We caught up with the magnificently talented hard rockers WalkWay at this years Hrh Aor festival held in Hafan Y Mor Pwllheli North Wales, and after a performance to saviour of a set fit for kings this is what the guys had to say.
Well done guys that was a fantastic show!!!!
Werockwebzine:: Thanks for joining us. Is it your first time here?
Walkway:: Yeah it is, we have been trying to get into hard rock hell events for ages, this sort of popped up and then getting asked to do the main stage as well was brilliant.
Werockwebzine:: Is it a bit daunting, a bit nerve racking?
Walkway:: Not really, i think we are so used to it now, it’s like it’s more anticipation and wanting to get on there and do it and it’s like we said today’s been kind of even more exciting for the fact that we are one of the unknown bands, so it’s up to us to make people remember who we are. So it kind of makes the job a bit more difficult, but it is exciting that way as well.
Werockwebzine:: How have you managed to stay under the radar for so long?
Walkway:: That’s a very good question. It’s one of those things funnily enough we was speaking to someone else earlier and they said we haven’t heard of you before and i said well the thing is the industry is so so difficult and especially for the type of music we do, rock music isn’t seen as one of..
Werockwebzine:: It’s not the eighties anymore.
Walkway:: Exactly and i mean we are very very up to scratch with social media and stuff like that but it’s again you just contact contact people, but i suppose it’s kind of the same generic email that everyone receives ‘that you’ve got to check us out, you’ve got to check us out’ and a lot of people are just like we have heard it all before so it’s something we keep on at.
Werockwebzine:: We tend to check out everyone we hear. We try to do as much as we can, i have to be honest i hadn’t heard from you until we got the request for the interview and i listened to your albums and like i said how you have managed to stay under the radar.
Walkway:: Its a tough job but we try very hard to do it. ( we all laugh)
Werockwebzine:: You have been playing and opening acts for several top acts recently, how does the main stage at HrH compare to those you have opened for before?
Walkway:: I mean its very nice that today, we have all said how well run how professional it is, the crew have been absolutely superb very helpful and made our job very easy. It’s nice when you get stuff like that again like playing with ‘Quo’ and there crew there very nice people and they just make you feel relaxed and it’s just it’s not ohh we’ve done it before in the past you can get to some places and the people are very arrogant and just like ohh another band. It doesn’t put you in the right frame of mind and again we then get on stage and show what we can actually do, we are not just a young band which have never played in front of a crowd before, so it’s nice, it’s very well run and we’ve all said that hats off to the organisers definitely.
Werockwebzine:: Brilliant. How did the name ‘Walkway’ come about?
Walkway:: James that’s you. Basically on that one there’s nothing too interesting about it really. We used to play a cover of ‘Gary Moore’s ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and i love a bit of ‘Gary Moore’ he was a genius guitarist and it literally came from that, the title of ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and just scooped it down to ‘Walkway’ and there we go.
Werockwebzine:: You know in my own mind i had a bet with myself, that’s where it was gonna come from.
Walkway:: It’s either that or ‘Walk This Way’ people usually thinks it’s one of the two. So yeah no real deep meaning to it at all really so
Werockwebzine:: As simple as that.
Werockwebzine:: From the show there was a lot of ‘Steve Lee’ in your vocals is that one of your influences?
Walkway:: Oh that’s nice to know, i get a lot of people saying you remind me of so an so and you sound like this and you sound like that, but for me my main sort of influences are ‘Steven Tyler from Aerosmith’ and ‘Steve Perry from Journey’ they are my two main vocal influences. I get told i look like ‘Mick Jagger’ and that a lot of old women wish they were younger. That’s always nice to hear.
Werockwebzine:: It’s one of those things for being a rock star.
Werockwebzine:: I understand there will be a tribute to the late great ‘Rick Parfitt’ on the new album.
Werockwebzine:: Which features ‘John Coghlan’ how did this come about?
Walkway:: Well we got very friendly particular with Rick from the ‘Quo’ dates we did with them and he was very supportive of us and we were going to being working on his solo career this year, but obviously things happen very very sad and being such a nice bloke, we just thought what a better way than actually do a tribute to him on the album. We have gained a lot of ‘Quo’ fans from the ‘Quo’ dates, they all love it we love playing ‘Quo’ and we just decided lets do ‘Rain’ a ‘Rick Parfitt’ song, and yeah getting ‘John Coghlan’ to come in and drum to it as well has put a nice stamp of authenticity on there. A lot of the ‘Quo’ fans are eager to hear it, and something we found over the years of playing with ‘Quo’ is there fans are very particular that they like ‘Quo’. So the fact that we have managed to break through and break the mould and they have actually taken us under there wings is really nice so we thought it would be a nice little tribute to what was a really nice bloke.
Werockwebzine:: We can’t wait to hear it.
Walkway:: Thank you.
Werockwebzine:: Do you have a release date set for the album yet?
Walkway:: It’s looking June/July time, all being well, we have recorded it all we are just waiting for it to be mixed. When it’s mixed we will be able to tell weather we need to go back and add little bits here and there. We are sort of getting all the admin stuff done.
Werockwebzine:: Is there a title yet?
Walkway:: There potentially is a title but we are keeping that confidential at the moment.
Werockwebzine:: Your previous releases your debut in 2012 ‘Top Shelf Content’ and your last release ‘Streetwise’ both cracking albums. Is your latest release going to be more of the same or is there a few surprises.
