- Category: Interact
PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS:
14th FEBRUARY 2012
Q: You've had a varied work life since the split of LA, including
your film career, but did any of those jobs give you the same buzz as
you get when you perform in front of a crowd and are you nervous before,
or even during, the gig? Shane Dick, Bristol
TJ: Hi Shane. I don't think there is much that beats the buzz of playing in front of an appreciative audience, its an addictive feeling actually and one I literally get withdrawal symptoms from after a tour! Sounds crazy I know! I used to get nervous, but it was all centred in wanting to please! These days, I have a routine that I have developed that allows me to visualise the gig and calm myself down...I really welcome the stage actually, its feels like home in a way..
Q: Hi Toby, fondly remember the Budweiser fridge coming on stage - do you still have it? Also, how do you guys feel about black treacle making your hair really "luscious" now? - I was one of the clowns who actually tried that at the time and I have to confess it did impart a certain amount of body. Si, Halifax
TJ: The Fridge! Haha! That was great fun. It was born out of watching Tom Petty years ago concealing his guitar in a flight case that when he opened it shone a bright light..kind of like excalibur coming out of the lake! We nicked the idea! The fridge came out of a skip! Haha! I don't recall the treacle bit! I've still got most of my hair so maybe that's the point!
Q: Hi Toby! I was actually named after you and although i'm only 18 I was at the Little Angels gig in Aston Villa 18 years ago as a large bump in my moms stomach. Having massive Little Angels fans for parents I have naturally grown up a fan as well. I just wanted to know how it felt coming back with such an amazing performance at Download this year? Toby Skidmore, Birmingham
TJ: Wow! That's very cool! Its been an amazing experience doing the shows, meeting the fans again and revisiting some great times. It is a wondrous thing how the fans have stayed loyal and felt compelled to come out again to see us after all this time. Amazing actually, and made the whole thing so worthwhile. Thanks Toby!
Q: Since you have got together again there must have been thoughts of recording new material. With the amount of quality you have been recording yourself over the years, I've wondered whether you have held anything back which was more of an Angels track than a Toby Jepson solo song. Songs like Breakdown, Forgiveness Overloaded And Inside Out are all songs that could have been recorded by The Angels so I'm sure you must have more. Darren Nunn, York
TJ: Hi Darren. Great question. It has been talked about...its a tough one because the times have moved on so much and what motivated us back then is no longer doing so now. I never stop writing, searching for the best material I can muster so to me its a natural progression to continue. For us to pick up the baton again and try to rekindle what we once had back in the day would be difficult, mainly, I have to say because we wouldn't want it to be of any less quality than before. I guess because I wrote a lot of the material for the Angels, my songs will always have echo's of the style...
Q: When you were approached by Niji entertainment to co front Dio's Disciples, how difficult was it (and by association how much pride did you feel) in being asked to fill RJD's boots, albeit for a short time? Paul Finney, West Midlands
TJ: It was the most amazing request I'd ever had to be honest. I am a life long Ronnie fan, I painted a ten foot mural on my bedroom ceiling of the Holy Diver record sleeve, when I was 14, I was obsessed with his Sabbath period work etc so to get the chance to sing some of those songs that not only shaped my life but clearly the life of millions of other rock fans and musicians was bloody amazing. I will always hold that experience of one of the highlights and thank Wendy and the guys in the band, Craig, Simon, Scott, Rudy and of course my buddy Ripper! Awesome!
Q: Was there a particular reason why Wales was left out on the Tour? I bet this question wont get answered and I will eat my hat and my cat if it does. Paul Down, Pontypool, South Wales
TJ: Hahaha! Mate get the salt and vinegar!!! We didn't leave Wales out on purpose, its always about availability of venues and routing of the tour. We love Wales and always had amazing show there...Tonypandy Navel club, Bogies, St Davids Hall, Newport centre...all bloody brilliant. This time around the agent suggested Bristol due to the reasons above. That's all. How's the toasted hat/cat combo? Haha! All the best!
Q: Did you consider a gig in Hull or Scarborough on this tour? Was there demand for a local gig? How did you decide on where and when to play? Johnathan, East Yorkshire
TJ: We were set to play in Scarborough but at the last minute had to cancel due to problems of logistics/travel blah blah...its always tough when deciding, someone is always bound to be upset! Our agent put the tour together based on availability of venues etc...we did suggest certain venues because of past experiences and certainly we were insistent on playing Leeds T and C (O2 as its now known) for these reasons...
Q: What was the Rider back then (tequila?) and what is it now........ (nappies & manuka honey?) Louise, Manchester
TJ: Well, our rider has remained pretty much the same and quite simple...beer and crisps!!! Haha! This time around the cigarettes have been omitted thank god!
Definate inclusion of honey, lemon and throat coat...slippers and cardigans!! Haha!
Q: I am only 14 so obviously missed everything back in the 90's. My Dad is a very ageing rocker with a massive CD collection, which includes 4 LA albums. He said I would be blown away. He was right. I am playing bass in a school band and we are putting together a strong set list. If we were to include a LA song which one would you recommend we go for... My vote is on Radical your lover. Sam Thomas, Sapcote Leics
TJ: Hey Sam! What an honour! Thank you so much! It amazing to hear that young fans are discovering our music, and more so that you feel compelled to learn some to play live! Radical is a great choice, always a favourite of mine...I'd suggest Boneyard, its a simple fist pumping chorus and always get the crowd singing!! If your Dads and ageing rocker, that makes me one! Oh god....
Q: Have the rest of the angels seen the tapestry I did you and if yes what did they think of it? Emma Smith, Scarborough
TJ: Hey Emma, I didn't get a chance to show them actually! I will next time. I'm sure they'll be impressed with your work! Thanks again!
Q: In 1991 Radio 1 broadcast a concert from The Marquee. I recorded it onto cassette using 2 stereos so I could make a full concert. Is there anywhere I can get a copy of the broadcast as I no longer have the tape. Mark Williams, Hertfordshire
TJ: Hi Mark, that's a long shot tbh. I'm not certain if the beeb keep gigs in their archive. I suggest a request directly to them and see what they say. The alternative is to put out a request over the band sites etc...sorry I can be of anymore help!
Q: Are you still interested in developing a band & does it have to be a 3 piece? My son is in a band which I think are great but there are 5 of them. Sal van Beem, Hull
TJ: Hey Sal, I'm still searching! I have been for a long-time and have a pretty specific want...its hard to describe but I'll know it when I hear it. Its a uniqueness that will be born of people who have something to say that has a different perspective musically and lifestyle...its difficult because music has become SO familiar in every genre that we recognise most of it. I have a desire to develop a band that can entertain but tell a unique kind of truth. It maybe your sons band! Send me a track via my site and I'll take a listen!
13th SEPTEMBER 2012
Q: It’s great to see you back together again didn’t get to see
you before you split up in the 90s ,hope to see you in Glasgow in
December. Is this a one off tour or is there a chance that the band will
be together for the foreseeable future? Ian Ashforth, Perth
MP: Thanks, Ian, Glasgow has always been a great city for us so I hope you can get there. At present we've got no plans beyond the live dates in December. It could well be the last time we play together but who knows. If you'd asked us all a few years ago if we'd ever play together again we'd have probably all said no way - so you never know. At this stage though we're just looking at the shows in December as a great chance to get around the UK and say thank you for all the support we've had over the years.
Q: Would you guys consider releasing a CD from the 'One More For The Road' tour? Shaun, London
MP: Thanks for the question, Shaun. We recorded the Download performance earlier this year so we're looking at releasing something around the shows in December. We should be able to let everyone know soon enough exactly what that is. We've just had the audio from Download mixed by our old mate, Steve harris, and it sound really exciting. It's good to know that we can still make a good racket after all this time!!
