And suddenly they were back: the three musketeers of athletic rock. I could only stare at them with my mouth wide open during their show at the fifth edition of the Keep It True festival in Germany. I never thought, that after being a fan of the band RAVEN for about 235 years, I would be able to get in touch with Mark or John Gallagher to do an interview with them. But when I asked Python freak John Gallagher, if he would answer some (60+) questions that I would email him, he didn’t hesitate a sec and said yes of course. A dream come true for a devoted metalhead like me. Many facts about this band are already answered in the various interviews, that other magazines did with them over the years. I tried to walk some paths too, that they didn’t step on too many times before. But before I break loose, I especially would like to thank John from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer all my questions. My respect for him and RAVEN was already enormously, but it has grown even more since we met each other in Germany. Read on, what John had to tell me.
[WARNING: the next interview does not contain any spam (spam, spam, eggs, bacon and spam!)]

When did you and Mark start out as a band, and can you remember who was in this very first line up?
John Gallagher: “We started the band in 1974. We couldn’t play much, as all we had was one classical guitar, but the idea was there. Mark and Paul Bowden - our friend down the street - came up to me and said “We want to form a band and you can play bass!”, so I did. We went through many, many drummers.”

Was the band called RAVEN from the first moment on, or did you have different names in the beginning?
“When we started the band, we drew up a list of possible names, and RAVEN was the one we liked the best, or hated the least!!”

Who came up with the name RAVEN and why did you choose this name?
“My fault! I’d put it on the list and like I said, it was the one we liked the best…That would be back in 1975!”

Are there any other Gallagher brothers or sisters out there, that play an instrument?
“We have a younger sister, Elaine. She has a great voice, but she is busy with her kids!”

In the beginning, you played with two guitarists. Don’t you sometimes miss this second guitar player?
“No! The extra sonic space allows me to be extremely outrageous on bass!! More on this later....”

Is it true dat Sean Taylor of SATAN was once a member of RAVEN as well, and why did he actually leave the band?
“Sean was in the band for almost two years. Our guitar player Paul Bowden left and we had another guy Pete Shore in for a few months. Sean did not think it was working out and we went our separate ways. He’s a good guy and a good drummer. He moved to California and I was in touch with him a few years ago. I heard he went back to Newcastle..”

[Pic by: Bob Leafe/Metal Forces 1984]

You started out as a band, who’d only play rock covers during their live set. Can you name a few of these rock standards, that you played in those days?
“Actually, that’s not right! We always played some of our original songs from the first show onwards! Let’s see. At our first show I know, we did “Now I’m Here” by QUEEN, “Stealin’“ by URIAH HEEP, “Roll Over Lay Down” by STATUS QUO, and over the years we did a lot of JUDAS PRIEST, TED NUGENT, BLUE OYSTER CULT, etc. We always did LED ZEPPELIN’s ”Rock & Roll” and DEEP PURPLE’s “Highway Star” and some AC/DC.”

I also read somewhere, there were a lot of riots going on during your live shows. Confrontations with the local Hells Angels and equipment, that got smashed several times. Things went pretty wild back then. Maybe you can give us some more examples of what happened in those days?
“I dunno about riots, but we always tried to start them! One of our drummers was friends with the Hells Angels and we ended up in a field playing for about hundred of them. After being forced to play “Born To Be Wild” five times in a row, it started to rain. Mark faked an electric shock (he fooled us too!), so we could escape! We used to play local pubs and the working mens clubs. Just like SAXON did and JUDAS PRIEST before them. Tough crowds... You had to grab them by the balls and entertain them!”

You even opened for THE MOTORS and THE STRANGLERS. What was it like to play in front of a punk audience?
“We didn’t mind, the punks liked us for our energy. Actually, when we opened for THE MOTORS, they would not let us use their P.A. system, which is unheard of and so petty... We set up our own little P.A. and blew them off the stage!! When we played with THE STRANGLERS, Hugh Cornwell (guitar player) came up to us before they started and asked “Does any of you have perfect pitch?” I said “yes”. He said “Gimme an “a” and I sang “aaaaaaaa”. He tuned up his guitar, plugged in and started the set!! Amazing!”