Walkway:: I thing we’ve all said the third album is going to be heavier. The first album was quite classic rock the second album was a bit more commercial. Third albums going to be a bit heavier. I mean obviously we’re gonna have the usual ballad on there, there will be a few more commercial tracks but the majority of it is, i think it’s a lot more ‘Walkway’ it’s a lot more our focus what we wanna do and the road we want to go, bit heavier, bit more high energy and i think a lot of people are going to be impressed by that.
Werockwebzine:: A bit more of the live show?
Walkway:: Yes Yes. This is it we approached this one slightly differently in the sense that the last record was designed to get the name out there, it was quite a commercial accessible album, where as our approach for this one has been kind of get rid of everyone else’s influence do what we want to do, we want to write an album for us this time round and hopefully people are going to like what we have done with it . It is definitely a bit darker than the previous one it’s a bit more involved.
Werockwebzine:: Brilliant i can’t wait to hear it.
Walkway:: Thank you.
Werockwebzine:: You are growing with every show that you play what would you say is the high point in your career so far?
Walkway:: I expect we have all got different ones lets go round. ‘James’ i guess for me it’s got to be the big ones, i mean stuff like this today has been absolutely brilliant when you get professional run festivals, we have done some terrible festivals before but it’s just amateur hour but something like this everyone’s here to enjoy the music, everyone’s enjoying themselves and being professional stuff like that really makes a difference. Obviously the ‘Quo’ stuff, the ‘Quo’ gigs we have done that was a real turning point in our musical career, i think probably the big crowd ones really not everyone gets the opportunity to do that so i feel quite privileged that we have had that opportunity.
Werockwebzine:: It’s going to catapult to bigger things.
Walkway:: Hopefully so Hopefully. ‘Andy’ mine again much the same i do enjoy doing stuff like this. For me one of the shows i hold dearest in my mind would be playing with ‘The Darkness’ and ‘Black Stone Cherry’ it was the first big support gig we’ve done to date and still one of the largest crowds we’ve played to and getting to see and speak to ‘John Fred Young’ from ‘Black Stone Cherry’ and smashing seven shades out of his kit and ‘Justin Hawkins’ turning up in lederhosen it was just a good day all round . Chris i think it is pretty much the same i think probably my top one would be when we played with ‘Quo’ at Burley House there was 12,000 people there, and that’s when we very first got quite friendly with Rick he made a point of watching the soundcheck, i think it’s a bit more special considering the circumstances now i think that’s probably my one to date. Alex mines probably similar and i said really the ‘Status Quo’ ones i think the first ‘Status Quo’ support we had which was in 2015 at the Holcomb Hall was definitely one the top gigs we’ve done so far.
Werockwebzine:: You are pretty much self promoted you arrange and sell your own merchandise how difficult do you find that mixing it with performing and writing?
Walkway:: I do all the social media so i do the mailing list, website, Facebook and all that and i love doing it, and it’s a shame the industry is so reliant on it now but obviously it’s great in terms of getting our name out there to people who don’t know us and people can find us by accident that easy, but yeah i really enjoy doing it we’re very fan orientated band, we always make a point of speaking to fans which is really nice, we’ve got people all around the country which put us up they feed us, it just helps us and keep the costs down. I take great pleasure in interacting with fans, doing emails. It is very difficult doing it by ourselves, but i think there is more of a reward at the end of it. We pride ourselves on the fact we are basically a d.i.y band, we don’t sign into the concept of record labels. Trouble is we’ve seen so many bands recently that have signed up to major labels and then they just get shelved and as Andy was just saying we do things ourselves that way you don’t get ripped off, we get to juggle the finances ourselves and we get to do what we want to do that way and not getting told what to do. It’s a lot more graft but it’s a lot more rewarding at the end of it we keep hold of our product our rights, we don’t have anyone telling us what to do and forcing us to do stuff against the way we want to do stuff, it’s going to take a bit longer and more work but i would rather keep it about what we’re about, rather than handing the control to someone else who potentially stick us on a shelf for the next 10 years. We get a lot of guidance from our publisher he has been in the industry years, he has guided us and he sort of said when the right deal comes then that will be the one for us. So i mean not that we’re dead against being signed it would be lovely to have the major push behind us and doing like a lot of the big bands are doing, it’s very very difficult you’ve got to be so cautious these days because there are so many bad deals out there and there is so many bands that will sign at any cost there the potential for the record labels you know anyone management companies to take advantage of the fact that bands are so desperate for it. We are more than happy to go down that route but it would have to be on our terms and we are quite happy plodding along as we are d.i.y.’ing it. It seems to be working we’re picking up pace we’re getting a reputation.
Werockwebzine:: The main thing may involve togetherness, you all want the same thing and you’re all going in the same direction.
Walkway:: I mean this years our 10 year anniversary and since we started the amount of bands which were on the same scene as us which are no longer going anymore. We know bands which have been signed they are signed and playing smaller places than we are. Again it’s getting that right deal.
Werockwebzine:: It’s a hard slog but your getting there
Walkway:: Exactly yeah.
Werockwebzine:: What do you see for the future?
Walkway:: Obviously the albums going to be a big release there’s a lot of people that can’t wait to hear it and apart from that it’s giving like crazy last year our gig count was 128 shows this year is pretty much the same if not more and we take a very old school approach we like to do things the old school way of you learn your craft and it’s not we’re not if we got put into a massive tour it’s not like we’ve never done this before, then your voices go, we all do things where we know what we’re upto. We look after ourselves and don’t take the pee, we’re very professional about how we act.
Werockwebzine:: Your certainly one of the hardest working bands out there.
Walkway:: We’ll have a go.
Werockwebzine:: Have you got a message for your fans?
Walkway:: Thank you very much for the support and please keep doing what your doing in promoting us. It will get there one day.
Werockwebzine:: Thank you very much for your time