Q: Hi Mark, you’ve had quite a long time away from performing (although you've still been involved heavily in the music industry). How does the buzz of performing live compare to that of being road manager of another band? Ronan has gone on record for saying that you urged BZ to sing live (which most boybands of that time didn't). Is it safe to assume that trait came from LA (and all decent musicians) knowing that that is the only way to be true to their fans? P.s. Tickets for Bristol gig 15/12 arrived the other day. So looking forward to it and although you probably ain't doing requests, Juvenile Offender is my fave live LA song. It makes my spine tingle. Shane Dick, Bristol
MP: Shane, I was very lucky to get a job straight off the back of Little Angels with a band that had a massive hit overnight with their first single. The first shows we did with Boyzone were crappy PA's where they just mimed along to a backing track. That seemed very alien to me as I'd come from a live background so it was only natural that I'd push them to take the live shows more seriously. At the time bands very rarely sang live on shows like 'Top of the Pops' so it was a surprise to some when Ronan did for the first time when Boyzone had a hit with 'Father & Son'. Since then he's sung live on every TV he's done and that's why he' got such a strong live voice. Some people may not like his music but no-one can knock him for not taking live performing seriously. We're just putting set list ideas together for the December shows. Not sure about Juvenile Offender but I'll make sure it gets thrown into the hat!
Q: Hello Mark. I hope you don't mind, I'm after some career advice please. I'm wondering how do i go about getting into working on events/tours, either in an organisational/assistive capacity or as part of an AV crew? I'm 33 and at for the past 12 years I have been doing something completely different but I have a lot of skills that I hope I could transfer to this type of work. I love working in a team and I like working under the pressure of a deadline, such as a live programme or event. My current job involves the management of a team and I am responsible for the planning and delivery of several 'programmes' that impact a lot of young people and have to be successful. I also have technical skills, such as video editing, studio operation and live vision mixing - these come from a TV studio environment as opposed to the AV and production design involved in a tour. I'd be really grateful for any advice you could offer. Thanks so much, Abigail, West Midlands
MP: Hi, Abigail, you sound like you've got a lot of experience which will certainly stand you in good stead if you decide to look for work with another company. There used to only be one or two companies in the live / AV game but as LED technology and show relay has boomed over the last few years there's now loads of them! If you come to one of the shows in December I can introduce you to our production manager so has better connections with those companies than i have!
Q: Seeing as mark is unavailable for the December tour, can I come and play drums! :) I'm a drummer and also the worlds biggest Michael Lee fan! Call me!! On a slightly more serious note(!), any plans for a b sides album, or perhaps a DVD of the Hammersmith gig that featured on the big bad video. Love to own a copy of the gig on DVD. That night was my 21st birthday! Also thanks to you and the rest of the band for all the music, and thanks for getting back together! See you in December!! Dom, Bedfordshire
MP: Sorry, Dom, but I think we've got a drummer sorted now! It's going to be strange playing with another drummer but we hope it will bring something different and exciting as each player always has a slightly different take on things. We're working on something with the Big Bad Video so please bare with us. That was a great night at Hammersmith. The first time we played there was as support to Queensryche - which coincidentally was the day after my 21st!
Q: Do you like your surname, and why? Joking.....could there be a possibility of a live video of the current tour? Kevin Plunkett, Liverpool
MP: It's a great name, Kevin - us Plunkett's have got to stick together! It's always been a pain having to say your surname two or three times and then having to spell it out for people. One good thing about going to Ireland is that there's a load of Plunketts there so no-one thinks it's strange. Apparently the Plunkett's were originally the French 'De-Plunkets' but were drummed out of France during the revolution and settled over in Ireland. Hope you enjoyed the quick history lesson there.
Q: Hi Mark, I've always been impressed with your backing vocals, and I noticed that you seemed to be the only band member singing backup (as well as the odd bit by the bb horns guys) in the Donnington footage, and I saw an answer from Bruce saying that he doesn't sing. I was sure that back in the day Bruce and Jimmy both sang along with you, is that not right? Looking forward to the tour, see you in Bristol! Ps. Please tell Jimmy that his piano solo in The Wildside Of Life is the most awesome thing I've ever heard, big respec'! Simon Garrett, Exeter
MP: Simon, I'm sure that Bruce won't mind me saying that you reeeeeally wouldn't want to hear him sing! There's been times when both Mark Rich and Jim have done BV's but this time round I guess they didn't want to. It's funny that since the summer gigs a few people have come up to me and said that they were surprised by my singing. I can only think that I must have been crap the first time around as I'm pretty sure I'm doing the same parts this time!! Jimmy - Simon thinks your piano solo in Wildside is awesome!! There you go...
Q: Your Mum's and Dad's were always in the audience at earlier gigs. I remember sitting next to them at a Bradford gig (think it was queens hall around 1990) and they were shaking thei leather handbags and knew all the Words. Will they be coming to your reunion gigs or will it be an early night for them? Rick Bissell, Manchester
MP: My folks are in their 70's now but I'm pretty sure they'll come along to one of the shows. They were at download along with the other guys folks so it was great for them to all get to see each other again after so many years.
Q: Hello Mark, I'm a recently converted fan. I saw you guys at Download and me and my friend just wanted to hear more, you guys were better than a lot of the bands we saw that weekend naming no names (Opeth). I'm wondering if there have been any discussions to get back in the studio and record some new material? Me and my friend both agreed that weekend that modern music needs bands like yours to inject some life into it. The music being released now seems all down and depressing yet every song I have heard from you has been upbeat awesomeness. Modern music needs more material from you guys, I need more material from you! Good luck with the tour as well, I'll be there at Wolverhampton. Dave, Birmingham
MP: It will be good to see you at Wolverhampton, Dave. That was always a good gig for us so it will be great to be back there again. No plans to record any new music just now, sorry. Again, you never know what might happen in the future but just now I think we'd all struggle to find the common ground that we'd all need to write and record new stuff. I think there's plenty of exciting new bands around so whilst there'll always be a place for classic rock, we'll just have to stick to the old songs for now.
Q: Hi Mark, A couple of questions:
I actually contacted you years ago with regards to a golf tournament that Ronan was taking part in. You were great in terms of communicating with us - the girls in the office liked your photo (you were dressed in a Hawaiian t-shirt, and I got out the Young Gods sleeve to show the girls how you used to look. They were mortified! They preferred the "mature Plunkett look!") anyway
1) You obviously had the skills for being organised and sorting sh*t out back in the day, but when did you realise this?
2) From a neutral it seems you did awfully well from 1993-1994 when the angels totally disintegrated within months you took over looking after Boyzone? How did this come about? Were you just very pro-active as I appreciate you wouldn't have totally been into pop music as such, but obviously in time things would change.
3) Finally - what's your favourite recording memories? 87-89? During DPFM? 90-91 during Young Gods? 92-94 during jam and the extra pop stuff?? Maz, Walton (I swear I've seen you b4 a few years ago walking to Walton Station.)
MP: You'll have definitely seen me walking to Walton on Thames Atation, Maz, as we used to have a house in Oatlands Village. Both my kids were born at St Peter's in Chertsey and went to Oatlands then Cleves school.
1) I was always the organiser back in the band. We all played different rolls, some more musical than others, some more practical than others. I guess organising was more my thing. I'd look at our tour manager and think, 'why are we paying you to do that job when I could do it myself?'. So for the last couple of angels tours, I did!
2) We'd been signed to Polydor Records and I had a great relationship with the marketing & promotions people there. They called up one day and asked me to look after a young group who were coming over from Ireland for two weeks of promotion in London. My job was to drive them around for the two weeks and make sure they got to the various photo-shoots and TVs on time. That two weeks sort of became 18 years so far!!
3) I always found it a bit of a struggle in the studio. I was far more comfortable when it came to playing live rather than recording. That said, we had some great times recording the early albums. We'd stay in residential studios and just have a laugh most of the time. Lot's of stories crop up from those days that I couldn't possibly tell you about as my kids might well read this!!
Q: Hi Mark, do you miss the good (bad?) Old days in Cononley going to the Gala to watch Punch & Judy? Will be seeing you perform in Leeds on December 11th with Neil. Stuart, Sutton in Craven
MP: That's a blast down memory lane, Stuart. I was born in skip ton and lived in Embsay until I was four. My grandparents lived in Cononley so we'd go there most weekends or over to Grassington where my other grandparents lived. Although I grew up in Scarborough I've always felt very at home in the Yorkshire Dales. It's truly one of the most beautiful places.
