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Metal Planet Music Exclusive: Ravenbreed announce their new lead singer

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Today is the day Cardiff based hard rock band Ravenbreed, introduce their new lead singer to their fans and me being one of them (wearing my Ravenbreed t-shirt I might add), had the pleasure of interviewing the guys for their big reveal. I chatted with Mikey, Ross and Oli on this special occasion so read on to find out who their new singer is! 

Well hi guys! A little birdie (a raven perhaps) tells me that you have an exclusive announcement to make! 

Ross: This is what everyone has been waiting for and has people excited, considering that we only started dropping hints about a week ago. There has been a really good reaction already so far with plenty of people getting in touch to find out who it is. 

Everyone, meet the one and only Luke Short from South Wales! 

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Welcome to Ravenbreed Luke! Tell us a bit about yourself. 

Thank you very much! Musically, I’ve been playing in bands since my teens, mostly cover bands and any original bands never really got anywhere whether it was just youth or inexperience. I’ve haven’t really played for five years since the birth of my daughter, you know getting my priorities in order. Just before Christmas I went to a gig and got the buzz again and contacted Ross after seeing the advert so I sent them an acappella of me singing one of their songs and they said yeah, we like it come along for an audition and the rest I hope will be history. 

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How did you first hear about Ravenbreed? 

It was mostly online really. I’ve not got to as many gigs as I would have liked to be honest lately but their name came up amongst people I know that have played, quite a while back.  Then I saw their advertisement saying that they needed a singer and I thought ok, let’s see what happens! 

What inspired you to audition for them? Was there something in particular that drew you to them? 

Honestly, they were the first people I messaged and it was a spur of the moment thing then after a conversation with Ross. As I said I hadn’t played in five years except for my own acoustics keeping things ticking over but nothing to this magnitude. Things I tried never really clicked people didn’t have the commitment or even have the chemistry. I spoke with Ross on the phone the same day. I sent him an accapella because I couldn’t record it properly on my phone and we were on the phone for about half an hour talking as if we had been talking to each other for a long time. I think it’s that’s quite rare when a lot of people want to talk themselves up or whatever. Ross is very level headed and we just spoke about music so from then it was come down and let’s see what we can do. 

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Was there stiff competition? 

Ross: Oh my god, yeah! (nah! – Luke). It was in terms of vocals and just how people wanted to do what they wanted to do in a band 

Mikey: It was really tough. To be fair, we had so much positive interest in joining this project that it was a little bit overwhelming after a while. We were getting so many audio and video recordings of people doing our tracks and getting invites for auditions. We really wanted to make sure that our connection was there from the beginning. We decided very early on that we wanted to meet as many people as we could that were realistic contenders. There were a number of people that were potentials but for one reason or another, we were on different pages with certain people as we had a certain expectations than was higher than they realised about what goes into having a band project in your life. It is a big demand; you need to be focused; you need to have the ambition and drive and you have got to have that hunger to do it because you love doing it, because it’s hard. 

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Luke: There were a lot of good singers in terms of commitment and being on the same page. What actually happened was that after my first audition, Ross texted me and said we like your voice but obviously it’s not just about the voice but also if can we write songs together. I said send me something over and when they did I was humming something along within half an hour. I asked them what do you think of this and they said yeah, carry on and we had the bare bones of what is now a song.  ‘Wasted Over You came together really quickly and will probably be the first one we will get out there, and that was just from me making noises over the phone, lyrics coming together and for me it was instant chemistry of being on the same page of these guys – but you will have to ask these guys! 

What was it you were looking for in your new singer? It has to be more than just vocals. 

Mikey: Yes totally. We were keen to impress on whomever it was going to be that we have desire and ambition to take this project as far as it can go and we didn’t want to give any false expectation on whoever we got to join the band. Realistically, you need to be prepared and able travel, have free time and flexibility and need to want to do this more than other stuff. We didn’t want anyone to have a false impression and we were really clear about this during the interview process. We were trying to keep it as professional sounding as possible because this is what we want to do – we want to be playing festivals, tours in Europe doing the tours that all the successful bands we want to do and the ones we play on the circuit now and the ones we aspire to. We want to be at that sort of level 

Luke, it must be very difficult to replace a person in a band. How have you found it so far? 

Great. As I said it was after the guys said we would like you join the band, we met for a practice and I said to them, for me it’s all about the song writing. Obviously the dynamic is going to change and I think when you audition for any band as Mikey was saying, they have their side; this is what they expect and what they want. But this is a two way street and I told them this is what I expect, this is what I want etc and they accepted that. 

I’m not the old singer and I’m not going to be the old singer and the dynamic is going to change. My song writing will be different. This is my song writing and this is what I do and they accepted that and I accepted what they wanted. 

