THE ANIMALS INTERVIEW
The Animals are an English rhythm and blues and rock band, they formed in Newcastle in Tyne in the1960s. Founding member and drummer John Steel will be joined by Mick Gallagher, the band's original keyboardist, Danny Handley on guitar and vocals, Roberto Ruiz on bass and vocals when they head to Australia. They will be performing their hits We Gotta Get Out Of This Place which was ranked #223 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list.
The Animals celebrated 9 top 50 hits on the Australian charts, reaching #2 with their timeless classic ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’. The single, which featured on the groups Hall Of Fame-inducted debut album, topped the charts in the US, Canada and UK.
Twinmusix got to speak to John about their upcoming tour and more.
TM- What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
John- Good live music, that is what we do. We also love having a good time on stage and engaging the audience.
TM- How do you pick what setlist you play on stage?
John- We play our biggest hits that is what people come to hear. We also have other stuff in our repertoire, we like to change it around a bit and keep things fresh. We like to surprise our fans with different songs.
TM- You started as a trumpet player, what inspired you to move to drums?
John- It was a bit of a change of musical climate when I started playing the trumpet I was 14 years old. The musically inclined people were listening to was jazz that is why I was a trumpet player. As rock and roll took over I said I could play the drums and that's what I've been doing ever since. I really enjoy playing the drums.
TM- That is fantastic, i love how talented you are. It is amazing how you can just decide to play drums and make it work, it is a real Testament to your skill.
TM- You have had a lot of lineup changes over the years, how has this effected your music?
John- The current lineup is the best tap and I've ever had since the original Animals, the band brings a lot of energy into the music and are great players.
TM- What's your favourite song to perform live?
John- We got to get out of this place, I love the crowd's reaction to this song.
TM- If you could have any band play one of your songs which band which song and in your style or their style?
John-Bruce Springsteen doing one of our songs in his style.
TM- What is your favourite memory from being on tour?
John- That is a difficult one, I have had so many fantastic experiences while touring.I think on of my favourites was in 1964 when we had the number one single in America. We got to travel there and go on tour, it was a dream come true.
TM- What is your favourite memory of watching a different band perform live?
John - When Louis Armstrong came to Newcastle in 1956 and he was one of my idols and touring with Chuck Berry.
Chuck was notoriously tight with money and one night in Birmingham he was locked in his dressing room and refused to come out and the crowd was chanting, We want chuck, we want Chuck. Chuck refused to come out on stage till he had his money in his hand, so the promoter was on his knees sliding notes under the door and when Chuck had enough money he came out and performed on stage.
TM- no way, that is hilarious it would of definitely been a scene to watch.
Yeah, I don't know why he did it. It was pretty funny to watch though.
TM- Is there anything else you want to announce to your fans?
We are really excited to come to Australia and see our fans. Everyone is so nice to us, the food's great, the wines great and the beer is great.
TM- Thank you so much for this interview today, we definitely look forward to having you in Australia. Hopefully you will get to hold a Koala and pat a kangaroo while you are here.
That would be cool, we look forward to meeting you.