[published]: 1985, March
[in]: Smash Hits, Vol. 5, No. 27, p. 10
[article]: Short Talks: Kick Axe
[by]: William T. Anderson

Kick Axe is a Canadian band that is definitely On the Road to Rock...for this tune is among the tasteful tracks on the premier Pasha LP, Vices!

Their record company biography promises "a brand of metal music with a difference," and lead singer George Criston agrees. As the newest member of Kick Axe describes, "We have three and fourt-part harmonies and hooky melodic lines in our songs. It is easier for the ear and easier for the listener to grasp (than typical generic heavy metal). Everyone in this group sings well, and the way we mix our sound makes all the harmonies come out strong." But there's just enough heaviness for a metal maven to sink their ears into. "Our music has the crunching rhythm section, with the melodic lines over the top."

Kick Axe has recently opened shows for Quiet Riot and Judas Priest. "A good time was had by all," George said of the Priest-ly gigs. "We went over really well. People had their arms up in the air and were cheering all the way through our set." One city which greeted Kick Axe with special warmth was Casper, Wyoming. "In towns like that kids may go weeks without seeing a band, so when they do see them they really get their energy out!" George remembered fondly.

George has been a member of Kick Axe for two years, and he has definite opinions on his fellow Axers! "The two brothers, Brian and Larry Gillstrom, are the rowdiest guys! Brian is on drums and responsibility, if something is out of place in a city where we've played, it's his responsibility! Larry is a crazy man, a partier!"

Other members of Kick Axe fondly remember days when they used to play in front of very demanding audiences in their native Regina, Saskatchewan. "There was real pressure to join a gang," bassist Victor Langen has said. "But if you were in a rock and roll band, you were instantly accepted. So we wound up performing at the gangs' parties." Victor and lead guitarist Larry Gillstrom eventually took their band on the road, and added guitarist Ray Harvey and drummer Brian Gillstrom along the way. American George Criston made a reputation for himself in the Milwaukee music scene before joining Kick Axe and touring Canada with them. Thus George learned first-hand some advantages that the Canadian club scene offers a group. "You play six nights a week in a club, you'll be in the same city and the same club for six nights before you move on. You're playing everyday, every're constantly practicing! There are also not so many bands per square feet, and you have time to write original material."

"Victor is the shortest and the oldest in the group, we call him the Grandpa because he and Larry are the two original members of Kick Axe. Raymond is the passive sex god, real teen material." As for George. "I have a good time. I have the best time in the band. I really enjoy what I'm doing. It's a one-in-a-million job!"

Smash Hits just had to know how Kicke Axe came up with its clever name, and as George explained, "It refers to Kick-drum and Axe-guitar. Besides, it sounds real good on the radio!"