After that full practice we met for a song writing session at Mikey’s house and we now have about five or six things coming together very quickly. Some things they had been working on a long time that didn’t come together and again within a few hours over the over the Christmas period, and it was a case of, “ah, we can play with that now”. 

Joining any new band is very difficult especially when the old singer was a really good singer. But you have got to stay true to yourself. I want to sing the older songs as me and not take away from the songs and the way they are and how they were written. As I said, the dynamic has changed hopefully for the better. 

Mikey: I think it‘s fair to say we all expected things to be different, that wasn’t a shock to us. The most surprising thing for me at the moment is just how quickly we are making progress. Whenever someone joins a new band, it always takes time to find your feet and I feel we have hit the ground running with Luke quite quickly. We got some ideas coming and you have heard a snippet of the new track we have been working on recently so we’ve been compiling those ideas and develop as much material as possible and the dynamic is gelling really, really quickly. It works.  

Luke: The biggest thing for me when I was wrote the lyrics for Wasted Over You, was were the guys going to like it. It was always at the back of my mind and I asked them quite a few times, maybe to the point of annoyance! We are all very vocal and have strong personalities and we all have egos, but there is no ego that goes above anyone else. We are all very accepting already of each other and the chemistry has just been brilliant. I also play a little bit of guitar so I can say to Mikey if he could do this etc, knowing where it needs to go, which is brilliant because that’s where the magic happens. 

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As you said Zoey’s vocals are pretty powerful and Falling Away and Lonely are epic tracks. Do you find this a bit intimidating or does it inspire you to give it your style 

Yeah! It’s almost like singing a cover. In a way it’s no different from singing a Pearl Jam or AC/DC song in that respect because the principle is the same as you want to stay true to the songs. Yes, all the Ravenbreed songs are great and some of the songs the guys have shown me that they have done as well, we may look at taking them on the road as well. Yes, my voice is different, I would say it’s not as aggressive but my voice has certainly got a few more different colours to it. But it’s looking at how can I stay true to the song that the fans and the guys will still enjoy me singing it. Certainly with the ideas we have floating around that there will be a lot more tracks for me and not covers, that are mine, that are ours.  

How would you describe your style? What do you like – the heavy rock, ballads? 

Luke: When it comes to music overall I have a very eclectic range. Growing up, my mother was into the hair metal like Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Guns n Roses; my step father was into all classics the Doors, the Stones, Pink Floyd; My grandfather loves his soul and motown Luther Van Dross, Smokey Robinson etc and I took all this in. So vocally I don’t want to describe my own voice, style wise I’m a sucker for melody. It’s not all about the vocal, the guitar or the drums – it’s how it all comes together. Its’ about hitting the big notes, but my range I can if I need to or if I want to. 

Certainly influences are Shinedown’s Brent Smith, Cornell, Myles Kennedy all those kind of people. Someone that sings with feeling I suppose. 

Mikey: The feeling I was getting from Lukes vocal was the soul. That was quite a key component for me because I like a singer that can make you feel something (we got all emotional here!) 

That’s what it’s about – conveying a feeling writing lyrics in a room where the whole point of is to get that across to the audience and make them feel something. If the fans don’t feel it you don’t connect to the song then you don’t get the fans. 

I don’t consciously think how am I going to sing this song but it just comes out and it evolves. Certainly how I started singing Wasted is not how I sing it now. There is a lot of colour to my voice and I would like to think I can sing the ballads or the heavy shouty, aggressive screaming songs to a degree– I try to be as versatile as I can. 

Is there an EP or album coming? Will Wasted the first release? 

We are still deciding but I think it will be an EP. An album is a while away yet. We would like to do a four track EP – three songs electric and possibly an acoustic which is coming together very well. I came into the band a week before Christmas and it was almost bad timing and then getting back into the swing of things but it’s been quite crazy how quickly things have come together even taking out that period. We have been very proactive possibly the EP release and a music video release 

I think that is the most likely route ie Wasted as a single and then an EP. Mikey has written a solo and it just needs some polishing and that’s it! 

So when is your fist gig?  Any more planned for 2020? 

We are playing in Blackpool on the 22nd of February and will be debuting Wasted there! We are hoping to do more gigs and festivals and people are waiting to hear us, which is understandable. I really think everyone is going to enjoy us and I can see the crowd loving it so we are really looking forward to playing it. We would love to come back to HRH! 

Guys thanks so much for your time and for also giving Metal Planet Music the exclusive reveal! We really look forward to hearing Wasted Over You – (I’m the lucky one who has got to hear it already and fans won’t be disappointed! 

Fiona D 

Ravenbreed are: 

Luke Short – vocals 

Mikey – guitar and vocals 

Ross – bass and vocals 

Oli – drums 

Catch Ravenbreed on the 22nd February at Rockpool, in the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravenbreed/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ravenbreed 

Interview by Fiona D for MPM

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