Bassist Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN, FOREIGNER), vocalist Robin McAuley (MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP, SURVIVOR), guitarist Reb Beach (WINGER, WHITESNAKE) and drummer Matt Starr (MR. BIG, ACE FREHLEY) have joined forces in a new project called BLACK SWAN. The outfit's debut single and video will be released on Tuesday, December 10. A full-length album will follow in early 2020 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Speaking to Rock Titan, Starr stated about how his involvement in the project came about: "[In early 2019], Jeff reached out and said, 'hey, I've got this new thing with Robin McAuley and Reb Beach, and I wanted to see if you'd be interested in talking about playing drums.' And I said, 'Yeah. Of course.' I know all those guys — [they're] super talented. They have a record, and the record was done and they needed to put some drums on it. So they had asked me, and I checked out the music and it was very cool. I said yes, and then, three days later, I was up at Jeff's place and we were cutting drum tracks. We spent four days, three and a half days recording 12 songs. And it's awesome… And it's really, really, really good. Everybody says that about whatever they're working on, but we were all, like, 'Holy shit! This is awesome.'"
The drummer, who has played with a number of high-profile acts in the past, said that he is an official member of the new project, "which is great. And I think that's kind of the first time for me, because I'm always coming into situations where I'm the hired guy," he said. "And look, there's advantages to that too — you negotiate your rate and then the tour can do whatever it does and you don't have to worry about it. So there's pluses and minuses to all that. But, yeah, I'm a member of this band. And I think everybody's pretty excited to get out there and play. Just how and when we can do that, we'll have to wait and see."
Back in February, Pilson officially confirmed the project's existence, saying that the album was "turning out amazing. Wait until you hear everybody's playing and singing. It's beyond — way beyond," he promised.
Pilson — one-fourth of the classic DOKKEN lineup — joined FOREIGNER in 2004. In recent years, he has also produced albums by LAST IN LINE, KILL DEVIL HILL, STARSHIP and WARRANT.
Beach — who was among the artists recently interviewed for Guitar World's February 2019 cover story on the "last days of hair metal" — is an original member of WINGER. He joined WHITESNAKE in 2002. Notably, he also performed on one DOKKEN album alongside Pilson, 1999's "Erase The Slate".
Irish vocalist McAuley is best-known for fronting MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP from 1986 to 1993. Alongside Graham Bonnet and Gary Barden, he has toured with MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST in recent years and also appears on "Resurrection", the group's 2018 album.
Starr — who joined Ace Frehley's band in 2012 and continues to perform with him periodically — began touring with MR. BIG in 2014 and appears on the group's latest album, 2017's "Defying Gravity". He has also toured and/or recorded with HOOKERS & BLOW, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and BURNING RAIN, among others.