In an age when music genres are so diverse that there as many kinds of styles as bands that play them, its nice to see the classic rock bands still appeal to a wide section of the new, young and upcoming
As a fan of bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Whitesnake from the first time round, its refreshing to see a new young Scottish band emerging who still cite such classic rock bands and others like them as their main influences.
Roadway, formed by Inverness guitarist Ross McEwan in 2009, continue to push their way forward gathering new enthusiastic fans and praise from their peers.
invernessGiGs caught up with Ross this month and asked him about the bands upcoming gig at Madhatters on November 25th.
“Our show in Inverness next month will be our first time there since the Summer and we really can’t wait. We’ll be playing songs from our EP, which came out in May, as well as some brand new material we’re writing just now. This will be our third visit to Inverness this year and it will hopefully turn out to be another evening of loud guitars, earth shaking drums and far too many solos. We will be recording some of the gigs with the aim of bringing out a live CD in the new year, so if it’s possible we will record parts of the Inverness show. Playing Inverness is a lot of fun and something we hope to do a lot more of throughout next year.”
The EP, which is currently available both in cd and digital formats, served as the coming together of the band. They had never all played together/met each other until after the recording of this EP.
Ross, who is joined by his brother Ryan on drums, Iain Macleod on Bass, Bod Elder on Guitar, Frazer Mustard on Keyboards and Ayr based vocalist Dougie Greig, recorded the EP in various bedrooms around the country on a portastudio from 2009 to 2011.
Ross has certainly pushed himself and the band on to a level where he not only is getting to know some of his musical heroes, but also finding himself playing with them to. One such musical hero is Doogie White, the Scottish singer who had a brief spell with Rainbow in the 1990’s.
“I’ve known Doogie for about 4 years. I met him at a concert in Glasgow where he was playing with some members of the Alex Harvey band. I am a massive Rainbow fan; always have been, so I was very familiar with his work and a big fan of his voice. I always wanted to work with him on something and when Iain the bass player and I were putting Roadway together I approached Doogie, who I had gotten to know fairly well by this point and asked if he wouldn’t mind singing a song on the first Roadway CD, and he agreed! It must be said…that all we had at this stage was a band name, we didn’t have any songs or even a full band yet, so we quickly put it together and I wrote the song “This Is Why”. We recorded the music in an afternoon in Glasgow and Doogie recorded his vocals in only two takes at his home studio in London that was it!
Iain, Ryan the drummer and myself had the pleasure of performing alongside Doogie in a version of his solo band for some Scottish gigs in late 2010 which was a real honour and we actually performed the track “This Is Why” with him for a special Moray Firth Radio acoustic session. We feel very fortunate to have worked with Doogie on the track, it means a great deal to me.”
Along with Doogie White, John Sinclair (latterly of Ozzy Osbourne’s band and before that Uriah Heep among others) also plays a song on the EP.
With Ross’s determination and experience picked up along the way, with the bands help of course, the EP has sold a few hundred copies worldwide and it has even been played on radio stations in Houston, Los Angles, Rio de Janeiro and the UK.
“We were very surprised to hear that our music was gaining airplay worldwide! We’ve had airplay (albeit from small stations) in both North and South America. We’ve sold a few copies of the EP across the pond and what I put that down to, is partly with our involvement with Doogie White. He has a worldwide fan base and the Rainbow fan websites kindly published articles on our EP. I’ve got a few very nice emails from Rainbow/ Doogie White fans that have said they discovered us because of Doogie’s involvement. So far the track “Midnight Dance” from the CD seems to be the one attracting the most attention. Its a short, sleazy rock song so we’re delighted to hear that people are enjoying it and DJ’s are playing it.”
The band has built themselves a sound foundation to move forward on and is looking forward to releasing more new material and playing new places hopefully in the UK and abroad.
Ross filled us in with some of the future plans and ambitions.
“We are going to work our butts off! The CD has done great since we released it in May, sales to 13 countries so far. So top of the list is to continue to promote that and tour as much as possible. We are working on plans for another Scottish tour around Easter time and work slowly into England and do European dates as well, then UK and Euro festivals throughout the summer. We will hopefully have the live CD out the early part of next year, which will feature a lot of new material and some acoustic versions of songs from the first EP. There are plans to film a music video for one of the tracks from the EP, and to continue writing. We’re looking forward to lots of fun, sleepless nights, ringing ears and good times!”
Thanks to Jason Clavey for permission to use the photograph and Ross McEwan
Roadway will be playing Madhatters on the 25th of November.