All About The Journey So Far...
Hey there, my name's Oliver Grizzell and I play guitar and share lead vocals. Once upon a time in 2007, when I was preparing for my GCSEs, I started writing songs for a brand new musical project called Answer Back. Little did I know that one day I'd be surrounded by super-talented individuals, taking our high-energy shows on tour across the UK and thrilling audiences all over the country. The band has developed a lot since then and this short article should hopefully fill you in on what makes my journey with Chris so special.
Hello, I'm Chris Lewin - primarily the drummer/percussionist and vocalist. It was back in late 2010 when I was introduced to Oli via a mutual friend and since then we've toured all over the UK with notable visits including the East of England, the Midlands, London, the South West and the South East. We polish and choreograph our shows professionally and have performed on stages and events featuring artists such as Charlie Simpson, Ed Sheeran, Example, Suzi Quatro, UB40 and others! Our 'thing' is to be extremely positive-messaged and lively, capable of delivering catchy pop songs dressed up with a rocky edge in both acoustic and electric formats.
I actually first met our manager John Nash (who managed a Grammy-nominated artist I might add!) back in 2008 when I started college and four years later, after picking up on a simple Facebook post of mine, he became interested in working with us. Amongst other things, John has taught us how to develop the live show and our songwriting techniques. He's the king of everything that happens behind the scenes with Answer Back and by mid 2012 he'd really got us cooking!
Shortly before I came along, Oli had teamed up with bassist Jim Smith in early 2010 and together for a few years we performed as a trio. We recorded a 5-track EP with Dave Draper at Tower Studios, Pershore, and in 2011, my studies landed us the chance to perform at the four-figure capacity venue the Keele University Students' Union. In 2013, we filmed and released 'Never Alone', a final college project of Oli's, which reached over 30,000 hits on YouTube in very little time. It turned into a strong anti-bullying message that saw us perform for The Magna Carta School in London as part of their anti-bullying week and we even got ourselves in the papers!
It was February 21st 2014 when we launched our first EP called, 'Here's the Message', which featured five tracks. 'Being Without You' and 'Please Don't Go' were compositions Jim had started, 'Never Alone' and 'One More Time' were my contributions and Chris had many superb songs but lacking time we were keen to include his love song 'For Now'. The Limited Edition CD was pressed and they went on sale during the release gig at The Marr's Bar in Worcester.
Sadly, towards the end of 2014, we reluctantly accepted Jim's resignation and he left Answer Back. It was a difficult time for everybody and we had to take a step back whilst we restructured the project. Jim was (and still is!) an exceptional musician who is irreplaceable. We took the opportunity to look at and improve our songwriting and live performances, which ultimately paved the way for me and Oli to become the unique power-duo we are so commonly recognised as today.
It was the start of 2015 when John was introduced to highly acclaimed and decorated producer Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Joy Division, Kings of Leon, Manic Street Preachers, Ocean Colour Scene, Robert Plant), who was keen to welcome the new Answer Back to his studio. Gavin was impressed by the quality of new songs Chris and I had written and featuring our friend Chris 'CJ' Hopton on bass, we went on to record EP tracks 'About Her', 'Do You Know Why', 'Keep On Smiling' and 'Swim Little Fish'.
We met CJ at an open mic night at The Iron Road Rock Venue in Evesham. CJ brought subtle essences of 'heavy metal' to our music with his unique vocals and driving bass lines. He became the feature of the single 'Keep On Smiling' and it was a joy to record and tour with him. The video for the single was filmed entirely by drone on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire and is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother who sadly lost her battle with illness. The video is one awesome visual metaphor for overcoming troubles!
By March 2016 Chris and I had been touring all over the place as a loud and proud acoustic duo. A month later we were completing the 'About Her' EP with Gavin in the studio. The last two songs we worked on were 'She's Into Rock 'n' Roll' and 'You've Got Me', which are completely different in so many cool ways! It was the summer of that year the 'About Her' EP was launched and since then we've pretty much been touring on-and-off the whole time!
We like to produce a music video to accompany our releases and you can visit us on YouTube to see what we've been up to! 'Together, Forever' was launched on 26th June 2017, featuring talented actress Ellie Church, who also appeared in the 'She's Into Rock 'n' Roll' video - see if you can spot her in the crowd! In November 2017 we became officially 'crossover' by collaborating with New York-based Sobel Promotions and their roster of dance/electronica DJs from around the globe. Six Sobel Promotions Remixers re-mixed the club-orientated 'Stay Here', which became our first world wide release. You can listen to the awesomely addictive 'Stay Here' online!
Going forward, we simply love writing and performing music. The aim is to continue entertaining audiences around the UK and hopefully take the show abroad sometime soon! We're still working hard on our songwriting and we intend to keep knocking on that glass ceiling above us.
Our Facebook page is the 'hub' of our online operations - be sure to keep an eye on it for all the latest news. For more information or to make enquiries, please visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. See you at the show!