[published]: 2004, November 19
[in]: Quintessence Metal Webzine
[article]: Interview with Victor Langen
[by]: Wayne Klinger

Once again, we see yet another reunion band from the 80's and this one is from Canada. Not your typical hair band or glam metal band, this band was a true roots old school metal band that got popular fast but unfortunately didn't last as long as we would expect. Poor management and once again, the ill-fated demise came when grunge reared it's ugly head on the scene (not that I hate grunge but Nirvana comes to mind as far as ruining it for the metal scene). Here's the lowdown on everything and the band's new album IV on Songhaus Music....a small chat with Victor Langen of the Canadian metallers.........

Quintessence: Hello?
Victor Langen: Hello! Victor from Kick Axe.

Quintessence: How ya doin'?
Victor Langen: Very good sir!

Quintessence: Good connection you got from Canada---technology is fantastic isn't it?
Victor Langen: Sure is! I'm calling from my cellular phone. We're in rehersals right now and I just ran out to my car and grabbed the cell phone.

Quintessence: Rehearsals? For what?
Victor Langen: Yeah, we're gearing up with some shows starting in Vancouver, then carry on and head East from here.

Quintessence: IV surprised me as an album. To cut to the chase, I said I hope this won't be another, smoke, drink, sex and rock lyric album and you guys turned around and did something a bit different.
Victor Langen: Well, the 80's are behind us now.

Quintessence: You stuck to your guns musically even though Criston didn't join back on vocals and is probably sticking with his current role due to monetary reasons. (Criston tours with the likes of Avril Lavigne, Dido and Sara MacLachlan)
Victor Langen: Well, sure yes.

Quintessence: Just my opinion. I'm not a materialistic person and would always stay in a band since it's what I want to play and it's in my heart. I'd be bored stiff doing what Criston does everyday.
Victor Langen: He was in too deep to jump ship there to come onboard to this thing; I can respect it. I respect his choice.

Quintessence: So why wait 18 years when you guys could've reformed 10-15 years ago?
Victor Langen: That's the question I don't have an answer for!

Quintessence: The million-dollar question?
Victor Langen: You got it Wayne!--we talked about this so many times and just couldn't get it together for different reasons. Everyone was doing other things at the time and had other projects here and there and actually why we disappeared in the first place was due to legal affairs our manager got into. A whole lot of trouble which translated means got us in a whole lot of trouble financially.

Quintessence: No disrespect to your country but I hear alot of that with Canadian bands. (Most recent one was Kittie I can remember but that was with the label. Still Canadian-based though)
Victor Langen: Seems we don't have proper management up here I guess or we just picked the wrong one. (laughs)

Quintessence: Speaking of management, you guys need to get a horde of people athered up so we can get this NHL season started!
Victor Langen: You're telling me! It's a national crisis up here!

(We spent a few minutes discussing teams and his likes for Calgary, Vancouver and Columbus and mine with some of the expansion teams like Tampa Bay and San Jose, the Penguins and my fave, the Buffalo Sabres--I'm anti-Philly everything by the way!!--WK)

Quintessence: So tell me a bit about this Songhaus Music label.
Victor Langen: It's a fella out of Salt Lake City, Dean Spencer and he's a musician himself; he's purely for the music. That's how he makes his choices and that's the kind of people we want to be involved with. I've been aware of them since '99 when there was a lot of chatter of re-releasing our first two albums on disc (came out late 2000). He was the one who woke up one morning and decided to do this. That sort of got the wheels turning once it actually came out with the power of the internet and what not and we wee able to see there was still some interest about us. We figured it has been too long and no one would care and it was buried.

Quintessence: Well, there's some serious metalheads here! Was IV released at the same time or did the Europeans get first crack at it?
Victor Langen: Yes, simultaneously but a day earlier in Europe since the States was celebrating some sort of holiday. (Labor Day as I explained)

Quintessence: Reception to IV?
Victor Langen: Steady and more support from radio and press. We're getting out and playing live. It feels good to get out and get a taste of it again. Doing alot of interviews and alot of college radio has picked us up in the States. (We somehow got on the incident on Saturday Night Live with Ashley Simpson). Progressive Rock is still pretty healthy even though it's not like the 80's when it was everywhere and you just couldn't get away from it.

Quintessence: Back to the rehearsing; you guys haven't played much I take it?
Victor Langen: We only had one show we did so far in a town you probably haven't heard of, Saskatchewan.

Quintessence: (Laughing) Hell yeah, we watch the CFL down here!! (CFL talk for a few minutes here and the joke of 9 teams and 2 of them have the Roughrider nickname). Any DVD ideas?
Victor Langen: We'll be getting underway and these live shows in Canada will be professionally shot. We'll be playing our whole catalog; our past, our present and maybe throw in some future songs along with that. Definately a live concert DVD.

Quintessence: Full tour?
Victor Langen: We're attacking in blocks right now. 3-4 shows at a time. Chipster is pushing for us to hit some eastern states like New York, PA and maybe more of the East Coast.

Quintessence: Any real hassles coming over from the border?
Victor Langen: Just takes longer--I have American friends in Seattle since we're so close and I visit quite often. It's just the way our world is today.

(We talked a few minutes about Seattle bands, the resurgence of old bands and why Europe is different than the U.S. musically in aspects of Metal and attitude and the funny thing I brought up to him about Canadian rockers Survivor doing cell phone commercials here in the States)

Quintessence: Well, it'd be cool to see you guys come here to the U.S.. Get some of that old school Metal in some of these small venues and some of the larger ones who don't look down on us. I wish you guys alot of luck and be safe---and by all means, don't come down here on Election Day!
Victor Langen: (Laughing) I hear ya and we are watching this as closely as you guys will be.

(Victor and me spent a good 15 minutes talking about politics and neither one of us' stronghold but I mentioned a few things going on as far as the Democratic Party and some of their bullshit they pulled over the year. Examples: Michael Moore, Dan Rather, Bush's service in the Air Force, Haliburton, CBS and NY Times just a couple weeks ago with the 380 tons of supposedly missing explosives and flip-flop Kerry)

Quintessence: Victor have a good one! Nice talking to you.
Victor Langen: I'm gonna get back here and make some noise with the boys--I'll be in touch with ya on the internet.

Quintessence: Sure thing--bye.
Victor Langen: Bye.