Wer hätte das gedacht? Nach 20 Jahren Pause ist der Verfasser dieser Zeilen plötzlich wieder als Musikredakteur tätig… damals durfte die „Karriere“ mit einem Interview eines gewissen Bruce Dickinson begonnen werden. Heute aber, heute handeln die Zeilen von einer der derzeit heißesten Newcomer am Rockmusiksektor.
RAVENEYE der Name der Band - und somit vielen unter euch vielleicht schon ein Begriff. Denn seit RavenEye 2014 von Oli Brown (Gitarre und Gesang), Aaron Spiers (Bass) und Kev Hickman (Schlagzeug) gegründet worden sind, wobei das Schlagzeug seit 2016 von Adam Breeze bearbeitet wird, läuft es für die in England lebende Band sehr rund und der RavenEye-Express auf Hochtouren:
Einer selbst veröffentlichten EP namens “Breaking Out“ im April 2015 folgte nur Monate später eine Tour durch Europa als Vorband von „Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators“, im Herbst 2015 dann, wieder als Vorband von Slash und Co, eine Tour durch Nordamerika und Osteuropa. 2016 dann ihr erstes Studio Album “Nova“, veröffentlicht bei Frontiers Records. Und wieder wird getourt. Und wieder sind es namhafte große Bands, die die drei Jungs als Vorband dabei haben wollen. 2017 sind es zuerst „Kiss“ und dann „Bush“, die RavenEye als Special Guest auf deren Tournee durch Europa begleitet.
Oli Brown ist das Gesicht der Band und Musikinteressierte werden von ihm bereits gehört haben. Denn Oli ist als einer der besten Blues-Rock Gitarristen bekannt, hat vor RavenEye als „Oli Brown“ mehrere „British Blues Awards“ einheimsen können und auch einige Alben veröffentlicht. Jetzt mit RavenEye hat Oli das Wort Blues gestrichen und der Rock ist übrig geblieben, wobei seine Wurzeln natürlich unverkennbar bleiben. Soundgarden, Queens Of The Stone Age oder Hendrix nennt die Band selber als ihre Einflüsse – echter und ehrlicher Rock ohne Netz oder doppelten Boden. Der Fokus ganz klar auf die Songs an sich gelegt mit dem Ziel, diese – vor allem Live – mit so viel Energie wie nur irgendwie möglich rüberzubringen. Dass ihnen das sehr gut gelingt, haben sie die letzten Jahre einige Male schon zeigen können.
Jedenfalls, „endlich“ kommt nun auch Mitteleuropa in den Genuss eine Headliner-Clubtour von RavenEye – die die Band nicht nur durch die Clubs Großbritanniens führt, sondern auch in die Clubs Europas. Eine gute Gelegenheit, die Band selbst zu Wort kommen zu lassen. Wir konnten Ihnen im Vorfeld ein paar Fragen stellen, lest hier die Antworten der Band:
metalmieze.de: Hello Oli, Aaron and Adam! After seeing you live as a support act of SLASH, BUSH and KISS it’s nice to be able to see you again – this time on your very own headliner-tour :-). You have just finished the first leg of your tour which means a lot of shows in the United Kingdom. How are you and how was the tour so far?
RavenEye: We’re fantastic thank you! The tour has been unreal, really so epic for us! The supports have been incredible for us but there’s nothing quite like headlining your own shows!
metalmieze.de: So you are all warmed up and in a good shape for the next part, continental Europe?
RavenEye: Yeah, we are more than ready for this European leg! It’s gonna be epic! We’re so set up for the whole run, the show’s figured out and we’re playing better than ever as a band.
metalmieze.de: We’ve seen some great photos from RavenEye playing live in a club – jumping from the bass drum, climbing boxes and racks and so on. And looking at the photo of the tour-poster, it looks like you are really enjoying playing clubs?
