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Emerald Kings (formerly H*llyw**d) are an Irish based band who have toured with THIN LIZZY and are well worth checking out if you like THIN LIZZY and well played melodic hard rock.
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)

We are currently in pre-production for our debut album

2. Brief history of the band and the style of music you play.

We started Emerald Kings in March 2004. we were originally called H*llyw**d. for legal reasons we decided to change our name but we also felt Hollywood did not suit us and it took us almost a year to get the bottle to change it. Tony, me(Bat) and Davy played together at an annual Phil Lynott memorial in Dublin. That night our manager Aimon saw potential in us and offered us a management contract. we recruited pete in as a second guitarist soon after and recorded a single called Lucky Strike. we play melodic hard rock and sometimes you can hear a bit of other styles like reggae and blues.

3. You are working on a debut album and have legendary producer Chris Tsangarides helping out. How did you hook-up with him and what direction will the songs on the album take?

We decided to track Chris down and approach him. We figured that he might like what we did as he had worked with Lizzy and Gary Moore. We sent him a package and he really liked the material and wanted to work with us. I was delighted i also loved what he did with other bands like Ozzy and Sabbath and Bruce Dickinson. He also produced King Diamond's conspiracy album which I love.

The album will have a really in your face rock approach. Chris chose 10 songs out of a potential 18. Some of our stuff has a bit of a laid back reggae feel so Chris didn't choose that material as he felt it best to keep to tunes that would all have something in common, in this case a hard rock sound.

4. Have you seen an upswing in interest in all things rock & metal over the past few years? What sort of rock scene is there in Ireland?

There is a huge swing back to rock. I think the reason is quite simple. people are bored of manufactured music. people want to see real musicians perform in front of them. rock will always be there it's a style of music the same as classical is. I can't see them inventing a new style of music you wont suddenly see teenagers letting it all go to a symphony. As long as there is guitars there is rock people have to accept that you cannot change rock and roll, it will always be guitars and drums and attitude.

5. You toured with Thin Lizzy earlier this year. How did that go and how do you view the line-up now that only features two members from the Phil Lynott days? (Eg Some fans say it is juts a tribute band and they should stop using the name)

Touring with Thin Lizzy was a great experinece as they are our favourite band of all time. I have never really been bothered that they use the name Thin Lizzy. I know a lot of fans do. The way I see it is if they can do it why not, the people that whinge about it still buy the tickets. They are promoting Phil's music and keeping the spirit alive. What I wouldn't like is if they started writing material and calling it Thin Lizzy. That would be real bad.

6. How has the Internet helped spread the word about the band and do you think downloading is helping or killing music?

The internet is a great tool for bansd and I welcome it. The simple fact is bands that would never have been heard of before have the opportunity to be heard globally. I think it might kill off some record companies eventually, but it will give power back to the bands and live performances.

As far as I can see what is going to happen is, a band will play live and give a CD out to every paying customer on the door. Now that's what will separate the men from the boys.

7. What bands/artists do you admire and/or are an influence?
I like Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads, Iron Maiden, Dio, The Darkness and I also like a lot of other styles of music. The rest of the lads like everything from Dream Theater and Slayer to Sting.
8. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

The highlight for me was meeting Chris Tsangarides. He is the most amiable bloke I have ever met.

We have done preproduction for the album with him and begin recording on june 6th in his studio in london. The Lizzy tour was also amazing.

The lowest was not knowing if we were going to get the Lizzy support. Lizzy and their management gave us the thumbs up but the final decision lay with the Irish promoter and they weren't particularly nice to us.

I felt they resented having to give it to us as we came from out of nowhere.

9. What ideally would Emerald Kings like to achieve ideally by this time next year?
We hope to sign a major contract by the end of the summer. I would love to go on tour with a band like The Darkness. we would be nicely suited on the same bill. I could also spend time with Dan Hawkins as I'm also a Thin Lizzy nerd.
10. How easy/hard is it to get gigs? What have been the live highlights so far?

Getting gigs is no problem in Ireland but getting people to go to them is another issue.

We did a great gig last December in Dublin and blew everyone's mind that was there. We then did a gig called the vibe for the annual Phil Lynott memorial gig and performed a blinder. we then did the Lizzy tour where we got an amazing reception.

We are really looking forward to playing live again when the album is finished. we might also be doing some gigs in London during May. Check out for details.

11. What's the most rock 'n' roll moment the band has had so far?
I really can't think of one but we are well able to drink!! Probably can't remember!
12. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

We have one EP "Black Tide Silver Path" which there are only a few copies left. Details of purchase can be found on

13. Message to your fans?

Watch out Emerald Kings are coming to conquer your town!!

Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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