1st AUGUST 2012
Q: Hey Bruce......I used to spend hours listening to your music
in my mum's old black Astra with my best mate when I was 17......times
have changed, the motor has improved since then :) but the same tunes
still blast out, you guys just made classic after classic!! It's rare
that you buy albums where you like every single song, however, Angels
are the past masters at that, just awesome songs for every mood :) Does
the band have a favourite Angels song? For me, it's 'Boneyard', so if
you see some bald geezer who's 37 (still thinking he's 17) driving a
black car round London with the window down blasting 'Boneyeard'
out....that'll be me :) ....best day of my life so far was seeing you
guys play at Oxford Academy....never thought I would see that day again.
Keep Rocking Boys!!! Princes of Prunes (Andy), Beckenham, London
BJD: Hi Prince of Prunes. Thanks for the support and coming to Oxford to see us. Favourite tune? Probably ‘Young Gods’ but I like Boneyard too, the live version in particular, and ‘Don’t prey for Me’ has stood the test of time best of all I think. Over the years we came to realise that we could only start the set with ‘She’s a Little Angel’ as nothing else did quite the same job. Its allows you to take your time, check your gear and the longer I leave it before I start the riff the more exciting it is. Those opening chords allow me to assess the sound of the room once people are in it, and I wonder around a bit on stage to see where the air is moving best. Nothing ever sounds loud to me anymore and I am struggling a bit hearing wise- but I just cannot use ear plugs. I cannot tell if I’m in tune and it takes away all the vibe.
Q: Hey Bruce! It was fantastic seeing you all together again at both warm up shows, & it was lovely to catch up with you after so many years! I don't have anything geeky guitar related to ask you (tried learning guitar at 15, & promptly gave up after getting sore fingers & being rubbish at it, lol). But I did wonder if there's any chance of you designing a new fishbone t-shirt for us 'dead fish Bruce' fans to buy & wear with pride? I no longer have the old black & white one bought through the fanclub years ago, so I'm in need of a suitable replacement, girly fit option appreciated :-) Cheers me dear! Jules Mortimer, Pastyland (a.k.a. Cornwall)
BJD: Hi Jules. I don’t think there would be much call for that - but of a niche market I suspect... I’ll draw you a design if you want though and someone will make it and then you’ll get the right cut of t shirt too. Let me know! You always get sore fingers playing guitar- I still do now and sometimes have to patch them up with super glue.
Q: Hello Bruce. There has been much talk about the UK warm-up shows and Download of course. Sweden Rock festival has hardly been mentioned. As a long time fan I was blessed to be attending the Sweden Rock show and amazing to FINALLY see you on stage. The concert was a blast ("I was Not Wrong" was a great surprise etc). Can you tell us a little about your day in Sweden? Michael Bendixen, Denmark
BJD: Sweden was really great. First time we’d played outside in eons , and of course you have to fly in & out and use hired backline. It was all fine and the festival is incredibly well run. I loved the show- it was really relaxed, in control and the audience were lovely- I was amazed that people knew the tunes and many had seen us with Van Halen in 93. Toby had a great gig and handled a sore throat like the pro he is. It was a breeze! There’s the odd clip on you tube filmed by someone in the crowd.
Q: As I couldn't make Download it's great to see that LA have announced a tour for December (I'll see you in Bristol with my newly converted son!). My question is quite simply how did you and the rest of the band find performing together at Download and how much had you all forgotten (technically)? I'm sure when a band play together for a long time (as you did) such a long lay off could result in the loss of the tightness and perception that you had built up between you all. Shane Dick, Bristol
BJD: Hi Shane- actually it was okay . As you get older you get to know how to make things count. Mark Rich is so on it and I can control my timing better than I used to. Both Mark Plunkett and I have been MDing or coaching other musicians or hiring them, and that gives you an objectivity that really helps your own playing. What takes time in the studio is always getting a part to ‘feel’ right rather than the faster more technical stuff. Having said that I don’t play in the intense way I did when I was younger so I wouldn’t choose to do a solo Like the one in ‘When I get out of here’ for example, and I had to work on Big Bad World for the warm ups. I did a little tapping thing on the website (plank spank) and I hadn’t done that since ‘92 so that took some effort to brush up on. I will put in 4 hours or so a day leading up to the shows- but these days I could not play for long periods too. When I was a kid the idea of not playing for even a day was unthinkable.- but actually playing well isn’t about the physical act of moving your fingers – it’s the story you tell and how much of yourself you give when you play that counts.
Q: Hi Bruce, Great to see the youtube clips of you boys in action, I couldn't make any of the shows but they seemed top shows! I'm really looking forward to any LA's future gigs/recordings. I've got a few questions for you: Which LA song do you think has the most guitar "layers" so to speak? For the debut album the guitars are very prominent, but I get the feeling that a lot of the "layers" are parts that you've doubled up on to make them sound warmer so to speak "When I get out of here" as an example. For Young Gods I hear a lot of different guitar stuff going on but some of that seems a little lost in the mix which is a shame. With Jam it seems like you struck the right balance with all the instruments. I love that album! The second question - throughout the years your sound became "bluesier" and dirtier, would you agree? And Why was this? Even listening to the very last sessions - "All roads, Forbidden Fruit, I want Love ect..." the guitar sounds and even the execution are not too dissimilar to the stuff you played with b.l.o.w only the band were obviously going for an acid blues kind of style. Third question - was UFO's Michael Schenker ever an influence on you? I hear quite a bit of him in your early stuff and along with Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler and yourself I'd say you were all my biggest influences in playing the guitar. Finally - What b.l.o.w track are you most proud of? I really like the riff in "Don't Ride the White Horse", the overall performance from all you guys on "Who Composed that song" but suprisingly my favourite track is one of the most mellow b.l.o.w tunes "Sleep Tonight." In fact I hear a bit of Knopfler in that song and from others on the "Pigs" album. All the best Bruce, thanks in advance, Maz, Walton On Thames/Chiswick
BJD: Nice questions Mark! Sometimes in the studio a part is simply doubled to give it more power and size (She’s a Little Angle rhythm guitars for example) , but this can be a bit of a cop out as you do lose character that way. Hendrix wouldn’t do that ( probably didn’t have enough spare tracks in those days) and when I do the bluesier stuff I would stay away from doubles and overdubs a single guitar track is always more exciting – but its so easy to lapse into the habit of doubling everything. There’s definitely two sides to me- the blues thing and the big rock LA period stuff. I am always caught between a strat and an Les paul, and between a plexi and an AC30. I would never use a PRS which is supposed to be a cross between the two- but is actually a guitar for estate agents and bank mangers. I love early Schenker on that 50 watt plexi- the tone is very similar to how I hear a guitar- that cello like dryness and woody resonance- god like! And I love his melodic sense. Page is like a classical composer with his skill with harmony and texture, and then there’s the ability to take your breath away you with the intensity of his performance. And Mark Knopfler is interesting- from him I learned about how to think in chord shapes like a jazzer- rather than in a linear scale style like a metal guy. So I’m happy to have any comparison to any of those guys, in fact it would be an honour to polish their guitars and change their stings!
Q: Hi Bruce I have been a fan of yours for over 20 years and you have truly been an inspiration to me . back in 2002 I was very lucky to have the opportunity to jam with toby which was just an amazing experience (thank you toby !). Could I ask if it would be possible for me to jam with you if you are ever in my neck of the woods ? I know it's a cheeky question but if I don't ask I will never know ! Best wishes, Craig Isherwood, Lancashire
BJD: Thanks for your encouragement and support - be happy to have a jam – also you let me know if your down this area. I’m near Brighton. Are you a guitar player?
Q: Bruce now the warm up shows and Download's out the way, have you any regrets at all about not reforming sooner or do you still think it was the right time. Roky, Hull
BJD: I think it was the right time for us. I don’t know quite why it felt like that though- but we all seemed to feel the same at the same time. It was surreal waiting backstage at Oxford with the intro sequence to Angel running – that was crazy, we had no idea what it would be like when we actually did a gig again. You can only rehearse so much.. It felt more epic because it had been so long and probably the same for some of the audience. I saw a few tears being shed in the crowd. I never thought I would pick up a guitar again, let alone do a gig with the guys ever again. I still can’t quite believed it happened.
