[published]: 2004, August-September
[in]: Melodic Rock Fanzine, No. 4
[article]: Heart and Soul
[by]: Andreas

Andreas: For younger readers who never heard the name Kick Axe before, could you please bring us in touch with the band's history?

Larry Gillstrom: Kick Axe was formed as a power-trio in the 70's by myself (guitar), Vic Langen (bass) and his brother Gary (drums, vocals). The band went through several fourth members until we found Raymond Harvey (guitar). The four of us stayed together until Gary had to leave the group for personal reasons. At that time, my brother Brian joined the group as the new drummer and eventually George Criston became our lead singer. We released three albums in the 80's, performed on several motion picture soundtracks and sold close to a million records. We toured with several groups such as Judas Priest, Scorpions, Whitesnake, Rush, Metallica, Triumph and Quiet Riot. Unfortunately, legal problems created by our management company forced the band to disband in the late 80's. But we have always intended to re-unite when it was safe to do so. That time is now...

Andreas: Seventeen years have passed since Rock The World. What have you done musically since then and why did it take so long to the new CD IV?

Larry Gillstrom: The legal and financial problems that knocked Kick Axe out of the music scene in late 80's took a heavy toll on all of us. I went on to manage and produce several Canadian groups (Fury, Paradise) and eventually started my own software company (Internet, video games, multimedia). George played in Paradise with Doug Johnson from Loverboy, Ray played with Bob Rock's group Rock & Hyde and became a successful studio engineer and producer. Brian and Vic played in a group called Lions Gate and started a very successful Limousine company. We had to wait for the statute of limitations to run out on our legal problems before we could re-group and record our fourth album.

Andreas: Rock The World on CD is a collector's item which brings its seller about 150 dollars. Any chance to get it re-released in the not too distant future?

Larry Gillstrom: Yes, we will be re-issuing Rock The World in 2005. It will be digitally remastered with new artwork.

Andreas: Reason we're talking now is your excellent new album IV which sees your very first vocalist Gary Langen back in the band. Was George Criston too busy or what was the reason for it?

Larry Gillstrom: We are all still good friends with George and still consider him part of Kick Axe. But he had already made some long term commitments to Nettwerk artists Sarah McLachlan, Dido and Avril Lavigne. We talked to Gary and he was ready to hook back up with us and do the album. Gary and I recorded a couple of demos and we all felt good about having him take over the lead vocals.

Andreas: Kick Axe in 2004 still stands for crafted but melodic Hard-Rock. No experiments or even modern influences is watering your sound. Have the material on this album been all written during the last couple of years or have you chosen tunes written over the last ten years or so?

Larry Gillstrom: Some of the songs, such as Time, Consolation and The Only Ones Here were written quite a while ago and just rearranged a bit for the album. Most of the other songs were written between 2001-2003. All members of the group contributed songs and I feel that all of these songs were written from the heart, without any consideration for what is popular now or what people might expect to hear from us. This is a very personal album for the band members and we made this album for the pure pleasure of writing and playing together again. We hope our fans will like it but we already feel fulfilled just by making the record.