Then the music world shifted and, like many great bands from that time period, Apocalyptic Lovers took a back seat to the grunge fad and eventually broke up. Fast forward to present day; the band (Rob Kane – lead vocals, Sean Magee – guitars, Mike Nagy – bass, George Allan – bass, Dave Hope – drums) has reunited and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Today's music appears to have come back to how it was when arena rock ruled the world. Great bands of yesterday including Whitesnake, Stryper, and Bulletboys have released new albums and are selling out venues all over the world. According to Sean, “… I think the shift in any music trend will mirror what is happening in society. It always has. Today (in the internet world) it is simply "instant=interest". The majority of humans now live this way and it has become a way of life. However; with change, there are always things that will become nostalgic and/or part of our existence. Over 300 years ago there was classical music and Bach. Certainly still an influence now… but not nostalgic. To a large amount of people it is pleasing to the ear and enjoyable. So hopefully the people who loved the hard rock music that we all enjoyed decades ago will not regard it as nostalgic but look at it as "pleasing to the ear and enjoyable" once again, unlike Nirvana.” It is highly likely the music will be both nostalgic and pleasing to the ear for people who experienced said music firsthand; while younger fans will simply find it pleasing to the ear and enjoyable.
Whatever the case, the guys are excited to be reconnected. The evolution of music production has allowed them to work together again despite the fact that some of the band members are no longer in the Ohio area. Although a few of the guys are many states away from one another, Rob still remembers how the band came to be decades ago: “Well, Dave and Mike went to high school together and had played together in various bands. Those two were putting together a group with a specific focus in mind and were on the hunt for guitar and vocals. Sean was playing in a band called Nasty Rachel and Dave had heard him play a local club and were just blown away by his playing. Once they had Sean on board, the search went on for lead vocals. I had been doing the local scene in a band called Little Sister, actually with George, playing originals and covers. Dave had seen me perform at various clubs around town and the timing was right as that band was at the end of its run. Dave handed me a demo that Sean had put together and asked me to audition. When I heard it I was blown away. I've always loved harmonies and great guitar playing and this had elements of the style of music I loved; Dokken, Ratt, The Beatles, it was fantastic! So I showed up for an audition and I remember being nervous even though the guys were pretty easy going. I think I loosened up a little when Sean offered me a Little Debbie snack (laughs). I guess they all liked me 'cause here you are interviewing us.” It seems a reunion was inevitable; these guys have a chemistry that defies both time and distance, a feat some of the most popular bands from the “hair” era have never been able to accomplish.
Great chemistry and outstanding use of modern recording technology aren't the only things that allow Apocalyptic Lovers to stand out from the slough of bands out there. “… We all have different musical influences that somehow gel together and create what you hear,” adds Rob, “It's like guitarists are continually searching for that holy grail of tone and they buy the same guitar and the same amp and pedals as say, George Lynch, but then they don't sound like Lynch. Then they'll hand the guitar to George and he'll play and... it sounds like Lynch. There's only one of each of us in Apocalyptic Lovers and we each bring something to the table that just works well, and while you can hear our influences, I don't think we sound like any other band. Without Dave, Mike, Sean, George and myself it just wouldn't be the same… Oh, and hey! I... can't think of any [bands] that have two bass players! That is a way cool element that brings a different dynamic to the music in terms of playing style...” Indeed, two bassists in the same band has been unheard of until now. Mike was the original bassist, with George being his replacement when he left the band. As Mike explains, “… George came in and spent almost as much time with the guys as I had. So, when putting this reunion together we thought it would be really cool to include both of us in the lineup. There was a 3rd bass player after George left, but only for a very short period before the band split up… As of now there are no plans for both of us to being playing bass at the same time, but who knows what the future may hold. I would definitely be interested in doing a song with 2 bass lines at some point.” Many fans would most likely love to hear two bass lines in the same song. Hopefully that is something the band will seriously consider for future albums.
Speaking of albums, the much anticipated new release is entitled Redemption Volume 1. It is an 8 song EP mixed by none other than Michael Wagener. Anyone familiar with acts including Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Skid Row, Dokken, Motley Crue, Poison, Alice Cooper, Extreme and many more, have enjoyed Mr. Wagener's handiwork at some point in time. Redemption Volume 1 drops on April 16, which is National Record Store Day. Everybody can pre-order on iTunes now through April 15 to get $3 off the price and two instant downloads. Click here to pre-order now https://t.co/R3gPdjXTyk The Single “Change of Frequency” was released on March 3 along with the official video. Still to come are the single and video “Killing For A Living” on May 13, and the single and video “Who The Hell Are You?” on June 17. What fans are wondering now is where they can hear these guys live. Never fear, live shows are in the works. Dave says, “Our first show is a showcase show with 2 confirmed labels attending on July 23rd in Ohio. We are currently chatting with promoters and booking agents regarding one off shows and possible festival gigs over the next year.” George is hoping a few of those possible festival gigs become reality, “In the summer, with good weather, I prefer outdoor festivals. I feel that during the summertime, there is more of a festive mood in the air. Of course, indoor shows have a safety about them. I love being out in the elements and breathing the fresh air playing high decibel music for the masses.” This is yet another instance where perfect timing comes into play, as bands in the same genre are selling out shows everywhere.
