The Answer are heading to Download this summer, but the gigs likely to really capture the imagination are the support slots with Aerosmith and The Who.

With 'Rise' set for a re-release with bonus material, Paul Mahon tells Room Thirteen about what fans will get on the new CD, as well as plans for getting album number 2 recorded.

He also reminisces about the bands that made him pick up a guitar and seeing Therapy? as his first proper gig. Plus have we found an interesting potential 'On The Tour Bus' compilation CD tracklist?

R13:How did your recent European tour go?
P: The Euro tour was good. We went from Holland, through Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Spain was fantastic, every show was sold out and the crowds were going wild. Italy was good too, the last time we played there only about 50 people showed up and this time there were 400 so we are doing something right.

R13: Which countries do you look forward to playing the most?
P: I guess Spain is a favourite at the moment. Though we have recently toured Australia and it's probably been my favourite touring experience, a combination of beaches, girls, beers and rock'n'roll. Of course it's hard to beat playing to your home crowd and we are very excited to be playing in Belfast in a week or so!

R13: You're re-releasing 'Rise', how satisfied with its success so far are you?
P: 'Rise' has done really well for us in the UK, Europe, Australia and especially Japan where it went into the top 20. Obviously we'd like for it to have done even better but the success it gained has enabled us to play all over the world by ourselves and with some of our heroes which is nice work if you can get it. With the next record we want to do even better and take things to the next level!

R13: How did you choose what's going on the bonus disk?
P: We recorded 22 songs in the sessions for 'Rise', we weren't able to put all those tracks on there, so we had some real gems left over that we thought the fans would like to hear and it would be a shame for them to be left in the vaults. Also when releasing the singles we would put a different song on the b-side of the 7" vinyl from the CD, and as the vinyl was limited edition not everyone got those songs, so we put them on too. There are some acoustic versions that are quite different to the originals on there and some live tracks from our show in Japan at Shibuya AX.

R13: We're told you were personally picked by Aerosmith for Hyde Park Calling, how does that feel?
P: Well when I was 9yrs old I bought 'Permanent Vacation' and it started a lifelong love affair with the music of Aerosmith. I've never seen them live so I'm quite excited about getting to see them play never mind getting to play on the same bill at their request, its a dream come true!

R13: Which of your many big summer gigs is the one you're especially excited about?
P: Aerosmith in Hyde Park! We went to the Queen show there 2 years ago and thought wow wouldn't it be cool to play in Hyde Park at one of these shows, we didn't know we'd be doing it with Aerosmith 2yrs later! Also the Who gig in Marley Park in Dublin will be great too, it will be the biggest show we have done in Ireland and Velvet Revolver are playing too!

R13: Are there any of the bands on at Download that you're particularly keen to see?
P: I haven't seen the full lineup but I'm looking forward to seeing Velvet Revolver, and of course Iron Maiden on the closing day at Donington is an institution, one that I'd like to witness and be part of!

R13: So with the album being re-released, how much longer do you plan to promote it?
P: We shall tour it for the summer and then there is the possibility of America and Japan.

R13: Have you already begun to think about the next album or are you one of those bands that can't write on the road?
P: Yep we have begun writing for the next record. We have about 6 songs demoed, one of which we are playing in the show at the moment. We shall probably begin recording sessions in the winter. It is particularly hard to write on the road, although I have a laptop with protools on it so I can grab the odd moment of inspiration in the van or hotel room and come back to it when I get home.

R13: Do you listen to much music while touring, what songs have been especially popular in the Answer tour bus?
P: Yep iPods are blasting non-stop. On this tour the top songs have been, Kyuss 'Demon Cleaner', Monster Magnet 'Powertrip', King Crimson 'Larks Tongues In Aspic Part2', Aerosmith 'One Way Street', Montrose 'Rock The Nation', Cheap Trick 'Surrender', Black Sabbath 'Killing Yourself To Live', Van Halen 'DOA', Queens of the Stone Age 'You Cant Quit Me Baby', Eagles of Death Metal 'I Only Want You' and The Pretty Things 'SF Sorrow'.

R13: Can you remember your first gig and record bought?
P: The first gig I went to was Michael Jackson on the 'Bad' tour, I was very young though. The first gig I went to that was my choice was Therapy? in the Ulster Hall Belfast in 1992 on the 'Nurse' tour. It was an amazing night, I remember being impressed by Silverfish and the sheer volume and excitement when Therapy? came on stage knocked me for 6! The first record I bought was 'Blow Up Your Video' by AC/DC. Not their best record but a week later I got 'If You Want Blood You Got It' and have never been the same since, thank god!

R13: I'm a real sucker for that classic rock sound you create, which bands inspired you to go down that route?
P: AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Free, Deep Purple, the Rolling Stones, Cream, Jimi Hendrix. All these bands had the mix of being able to play, showmanship, great songs and a certain mystique you could never quite put your finger on. No other era of bands has managed to have all those things.

R13: When you were first gigging did you have any favourite covers?
P: 'Sweet Emotion' by Aerosmith, 'Running With the Devil' by Van Halen, and we used to do a version of 'Jumping Jack Flash' where we would take it down in the middle have a bit of a jam and go into 'Bitch' in the middle of the solo then back in to 'Jack Flash', that was always a blast to do.

R13: You're playing with Aerosmith and The Who this summer, which bands that you haven't played with yet do you dream of touring with?
P: I would love to play with Van Halen, just to see Eddie do his thing. While there may be more technical guitar players out there Eddie has the magic that no player since Hendrix has had! Also to see Dave Lee Roth putting on the greatest show on earth would be amazing. It would be a real rock'n'roll show both on and off stage. Maybe I'd get the chance to get up and trade licks with Eddie...but with Aerosmith and The Who shows coming up I think we have had more than our fair share of dream supports!!!