a few ACDC fans that are friends and they think it's the best thing since their last record. I've heard the single, and I think it's a strong record.
Are you influenced by AC/DC?
I think AC/DC influence every rock band, they influenced modern rock as I played AC/DC to death when I was a kid, we all did, and it's impossible not to be influenced by that infatuate groove they have. The sound is so good, Back In Black still sounds like the best sonic rock albums ever. Of course, I'm massively influenced by AC/DC, The Who, Whitesnake, we all still listen to it.
Would you play into your 60s/70s?`
I think we're only getting warmed up to be honest, we're getting more focused with what we're doing.I think in the past when we come off tour we get out of each others hair for a few months we go and write songs ready for the rehearsal room and then go to the studio, now we write all the time, everyone is writing everyday. We have more to write about now.