at Aftershock 2015
A recent discovery of mine, RavenEye exceeded my expectations in every way. Oli Brown’s vocals were more soul-filled and gutsy than I could ever have imagined and his guitar solos were on point; Aaron Spiers’ grooving bass line and insurmountable energy put to rest all bass-player stereotypes; and Kev Hickman’s superb drumming, especially in “Breaking Out,” left me in awe.
The most unforgettable part of RavenEye’s show was when Brown clambered on Spiers’ shoulders and they walked around like that while playing their instruments. A remarkable feat of balance, I couldn’t help but ask just how much they had to practice that particular move.
“We started first doing it before, like in the UK we started giving it a go, but we didn’t quite have the technique down,” said Brown. “Now we’ve gotten to the point where he [Spiers] can do anything, and I can stay on his shoulders.”
Spiers explained, “It’s because I’m so strong.” To this statement, the entire band chortled.
“His band was amazing, and he was such a sweet guy as well,” said Spiers. “We had a wicked time, as well and we got so lucky to be on that tour.”
Hickman explained, “As a drummer, getting to watch Marco Minnemann play with Satriani every single night, doing a drum solo and making it different every night…was really special.”
Of course, my next thought was, why don’t you take some drum solos?
Apparently, in the past he has, but he tends to get carried away.
“Sometimes, back in England, we opened it up and let Kev [Hickmann] have a bit of a solo,” said Brown. “It progressively got longer and longer until we could basically walk off stage, go get a cup of tea, go get a hair cut, go have a bath, come back on stage, and he’d still be playing his drum solo.”
Defensively, Hickman exclaimed, “It was only five minutes!”
“We tend to sit down and write intensely together,” explained Spiers. The new music, he said, “Shows a different side of what we play.”
Brown added, “We want to get as much writing done as we can, and we [already] have a full set’s worth. The EP was only meant to put out a feeler record just to try to gain interest in our local scene,” he continued. “Now we’re kind of playing catch-up because we want to offer more material. So, we’re going to be recording soon.”
“We’re going to try some different studios and some different people to work with,” explained Spiers.
“We’ll be recording stuff in one studio and sending it to another mixer just seeing how different people’s minds react to the songs,” Brown added. “We’re going to experiment and see what we can come up with.”
“It’s a new present,” explained Spiers about the tablet. “She whips it out and it’s like ‘oh my god!’” Laughing, he added, “I love her to death, I absolutely love her, but oh my god!”
“Great guy, great group, great crew,” said Spiers. “Everyone treated us like gods… It’s been a dream tour for us.”
After a show in New York tomorrow, October 28, RavenEye will be heading back to the UK for two shows with Deep Purple (how awesome is that?!).
RavenEye’s EP Breaking Out is available on iTunes, and I’m suggesting purchasing it. Their bluesy grooves are perfect for outdoor parties, driving in the car, or playing air-guitar in your room. Check it out.
Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.