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Webchat with Aslan

Billy McGuinness from Aslan was online here for a live webchat on Wednesday, October 11th, from 5.20pm.

These are the answers he gave to your questions.

Trisha: Are you proud of your Ballymun roots?
Billy: Yes - myself and Tony grew up on Shangan Road. We used to rehearse in St Pappins Hall. Without Ballymum I don't think we would be in Aslan, it's an amazing place.

Brian: who is ur record producer ? what studio do aslan normally use?
Billy: We have used several producers. Mike Glossop who worked with the Waterboys and Van Morrison, was my favourite with Ian Grimble who worked with Travis and Manic Street Preachers a close second.

Matthew: Do you ever think about calling it a day? (Hopefully not!)
Billy: As long as people keep coming to the gigs and our records keep selling and being played on the radio, there is no sign of Aslan calling it a day. We are also enjoying ourselves too much to end it.

Helen: What is the most personal song for you?
Billy: I suppose Wish You Were Here as when we play it I always think of my Dad who passed away a few years ago.

Paul in Washington: Any connection with the group Tokyo Olympics?
Billy: Paul McGuinness the guitar player went to the same school as me St Aidan's CBS but he is no relation - sorry. I know him though.

Ciaran McCormack: Whats the best concert you've been to by another band?
Billy: I saw The Frames play after us in France. They were fantastic. They opened their set with a little piece of Crazy World, it was brilliant.

chloe aka coco !!: how did the band start off?
Billy: We are all from the same area Finglas and Ballymum and we all had a love of music from an early age. Christy and Joe formed Aslan, with Tony, Alan and then myself.

john: what?s your most embarrassing moment
Billy: Last year I broke my leg and the rest of Aslan left me on my own on the stage for what seems like an eternity. They asked me to go on stage first and they would follow but they left me there which was fairly embarrassing.

Savobien: I believe you are the collector of the band. How much Aslan memorabilia do you have
Billy: Loads I collect everything to do with Aslan and have an attic full of stuff.

savo: how has being in aslan changed your life?
Billy: Aslan has given me a fantastic job that I would do for nothing. It has taken me around the world and given me some of the most amazing memories. And it still does.

chloe: how long does it take to make an album?
Billy: To record an album takes 8 weeks, writing the album can take years.

Matthew: If you could trade places with any of the other band members who would it be?
Billy: I wouldn't trade places I am happy being who I am and with my role in the band.

chloe: Do ppl ask for your autograph often?
Billy: They would ask Christy more than the rest of the band.

Andy: Any palns to come to the US on tour? If so how about a stop in Colorado.. Yes you have a fan base here to.
Billy: No plans at the moment.

chloe aka coco !!: who is the best crowd to do a gig 4?
Billy: An Irish crowd.

savobien: All I Wanted is probably your best song, but why don't you record it in the studio
Billy: We did record it as a B side on the Rain Man single. It is very 1980s sounding, we have tried to modernise it but so far we haven't had much success.

Siobhan, Boston: I need New Years Eve plans for Dublin. Any suggestions?
Billy: We are gigging New Year's Eve in Limerick.

Angie: What was the most awkward question you have been asked at an interview by jounalist ?
Billy: One English journalist asked us did we know Bono and could we take him up to his house to meet him!

g: AR YE LAZY
Billy: No. We gig three or four times a week. We take Sunday and Monday off and we rehearse on Tuesday and Wednesday. I also go to the gym in the mornings three times a week so I would not call myself lazy.

Damo: Sile Seoige or Grainne Seoige ?
Billy: Both of them, they both great.

chloe aka coco !!: hi billy,who is your idol in the music industry? dead or alive like ? wb xx
Billy: I would have loved to have meet Elvis. He invented rock and roll.

damo: billy any chance of a cavan gig before xmas??
Billy: We are in Carrigmaccross on Friday the 3rd of November.

Reni: Hi Guys, Any chance of a gig here in Vietnam ?
Billy: The most unusual place we have played is Kosovo. Vietnam would top that.

Hilary: When did you form the band?
Billy: Aslan formed in 1982, when we formed the band we said we would give it a year.

Hilary: When did you form the band?
Billy: Aslan formed in 1982, when we formed the band we said we would give it a year.

Jacquie: hi billy hows it going, any chance of you all coming back for a gig in the UK especially Wales
Billy: We would love to go to Wales, the last gig there was in Cardiff University a long time ago. We are well due a visit.

Susan: Will you be watching the match later, how will Ireland do?
Billy: Yes i'll be watching we are going to get hammered.

caolan lawlor: when will aslan be back in cork? I was in the old oak on the 27th of September and I was lucky enough to get the drum sticks that time.
Billy: We are in Cork in December - check the website for the details.

savo: What are the names of the two new songs in the live set?
Billy: Best Days and the second one has no name yet.

Davor: WHo Writes the Vocal Melodies , are the biggest hits the ones that came about the quickest
Billy: It would be Tony or Joe. Sometimes a song could take months, others come together quickly.

savo: Billy, in your opinion, which is the greatest Aslan song and why?
Billy: I suppose it would have to be Crazy World as that song has taken us all around the world.

savo: Who would you like to cover an Aslan song and which one would you like to hear covered
Billy: I would love to hear Sinead O'Connor singing Precious from the Lucy Jones album, it would be pretty amazing as the lyrics are right up her street.