Q: What was the first riff you learned to play? What was the last riff you learned to play? My first was Walking by Myself- Gary Moore. My last was Young Gods- Thanks for posting the tab. Michael Sherlock, Newport
BJD: Hi Michael. First riff – hmm I remember Paul Curtis teaching me Cold Sweat by Lizzy and getting pretty excited by that when I was 16...But I was always making up stuff so I might learn one riff but make up 20. I really put a lot of time into Hendrix, Peter Green, Gary Moore and Randy Rhoads and I tried to learn complete songs from start to finish rather than just bits. Last riff... Well I had to relearn all the LA stuff. It was 20 years ago! But now I want to study some early Clapton again, some Zeppelin and some Beatles again and continue copying singers like Etta James which helps my thinking about phrasing. I am also producing some backing tracks for guitars players for the website Jamtracks central which will be available later this year. So lots of writing for that. I love it that you learned young gods!
Q: Hi Bruce, thanks for taking the time to read our questions. I saw you with b.l.ow on the Thunder, Skin & blow tour back in the day, in Plymouth, which was an awesome line up! What are your memories of that tour..? I think it was billed as the 'saviours of British rock tour' (got a signed poster somewhere..) Did you ever cross paths with any of the Thunder or Skin boys again..? Nick Hardie, Devon
BJD: Fuck me I cannot remember much of it and it was all getting a bit darker by then. I always thought that drugs were fun and that grown ups and squares who disapproved were basically party poopers. I was wrong. There were serious mental health issues in the band and the gigs a struggle as we had to go on so early there was no one in the venues, we were skint and it was like living in the freak brothers comic strip. God help us if we were supposed to be the saviours of British rock – we could hardly get form one gig to another. But underneath all that it was a great band to have been in. I did a blues session with Nick Boyes a couple of weeks ago and he is the very best of the best. It was great to discover Dave Gooding on you tube playing , sounding and looking fantastic in Dublin this year. What a voice he has, and what a star...As you may now know we are playing with Skin again which will be a joy!
Q: Hi Bruce, glad to say I made it to Oxford and was massively impressed with how good the band sounded, having seen you loads of times 'back in the day' - as Toby said, it was almost like it was the week after the Albert Hall gig!!!! My question is how difficult was it to get your heads back into 'band mode' having diversified in your post LA lives? And do you think that the band has a future, having seen the support from the warm up shows and Download ?? Carl, Stourbridge
BJD: Thanks Carl!- I have kind of answered the first part of your questions - but I would add that being in a band in your mid forties is quite different in some ways to when you’re 20 years old! On stage and in rehearsal its more or less the same- but trying to coordinate us all around family, other responsibilities, Mark’s golf(!) Toby’s production, Dio’s disciples, Jims academia etc etc is pretty crazy. The future for LA? Well The band was all about being young and the autobiographical journey to get out of a small town. I don’t think the world needs a new LA album and as yet we don’t see a reason to write together – its about lyrics and subject matter and having something to say.. So we’ll do the tour in December and that’s our plan for now.
Q: Hey Bruce, been a fan of your playing since seeing you on famous for 15 minutes...many moons ago. I found the original vhs tape last year that i recorded it on and transfered it to dvd. Any way....i wanted to ask if you are familiar with the American band Y&T ( formerly Yesterday & Today)....in particular, vocalist and lead guitarist Dave Meniketti. I am a friend and massive fan of his and your guitar styles are very similar to my ears. Was he an influence on your playing. Also i would love to hear you do a solo blues CD. Meniketti released one about 10 years ago called " on the blue side". Check it out if you can. I still have a guitar pick you threw to me in Birmingham when you supported Cinderella. I am so thrilled that you guys are jamming again.....hopefully it will be a permanent thing. I am sure the best days are ahead for little angels!! Steve Dawkins, Cirencester
BJD: Hi Steve. I know of Y &T and In will check out the blues record. I don’t know it well enough for it to be a direct influence , but probably Dave and I might share some influences ourselves along the way somewhere. I wish I could sing like him. I always wanted to be able to do BV’s not much to ask is it? A humble ambition. I answered an add for a singing teacher back in the early days, which said ‘anyone can sing’. He said that I was the ‘exception’ to that and I should forget about singing.....
Q: Have you ever heard anyone play one of your own pieces with an embellishment that you wish you had thought of? Have you considered embellishing the songs along the way this time around - I thought there were some extra twists in the live show, but I have as much musical ability as a piece of hay! And finally; I have a snapped tape cassette of the first b.l.o.w. EP - does anyone have that kicking around still so I can get a new copy? Sarah T, Kent
BJD: I have heard of bands doing covers of our tunes , which is always a great compliant. I think Toby’s acoustic set is really good too – he has some great takes on eclectic tunes and makes them work as a one man show. Yes there’s always a few new arrangements of songs for live and we’re just about to start thinking about the December tour. I think it’s important to not go too crazy as people do like the versions in the records as that what they have come to be used to. I never understood those artists who don’t play the hits. Madonna has just done that and the tickets were £80 a pop. That’s weird why would you do that? PS just getting the blow cassette converted to digital remind me in a couple of weeks and I’ll send you it.
Q: On re-visiting the LA songs after all these years, which songs do you feel have stood the test of time the best? Philip Wainwright, High Peak
BJD: I think the down load set had all those tunes in it. And it’s nice that classic rock has a bit of cred again- we were all in the wilderness for so long!
Q: Would love to have heard "Product of the Working Class" at your show (which was great by the way :) ) but it wasn't in the set :( - any particular reason you didn't have it on your setlist? Brian, Portsmouth
BJD: Hmmm perhaps we should put it in the set. But not sure about it myself – I didn’t miss it as it seems to have aged a bit- but there again so have we. ....
16th JUNE 2012
Hey Jim! Have you still
got the SHS101 remote keyboard? Will you be tempted to use it if so?
Go on, you know you want to! Steve Dickinson, Scarborough
JD: Hey Steve - By the way, for those of you who don't know Steve (no relation) he runs an awesome music cafe in Scarborough called Mojo's - check it out if you’re planning a trip to the seaside. Yes I've owned 5, and I currently still have 3 - a blue one, the original zebra stripe (which is actually featured on the cover of Too Posh...) It's the back of the synth - I used to write messages on the reverse - then mid solo I would flip it over and play the keys with my head - also revealing the message. For those of you who have no idea what we're talking about I'll post some pix online. Will I use them again - if we tour + if we play any of the tunes I used to use it on? - keep voting on the favourite song section and you never know...
Q: Hi Jimmy, I've followed you since LA split from your time in b.l.o.w (both excellent albums - with "If" and "Ride The White Horse" particular favourites of mine - I'm not surprised that period was a bit of a haze!) And also your time in younger younger 28. Anyway glad you've reformed even though i'm out of the country for just 2 weeks during your warm up gigs and download. That's my luck! I got into you guys just as you split up in 1994 so missed the boat back then! But rather than being a bit negative about it I wish you all the best and hopefully the shows go so well that there are more to follow! I have a few questions for you: Which album was your favourite to record and why? I'd assume that Young Gods was far more time consuming and laborious than something like your debut because it was far more polished. Was this a frustrating time in a way or exciting that you were involved in a big money production? Also in terms of song credits apart from Toby and your brother (and I notice the manager at the time AJP/K.Nixon gets mentioned a lot) you've contributed a fair amount in terms of material - how did you go about composing these songs? For example the catchy "The Way that I live." Great tune! I've read the story about "Back Door Man" on Jim Vallance's website which was very interesting. Lastly - judging from some of the photo's you seemed really down with regards to the split. Did you think that the band could continue? I know your brother seemed a bit wary about the musical direction the band was heading in, although whilst the Ten Miles High sessions were quite "poppy" in terms of the music (decent hard-hitting production though) the "All Roads Lead to you" sessions certainly saw you change direction again, and I could feel a bit of "happy" b.l.o.w in them recordings (well certainly through Bruce's guitar work.) Anyway all the best for the future! Maz, Walton On Thames
JD: Hi Maz - You certainly know your music and I agree with most of what you say. To sum up I'd say yes, it was the right time to go our separate ways - we all did some fine work post Angels; b.l.o.w which was totally different, but very rewarding and I think we made some good records (can't remember many of the gigs), Toby's fantastic solo work (records and gigs), I'm really proud of my electronic stuff - 'The Younger Younger 28's' (computer games music and an album for V2) Rich's work with Skunk Anansie and Feeder, Mark P's amazing career managing Boyzone and Ronan and Bruce changing the face of RnR education for the U.K....phew! busy times.....but here's the thing - I knew I'd enjoy getting back with the band....but what myself, and I think the others, have come to appreciate is that the music really is special and the combination of players in the Angels adds up to a great band with a really unique 'voice'. By voice I mean what the band says to the world - lyrically and musically. Watching back our performance at Download really drove that home to me and I admit it did come as a revelation. Regarding which album I liked making best - I think I'm most proud of my work on 'Young Gods' - but all 3 records are very different and ultimately we tried our hardest to make great records on each one - I think it would be nice to do an in-depth article on the making of each record for the website - watch this space.
