Vocalist Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group), guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), bassist Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, The End Machine, ex-Dokken), and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big) have joined forces in Black Swan, a new band project signed to Frontiers Music. Their debut album, ‘Shake The World’, is an aptly entitled album and is a delightful romp of powerful hard rock that is not simply the sum of its parts, but a powerful rock ‘n roll machine.
The genesis of Black Swan was sparked by a conversation between Jeff Pilson and Frontiers label president Serafino Perugino, who wanted a project that would not only showcase McAuley’s vocal prowess, but have a mighty musical backbone to stand skyscraper tall behind him. Thus, the initial seeds were planted and Pilson ran with it from there, tracking ‘Shake The World’ at his home studio in Los Angeles. The final result is something fresh and very heavy, albeit still intensely melodic and is certainly not Dokken, Winger, MSG or any combination thereof, but it’s own unique animal.
As an example, one of the songs was written by Jeff Pilson right after seeing the Queen movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. “I came home and sat down at the grand piano and pretty much wrote exactly the chorus that we have, just coming straight from the movie. It is a bit Queen-like.” He continues: “It’s amazing, incredible music. Wait until you hear everybody’s playing and singing. It’s beyond -way beyond.”
Adds Robin McAuley, “I’ve known Jeff for some thirty years and we have a history of performing together on MSG Unplugged, in addition to being great friends, musically and socially. When he asked me to do this and collaborate with Reb, I didn’t have to think too long with my response. Initially he wasn’t going to play bass, but Reb and myself soon changed his mind, lol!!! Bringing Matt into the mix was also a great decision. His powerful energy and style is unmistakable on this album.
Overall, it is a very powerful blend of styles and writing. Reb is truly an amazing guitarist and songwriter. Jeff captured my vocals the way I like to sound. Probably the best vocal sound I’ve had…ever!!!! Such a great and creative studio experience for me. This is kick ass, powerful music on an album full of great songs. If you love strong melodies and BIG choruses, Black Swan won’t disappoint!! It’s time…”SHAKE THE WORLD!!!”
Reb Beach says, “When Jeff approached me to do this, I was so excited because I loved writing ‘Erase the Slate’ with him for Dokken. I also played in the band with Jeff for four years, and we worked so well together, writing and live too. He is as good as it gets when it comes to a rock musician, a great songwriter and an absolute joy to work with. I came in with riffs, Jeff arranged them into a song by adding his own parts, and then Robin wrote the lyrics, and knocked it out of the park with the vocals. I am pretty particular about singers, and Robin’s voice is so slammin’ that I wouldn’t want anyone else. Matt came in with his huge drum sound, and we had a great band. Very exciting stuff!!”
“Shooting the video was a blast,” concludes Matt Starr. “Shot in Los Angeles over the course of two days, it was similar to recording the record, everything was very organic and comfortable. That’s the advantage of working with guys who have so much experience. There’s not too much discussion going on. Everybody knows what to do, we just get to work and do it. That leaves more time for hanging out, chatting and smoking cigars!”
‘Shake the World’ is a killer slice of melodic hard rock and heavy metal from these seasoned musicians. Whether you are a fan from back in the day or brand new to the scene and just diving in, this album is essential listening!
album pre-order / single streaming link
SHAKE THE WORLD
TRACKLISTING
1 Shake The World
2 Big Disaster
3 Johnny Came Marching
4 Immortal Souls
5 Make It There
6 She’s On To Us
7 The Rock That Rolled Away
8 Long Road To Nowhere
9 Sacred Place
10 Unless We Change
11 Divided/United
BLACK SWAN
Robin McAuley – lead vocals and backing vocals
Reb Beach – guitars and backing vocal Vocals
Jeff Pilson – bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards and backing vocals
Matt Starr – drums and percussion