An interview with Whippz (lead vocals/guitar) and Lance Daniels (guitar/backing vocals) from The Burning Crows. The other members of the band, who play in Auntie Annies in Belfast on 8th September are Will Lockett (bass/backing vocals) and Chris Chapman (drums & percussion).

The Burning Crows are managed by Matt Goom (probably better known as the drummer for The Quireboys) and they released their five track EP "Never Had It So Good" earlier this year.

NI Rocks: Alright guys, thanks for taking some time out for Rock Radio NI. You're coming to Belfast to play in Auntie Annies on Saturday 8th September as part of your UK tour. I know you've been touring extensively over the last couple of years as you built up the band's profile but have you played in Belfast before?

 

Lance: No! It did almost happen earlier in the year but the stars didn’t quite align for us! But now they have! I’ve been wanting to get over for ages so to do it with the band makes it even better!

Whippz – Yeah we were so close earlier in the year and it was a bit of a blow when it didn’t come off to be honest as we love it in Ireland! I have family there, so the little Irish part of me always has this constant urge to get back over and get fully involved with a typically decadent evening. It’s just a complete bonus that this time, it’s at our own show!

 

NI Rocks: You've two local bands supporting you in Belfast -Tric and Midnight Transmission. We've got quite a healthy local rock scene here at the minute and it's obviously a great opportunity for bands to support touring artists. As an up and coming band, what advice would you give to local bands trying to make that breakthrough?

Lance: Believe in what you do is always going to help you, but also be prepared to make your band the no1 thing in your life, if you don’t nobody else will!

Whippz – Definitely, and remember there’s always going to be others out there who want to see you fail with the sad thing being some people will be glad to see you doing well… until you’re doing better than they are, which is a real shame. The flip side is however, that there’s always going to be people who want to see you succeed and want to help you (as we found with our manager) so you literally have to give it everything you have, 24/7/365. No excuses, no regrets.

 

NI Rocks: You're playing Hard Rock Hell on Friday 30th November, the same day as Seb Bach, Dan Baird, Blackfoot and many more. How does it feel playing festivals like that compared to the local clubs and do you think they're an essential step in getting the band out to a wider audience?

Lance: Most definitely! Festivals are the way to really find new fans, its instant massive exposure to people who are more than likely to dig your music but who’s town you haven’t played at yet!

Whippz: True and it’s always really cool having those people then come along to your own shows after seeing you by accident somewhere over the summer. The other great thing about festivals has to be the atmosphere. It’s always going to be quiet for the first couple of songs if you’re playing to a new audience, but if you can make that connection – it’s electric! I always remember the festival we played in York, where 3 songs into our set, security had come and put up extra security barriers haha!

 

NI Rocks: Will you be sticking around the rest of the weekend at Hard Rock Hell? And if so are there any particular acts that you're wanting to see?

Whippz – Of course, we want to meet as many of you as possible and the line up is great! KISS have always been a major influence so Ace Frehley for sure and also The Electric Boys and BuckCherry. Would love to see Seb Bach and Fozzy again after catching them at the download for the first time in ages - great guys too. The whole thing is just shaping up to be a great weekend. Plus it’s in Wales… we do like Wales.

Lance: Ace Frehley! But also Dan Baird really love his stuff.

 

NI Rocks: You released the "Never Had It So Good" EP earlier this year and it's been getting some great reviews. We've been playing it quite a bit on Rock Radio NI - five great rock n roll tracks. It was recorded at The Rockfield Studios with Nick Brine who's worked with The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen amongst others. That's quite a coup. How did that come about and how'd it all go, recording the EP with Nick in Rockfield Studios?

Lance: Well I’d know of Nick for a while so we got in touch and started plotting. Originally we were going to use a studio down in Norfolk, then one day he called up saying it had become unavailable but how about Rockfield! Its like heaven that place, every room sounds amazing and has its own vibe. Also it’s where Nick started out so he knows all the little tricks to pull to get everything sounding sweet!

Its great to record and live in the same place it really gets you all on the same wave length and ideas start flying around. You forget the real world exists! I’m actually in love with the place I almost cried as we drove away haha!

Whippz – Thank you, we do always see it flying about on the tinderweb courtesy of you guys as well! As for Rockfield… it’s incredible. For us, it just feels like one of those places where you’re meant to be and when you think of all the records and artists that have recorded there, it’s incredibly humbling and it definitely adds a certain amount of majesty to the EP for us. Nick was amazing, and he instinctively got what we wanted to do, how everything should sound and really just made it all happen. There are no words to describe how important he was in the whole process… Except maybe these two – Green. Dragon.

 

NI Rocks: There's a Northern Ireland connection in the EP of course as you have Keith Weir from The Quireboys playing keyboard on the track "Time". Did that materialise as a result of Matt Goom from The Quireboys being the band's manager?

