Screaming Eagles – Interview with Chris Fry July 2015
Screaming Eagles (sometimes shortened to Screagles), a Rock ‘n’ Roll band from Northern Ireland are due to release their second album Stand Up and be Counted this Saturday (11th July 2015) via Off Yer Rocka Recordings. Ahead of their release Front-man Chris Fry took the time to answer a few questions for PlanetMosh. Find out a bit more about the band, the album and the filming of their latest video Save Me: –
Screaming Eagles debut album ‘From The Flames’ was released to critical acclaim back in 2013. Two years later you’re about to release your second album ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ a few questions about the new album: –
How do you think the band have evolved musically since ‘From The Flames’?
I think the band as a whole has grown up a lot musically in the 3 years since we released From The Flames, it was my first time personally being involved in the writing process and with help from the other guys, I think this album will show how much we’ve evolved, not only in the intricacies of the lyrics, But also in the progression in our sound. It still has that recognizable Screagles sound, but with a bit more maturity.
Who writes the lyrics/music?
I would write the lyrics for the songs, while Aidy would predominantly come up with the music.. with help from Ryan and Kyle.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from everyday life. It can come from personal experiences, other music or even a movie I watched 10 year’s ago.
Where was the album recorded/Who produced the album?
We recorded the album in the same studio as before, Railway studios in Lisburn, N. Ireland with a brilliantly gifted guy called Ross Cullen.. a lot of the credit for this album goes to him, he pushed us all to the brink to get the very best from us. And I think it worked…. even though a few of us almost cracked haha.
How long did it take from start to finish?
This album took us a bit longer than the last. From first starting to write it until the last day in the studio it was almost a year. With almost a month in the studio to finish it off.
Why did you choose ‘Stand up and Be Counted’ to be the title?
The title “Stand Up And Be Counted” came about as a statement of intent I think. To show people that we’re not going to hide behind the success of From The Flames. And that we’re not a flash in the pan, one album wonder, hopefully.
Who did the album artwork?
The artwork was done by the same guy who did the original artwork for From The Flames. His name is Jonathan Ruddell from Lurgan, N. Ireland, a very talented guy who has done a fantastic job on Stand Up and be Counted
Which is your personal favourite track?
My favourite track on the album changes from day to day hahaha. At the minute I have a soft spot for Get Out While I’m Ahead.
You’ve released Save Me as the first single from Stand Up and be Counted: –
Why did you go with that one?
Our choice of single changed about 10 times, right up until 2 days before the video was to shoot. We went with Save Me as we all agreed that it was one of the strongest on the album, and a little different from most of the last album and we wanted to show some diversity in our songs.
Where did you film the video/Who’s idea was the video?
We filmed the video in a studio in Belfast called Jamlive, where we filmed a large amount of the Rock N Roll Soul video. It’s also the brainchild of our very own Kyle Cruikshank. He organized everything from inviting all the fans to appear in the shoot, the props, the….ahem…..outfits! and cameraman.. he was an absolute legend.
I noticed someone in a gimp mask and also, what looked to be, a transvestite fire breather in a pink furry jacket looking a bit like a pink Big Bird! Were these genuine fans and if so is that normal attire/behaviour at a Screaming Eagles gig in Ireland?
The gimp is actually an employee of Kyle’s and a huge fan of the band…. though he’d have be or he might be looking for other employment. You never know who’ll appear at a Screagles gig in Ireland.. our fans come in all shapes and sizes… unfortunately all the supermodels that usually attend the gigs couldn’t make it to the shoot.
Why do you think Screagles would appeal to the Fifty Shades of Grey fans?
I think the Screagles would appeal to all book readers, whether it be 50 Shades of Grey, The Art of War or Where’s Wally. We had a great time shooting the video. To share something like that with genuine fans was a great experience…. and I think all the wine and beer helped too..
I’ve seen you guys twice. The first time was supporting The Quireboys at one of their 30th Anniversary Shows at the Half Moon at Putney. Good show: –
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m guessing you weren’t very old back when The Quireboys first played there?
I think most of the band were still in Pampers back then!
Are you fans of the Quireboys?
You can’t help but admire a band like the Quireboys who have been around so long and still making great music…..top blokes as well.
