The Answer returned to Liverpool after 5 years and we had a chance to talk to Paul Mahon and Micky Waters from the band and asked them a few questions about the tour and the history of the band.

R13 : How's The Tour Going So Far?
PM : It's been good, yeah. We did a big tour in October/ November time but those were more major cities and this time we got to go to loads of places we hadn't been in a while or had never been before. Still kind of surprising we didn't do Liverpool on the previous tour, it's nice to be back.

R13 : What do you like most about Liverpool then?
PM : Not the football
MW : Manchester football scum here
PM : Obviously there's a rich history of music in the city going back a long time. I think the people are very friendly, I think quite optimistic and make the best of things.

R13 : Where've you been on the tour up to now?
PM : We kicked off in Aberdeen, then kind of worked our way down. We've been as far South as Plymouth then right through the Midlands to cities like Middlesbrough and Hull. We've been in London then a little bit in Wales.
MW : A bit through Europe as well
PM : Yeah we did a week in Germany after that Coventry and Stoke then here today.

R13 : What's been your favourite stop then?
MW : Tonight! Liverpool! I'm optimistic about this show. We last played here in 2009, in the bigger room upstairs, can't believe it's been 5 years since we've been back so it's nice to come back here. Apart from that there were some great ones; Aberdeen, Hamburg and Southampton.

R13 : Any countries or cities you haven't performed in but want to?
MW : South America would be great, we've recently been offered a chance to go there. Hopefully we'll get the chance to go to Brazil, during the World Cup or something.

R13 : Right, some band history questions now, how did you all meet?
PM : Micky and I met many years ago, on a golf course of all places. We were youngsters getting a golf lesson, we met, hit it off then started playing in bands together. Then we met James, the drummer, who lived about 5 minutes from us so we kind of knew who he was. Cormac, was the final piece of the puzzle, he was a singer that'd been suggested to us but we couldn't find him. But just by chance we ended up doing the same course in university, I went in one day and there was one chair left, sat down and got talking to this guy and at the end of the class I asked him "you wouldn't happen to know a guy called Cormac Neeson?" he replied "yeah, that's me." So he came out and started playing in the band with us and we've been stuck with him ever since. In a nice way.

R13 : Sounds like it was meant to be. How did you decide on 'The Answer' as a band name?
MW : It was our drummer actually, James, he came up with the name. We were doing an interview for a local newspaper, they wanted to know what the name of the band was. But at the time we kept changing the band name every other week, then as our first big gig in Belfast was getting nearer a journalist from the newspaper asked "what's the answer? We need a name.". Then James just said "Why don't we just call the band that?". It was kind of that simple and kind of stuck.

R13 : What bands or musicians influence your music?
MW : All sorts, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Pearl Jam to The Who, Rolling Stones and some grunge stuff.

R13 : You toured with The Who a while ago, what was it like performing with music legends?
PM : The Who was one of the early big shows for us. We'd just done our first record and obviously we were big fans and it was it was quite exciting, the first show was Leeds and we did some shows in Ireland with them as well. It was great, a dream come true, we got to hang around with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, which is never a bad way to spend an evening.

R13 : If you could perform with any band or musician from history who would it be?
PM : Guess Jimi Hendrix springs to mind, obviously being a guitar player he was a massive influence for me. I think he was also a great man for bringing other people into the equation in terms of playing. He really liked playing, so I imagine he would be quite easy to have a jam and perform with.

R13 : What's the process you go through when writing songs?
PM : I guess it's just kind of the age old four guys in a room jamming, something good comes up then Cormac comes up with a memorable melody or phrase and we just kind of take it from there. The song writing can be quite simple sometimes, have a verse, a chorus and throw in a guitar and suddenly you can have a song or we'll work on arrangements individually and bring it in then work on the melody and lyrics that way, it may be a more laboured process but it can get great results too.

R13 : What's been your favourite 'The Answer' album?
MW : I think my favourite one was the second Everyday Demons. It was just so much fun to make and had a really great time touring on that album.
PM : My favourite would be Revival we had a creative peak on that one. Obviously working with Chris 'Frenchie' Smith, he was a great producer to work with for getting the best out of us in term of hooks and melodies. He pushed us in a more melodic direction, a more experimental direction. So it's Revival for me.

R13 : What's your favourite song to perform on tour?
MW : Well on this particular tour... I still like playing some of the old stuff like Under The Sky but one on the new album called Concrete it's a pretty heavy one. It's been a real crowd pleaser since we've been on this tour, it gets people going every night and we feed of that energy so it's great.

R13 : What's your outlook on the music industry today?
MW : Outlook? On the music industry? It's a pretty grim place. I think it just needs to find a way of trying to sell the artists and I think music has become a little bit cheapened by free downloads. I'm not a big fan of Spotify it's just making it too easy to access music and it just cheapens the efforts of what bands go through, you know you work your ass off in a band, writing material, putting in man hours and travel. The stuff you go through when putting those 10 songs on an album, it's an awful lot. The big wigs need to do something soon otherwise you'll find yourself listening to everything off 'Pop Idol.'

R13 : There are a few mainstream bands being labeled 'Rock' even when they don't sound close to the genre, what do you think about instances like that?
MW : Yeah, you've got your Bastille's of the world here, apparently they're a rock and roll band. I'm sure they come up with catchy songs and make music that people want to hear, but it's definitely not everybody's thing.

R13 : What's the music scene like back home?
PM : It's much smaller than the UK's, there are a lot of different things going on in a small space, lots of different styles; Rock, Indie, Folk and a lot of Blues roots too. It's good, in the North it's quite healthy, there's a nice circuit if you want to get out there, play gigs and make a name for yourself it's quite good for that.

R13 : Any after tour plans? A new album in the works perhaps?
MW : Yeah actually we've got a lot coming up. We finish the UK leg of the tour tonight and then we've got the South of Ireland to tour. After that we've got to start writing our next album, so we've got a bit of time to do that. Then we have festival season, from mid-May onwards we're going to be really busy playing festivals. The biggest UK festival we're playing is 'Download' on the Friday night, on the Avenged Sevenfold day.

R13 : Lastly, what town are you playing in next?
MW : We're heading to Waterford, Ireland.

R13 : Thanks for talking with us and good luck for tonight and the rest of the tour.

The Answer's recently released album, New Horizon, is available on LP, CD and digital download. Unfortunately the UK leg of this tour is over but if you're in Ireland make sure you catch them at various venues this month.