The Irish singer who sang with Michael Schenker,Black Swan,Survivor, Grand Prix and Far Corporation put his signature vocals and song writings for his solo album dealing with the Covid19 Pandemic, his childhood and his marriage.
Line-up: Andrea Seveso (guitars), Alessandro Del Vecchio (bass, keyboards, backing vocals),Nicholas Papapicco – (drums), Howard Leese (guitars on “Supposed To Do Now”)
IMM: When did you start working on this album and with the musicians?
Robin: When the release of the Black Swan album on February 14, 2020 with bass player and producer Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) and we had a great response to the record Frontiers called me and told me we think you should keep the momentum with Black Swan 2 and put a solo record out. I said eh, I don’t want to do a solo record with more of the same and what would I do? What direction I would go? Not really interested in doing it. They said people like what you do and the McAuley Schenker stuff and people like what you did with Far Corporation and Grand Prix. I said dude that is all over the place so we left it sitting then I got off my butt and I reached out to Howard Leese (guitarist for Bad Company, ex-Heart on “Supposed To Do Now”), my old Grand Prix bandmate Phil Lanzon (currently longtime Uriah Heep keyboardist on “Like a Ghost”), Tommy Denander (on “Do You Remember” and “Chosen Few”) who is doing amazing well with the new Alice Cooper record because he co- wrote it and produced it and Alessandro Del Vecchio( bass, keyboards, backing vocals) Frontiers maestro sent me about a dozen tracks so all in all we needed 11 songs and sifted through what sounded good to my ear. I started to write the lyrics and melodies, some rough demos and I sent them back and we decided on the final selection and I came up with art concept for the album cover for Standing on Edge and the title and were off to the races.
A different situation of course because he stuck at Italy so for production and mixing is concern; he couldn’t be here and be in the same room so we found a studio at Woodland Hills, California and with Andy Zuckerman engineering and we had a great time. It was just Andy and myself, they sent the tracks and I came in sang my parts and sent them back to Italy to mix and produce them.
And Alessandro put the musicians together and a young ass kicking guitar player Andrea Seveso who did amazing work. And we got it done for something I wasn’t completely keen on doing, I am very happy with very happy.
The song on this album “Late December” is all about my wife. We been married 28 years this year and fyi Jeff Pilson was our best man. Jeff and I have huge history together and worked together on Black Swan. I am very happy with the record and great production and has a little modern feel to it and is a solo record so is a little bit different and little bit of everything I’ve done which at the end of the day made perfect sense for me and the label which was really what they were looking for.
IMM: Explain the cover art concept for the album?
Robin: I am at lock down at home watching the news and the B.S. , I am watching Armageddon and people coming out of the swamps being abusive and aggressive and burning the stupid places down. I am saying were in a pandemic here people were suppose to be coming together as one and getting through this. So I thought how would the gargoyles sitting way above the world see the mess we are in and how we are getting out of it? Hating each other and that is where I was going with it. Not that is Los Angeles or any other city. Everything we know is on fire, everything we are familiar with we are destroying it. And the gargoyles are up there looking down saying what a bunch of idiots.
Standing On The Edge title is about here we are at the precepts of change. Are we really going to use this to our advantage? Or are we really going to see the mistakes we made? Are we really going to move forward and make some kind of a change that works for everybody instead of this constant, constant? And the media, well don’t get me going on that. Whether you believe or disbelieve, agree or disagree on thing is for sure something is not right and needs to be fixing so let’s fix it. We been through two world wars, been through the swine flu, SARS and were still here. The only difference being they didn’t shut the world down. So now this movie suddenly says everybody stops. Who the fuck would do such a thing? Now were almost out of it and we have a chance to do something and never go back. The second single on the album “Say Goodbye” is centered around the worse relationship you ever had which was me having a relationship with Covid. I didn’t get it thank god, but when you leave don’t forget to the leave keys because you are never coming back through that door (laughs). Is where it all came from.
IMM: Did you write all the lyrics or with the other musicians?
Robin: I wrote all the lyrics and melodies and did the backing vocals
IMM: Hope you get to perform the songs live
Robin: Oh my god! I love too and there is a great song on their called “Run Away” when I was writing “Standing On The Edge” , “Running Out Of Time”, and I was thinking let’s do something different here so Alessandro sent me this beautiful piece of music which I turned into my childhood days called “Run Away” where we used to live in the country and at Ireland you can see the rain coming and we be half a mile or a mile away from our house and have a game if we can rate the rain home cause you can see it coming across the fields and we get soaked up to our ass. So I wrote that song and by contrast I wrote another piece of music which is “Wanna Take A Ride” which is me doing my demos and I really need to go the beach, put this behind me and get the hell out of the house and head over to Malibu is where “Wanna Take A Ride” came from to be care free, up lifting and is like a summer song and to change the pace as it were.
Also an amazing young guitarist Andrea Seveso who many people says he sounds just like George Lynch who is huge George Lynch fan and is evidence on the title track. “People were calling and saying dude it sounds like Dokken. Jeff Pilson told me that George called him and asked “hey did you produce the new McAuley record?” Jeff said no. George said it sounds like Dokken (Laughs). I told Jeff I couldn’t sing a Dokken song. Is not me it’s the guitar player (Laughs).
1-Thy Will Be Done
2-Standing On The Edge
4-Do You Remember
8-Supposed To Do Now
9-Wanna Take A Ride
10-Like A Ghost
11-Running Out Of Time