When did RAVEN develop the well-known sound, for which we know them? And was the coming of Rob Hunter debet to creating this recognisable style maybe?
“Well, a lot of the sound was there before Rob (for example “Inquisitor” was written back in 1977!), but the RAVEN sound came about from the combination of him and us going to play as a three piece band. That changed everything. All of a sudden, it was more responsibility. We had to fill up the spaces, play tighter and use dynamics more, which is so much more challenging and fun!”

How did you actually get in touch with Rob?
“We got his number from the drum guy at the local music store. He came down to our rehearsal space (as shown on the “Rock Until You Drop” album cover) and we jammed – and just knew from the first few seconds!”

[Pic by: Geoff Thomas/Metal Forces 1984]

Rob’s nickname was “Wacko”. How loonies was he, maybe you can give some funny examples here?
“He could get pretty nuts, especially after a few drinks! But that side really came out later on in the USA, although I remember he went well off the rails on the GIRLSCHOOL tour in Bristol. I have a photo of him coming out of his hotel room the next day – horrific!”

Who can we see as the major influences of the band, and maybe you can tell us about the influences of you and Mark as individuals as well?
“All the bands we saw on Top of the Pops, mainly SLADE and STATUS QUO! But we took it all in… THE WHO were almost a subliminal influence from their TV appearances, but we were so naïve. We did not know they smashed their gear up, until we’d been doing it for a few years!! Personally, for me it was (and still is) people like Gary Thain of URIAH HEEP, John Wetton of URIAH HEEP and KING CRIMSON, Andy Fraser of THE FREE, Chris Squire of YES and Jimmy Lea of SLADE. Guys, that really played interesting parts. As for singers, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, David Byron, Paul Rodgers, Rob Halford - they were the guys!! For Mark, Ritchie Blackmore was a big early influence, as well as STATUS QUO for the rythmn tightness!”

You always had a very recognisable sound. And only a band like FIST came into the same direction as RAVEN with their sound. Which other NWOBHM bands did you like a lot in these early days?
“We only got to hear most of them from playing with them. Although I did see DEF LEPPARD on their first tour. We played with IRON MAIDEN in 1980 at the Marquee (London) and I liked a lot of their stuff. We played with JAGUAR - good guys - and of course FIST, WHITE SPIRIT and the TYGERS OF PAN TANG. The great thing was all of those bands were totally different from each other, but they all kicked ass!”

Are there still any NWOBHM bands, that you like nowadays? A lot of the old bands are reforming in this new millennium.
“Well, I like RAVEN...ha!! I did get a copy of the new FIST CD from Keith Satchfield and it has got some great stuff on it. Tony Dolan (ATOMKRAFT) threatens to send me some new material to check out soon. Actually, it’s good to see some of the bands reforming. It’s usually for the love of the music, as there is little or no money!”

Who invented the term ‘athletic rock’, which was often used to describe your wild music and shows?
“That was either David Wood from Neat or Steve Thompson, producer on the first album. It was a label to set us apart, I guess and it caught on. You could say the shoe fit, so we put it on and ran with it!”

Pretty soon, you supported well-known bands like OZZY OSBOURNE, IRON MAIDEN and WHITESNAKE. What was this experience like, and did you learn something from these major acts?
“I remember the first show we did with WHITESNAKE. The opening act was supposed to be GARY MOORE’s G-FORCE and he’d cancelled, so we got the gigs. The intro we got was “GARY MOORE can’t be here tonight, here’s RAVEN!” and all these die hard GARY MOORE fans were there! Still, we had played to punks and skinheads in Newcastle, so we won them over. Playing with OZZY was great! We did four shows and they were all great guys! Randy Rhoads was so unassuming! This small frail looking guy, but what a player!!! Still, I did get to see him screw up the riff on “Iron Man”!”

Your debut album is still one of the very best RAVEN releases for me, together with its successor “Wiped Out”. Why did you actually put this fantastic SWEET medley “Hell Raiser/Action” on the first album?
“I don’t know. We’d been jamming on “Hell Raiser” and since we also loved “Action”, we spliced them together. THE SWEET were such a great band! All the poppy singles had these heavy songs on the b-sides like “Burning” and “New York Connection”, “Sweet F.A.”, so we just played tribute to them and revved the songs up a bit!”