Q: Hi Jimmy, we saw you play countless gigs all over the UK, from support band at The Marquee through to headlining The Royal Albert Hall, and can't wait for Portsmouth. Little Angels were well known for their hospitality towards fans and were always very friendly and down to earth. Did you ever come across anyone in your career who you were either in awe of, or who you felt disappointed with when you met them? Michelle Pryke, Kent
JD: Good question - One of my biggest thrills was touring with Van Halen - we all grew up listening to Van Halen and to meet Eddie was amazing! He didn't disappoint- a total god, yet down to earth - he hung out with us for the whole tour. I's also a closet Billy Idol fan and touring with him and Bon Jovi was hilarious - sometimes you meet someone and they don't live up to their media persona - Billy was like a cartoon caricature of himself 24/7 - awesome geezer! Can't think of any disappointments really - it was all fab!
Q: Hi Jimmy, you are one of my biggest influences on the keys, I love your playing. My question is: Will you be having a corner of the official LA site in the future to teach us some LA songs the same as Bruce? After all why should Guitarists have all the fun. Cheers Jimmy. Paul Down, South Wales
JD: Yes - I think I might - I still have 90% of my boards - took out a pretty minimal set up for these gigs as we had to fly the gear to Sweden etc...if we toured again I might take out the full keyboard wizard! Roadies will be pleased...
Q: Hi Jim. I had a random flashback today, to something I had totally forgotten about. It was the time my friend and I, both aged about 15, came to see Bruce, Rich and yourself (b.l.o.w.) play at HMV in Derby. Afterwards you were rehearsing or something in a garage and invited us to watch, so we came along for a while. My friend and I just stood there grinning and were so star struck that we couldn't speak. Sorry about that. I can't stop laughing about it now. Do you remember doing the set in HMV? What were you doing in a garage in Derby? (What was I doing in a garage in Derby?) (Great to see you guys are enjoying playing together again. I hope you do some more shows so I can see it for myself. I will grin a lot but I promise if I bump into any of you I will actually have something to say these days.) Take care, Abigail (also a lecturer), Coventry
JD: Hey Abigail - I'm afraid as it's often been said the b.l.o.w days are a bit of a haze. I have no idea what you or indeed the band were doing in a garage in Derby! I remember the HMV set – in fact I believe I have a VHS video of it somewhere - did you send it to us?
Q: Me again, sorry forgot to ask, which computer games did you do the music for? (I run a Media Dept, includes Computer Games Design courses) Would be cool to tell the students who wrote music on games that they no doubt own. Thanks, Abigail, Coventry
JD: The man to ask is our trumpet player Grant Kirkhope - after the Angels he went on to become a Legend in Games music- just Google him and you'll be amazed. He also did a skyped Q and A for my students (he lives in USA when not gigging with us) if you ask nicely he might do one for you. My most well-known game would be Test Drive 4 - I did it under the Younger Younger 28's name alongside The Orbital - it won Best in Show at the E3 awards about 1997.
Q: Hi Jimmy, so glad to see LA back together for what must surely be the (re)start of the band. I saw you on many occasions back in the day and have listened to your music in the intervening years. What was it like playing in a band with a big brother, did you get along and what's the chances of getting LA to play Bristol (like the good old days)? It'll give me a chance to wear my old hand sewn LA cut off again! Thanks. Shane Dick, Bristol
JD: Hi Shane - I think it's been quite well documented that me and Bruce have had some blistering arguments - So far we haven't had one this time around - apart from Oxford where there was a minor onstage disagreement as to who should start 'Radical' - of course I was right.. Bristol and the SW generally was always one of our strongest areas - so if we toured, I'm sure we'd try and play there - I live down in Bath now - lovely part of the world - almost as good as Yorkshire!
Q: Hi Jim, Saw you at Oxford and you were all great! Just wondering what happened to "The Beast" after you split? Did you not keep it? Rich, Newport, S. Wales
JD: Still looking - I have a new lead - but I think I may have to start accepting she might be gone...I'm starting counselling tomorrow.
Q: Hi Jimmy, been a fan of the band from the begining, as with most people messaging on here I've seen you guys live loads of times... as a fan in the crowd I always preferred the intimacy and intensity of the smaller gigs with the atmosphere and sweat from the bodies adding to the experience. As a performer which do you prefer, the personal nature of those or the spectacle of the arena with the worship of thousands??? p.s. If you were to record more songs are you in agreement with Toby about a heavier sound? (I think leaning towards the rock rather than the ballads may be a good thing...) Ian Larham, Peterborough
JD: Do you know what I like? The ones in between - Theatres - like Newcastle City Hall, Hammersmith or gigs like Newport Centre. I find clubs too intense and It's hard to hear each other - arenas are surreal - like your on television - Theatres give you atmosphere and great sound. I agree with Tobe - but it's not so much about purposely trying to write ballads or whatever - it's about writing music without caring about radio one or if the record company will approve - then whatever comes out is - real. When I look back in the face of those pressures it's amazing we managed to get it right on some of our tunes - the ones we can still play today because they still feel relevant musically and lyrically
Q: Dear Jimmy, Little Angels were one of my fave bands (thanks to my older sis Alison) during the late 80's/early 90's, when I was reading Kerrang! every week. British bands like yourselves, Thunder, The Quireboys, The Almighty, Wolfsbane, Tigertailz, Gun, The Beyond, Atom Seed, Lawnmower Deth, Xentrix, etc. were like a Second NWOBHM. If Download goes well, would you ever do a Tour with some of these other Brit bands of the time, like the 80's Rewind Tours? Many thanks, and good luck! Mark Dance, Northumberland
JD: Well we said we'd wait to see what the reaction from the fans was at DL and the other shows and I can honestly say it was beyond all our expectations - so now we need to sit down and talk - which I'm sure we'll do - as to who we would tour with. I'm not so bothered about the nostalgia thing - it was a great era - but what excited us this time around is that classic rock seems to have a place right now and it feels relevant - we had a great band support us in Portsmouth Temperance Movement and there are some great Rock bands making new music right now.
Q: Hi Jimmy, great to see you guys back together and hope to see you on the road up north sometime soon! Anyway, the band were always accessible to fans via 'Meet and Greets'. Do you think things like Twitter and Facebook brings you even closer to the people who buy your music and is that a good thing? Bev Hampton, Leeds
JD: Absolutely - we wouldn't be talking like this without the internet. It's been great to be able to connect with you all again and it's genuinely interesting to find out what you've all been up to in these intervening years! I also love to see the fans connecting with each other - as Toby said at DL "It's a feeling we all share" I've just started Twitter - I'm a bit of a novice - I posted a message about putting my chickens away to the main LA FB page! Some people must have thought we'd gone mad.