Eva: What are the crowds like in Paris- your concerts in Dublin are amazing, is there the same atmosphere when you are away?
Billy: The gigs outside of Ireland tend to have the same atmosphere. Like when we went to Australia, the Metro Club felt like Vicar Street. It was full of Irish.

savo: Are you coming back to the UK anytime soon
Billy: Yeah, maybe in the new year.

john: who is ur favorte singer !
Billy: David Bowie. We played with him in Slane!

john: where's your favortie venue u ever played at !
Billy: it would have to be Vicar Street first with the Olympia Theatre a close second.

Alanna: Do you write songs about things you see or that have some meaning to you
Billy: Yes, all our songs are written about experiences that have happened to us or that we have been told about. The songs are written as a band.

JT Townsend: Where does the name ASLAN come from?
Billy: We got the name from the book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis. Aslan was the lion. Aslan is also a Turkish word for lion which is obviously where CS Lewis got it from.

Stephen: Do u know if ASLAN are playing a dublin gig any time soon.
Billy: Yes, we won't be doing The Point Depot or Vicar Street this year as we have no product out. However we will be doing three Dublin gigs, 27, 28, 29 of December check our website for venue details. One of these gigs will be an under 18s gig in Finglas.

Angie: who does the styling for the band ?
Billy: There is no one person that does the styling for the band. When you are with a record company, you might have a stylist for photo shoots and TV appearances but with Aslan it's mainly T-shirt, jeans and runners.

Rachael, Dublin: Billy, What is your favourite music since when you were a child?
Billy: I am very much into pop music. Good songs are good songs even if they are covered by Boy Bands - Flying Without Wings by Westlife springs to mind, it's a really good song.

JT Townsend: Hi Billy, I'm a huge Aslan fan from kilkenny,just wondering if Aslan plan playing a gig in the kilkenny area soon?
Billy: Yes we are in Hotel Kilkenny on Thursday 16th of November, c u there.

Joe: Billy, Did it ever cross your mind that the band could have been as big as U2 if the band had of stayed together?
Billy: If we had stayed together, I don't think we would be here now. It was great learning experience for us to break up and come back together again. We really appreciate what we have now and the fact that the fans have stayed with us through our ups and downs is really amazing.

g: wat ar yer plans for d futr?
Billy: To finish the new album and have a great time promoting it next year.

paul: Will you always remember Sligo for the plane crash in 2002 and do you think about it often now
Billy: Yes we are actually in Sligo on 27th of October and we are flying in. Yes I will be nervous.

Eve: What did Billy and the boys make of Ireland's performance v Cyprus on Saturday and how does he think the game will go tonight ?
Billy: We were over in Cyprus to play for the fans who were there. I am glad we left before the match as it was very embarrassing to watch and we are going to get hammered tonight. Bring back Brian Kerr.

Bryan Parker: If Billy could bring 3 albums onto a desert island with him, which records would he choose ?
Billy: Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie, Boy by U2 and Dance the Devil by The Frames.

Gary Murphy: Is it possible to get my hands on a copy of the band's debut album, 'Feel No Shame' ? Where would I get a copy ?
Billy: It's not possible to get a copy on vinyl but it was reissued by EMI recently and is available in all good record stores on CD.

Ellen Corcoran: How many original songs have Aslan written since the band formed ? And how difficult is it to put together a set-list for a live show ? Is there much dispute from the various members in the band ?
Billy: Yes. When it comes to changing the set we would normally do it coming up to a big show. Obviously when the new album is out, the set will completely change but we still have to do songs like Crazy World and This Is as fans would be disappointed if we left them out.

Colm: Hi Billy. Do you enjoy doing television shows and all they entail or are they just a pain that need to be done in order to promote the band ?
Billy: Doing TV shows is a great experience as it something new and takes away from the constant gigging and we have a lot of fun when we are doing them.

conor mckeon: So far, in my opinion, each aslan album has had a different unique sound, I?ve heard that this is the case again for the upcoming album, can you drop any hints on what type of direction youre going this time?also what score do you think the match will be??...Conor
Billy: The single Fall On Me is a good indication of what way the new album is going to sound. It will be more electric guitar based as a posed to the acoustic sound.

damien: billy ive been following the band for a long time now and love to go see the band play and love the music,is there any chane of a new single being released before xmas or even early in the new year ??
Billy: No. There is no point until the album is finished as the final song could be the first single you never know until the album is finished what the first single is going to be.

Mark: How can I get the cordes for crasy world and this is? I cannot see them post on your web site.
Billy: If you go on to our website www.aslan.ie and request the cords for Crazy World in our chat room I am sure someone will send them to you.

Stephenbrow: 1 There is an online campagine going to get THE BRILLIANT TREES to play ONE MORE GIG. Would you support this. Would you go
Billy: The Brilliant Threes were a brilliant band and it would be great to see them play a gig in Finglas.

Graham Storey: Hiya Billy,From hearing your two new tracks at many gigs around the country...the new album is going to be great.Any Idea when it will be released
Billy: Next year is 25 years of Aslan. The plan is to release the new album to coincide with this event.

Kelly: If u could make a single wit anyone who wud it be?
Aslan: Damien Dempsey and it looks like it is going to happen as we meet him in London recently and he is well up for the idea of us recording together.

Billy: Thanks for all your question, unfortunately I have to go to watch Ireland being beaten again! Keep the faith and thanks for all your support. It is much appreciated with out you we would not be here. God Bless Billy.

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