Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, December 09, 2013

A live album, a 2014 UK Tour and plans for a new album - Millions of reasons for M$R future success

MILLION Dollar Reload have been putting hard rock from Northern Ireland out there live for all to admire and get their rocks out with two fine albums. And now they have a live album - As Real As It Gets - to show just how electric they can be on stage.

Recorded live at The Diamond Rock Club the album (our review is here) it is a statically charged tour de force, crackling with energy and rawness that bleeds like the heart of sacrifice on the altar of rock 'n' fucking roll.

With just two albums - albeit fantastic albums - under their belt, what in the blue blazes inspired Million Dollar Reload to deliver a live album?

"Honestly, it's just something we really wanted to do," said Phil [vocalist]. "Our manager also thought it would be a good idea and suggested that a lot of our friends online are from other territories and wouldn't necessarily have had an opportunity to hear us live or get a vibe for what M$R are all about live. So, this was the best way to, in some way, address that.

"Added to that, nobody at our level would ever expect a band like us to put out a live album at this point in their career - so that was another good reason to do it!"

At this point in their career...Many a band would be proud to have the notches in their belt that M$R have, and as Phil explains there have been many highlights a long the way so far.

"It's hard to pick one highlight to be honest, there have been so many" he said. "Touring in America on a proper tour bus, playing the Download festival a couple of times, playing the main stage at Bloodstock, playing a sold out Ulster Hall supporting The Darkness.

"It is really hard to pick one highlight, but if I had to pick one then it was would have to be opening for Alice Cooper in Vicar Street in Dublin - that was M$R's first really big show."

However, this is a band that does not focus on how they would 're-do' any part of their career.

"We would probably do everything exactly the same all over again - the high points and the low points," said Phil. "The low points you learn from and gain experience. The high points are bonuses."

With such a positive attitude it is perhaps no wonder that in As Real As It Gets is such a superb album, and is perhaps a lesson on how bands should go ahead and record their live output; but Phil says it was straightforward to capture such a fantastic 'raw' sound.

"That was the really easy part - our sound engineer took care of that," he said. "Everything was 'mic-ed' up as normal with a few audience mics too: the over-bleed from the mics helped with the true live feel we had that night.

"The Diamond is such a wonderful small club and the place was rammed, so the atmosphere was electric. We played our normal set and everything went great."

That is certainly reflected in the energy that courses on every song of the album.

Live albums have a proud tradition in the hard rock iconography, from Purple's Made in Japan, through Lizzy's Live And Dangerous, Molly Hatchet's Double Trouble Live and Iron Maiden's Live Evil and many more; the 70s, 80s and 90s are eras peppered with great recordings, but of these eras which would feel was the best one to stretch their rock legs in then - the answer may surprise some.

"This one," said Phil. "Why? Because there are so many ways and opportunities to get your music out there these days in the internet age.

"In the 70s, 80 and 90s for a band like us it would have taken a big record deal to 'get it out there' and the chances of us getting a big record deal to get our music out there would have been very slim.

"These days a small label can do a lot for a band like us and some bands don't even need a label to have a level of success. Yes, it's still challenging to get anywhere, but we love what we do and that's what it's all about.

"We do out best to make the most of our opportunities we get and we will continue to do that regardless."

With As Real As It Gets released on December 17th (ideal Christmas present?) the band are already looking forward to a happy rockin' New Year, with plans aplenty in the offing.

"We are working at the minute with our agent to ensure we tour in the UK and Europe next year," said Phil. "We only toured Europe this year and we really should have toured in the UK: for some reason that didn't really work out, so that has to happen in '14.

"We are also working hard on our next studio album too, so that should be out sometime in 2014."

So, 2013 is ending an appropriate cacophony for Million Dollar Reload with As Real As It Gets, and the New Year looks bright and filled with promise - and we for one can't wait to be reloaded with that hard rockin' vibe.

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