Check out:

"Brave The Storm"
(1985 RCA)

While the first Shy album "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" suffered from a terrible production, "Brave The Storm" was a better sounding album, although there were some productional hiccups on this one as well. Still, a solid effort, and the (Jap?) reissue with several bonustracks is well worth considering also.

"Excess All Areas"
(1987 RCA)

The album that put Shy to the map. Produced by Neil Kernon and given the no-expenses-saved treatment, this album was the band's ticket to the big time. Songs were top notch, they were on a big tour with Gary Moore, a big budget (and funny) video was made for the first single "Break Down The Walls", still the album didn't climb the charts...and RCA lost interest. A shame, this is arguably their finest album.

"Missipent Youth"
(1989 MCA)

The band bounced back, changed direction a little and found a new home at MCA. The results of this marriage weren't that great. "Missipent Youth" could very well be the worst sounding major label hard rock release WITH a name producer (Roy Thomas Baker). The album does feature some great songs, "Broken Heart" for instance, but the production does its' best to destroy 'em. The weaker songs showcase the new, heavier "party rock" style which doesn't really suit the band.

Minireviews by
Kimmo Toivonen

Roy Davis

The resident AOR-E bloodhound Urban hunted down Roy Davis, the bass player of legendary UK rockers Shy, who are just about to return to the scene with a new album on Z Records!

Hello Roy ! Can you start by telling us a little bit about the new SHY album (release later this year). What can the old and new fans expect?

Well we're all very pleased with how its sounding. It takes us back to what we think is our best period, and certainly the most enjoyable, the time of "Excess all Areas". The new songs are definitely in that vain. It's taking us a long time to record because its very important for us to create the best sounding cd of our career so far. We've all got various business interests now and so time is at a premium, hence recording is taking longer than we would have wanted. The end result should be well worth it though. We gave some extremely rough mixes to Mark (Z Records boss) for him to play over the p.a. at the recent Z2001 event. They sounded great and the reaction was all very positive. Shy 1989

Itīs been a while since you all from the "almost" original SHY line-up worked together (1990?) Does it feel like in "old" days or has there been any problems ? What about drummer Alan Kelly ?

It actually feels like the days when the band first formed way back in 1982. Everyone is pleased to see each other. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since we last all recorded together and so we've all got lots of tails to tell. A lot of lost time has been made up. Regarding Alan, there was a couple of reasons really. He now lives around 400km from the rest of the band and so logistically it would have been very difficult. Also he hasn't played drums for round about 6/7 years so that would have been difficult. The major reason though is simply Tony and Alan never really "got on" and so it was a lot less hassle to recruit a new drummer.

Why did you (Shy) sign a deal with Z-Records instead of releasing it at your own label and company "Phoenix music" ?

Money!! No I'm only joking (well half joking). My label is very new, where as Z Records is well established, especially in our field of music. They have a far more developed network of distributors, magazines etc than we do at Phoenix, although we are working hard to catch them up. People like yourselves for instance know a lot more about Z than you do about Phoenix. Also, Mark made us an offer we couldn't refuse!

Do tell us about "Phoenix" When and why did you start up your own business ?

I have always been interested in the business side of things and have wanted to start my own label. The SHY albums that were released on Neat did quite well and it sort of reminded me of how much I'd missed it all. I had been working off and on with the guys in Oliver/DawsonSAXON and the chance came up to record and release a live album. It seemed like a great way to start a new label and so that's what I did.

By the way, what do you think about the whole "melodic hardrock" scene in England nowadays? Is it in your own opinion better or worse than say 8 years ago ?

The scene now is definitely MUCH BETTER than it was a few years ago. I think what's happened is, is that the fans of melodic rock of 10-15 years ago have now married, have kids, mortgages etc and are now in a position to start listening to music again. Obviously they want to listen what they remember, hence the resurgence of AOR. Its great for bands like SHY etc. Also, people like Mark at Z Records have kept the flag flying.

I know that many are disappointed that SHY will not play Z-Rock this year! How come ? and when will the fans be able to catch you live again ?