Who created the mess on the front cover of this album?
“We did! Meticulously trashed all our gear, Neat sends down a photographer, not a ROCK photographer but a friggin’ WEDDING photographer.... The look on his face, when he saw the mound of gear, was priceless!”

I will not ask you about every album, because it would make this interview much too long. But I always liked a song like “Tyrant Of The Airways” a lot, because it sounded different than the rest. And I felt like you were inspired by the old RUSH material in this song. What’s your personal favorite song from each of the first three albums you released, and am I right about the RUSH influences or is it just my imagination?
“That was a fun song to do. We wanted something a bit more epic and with some light and shade.... I’d just gotten my first 8-string bass and used it to do the arpeggios on the quiet part, so I could play bass and fingerstyle guitar at the same time, allowing Mark to solo on top. Great for live work! I see what you mean about the RUSH comparison. Looking back, there’s a bit of “2112” or “By-Tor” in there! (RUSH are another big influence on me!)”

You covered the STEPPENWOLF classic “Born to Be Wild” together with ACCEPT (now UDO) vocalist Udo Dirkschneider. Who came up with the idea, and what do you think of the final result?
“We wanted to do the song, as we had played it for ever back in the clubs! Since we had UDO there, we twisted his arm to do it! We wanted to do a loud obnoxious version, and have the two of us scream our heads off!”

Have you thought about doing more duets with other musicians or singers? And if you could do one right now with anyone of your choice, whom would you pick to record a cover then? And which cover would you choose?
“Actually, we would have had Wolf Hoffman play on the last album, but he was tied up and was there only at the mix. That would have been cool! We’ve got to play with a number of people and it’s always fun! As far as actually doing a duet? I dunno.... Let me and Rob Halford attack a song! That would be so friggin’ cool!”

One of the most memorable tours must have been the “Kill ‘Em All For One” with METALLICA. What was that experience like and what do you think about METALLICA’s music nowadays?
“Yeah.. Seventeen people in a six berth bus for six weeks! You cannot begin to imagine the stench in that bus..ungodly.. Once we attacked the tour manager and insisted on hotels, things got better.... The gigs were great! It was a new country and we were seeing it with eyes wide open. That tour probably inspired so many guys to start bands of their own. METALLICA were green and opening for us. We taught them a lot. Many times we’d play for tough audiences, like in Oklahoma. The crowd would throw shit at them and curse them out. They would just shut down. We’d come on at seven and they’d start the same thing. We would attack them! It was basically like the chicken wire scene in the blues brothers movie! Lars would ask the tour manager ”How can they do that??”, so I think they learned a bit about being professional and just working hard…as opposed to drinking hard, which they were already professional! Cliff Burton was such a great guy..such a loss.. He was a real comedian. I have photos of him wearing a t-shirt on his head like a turban, playing Kirk’s guitar and singing nonsense songs! As for their music now… I thought they had some good songs on the last album and good attitude, but their sound …ugh…and no solos??? C’mon!!!”

When we take a little jump ahead, we see you sign a contract with Atlantic. Things changed a lot from there. You moved to America and created a much different style of music. Was this your own decision or a decision of the record company?
“Well, there’s not much difference from “All For One” to “Stay Hard”. The bigger change was on “The Pack Is Back”, due to recording with a click track, ten zillion recording tracks, pressure from the management/record company to be commercial. In our own way, we’ve always been commercial. It’s a big part of our sound, but it’s tempered with the aggression and energy. When it’s unbalanced, you get “The Pack Is Back”!”

Weren’t you afraid to loose a lot of fans, that had followed you since the first album, because of the change of music style?
“No, because we were doing music for us. It does sound selfish and it is, but for better or worse you have to follow the path and we got pushed a little too far up the wrong path. These days you have instant fan feedback on the internet, etc. Back then, it was only at the shows and we always killed live.”

Can we see the release of the five tracker “Mad” as a sort of compensation for the old RAVEN fans over here in Europe, because the material on this EP is so much louder than the songs on “Stay Hard”?
“It was ourselves saying “screw you” to the record label and returning to where we should have been!”

