Guitarist and prolific songwriter Vince O’Regan is one of the busiest musicians in the UK and he’s just released his fifth album in four years with Anglo/American rockers Legion. Woody catches up with his fellow Black Country man to discuss Legion’s latest album ‘V’.
You have just released another Legion album ‘V’, has the album turned out as you had originally envisioned?
Yeah the album turned out great a really big sounding album the only problem is that Phil and myself work so quick these days that I’ve been sitting on it now for about 7 months and as you can guess we've almost finished the next album, we have a pot of about 20 finished tracks at the moment which will be added to 3-4 per month then we'll pick the final 11 for the new album next year.
This is the fifth Legion album in less than four years, do you worry about burning out your song writing or becoming repetitive?
No not at all the songs just come naturally ,I'm constantly writing, all the time there seems to be something buzzing round my head as I’m driving, watching TV, etc. I’ve got the next 3 projects almost done plus I’m working on some solo stuff plus it keeps my missus happy when I’m out the house *Laughs*.
You’ve built up a prolific song writing partnership with American vocalist Phil Vincent do you enjoy working with Phil and what do you think of your collaborations?
It was totally by chance that I hooked up with Phil thanks to Mark Alger from Z records but one of the best things that has happened to me to be honest, as Phil is as driven as I am to writing and recording songs. Also I think I’ve recorded some of my best material with Phil, I think as long as we have the chemistry to write one to three albums in a year we should enjoy it while it lasts.
You are an extremely busy musician do you enjoy song writing and do you ever write in styles we may not have heard yet?
I like writing big guitar tracks it can be heavy or melodic, fast or slow as long as it’s a good track, I don't stray too far from what I do best but saying that I’ve got some killer versions of tracks I did with Bob Catley that will never see the light of day, it was a re recorded best of his solo stuff in different styles like reggae, ska, rave, it’s unbelievable.
Legion have frequently been compared to Dokken in the past, myself included but I mean it more in style and tone as opposed to sounding the same. That said my favourite song on the album ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’ could have been lifted straight from ‘Back For The Attack’, was it your intention to write a song that would immediately make people think of Dokken, given past comparisons or did the song just evolve this way naturally?
Not really we've done it a few times to be honest, it’s not done intentionally but sometimes it’s just the way the song goes we don't set out to copy anyone or anything but if it sounds good when it’s done so be it.
Can you talk to us about a few of the other songs on ‘V’, why you like them or any stories or meanings behind them?
I'm not too sure about the stories behind the songs as Phil writes all the lyrics but the first 5 tracks on the album I remember recording them on nasty wet windy days so it helped me get the vibe and the riffs right, sometimes it helps not being in a nice warm studio somewhere in the sun as it helped me get the right attitude in the recordings.
I know with Phil been based in America live shows are a logistical and costly nightmare, but do you have any plans for Legion to play live again in the future?
I never say never but it is a logistical night mare playing live is what it’s all about but if we can't it gives us more time to write record some mean tracks.
You’ve always been a very active live musician; I’ve seen you in many bands like Bob Catley’s solo band, Pulse, Eden ect... Over the years! Do you have any live performances lined up with any projects/ bands that you can tell us about?
I've got three projects on the go at the moment including Escape who should be gigging early next year including a few festivals, Also I have approached a named band to replace there guitarist but it’s all up in the air at the moment so we'll have to see what happens as it’s a band I’d really like to join.
Talking about other projects, are they any other bands or song writing that you are working on that you can tell us about?
The third Escape album should be ready for Stevie k to write his magic on very soon the other two immediate projects are a bit top secret at the moment if I told anyone about them Mark Alger would send the boys round to sort me out *Laughs*. I will be taking a little break when these are all done as the next Legion album will be ready by then too.
Is there anyone out there you would love to work or collaborate with right now and why?
There’s so many people I’d love to work with but now that you've asked me my minds gone blank *Laughs*, everybody is getting older and by the time I get the chance I’ll probably get writers block or arthritis *Laughs* but saying that if anyone wants a guitarist who can write a killer tune and give it the big one live give me a call.