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Double Cross released their debut album via TB Records to very favourable reviews. They supported Styx on the latter's European tour this summer and of course appear at this year's Melodic Rock Xmas Bash. Over to Pete Lakin...

1. What are you currently up to?

DC are currently working on our second album. As yet untitled, we hope to have the demos wound up pretty shortly & then into the studio for's been a long process as we've had a busy year so far with various tours etc in promotion for the debut album "Time after Time".

2. You're appearing at the MRX festival on 4th December. What sort of set are you planning?

We'll be playing for an hour so you'll get 9 or 10 tracks from the debut plus some new material thrown in for good measure. We are developing these new tracks as we go along in the live format, one of which has already been "aired" a couple of times this year at various gigs....& to a great response I might add. We've played various set lengths this year with anything from 30 mins to just over an hour so we've got the running orders down to a fine art.

We also have a few gigs lined up during November taking on the annual 'KISS Expo' held @ Rock City (19th Nov) & the 'FiresFest' Pre- show party (25th Nov) in which we hope to give a final push towards promotion for the Melodic Rock Xmas Bash in December.

3. How do you view the current melodic rock music scene, particularly in the UK? Has there been an upswing in interest following Firefest and bands like Styx & Kansas finally making it over to the UK?

I think with the bands mentioned & the Firefest as an example it does make you very much aware that there are more people out there interested in all things melodic than the statutory 200 or so people that normally frequent a venue when a Stateside band comes to the UK.

On the Styx tour they must have played infront of about 10,000 people over the 6 dates here in the UK, naturally the die-hards will make more than one show but it shows you that the audience for this kinda thing is a little healthier than most people might imagine.

The Firefest is a great example of bringing the "scene" together for one particular event. There are still UK bands out there pulling in decent numbers on there own. (Quo, Thunder etc...) In the days of major label ignorance though, I think the scene is about as healthy as it's gonna get unless somehow this kinda thing becomes fashionable again.

4. How did the tour with Styx go? How did you get the tour support?

The Styx tour was a fantastic opportunity for us, we played infront of some big audiences & were there to warm up the crowd for the headliners. All in all it was a major success for us judging by the crowd reactions, aftershow comments & merchandise sales, all of which were all pretty healthy to say the least. Styx were truly awesome in every sense of the word, their songs, performance, sound & entourage were immense to put it mildly. They were very accommodating towards us, both band & crew and we have the utmost respect for each & every one of them.

The support came about through somebody having faith in us & putting our name forward for the gig. We were in the running favourably for about 5 weeks prior to the tour along with 2 other acts.

With just over a week to go the support band was announced & it wasn't DC. Styx are a self sufficient band with several juggernaut lorries carrying gear & 2 tour buses to house the band & crew etc, they have all the sound, lighting & pretty much everything catered for, therefore they expect any support band to be as self sufficient.

Herein lay the problem I think with the support band chosen, & after jumping ship, we were given the opportunity to take up the baton with 48 hours notice. We had to supply our own on stage desk & monitoring, front of house mixing desk, & 2 sound engineers to monitor them both. A mighty task at such short notice but with all the will in the world & a chance to share a stage with a legendary act, we set the wheels in motion & were there in full force on the opening night.

5. Where does the band get their songwriting ideas from and who musically is an influence on you all?

The band has various influences to draw upon. Myself & Rick (vocalist) are pretty much influenced by the mainstream artists of "back in the day" when melodic rock ruled the airwaves. Leppard, Journey & Queen spring to mind. Guitarist Steve is influenced by the likes of Dokken, Y&T , Maiden etc & Bassist "Gaf" as a 90's child brought up on a diet of Faith No More, Chillies & Nirvana to name a few. Skinsman "Gripper" has a varied & eclectic range of styles covering Rock, Pop & a touch of Ska to his credits.

The songs are mainly devised around the nucleus of Myself, Steve & Rick, whereby Steve & myself will record instrumental demos & forward them to Rick for vocal ideas & vice versa. The other guys come into their own when flushing out the tracks when trying them out in the live format. Songs can then evolve & progress within the band before being recorded..

6. Which song(s) do you think best sum-up what Double Cross are all about and why?

It's hard to speak for all the lads when pinning down a track that sums DC up in a nutshell. From my own perspective their are favourites on the album & then there are favourites Live which may or may not be the same. The title track of our debut 'Time After Time' is one such track which has become a great track to play live.

It has all the energy of what we are about & has developed its own areas within the song that are screaming out for audience participation. We tried this on the Styx tour & had the crowds with us every night! 'Reach Out' has been a good track for us also has it has opened pretty much every show we have put on this year. It has the kind of intro that I think are a welcome addition to any bands set to introduce you properly. It's not until after the first song you'll get a word out of the frontman.....let the music do the talking!

7. Any other bands/artists out there who have impressed you recently and why?

Other than the bands we have toured with this year who ultimately we have all become fans of,(Dokken, STYX & Danger Danger) it's very hard these days to be impressed unless you are out there soaking it all up with the paying public. For me personally bands like Alter Bridge, Velvet Revolver have all impressed on the airwaves simply down to the quality of the musicianship & songs involved.

Impulse buys based on current scene trends like Pride of Lions, Jeff Scott Soto & SoulSirkus respectively have too impressed me immensely. Having witnessed Soto live at the first Firefest this year I can't emphasise enough that Jeff is a true awesome showman & one in which I hope to witness again in the coming months touring the UK. Generally though I'm more impressed by attitudes & there are a lot of UK bands out there, whether label sponsored or not giving it there all week in, week out.

8. What have been the most memorable gigs and why?

For me....the most memorable gig was Rock City on the recent Styx tour. It was the opening night, the crowd were standing & the atmosphere was just electric....these guys had waited a long time for this. We took to the main stage & played for about an hour to an unfamiliar crowd & they were chanting for more come the end of our set! I finally felt like "we'd arrived".

The Manchester show was also a superb night for us, a capacity crowd that were enthusiastic to say the least...based on the merchandise we shifted that night was a testament as to how well we were received. The opening night on the Dokken tour at the Underworld was a good night for us also....again met with a similar reaction by the crowd. The audience response feeds your performance & if they are with try your hardest not to let them go.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Mmmm, don't get a lot of that. With holding down a full-time job & a young family at home & a band that requires as much input as a full- time job, spare moments are few & far between...But at least 2 of those are a joy to have fill out my time....the other pays the bills.

10. Message to your fans...

Double Cross would like to thank everybody who has shown their support towards us whether it being buying the album or coming out to our shows or indeed patiently awaiting the follow-up. Please keep a check on progress via our website found @ & we'll see you on the road in the near future.

Melodic Rock Bash


Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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