UK rockers RavenEye are about to conquer the world wide rock scene with their enigmatic 90s based heavy rock, with their unique live show, and with their courage to play the big stages. Founded by the former blues guitar genius Oli Brown, RavenEye managed to bring out one EP and in 2016 the highly acclaimed album NOVA. Since then they are on the road – mostly as support act for bigger names. Currently the trio succeeded to open for the mighty KISS on their european tour. And what a brilliant shot of heavy rock they blasted out to the KISS fans in Dortmund – with great song power and rocknroll showmanship (including riding on shoulders like Angus did with Brian, including playing one song without guitar, including posing and rocking like there is no tomorrow), making them applause and scream for more.
We met the cheerful guys after a long ride to Dortmund before soundcheck at the Westfalenhalle …
Interview by Martin Hannig, Pic by Frank Weichbrodt (entertaim.net)
entertaim.net: You’ve been on tour with KISS, had the first shows – what are your impressions so far?
Aaron: It’s been incredible! The size of the thing is massive! For our little band – playing on this big stage before big audiences is very exciting!
entertaim.net: There are not so many old school rock bands like KISS pulling so much people….
entertaim.net: You also played with Slash and Deep Purple. Is this bigger?
Oli: Well Kiss, they got lot more production, more fireworks and and lot of things going on. It’s different. You expect something different when you go and see Slash or when you go and see Kiss. It’s a different form of live show.
entertaim.net: What about your production? You know sometimes it’s hard for support acts to get the right light or sound…
Oli: On this tour it’s been incredible. The whole cew, everyone is so kind to us. We have guys doing video for us, we have lightning, they giving us that. What’s amazing with Kiss: we’ve been invited to this tour. Gene has a hand on with whom they really go out. They know venues like these are massive for a developing band. So they give us a chance.
entertaim.net: So they came to you…
Oli: Yes. And we came to them! And they want to give us as much as possible for our show. Amazing.
entertaim.net: I mean you got one album out – and you play with KISS. What the hell? Was THAT your plan?
Oli & Aaron: (laugh). Yes!!!
entertaim.net: So this is your chance right?
Aaron: Absolutely. We love working hard. It has come quickly, but we live and breathe this band. We try to push ourselves, writing new songs, or how we can make shows more exciting. And also interacting with everyone, on social media like facebook . I hate people representing bands on their behalf. We like to keep it four ourselves. We are proud of that and it’s really important for us. Our community is incredible!
entertaim.net: There is this pic on your FB page, taken in Gothenburg, you are standing before the crowd, you see them going wild, as you wave goodbye, …
Aaraon: Yes because they were happy we left the stage (laughing all aorund).
entertaim.net: No they were really excited by you….
Oli: The response has been incredible, really.
entertaim.net: Well the swedish are crazy….
Oli: But I know that the germans are crazy! I was touring here a lot, in my other career. I love touring here, people love music in germany, especially rock music.
entertaim.net: There are not so many places in the world where you can play that rock show. France or Italy is much harder to play…
Oli: Yes totally. Germany is the best place .
entertaim.net: So we have mostly hardcore KISS fans around. Are you satisfied with the reactions from this audience ? Do they support you?
Aaron: Oh yes absolutely. And we also stand out at the merchandise every night after the show. To sign and take photos, and everyone comes up and say „great“ . They may not heard of us before, so we have newly converted. That’s beautiful.
entertaim.net: I saw you in a van comin in here a few minutes ago. Do you have a tour bus to travel?
Oli: No no we drive in our van! That’s our tour bus! (laughs) We came from Gothenburg to Dortmund. Aaron our sound engineer and I did the driving!
entertaim.net: OK! With the ferry?
Aaron: No, thats too expensive for us. We are cheap! (laughing all around). But it’s fun. We had a smaller van before, so we got a little bigger, get more people in…
entertaim.net: Let’s talk about your label, Frontiers Records. I know them as a label with quiet a lot classic rock bands, like Whitesnake. How did you came to that label?
Oli: We were always thinking of who can present us the best. And they seemed really passionate about music. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter where you have signed. They are not gonna divine our record . At the end of the day it’s we still doing the songs and put out the album. But… you know, they were just great. They wanted us to develop us. We never wanted to be signed in the first place. We always wanted to be an independent band. So they been all really a great bunch of people to turn us to their side! And eventually the communcition started workin out after some problems.
entertaim.net: Lookin at some video clips from your first career Oli – it’s jusut unbelievable that this blues guitarist – playing pure blues with 5 minutes solos – is the same guy who is rocking the stage with RavenEye…. this is totally different. So how did you come together a few years ago?
Oli: Well I just didn’t feel represented by this anymore. I just wanted to start something with 2 guys, with one goal, and that would be RavenEye. So we found ourselves, than with our new drummer Adam, and it fits really well together! We started the band just the three of us, no one else representing. And we started to build our team up, with people we respect. In my previous career I kind of fell into people, but now I want to choose the people who represent us. We have very nice people backstage!
entertaim.net: Listening to your music, for us it’s very much like – okay they sound so 90s. It’s such a big grunge influence to hear. But younger people nowadays don’t even know that kind of period like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden….
Oli: Oh yes we love that. But that’s beyond an image to this point. We are what we are. It’s all about madness on stage! We missed that a bit in the rock scene now. We just wanna kind of make it more natural.
entertaim.net: I read something strange. Is it right, that you own a guitar made out of an railway waggon floor? Why??
(Laughing all around)
Oli: Yeah thats true. It was made by an canadian friend of mine. Me just found this wood from an old railway car. The neck is from lightning struck mahagony! He found it. This crazy guy likes to throw the things together….
entertaim.net: Well if I would take wood from an old german railway car – worst wood you ever got (laughing all around).
Oli: In a way the guitar is horrendous, but it sounds great, you just wanna go for it. You don’t want the perfect beautiful guitar. You want the one that sounds special. (Shows us a guitar pic on the smartphone) This is a badass guitar!
entertaim.net: On tour you have always some free time. You got the soundcheck, and the show, and then a lot hanging round. Do you come to get some new ideas for songs?
Aaron: Oh yes of course. It’s a combination. Obviously we talk to our fans on social media. And we do write as well. And then we got to hear our recorded gig and trying to get better. And make sure we get all the videos from the night before. It’s a kind of a constant schedule to try to get better as a band in every aspect.
entertaim.net: What are your plans for rest of 2017?
Aaron: Lots of festvals! Back in the UK, and then we are doing Rock am Ring, we do the Download… at the moment we don’t have a recording booked in. But we are workin on something hopefully.
entertaim.net: So there will be a new album next year?
Oli: Yes, definitely.
entertaim.net: Ok guys good luck for the show, we can‘ t wait to see you!