Cry Havoc is a Scottish hard rock band whose debut appeared on Chavis Records in the autumn of 2002. Fuel That Feeds The Fire was engineered by Rich Kirk and produced by Rico and the band.
Cry Havoc were formed in August of 1994 by Graham McLeod and Paul Logue, who had previously been band-mates in The Unlawful. They were soon joined by Stevie Colville Durrand (ex-Ground Zero) and drummer Colin Chapman (ex-The Promise). It was the latter who had come up with the Cry Havoc moniker. Harkness soon replaced Chapman however. Two demos were recorded. These were Cry Havoc and 1998's Cry For Help. The latter after a deal had been obtained from Now & Then records and made to promote the band further to fans, press and the label! The band had signed with Now & Then Records in December of 1996 and recorded an album at Manchester's Spellbound Studio. Sadly, the label was not happy and had sent the band back to the drawing board. A new session with producer Andy Faulkner in Birmingham was planned, but ultimately fell through. Two sessions altogether were cancelled.
In 1999 they recruited Filipino born Keyboard player Jondi Mac and more importantly earlier changed their name to Age Of Reason. Further problems ensued when lead guitarist Graham McLeod left the act however. Guitarist Derek Gallagher stepped in and the band played The Gods 1999 festival. Shortly thereafter Paul Logue left the band. A new bassist was recruited, but the band went quiet for a while.
The band was dormant until 2001 when finally free from Now & Then Records the band began shopping the aforementioned material around resulting in a contract with Chavis Records. The original recording line-up was officially together as of January of 2002 and operating again as Cry Havoc. Extra material recorded during the Now & Then period was used to further shop the band. In autumn of 2002, singer Durrand would abandon the guitar to focus on his vocal duties. Former Year Zero man Jimmy Johnstone is enlisted as Cry Havoc's new guitarist.
There was renewed activity in the band's camp in early 2004. A self-financed CDR was made available which was recorded in 1996 at The Stuffhouse Recordings Studio in Glasgow. The recording featured five tracks that made the Chavis Records 2002 release Fuel That Feeds The Fire and one unreleased track Heartland. There was also an additional bonus unreleased demo titled Beat The Bullet. Stevie Durrand and Paul Logue also commenced the writing and recording of a second album which had a working title of Caught In A Lie. The band was without a deal as their deal with the defunct Chavis Records had expired.
The band was back in the studio recording the follow-up to 2002's Chavis Records' release Fuel That Feeds The Fire in late 2004. The album was to carry on in the same vein as the debut. The new record featured Stevie A. Durrand (vocals and guitar), Paul Logue (bass), Davey Harkness (drums) and Jimmy Johnstone (guitar). The band re-issued the Fuel That Feeds The Fire album as Refuel in late 2005. This edition featured a bonus second disc containing six live tracks. The band continued working on its second album, due for release in the first quarter of 2006.
CRY HAVOC - FUEL THAT FEEDS THE FIRE - CHAVIS
Do not confuse Cry Havoc from Scotland with Finland's Cryhavoc. This band specializes in hard rock with a giant nod to the 80's. The band called it a day several years ago amidst a dispute with its then-label Now And Then, but has reformed to release the assembled songs finally. The question here is not whether these tracks are older or newer. The question rather is whether the music has been altered or reworked since the time of the original recording session in any way.
