We’re at a point in time where art seems to play second fiddle to financial gain. People want to be famous; people want to be rich. We applaud mediocrity and watch as the transient players in the music industry come and go. Isn’t it about time there was a change? Could it be that this change is here in the shape of four young Irishmen?
Hailed as the biggest British name to hit the music scene this decade, and aptly dubbed The Answer, these Downpatrick natives are taking the U.K. rock and blues circuit by storm, and rest assured, there is nothing mediocre about this band. An overnight sensation that’s been brewing for six years, the band first got together in the Spring of 2000. Lead singer, Cormac Neeson, tells the story of the remarkable circumstances in which the band came about.
“Mickey (Waters) and Paul (Mahon) had a few songs together and were looking to put a band together, and I was recommended to them. I was working in New York at the time, and got a letter saying if I was coming home anytime soon, they wanted me as their singer,” explains Neeson.
Although tempted by the initial offer, Neeson was busy in New York and nothing more seemed to develop until a twist of fate saw him enroll in an ethnomusicology course at college.
“The first morning, I was handed this Brazilian guitar called a cavalcanto. Not knowing how to play the thing, I turned to the dude next to me and asked him if he’d swap instruments. It was Paul!”
Now properly acquainted, Neeson, Mahon, and bass player Waters began rehearsing together. Soon, with the addition of drummer James Heatley, The Answer was ready to pose the right questions. When asked about the origins of the band’s name, Neeson smiles fondly at the memory and nostalgically explains.
“The name has become a kind of emblem that means something about this band, and gives us the drive to always push ourselves to becoming a better band. Originally, it was nothing more than just needing to find a name we all agreed on. We were just sitting around, trying to decide on the name, asking ourselves ‘What’s the answer? What’s the answer?’ Then James, our drummer, suggested we call ourselves The Answer, and it just stuck.”