It’s no surprise to anyone that the U.K. band Raveneye gets a ton of love over here in Kentucky, but if you have ever taken the time out to listen to their music or especially caught any of their shows you will know exactly why. I have seen a countless number of bands throughout the years; a ton of both indie and top-tier bands and I will never have any hesitation when I say there is something special about these guys.
Not only do they manage to capture your attention with their studio recordings, but they put on one hell of a show that does exactly what Rock is supposed to do. Once they take the stage their music will no doubt steal control of your body and call you to jump, shout, slam into your neighbor, or whatever it is you do. Very few bands demand your attention like Raveneye and it’s obvious from the start of any show that it’s exactly where they belong.
We first hooked up with Raveneye during the Louder than Life Festival of 2015. ( In case you missed that interview here is the link. ) They were a newly formed band at the time that completely pulled the rug out from under me and caught me totally by surprise. There were so many great acts that weekend, but to be completely honest Raveneye was easily one of the most impressive. I thought they put on a killer show with a ton of energy, I remember thinking “Anyone who missed this performance is an idiot!”
Fast forward to 2017 and watching how the band has grown over the years has been a real pleasure and I can’t express how thankful I am to have had a front row seat for a lot of that journey. With so many bands trying to make it the business, it’s rare that you find a band you believe in and be able to watch them find success. Raveneye is doing exactly that with multiple international tours and sharing the stage with acts like KISS, Aerosmith, Slash and many others. These guys have no doubt found their calling and loving every minute of it.
We got the pleasure of hooking up with the band again on their recent to trip to Indianapolis before they took the stage at a very cool night club named the Hi-Fi.
UG: Hey guys, it’s great to see you again. Let’s start with the obvious… You have a new member, introducing Adam Breeze on drums. Why don’t you start out by telling us how this came about?
Aaron: We met Adam at a jammer, he used to come down to these jams and just sit in with us. It was funny because the first time we took notice of him was… I think we were playing a foo fighters song or something like that. He was hitting the drum kit so hard the symbols fell off their stands on to the floor! One of them fell into his lap and he just fucking kept going…. It was nuts! We were just looking at each other like holy shit! This guy’s got energy. You want to add anything’ (Adam)
Adam: You got most of it… the symbol was in the lap! I knew these guys for quite a while and I was a fan anyway. I seen them and I was in another band at the time, but I heard there was a drummer position available and I said “I won’t let anyone else get it and I’m going to try my hardest to try to get this.”
Aaron: So he bought us lots of coffee!
Adam: Yeah, but that was kind of the start of it all. Luckily we got along musically and as people.
UG: It’s funny because you talk about how much energy he has and how hard he hits. I watched a lot of your KISS arena videos and I remember thinking, “Man that guy has a ton of energy and it really comes across to the audience. He seems like an animal!”
Oli: That’s the kind of sound we are always trying to look at. It’s really nice now finally just the way careers work out and the way we sound between the three of us really works. It’s the best fit that we have ever had.
UG: Adam, what was your background before Raveneye?
Adam: I’ve grown up on rock n roll from when I was a kid, but I was in a punk band before and played a couple of big U.K. tours. So I kind of got used to that, but I’ve always been into rock. So it’s cool being in a rock band and playing rock songs again.
UG: I think it’s always cool being in a rock band.
UG: So… Nova finally came out! How has that release been for you all?
Oli: Yeah of course! When we spoke last about NOVA we were about to go record it.
Aaron: It’s been amazing actually. We were really stoked with the way it turned out and the way we recorded it. We didn’t hold back in any way in terms of what we put out. Everything we put out we were stoked with. We worked with a guy called Warren Riker in New Jersey. So right when we saw you, it was maybe about two weeks before we went into the studio in New Jersey. We spent a month there recording everything that we had. I think we had about 25 songs and cut it down to like 11. The best of the best so to speak. The release has been amazing! We have been able to tour in the U.K. and do a big festival circuit this year off the back of the release. We had some really cool kind of press stuff happening, big magazines and stuff like that. Good reviews.
UG: And us obviously…
Aaron: Yeah that’s it! Well it’s been received really well. We are really stoked that people kind of love it.
Oli: “Come With Me” made the record as well! You were kind of the tipping point actually. Last time we spoke we weren’t really thinking about recording it and I remember you saying “You gotta make sure you put “Come With Me” on the record” and it kind of dinged a little bell for us. We were like you know what, maybe we just played this song too many times and we kind of lost perspective on what’s the right fit for the record. So really “Come With Me” has come to you asking us over lunch.