Whichever the case Fuel That Feeds The fire is a respectable hard rock album, rendered all the more better due to the lack of music of similar style on the market at this time. The album dials up (at least that's the first thing one hears on the CD) with the Cry For Help intro which leads directly into I'll Be There. The lyrics are not quite as positive here as the title indicates, but the Scots quickly establishes themselves musically as an act crossing Dokken and Winger with a more, and perhaps subconscious, melodic sensibility a la Threshold or Vanden Plas. The latter style is more accentuated by the vocals of Steve A. Durrand. Forever Once Again follows next. The song is more related to hard rock similar to Dokken than anything else. Rescue Me begins slower and in the accompaniment of a warm bass sound. It easily reminds one of a White Lion-type power ballad with emotional vocals. The backing vocals make a strong appearance here as Durrand propels the band into AOR territory. A whiff of synthesizers can be heard here. Holding On To Your Dreams is, perhaps predictably, both harder and more upbeat. Reminiscent of Skid Row, the track probably holds the album's heaviest riff. No Way Out is again in the vein of Dokken with vocals in the Survivor mould. Better Coming (odd title) is a song with an attitude. Is that Christopher Cross' Ride Like The Wind that Cry Havoc is emulating? Next up is I Need You. The acoustic ballad is more towards the boring side of the fence. Long Way To Heaven in contrast, begins with a pumping bass sound. This is more like it! It is harder, has an edge and, given how the band is not dead just yet, sports an intriguing title. Paying The Price is more high-octane hard rock, this time with a soaring guitar line. The powerful rhythm section, dual-vocals and the song's construction are collectively reminiscent of the year 1984 and the debut album of Bon Jovi. Heart On My Sleeve pumps more hard rock into Metallian Towers until the title track - given its title ironically at the end of the CD - closes the album with a guitar-oriented song - Ali "The Metallian"
The story of Scotland's Cry Havoc certainly fits the band's name. The hard rock unit is a genuine example of the trials and tribulations the industry places before the recording artist. The band has had to endure much, and that above and beyond the customary difficulties encountered by a hard rock act. In this context, Ali "The Metallian" was more than happy to speak with bassist and band spokesman Paul Logue to discuss the long-delayed debut album Fuel That Feeds The Fire and also use the opportunity to address the aforementioned situation - 24.12.2002
METALLIAN: Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you, Paul. How are you today?
LOGUE: I am very well, thanks. How are you mate?
METALLIAN: I am fine as well. Paul, how about beginning our chat a little differently? You have been busy with CataLogue Music in the last little while. Tell the readers about the venture.
LOGUE: Ok, I work for IBM Customer Support Organisation in the UK full-time, but I am quite an active songwriter and have been searching for a major publishing deal. As you know, I left Cry Havoc briefly for two years in 1999. I set up CataLogue Music as my publishing company and wrote two solo albums. So all songs I now write are published under CataLogue Music. My new web site should be up in a couple of weeks. One can find it at www.cataloguemusic.co.uk. This address replaces the old one at www.cataloguemusic.50g.com.
METALLIAN: Have you contributed to any bands or sold any songs to other artists so far?
LOGUE: Not yet, but I wrote a full album for an artist. He didn't want to hear it though and was quite upset at his label for bringing in an outside writer. Basically, the guy used some excuse about how 'US law' would not allow him to accept material like this. I just thought what a load of bull of this was. I was asked by his label to write songs to contribute towards a solo album - I wrote 13 - gave the label a copy and asked him whether he wanted a copy and he said he did not! It was a case of a lack of communication from the label. I didn't see it as a waste of my time, because I did have a good collection of songs by the end of it. Furthermore, when I listen back to the material I thought that maybe they were not right for him.
METALLIAN: Who was the artist? And in what vein was the music?
LOGUE: I would rather keep the artist's name private. It was melodic rock.
METALLIAN: Was the person a famous act or a relative unknown?
LOGUE: He is very well-known - though not 'Bon Jovi well-known!'
METALLIAN: Will the music be used elsewhere?
LOGUE: I doubt it, Ali. They have not been sent out to anyone except this person's record label.
They have had the CD for about a year and I have heard nothing about it. Right now I am working on a 3-track demo of new country songs titled Breathe to send out to Nashville.
METALLIAN: Let us talk about Cry Havoc. The band has been through a lot culminating finally in the release of Fuel That Feeds The Fire through Chavis Records. So, are we talking about an active band?
LOGUE: Yes and no. The scene in the UK is dead. So we don't get gigs. Gigs happen once in a blue moon - like appearances at The Gods, or Z Rocks or if we are lucky a decent support slot with a name band.
