ANDY CURRAN Discusses Whiskey & The Devil Reissue – “Did Some Pretty Silly Stuff After Drinking Far Too Much Whiskey”
April 24, 2023, 11 months ago
Best known as the bassist for Canadian melodic rockers Coney Hatch, Andy Curran has remained busy over the years – whether it be working behind the scenes as an A&R manager, issuing solo albums, or collaborating with Rush’s Alex Lifeson in the recently-launched Envy Of None project. Curran’s 1990 solo effort, Whiskey & The Devil was recently given the box set treatment via the Sing Market co. (which specializes in limited edition reissues), which includes all sorts of goodies that the man himself was willing to discuss with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato – plus his other projects and his long-time friendship with Steve Harris.
BraveWords: How did you hook up with Sing Market?
Andy Curran: “I got introduced to the guys through my mutual friend, Harry Hess – Harry is the lead vocalist of the band called Harem Scarem, another Canadian band. And Harry was going to be working with these guys, and he mentioned to them that he and I were friends, and Sing was looking to launch a few new projects. So, Harry and I happily fell on the sword and said, ‘Hey why don’t you work with us?’ And I had been planning on doing a 30th anniversary release of my record and Harry had been doing the same for Harem Scarem. So, the timing was just one of these things that just dropped in our lap.”
BraveWords: How did the idea come up to reissue the Whiskey & The Devil album?
Andy Curran: “I traditionally get quite a few calls from buddies of mine going, ‘Hey Andy, we could press some vinyl,’ and how we could distribute our records. And I spent my career working with Alert Records and Rush's management company - I've got lots of friends in different places. So, when I started working with Sing, we thought, ‘OK this is going to be what I was doing on the vinyl side and distribution would work really well with what Sing was doing on the digital delivery.’ And we thought that the two would complement each other. So, they had already done something with Raine Maida, who has a band called Our Lady Peace - another big Canadian band - and it just seemed like the right fit. So, you mentioned the Whiskey & the Devil record, it was it was the 30th anniversary…well a little bit longer than the 30th anniversary - during that pandemic, I had called my record label.
“I still keep in touch with them - Alert Records in Canada - and asked them if they had any plans of releasing the record, and they said, ‘No. We're not really a super-active label. But Andy, you go ahead and do it.’ Be careful what you wish for - I had to find out a way to release the thing! They gave me full access to all of the multitrack tapes and demos and old photos and everything, and I started just filing through it, and I forgot that there was two tracks that that we had recorded for the record that we didn’t put on it. And I found all kinds of track sheets and handwritten lyrics and everything. So, it became pretty apparent to me right out of the gate that there was a lot of stuff there that I could put together and kind of make some kind of a deluxe offering. I think for me what I was probably most excited about was the record was never released outside of Canada - it was never released in the US or Europe or anything like that. So, it seemed like a good opportunity to get it out there and share with fans outside of Canada.”
BraveWords: What are some of your favorite tracks on the album?
Andy Curran: “I think the ‘Whiskey & The Devil’ song in particular is a favorite of mine - it's pretty moody and heavy, and has it has kind of an interesting story behind abusing the rider that would go along with our shows with too much whiskey. So, did some pretty silly stuff after drinking far too much whiskey. Just to give you a little bit of background - that record did quite well in Canada. We had three top 10 songs at rock radio at that time – ‘No Tattoos,’ ‘License to Love,’ and ‘Let Go’ were all top ten in Canada. And we do two videos - one for one ‘License to Love’ and ‘No Tattoos.’ ‘No Tattoos’ is a second favorite of mine - it's a bit of a four on the floor bass, drum, guitars. A bit of a cock rock vibe to it. The story behind that one really was inspired by my mom - who was a very proper British woman - and very much against tattoos, and would tell me all these stories about how tattoos were the devil’s ink. Anyway, I didn't listen - I’ve got a couple of tattoos!”
BraveWords: What is the status of Envy Of None?
Andy Curran: “We've got an EP planned that will be released in I believe July of this year. And the EP has some really cool alternate mixes, but we have a brand new song called ‘That Was Then, This Is Now,’ that we recorded recently. But we're in full writing mode for Envy of None record #2 – myself, Alex, Alfio, and Maiah have been sharing some ideas. I went down in California and saw Maya this week, and we probably got about five or six new ones. So, the plan is to release a second record TBD. But the EP is coming out imminently.”
BraveWords: Coney Hatch?
Andy Curran: “Well the Coneys, it seems like we're rock'n'roll cockroaches - every time we think that our life is over, we crawl out from underneath the floorboard! We got invited to play Sweden Rock this year - which is a big, big festival in Sweden. And ironically, the afternoon that we're playing, Iron Maiden are going to be headlining. So that's kind of like old school for us, because we had toured with Iron Maiden many years ago. But Coney Hatch has probably got about a half dozen shows coming up. We're going to do a date in Buffalo, New York with Kim Mitchell of Max Webster. We got a show that we're doing in Ontario - the Burlington Waterfront Festival. Which is a big one and we're playing alongside Lee Aaron, our old friend. And then we got a show coming up in Hamburg. So, it's interesting that people are still interested in Coney Hatch. There seems to be a little bit of a resurgence there.”
BraveWords: You just mentioned Maiden. Are you still friends?
Andy Curran: “Yes. Steve [Harris] is one of my oldest and dearest pals and we we're still very good friends. As a matter of fact, the last time Iron Maiden came to Toronto he called me up and asked me if I might be able to call Geddy and Alex from Rush and see if we could get a tennis game going. So, we had a good doubles match that I think lasted about 3 1/2 hours! So, anytime we get an excuse to play tennis together we do that. But we had done some shows with his solo band, British Lions, a couple years ago, so yeah we actively keep in touch and he's always been a very strong supporter of my solo record. As a matter of fact, one of the songs on the record called ‘Nickels and Dimes,’ and that that is part of the British Lion set list - they changed the name of it to ‘Guineas and Crowns.’”