Whippz – It certainly didn’t hurt! I’ve always loved The Quireboys and had met Keith a few times at their shows when they came to town. Fast forward a few years and we keep bumping into each other at shows and festivals where it keeps coming up in conversation, then next thing you know… he’s playing on the disc! As with Nick, Keith just naturally got it and to be honest his playing on “Time” really makes the track. He’s a great guy and it really is a massive, massive personal buzz to have him playing on the EP

 

NI Rocks: You've recorded a video for the track "Slow Up, Get Down" - are there plans to record another video for a track from the EP?

Lance: We are always thinking up new ideas for videos etc so it’s quite possible. I’d love to do a GnR November Rain style mega production for “Time” with helicopters and explosions! Haha!

Whippz – He’s not joking, we’re actually looking into helicopters and possibly an appearance from Hulk Hogan if the bank will give us that loan. We’ve spoken to a lot of people and “Time” seems to be the favourite for a new video, so if that’s what people want, that’s what we’ll give them – keep them peepers peeping!

 

NI Rocks: Presumably you'll be promoting the EP for the rest of this year. When do you think work will begin on an album and will you hope to use Nick Brine and Rockfield Studios again?

Lance: We’re hope to start the album around spring time and providing all calendars etc line up yes we want to get Nick on board and hole up in Rockfield for months!

Whippz: Absolutely. After the way it all came together last time, it’d be crazy to not use that same formula again. We’re always open to suggestion, but after the way recording went with “Never Had It So Good”, it’ll take some serious convincing to go somewhere else. It was just so organic and full of life and I think that really comes across on the disc which is ultimately what we wanted to go for; to capture the live sound on record and if you’ve found the holy grail, why go back to drinking from a bottle?

 

NI Rocks: What other plans do the band have for the next 6 to 12 months?

Lance: Well Chris (drums) is having a new glass eye fitted so it’s a big 6 months for him as he has been using a marble he found on the floor which doesn’t quite fit. In terms of the band I’d love to have the album all done and wrapped up with a tour by next Sept but we shall see!

Whippz : Yeah Chris is actually in Europe as we speak, meeting with people who are the best in their field when it comes to the aesthetics of visual prostheses - which is a good for everyone as the thing that hangs out of his socket at the moment is rank!. It’s all go with the band and there’s some really exciting stuff going on next year with the album, tour, videos. But before all that we’re really putting everything into the “Never Had It So Good – Alive!” tour (tickets available at www.theburningcrows.com) and finishing up the year with a set at this years Hard Rock Hell festival. Can’t wait!

 

NI Rocks: You've all played in other bands before The Burning Crows but in terms of musical influences, would each of you have similar lists or is it a bit of a mix?

Lance: There is a lot of similarities Kiss, AcDc, GnR etc but we do have quite different tastes when it comes to individual stuff.

Whippz – There’s a lot of crossovers from a lot of the bands that you’d probably expect, but then again, there’s a lot of stuff which maybe you wouldn’t. Lance listens to a lot of country where as Will and Chris lean more toward metal. I won’t go into my somewhat confusing tastes, but the great thing is, that when we all throw around a new song together, all the influences and styles come through in the playing, it locks in and sounds like us. It’s all really natural, with the bonus of ending up with a load of good time Rock n’ Roll tracks!

 

NI Rocks: Presumably you keep an eye on emerging rock bands  - would you have any recommendations for rockers here in N Ireland to check out?

Lance: All the support bands on this tour! They are all kicking it, in a really good way! Its rad to see bands coming up the ranks

Whippz: Yeah, they’re all amazing and the really cool thing for us is that everyone seems to have really pulled together to make the shows a success. There’s no ego’s or ridiculous demands, just a group of musicians who are all there for the right reasons which is incredibly refreshing as we all know how local music scenes can get jaded and too focussed on the politics quite quickly. We used to dread sorting this kind of thing out but this time around it’s been an absolute pleasure, so get to www.theburningcrows.com, get some tickets and make sure you get there when the doors open and check out all the bands on the bill. You won’t be disappointed!

 

NI Rocks: Finally a quick question for you both. If you were to stick your iPod on shuffle what artists would we be likely to hear.

Lance: Aerosmith, The Steeldrivers, Pride and Glory, Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow. That’s my summer playlist!

Whippz – Well I don’t actually own an iPod as I fear technology somewhat, but my mp3 player has everything from KISS, Thin Lizzy and Creedence through to Tom Jones, Tina Turner and James Brown so it’s kind of eclectic. Chris is a fan of chamber music and audiobooks (we’re not entirely sure that he can read - see earlier question re glass eye) and Will sold his iPod in a recent misguided venture into the scrap metal trade so he mainly expresses himself through the medium of expressive dance and spoken word. Regardless of what we’re listening to though, we’re going to give every show everything we have and we can’t wait to see you all on the road in September !

 

NI Rocks: Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few questions. I look forward to seeing you play in Auntie Annies on 8th September.

Thanks Nigel and thanks to everyone who’s reading. Nothing but love to you all…

 

You can check out the Burning Crows at

www.theburningcrows.com

www.facebook.com/theburningcrowsrock

Or follow them on Twitter

www.twitter.com/TheBurningCrows

The EP “Never Had It So Good” is available on iTunes or from all the usual retailers.

Last Updated (Sunday, 07 April 2013 00:39)