|[published]:||2004, October 18|
|[in]:||That's So Metal|
|[article]:||Interview with Victor Langen|
That's So Metal: How has the response been to the reformation of the Kick Axe and the release of the new record IV?
Victor Langen: Response has been favorable from the press, we have also received emails from the fans which has been good. We have also received feedback internationally which also has been positive. Some people had some preconceptions as to how things would be now, but the overall response has been good. Press in Canada has been strong as well internationally. Things are a little different this time, the 80's are long gone.
That's So Metal: Are any of the songs off "IV" left over from the 80's?
Victor Langen: I don't really believe so, a lot got worked out when we started discussing getting back together, everyone had their own tunes to bring to the table. It's not like it was when everyone wrote together, say like when Sabbath wrote all the songs together and were credited as such on the albums, because they were together all the time. We had like 30 tunes to pick from. We went in the studio with no thoughts of recapturing our past, everything started fresh. What we came up with is what we ran with. We had some negative comments because there were so many songs on the album. I stand by each and every one of them regardless of how many. I had to move back to North America from Germany, so it helps a lot when writing the songs. The entire band is based in Vancouver, Canada.
That's So Metal: What would people know Kick Axe from when you were popular in the 80's? What was the band known for?
Victor Langen: Well if you are either American or Canadian fans, you would know us from several high profile tours with Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Scorpions & Metallica in Canada, from 84-86. We had videos on MTV, one called "On the Road to Rock" which was spun plenty of times. We also had two songs for the Transformers movie, but they changed our name to Specter General without our permission to match the theme or something, I guess the music programmer liked the music but thought the name was too bad ass I guess, so they changed it to something a little less sinister, HaHa. A bit more trivia for ya, one song was "Hunger", and the other "Piece of the Rock", were both demos for Kick Axe. Carmine Appice had started King Kobra running and they wanted the songs for their debut album "Ready to Strike", so the Kick Axe versions just ended up on the movie soundtrack.
That's So Metal: Where is the majority of your fan base?
Victor Langen: I guess at the moment its Canada as far as press and interviews, but the States is good as well because we did do a lot of touring in the 80's. We are focusing on Canada right now. After the holidays we are working on playing down south in the States. The European fans are insane too, they played the new album for listening parties in rock n roll nightclubs that the fans ran. It would mean a lot to me to do some shows there. They are so many big festivals over there to play, they just love it. Our representatives are focused on North America right now, I am the one pushing for the European countries for the summer.
That's So Metal: Are the old albums from the 80's going to be re-released and made available any time soon?
Victor Langen: "Vices" and "Welcome to the Club" were re-released on Songhaus Records in 2000 to get the gas going again for the band, the guy from the label was a fan. They are also working on a new re release of the albums before Christmas, they will also be remastered. "Rock the World", our third album, is also being reissued with bonus tracks as well as new artwork. Man we just hated the artwork for that one, HaHa, it had nothing to with us.
That's So Metal: Are all the members from the original lineup from the 80's?
Victor Langen: All are the same aside from the lead vocals, which are now handled by my brother Gary, who was the original singer before George came into the band. George emulated a lot of Gary 's style when he sang on those records.
That's So Metal: Who are you playing with for your Canadian dates?
Victor Langen: Right now we are doing some record release parties in clubs, 500 people or so, getting the radio support up. We are looking to tag along with some old friends in the States, putting together a package will spark more interest. Like the Scorpions are taking out Tesla, that I am really looking forward to see. I am also aware of festivals like ProgPower in Atlanta, friends of mine, Into Eternity just played it and I heard it's a great festival to play.
That's So Metal: Touring possibilities for the States?
Victor Langen: Chipster Entertainment is pushing for us to do some showcases in the NY/NJ, Philly and Boston area before Christmas. Until its written in stone its not confirmed, but we will get there. To my ear, I listen to a lot of music and think we are doing something really valid in todays musical climate, give it a chance, and we do everything Live, all the vocals, no samples or DJs, HaHa.