Apocalyptic Lovers are no strangers to the stage. They played one to three shows a week from 1991 to 1997, mostly on multi bill shows with other original acts. Their biggest show was opening for Peter Criss and his solo band just before he rejoined Kiss for the reunion. “We would love to open for Scorpions, Def Leppard, Tesla, Dokken, to name a few. We have a very targeted sound and I believe many of their fans would find us a breath of fresh air,” explains Dave. Some may wonder, with two bassists in the band will there be any songs played with two bass lines? Mike has that answer: “As far as what we're going to be doing live, the plan is for us to split the songs up and whoever is not playing bass will be playing rhythm guitar. Having a rhythm guitarist will be a first for the band as well and will make our sound even bigger and heavier. And as far as bigger goes, since all of our originals have a lot of harmonies, that will allow us to add another voice to the backing vocals live and make them really huge.” Maybe one day, right? As far as future plans go the guys seem to have accumulated a pretty full plate, but they aren't sweating it. Dave speaks for the band when he says, “Our plan is….fluid. We started with a simple plan of just writing and recording again, just tossing it out there because its what we love to do. Fast forward almost a year later and who would have thought we would end up mixing with Michael Wagener at his studio in Nashville? We just released our first video/single and it is just blowing up all over the web and social media. I mean, our new EP is not even out yet and you can just tell that there are targeted audience members out there dying for new good hair metal and there are young fans that have seem to come full circle and loving the hair metal again. I mean we just put out our first video and we have almost 1,000 FB fans, over 1,700 twitter fans and currently sit at #6 on the Reverbnation rock chart in Phoenix, AZ… We have enough material ready for 10 six song EPs and regardless of what happens with labels, we plan to continue to do what we are doing. We figure, hey some guys hang out and golf or go to strip clubs, why not do something we love and make a little cash doing it. So, we hope in the next 12 to 18 months to go fully with Michael Wagner and have him record, mix and produce our next EP. We hope to make things a little quicker next time so, we plan to hit the studio and record 12 songs, then split them into 2 six song EPs and release them within 6 to 8 months of each other. The next EP will be the follow up, so it will be called Redemption Volume 2.” So much to look forward to from Apocalyptic Lovers. Be sure to pre-order the new EP!
To learn more about Apocalyptic Lovers and purchase music please click any of the links below:
The first single, “Change Of Frequency”, was released on March 3 accompanied by the official video. If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tdKzyc75OI. I really like this song, which is the third song on the EP and second to the longest at 6:18. It starts out melancholic, then the tempo picks up with the chorus. Not one for religion myself, I don't even mind the Bible verses at the beginning and the end. It actually compliments the song very well. We'll backtrack now to song 1, “Better Days”. I foresee this one quickly becoming a fan favorite, as the guitar solos are strong here as well as the vocals. Both “Change Of Frequency” and “Better Days” are the instant download songs you will receive when you pre-order the album on iTunes.
The closest thing to a ballad on this album is song 7, “These Tears”. I have always loved a good ballad and, even though the tempo is a little faster than what one may typically classify as a certified ballad, it works very well with the rest of the album. The longest track at 6:35, I found myself utilizing the “repeat” option quite frequently. We all know how I love the long ones as well as a strong bass line and this one has both. “Killing For A Living” (song 2) is actually the shortest song at 3:52 but holds true to the old saying: “big things come in small packages”. The drums and guitar solo grabbed hold of me the first time I heard it, and have yet to let go.
“Who The Hell Are You” (song 4) and “Left In The Cold” (song 5) are just kick-ass feel good rock songs. There is just no other way to describe them. Each one of them could easily be heard in heavy rotation on any rock station around the globe. This applies to “Dying Day” (song 8) as well. I really love everything about this one from drums to the guitar solos to the bass line and everything in between. It is one of the harder tracks and sums up the EP flawlessly. The last song to discuss is “The Groove” (song 6). Where do I even begin? Starting out with a killer guitar solo and boasting one of the best bass lines on the album, this one is hands down my favorite. Nothing short of perfection, everything I love about a rock song is displayed here.
These guys made it extremely difficult for me to choose a favorite track. No secret it is “Anna's iPod Approved”. I am very happy to see the rock world is returning to the days where you can listen to an entire album without skipping over any songs. Redemption Volume 1 is a must-have album. I strongly urge everybody to take advantage of the great pre-order deal going on until the 15th on iTunes. You will not be disappointed! You can scroll up and click on the album cover in the first paragraph to pre-order. Don't miss out, go pre-order now!