Northern Ireland produces its fair share of great rock n roll bands and one that has to be added to that list is the Screaming Eagles. Their debut album “From The Flames” was released in December 2012 and has been getting some recognition from many sources. It seemed a good time to find out a little more about the guys and talk about how they’d got to where they were now and what plans they had for the future.
The Screaming Eagles are Chris Fry on vocals, Adrian (Aidy) McAleenan on guitar, Ryan Lilly on bass and Kyle Cruikshank on drums.
There’s a new interview with Adrian and Kyle from the Screaming Eagles posted in July 2015 - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/2067-ni-rocks-interview-with-screaming-eagles-july-2015.html
NI ROCKS – Thanks to taking some time to answer a few questions for Rock Radio NI. The Screaming Eagles formed within the last year, but the band members have all been around the local scene for a while. Where might some of the locals have seen you before?
CHRIS - You might have well seen one of us at some stage as we've been in and out of bands more times than a groupie!! I have been in a few bands in the past including the excellent classic rock cover band the Vanda Youngs, who are popular on the Bike rally circuit. Ryan and Aidy have been on the local scene for a few years now with McFly (not that one) and Soundstone along with Kyle who has been in a lot of bands over the years including Black Freeway.
NI ROCKS - Had the four of you known each other prior to the establishment of The Screaming Eagles?
CHRIS - Yeah me, Ryan and Aidy, being from Banbridge knew each other quite well in-fact I used to go to Soundstone and McFly gigs in the day and Aidy used to be in Black Freeway with Kyle so that's how they met.
NI ROCKS - The Screaming Eagles first gig was in August of last year and the debut album “From The Flames” landed in December. Clearly there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes prior to the first gig and the album launch?
CHRIS - From the day the band was formed in early December we were busy in the rehearsal room writing the album and once we had enough material we decided to take it to the studio at the beginning of April. And from then until our first gig in August we were back in the rehearsal room spending loooooonnnng nights getting the songs honed and ready to release out into the world.
NI ROCKS - The album was recorded at Railway Studios in Lisburn but mastered in California. How did that come about?
AIDY – After we recorded the album at Railway Studios in Lisburn with Ross Cullen (who is a fantastic producer and very talented guy) I wanted to have it mastered by someone who had done some of my favourite albums. I’m a big fan of Rhino Bucket (American band from the 1990’s) and really like the warm sound from their records. I saw that they all had been mastered by a guy called Mark Chalecki in California. I hit him up with some emails and hey presto via the internet he was able to master it, it was the thick, sweet icing on a very chunky tasty cake!
NI ROCKS - All four members of the band are involved in writing the tracks. Would there be a standard process for writing tracks or did they all develop in different ways?
CHRIS - Some of them came quite easy and quickly which was good and then there was the other more complex songs that took a lot of work, but the good thing about the 4 of us all having a say in the writing process was that we came out with songs we are all really proud off.
NI ROCKS - Rock Radio NI of course published an “NI Rocks Recommends” for the album back at the start of January and tracks are regularly played on the station but you’ve also been getting a load of great reviews recently and airplay around the world. I’ve heard Brian Basher playing tracks on his syndicated “Hard Rock Nights” show. And the recent review by Sleaze Roxx in particular has sparked some interest I believe?
CHRIS - Yes the album's been getting some great reviews which is always good to hear, it means that all the hard work and effort that you put in is worth it so long may it continue.
NI ROCKS - I’ve heard you do a few great cover versions, and there’s a video of you performing Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” on my You Tube Channel, but you didn’t include any covers on the album. Was there a conscious decision just to release original material? Interestingly, I notice that Doug Aldrich’s band Burning Rain have included a cover of “Kashmir” on their new album!
CHRIS - We couldn't afford to pay Zeppelin for the rights of the song haha, we hadn't considered including a cover in 'From The Flames but that's not to say we won't include one in future albums. And I know we all enjoy doing the odd cover live as well.
NI ROCKS - Is there a track from the album that you most enjoy performing live?
CHRIS - We all have our own favourite and it does change from time to time, at the minute I would have to say it's a toss-up between Blood and Rock and Roll Soul.
NI ROCKS - Musically, who would the band members consider to be their influences? A few reviews have made favourable comparisons to AC/DC musically. I presume that would be one influence to start with?
CHRIS - AC/DC would be very high on our collective influences but I know that we all have our separate influences as well which is great because it brings different and fresh ideas to the song-writing side of things. I'm a huge fan of Pearl Jam and Bad Company especially they're Frontmen Eddie Vedder and Paul Rodgers.
NI ROCKS – As mentioned earlier you’ve been getting some interest from across the pond in N America. Do you think there might be real opportunities to get the album widely distributed over there and maybe even a tour?
AIDY – Yeah, we really believe that the album could do well in America, they have a long history of rock n roll and embracing bands from foreign shores, we are starting to get some great attention over there. A certain Billy Morrison is gonna help us launch our new video stateside which is really cool. A tour certainly isn’t out of the question, we are gonna need some help though!
NI ROCKS – Obviously some tour dates in the UK would be hugely beneficial. Would there be a particular band that you’d love to land a support slot with?
CHRIS - I think we would all love to share a stage with Black Stone Cherry, they're an amazing band especially live.
AIDY – Airbourne as well would be great, hope they are reading this!
NI ROCKS – Will we see The Screaming Eagles performing at any of the festivals in Northern Ireland over the summer?
AIDY – Yeah, we are booked for the Sunflower Festival in Hillsborough on the 9th-10th August so get yourselves down there, it’s gonna be a good ‘un.
NI ROCKS - What other plans does the band have for the rest of 2013?
AIDY – It’s gonna be a really busy year for us, for now we’ll be releasing a video in July, plenty of gigs over the summer, Irish tour in November and hopefully getting over to Germany and Holland at the end of the year. I’m sure there will be lots more stuff pop up so keep an eye on our social media sites for updates.
NI ROCKS – I always like to find out what music bands are listening to. My usual question – if I was to hit shuffle on your iPods or MP3 players, what five artists might I hear?
CHRIS - Anything from Audioslave, Marvin Gaye, The Red Velvetines, Bruce Springsteen and David Gray
NI ROCKS – And another question I like to ask just for a bit of fun. First band each of you saw in concert and first album you remember buying?
CHRIS - Haha my first gig was was Bon Jovi at the RDS and my 1st album was Red Hot Chilli Peppers Californication
AIDY – Extreme (1991 Kings Hall), first album was Guns n Roses Appetite for Destruction
KYLE – First concert was The Pixies, first album was Elvis.
RYAN – First concert – Status Quo, Ulster Hall, first album Pantera, Cowboys From Hell
NI ROCKS – Finally, if you had the chance to perform in any band at any time over the past 30 – 40 years which band would you want to be in? And I’ll not take The Screaming Eagles as an answer!
CHRIS - For me it would probably have to be back in the day when being in a rock band meant you got away with a lot so either Bad Company or Spinal tap haha
AIDY – Hehe early version of AC/DC playing the pubs and clubs on the east coast of Australia, debauchery!
KYLE – Slayer, and I would have had long hair back then!
RYAN – Faith No More
NI ROCKS – Thanks again for answering some questions. I look forward to seeing you on stage again some time very soon.
Find out more about the Screaming Eagles at these links: