Walkway – Interview

Tuesday 11th July 2017

Having recently been contacted by Chris Ready who is the lead singer for rock band Walkway regarding the release of their 3rd studio album WWIII, the band immediately piqued my interest as not only is rock one of my most favourite genres, but they’ve been touring for almost 10 years and opened up for some of the biggest names in rock (Status Quo, The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry and Slade to name a few), yet this was the first time I was hearing of the band.  However, after checking out their track ‘Mission Impossible’ which I was certain I’d had actually heard before, I decided that it was only best that I asked for an interview as it’s clear these guys have quite a story to tell.  This includes their album containing a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt which they recorded with Status Quo drummer John Coghlan, so make sure you check that out too.

Your 3rd album ‘WWIII’ is due for release on the 8th July. How are you feeling about the release, and what can be expected from it?

WWIII is a step up from anything we’ve done before and we can’t wait to release it to the world. I think the fans are going to absolutely love it and be pleasantly surprised with how much bigger this sounds than our previous albums.

How does this album compare to your previous material, and are there any notable differences or developments?

Top Shelf Content (our first album) was a classic rock album through and through and Streetwise (our second album) was a bit more commercial. WWIII contains a mix from the two, however all in all the record is heavier than our previous albums. We always aim to make each song/album better than the previous and I think that shows on WWIII – the songs and production as a whole are a real step up and I think that comes from how we have matured as artists.

What’s your writing process as a band? How do you all come together to create the final track, and how do you know when a song is ready?

We have worked with a range of very successful and experienced songwriters in the past, however the majority of our songs are written by myself (Chris) and James. With us both being brothers we have a great understanding of each other – James will usually lay down the music and I put lyrics to it. Once we have the main basis we will then take it to rehearsal and work through it with the guys to come up with the finished result.

You’ll be featuring a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt on your album, which you recorded with Status Quo drummer John Coghlan. How did that come about?

We toured with Status Quo over the last couple of years and Rick particularly became a fan of the band. We were going to be working with Rick this year on his solo project – myself (Chris) and James had written some tracks for his solo album, however the opportunity unfortunately never went ahead due to his passing on Christmas Eve. It was a real blow for us in both ways in that he was such a nice guy and fan of the band, and also that the project never went any further. We felt that we had to do a tribute of some sort on the album and we thought that what better way than to record a cover of one of Rick’s Quo songs, Rain. Our Manager then had the idea to contact original Status Quo drummer John Coghlan to see whether he would be interested in playing on the track and he was more than happy to do so. It added that little extra authentic tribute to the track.

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they encouraged you and helped to develop your sound?

We all have different individual influences, however as a whole the band take influence from artists like Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Nickelback, Van Halen. As the singer my two main vocal influences are Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Steve Perry (Journey) – two incredible voices.

Are there any tracks in particular that you’re looking forward to getting out there and also performing live on your upcoming tour?

It’s difficult to choose any particular tracks off the new album as we’re so proud of everything on the record – all of the tracks are going to be great fun to play.

This year you’ll be reaching your 10th year milestone together as a band, and you’ll have performed a staggering 1000 shows. How do you find the experience of being on the road and performing live, and what are your personal highlights?

It’s quite a milestone to reach 1000 shows. We’re constantly touring and play around 120 shows every year as we take on the old fashioned work ethic of constantly touring anywhere and everywhere. Our show highlights have got to be the Quo shows, particularly with Rick’s passing, those shows have become that bit more special, but we played some amazing venues to some huge crowds and it was a great experience to play with one of the iconic legendary British rock bands.

You’ve opened up for many big names over the years. Who have you enjoyed touring with the most and why?

Again the Quo shows, but we’ve also supported The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry and Slade to name only a few. To play with these artists who we look up to is something really special and something that we will never forget.

As soon as I heard your track ‘Mission Impossible’ straight away I knew I’d heard you played before on Planet Rock.  How are you finding the response to your music, and have you been picked up by many stations?

We haven’t actually been played on Planet Rock, YET! But it’s nice to think that Mission Impossible sounds like something you would hear on the radio. The tracks from the new album which we’ve been sending out to radio shows and all other press contacts absolutely love the new material and we’ve had nothing but praise which is great feedback.

[Editors note: I’m still convinced I’ve heard this track played out on the radio.  However, an email is currently flying its way over to Planet Rock HQ in the hope that Murray J plays it on his request show]

Are you managing your own website and social media accounts, and how important is it for you to connect with fans this way?

We do everything ourselves and are very switched on when it comes to social media as it is so important and essential these days. We have such an incredible fan base and we love to keep them updated with everything we do.

Connect with Walkway via their Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.