Q: Firstly thanks so much to you guys for getting back together! It's a dream come true for fans like me :) I loved seeing you guys play so much and your music is always on around the house. My 6 year old sons favourite song is 'Soapbox' and he finds the video hilarious when we watch it on YouTube. How much fun was that video to make cos it looks like it was a good laugh? Jenny, Cambridge
JD: I know - how amazing was that? - It's one thing meeting your rock heroes - but doing a video with all your favourite characters from Spitting Image was a total blast. I got to duet with Stevie Wonder for goodness sake! The best bit was seeing the puppeteers at work - I remember them controlling multiple puppets at once using these crazy extension devices. If you watch the courtroom scene there must be 40 puppets all singing and dancing along " na na na..." good times!
6th MAY 2012
Q: Hi Toby, greetings from sunny Abu Dhabi , where Charlie
Cutforth is working hard on your new designs and sends his love! Just
wondered whether you guys would drop in over this way on a world tour,
because we'd love to see you here, after your triumphant Download gig!
Fil Brewer, Abu Dhabi
TJ: Hi Fil, of course! Given half the chance we'd play the globe!!!! Well, to be honest, it all depends on how we feel after DL...lets wait and see.
Q: Hey Tobe, how awesome was it working with 80's legends Chrome Molly?? Steve, Outer space
TJ: Well, it was a blast from the past in many ways because CM were label mates of ours and one of the first bands we opened for in the early days. I think we learnt a lot from them and its been killer working as their producer on what has turned out to be an amazing rock album. Up the Mollies!!!!
Q: Are you glad that you have reformed and what is the one song that you are most looking forward to doing again? Leanne, Coventry
TJ: It been very emotional for me and i guess for us all. We grew up together, formed a band at school and made it! what a journey to go on and one that came to an abrupt and unsatisfying end, so to play together, reconnect and make music again is just what was needed.
Q: Hi Toby. Does the recent reformation of Little Angels mean the end of Dios disciples and fastway? And also, will you, Bruce and Mark be getting new custom guitar picks for Download? Grayson, South Wales .
TJ: Hi Grayson! Well, the future of Fastway is uncertain in terms of live gigs, but I will certainly be continuing with Dio's Disciples as it is an honour and for a great cause...plus I love working with the lads and singing those amazing songs!
Q: I've been a big fan of Little Angels since I heard you supporting Van Halen at Wembley in 1993. I loved the last encore song with you and Van Halen. What was that like? I bought your albums and singles since then and saw you live a couple of times after that. Now that Van Halen are touring again, would you (Little Angels) consider supporting them on a European tour? Also, will there be some new songs from Little Angels? Rich, Woking
TJ: The Van Halen tour is an unbelievable memory, something that I cherish and especially playing on stage with the band...it was a surprise, we were in the pit watching and Eddie reached down and beckoned us up! bloody brilliant! I'd love to play with the band again but its a long shot, I bet every band in Europe wants that gig!! I cant say whether there will be new LA music yet,,,watch this space...
Q: Toby, so pleased you guys are back. A personal thank you for keeping the dream alive through your solo years. I've seen you all the way through from Scarborough 6th Form in the late 80s so totally counting down the days til Download now. Question - would you ever do 'Reach for me' again.. it's a cracking song. Julian Sharpe, London (Scarborough)
TJ: Wow Julian! great memory! I guess you have the original 'Too Posh, To Mosh' and I remember very well recording that tune! one of the first that we felt was 'good' enough...we'd have to significantly re-arrange it I think!!! ha ha!
Q: What would you have written on your tombstone when the adventure has come to an end? Craig Chenery, Phoenix AZ
TJ: Hi Craig, wow! what a question...I think this: Here lies a husband and father who tried his best...
Q: If LA stays together following Download (and I hope you do because you were all amazing live - saw you at the Marquee/Hammersmith/Milton Keynes with ZZ Top), how do you see the direction of the band evolving musically and how do you target new and younger fans? Jason, Hampshire
TJ: Erm...Jason, firstly, thanks for the dedication mate! Well, hypothetically, should that happen I would hope we'd make anthemic, powerful rock music that the fans can sing at the top of their voices! It's always been about the collective involvement with the audience for me so business as usual really!!! I'd hope it would be 'heavier' actually, but that's just me...
Q: As a writer I am interested in trying to write for musicians. Would any of them have any advice for me. Cheers and good to see the band back :-) Chris Daniels, North Wales
TJ: Hey Chris, its simple; have something to say! be truthful and emotional...lyrics should be connective and poetic as well as being capable of talking about a subject matter in a unique manner...it's not all 'baby, baby, baby OH' etc...Good luck sir!
Q: First off let me just say the BIGGEST thank you to you all for finally getting back together and giving me another chance to see you live! (i would say I've missed you but to be honest I still listen to you so much that its like you have never been away for me!) I have got my tickets to see you in Oxford (THE best birthday present ever, my husband thanks you (many many brownie points for him!) so I've taken up too much of your time already, sorry, here is the question.....I'm sure you have collected your fair share of new supporters while you have been away (my children both love you but they didn't have much choice, to be fair that's what they were brought up listening to) but as a 33 year old woman who is so so pleased to get to come and see you live again are you pleased or worried about all of us "oldies" that will be in the crowd? (I promise not to break a hip dancing!) Tracy Hughes, Oxfordshire
TJ: Not at all! were oldies too! haha! seriously, its not about age, height, weight, creed, religion or whatever, it's about loud, fun, exciting collective feelings of euphoria and a chance to celebrate life and remember the good times so come one, come all I say! see ya there girl....
Q: Hi Toby. Nothing to do with your music (which is great Tobv), but your career in the film business - I see you've been involved with Band of Brothers, Sleepy Hollow etc. What was your best experience, and any more plans to keep that going? Daniel Jacks, Southend-on-Sea
TJ: Dan, my time in the film biz was killer and I had so many great times! here's a couple; I met Steven Spielberg in a DC9 aircraft whilst making BOB and shared a cup of tea with him and the camera operator...assisted Tom hanks for a month on BOB whilst he directed an episode, a thoroughly lovely man...chatted to Ridley Scott about Scarborough (where he went on holiday as a child) whilst dressed as a Roman soldier on Gladiator...
Q: Hi Toby, I hope you are well! Over many years, and as part of a comprehensive body of work, you have consistently written strong material. How di you ensure you dont simply write he same song over and over again? Bob Dylan once said "write 10 songs a day, throw 9 away". Does this sound like a familiar strategy and if so, can have the other 9 songs, please! Best wishes, Craig Isherwood, Lancashire
TJ: Hi Craig, that's about the measure of it! I have always tried to challenge my self as an artist but forcing myself to tackle different themes be it musical of lyrical or technical...I follow David Bowie's advice 'look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite!!!'
Q: Hi Tobe, fantastic news about the reunion ;-).Will the Little Angels fridge be making a guest appearance at any of the shows......wont be able to throw any cans of cold beer now that Health and Safety is insane ? See ya soon Paul Paciorek, Durham
TJ: That was fun wasn't it? brilliant! I'd love it to put in an appearance and sod health and safety!!!
27th MARCH 2012
Q: So how did you go from Little Angels to Boyzone management and
from Scarborough to Thailand? Michelle Pryke, Kent
MP: When we shook hands at the Royal Albert Hall in July 1994, i had no real desire to go on and play with anyone else. I'd been in a band with my best mates and just felt that that part of my life had come to a satisfying end. I had a good relationship with Polydor records so when they first brought Boyzone over to the UK, later that year, they asked me to look after them. It was meant to be for two weeks but that two weeks has become seventeen and a half years so far!
I moved from Scarborough in my early 20's and have lived down in surrey since. We've got a place in Phuket too so I spend part of my time there - hence the tan! My wife and I both have family back up in Scarborough so it's great to go back there and get some northern sea air, play a round at Ganton Golf Club and pop in for a coffee with Toby. I've still got the Yorkshire accent but my kids have a very worrying 'home counties' accent - I have a 'bath' but they have a 'barth'!!
