|[published]:||2004, November 16|
|[article]:||20 Questions with Larry Gillstrom|
The beginnings of Kick Axe can be traced all the way back to 1976 in Regina, Saskatchewan, but they really started to come into their own between 1983 and 1987 with their albums "Vices," "Welcome to the Club" and "Rock the World." Plus they had a song on the Transformers soundtrack! Who doesn't like a movie about big robots that turn into cars and shit? Omega Supreme rules!
Anyhow, Kick Axe toured the world with such heavyweights as Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Scorpions, Rush, Metallica, and even Quiet Riot! But now they've reached the pinnacle of their career as guitarist and co-founder Larry Gillstrom steps forward to do 20 Questions with Metal Sludge. How can you top that? You can't. Enjoy!
Metal Sludge: What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit, so get it all out of the way now.
Metal Sludge: So, Kick Axe has a new album out. After all these years, what prompted you guys to get it together and record again? Seriously, when you see what a disgrace a lot of hard rock bands from the 80s have become these days, doesn't it make you think that your "hiatus" was a good idea?
Metal Sludge: Rank the following Canadian guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hosehead, and 10 being someone who brings home the back bacon.
Metal Sludge: Former Kick Axe singer George Criston was not available to participate in the recordings for the new CD due to his commitments to Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and Dido. What exactly does George do for those artists, and do you think it bummed the fans out that he didn't appear on the album?
Metal Sludge: In a band that had gold record success in the 80s with "Vices" and "Welcome To the Club" with George Criston, do you really think that any remaining fans of the band are going to fall for the "return of original vocalist Gary Langen" schtick you are clinging to on your Web site?
Metal Sludge: Yes or No, has Larry Gilstrom ever:
Metal Sludge: What 'rock star' deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
Larry Gillstrom: If you are referring to rock stars from back in the 80's, then I would say none of them, because they have all been through so much shit by now, they only deserve good things. But if you are talking about modern rock stars, then I would say they all deserve a good shot in the head. Why? Because they have no clue...Metal Sludge: Give us your fondest memory about touring or being in the following cities:
New York = One hell of a wild cab ride from the airport to do interviews at CBS/Sony headquarters. We told the cab driver we were late and he said no problem, then it was like we were in a movie chase scene. Scary but fun.
Winnipeg = Rocking at the Black Knight club a few months after Vices was released.
Montreal = Playing the Forum with Scorpions.
Chicago = I can't remember much about Chicago, except for tall buildings and some young kid throwing a rock through our tour bus window from a highway overpass, but we had a great in-store in Milwaukee.
Moncton = I was there, but thankfully I can't remember it.
Los Angeles = Partying at the Rainbow Bar & Grill every night for two months straight while recording Vices.
Detroit = Hanging out with the guys from Nazareth after our set at Harpo's.
Toronto = Playing at the CNE concert with Scorpions, Quiet Riot, and Helix
San Francisco = Opening for Judas Priest at the Cow Palace. It was a great show and a great time. Except that someone picked me off with a high velocity quarter during a solo... not funny.
London = My memory of London is pretty foggy... muhuhaha...
Metal Sludge: Is proclaiming yourself as "one of the best heavy rock groups to come out of Canada in the eighties" really saying much?
Metal Sludge: In your opinion, who's the most overrated band today and why?
Victor Langen or Gary Langen = 50/50, Gary is a great guy to hang out in the studio with, Vic is more fun to do acid with.
Goddo or Helix = Well, I am friends with both groups and have partied many places to the ground with both groups. But I'd have to give the decision to Helix, because they were like our "brothers in arms" during the 80's. Both Helix and Kick Axe went through a lot of the same shit back then, both good and bad, so I can resonate with those dudes pretty good.
British Columbia or Newfoundland = BC... Have you ever been to Newfoundland?
"On the Road to Rock" or "Heavy Metal Shuffle" = HMS by far. Mainly because it was one of the first Kick Axe songs ever written and it has always been in our repertoire, in one form or another.
Labatt's or Molson = They both make great beers, but I'll give the decision to Molson because I like their TV ads more.
Bryan Adams or Corey Hart = Bryan Adams
The Stampeders or The Guess Who = The Guess Who
Tim Horton's or Mr. Sub = Do I have to pick one? Mr. Sub, because I hate the Tim Horton's commercials.
Slik Toxik or Gypsy Rose = Slik Toxik
Kids in the Hall or SCTV = Tough call... SCTV by a nose.
Metal Sludge: Out of all the bands that Kick Axe ever toured with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you've ever met?
Metal Sludge: Rank the following Canadian chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of moose piss, and 10 being a goddess of the Great White North.
Metal Sludge: Did your drummer Brian get the gig because he has talent, or because he's your brother?
Metal Sludge: Doesn't guitarist Ray Harvey have a brother that could play in your band?
Larry Gillstrom: Yah. What a great idea!
Metal Sludge: For what amount was your biggest music-related check, and what did you do with it?
Metal Sludge: We heard you guys were commissioned or something to write songs for Black Sabbath, but they ended up becoming King Kobra songs. How did that happen? Please tell us the whole story and clear all that up once and for all.
Metal Sludge: You don't really consider Canada to be a real country, do you?
Metal Sludge: The Last of Larry Gillstrom:
Metal Sludge: Time for Metal Sludge's Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Not too shabby! Larry told a few good stories, talked some smack, and above and beyond all, he took our questions seriously and answered every single one. We really can't ask for more than that!
For more information on Kick Axe and all that they have going on, be sure to check out their official site at http://www.kickaxe.net/.
And if that's not enough, you can also check out the official Kick Axe Fan Site at kickaxe.wz.cz, which just happens to be where we stole all of the pictures we used for Larry's interview. Thanks Vlado!
Larry Gillstrom with Denny Hawk