After the release of the ‘return to the roots’ release of “Life’s A Bitch” album, Rob Hunter left the band. Whose decision was this, and what was the reason for him to leave and start a career as being a producer?
“We did the of our best..and toured with WASP and SLAYER. We then did a showcase gig just for the record company, who came early and left before we played. This was pretty depressing for us and more so for Rob. He decided to leave the band (He never told us. We found out from the drum roadie!), as he’d just got married and wanted to stay home.”

Do you know what he is has been doing in the past few years, and are you still in touch with him?
“He does the production and live sound for BRANFORD MARSALIS, the jazz sax player. I have not talked to him in many years, but last time we did, it was for a few hours and we are on good terms. After all we went through, it would be stupid not to!”

How do you look back at the days with Rob? And how do you look back at the days when you played in space outfits and all that stuff?
“Well, you had to be there! You see, we were quite insane and wanted to be different and really screw with people’s heads. I still believe, you should put on a show. At that point, we had this huge stage set up, pyro, etc. It was nuts! Pretty much, our management were trying to turn us into KISS, I guess!”

Speaking about these space outfits. I remember reading about you or Mark shooting pyro rockets from your guitar during the “Screaming For Vengeance” tour with JUDAS PRIEST. In San Diego, you even set fire to the roof of the hall where you were playing. Please tell us about it. Could you continue to play after this accident happened? I bet that PRIEST wasn’t too pleased or what?
“Actually, that was on our own tour. The staging we used was a reconfigured version of the PRIEST “Screaming..” stage set, which we’d bought from them! The rocket guitar was supposed to be only flash powder, but the loony pyro guy put concussion powder in it. Basically, it blew the head off the guitar and set fire to the stage roof!”

Is it true, that “Finger On The Trigger” was used as a bonus track on the cassette release of “Life’s A Bitch”? And did this particular song ever appear on any compilation album, or what?
“Yes!! And no, it’s on the reissue of the “Life’s A Bitch” CD, but that’s it. Good song, that one.”

How did you get in touch with Joe Hasselvander (PHANTOM LORD, PENTAGRAM, DEVIL CHILDE), and did any more drummers audition to become the new drummer of the band?
“Joe was playing with Kim Simmonds of SAVOY BROWN and he was a good friend of ours. We’d actually tried only one guy (Reed St. Mark of CELTIC FROST. We weren’t a good fit) and we had the idea to try Joe!”

Is Joe the man, who brought the band back to earth again, because after he’d joined, we didn’t get to see the space outfits (etc) anymore?
“No, we’d dropped that stuff over the last two years or so, but it was a good kick in the pants having him in the band!”

In 1990, you (John) started working with BLUE CHEER member Duck McDonald, and ex-RODS bass player Gary Bordonaro in a band called SLIDER. What kind of music did you play with this band?
“Ah! One of my “hired gun” projects! Duck used to play with Joe. Actually, Gary was not on the stuff I worked on but he’s a good guy and a great bassist. On drums was Sid Falck, who was in OVERKILL. The guy, who put the project together for Bob Fortunato (slide guitar/harmonica) wanted metal guys to play the blues! It was odd, but a lot of fun!”

How long did this cooperation last, and why did the band quit actually?
“It was just a studio project. I believe Bob formed a band later on and played some shows.”

You also played in KILLERS with Paul Di Anno. We hear you play on the “South American Assault” album. Rumour goes, that the album was recorded in an empty hall in New York City, and was later used for the ‘so-called’ live album. True or false?? Did you ever tour with Paul Di Anno in that period?
“All true! The music was recorded live to 2-track. No overdubs and a big fake crowd was added later! I was ‘hired’ to play bass for Paul, as he was doing showcases to get a new record deal. Again, it was fun playing with Paul, Cliff Evans and Steve Hopgood! I never toured. There was talk of doing South America, but for me it was a one-off and I got paid nicely!”

After the “Heads Up” EP, the band put itself on the back burner for a couple of years… Joe played some shows with CATHEDRAL, and it almost sounds like RAVEN wanted to quit. Have you ever thought about that?
“No! Actually it was a little tough. The idea was to tour after “Heads Up” and then go into the studio in Germany. When we arrived in Germany, the label said they had money issues and did not want to do an album at that time, so we went back home, did some demos and then....”

