[published]: 1987, January 30
[in]: Toronto Star, p. D14
[article]: Honing the Axe
[by]: Greg Quill

When the going gets tough, the tough hunker down. That's the way Regina heavy metal band Kick Axe looks at the fluctuating fortunes of hard rock acts. While radio ignores their music and concert promoters won't touch heavy metal for fear of getting burned, really serious metallurgists go back to their roots, back to basement clubs and sweaty mainstreet dives where real rock 'n' roll has always thrived.

There, they'll regroup and await the next assault.

Opening for Toronto band Triumph in western Canadian arena dates one week, then cramming into the tight confines of a club like Rock 'n' Roll Heaven in the Bloor/Yonge concourse the next (Kick Axe plays there Thursday night) is just part of well-rehearsed survival routine, says the band's guitarist, Larry Gillstrom.

"It's tougher for us than it was three or four years ago, but then I've seen it come and go like this two or three times before. We're not worried about surviving. Ours is more traditional metal, heavier and more endurable. Bubblegum metal will fade away, but not us.

"We'll stay true to our roots and trim down. We'll do what we have to do."

That includes making sacrifices, like deciding not to record a recently released third album, Rock The World, with big-time Hollywood producer Spencer Proffer.

"After two albums with Spencer, we realized we had serious differences with him," Gillstrom says. "We had to stick to our convictions. He's more into financial success and we're into the music.

"He's a great guy, but we just couldn't agree to go in the direction he wanted us to go. So we produced the third album ourselves. It's a considerably heavier record and that's probably a hindrance as far as radio airplay is concerned.

"But it's a real boost for our core audience.

"And Thursday night that audience can expect a lot of magic."