RavenEye: At the heart of it all we just love playing! Without a doubt it’s the best feeling in the world. Arenas are epic as you have to work the stage so differently, but we always work on stage to give people that feeling that they are in some club watching an intimate show. When it comes to our own shows it doesn’t matter where we play or what size room we are in as we will always bring the crowd into the show and make it as epic as possible. From small clubs to arenas. High energy, chaos and a full on party.
metalmieze.de: Oli, when someone of your friends in Norfolk would have told you in the beginning of 2015 that only one month after you release a self-released (!) EP you gonna support SLASH, then a year later release a full album and again one year later support KISS on their tour, what would you have said to them?
RavenEye: I would have believed them. I sacrificed everything I set up in my solo career to put my whole mind and heart into this band as I believed in it. I knew what it was capable of and how special the shows were with RavenEye. We work endlessly on pushing ourselves as artists, promoting and working on unique ways of bringing our ‘Ravens’ into this family, we love our community and they’ve backed us all this way!
metalmieze.de: I imagine that your bluesrock-formation „Oli Brown“ already has opened some doors?! Still, it’s amazing the speed of your „breakthrough“ in this short time…
RavenEye: Surprisingly it actually closed doors for me making this move. I thought it would help but a lot of people I got in touch with who promised they’d help me ignored me when I made the shift. I’m glad for it. I found out who really counts in my life and in this scene.
metalmieze.de: Oli, did you expect it? Or the other way round asked, did you have any expectations when you formed RavenEye with Aaron? What was the background to give your bluesrock-formation an „on hold“ and start a new project called „RavenEye“?
RavenEye: I just got tired of the scene I was in. I felt uninspired and I felt people I was working with were interfering with my personal life controlling too much. So I wanted to start again, no agents, no label, no management. It wasn’t an easy start but it was what I needed.
metalmieze.de: Let’s talk a little bit about your music. When friends would ask me out about RavenEye, I would tell them that RavenEye represents the purest form of a kind of „New Heavy Rock“, and though only three people on stage, they still manage to create a lot of energy when playing live. A „dirty“ version of Jimi Hendrix, combined with a crunchier guitar sound. But that’s only my opinion, how would you, the band, describe the sound and the music of RavenEye?
RavenEye: Haha yeah man! That’s how I’d describe it. Like a love child of Soundgarden, QOTSA and Hendrix. Real hard rock, no tracks, no secrets behind us, what you see is what you get. Unpolished unforgiving rock.
metalmieze.de: Compared to „Oli Brown“ what’s the difference now? When I listen to the Oli Brown live record in comparision, I have the feeling that the way you play guitar has changed a little bit. On Oli Brown it feels to me that you use the guitar more as a lead guitar while with RavenEye I would like to think that the guitar is now more used as a rhythm instrument and the song itself and the band as a unit is now the most important thing… wrong impression?
RavenEye: To be honest you took the words out of my mouth. The songs are key for RavenEye, the band are there to make the most of that, with the biggest sounds and the biggest tones between us all. It’s more about the unit, 3 guys laying into their instruments making the show, rather than it being just about me.
metalmieze.de: On the other side of the ocean, Monster Truck is having a similar success with more or less the same music. Looks like people have waited for this kind of music?
RavenEye: It was always going to come back. There’s only so many times people can watch bands mime, play along to backing tracks, drum loops etc… all the fake stuff before needing to watch a real band play music. I think even in the modern rock scene it’s hard to see bands just PLAY their instruments, it’s taking the life out of the shows because they’re tied to what the backing music is playing. We want to bring an unpredictable show and energy and I think people are finally needing that fix too.
metalmieze.de: Oli, being a guitar player as well, we have to do a little bit of guitar talkin‘ as well. The first time I got notice of you was when I’ve seen you as a support act for SATRIANI. And I was like „What the hell is this guy doing with his thumb?“ Then I realized, you are playing with a thumbpick… On rock concerts you hardly see this kind of technique, so why are you using a thumb pick? What’s the story behind?
