[published]: 1986, September
[in]: Rock Beat, Vol. 1, No. 10, p. 52
[article]: Lock Up Your House

"Being from a Canadian-based band has its good points," explains lead guitarist Larry Gillstrom. "We don't like to be pushed to the Rush, Triumph category because our music is at the extreme opposite in terms of musical tastes." Along with brother Brian Gillstrom on drums, Raymond Arthur Harvey on lead guitar and vocals, Victor Langen on bass and George Criston taking the lead vocals, they formed Kick Axe. The band has been together for six years, but has only released two albums. Their first is called Vices; it was released a couple of years ago and got considerable air play in Canada.

After an extensive tour to promote the Vices LP-covering over 100 cities in the United States and opening for bands like Judas Priest, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Krokus and Ratt-the band went into the studio to begin work on their second LP. The result was Welcome To The Club. Larry Gillstrom explains the reason for the title: "We wanted to have a title that everyone could relate to. Everyone has their problems; some people can deal with them in more constructive ways than others. We ran into some difficulties with this album, but we got past them. So what we're trying to say is, 'Hey, don't feel allienated - welcome to the club'."

Kick Axe's attitude has helped pave the road in terms of dealing with the ups and downs of show business. "It's like a roller coaster, man; we have run into so many diversions throughout the six years of the bands existence. I mean, if we got a dime for every time we got to a gig and there was no electricity or every time we got some of our equipment stolen, we'd be rich. We could retire and not have to put up with this bullshit anymore," says Gillstrom.

Not that Kick Axe doesn't enjoy what they're doing. Six years is an awfully long time to be doing something you don't enjoy. In case you're wondering how the band got its name, Larry explains, "When we first got started we tried to figure out a name to the band, we thought about what rock 'n' roll is. The two main instruments you need to play rock 'n' roll are the drums (the kick) and a guitar (the axe)."

Kick Axe has, over the years, achieved a reputation for being somewhat on the destructive side. Drummer Brian Gillstrom is known for livening up parties by going down to the basement and totally thrashing everything. Or for breaking the monotony of long tour boredom by breaking down hotel walls and furniture. What's even more amazing about this is the fact that most of the time after he breaks something, he fixes it. One time he thrashed the bathroom at a hotel; afterwards, he went down to the local hardware store and bought over one hundred dollars worth of tile and retiled the entire room.

In the meantime, Kick Axe are currently working on material for their third album. They should be touring as you read this. If you ever invite these guys over for a party at your house, be sure to lock up the basement, the bathroom, and anything else you don't want destroyed.