The Answer
Gig Seeker Pro

The Answer

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Rock Blues

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


The Answer opened their midnight-hour SXSW show with a few words. "We're from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and our business is rock & roll," crowed singer Cormac Neeson, a hyperactive beanpole with a fierce vibrato in his throat. Then the four hard-blues boys proved they knew their business well with an assault that was heavy Seventies a la UFO and Irish slide-guitar god Rory Gallagher, delivered with smart writing and true-believers swagger. Neeson introduced "Under the Sky" as "swamp music, Irish-style" -he was right. The Answer's 2006 debut, RISE (Albert Productions), is available only as an import, but its a robust calling card for their live vibe and for the second album, due this fall. - Rolling Stone


#3 The Answer- RISE

We called 'em "rock's brightest hope for 2005" and in '06 The Answer lived up to that accolade and delivered their blinding debut. With fiery blues riffs welded to big choruses and meaty rock hooks, you'll think it's 1973 all over again - in the best possible way. - Classic Rock Magazine UK


As the sun slowly sinks behind the skyscrapers, the sprawling urban metropolis of Tokyo comes to life. The city erupts into a flood of brightly-lit advertising hoardings, gigantic video screens and neon signs that stretch as far as the eye can see. At street level, incandescent car headlights cut through the oncoming dusk as they zoom past the hundreds of hip fashionistas who mill around the city's Shibuya district.

Tokyo at night is quite something to behold.

Backstage at the AX arena, The Answer frontman Cormac Neeson flicks through his band's weekly itinerary and laughts.

"We've been working non-stop since we got here," he says in his soft Irish accent. "It was photo shoots all day yesterday, today we're playing a gig and then tomorrow and the day after it's interviews and TV and radio sessions all day long. And to think I started a band to get away from the whole nine-to-five thing. They clearly have other ideas."

The 'they' in question is the band's Japanese record company. And the reason the Northern Irishquartet - Neeson, guitarist Paul Mahon, bassist Mickey Walters and drummer James Heatley - are being worked like dogs is because they're actually pretty big stars in Japan, despite this being their first visit to The Land Of The Rising Sun. When their debut album 'Rise' was released a little over a month ago, it entered the Japanese national album chart at Number 11 (the only higher entries hat week by non-domestic acts were singer/songwriter Norah Jones and indie whiners Bloc Party). And not only that, 'Rise" also simultaneously debuted at Number One in the Japanese import charts because their record company couldn't physically press enough copies of the album to meet the overwhelming demand. Needless to say, tonight's 3,000-capacity gig has been sold out for weeks in advance.

continued. - Kerrang!


Easy to hear why this County-Down-formed quartet can count Aerosmith, Jimmy Page and Phil Lynott's mother Philomena among their fans. Slabs of gloriously unreconstructed riffage such as "Under The Sky" ooze last-gang-in-town swagger, while hirsute, mighty-lunged frontman Cormac Neeson comes on like the missing link between Captain Caveman and Free's Paul Rodgers. This is their debut album, re-released with an extra CD's worth of bonus tracks - Mojo


How the hell did you manage to blag yourselves onto a bill with Aerosmith?

Cormac Neeson: "Basically contact was made because of you guys, actually. We did a cover of 'Sweet Emotion' for last year's Kerrang! 'High Voltage CD and somehow Aerosmith's management got a hold of it and played it to the band. Then after that they personally requested that we share the main stage with them at Sweden Rock rather than play one of the tents, which was cool, and then they booked Hyde Park and asked us if we wanted to play that too." - Kerrang!


Delightfully unreconstructed and properly guileless foot-on-the-monitor metal from Northern Irish outfit who have clearly taken a collective decision to pretend that music stopped with the release of Led Zeppelin IV, and have stuck to it with commendable discipline. It's all here: fretboard-shredding solos, jet engine vocals, a riff which will propel the internal Beavis & Butthead of anyone with warm blood into devil's horn salutes. Marvelous. - The Guardian


The pressure on The Answer to deliver a stunning first album might have been subtle, but it was clearly there. Being rated "Best New Band" in the inaugural Classic Rock Awards. Working with celebrated AC/DC producer George Young...yep, that'll do the trick.

But, against all the cloth-eared predictions that Rise would end up failing to match the hype and disappear up its own shamrock, these Northern Irish lads have delivered something truly special, phenomenal. In short, a world class debut that goes a long way to reclaiming Britain's blues-rock credibility.

Led Zeppelin, Free, Black Crowes, early Fleetwood Mac...sure, you can hear all of those influences throughout an album that never wavers from the highest standards But this is a big album. As in, taking the roots of the past and planting them firmly in '06. This is a big album. As in, having a sound that immerses you in the warm glow of timeless style. This is a big album. As in, the performances are bloody enormous.

Rise is a throwback. But only insofar as The Answer have thrown back the general acceptance that these days bland mediocrity is something to be admired. Here's a record of passion, eloquence, of substance. It dares to have songs that start with a climax, and build upwards. Under The Sky kicks in with a groove so rich it'll make Roman Abramovich seem in need of a begging bowl. Recent singles Never Too Late and Into The Gutter are now old friends who can still surprise. Memphis Water is so authentically Deep South Blues that you can smell the cotton fields.

And so it goes on. Every track should be savoured, because this is a landmark first record. What's more, these fellas belie their youth, with the sort of balance between understated confidence and brazen firepower that usually only comes with age. The trick? Its spontaneous. No affectations, nothing forced. Cormac Neeson's voice surfs the rhythms, yet really gets under the skin. Guitarist Paul Mahon slides and grips, reliant on spark, not smokescreen of effects.