Even when in 1993 your house burned down and your guitars were stolen, which is a giant catastrophy of course, this still was no reason for you to quit playing music? What kept you going?
“Well, what are you going to do? Giving up is not an option. I got some new guitars, we worked on some songs and did the “Glow” album.”

After being famous in Europe, you became huge in America. In 1995 though, it seemed that you were discovered by the Japanese metal fans. Your album “Glow” was recorded and released on a Japanese label, and you recorded your “Destroy All Monsters – Live In Japan” there. Didn’t any of the European or American labels have any interest in releasing RAVEN’s new album “Glow”?
“Actually, “Glow” did come out in Europe. We did a great show at the Foundations Forum convention in 1994 and killed! We had a great stage intro from Dee Snider. Anyway, “Glow” was fun! We changed a few things, experimented a bit and it’s a fave album of mine.”

You were scheduled for Wacken Open Air in 2002, but a terrible accident destroyed these plans. What exactly happned to Mark, that you had to cancel this gig?
“Well, Mark had a terrible accident in 2001. A building fell on his legs, crushing them badly (he had to be helicoptered to the hospital) and as time went on, it was obvious Mark was in no condition to play and we did not know, if he’d even walk again. Crushed legs, broken bones, detched calf muscle, metal bar through leg, damaged knees, broken ankles... After many operations and physiotherapy, he had made big strides in his recovery. He actually went skiing recently! Pretty amazing! We started to play again (in between operations ) in late 2003. Mark was in a wheelchair!”

RAVEN at Keep It True - Picture by: Rita van Poorten/Metal Maidens

For more RAVEN pix, view the photo site of Metal Maidens

Three years later, you blew everybody away with a marvellous show at the Keep It True festival in Germany. What was that experience like being on stage again after so many years and after playing a great ‘warm up’ gig at the Bloodstock festival in England earlier?
“We did a few festivals in 2004 and got to play with our boyhood heroes BUDGIE! Early in 2005, we played the BWBK festival in Cleveland, then the Bloodstock in the UK, which was so great, but the audience at K.I.T was unbelieveable! We had such a great time playing that gig!!”

Is Mark completely recovered from his injuries now?
“As I said, I am amazed as how well he is doing. I doubt, I’ll ever see him jumping high in the air and landing on his knees, sliding across the stage, as he used to do, but he’s getting there. The funny thing about K.I.T is, that’s the ONLY gig I can remember Mark using one guitar through a whole show – amazing!! Usually, he breaks a string…or the guitar!”

As you already know, I almost wet my paints during your sound check. Nobody may have recognized it, but you used phrases like “My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels” from the Monty Python movie “And Now For Something Completely Different”. Obviously, you are a big fan of Monty Python. Are there any more British comedy series that you like. (F.e. Bottom, Little Britain, The Young Ones, Fawlty Towers (my personal fave!), In League Of Gentlemen). And who is your favorite Python character?
“Yeah, I’m a Python nut!! And the way we have to do these festivals, there’s no sound check and using the headset mike, I have to check it to be sure all is well with the monitors, so I have a little fun!!! I’m a big fan of Brian Equator & Oliver St. John Mollusc!!”

I also noticed, that after the gig you didn’t have any roadies to help you, but you do everything yourself (building up your gear and breaking it down, and even the carrying your equipment to the backstage area). This creates an enormous respect for you guys. How come that you are doing these things all by yourself?
“Well, to pay roadies to come over and do this, would cost way too much what with flights, hotels, etc. and to be honest, who cares? It's my stuff and I’ll take care of it!”

You played the red bass guitar, that looks a lot like the one that was already used on the first album. Is this the same one? And is it your favorite instrument maybe?
“Yes! That’s my baby... The homemade red explorer with the tremolo system!! It’s on the cover of the first album, but I did not get to use it, until we did ”Chainsaw” on the second album. It’s been kicked around stages all over the world for twenty-four years and still kicks ass!! There’s just something about it!”

On one of the sampler CD’s of the German metal magazine Heavy Oder Was, we can hear a demo track of a new RAVEN song called “Breaking You Down”. When will the album be out, and what can the fans of RAVEN expect from the album?
“It’ll be out, when we record it! The demo is actually me playing everything, even the drums – drum machine played finger style! There will be some great songs on it. Heavy as hell, but with strong hooks. Some are typical RAVEN rockers, a few slower ones and a couple of crazy fast complicated ones.”

