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Black Swan’s Robin McCauley talks about the bands new album released April 8.

He talks about the new album, singing with Michael Schenker 50th Anniversary shows at Europe and a new Solo album and other music projects he involved with. This album is issued on Frontier Records SRL shop as limited editions worldwide in the following formats: CD, 2LP (180g Gatefold, color Crystal and Cassette tape. Frontiers Music Official Shop

LINE-UP: Robin McAuley- Lead Vocals and Background Vocals, Reb Beach- Guitars and Background Vocals, Jeff Pilson- Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keys and Background Vocals and Matt Starr- Drums and Percussion.

IMM: Good to talk to you again since you first solo album. First talk about the album cover

Robin: It was created by Stan Decker (Primal Fear, The Ferryman). I had this idea not because of this damn Covid Pandemic yada, yada and sticks in your head and what are we going to do? So I love going back into history and finding about events and that sort of stuff. So low and behold back of course back in the whenever when the black plague struck they used to wear the beak masks and the people who wore them went to people’s houses as sort of healers or whatever. And they were called plague doctors so I thought there is an interesting concept. I do a little bit of graphics so I started conjuring up images with plague doctors to create a name or pseudo album cover. We had input from the rest of the band and the plague doctors was to obvious so I said what if we took the mask beak thing and stick it to a swan head and how would that look? We dug deeper and I love the movie the trilogy of Alien and all the different images. I dug up a bunch of different images a cold blue steel of the alien, so I pitching the stuff to Stan and he is in the background working on the Idea of the plague doctor with the goggles and the whole deal. So he came up with that and I started to input the colors and mix the colors are right and that is what we settled on and is pretty awesome and looks incredible on a t-shirt (Laughter). A great piece of artwork and nobody has anything like it which I particularly like.

Robin McCauley photo by Enzo Maezzo

IMM: The first song and video released for “Generation Mind”, whose house and your kids?

Robin: Those are actors. The director was talking to me about the lyrical content and the second single “Eagles Fly”. On the concept of “Eagles Fly” I explain to him the lyrics are based H. D. Wells War Of The Worlds so he ran with that. SO he found a near a banded house and he wanted to make it look that aliens already descended on us and the young couple that in there, the kids saw a comet across the sky and ran for cover. When you see them at the bottom of the water-less pool it is their last hooray before doom strikes. And that is basically the concept of it following the lyrical content of it of the song. He also did a similar concept for the first single “Generation Mind” the radical thinking of the newer generation as oppose to the older generation. What works for us doesn’t work for them very forward thinking. So he combined both ideas for the videos I think it works very , very well. That said people are asking there is no water in the pool? How would we put the drummer at the bottom if there was water in the pool unless he is floating around?

So it’s a kind of aliens descending to the earth and we are in mere abandon house as a result of an alien attack.

The third video for “Miracle” will be released on the drop date of the album. Will be a behind the scenes like we did for the “Make It There” for Shake The World album.  Is a combination of backstage and a lot more personable to shows the band making of so it’s kind of cool.

Jeff Pilson photo by Enzo Maezzo

IMM: Were the lyrics as band effort or you take the lead?

Robin: I presented all the melodies and lyrics to the music that Jeff and Reb send me and together with pre-production Jeff and I will go through them and change the lyrics we think suits the song better or co-write the chorus right there on the spot. You know I might come in with a chorus and say great or not strong enough and go back to the drawing board so is much a band effort. I usually create the first 90 percent of the work and the rest of it we tweak.

IMM: Was the band together when recording at Jeff’s house?

Robin: No. Everything was done at Jeff’s house. Then Reb and Jeff would work together. When Reb was in town I would see him, then Jeff and I would get together to work on vocals and the pre-production aspect of it. And my son Casey would come in like he did on the first record and do backup vocals so he is on this record as well.

IMM: How about Matt?

Robin: Unfortunately he had to record remotely. At the top end of the pandemic he took his family to Connecticut to be with the rest of his family and has remained there.

IMM: The obvious question you get asked many times is will the band perform?