METALLIAN: Let us go back. I have read your biography and remain confused. Did the band break up for a while or did you leave the band?
LOGUE: A bit of both! Before the Gods in '99 guitarist Graham McLeod left the band. After the Gods I followed. Our singer Stevie Durrand and drummer Davey Harkness tried to keep things going, but it never took off. We only got the show back on the road when I started looking for a deal and eventually signed with Chavis Records. This was following two years of being out of the scene.
METALLIAN: Did Stevie and Davey recruit other members? If so, who were these?
LOGUE: Yes, they actually did. They were Derek Gallagher on guitar and Zander Greenshields on bass. Derek joined after Graham left. Jondi Mac also played the keyboards. The band was called Age of Reason at the time too in order to confuse you even further (laughs).
METALLIAN: Your explanation does clear the confusion somewhat. The remaining members changed the band's name at that point and reverted to the old one when you two returned. Is that correct?
LOGUE: No (laughs again), while I was in the band our label spotted a band from Holland called Cry Havoc. They asked us to change our moniker. We reluctantly changed the name to Age Of Reason and hired Jondi on Keyboards.
Graham left before the Gods and we got Derek in three weeks before the show. I left right after the show. Zander then joined. The guys only jammed a few times and that was it. Stevie kept writing material, but they weren't really together.
METALLIAN: What prompted the return to the old moniker? There is still at least another band active out there called Cryhavoc?
LOGUE: We left Now & Then Records, got a new deal and we never heard anything more about the band from Holland. Furthermore, we had built up a following under the old name. So given the new deal and the new start we reverted back to the name we loved.
METALLIAN: What does the name signify?
LOGUE: ...Nothing (laughs), it comes from an old Shakespeare quotation.
METALLIAN: I want to go back to something you mentioned earlier. My impression was that, in tandem with the rest of the world, the scene in the UK is improving.
LOGUE: In my honest opinion, no it is not! As someone who is trying to succeed in music, real music not manufactured bull, I can say that the rock scene is dead. I use rock in the sense of classic rock, metal, et cetra.
I know there is a huge increase in guitar-based bands right now, but at the grass roots level you just don't see any improvement. For instance, no one in Glasgow wants to listen to an original, young hard rock band. That is sad, but true. One has to look at things like ZRocks, The Gods to an extent and Phoenix Rising - all events aimed at keeping our beloved melodic rock scene alive. The attendances are woeful. Only last year's Gods was well-attended. When the bill is populated by new bands no one gives a toss. What's more, The UK charts are still dominated by manufactured pop bands.
METALLIAN: I appreciate your perspective. In spite of the malaise, how did you come across Chavis Records?
LOGUE: I was looking for labels to send the demos to once we had managed to negotiate our way off the Now & Then roster. I sent demos to various labels and turned to my friend Fred Monster at Majestic Magazine who told me about Chavis. I sent the CD away and e-mailed Bill Chavis about a month later. He loved what he heard.
METALLIAN: Did you attract any other label-interest?
LOGUE: Unfortunately, no. We did have a a few 'dear Johns' though!
METALLIAN: What sort of a deal do you have with Chavis Records?
LOGUE: It is just a deal to release Fuel That Feeds The Fire.
METALLIAN: I had planned to ask you this: can you clarify what exactly happened with Now & Then? How did that situation tie into the band's previously-mentioned hiatus?
LOGUE: It's one helluva long story. We now are completely free of our contract with Now & Then. We recorded the album off our own back. Next we spoke to Now & Then once it was finished. We then proceeded to Manchester to mix the album and everything was going great. Now & Then even sat in on the mixes and everyone was excited. After the album's completion we returned home to Scotland and the label set about securing a Japanese release for the album. They wanted it released in Japan before Europe! Months passed and nothing happened. We got in touch with the label and they said 'We have had no takers from Japan. We don't think the album is strong enough. Can you write more songs?' This is where the trouble started and our world just fell apart. Things went from bad to worse. We had virtually no support from the label and even after we had written twelve more songs, the label cancelled the recording sessions on us twice!
