[published]: 1986, December 10
[in]: Stouffville Tribune, p. C5
[article]: Kick Axe Is More Personal
[by]: Jennifer Dempsey

Kick Axe threw open its hard rock image recently revealing the characters behind the instruments. Their performance at the Nag's Head North Nov. 28 was more personal than usual for a rock band.

Kick Axe was very well aware of the crowd, and more than once, george Criston looked as if he couldn't believe that the crowd liked the band. There was a lot of eye contact, and the band singled out the audience by winking and pointing.

The evening included some very melodic tunes with a strong rhythm section, complemented by some strong guitar riffs by Larry Gillstrom.

Compared with many other hard-rock groups I've heard, the voices of lead vocalist George Criston, (who studied jazz vocalization at the Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee for two years), and the other band members blended very well together.

The lighting show was dramatic - on Brian Gillstrom's drums especially, with the arrangement on an upward angle.

The light show created depth to the stage, and the lights moved in time with the drum beat. The light is the sole responsibility of the light technician - the band gives him very few guidelines. A job well done.

Their sets are truly 'aerobic rock' - there is constant movement, (George is always moving around the stage), and you know when a song is about to finish because the band members make use of hand movements, swooping dives and kicks.

George sang We Still Remember from the group's latest album with sincerity. Welcome to the Club was accompanied by the audience.

Although they didn't play With a Little Help from My Friends, Victor Langen, the bassist, talked about it between sets.

"We did With a Little Help from My Friends as a lark. We were finishing recording early one morning and began kicking the song around in practice. The producer said, "Why don't we record this?" so we gathered some of our friends and recorded it as an afterthought. It was strange how the radio people picked that song. We never expected it."

About their name

"Being basically rebelious in nature, we wanted something that would really displease high school principals," said Victor. Kick Axe actually means kick, as in the beat, and axe, (a slang word) for guitar. The name actually got us all the more gigs because students said, "The principal hates them, let's get them."

A perspective on goals

"When you're a kid in high school, your goal is to play the school gymnasium. The next goal you set is to play in the local bar. As you get older, your scope of the world gets larger, and you eventually decide you want to play Moscow - your goals change," Victor noted.

Although the band comes originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, all four members now live in Vancouver, British Columbia, where their fan club was recently moved.