NWOBHM trio RAVEN are all set for a return with a brand new album in 2005, their first new product since 1999's "One For All". The band was forced out of action in 2001 when guitarist Mark Gallagher suffered serious injuries. Garry Sharpe-Young of Rockdetector.com spoke to bassist/vocalist John Gallagher about the new record.
Rockdetector.com: Obvious one first — the new album. What kind of material can fans expect — "classic" RAVEN, experimental or something new entirely?
John Gallagher: "Er..hopefully all three! We have a large amount of material for this record and have had some time to fiddle about with it, which is unusual for us. What happens more often than not is we write and record really fast and then repent at leisure! So, due to the famous 'circumstances beyond our control' we've been able to live with a lot of this material and fine tune it. Of course, we'll go in the studio and all that 'finely-tuned' stuff will go out the window! I'm only half kidding — something spontaneous happens on every song to change it for the better. I can't wait to get this stuff recorded and get it out. It's been too damn long!"
Rockdetector.com: Album title? Songtitles? All originals or any covers?
John: "Album title...not yet. Song titles? Brief descriptions? OK, here's some of them...
'Against the Grain' - full out - faster.. RAVEN.
'Running around in Circles' - our token "hit"
'Armageddon' - heavy mini-epic
'Long Hard Road' - swagger! heavy groove
'Bulldozer' - one long kick in the teeth...oh..its heavy!
'Breaking You Down' - new wave of rifforama.
'Under Your Radar' - speed kills once again.
'Attitude' - gentlemen..start your kick drums...
'Burn Your Bridges' - see 'Attitude'
'Long Day's Journey' - atmosphere...bluesy?...sledgehammer!
'The Stranger Inside' - evil alter-ego in 7/8 timimg.
'Desperate Measures' - kinda 'Hell Patrol' on steriods.
'Strip Away' - kinda 'Desparate Measures' on steriods.
'Wrecking Crew' – that's our theme song!!!
"… and at least another ten with another five or so awaiting me getting my finger out and writing lyrics! And, on top of this, I've demoed about about six cover songs, which would be fun, as we love doing them — the STATUS QUO one on the last album was a blast! So we will have to see…"
Rockdetector.com: Mark suffered a serious injury to his legs. What exactly happened?
John: "An unbraced twenty foot high wall fell on him, on his legs actually. A foot or two more and he'd be a goner - no doubt. Calf muscle torn off his left knee, metal bar through his left leg, left ankle crushed. They had to helicopter him to the hospital. Of course, they had him on this oxycotin painkiller — super addictive — and told him to wean himself off them. He stopped totally and went into 'cold turkey'. Horrible.
"Anyway — a long, gruelling recuperation followed. Operations on legs, ankles, lengthening withered achilles tendons, knee operations. They said anyone less fit would not have pulled through. He was that messed up."
You can read the full interview at Rockdetector.com.