Are there any plans for European shows in 2006? (or maybe even better, any shows in Holland maybe!?)
“We will see (any suggestions?!?). We will be concentrating on doing the album, but would jump at the chance of playing Holland. We love Holland, as you know!”

Are there any live shows in Holland, that you have fond memories about?
“All of them! The Dynamo of course.. I think, we were the first and last band to play there. The Aardshock festival was great. The crowd pushed so hard against the stage, they lifted it up! The club gigs we did in 1990 during the recording of the “Architect..” album were so much fun!”

Let’s have a short section about video releases as well, if I may. Have you got any plans to release the “Electroshock Therapy” video on DVD in the (near) future?
“I dunno. We don’t own it, so we’ll have to see. We have some extra footage we may use on our own DVD, but “Electroshock Therapy” is a great video – funny!”

For which song did you make an official video clip, or didn’t you do any video clips at all?
“We did a clip for “Lay Down The Law”, that never got used. There’s a good clip for “Crash Bang Wallop”. My good mate S.A. Adams edited for us from the Japan footage, but that’s about it.”

I LOVED the video footage on the DVD “For The Future”. But I can’t really believe that these four songs are the only two songs from this session, that were good enough to release on DVD. What happened to the rest of this material?
“Believe it! There were only four songs recorded, as it was for a BBC tv show.”

Are there any plans for a comprehensive overview of RAVEN’s career on DVD?
“Yes! We want to do a DVD like we did the “Raw Tracks” CD, as we have lots of footage. For example: Holland 1982; Chicago 1983; Toronto 1986; Philadelphia 1988; New york 1990; Japan 1995; as well as footage from a lot of the recent gigs: onstage & off and footage from the recording of “Nothing Exceeds”, “Everything Louder” and “One For All”.”

Why did the box set “Stark Raving Mad” never see the light of day?
“The record company, that wanted to do this, basically crapped out and would not return phone calls. I gave up on them and decided to do a better project, which turned out to be “Raw Tracks” - all the interesting stuff without the rip off!”

Are you or Mark involved in any other projects right now or is it RAVEN 24-7 again?
“Oh, it’s always been RAVEN, but now and again we do stuff. Mark and Joe guested on a JACK STARR album recently and Joe and I may do a track for Paul Chapman (UFO) in the near future.”

Do you have any other interests or hobbies besides RAVEN? And maybe you can answer this question for Mark and Joe as well?
“Well, it takes up a lot of time. A big hobby is repairing the broken guitars, we end up with. I do a bit of ‘do it yourself’ fixing up my house, as does Mark although he usually ends up building them. Joe plays constantly. He’s gonna be on the new BLUE CHEER album, which it great!”

To what kind of music do you listen to nowadays? If I am not mistaken, you still like the sound of eighties metal a lot. (I saw you and Mark enjoy the show of ANVIL in Germany a lot)
“Yeah, didn’t ANVIL kick ass? Best I’ve seen them!!! I listen to all sorts of music. This week it’s been RUSH, FIONA APPLE, JOHN MAYER, JACO PASTORIUS, PORCUPINE TREE, YES and STATUS QUO. I like to mix it up!”

Are there any Dutch metal bands, that you like in particular?
“I dunno. I always liked VANDENBERG back in the eighties. Of course in the seventies, there was FOCUS and GOLDEN EARRING. You’ll have to educate me!”

What’s the highlight of your career so far?
“This interview!!! Ha!!! I don’t know, just to get up and play a gig is a big highpoint for me at any time! We’ve been lucky to play with some of our heroes like PRIEST, MOTORHEAD, OZZYand still there’s plenty to do!”

And what’s the absolute lowest point that you’ve reached so far?
“This interview!!! Probably the lowest was just before Rob left. Him leaving just fired us up, I guess!”

What are your future plans with RAVEN?
“To record this freaking album and play some gigs!”

Is there something left that you still want to accomplish with RAVEN, or are you glad already that the band is still alive and kicking?
“Both! Still want to play some major Euro festivals, as well as some decent US gigs and then play England again!”

