Friday, August 26, 2005

10 Q's with DOUBLE CROSS

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? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

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 lied 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

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.


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