We got our first break when they agreed to let us play at The Gods festival in 1999. By this time we had changed our name to Age of Reason. We had to be a backing band to someone higher up on the bill. In all honesty the festival was great fun, but it was kind of a 'if you don't open for the other band. you can't play' kind of a vibe.
We were on Now & Then for about four years at that point and no one had really heard of us.
METALLIAN: At which point did you depart from the former label? Did they drop you?
LOGUE: It was Christmas of 2001. We asked to be released and after some negotiations, they agreed it was in both parties' interest. The band had basically broken up at that point and there was no way back if we had not move on.
METALLIAN: Going back to something you said earlier, and I am reiterating because it sounds rather incredible, are you saying the label signed you to a British deal and then when they could not secure a deal for Japan, they decided not to release your album at all?
LOGUE: That is correct! With Ten being such a success in Japan the label thought that was the way for all their bands to go. No other band on their roster has really succeeded in Japan which proves now to be a rather strange comment for them to have made at the time. One wonders whether this was merely an excuse.
METALLIAN: Are you implying they didn't like you after all, having signed you earlier?
LOGUE: I don't think it was a problem with us as a band. I just don't think they thought the album was any good, but they would never come out and actually say that.
METALLIAN: Given how you were given a contract, presumably for the European territory, it sounds like a case of bait and switch.
LOGUE: The contract was actually for 'The World.' It was a two-album deal plus an option for a third.
METALLIAN: Is the current release of Fuel That Feeds The Fire the same mix as the original product?
LOGUE: Yes it is, except Chavis Records has mastered it. There are no overdubs whatsoever.
Earlier we even sent out a 5-track sampler to the press and they loved it.
METALLIAN: What is the story behind the album's title?
LOGUE: We named it after the song Fuel That Feeds The Fire which was fitting given the meaning behind the song. It took us quite a while to get a deal and we eventually put our hands into our own pockets to record our album hoping to find a deal. The fuel that kept our fire burning was all the nice things said about our music and the great reviews we had gotten.
We originally wanted to call the album Cry For Help, then we decided to leave it as self-titled, but the cover artist did not come up with anything decent for us. We switched artists and decided on Fuel... as the title. Mark, the illustrator, produced a great piece of artwork.
METALLIAN: Paul, let us speak more in-depth about the album. Firstly, What can you tell the readers about the unconventional introduction to the album which features a telephone ringing, some screaming and a female?
LOGUE: (Laughs) I was just fooling around in the studio. I wanted something to go with the Cry For Help working title and came up with that. The producer Rico and myself did that. We sampled Stevie's evil laughter at the end and slowed it right down. That's Mum on the telephone!
METALLIAN: I was just about to ask who she was. I would have gone with a girlfriend.
LOGUE: She is a young mum (more laughter).
METALLIAN: Elsewhere, and as I said in my review of the CD, the album's first song, namely I'll Be There sports some surprisingly gloomy lyrics.
LOGUE: The lyrics are about a relationship where I wanted to it all, yet deep down knew that it wasn't going to happen. I was saying 'Listen, no matter where this goes - I will always be there for you.'
METALLIAN: The band musically makes no excuses about its Winger influences.
LOGUE: Oh God no. We Love Winger. Stevie and myself are huge Winger fans. As the main writers we have been inspired by that band so much. We met Kip Winger a few years ago too. It was great to talk with him. Pull, in my opinion, is untouchable in terms of its songs, performance and it's unbelievable production. Kip is God!
METALLIAN: Your honesty is refreshing, Paul. Regardless, let's talk about a couple of more songs. Forever Once Again is a great hard rock tune a la Dokken.
LOGUE: Firstly, thank you for your kind words there. Secondly, I don't actually hear Dokken in that song at all, but if you say so then that's cool! At the time, that song was just so different from what we had written before. It was musically more challenging with different little hooks and chord changes. We work so hard at our arrangements and it annoys us when people say they have heard it all before, because that is the one thing we strive to do different. Furthermore, We aren't going to bullshit the public and say 'oh yeah, we are influenced by the Beatles, Jazz and Opera.' We are candid about where our music comes from which Winger, Dokken, Lynch Mob, et cetra.