RavenEye: I felt like I was trying to be other guitarists when I played with a normal pick and by chance I gave a thumb pick a go. It wasn’t comfortable at first but I knew it was only because I hadn’t spent any time with it and I could get comfortable. So I spent a lot of time working on rudiments and boring stuff to get my co-ordination back to the standard I was playing with a pick. From there I’ve just always felt comfortable with it. The tones aren’t always in how hard you hit the strings, it’s more about how you play them and with the thumb pick I had more control over how I wanted to approach each line. It gave me my own voice.
metalmieze.de: And would you say that this style of playing has helped you to create your own style and create your very own approach to rock music?
RavenEye: I don’t know if it had much control over the song writing as at the core of it the guitar and riffs are still all there and you can rock that with a pick for sure too! But it definitely shaped my own style of playing as I had to approach lead lines differently.
metalmieze.de: And what equipment do you use for your sound at the moment? I have seen that with Oli Brown you have used a Telecaster a lot, then with RavenEye you switched to a Semi-acoustic-Humbucker-guitar, and now it looks like you have gone back to Fender and you fell in love with a Stratocaster?
RavenEye: My Little Bird “Strat” is a little beast I put together myself and it’s definitely my lead player! I love it to pieces! On stage I had a pretty extensive pedalboard, but two of the core sounds are my POG2 and ThorpyFX Fallout Cloud. Amps I run a Silver Jubilee re-issue and a JCM 800. One amp runs all the effects and the other is just a crunch. Then I run the crunch during Chorus’ to thicken out the sound and bring that little boost to get more spread.
metalmieze.de: I think that nowadays in the digital century it’s even more important (and appreciated by the fans) to be yourself and follow your own path. Thinking about all the guitarheros like Slash, Bonamassa, Joe Perry and so on they all followed their own ideas and you recognize their play and their sound immediately.
RavenEye: Totally, and for bands I think it’s even more important to be true to your fans too! Social media and everything gives you an opportunity to connect with them all!
metalmieze.de: Some weeks ago RavenEye have released its very own Handy-app and since then you have released a lot of video-blogs, messages and even special features like a „live bootleg“ via this app. How did it happen that you are running your own App and how it‘s going?
RavenEye: It’s epic man. The problem is with all these online social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) is, they’re starting to force bands to pay to reach their fans. It sucks, when someone likes your page they WANT to see what you are posting but with every big company they there’s ways they can take money from people and that’s what’s happening. So when we got approached about making an app we finally found a way we can go direct to our fans and it’s been awesome!
(Anmerkung: Wer neugierig ist, einfach im jeweiligen Appstore nach RavenEye suchen.)
metalmieze.de: In football it goes „After the game is before the game“… so what are your plans after your headliner-tour? Are you planning to go on the road again? And when can your fans expect a new album with new songs?
RavenEye: Our plan is to record a new album! Let’s make it happen, we have so many songs we are ready to record, so that’s our next priority and we can’t wait to put it together! We’ve heard the sound and direction it’s going in and we can’t wait for it
metalmieze.de: Oli, Aaron and Adam, I want to thank you for giving us your time for this interview and wish you all the best for the continental part of your tour!
RavenEye: Thanks so much!! Look forward to seeing you!!
So also die Worte der Band. Die Band jedenfalls ist schon sehr heiß auf ihre Gigs in Mitteleuropa und wird unter anderem bei folgenden Konzerten nicht nur sich selber sondern auch die Fans zum Schwitzen bringen. Oder um es mit den Worten der Band zu sagen „High energy, chaos and a full on party“!
(Text, Interview Bernhard Weber)
24.02.2018 - I - Milan, Legend Club
26.02.2018 - D - München, Backstage Club
27.02.2018 - A - Wien, Chelsea
28.02.2018 - D - Berlin, Cassiopeia
02.03.2018 - D - Stuttgart, Keller Club
04.03.2018 - D - Köln, MTC
05.03.2018 - D - Hamburg, Hafenklang
06.03.2018 - NL - Amsterdam, Melkweg
08.03.2018 - DK - Kopenhagen, Beta
23.01. - Behemoth, Oberhausen
25.01. - Powerwolf, Düsseldorf
17.02. - Our Mirage, Köln