UG: Really nice! Thanks for recording it because it’s been my favorite song for however long now.
UG: Having a proper recording of it has been really incredible.
Oli: Awesome… wicked! It’s good to know.
UG: Working in the studio on the album is one thing, but sometimes when you take these songs on the road these things evolve or don’t really fit right live. What kind of experiences or challenges have you had with this album?
Aaron: That’s a cool question. I don’t think anyone has ever asked that before. We’ve had a couple of songs that we did tour before the recording that didn’t make it to the record because they didn’t translate live. There are also some sections… most of the stuff was sort of written out and we tend to write the demos and put them on Oli’s laptop. It would be like midi drums and stuff like that. There were a couple of things that we write in the studio like for an example just off the top of my head… the bridge to “Hate”, there is a little riff section we added in on the day we were recording. “Eternity” the demo that we have for that is a completely different thing. There is a whole chorus that didn’t make it into the song. There is a whole guitar section that didn’t make it on the record because what we did on the day just kind of took on its own life. The first time for “Eternity” when we hit play and played the song and we were all crying, saying that was amazing! So yeah… interesting question… that’s cool!
Oli: I think one of the things with playing live is just making sure people play their parts. A lot of these songs we have never played live. We plugged straight into the computer and made a demo. Then we play in the studio and I never really liked the singing and playing guitar thing. Some of it was like getting your independence back again. This is practice that’s all it is but I think it was that kind of thing of like.. “Ok I gotta get that big sound still.” When we went in and recorded we were still in the mind-set of it’s a three-piece let’s not get too wanky with it. Let’s just do an authentic sound of a three-piece and we just wanted to stick with the old school vibes of the records that we love. I think now people have so many options to do so many things in the studio that so many bands get carried away with triggers or quantizing everything and making everything sound robotic. It’s like.. It’s cool at first but you’re taking all the heart and energy away of the record. The bumps and bruises.. they can be subtle and there are plenty on this record but that’s the point. That’s the exciting part! That’s why people go see a live show because you don’t want to see perfection, you want to see a real band play real music. That’s where the fun is at!
UG: Most definitely! Your album was released, it has been received very well. It seems like from the outside and fan perspective a ton of opportunities are coming your way and continue to be that way. You guys announce things all the time, so I’m always watching and waiting for things to happen. But then all of sudden this KISS tour came seemingly out of nowhere from our perspective.
Raveneye: Ha! Us too.
UG: How did that materialize and what was it liking being on tour with arguably one of the biggest rock n roll bands of all time?
Aaron: Well our booking agent is a huge kiss fan. You go to his office and it’s like a shrine. KISS stuff is everywhere and it’s kind of funny. He was pushing really hard to get us that. We got it, they heard the music… I think Paul and Gene listen to the bands that come on tour with them. So they heard the music.. NOVA actually and we got the gig from that. Being on the road with them was like… it took us to a whole different level. We had been on big tours before but this was like huge. The stadiums were massive, the crew really looked after us like family. In fact one of the crew members was born here (in Indy). We got in touch today and they said we see you’re in Indy, have a great time! That tour was like insane… learning how to play those huge stages was also really fun. It kind of pushed us in a new direction visually and sound wise and trying to take up that space and use that space and just learn to be an arena band. The sound of the record kind of has the potential for that, then we just kind of stepped into those shoes and hopefully got that across to the KISS audience.
UG: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch any of those shows but from what I seen of the videos you posted it looked like a natural fit for you guys.
Oli: I think we learned from the stage, that was the main thing.
Adam: You learn how to speak slowly.
Oli: Yeah because the room is like huge, so I had to speak a lot more slowly. Because of the big room that… hello hello hello (echo). I learned you have to really speak slowly. I think we really just learned more of how to be a unit together and I think when we first went and hit the stadiums the first couple of shows we played. We rehearsed super hard to put on this really precise show. To have all this crazy stuff going on and squeezing all the songs in to be perfect. Then we got to doing those first few shows and it just didn’t feel right. We’re loose and I think we were trying to be something we weren’t. Sonically and as a show. I think we learned from that just to be more comfortable. Just relax, do our thing. That’s what we do best. I think we tried to be a little bit of something else and I think for any band you gotta believe in yourself to get there for the same reason. There’s no need to try to convince people of that .. you’re this.. just do that. That’s what we did in the end and it was like night and day. All of a sudden the way the crowd and atmosphere was. Everything just changed. The way we played together it was a whole different thing. Because we weren’t thinking how to play perfectly. We were just like… how can we destroy everything on stage?
