‘Shake The World’: Robin McAuley Discusses Monster New Project, Black Swan

Photo by: Enzo Mazzeo

Tracked at bassist/producer Jeff Pilson’s home studio in Los Angeles, “Shake The World” is the debut album by Black Swan. A sonic slice of melodic hard rock/metal that showcases some of the most iconic names in the business.

In addition to Pilson (Foreigner, The End Machine, ex-Dokken), the band also features vocalist Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group), guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake) and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big).

From the anthemic growl of the epic title track and “Immortal Souls” to more more meaningful and personal songs like “Johnny Came Marching,” Shake The World is an impressive debut of world class musicians, and a band that yearns to be heard live.

I recently spoke with vocalist Robin McAuley about the new Black Swan album and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did this project come about?

Robin McAuley: Jeff was the one who originally had the idea. He called me up and asked if I’d be interested and then introduced me to Reb. Originally, Jeff didn’t want to play bass and only wanted to produce but Reb and I talked him into it. We all knew that we wanted to steer away from doing another “classic rock” type of record. I had known Matt from having done some events with him and called him up. He came in and just tore it up. The whole album sounds organic and fresh.

What was the songwriting process like for Shake The World?

RM: Sometimes it would start with just a riff. Reb would come up with a riff and then Pilson would start playing low. They’d put a format together and the sent it to me. They often suggested styles they were looking for but everything I came up with was something they never expected.

A good example is when they sent me this great riff thatI instantly fell in love with. When I listened to it I could feel this guitar overtone that almost sounded like a wolf howling. I wound up writing the song, “Immortal Souls,” about vampires and how they are ultra-fast. When I came back to Pilson and told him that I loved the way he had the howling wolf over the intro and he says, “What howling wolf?” [laughs]. But that’s really what the process was like. They’d send me some stuff and I’d come back with a lyric and melody. Before you knew it we had amassed a bunch of songs that all tied in together.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Robin McAuley by Clicking Here.

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