Robin: Jeff posted answer to that question. He said because we have crazy , individual schedules and Foreigner will take up another Las Vegas residency and will remain on tour as will Winger and as will Whitesnake with two new members so a lot of shows coming up and Matt to with the Ace Frehley.

I leave in April to May with Michael Schenker for a European tour. For the last five shows that I was slotted for and Ronnie Romero  hit a wall and can’t do them . Initially I was to cover at Spain and Italy. And I said yes of course I will jump in.  Also Michael’s 50th Anniversary with a new album and Ronnie is the feature vocalist on so make perfect sense he would be the one promoting it. That said and transpire he was unable to the entire tour  and a festival or two.   I will perform in the UK. Ronnie I believe will finish whatever dates  and U.S. tour at the end of the year but we will stay posted.

So the answer to the question is when we all are at the same place, at the same time, with an opportunity for us to perform live and absolutely would love too. Which we talking about at the video shoot how great it would be to have the opportunity and we all feel that festivals would be the ideal forum with all the people at the same place and even better than a tour because you never know which way that is going to go. And would have to be the right sort of a tour and we wouldn’t have that much time. Some of the biggest festivals would be the best forum for us. Well keep that door open.

Also I have the songs for my follow up solo almost ready with my son Casey on backup vocals and a single up on You Tube called “Move It” with Mutt Lange’s son by Swedish guitarist/songwriter/producer Tommy Denander. Also I am on a record called “Circle Of Friends” on Escape records from the UK and I Think another single from that record with plethora of amazing artists. You can check it out on Facebook. I did remake of two songs on there and Jeff Scott Soto is on there, Joel Hoekstra is on there. I did a remake of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper. And I got email from the band telling me how great the remake is. (Laughter) I got their blessing and will be release next week. I am crazy busy, I am blessed and very happy.

Matt Starr photo by Enzo Maezzo

IMM: Let’s talk about some of the songs on the album. Starting with “Wicked The Day”?

Robin: Is a story about Mordred is the bastard son of King Arthur (written by monk Geoffrey of Monmouth of Wales. Were marvelous fabrications, and certain features of the Celtic stories were adapted to suit feudal times). And typical back in those days when Arthur had an affair or extra Marital affair which a child came out it and the mother feels the child is the rightful heir which of course in those days the bastard son could never be the rightful heir unfortunately for the child. That is what the song is basically about and battle ensued if you are into your history or that kind of history. A battle between Arthur and Mordred came face to face and Mordred was killed and Arthur got fatal wounds also. Is one of my favorite tracks on the record.

Reb Beach photo by Enzo Maezzo

IMM: The next one is “Eagles Fly”, “Before The Light” and “How Do You Feel” is a basic relationship song?  

Robin: That is the single we dropped a few days ago and is about H.G Wells War Of The Worlds. “Before The Light” is a piece Jeff wrote and this should have something to start the entire album and is really beautiful and cool. “How Do You Feel” is a beautiful song and is a bonus track as an acoustic version which sounds phenomenal if I say so myself (Laughter) on the Japanese release.

IMM: Last two songs; “Killer On The Lose” and “Miracle”?

Robin: “Killer on The Lose” is about the London serial killer Jack The Ripper because he was never caught and when you listen to the lyrics you can hear the story of it. And “Miracle” is about the gods such as Zeus because he was crowning glory and in charge. He was the kings of kings and he was able to transform himself into many different guises and had multiple affairs. So to disguise himself from his wife or wives he would take on different imageries so people wouldn’t recognize him (Laughter) and of course all the other demigods wanted to take the crown. So the concept of the song is where is the crown I used to wear and quite a music history for this Black Swan record than you, me and the wall (Laughter).

IMM: Always a pleasure to talk to you and have fun at Europe with Michael

Robin: Thanks for promoting this album I appreciate it very much

Track lists:
1.Before The Light
2.She Hides Behind
3.Generation Mind
4.Eagles Fly
5.See You Cry
6.Killer On The Loose
7.Miracle
8.How Do You Feel
9.Long Way Down
10.Crown
11.Wicked The Day
12. I Will Follow

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