UG: and it says a lot bands that can play both huge and small venues.
Oli: It’s fun taking it to the small venues. Now as a band this is the best we have ever sounded. This U.S. tour. Just the way we play, we are all comfortable with the songs. You’re not worried about the songs anymore because you know them inside and out, so you kind of look down at them and say what do I want to do here? There’s a lot more relaxed atmosphere. Because we’ve already toured together. Adam’s been in the band for like almost a year now and to get that synergy between band members it takes plenty of shows. That’s what we are doing a lot more of. I like the headlining ones, the supports are fun but you can talk a lot more shit when…
UG: When your name is on the building out there!
Oli: Oh, is it? Cool I didn’t see that!
UG: Yeah! When we first got here they didn’t have it up, but we left and came back and noticed it was changed.
Aaron: Have to get a picture of that.
Oli: I got close to the guy and had to have a little word (laughing)
Adam: Yeah, where’s our name!?!
UG: We also wanted to send our condolences to your band for losing a good friend… your Van.
Oli: Yeah that was sad man. I don’t know, I’m never really sentimental but literally I’ve started my whole life’s career in that van and it’s been all over. It was a real shame.
UG: What’s next after this tour? You got anything on the agenda?
Aaron: Yeah we got some big festivals back home that we have kind of wanted to get on for a while… The Leeds for example. We got a U.K. tour at the end of September. Then we actually have a date over here in Mexico in Monterrey. We have a big festival there… ah …. which … is yet to be announced ah shit! What have I done? Ha ha.. you guys got the scoop! Then we are also going to get back to Europe by the end of the year and hit some of the KISS territories. Hit up some of the places where we have some new fans. We got a new community to build.
Oli: A very busy end of the year. All the dates are coming through now so it’s great. Our agent spoke to us a while ago and said. “Do any of you guys want to have a month off in September?” and I said “Are you fucking kidding me?” We don’t need a break right now…
Aaron: Get us some gigs!
Oli: We are young and poppin’ fresh, we just want to play some music!
UG: Awesome… we will certainly keep our eyes peeled for anything new. Hopefully… well I don’t want to be greedy, but any new songs on the horizon?
Oli: Totally, we want to record early next year really. So we are writing a lot at the moment but really as a band I don’t think we will play any songs live as a test or anything. There’s no time to…. Like we didn’t have a chance to rehearse before this U.S. tour. It was weird the first gig was like let’s see where we are… then this is great!
Adam: You will hear a snippet of a new song tonight!
Oli: Oh yeah… I guess I lied. (Laughing) There you go… scratch that whole last part.
UG: Awesome! Thanks guys, it’s always a pleasure.
Raveneye: No problem!
After wrapping up the interview we did get the chance to catch the performance that evening and it was nothing short of spectacular. I thought they were great two years ago and it’s obvious that the guys have spent their time well and continue to hone their craft. Watching how all three of them did everything they could to keep the crowd engaged and participating in the set was something a lot of bands should take notice of.
Adam is a perfect fit for the band and Aaron wasn’t lying when he described how hard this guy hits. At one point I remember watching Adam slam the drums with his bare hands as Oli performed a chilling solo that literally gave me chills. If that wasn’t enough to get you involved, Adam leaps off the stage later in the set and circles the venue with a cow bell. Who doesn’t need more cowbell right?
Oli was as solid as always with monumental vocals and unbelievable guitar work. This guy was born a front man and it shows in every performance. From working the crowd, to playing killer solos, to even launching his body off of Adam’s Drum kit there is no shortage of sights to see at a Raveneye show.
Aaron actually surprised me as well. He is always solid in his performances and continuously manages to convey emotion and energy in his performances, but watching his at this show in Indy he really seemed so much at home on stage. It didn’t take long for me to notice that he is actually working the crowd easily as much as Oli and is terrific at it. Oli and Aaron compliment each other extremely well and it shows in their synergy on the stage. I have never seen a front man play guitar on the shoulders of a band mate before seeing Raveneye live, but thanks to the obvious connection and love that they share Oli and Aaron pull this off so naturally it’s become something they are now known for.
The guys were spot on when they spoke of their evolution and the status of their current sound and fit as a band. Technically they were sound and as a rock back they were nothing short of amazing. This is a show that I enjoyed from start to finish and it will easily go down as one of the best rock performances I have seen.