[published]: 1985, December 17
[in]: Calgary Herald, p. D3
[article]: Rock band wants to be fantasy fodder for kids
[by]: James Muretich

This has been the year of rock musicians releasing benefit records to aid the needy.

So, in keeping with the benevolent spirit of '85, Kick Axe got together 20 artists from Canada's rock community and recorded The Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends.

Drummer Brian Gillstrom, who organized the recording session as part of the band's new album, says the song is indeed intended to benefit a worthy cause - namely, Kick Axe.

"Yeh, it's aid for Kick Axe," he says, laughing.

"All this money is going to starving people, so how about us? Nah, I'm just kidding. Basically, I just wanted to bring memories of a damn good song."

"I also wanted to get all these musicians together (such as Lee Aaron, Zappacosta and Sheron Alton) and see if they could work together without being in aid of something," says Gillstrom.

The song has proven to be a calculated winner for Kick Axe, who perform at the Jubilee Auditorium Jan. 2.

It is done in the same style as Joe Cocker's rendition of With a Little Help From My Friends and has won immediate acceptance from radio programmers who love embracing cover versions of golden oldies these days.

"The song was a good idea and good timing. It was the number one add (to the playlist) last week on radio in Canada. That's how you make yourself a household name, by reaching people through radio.

Kick Axe is your basic hardrockin' Canuck outfit which has worked its way up from the bars (it was a regular in Calgary until this year) to the concert level. Its recently released Welcome to the Club is its second album.

Many would label Kick Axe heavy-rock or heavy-metal because of its long hair and blaring guitars. Gillstrom claims such labels can be misleading.

"I wouldn't define us as a heavy-rock or metal band. What does the term metal mean today? Is it Led Zeppelin or Venom? And if it's Venom, then it's not us."

However, like most bands viewed as heavy-rock, Kick Axe does specialize in aggressive, loud rock. It also has more than a few songs which deal with partying, the power of rock and, naturally, sex.

However, Gillstrom says lyrics which seem sexual (such as "I feel so hungry and you're such a treat, unwrap the candy, ooh it tastes so sweet") aren't necessarily concerned with matters of the flesh.

"Oh, you can take it sexually, but you've got a dirty mind," Gillstrom says, sounding surprisingly straight-faced.

"That song is about something happening in your life, a project or five minutes of doing something, about that high feeling you get and don't want to be over."

Right. And the line "make me be your slave" is probably about a deep-seated urge to become a butler.

Oh well, Gillstrom says Kick Axe's philosophy is to give the kids what they want, to be rock'n'roll fantasy fodder.

"The kids just want to escape and hear things that are positive. They can read the newspaper if they want to deal with reality. We want them to forget their problems, to party and have a good time."

And by giving their fans what they want, Gillstrom hopes Kick Axe can get what it wants.

"We just want the chance to make 10 albums, take over the world, sell as many albums as Julio Iglesias and have Bruce Springsteen's bank account."