Don’t you miss England a lot sometimes, or do you pay a visit to your homecountry on a regular base?
“Yes, a little. We don’t get to go over as much as I would like. My Mom is coming over here to live and that leaves our sister, so we’ll drag her over soon!”

How important are the RAVEN fans for you guys?
“Very – they are the best!!! It was very emotional for us, the reaction we got at K.I.T. The fans really do get it. They understand our passion for the music and for having a damn good time playing it! I know the feeling I have received from listening and being a fan of a band, so if we can give that energy to someone else… That’s something very special.”

Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe there’s something I forgot to mention here, which is really essential for a good overview of RAVEN in the last thirty years (I know it’s almost impossible to do this in about sixty questions, but I wouldn’t really bother you with over a 100 questions, like I did once with my good friend Ian Toomey of BITCHES SIN:-))
“Yes, a variety of unrelated points.... Joe’s socks: horrifying! Mark’s vocals on the beginning of “Heart Attack” are inspired! In the middle of the Python rant on “Crash Bang Wallop”, I say “sucking the brains out of dead turnips”…dunno why.. Oh yes, when we record songs, sometimes on the spur of the moment we will rewrite it on the spot! This made Michael Wagener laugh so much, he keeps asking if we want to record a triple concept album during a lunch hour some time (we work very, very fast!).”

The last words are for RAVEN and John Gallagher....
“All the very best to the fans! Thanks for your support (we’ll wear it always!) and new music is on the way – finally!! KEEP ON ROCKIN”!!!”

Interview by: Toine van Poorten (February 2006)

Official website:

John Gallagher - vocals/bass
Mark Gallagher - lead guitar
Joe Hasselvander - drums



Rock Until You Drop (Neat 1981 - also issued as lim. edition pic disc)
Wiped Out (Neat 1982)
All For One (Neat 1983)
Live At The Inferno (Neat 1984 - double live album)
The Devil's Carrion (Raw Power 1985 - double compilation album)
Stay Hard (Atlantic 1986)
The Pack Is Back (Atlantic 1986)
Life's A Bitch (Atlantic 1987)
Nothing Exceeds Like Excess (MFN/Combat 1988)
Architect Of Fear (Steamhammer 1991)


Mad (Atlantic 1986)
Heads Up (Steamhammer 1992)

12" EPs

Crash Bang Wallop/Rock Hard/Run Them Down/Fire Power (Neat 1982)
Break The Chain/Born To Be Wild/Inquisitor (Neat 1983)
Pray For The Sun (Atlantic 1985)

7" Singles

Don't Need Your Money/Wiped Out (Neat 1980)
Hard Ride/Crazy World (Neat 1981)
Crash Bang Wallop/Rock Hard (Neat 1982)
Break The Chain/The Ballad Of Marshall Stack (Neat 1983)
Born To Be Wild/Inquisitor (Neat 1983 - as RAVEN and UDO, issued as lim. edition pic disc, both tracks non-LP)
Gimme Some Lovin' (Atlantic 1986)


Stay Hard (Atlantic 1985)
The Pack Is Back (Atlantic 1986)
All For One (Neat/Roadrunner 1986)
Life's A Bitch (Atlantic 1987)
Nothing Exceeds Like Excess (MFN/Combat 1988 - with one extra track)
Live At The Inferno (Teichiku 1990 - double live disc from Japan)
Unreleased Tracks (Teichiku 1990 - Japan only compilation)
Wiped Out (Pony Canyon 1990)
All For One (Pony Canyon 1990)
Architect Of Fear (Steamhammer 1991 - with two bonus tracks)
Heads Up (Victor 1992 - Japanese issue)
Rock Until You Drop (Castle Communications 1992)
Glow (Fresh Fruit 1995)
Destroy All Monsters (Fresh Fruit 1995 - live release)
Everything Louder (Fresh Fruit 1997)
Raw Tracks (Zero 1999 - compilation release)
All For One (Neat Metal 1999 - with three bonus tracks)
Wiped Out (Neat Metal 1999 - with three bonus tracks)
Rock Until You Drop (Neat Metal 1999 - with three bonus tracks)
One For All (Massacre 1999)
One For All (Pony Canyon 1999 - with one extra track)
All Systems Go - The Neat Anthology (Castle 2002)
Rock Until You Drop (Castle 2002)

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