W.A.L.K.E.R. - Rock is walking back into the mainstream

By Hayden Moore

ARE YOU ready for a rock n’ roll revival? There was a certain sound that became synonymous with the 1970s and 80s, and that was the hard-rock sound of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin.

That heavy sound full of high-pitched screeching, screaming guitars, and deafening drum solos seemed to taper off over the last three decades – or at least until now that is.

LIFE WALKER1

WALKER

WALKER is an upcoming Dublin band fronted by Firhouse native Glen Walker that aims to bring back the head banging days of rock anthems, somewhat like that Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World.

Glen is a 22-year-old traditional rock frontman ripped straight out of the times of guitar licks, catchy hooks and long-hair with leather jackets, and is surrounded by Kelan Hughes on lead guitar and vocals, Ali Cruz on drums, and Pete Jordan on bass guitar.

With the release of EP ‘Bringing Back Rock’ last Friday, Glen took some time out to tell The Echo all about WALKER, legendary rock mixer Michael Wagener mixing their EP and about getting his first guitar.

When did you form WALKER?

We formed WALKER in January 2017. How it came to be was that I met Kelan at a Kiss tribute concert and we got talking about how everyone always say that they want to be in a band but are never serious about it. That was it.

He introduced me to Ali and Pete, who he had known from a previous project and we played some acoustic gigs.

What is your history with music?

I started playing guitar when I was eight. My dad thought me how to play and my uncles, and brother and all were always playing music so I was always going to play. I never went to a music school, I was just thought by my family.

I was in a few bands but it was the same thing as Kelan, no one ever wanted to fully commit.

Do you remember the first time you picked up a guitar?

I remember sitting there and my dad walked into the room with a big cardboard triangle. I just remember thinking ‘woah there must be something special in there’, and it was, because it completely changed my life forever. It’s just like breathing or drinking water now at this stage.

What guitar was it?

It was a Valencia. I still have it and play it, it’s in my room.

What bands inspire WALKER the most?

I’m more Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Kiss. Where as Paul Gilbert, Mr Big and Skid Row would be Kelan, Ali would also be Mr Big. So, we have an even blend of influences and all of our interests come into our music.

Did other bands such as Greta Van Fleet, with their distinct Led Zeppelin style sound, inspire you to help pave the way for a resurgence in rock?

No to be honest, I was very late to the party with Greta Van Fleet, I only heard them for the first time a few weeks ago. But I’ll tell you who did inspire us today, Steel Panther. They’re like a mock of the 80s, Van Halen and Europe all together – they’re really, really good.

Debut EP is called ‘Bringing Rock Back’, what can people expect from the album?

They can expect an honest rock band delivering good quality music that don’t take themselves too seriously.

Where did you record the album?

We recorded it in Trackmix over in Liffey Valley. The place is absolutely freezing so it’s not too good for singing. We recorded it over a few months last year and I’ll never forget the place because there was this time when we had a bit of a scuffle because I couldn’t get a certain note right.

They were saying it was in key, I was saying it wasn’t. It’s here now though so it worked out.

What was it like to work with Michael Wagener?

It was all done through email. We reached out to him just before we released ‘Time to Party’ onto iTunes, we just went for it. He liked the song so he mixed it for us and went back and forth over email, asking could he tweak this or change this – so there’s about 10 versions of ‘Time to Party’ all mixed by Michael Wagener.

Must be surreal to see your names next to Ozzy Osbourne and Queen on his list of things he’s mixed throughout his career?

It’s so surreal. We then decided why stop with just our single, we’ll ask if he’ll mix our whole EP and he did. He loved it.

You're playing in The Grand Social on March 2?

I’ll give you a laugh actually. When we got our tickets on sale for The Grand Social on Ticketmaster, it was mad, like it was surreal so I went down to Ticketmaster.

I walked up to your man behind the counter and asked could I have two tickets for WALKER in The Grand Social and he asked what my second name was. I told him ‘Walker’ and he was like ‘wow what a coincidence’ – but I ended up telling him it was my band, I couldn’t hold it back.

‘Bringing Rock Back’ is available now on all streaming services with hard copies, jumpers and other memorabilia available on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WALKERbandofficial

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