This is a feature I've done at the request of the management of US Heavy rock band Megattack and singer Midnite Angel to promote their forthcoming collaboration. Hope you enjoy it!!!!
MEGATTACK/ANGEL FEATURE by Jeff Collins February 1st 2007
'I think this is gonna be a project where, when people come see it, they're gonna leave completely exhausted by the end of the show. Exhausted and totally satisfied. Like a good lay!!!'
Megattack's lead singer Rick Jackson laughs with delight at his view on his band's new project with upcoming metal goddess Angel. The band have been recording with the singer at a studio in Salt Lake City and the sessions have been a resounding success for those involved. Just as the metal world shook from the combination of Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford and the meeting of Motorhead and Girlschool on record, so the mixture of Rick Jackson's booming, soulful voice and Angel's deep, haunting vocals are set to make rock fans worldwide sit up and listen!
The sessions with Angel cap a phoenix-like return from the ashes for Megattack. Two decades ago, they burst onto the scene with their debut album Raw Delivery, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies before the band's record company went bust and Megattack eventually broke up.
But the band are back, and following on from their 2005 CD Save The Nation, they've joined forces with Angel. Guitarist Jay Gough explains how they first got together. 'I ran across Angels' site on the Myspace website and sent her a comment saying that I thought her stuff was fantastic. She liked our sound as well and had some crazy assed ideas and asked if I'd be interested in hearing them. So we got in touch and took it from there.'
In fact Jay made no bones about his views on Angels voice and his original Myspace messages read:
'I don't fucking believe it! You've just kicked Lita Ford's ass!!! Holy Shit, you've got some pipes! As far as sharing the stage...oh hell yes! You rock girl. Big time!!! I doubt there's a stage big enough to handle your rockin' ass! Horns up and all hail to metal's one and only Angel!!'
I think it's safe to say that Jay really liked her voice!!!!! Angel was as enthusiastic as Jay about the project: 'I've got my sound and Megattack have their wonderful sound and we both thought putting that together would be magic.'
Angel is making big waves with her much anticipated debut CD recorded with the Midnite Angel band, featuring Trent Morley on bass and Kevin Schafer on guitars. But taking a break from her regular group, Angel made her way down from her base in Vancouver in Canada to the studios in Salt Lake City where Megattack planned to record a single with her. After one of those sessions, the band are sitting together in the studio as Angel recalls the nightmare journey she endured on the way to hook up with the guys.
'It was a hell of a story trying to land the plane that night! The fog was too thick and we were over Salt Lake City for about an hour when the pilot announced that we were running out of gas!! So we flew to a tiny little town in Idaho, fuelled back up and three hours later we finally landed safe in Salt Lake. Thankfully Megattack were there waiting. They're very professional and made me feel very comfortable and right at home when I got here. So we got right into the studio. They were well rehearsed and ready to go. All I had to do was get the microphone and do what I do. We ran through the song a couple of times but then jet-lag set in. The next night, though, Rick and I got together and ran through it again and we worked so well together. The song takes you back to a Lita Ford and Ozzy duet, but better!'
So with the band in the studio laying down the song Are You Alone Tonight, how well did they get along having finally met in the flesh?
'Great!' says Rick excitedly. Then pauses and smiles as he adds 'Well, no-one's bleeding yet! That's always good. No, we're doing really well, starting to gel and get a really sharp sound.'
'The chemistry is definitely there,' chips in Angel. 'Combining our sounds makes us unstoppable.'
'It gave me a fuckin' hard-on!' interjects guitarist Jay, and the room once again dissolves into laughter. If these musicians have as much chemistry in the studio as they do socially then things are looking very good.
Jay regains his composure to add 'With Rick and Angel, the combination is something that can't be described. The sound between the two of them is intense. It causes goosebumps. You only get chemistry like that every so often. It's rare, but they've found it.'
'Plus we're both great entertainers!' says Rick with clear pride. 'We're taking baby steps for the moment. We're gonna record the song Are You Alone Tonight, get it all tight and in the can, and go from there. If people like the single, then we'll cut more stuff. I'd like to incorporate Angel and Megattack permanently.'
So the first single will play a big part in determining if the two have a long-term future, but the signs are very promising. And the band are optimistic that this is the start of something big. Jay tells me 'The early responses we're getting are extremely encouraging. If people do like it, then they're gonna get more of it. Loud and in their face!'
For Megattack this renewed state of activity of a massive bonus. A second chance that most of the band surely felt they wouldn't get. The group never really had the opportunity to capitalise on the success of that first album, which was released in 1986. But good rock never dies and the band found that copies of their Raw Delivery album were being bootlegged and selling well in Europe. Plus some songs from that album were also featured on a compilation called Hard 'n' Heavy Rarities Vol.2 by Racer Records. Two decades on and interest in Megattack was stirring as Jay Gough explained to me.
'My wife came across it on the internet about two years ago. She pulled up our name up to see if anyone remembered us and found that our album was still selling really well out there. Songs from the first album had also been put on a compilation called Hard 'n' heavy with bands like Vixen among others, which was also really selling. At that point, I decided to get back in touch with the guys and try to get put the band back together, because people still remembered who Megattack was. We reformed and recorded the Save The Nation album, which was released in 2005, and we are getting a lot of really good reviews overseas on that new record. People still comment on the old album as well though. A lot of people are glad to see the follow-up record, but they're a little pissed off, because it took us 19 years to do it. I don't want to see another 19 years before another one comes out, so we've written material for a third album. This new stuff even blows the latest album out of the water!'
Rick agrees that second time around Megattack are better prepared for their assault on the rock world. 'It feels really good. If you've heard the first album Raw Delivery, you'll know that was good. But the second album is a lot better. Everyone's had time to mature and grow up a little bit. Its in the music.'
In these barren days of Pop Idol and manufactured boy bands, rock music and 80's old-school rock, in particular, is enjoying a revival. It's something Megattack and Angel can play a huge part of.
Angel agrees 'This is a proper rock group. It's good, uplifting music for the people.'
Pondering an 80's revival, Jay Gough simply says 'Thank god for that!'