The Edification of Lick And A Promise

You may have recently read my review of Come Together In The Morning by Lick And A Promise. Well, I have just had a chat with them regarding their formation, influences and instrument choice. They also talked a little about their recent US mini tour and their hopes for a similar tour in the UK.

Q: Can you give us a little more info on how Lick And A Promise came together in 2005?

A: Jochen and Manuel have been playing together in different bands like, forever and recorded their first real album in 2006. A year after they’ve founded Lick And A Promise. The record, which they had to produce on their own after some falling out with the original producer (but he’s a homefuck anyway), was alright, but things just didn’t really work out with the other band members. So the band kinda drifted apart without ever having played a single gig together.

With that in mind, Manuel and Jochen started writing some songs again, but wanted to make sure they could perform them live as a two-piece, not being dependent on anyone else. That’s the main reason why there are so many acoustic songs on the new record. Someday they decided to give it a try with Dag and Wolfman, whom they had known from a different band, and it was just perfect. Then it was only a matter of time before the new lineup started recording the new songs which, by the way, have been received exceptionally well at live gigs the band was able to play now.

Q: Can you tell us who has helped to influence and inspire your music?

A: Mostly ’60s/’70s bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Aerosmith, The Faces, Free and so on. You could probably say; genuine rock bands with soul. But also real artists like David Bowie and newer groups like The Black Crowes or Oasis, at least as far as attitude goes.

Q: How has Come Together In The Morning been going since its release? Has it had a good reception and where has it been appreciated the most?

A: Reception is great so far. People really seem to like the sound and the live feel its got to it. And that’s exactly what we went for when we decided to record the whole band in one room, basically live. In Germany we could make a lot of new fans with the record, especially younger people who weren’t exactly into our music before. And many of our older fans, mostly music freaks, really dig the 2 LP vinyl edition of the album.

In the US everybody loved the band and the response has been just awesome. They want us back asap. We’re really looking forward to playing live in Germany and the feedback we get, for we haven’t done any gigs there since the album release.

Q: Could you tell us a little about the recent US tour?

A: We sure did have a hell of a time over there! Made a lot of new friends who really helped us out with everything from equipment to vans and houses, to whatever else we needed. And since it was our first overseas tour, its been a whole new experience for all of us and we really enjoyed playing each and every day, sometimes twice, for two weeks.

And then, of course, there have been some personal highlights, like playing the legendary Viper Room or the House Of Blues on the world-famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood. After all, we can say it was just the right time to introduce Lick And A Promise to an international audience with the new album, and people over there truly digged it. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody once again for their support and everything they’ve done for us since it wouldn’t have been possible without them! And an extra special thanks goes out to Dan The Man!

Q: How can people help you the most in order to get a UK tour plan under way?

A: Well, first of all, we need to get gigs. The more the better. Things like equipment and accommodation are secondary. It depends on the gigs, but it sure would be the easiest way for us to have a band on tour we could open up for.

Q: What are your favored brands of instruments and amplification, and why?

A: All kinds of classic electric guitars, preferably Fender and Gibson, and acoustic guitars with a special vibe to them (no particular brands). Marshall and Fender tube amps, Hammond B3 with a Leslie, Fender Jazz Bass. Percussion from Schlagwerk and LP, drums and cymbals from Tama and Paiste. And no fx bullshit!

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Lick And A Promise?

A: To play more gigs, reach more people and do more international tours. Our first goal was the US; UK is gonna be next!

Q: What inspired the band’s name?

A: That’s definitely gotta be the line, “He gave the ladies a lick and a promise” from the Aerosmith song of the same name. And it just sounds cool, of course, so not really a great story behind it. You can’t imagine how often we’ve been asked this, especially in Germany, where no one knows that phrase nor the song!

Q: There now appears to be several players with the surname of Thoma, is there a family connection?

A: Yes. The bass/organ player, Volker, is the younger brother of singer Jochen. And besides, their dad made a guest appearance on the new album, playing trumpet and trombone on some of the tracks.

For more on Lick And A Promise: http://www.myspace.com/lickandapromiseband

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