Former MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP (MSG) frontman Robin McAuley has replaced Jim Jamison as the new lead vocalist for SURVIVOR.
Jamison first joined the band in 1984 after original lead singer Dave Bickler encountered voice problems before a tour supporting the band's "Caught In The Game" album.
Bickler was a part of the group for their first four albums, "Survivor", "Premonition", "Eye Of The Tiger" and "Caught In The Game". SURVIVOR experienced their big breakthrough in 1982, when they were asked by Sylvester Stallone to provide the theme song for his movie "Rocky III". Enter "Eye of the Tiger", which soon turned into one of the biggest hits of the band's career. It had an enormous impact on the Billboard charts, soaring to #1 for seven weeks. The song won the band a Grammy Award for "Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal", was voted "Best New Song" by the People's Choice Awards and received an Academy Award nomination. Thanks to the song's success and another Top 20 single, "American Heartbeat", the album "Eye Of The Tiger" stormed to #2 on Billboard's "Top 200 Albums" chart. The song remains a cultural phenomenon. It came in at #18 on the "Top 100 Singles" chart in Billboard's 100th Anniversary issue and it's well over the 300,000 mark on iTunes, where it's currently holding strong at #9 on their "Top Soundtrack" chart.
The band's first album with Jamison, "Vital Signs", was another huge success for the band, peaking at #16 on Billboard's "Top 200 Albums" chart thanks to the hits "I Can't Hold Back" (which hit #13 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart), "High On You" (#8) and "The Search Is Over" (#4). The record made Jamison an instant favorite and the writing team of Jim Peterik/Frankie Sullivan were solidly footed into the business of writing hits. "Vital Signs" is still praised by fans and critics alike as one of the best AOR albums of all time.
Between 1993-1996 the band re-teamed with Bickler after Jamison left the band to pursue a solo career. Fast forward to 2000, when Bickler left the group once again and ultimately resulted in Sullivan re-establishing a partnership with Jamison to head up SURVIVOR once more. The band continued to retain their popularity, playing concerts in North America, Europe, and Asia year after year.
The band has crossed paths with McAuley here and there over the years, but now is finally the right time for them to join forces. As guitarist Frankie Sullivan explains, "I first met Robin in 1988 when my good friend and Grammy Award-winning engineer, Frank Filipetti, felt in his gut that Robin and I would be really comfortable together and that meeting would lead to great times and great music. Frank had just completed working on MSG's 'Anytime' album, which included the Top Ten hit 'Anytime', which Robin wrote. At the same time, Frank was mastering SURVIVOR's 'Too Hot To Sleep'. It was some twist of fate, though I will tell you Frank Filipetti has one great gut!”
He continues, "When we made the decision to replace Jamison, I had no idea what we would do. Then it hit me — Robin McAuley! Is he available? How can he possibly be available?! Can I be lucky yet again in my career to work with such a talented singer? Well, the short answer, he was available, we gave him the songs of a set list we would perform, he came to the Windy City and blew our socks off! Robin is a pure pleasure to work with and he's such a great person. With Robin, what you see is what you get. And boy do you get it!"
This is assured to put the bite back into the tiger and the SURVIVOR camp is ready to break loose from its cage. "I'm very excited at this opportunity to sing for SURVIVOR," says McAuley. "I can only hope the SURVIVOR fans give me a fighting chance. Frankie and I have worked together in the past I am extremely excited to start writing with him again and playing with a great bunch of guys. This new SURVIVOR promises to be full of energy, and with such a stable of awesome tunes to pick from, who knows what each show will bring. I'm ready!"
Drummer Marc Droubay adds, "We have played the same set list for five years. Having a singer of Robin's caliber allows us to change up the set list and give the fans the opportunity to hear songs live they have asked to hear for years! Songs they have never heard live before."
The new and current line-up — Robin McAuley (vocals), Frankie Sullivan (guitar), Marc Droubay (drums), Chris Grove (guitar/keyboards) and Billy Ozzello (bass) — are hard at work on a new studio album which they hope to release in 2007.
"So we embark on a totally new SURVIVOR," says an ecstatic Sullivan. "One that for the first time in many years is based on music and performing. Robin loves the fans and is no doubt one of the best front men I have ever known! I guess it's the luck of two Irishmen, McAuley/Sullivan finally taking its place in time and where it belongs, making music and making fans happy!"