Where do you see the Screaming Eagles being in 30 years time?
Hopefully a Screaming Eagles Greatest Hits tour spanning the globe….twice!
What do you think keeps a band going for all that time?
I’d say it boils down to the love of making music and playing live, it’s addictive.
Did you all know each other before Screagles formed?
Yeh, Kyle, Aidy and Ryan were already in a band together and I knew Ryan and Aidy from around our hometown of Banbridge, Co. Down.
Are you friends as well as band members?
We sure are, it’s the key ingredient for any band I think, if you don’t get on with each other then you’re not gonna make great music.
Is touring tough or do you enjoy it?
Touring is a real experience, I’d highly recommend it, all the travelling and logistics is definitely tough but the reward is playing live in a different venue every night which is great.
What are the pros/cons of life on the road?
Pro’s – seeing new places, meeting all types of crazy people, the hard earned cold beer(s) at the end of every show. Con’s – lack of sleep, emission of bodily gases from all band members, lugging the gear around
The second time I saw you was at HRH Ibiza this year although I missed the acoustic set. I was wimping out of going in the pool until I noticed Pontus Snibb (Bonafide frontman) having a swim then thought if a Rock Star can brave it then I can too! Didn’t notice you guys in the pool though! Did you get much chance to see much of the island and do any touristy stuff or was it all work?
We had our own pool! We lazed around it most of the time listening to music, our drummer Kyle hired a moped and seen a good bit of the island, thankfully he made it to the gig unscathed.
What were the highlights?
HRH Ibiza is always a pleasure to play, this year it seemed that more people know our songs and really got into our show, lots of great feedback after as well.
I’m sure Pontus said you were his favourite band and you (Chris) his favourite singer – I’ve been listening to a few of the tracks on ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ I thought there were a few similarities between Screaming Eagles and Bonafide. Would you agree?
Absolutely, in fact Pontus did guest vocals on our cover of the Michael Hutchence and Jimmy Barnes classic “Good Times” which is available to buy from Amazon as part of our 7-track EP “Save Me“, there’s some cool live tracks on there as well.
What’s your favourite band?
Pearl Jam would probably be my favourite band.. Eddie Vedder is my idol not just for his song writing but for his diversity and longevity as well. Excellent singer too. Though I’ll always have a soft spot for Bon Scott’s AC/DC.
Which festival would you most like to play?
Download festival would be my ultimate favourite festival to play.. I could retire a happy man.
If you could open for a headline act (past or present) who would it be and why?
It would probably be AC/DC back when Bon Scott was around. Their energy and intensity where incredible. And to share a stage with those guys would’ve been a dream come true .. plus me and Bon could fight over the last bottle of Jack on the rider.
Which is the best/worst gig you have played and why?
Best gig – Showbike Aquitane, Bordeaux, France – 5,000 people going crazy to our songs, nuff said.
Worst gig – Too be honest we haven’t had too many bad experiences, if only a couple of people turn up at a show we always give 100%
Why should people come and see Screagles?
Screagles are a great live rock n roll act, we’ll have you head banging, singing and clapping along all night….and you’ll probably go home drunk as well
Apart from Screaming Eagles which new bands would you recommend people listen to and/or go to see?
Check out Gasoline Outlaws, great new band from Belfast who’ve just released their debut album.
What have Screaming Eagles got lined up in the near future?
Lots of gigs in Ireland and we’ll be lining up plenty in England too towards the end of the year. We’ll also be playing on the main stage at HRH in Wales on 12th November supporting the awesome Black Label Society.
Any final message?
Our new album Stand Up And Be Counted is available to pre-order right now on Amazon, do yourself a favour and buy a copy, turn it up to 11 and rock the f*ck out!
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.
Screaming Eagles are:
Chris Fry – Vocals / Adrian McAleenan – Guitars / Ryan Lilly – Bass /Kyle Cruikshank – Drums
Review of Stand Up and be Counted here
Review of From the Flames here
NOTE – this interview was done by email, much as I’d love to have jetted off to Ireland to do a video interview! But, as luck would have it, I just happened to ask Chris for a photo after their set at HRH Ibiza, like you do!
See the video for Save Me which is referred to in this interview: –