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LILLIAN AXE


Lillian Axe - Flood Warning


Interview by Dark Starr

Formed in the early 1980's in New Orleans, Lillian Axe has been pounding out their brand of heavy metal for over 20 years.Originally lumped in (wrongly) with the hair metal bands of the '80's, the group has never compromised their musical vision, instead staying true to creating real metal. It's garnered them a great reputation amongst those who really know heavy metal, but has never gotten them the following over bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. It's not for lack of producing quality steel, though.

The group have released their latest disc, appropriately (considering their hometown) entitled Waters Rising, and it introduces new vocalist Derrick LeFevre. I had the chance to pose some questions to guitarist, Lillian Axe mainman Steve Blaze. He talked about the state of metal, music in general, Katrina, the group's history and a lot more.


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Can you catch the readers up a bit on the history of the band?

STEVE BLAZE: I formed the band in New Orleans as a metal and rock cover band in the eighties. We grew in popularity until 1987 when we were asked to open for Ratt on the Dancing Undercover tour. At that point, Marshall Berle called me after seeing the band and asked me to sign to him as a manager and told me that he had a deal with MCA for us. We signed to them and released our first album in 1988. Here we are, 8 albums later, doing it again!

WC: I know artists are not crazy about having their music pigeon-holed, but how would you describe the sound of Lillian Axe?

SB: Difficult to do but I'll try. We are a hard, heavy rock band with many experimental facets. Based on power and melody, with emphasis on emotional songwriting. Powerful and beautiful.

WC: Who do you see as musical influences, both personally and as a band?

SB: My influences are based in classical music,Bach, Beethoven,etc. Also in modern music, everyone from Queen to Alice Cooper, Muse, Sabbath, Scorpions, Elton John, 70's songwriters. Movie soundtracks as well.


WC: Where did the name come from?

SB: I came up with the name on a whim after seeing the movie Creepshow with Stephen King. There was a bridesmaid skeleton in one scene which inspired the name.

WC: What’s ahead for you guys?

SB: We start a U.S. tour Sept. 4th in Atlanta . 36 shows in 40 days. Our first single "Waters Rising" goes to radio next week. Europe in the new year. More states touring. Europe in the summer and who knows where else!

WC: How do you see the difference between the metal world (and the world of music in general) from when you started out to today?

SB: It has become more uninteresting and product oriented. Bands are treated like commercial products. The live scene has dwindled, the retail scene is horrific, and radio has been controlled by huge corporations. Here and there exist some entities who fly the flag for rock and roll. Nothing seems exciting anymore due to the ease in which information is accessible. Yet we all still keep pounding it out for the ultimate cause!!

WC: How would you compare your new CD to your older material?

SB: Waters Rising is the next logical step in the band's progression. This is the first album I fully produced with no one over my back. We experimented more, and we have matured immensely. The music is more powerful and intense than ever.

WC: You guys are from New Orleans – do you have any thoughts and experiences you’d like to share about Katrina and its aftermath?

SB: We all saw the devastation in our own lives and in our families' and friends' lives. I think we appreciate our city more . It was like living in a war torn country. It made me very sad to ride through the devastated neighborhoods and see the city demolished in many areas. I have a great fear and respect for the unbiased power of mother nature.

WC: Are there musicians you’d like to play with in the future?


SB: I would love to play with Brian May, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Muse, YoYoMa, Sarah Brightman, Dio, Villo Valle, etc

WC: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It’s been said by the major labels that it’s essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales – would you agree?

SB: Downloading is hurting the actual sales from the brick and mortar stores, yet the stores are making it too difficult to get product so people have to go online. As long as the downloads are paid for, there is some benefit. Retail stores and chains need to get more product, especially catalogue to get people into the stores again!!

WC: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

SB: I don't have a problem with recording shows and trading them as long as the fans still support the same bands on all other levels. People need to realize that without sales and financial support, the bands can not continue to provide the world with albums and tours.

WC: These next three we tend to ask of everyone. The first two sort of showcase musician as music fan. First, what was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?

SB: I bought Drowning Pool's latest. I have been listening to Muse, Chevelle, My Chemical Romance, Avenged Sevenfold, Alanis, H.I.M.

WC: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

SB: The last concert I really enjoyed immensely was Perfect Circle , but some others were The Police, H.I.M., Korn...etc

WC: Now, this one some love, some hate. Feel free to not answer if you don’t care to. What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?


SB: My Spinal Tap moment was many years ago before we were signed. We were playing an outdoor festival in La. When we got there, only about 20 people sitting in the field having a picnic were there. It was deep in the woods, and we said to ourselves this couldn't get any worse. However, as we started to play and shock the crowd, it began to rain so all 20 people ran onto the stage with their barbecue. It was very humbling!

WC: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you’d like to get out there?

SB: Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years. Check out www.lillianaxe.com for all tour dates, and look for the new album Waters Rising in all places where cd's are sold!!!!!!