Vocalist Robin McAuley (MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP), guitarist Reb Beach (WINGER, WHITESNAKE), bassist Jeff Pilson (FOREIGNER, THE END MACHINE, ex-DOKKEN), and drummer Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY, MR. BIG) have joined forces in BLACK SWAN, a new band project signed to Frontiers Music Srl. Their debut album, "Shake The World", is a delightful romp of powerful hard rock that is not simply the sum of its parts, but a powerful rock and roll machine. It will be released on February 14, 2020 on CD, LP and digital formats. Watch the first single and video, for the title track, below.
The genesis of BLACK SWAN was sparked by a conversation between Pilson and Frontiers president and head of A&R, Serafino Perugino, who wanted a project that would not only showcase McAuley's vocal prowess, but have a mighty musical backbone to stand skyscraper tall behind him. Thus, the initial seeds were planted and Pilson ran with it from there. "Shake The World" was tracked at Pilson's home studio in Los Angeles and is a showcase of both the musical talents of the instrumental players in the band as well as McAuley's powerful voice. The four members got BLACK SWAN off the ground by exchanging ideas back and forth and then bringing all the songs together. The final result is something fresh, very heavy, but still intensely melodic and it's certainly not DOKKEN, nor WINGER, nor MSG, or some combination thereof, but its own unique animal. As an example, one of the songs was written by Pilson right after seeing the QUEEN movie "Bohemian Rhapsody". "I came home and I sat down at the grand piano and pretty much wrote exactly the chorus that we have, just coming straight [from] the movie. It is a bit QUEEN-like."
Continues Pilson, "It's amazing, incredible music. Wait until you hear everybody's playing and singing. It's beyond — way beyond."
Adds McAuley, "This is really exciting for me to read: BLACK SWAN announces the release of 'Shake The World', the first offering from the band on the Frontiers label.' I've known Jeff for some thirty years and we have a history of performing together on MSG 'Unplugged', in addition to being great friends, musically and socially. When he asked me to do this and collaborate with Reb, I didn't have to think too long with my response. Initially he wasn't going to play bass on this, but Reb and myself soon changed his mind, lol!!! Bringing Matt into the mix was a great decision. His powerful energy and style is unmistakable on this album. Overall, it is a very powerful blend of styles and writing. Reb is truly an amazing guitarist and songwriter. Jeff captured my vocals the way I like to sound. Probably the best vocal sound I've had... ever!!!! Such a great and creative studio experience for me. This is kick-ass, powerful music on an album full of great songs. If you love strong melodies and BIG choruses, BLACK SWAN won't disappoint!! It's time… 'SHAKE THE WORLD'!!!"
Beach says: "When Jeff approached me to do this, I was so excited because I loved writing 'Erase The Slate' with him for DOKKEN. I also played in the band with Jeff for four years, and we worked so well together, writing and live too. He is as good as it gets when it comes to a rock musician, a great songwriter and an absolute joy to work with. I came in with riffs, Jeff arranged them into a song by adding his own parts, and then Robin wrote the lyrics, and knocked it out of the park with the vocals. I am pretty particular about singers, and Robin's voice is so slammin' that I wouldn't want anyone else. Matt came in with his huge drum sound, and we had a great sounding band. Very exciting stuff!!"
"Shooting the video was a blast," says Starr. "Shot in Los Angeles over the course of two days, it was similar to recording the record, everything was very organic and comfortable. That's the advantage of working with guys who have so much experience. There's not too much discussion going on. Everybody knows what to do, we just get to work and do it. That leaves more time for hanging out, chatting and smoking cigars!"
"Shake the World" track listing:
01. Shake The World
02. Big Disaster
03. Johnny Came Marching
04. Immortal Souls
05. Make It There
06. She's On To Us
07. The Rock That Rolled Away
08. Long Road To Nowhere
09. Sacred Place
10. Unless We Change