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As we tentatively edge into 2014, Scream Arena are turning more ears than ever with their fiery brand of rock music. Here, in an exclusive interview with ‘Pulse’ scribe Steve Rudd, band member Andrew Paul reflects whilst looking ahead…

Hey Andy, how you doing?

Hi there. I am finer than the fur on a kitten’s chin.

What were the most memorable highlights and low-points for you in the year that was 2013?

There were a brace of high points, twin peaks as it were: firstly, signing a deal for the release of the Scream Arena album, a process which has been long and, at times, frustrating to say the least… and secondly, signing a publishing contract for the publication of my first novel.

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Was it a particularly busy year for Scream Arena?

It was busy behind-the-scenes above all, putting a new line-up in place, working on the deal, all the kind of things that tend to go unremarked but still need to be done. We have managed a few good shows, opening for artists like Deborah Bonham, and stepping in when X-UFO had to cancel a show in York. I suspect 2014 will be somewhat busier.

Who’s idea was it to call the band Scream Arena, and what – if any – message are you trying to convey with it? 

The band name was my idea, back in the early days, when we were casting about for a name. I think one evening, when some early demos were being tracked, I was sent off to an attic with an A4 pad and a pen, and told to come up with something. I chewed the pen for a while, and then went the Def Leppard route of putting two words together that made no real sense together, but sounded good. A couple of sheets of paper later, Scream Arena was the result. I am not one for messages per se. As David Lee Roth observed, “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.”

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Did you sing in any bands before Scream Arena formed? 

Of course, but nothing of note. I suppose it was all part of the process, learning the craft, getting a basic foundation of the fundamentals. There were highs and lows and some lunacy along the way, but that is part of the game and should be appreciated as such.

You cite rock legends such as Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury and David Lee Roth as being significant influences on you. What, in your mind, does it take to be a great frontman? 

If there was one definitive answer to that then were would be a whole stadium full of great frontmen. However, to toss my penny’s worth into the ring, I would suggest that it is a combination of things… the ability to bring an audience in close and make them feel part of the process while being able to communicate with Row 667 – and if you can do that in a near-empty bar under one fly-blown light bulb, then you can do it.

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What’s the most rock ‘n’ roll thing you’ve ever done? 

By which you mean adventures and high-jinks of the Motley Crue variety? There have been some adventures along the way, many of the best involving Paris, but perhaps those are best saved for a bar at 3 a.m. – and one more for the road while comparing scars.

Given that you’re based in the York area, which venues do you enjoy playing at, or attending other band’s gigs at, the most?

All have their merits, and they are run by pretty good people for the most part. Just want to note… Tim Hornsby has been pretty supportive of Scream Arena, and that is appreciated. We tend not be part of the York scene. Our approach does not really fit in with the fey Indie ethos that seems to dominate or, on the other side of the paddock, the progressive leaning artists, and we are certainly not welcome in the chin-stroking, sensitive singer-songwriter circles. However, Morpheus Rising and Cloud Atlas are both excellent bands and worthy of your attention.

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What have Scream Arena fans got to look forward to in 2014? Will there be any new releases or tours to get excited about? 

Well, thanks to our manager Dave Tedder at Headfirst Entertainment, we have signed to release our debut album via Mighty Music/ Target, one of the biggest companies in Scandinavia. We will be pawing the same hallowed turf as the likes of Mike Tramp, Dragonforce, and Artillery, so pretty good company. It is a worldwide release, both proper hard copy form and, of course, digital. The album is released on March 17th 2014, and shows are in the pipeline, though I am not going to tempt fate by saying which shows; politics comes into view and tends to repel boarders with the casual flick of an expensively appointed shoe.

Finally, what’s the best way for fans to keep abreast of all things Scream Arena-orientated? 

The best way at the moment is via our Facebook page, so pop along and say hello, pull up a chair and pour yourself a drink. We wish you well…

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(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Andrew Paul)

An extra special thanks goes to Danni Casey for the use of her image

Steve Rudd’s first book – ‘Pulse’ – can be downloaded for the Kindle here

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