[published]: 1985, February
[in]: Video Rock Stars, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 28
[article]: (New & Now) Kick Axe: Heady Metal from Canada
[by]: Rob Grosswiner

If trends continue, beer and hockey won't be the only things that Canada is known for. The land north of the border has produced a motherload of superstar acts for the past couple of years, and now, following quick on their heels, comes Kick Axe.

This Vancouver-based quintet combines the hallmarks of classic metal with complex five-part vocal harmonies and an array of crossfades and other cerebral production stylings inspired by the bands Kick Axe consider their major influences, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. They've maintained an uncompromising attitude towards the music since they were kids dreaming of being stars in bass player Victor Langen's basement.

"As soon as things got comfortable for the band," says Larry Gillstrom (lead guitar and vocals), "we'd throw a wrench into it. Eventually we were told, 'Why don't you go all the way and quit sitting on the fence,' so we did. We went full force into heavy metal, and all the agents freaked, but we scored from that point on!" And they're still scoring. Kick Axe has opening across Canada and the U.S. for virtually every major heavy metal group. Soon they hope to release a follow-up to last year's axe-kicking debut, Vices and lead off a headlining world tour. For all the 'heady' talk, though, Kick Axe definitely has not left the good-time, party tradition of heavy metal behind. It's the atmosphere that counts, they say.

"You've got to write the songs in the same atmosphere that you're going to play in, perform in, or that the people that listen to your music exist in, the party atmosphere. For the most part, our songs are written in trashed hotel rooms. I remember this one room," Larry continues, "that was just covered in broken beer bottles, broken chairs, just a mess all over. So we said, 'This is a good place to write songs.' You don't get sidetracked. You write heavy metal instead of thinking about butterflies, you know?"

Victor agrees. "It is pretty rock 'n' roll".