THE Angels want to settle their stoush with singer Doc Neeson in time for their 40th anniversary celebrations two years from now.
Co-founter John Brewster has also told Hot Metal that Neeson wants it made clear he has no issue with his replacement in the band, Dave Gleeson.
“Two thousand and 14, it’s our 40th anniversary and I’d like to think we’d have a reconciliation with Doc,” guitarist Brewster says in the wake of recent shows to launch new album Take It To The Streets
“I don’t mean as far as him being in the band again. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen but we’ll do something to celebrate the fact we’ve been around that long.”
Screaming Jets man Gleeson replaced Neeson in May, 2011. The remaining members of the band said the vocalist left, while Neeson claimed he just didn’t want to do some of the smaller shows they were booking.
“Rick (Bewster) and I have spoken to Doc quite recently and Doc was very quick to point out he has no issue with Dave at all,” Brewster said. “He’s got some issues with us. He thinks that we’ve done the wrong thing. We think he’s done the wrong thing too. He left the band to pursue a solo career. We wish him all the best.
“We’re not manacled together …. what we don’t understand is someone leaving a band and then saying the band can’t continue. It’s not his band.”
Brewster rejects Neeson’s denials about quitting. “My view on that is that it’s trying to retrospectively change history,” he said. “That was never a reason that was given and in my opinion it’s a crazy reason.
“We’re doing the best rooms in the country, the same rooms that all the big artists like Jimmy Barnes, etc (use). Doc announced to us that he was not going to sing in the band for at least three years and we said ‘what about us guys’ and he said ‘well, not my concern’ and we said ‘well, we are going to continue’.
“He also said he would never record with the band again. Writing songs and recording is what we’re all about. You take that out of the equation, it’s … deflating.
“He might say he didn’t leave the band but he did leave the band. That’s our position and that’s why we’re out there as The Angels – because we can be.
“There was some talk we should only do these major (live) things. I’ve done some research. We’ve done something like 15 or 16 major outdoor gigs.”
There are suggestions Neeson will form another band and tour under ‘The Angels’ moniker himself, meaning there will be two bands on the circuit with the same name. This happened recently with the likes of LA Guns and Great White and is about occur with Queensryche.
Brewster was defiant about the ability of his line-up – rounded out by Chris Bailey and Nick Norton – to match any opposition.
“We called this album Take It To The Streets,” he said. “That’s what this band has always been about. We take what we do to the streets. It’s always been about playing live to people and they can make their own mind up.
“It’s blown me away that in all the gigs we’ve done … no-one’s coming up and talking about Doc. That’s not disrespectful to Doc at all. They’ve said ‘that’s the band, we love it.”
Gleeson commented: “I’ve revered Doc since I was a boy of 13, 14 years old. My brother used to blast The Angels in our bedroom. All our early touring, we did with The Angels. I knew there’d be concerns from the fans. I was under no illusions that it would be an easy transition.
“I definitely felt reticent at the start.”
HOT METAL will post a full Angels feature shortly