JOHN GALLAGHER (RAVEN): “I Really Think It’s Up There If Not Better Than Anything We’ve Ever Done”

Raven band photo

UK Metal legends Raven are set to release their fifteenth studio album entitled All Hell’s Breaking Loose on June 30th. Raven’s bassist/vocalist John Gallagher took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about their upcoming album, 49 years of Raven, plans for 2023, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Raven’s fifteenth studio album entitled All Hell’s Breaking Loose is set to be released on June 30th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Gallagher: It’s nuts, crazy and 1000% RAVEN!! 10 songs of all killer, no filler!

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being your fifteenth album?

Gallagher: On this one it was cool because on Metal City Mike Heller (our drummer) had joined after the songs were written… this time he got to add a lot more input to the whole thing as regards riffs, ideas, arrangements, etc. so that really helped push things to a new level, I think. This time we wrote and rewrote the songs… tearing them to pieces and methodically making them the best we could as far as the arrangements, the riffs, the melodies, and it was all recorded at Mike’s studio in Los Angeles with him engineering & recording everything, so it was all in- house!

MER: How would you compare All Hell’s Breaking Loose to Raven’s previous albums?

Gallagher: It’s definitely Raven, but there’s a progression, even from the last album which did come together really well. We’ve upped the intensity, the chaos, the melodies and hooks. I really think it’s up there if not better than anything we’ve ever done… big words but I mean it!

MER: You’ve released two singles from the upcoming album, what kind of feedback have you received?

Gallagher: The feedback has been fantastic, which is great considering there’s a lot of new music coming out. I think people are definitely getting it.

MER: What do you see as plans for you and the rest of the band for 2023?

Gallagher: The album is out end of June, we have some festival shows in Europe and are stringing some dates around them, looking at a US tour for later in the year too!”

MER: Sometime around the end of 2022, you opened for Metallica in Florida honoring the founder of Megaforce Records for a special one-off show, how was that experience?

Gallagher: It was very special, a “full circle” event really. A great show to celebrate our and Metallica’s old managers Jon & Marsha Zazula. They changed our lives, Metallica’s lives, and many others… so it was wonderful to be asked by Metallica to participate & to gang with them through the day. We were treated like gold by their people, and we went down a storm!!!”

MER: Is there anyone that you hope to tour with that you haven’t yet and why?

Gallagher: Oh there’s so many! Megadeth would be a good one for starters!!! It would be fun to play with a band that’s a bit different to us as it’s always fun & a challenge to play to new listeners!

MER: Are there any new bands that have caught your attention? If so, who?

 Gallagher: Really like Crobot and Rival Sons to mention two. I’m usually too trapped in writing my own stuff!

MER: Did you ever vision Raven not only being around for this long, but to have fifteen albums out as well?

Gallagher: It’s not something you really think about, and here we are 49 years later! It’s sobering, it’s very humbling and motivates us to do what we do with even more energy and passion!

MER: What do you think has been the key to Raven’s longevity?

Gallagher: I think it’s a combination of being good at what we do and doing it a little different to a lot of the bands out there, we have the legacy but we are a vital creative and that’s never stopped putting out new music, and pride ourselves on being showmen & putting on a killer live show.

MER: Out of Raven’s fifteen studio albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Gallagher: Oh that’s tough! Probably I’d tell them to hold on until June 30th and get All Hell’s Breaking Loose!!! As that’s the essence of the band!!!

MER: What has been some of your favorite memories playing with Raven?

Gallagher: WAY too many! Getting to travel the world and play our music to our fans is a privilege and an honor… meeting our heroes, people like Lemmy, Ozzy, Slade, Judas Priest, just awesome.

MER: Can you think of any advice for a young band that is just starting out?

Gallagher: Play live, record it and critique yourselves, learn and improve! Same with songs, the more you write, the better you will get.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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