We've had false dawns before, but its with more than hope that Rise is declared the start of a new, glorious era for British rock. Rory Gallagher and Phil Lynott would approve at their precious legacy's latest champions. - Classic Rock Magazine UK


They came close to upstaging The Farkness at Brixton Academy last year, so clearly The Answer have got something special about them. If the soulful, blues-infused rock swagger of Reef or The Black Crowes works for ou then these Belfast boys are liable to blow your head off. The title-track from their debut EP is a soaring, hip-shaking anthem of epic proportions. Make these men stars - The Independent


Delightfully unreconstructed and properly guileless foot-on-the-monitor metal from Northern Irish outfit who have clearly taken a collective decision to pretend that music stopped with the release of Led Zeppelin IV, and have stuck to it with commendable discipline. It's all here: fretboard-shredding solos, jet engine vocals, a riff which will propel the internal Beavis & Butthead of anyone with warm blood into devil's horn salutes. Marvelous. - The Guardian


Discography

RISE- Special Edition 2 disc set
Be What You Want- Download Single
Come Follow Me- Download Single
Under The Sky- Download Single
RISE CD
Into The Gutter- 7" + Download
Never Too Late CD + 7"
Keep Believin' EP

Photos

Bio

“F*@king stupendous,” wrote Kerrang! of an explosive live show by Northern Ireland based rock quartet The Answer. “Sounds as fresh as any debut album in living memory,” was how they greeted the U.K. release of the group’s first full-length “Rise”, slated for U.S. shores in early ’08. Another reviewer for the magazine said, “Uplifting and authentic, classic rock is safe in the hands of this brilliant young Irish band.” Classic Rock voted The Answer 2005’s Best New UK Band at their prestigious annual awards. They also ranked Rise #3 out of 2006’s 50 Best Albums, calling it, “phenomenal. In short, a world class debut that goes a long way to reclaiming Britain’s blues-rock credibility.”

Not bad for four country lads from Downpatrick, County Down, about thirty miles outside Belfast who, according to star-powered lead singer Cormac Neeson, “spent three or four years playing every shit hole we could find” before being signed in the U.K. in 2005 to esteemed Australian rock label Albert Productions, famed for the development of rock icons AC/DC. Since then, while they continue to blow the roofs off of clubs across the continent, they’ve opened stadium and arena concerts for such heavy-weight acts as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. The Answer has also triumphantly headlined tours in Japan, Australia and various corners of Europe, East and West. They are the real deal, passionate about their music, devoid of pretense and, as Neeson has said, “just doing what we do: playing every gig like our lives depended on it.”

With Rise’s U.S. release, The Answer will do just that Stateside for the first time as they embark on their inaugural American tour and connect with a massive audience starving for a pure, original hard rock outfit that can live up to the legends of the genre. The faithful will surely feel this band’s bluesy, soul strutting, hip-shaking melodic thunder. Neeson and mates Paul Mahon (guitar) – who calls America “the blues’ spiritual home” – Micky Waters (bass) and James Heatley (drums) are just as hungry to rise to the challenge.

Comparisons to iconic predecessors already regularly trip off the tongues and pens of journalists and tastemakers familiar with The Answer’s music and epic stage might. These same commentators also make it equally clear that this is the new version of the gods’ musical hammer – “There’s no doubt that The Answer owe a lot to ’70s rock giants like Free and Led Zeppelin. But by endowing every riff and beat with the fulsome power of a 21st century rock band in full, speaker blowing flight,” Kerrang writes in a paean to Rise, “the likes of [album] opener “Under The Sky”…sound blissfully modern and vital.”

Flat out calling The Answer’s Rise “the best British rock debut of the decade,” Classic Rock concurs with, “sure, you can hear all of those influences throughout an album that never wavers from the highest standards. But this is a big album. As in taking the roots of the past and planting them firmly in ’06. This is a big album. As in having a sound that immerses you in the warm glow of a timeless style. This is a big album. As in, the performances are bloody enormous.” The second coming of this massive slab of classic-come-post-modern blues-rock swagger looms even larger in its enormity with its North American release.

The Answer really started out with a question. In 1999, Paul Mahon (whose father had blown trumpet & trombone for famed ’60s-era Irish show band The Freshmen) and Micky Waters were looking to form a rock ‘n roll band with a blues bent. A school chum had recently seen another group rehearse and roundly recommended the fellow who’d been singing with them as their man for vocals. They tracked Cormac down in America, where he was itinerantly spending the summer flipping pizza in Wildwood, NJ, playing bars in New York, and traveling around, and mailed him a letter asking if he’d like to join them.

The boys’ post found its way to Neeson, and while it roused mutual enthusiasm, the trans-Atlantic connection faltered and both sides gave up. Back at Queens University in Belfast that year, Paul was taking an ethnomusicology class, and saw Cormac’s name on the attendance board. The Answer’s pre-history pivoted on another crucial question: “After a few weeks, I still hadn’t met him, so I asked the guy sitting next to me in lecture hall, did he know who Cormac Neeson was,” recalls Paul. “I thought he was kidding,” says Neeson about the fateful moment. “I said, ‘it’s me,’ and then I learned he was one of the guys looking for me to join a band.”

Quite rightfully for a singer who cites Paul Rodgers – as well as Otis Redding, Chris Robinson, Robert Plant and Howlin’ Wolf – as favorite inspirations, the first song they ever played at practice was Free’s “All Right Now.” “From the opening chords,” says Cormac, “the band kicked in and we were all looking at each other with big grins, as if we’d known each other for