METALLIAN: Holding On To Your Dreams is a barnstormer.
LOGUE: It is great to hear. That was the first song we wrote as a band! Graham McLeod wrote most of the music and then, three versions later, it ended up like that with a little help from Stevie and me.
METALLIAN: Paying The Price is another song that has it all: melody, hard rock, dual-vocals and of course the guitars.
LOGUE: Yes, I love the lyrics on that song as well. It's about a guy who has been kicked out by his girl and has moved on. Yet night after night he has the same dreams about their life together. It's another true story.
METALLIAN: Better Coming is an odd title. One wonders what that means.
LOGUE: Graham does write some strange lyrics, doesn't he? You obviously haven't read http://www.cry-havoc.co.uk/pages/own.htm. It will explain a thing or two. The song was actually written after a busy day on the way home - as the song starts. It was written mainly about the band and how the best was still to come. It was only about the fourth song we had put together and the intent was to say that there was still bigger and better to come. It kind of a turned out to also be about expectations and moving on and making a new start also. I based it around an AC/DC style of music.
METALLIAN: Any comments about how my review said that the song sounds like the band is emulating Christopher Cross' Ride Like The Wind?
LOGUE: When I read it I asked 'Who?' (massive laughter). I have never heard of him. Does he make prams (laughter)?
METALLIAN: On the other hand, a track like I Need You was not mentioned favourably.
LOGUE: It is your opinion, but I disagree. I believe the chords in that song are beautiful. It's very funny seeing Stevie play it because his span can just make it. What's more the harmony solos for Graham just do it for me.
METALLIAN: Let us address your bass playing. It really shines on the songs Long Way To Heaven and Rescue Me.
LOGUE: I am from the Classic Rock school of bass playing. I tune my low E down to a D for the real bottom end rumble on the D notes on both those tunes - both songs are based around the chord of D. Long way To Heaven is based around the bass groove. I wanted a Mike Brignardello (Giant) style of bass for Rescue Me.
My playing is more about groove rather than showing off. I do what I believe is best for the song. I am one-hundred times the bassist now than when I joined as Graham and Stevie, in particular, have taught me so much and helped me. My playing on our new song Caught In A Lie illustrates that - I think. In case you haven't heard that song, we have posted it at http://www.cry-havoc.co.uk/pages/sounds.htm. There is also another new track there called Outside Looking In which is like, cough cough, Winger (laughs).
METALLIAN: Are these songs destined for the second album?
LOGUE: Yes, these were part of the second batch of songs we wrote when Now & Then sent us away, with tails between our legs, to write more songs. We wrote twelve new songs. So there is a whole second batch of Cry Havoc songs - roughly demoed - available for consideration for the second CD.
METALLIAN: Speaking of which...
LOGUE: Chavis Records haven't even heard them yet, although a CD is en route to them.
METALLIAN: Paul, what do you expect the future holds for your band?
LOGUE: I don't know what the future holds. It really depends on the CD and how it does. I don't think it is doing brilliantly. I know we have sold a few copies, but I'd like to see more reviews. We are on an independent label and they have done a great job so far anyway, as has Lori at No Boundrz Promotions - she has been a superstar.
METALLIAN: Thank you very much for the time and the opportunity to speak with you. Paul. I can't let you go though without asking, do Scots actually eat Scotch eggs?
LOGUE: Some do, usually guys that look like the Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, but personally I have never eaten one. Scotch Pie on the other hand I've had loads of...
We end our transatlantic chat discussing football with Paul ending up agreeing that not only Liverpool is a far better team than Celtic, but also the best team out there period. All that is left to mention is the the band's web site located at http://www.cry-havoc.co.uk and these words from Paul for those who are contemplating trying Haggis, 'Only eat one in Scotland - don't trust one outside.'