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The Answer are a hard rock and blues rock band hailing from Newcastle and Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. They have achieved moderate success with their debut album Rise selling in excess of 30,000 copies in the UK & Europe and 10,000 on day one in Japan.
Cormac Neeson - Vocals
Paul Mahon - Guitar
Micky Waters - Bass Guitar
James Heatley - Drums
The Answer were formed in 2000 by guitarist Paul Mahon, whose father was a jazz trumpeter and member of seminal Irish Beat group The Freshmen, who released three albums on CBS and toured with the likes of the Beach Boys. Aged 18, Paul knew he wanted to put together a rock band and mentioned it to bassist Micky Waters, an old school friend who had been in numerous cover bands around Belfast.
Paul and Micky searched through their contacts in the Northern Irish music scene looking for a lead singer. The two heard of a young blues singer named Cormac Neeson, but when they tracked his parents down, they found that Cormac had moved to New York and was working in pizza restaurants and singing in Blues bands in the city. They contacted him and told him about the band and their plans. Interested in their music, Cormac moved back to Belfast a few weeks later and started writing lyrics to the music that Paul and Micky had penned.
James Heatley, who had played as Ash’s stand-in live drummer in 1993 (when Rick was doing A-Levels), was recruited to be the drummer for The Answer. Paul called him up only to find that he was about to take his finals at University, so the trio waited whilst James completed his degree in Psychology.
In late June 2000, the four of them got together for their debut rehearsal. 2001 was spent writing, rehearsing, gigging locally and building up a set The Answer. By 2002, the band had attracted the attention of MCD promotions in Ireland, (the company who recently bought out the Mean Fiddler Group, alongside Clear Channel), who put them on as openers at the Witnness Festival that year.
In 2005, 'Classic Rock' magazine voted The Answer as 'Best New Band 2005' , which brought them even more exposure. Shortly after, in November 2005, came their second official release - the single Never Too Late. They supported Deep Purple at an intimate show at the London Astoria on 17 January 2006. Then came Into The Gutter which was released on 29 May, 2006 via 7" vinyl and download only, shortly followed by debut album Rise released on 26 June, 2006. The album has already received rave reviews from Kerrang! and The Sun amongst others, and has been nominated for Classic Rock magazine's 'Album Of The Year' and "Best British Newcomer" in the 2006 Kerrang! awards.
The Answer played several festivals over the summer months, as well as a support slot with Whitesnake throughout their UK tour. The band also managed to secure themselves another support slot with Paul Rodgers at the Royal Albert Hall in early October 2006. This was followed by a co-headlining tour with fellow British Rockers Roadstar on a tour across the UK and Europe, with further support coming from American blues-rock band Rose Hill Drive. The band is once again on tour at the moment, with dates in Australia and across Europe before eventually returning for dates in Ireland and to start work on their follow-up to Rise. The band were an opening act for Aerosmith on June 24th 2007 at Hyde Park Calling.
Latest single Be What You Want was released March 19th 2007, and is currently available via download-only.
The Answer have decided to re-issue the Rise album as a promotion for their summer shows and because there have been so many people complaining about download only singles. A second disc adds to the original Rise, featuring all the relevant b-sides that have not been released physically and some tracks that were recorded for the album but left off. The second disc has 15 unreleased songs on it and was released 18 June 2007. The band are also now confirmed for the Lowlands Festival in Biddinghuizen, Holland.
The summer of 2007 has also seen the band support The Rolling Stones at open-air gigs in Belgrade, (Serbia) and Dusseldorf (Germany).