Name: Echo Raptors
Formed: September 2009 (As ‘The Kicks’)
Genre: Resurgent 90’s Britpop/60’s Psychedelia
Band: Phil Rainey (Vox & Gtr) ⁞ Vince Cadell (Lead Gtr) ⁞ Owen Duffy (Bass) ⁞ Emmett Stewart (Drums)
Similar to: Oasis | The Verve | The Manic Street Preachers
What They Say: 4 piece Rock ‘n’ Roll band from Belfast, formed by lovers of the 60’s & 90’s greats
What We Say: The forefront of Belfast’s 90’s revival; tight with a beautifully distinctive vocal.
◀ Q & A ▶
► Tell us a little about Echo Raptors – how did you first form and what brought you together?
We formed in late 2009 when me and Emmett our drummer were on the lookout for a new band. We had posted ads on fastfude looking for a lead guitarist and bass player. We got a reply back for the bass player position from Barry Caddell and went to meet him at Belfast City hall. We were shittin ourselves as we didnt know what this guy looked like or if he could even play a note. As soon as we meet him we knew that he was a perfect fit for the band he looked and sounded the part. After a few pints he was in but we still had the tough job of finding a lead guitarist. We went to audition a few people and it was an absolute disaster some of the guys couldnt even hold a guitar never mind play it. After a few auditions Barry eventually turned round and said my brother plays guitar! We had been auditioning these misfits and he knew his brother played the whole time! So we went up to Barry’s house and started practicing in the garage. We were going over a song called ‘Back on top’ when Vince came in and started adding these great riffs to it. We knew right away he was perfect for the lead guitar role and there in that garage the band was formed. After a few years in the band Barry left and we recruited Owen Duffy on Bass guitar. Duffy fitted in perfectly, he was brilliant and added a new dimension to the sound and looked cool as well. We started playing better as a band and stepped up our game big time.
► For anyone who hasn’t heard you, how would you personally describe your sound?
Melodic Rock’n’roll anthems with lots and lots of energy. We wear our influences on our sleeve and are proud of that.
► Despite only being being together under your current name since 2011, you’ve already played some high profile gigs. What’s been your standout show to date and why?
We would have to say it was this years Feile festival in the falls park with the Happy Mondays and the Charlatans that one will be hard to beat! It was just great to get a small taste of the big time. It felt perfect being on the big stage our songs we’re made for that type of venue!
► So far You’ve released two EP’s, ‘The Plastic People’ and ‘She’s So Free’ – How do these two EP’s compare and how has your sound developed since then?
From our first ever live set which was loosely geared towards a garage rock vibe (with songs like ‘Wasteland’) there’s been a massive leap forward in sound. I wouldn’t say there has been a dramatic change since The Plastic People EP though. There is definetly a more radio friendly feel with the latest EP, She’s So Free. We tried to go for a real catchy number on the latest EP and i think we achieved this hands down with the single ‘Change My Way’.
► Listening to your EP’s, you can’t help but notice the clear iconic influences of the 90’s Brit-Pop era and even the psychedelic rock of the 60’s. Who would you class as your main influences as songwriters/performers?
Our main influences would be great guitar bands such as The la’s, Oasis, The Beatles, The Verve, The Stone Roses.
► The band has already gained critical acclaim. You’ve been described as having ‘the ability to make you start believing in rock and roll again’. What do these comments mean to you?
It’s great to see that there’s people out there who believe in our band as much as we do. We really do believe that given the chance we can get people onto rock n roll again and to inspire people to lift up a guitar and write a few tunes because of us.
► If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour, who would the other 3 bands be?
That’s a good question a lot of our favourite bands aren’t together anymore so that cud be tricky! We’d have to say… The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys and The Rolling Stones.
1. Arctic Monkeys
2. The Stone Roses
3. The Rolling Stones
► Can you talk about a Highlight and a Lowlight of the journey so far?
Highlight⁞ Definitely has to be the Feile festival with Happy Mondays and The Charlatans.
Lowpoint⁞ The low-point of our short career has to be when were gigging in Liverpool. At one gig, there were two people there the funniest part was the only reason the guy was there was because we were using his amp…and the other person was his girlfriend! The promoter did a runner too!
► Do you have a favorite song in you’re ever growing repertoire? One that perhaps means alot or is great to play live?
That’s a hard one as it always changes, at the minute our personal favourite would have to Time Bomb as it’s a beast live and keeps getting better.
► Finally, what does ‘success’ mean to you?
Success to us means being busy, playing to sell out crowds every other night of the week, people singing every word of your songs back to you on stage and selling records. If we can give people something positive, and make a modest living out of it we’ll be pleased – I’ll happily take all the perks that come with it though, the big house and swimming pool full of money!