Q: Hi Mark, so glad you're back together. I followed you from the very beginning and saw you live over 50 times. The Angels have always been brilliant with their fans, one day at the very beginning me and a couple of mates buzzed the offices at Song Management in York and Jimmy came down and let us in. We sat and talked for ages, so long in fact that I left my crash helmet when we left. You gave us a copy each of the 87 E.P. Something I treasure to this day. My question is... Which current band would you like to hear cover a Little Angels song. Please don't say Ronan doing Womankind !!!!! All the best for the future and please make this little dream a bit more than a one gig comeback !!!! Darren Nunn, York
MP: 50 gigs is pretty impressive, Darren! It’s funny to think that a band might cover one of our songs someday. I’d never really thought about it but I guess it would be cool if it were a new band that grew up together in a small town as we did. It’s funny you mention Ronan and 'Womankind' as he actually remembers seeing us do that song on 'Top Of The Pops' back in the day. Look out for him singing along at Download!!
Q: Although Little Angels are before my time (as im 18) when i saw you were announced for Download i had a listen to you and I love your music. Considering you guys have been missing for 17 years how nervous are you to step out and play on the hallowed Donington Park (Download Festival) in June? Thank You! Chris Walters, Manchester, UK.
MP: It all seems a bit mad at the moment as I'm sitting here practicing my parts having not played for 17 years. We went to Monsters Of Rock at Donington years back but never played there, so to get the chance now is a big deal for us. I've really no idea what to expect in terms of how many people will be there to watch us and how many of them will care either way that we're there! I'm sure there'll be some nerves flying around but we all went in to this with a promise that we'd only do it if we were all going to have a great day - let's hope so!! I'm probably more worried about what my kids will make of it as they've never seen me play - and we all know how brutally honest teenagers can be when it comes to their parents embarrassing them!
Q: Any tips for budding bass guitarists/guitarists? And would you ever play bass with another band? Vicky-Leigh Sayer, Wales
MP: This is going to sound terrible but it's hard to think of myself as a bass guitarist. I’ve not played for 17 years so I’ve been working at getting my chops back together and remembering all the songs. There were a few blisters early on but I think my fingers have hardened up a little now! As a band we all had a great work ethic early on, we practiced loads and were passionate about what we did. I guess that stood us in good stead as a band and individual players - so I guess that would be my one bit of advice.
Q: I always remember you doing the harmonising with Toby at gigs. How good is your singing? And have you ever recorded any solo material? If so you know my next question...Also what is your best time for 10k? Michael Sherlock, Newport, Wales
MP: It's funny, we had a rehearsal day at the end of last year and that was the first time we'd played together since 1994. I'd done a bit of bass practice so felt ok with that. We started 'She's A Little Angel' and as it got to the first chorus I though I might as well have a go at the backing vocal. I'd not sung a note for 17 years so was pretty surprised when it sounded ok. I think it took Toby my surprise too as he looked across with a 'where the f**k did that come from' look on his face! I've never run a competitive 10k so don't have a time for that. My best marathon time was four years ago in London at 3 hours 21 minutes. I did the marathon in Phuket two years ago but really struggled with the heat. Last year I did the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and loved it so I'm keen to do that again this year and try and beat my time. I'm not great on the swim leg but love the bike and don't mind hanging in there for the run at the end.
Q: I wondered if you could clear something up for me - I was having a discussion with my Dad last week because in the 80s I was a big fan of yours and we came to see you (I have a CD signed by the band). I thought we saw you in a place called the Sherlock Holmes but I can't find it's existence on the internet and my Dad swears he's never heard of it! I was probably about 14 or 15 but I am sure it was called that! Please rescue me from my Dad's smugness!!! And I listened to the CD again because we were talking about you and it was a real blast from the past! You guys were super cool! Cheers! Melinda Foster, Rossendale, Lancashire
MP: Sorry, Melinda, but I'm with your old man - never heard of anywhere called the Sherlock Holmes! We played in lots of dodgy places early on but pretty sure that wasn't one of them. There's a pretty comprehensive list of all the gigs we did on the MySpace site. Some of the early dates are a bit sketchy as we weren't great at keeping a diary!
Q: 1)Who first came up with the name Little Angels,2)And who came up with the idea of having a Devil logo 3)have you still got your Union Jack bass. Roky, Hull
MP: I think the name may have come from our manager, Kevin Nixon, at the time. We new we wanted to change it from 'Mr Thrud' but it took ages to come up with something. A mate of ours from Scarborough, Charlie Cutforth, did the devil face for us. it took us a while to realise what was going on with the devil's eyebrows and nose - a lot of people still haven't worked that one out!! Sorry but the Union Jack bass went a good few years back. I can't remember who I sold it too, or for how much! Never seen it since so let me know if you come across it. I've still got the precision that I always used and it still sounds great so I'm happy enough with that.
Q: Mark, I gather after Little Angels split up you went on to manage Boyzone and Ronan Keating. How does the thrill of playing live in your own band compare to enabling someone else to do it through band management? And did Boyzone know any Little Angels tunes? Mark, Woking.
MP: I’d be lying if I said I didn't miss the thrill of being on stage but I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to work with a band and solo artiste that have had a lot of success. The first gig I did with Boyzone was at 'Options' nightclub in Kingston. I turned up with a D.A.T. tape and they sang along for a few songs. From that it was great to help and see them grow to an international arena act. I appreciate people might not be into their music but if you saw one of their gigs now you'd certainly appreciate that they know how to put on a show and keep an audience happy.
Q: I notice in your new band picture youre wearing rosary beads , On your years away did you find God ? Or are you just a changed man due to the time spent with the gentlemen of Boyzone? Theresa Greene, Dublin
MP: Are you the same Theresa Greene that used to hang out with Logsa Browne down the Hoath Road? Didn't you once fall down a trap door in the stage at a Bz gig?
Q: Hi Mark, Great to have the LA back!!! In a reply to a question in the last Q&A Bruce mentioned that he wasn't sure people remembered you guys. Can you tell me if you or any of the other guys have been aware of the online Facebook group which has been flying the flag for the last few years? myself and Andy Walker run the group (more so andy this last year or so). One other question, Which bass players would you class as influences to you over the years? Thanks! :) Gregg, North Lincolnshire
MP: Thanks for the support, Gregg. I'm not on Facebook so sorry for not following it a bit closer. It's great to see all the on-line stuff since we announced we were coming back for Download. I just hope we don't disappoint you all!! Although I was a bass player, growing up I was more into guitarists like Eddie Van Halen and just great bands in general. I loved 'Bad Company' and early 'Queen'. every now and again I'd listen to Stanley Clarke who's an amazing bass player but the jazz funk thing always left me a little cold.
Q: Possibly a slightly strange question, but with you being involved with Boyzone and there reunion ( which my wife was very pleased about by the way). Did the success of that have any baring on your own decision to reform with the rest of the lads? James Oldbury, Newark, Notts
MP: It's ok James, you're allowed to admit you like Boyzone along with your wife! Our reunion was more down to the four of use meeting up at Mike's funeral. That planted the seed and got us all talking again and then Andy Copping from Live Nation (who we've known since the old Nottingham Rock City days) offered us the Download date. We'll probably do a couple of small warm-up shows beforehand so keep an eye out for an announcement about that pretty soon.
2nd FEBRUARY 2012
Q: Hi, JAM is the only proper album that has not been reissued to
date are there any plans for this to happen with extra unreleased tracks
and what about putting out a dvd of old live stuff my vhs copies have
worn out! Thanks. M. Chappell, Berkshire
BJD: We’ve talked about this stuff and I’d like to see Jam get rereleased and also the full Hammersmith show – if we can find it in the archives- but of course with old style record deals the rights to the recordings aren’t owned by the bands- so it’s not always easy to get cooperation from the labels and publishers to make things happen. We’ll see what we can do- but I bought all my LA records to learn the tunes again on eBay as I hadn’t kept the originals…
Q: Hi Bruce. Have you any worries about losing your anonymity after all these years? Since b.l.o.w. finished you have definitely had the lowest media profile and seem more cautious of the internet than the others. I cant talk refused to have an email or a computer till last year. Joanne Fearon, Barnsley
BJD: Yes I’m not a natural at being in the spotlight- and now I don’t have the hair to hide behind either…but I do love the music bit and this time round the people into the band are like old friends, so if I’m doing something like answering your questions here.. it’s a choice and a pleasure .
