From AC/DC to Americana: The Answer climb towards a new horizon
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll – and Northern Irish band The Answer are ready to scale the heights, singer Cormac Neeson tells Ronan McGreevy
The Answer: Micky Waters, Paul Mahon, Cormac Neeson and James Heatley
New Horizon is your fourth album. How do you feel about this new record?
We feel the same way that we feel like the first three at this stage. We’re excited, nervous and ready to get going to go on the road and take the songs on tour. There is a very nice kind of anticipation in the band at the moment with a lot of nervous energy kicking around the rehearsal space for sure.
How would you compare New Horizon to your previous records?
I would probably say that this record is closer to (second album) Everyday Demons . We kept it very raw, very alive and intense from start to finish. There is a clarity that runs through this album as an overall statement. That clarity and strength of vision is most acute on this record and more so than our first three.
Why do so many bands get worse with each record when the opposite should be the case?
Most bands don’t get better. I have no idea why this is the case. Maybe they are disillusioned or they get too much money. From our point of view, I hope that fans appreciate our album more and more, because I think we are getting better with each record. We have always been a band to challenge ourselves to better our last work. We have never got complacent. We’re always trying to improve as musicians and as songwriters.
Your first album, Rise, came out in 2006. Seven years down the road, have thinks turned out the way you expected?
To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect from the outset. There are so many factors beyond a musician’s control. Our attitude has been to do what we do and do it well and see where it takes us and get a few breaks along the way that have brought us a few notches up the ladder.
Getting a record deal in the first place was sacred ground as a young band. On a much broader scale, getting a support slot on the AC/DC world tour was a big help for us.
Does your support slot with AC/DC in 2009 and 2010 still resonate with your fans?
They are such an all-encompassing band. They are one of the greatest rock and roll bands there has ever been. A lot of our fan base are massive fans of AC/DC. Our audiences take a lot of pride that we survived a year and a half on the road with those guys.
What are Angus and Malcolm Young really like – they appear to be fairly reclusive characters?
They are definitely not your traditional superstar divas. They keep themselves to themselves. That is part of their charm. They are doing it 100 per cent because they love the music. That was a source of inspiration to us and still is a source of inspiration to us.