Basically, were went into the studio in the first week of Dec 2000! Because we now all have careers away from the band we have to go into the studio as and when we can, this means we're only actually recorded for 2/3 hours a day. Because we're trying to achieve the same quality as "Excess" it means we just don't have time to rehearse as well. We were pretty gutted actually. Myself and Steve went to the show and really enjoyed it. Von Groove are excellent...if they ever need a bass player!

"Welcome to the madhouse" is now re-released by Phoenix. What I wanted to ask you is: How come you decided to go with "John Ward" as the new vocalist and did you talk with anybody else for the frontman position back then ?

Believe it or not Wardi was actually in the band before Tony. It was a brilliant time for the Birmingham music scene with lots of bands all on the verge of big deals. Wardi left to go with a band he thought had a better chance at the time. By the time Tony left we wanted to change direction and so we actually spent over a year auditioning all different types of vocalist. Wardi was living in Los Angeles at the time and I had to go over there on other business. We had always kept in touch and so we just sort of fell back together.

Maybe the big question here would be why you all decided to use the name SHY again? Since you at first after Tony Mills parted company with the band (1990) went under the name BLACK CAT and later CRAZY CRAZY.

At first we wanted a clean break, also with a new vocalist it seemed the right thing to do. Black Cat and Crazy Crazy were absolutely awful and only lasted about a day, I'm always surprised that people even know anything about it. We soon realised the SHY even without Tony was a more viable proposition to promoters etc.

What do you think about the album (welcome to the madhouse) now, some 7-8 years later? (one of the songs here is: crazy crazy , any connections with the band name?)

I still really like the album, I think some of the songs would have been great in the "classic" SHY period of the mid eighties. Regarding the name, I can't remember which came first, the song or the name. I do remember we thought it was a bit like Danger Danger and so was pretty cool....What were we on!!??

The British rock magazine Kerrang had a journalist in the past that always liked to call you "Shyte"and that SHY just canīt get over the fact that they will never be Americans! I guess you canīt play US influenced rock if youīre from England ?

Funny thing Kerrang. There were people who loved us (Derek Oliver) and people who hated us. One journalst, and I genuinely can't remember is name was sent to see us at the Dominion Theatre in London. He even slagged the audience(and there was about 1200 of them) for turning out to see us. A lot of it was down to jealousy, most of them were in bands themselves....except they couldn't get a deal!! Roy Davis

Can you tell us a little bit about the days before you joined SHY back in 1984. You did play with Trouble & Korea?

God! Where do get this information...well done! As I said earlier, it was great era for the Birmingham rock scene and there was about 6/7 bands who could have landed big record deals. We were all mates together, all helping each other along. Trouble were a very melodic rock, but we were very young, Huwey Lucas the main guitar player was only 16 years old! We sort of evolved into Korea. It went very fast actually. For our very first gig we had the head of A& R for Warner Chappel and he set up a show case in London for probably the worlds most famous A&R man, John Kalodner! It went very well but we were so naive we didn't really have a chance because we had no management. It was right after that meeting that SHY asked me to join them, and so that was it. They split up for about a year and then re-formed but more as a dance music band and signed a big deal with Atlantic in America.

What are your (Shy) future plans?

As you know we're in the middle of recording the new album at the moment and so that has to be finished. We're aiming to release a new album every year from now on so we certainly won't be going away again. I'd like to think that we will gig again but with all our separate time problems now it will be difficult. HOWEVER if there are any major labels out there who would like to invest a shit load of money, I'm sure we could always have a change of direction!

If YOU have anything else you wanna say : Please do !

I think the last couple of years have been very kind to the likes of SHY. Bands from the eighties are definitely getting a new lease of life, especially in America where there are massive tours happening. Lets hope we can stick around a bit longer this time, and the fact that we're no longer signed to the "majors" means we all have a lot more control over what's recorded and released, hopefully this will mean better records. Also with the advent of people like yourselves it means we can reach a world wide audience so much easier and quicker.... so keep up the good work. I'll also take this opportunity to plug my own web site, so people can have a look and see what we're up to... nice one chaps!