Q: You split up in 1994 just a year after having a UK number one album. The three studio albums the band recorded were quite different in sound. The first being an out and out rock album (and my personal fav), the second had an American commercial sound to it and the third had taken a more poppy direction. The question I always wanted to ask is what sound the band would have chosen for a 4th album and do you think you could have achieved the success Oasis and their Britpop friends made in the mid 90's with the right backing and promotion. If I Remember correctly Little Angels made number 1 in the album charts before the 90's success of the britpop bands. Steve Kilroy, Harrogate
BJD: I think personally that we would have had a very hard time whatever we did post 1994. We were known for what we did and when you have a blues rock seam running through your musical soul, you can’t just become something else. Toby made a great solo record and I was proud of the blow stuff-but the music industry is fashion based and we ( as individuals as well as a band) were never going to fit that time well. I think we could have ridden it out , but we all needed to go off and do other things and to be honest personally I was disappointed with the stuff we did post Jam. I can’t stand to listen to ‘ten miles high’ for example, we were trying to find a direction and not succeeding, and also not communicating well together. It was just time to let it be. That’s just my view though I don’t know how the others would answer that question…
Q: Hey Bruce. Hope Your all good, I'm Daniel and I’m 20 and a guitar player, your my favourite guitar player and Little Angels are one of my favourite bands, I'm so happy you guys have came back, never thought i would get to see you guys live, being a great guitar player do you have any good tips and techniques? and will you be putting any tabs up in the guitar section on the website at all? I’ve worked out quite a lot but there’s some stuff I cant quite get, I’m also in a band, we even covered a Little Angels song haha but do you have any tips for a young and upcoming band? I’m so glad you’re using fish Les Paul again that Guitar is amazing! i always wanted to make a replica (Bruce John Dickinson signature) haha. I hope you get to read this Cheers. Daniel, Dereham
BJD: Hi Daniel thanks for your email. Its amazing that someone your generation is listening to our stuff and I appreciate your comments on the guitar playing. Tips? Well I would say this- get a valve amp with no preamp ( maybe an old vox AC15 or one of those Marshall 5 watt combos) turn it up ,and learn to get a tone with your fingers. While everyone else is using pods, and fizzy little amps- stick with the real thing and develop a real tone. Right hand pick attack is very important, vibrato and time keeping. Try listening to Peter Green and learn some Randy Rhoads too and you’ll cover a lot of ground.
Q: Sorry Bruce, could not resist posting a question! Bruce - I can't believe that you're all back together! I think of everyone, you have most vehement been against a reunion. What changed your mind? Samantha Mattocks, Norwich, UK
BJD: Hey Sam- Firstly I didn’t know that anyone remembered us or would want us back- so gradually releasing that people still cared was a revelation! And then I got to a point in my life where I was able to take enough time out to do it properly, and when the Download thing cropped up I think we all felt that the time was right and we could do it for the right reasons. I think us all meeting up a Mike’s funeral was the starting point. Maybe life’s too short not to make the most of opportunities like this..
Q: Back in 1990 Little angels played the Town and Country Club along with F.M and Thunder for the big sum of £6 a ticket. As touring costs have gone up so much over the years would you ever consider doing a joint tour with these bands again ? I'm sure every rock fan would love to see all three bands play on the same bill! Simon Chappell, Bracknell
BJD: Yep! It would be magic to play with those guys and there are several more bands from that late 80’s era that it would be fun to do a gig with.
Q: The three additional cover songs on the I Ain't Gonna Cry single were an inspired choice for me. I hunted down copies of the originals and subsequently have enjoyed a musical romance with The Ruts, Fleetwood Mac and The James Gang ever since. Who in the band brought these tracks to the table? And if you could cover three songs that were recorded after the Angels split, what would they be? Rod, Manchester
BJD: You’re very kind- but I felt I ( on guitar) murdered those tunes. I was so young and didn’t really understand that I was messing with classic stuff. Back then we had to do so many B sides for all the 12 “ single, tape and multiple formats that we had to throw stuff out without thought. I wish I could turn back time and redo them and treat them with more respect. On favorite covers , I think you really should have something to add to the original and lyrically it has to make sense.
Q: Hey Bruce- two part question-
1-what songs are you most looking forward to playing live with guys?
BJD: Hmmmm… the old favorites, ‘Don’t prey for Me’ I think has stood up really well over time.. but I think we want to play what our audience will want to hear, kicking up Dust, radical, bone yard, young gods etc.
2-do you have enough extra strong glue to put your telecaster/bango como back together?- (if not i may have some in the garage somewhere you can use- just let me know!!) Steven Johnstone, Ayrshire
BJD: Well gods knows where that went.. but the neck still exists on my fish strat. It’s the best Strat I’ve ever heard but not one single part is an original fender and of course the neck is from a squire telecaster, but it has a new fingerboard glued on top. Now you mention ion there is always a degree of sticky tape and glue on my guitars! They do end up a bit home made…
Q: Is it just the band to play download or will you be bringing back the big bad horns of some sorts to play with you. Paul Rokyckyj, Hull
BJD: Yes we will. The plan is to get Grant Kirky and Big Dave back in. You can’t beat the originals.
Q: Have you had your first practice together yet? If so what was it like and what was the first song you played? Also who cocked up first? :) James Oldbury, Newark, Notts
BJD: Yes we did and it was very good. After all this time there were mistakes all round, but the feel was spot on ,and the vibe good. First song was She’s a Little Angel , starting with that sequence. The weird thing was that it didn’t seem weird to be paying together again. If that makes sense..
Q: Hello. Was a big fan and saw LA many times. Wondered what your memories might be of supporting Aerosmith. Was at the gig in Livingstone in Scotland. Hope your back for more than just Download. Gary, Dunfermline
BJD: Hi Gary- you know what they were a bit disappointing in that they did the big time thing . I remember the crew ‘washing the stage’ for ages so we didn’t get a sound check and stuff like that. Whereas you could talk to any of Bon Jovi, Van Halen or Bryan Adams and his band, it wasn’t like that on those dates, but you know still amazing to be supporting them and they would have been unaware of how the support acts were treated. I noticed that their set was tailored to arenas and they came across better in bigger gigs. The sound of their records especially Permanent Vacation was the benchmark for us I remember. We were always comparing bass drum sounds etc in the studio. I think you can hear that on Radial a bit.
Q: Something I, and doubtless many others, would love to see is a comprehensive collection of B-Sides on CD. Whether that's a single disc or a double it would be great to have them all. Is something like this a possibility now, or have there been any discussions about it? Also, along a similar vein, what of DVD releases of the VHS tapes? Many thanks for reading. Stuart Brackpool, Halesowen, West Midlands
BJD: Lots of people seem quite fond of our B sides- which I’ve never understood for the reasons I mentioned earlier in the Q and A. I remember it being discussed back in the day and it even had a working title of ‘B side the Sea side’ ( genius)… But I’d be more excited about the DVD release of the VHS stuff.
Q: Out of all the artists you supported in the early 90's(Van Halen, Bon Jovi, B Adams, ZZ Top) which were the most supportive towards yourselves and which were the most enjoyable support slots? Were there any that were really difficult to work with / for during your support slots? Paul Hughes, Barnsley, South Yorks
BJD: Bryan Adams was ace and his contribution (backing vocals) to ‘too much too young’ was a great help. Van Halan and Bon Jovi too really put themselves out to make us feel welcome and looked after. Marillion were lovely and so were Cinderella in the early days – when actually it makes all the difference. There was nobody ( honestly ) who was difficult to work with, some were a bit more private and aloof, but the touring was always fun and us at our best. We supported Ozzy once but I was such a fan I couldn’t speak to him. I grew up on the Rhandy Rhoads stuff and its hard to detach form that hero worship thing – but Its only Ozzy that makes me feel like that. I wish Ozzy had got my friend Guthrie Govan to play for him after Zakk. Guthrie is a bit of a fusion monster- but he’s the best in the world- he would have given ozzy a new lease of life musically …