Music-Rock: Well Victor let's start off with an update as to what's going on in the world of Kick Axe.
Victor Langen: What is going on???!!! We have played some live shows across Western Canada, to be prepared for more extensive touring throughout North America in 2005. Our set list includes songs from all of our studio albums as well as the movie soundtracks of Transformers & Up The Creek. NOTE: Spencer Proffer secretly changed our name to Spectre General for the Transformers Movie soundtrack. We are in the final stages of preparing the re-issue of Rock The World in 2005. It has been remastered by Raymond Harvey, plus completely new artwork and will include various bonus tracks for each market, Canada, Europe, USA, etc. Our entire back catalogue will finally be made available worldwide!
Music-Rock: This Kick Axe reunion reunites the original Kick Axe lineup. How did this come about?
Victor Langen: Most people familiar with the recorded version of Kick Axe don't realize this... We started out as a three piece power trio, ala Grand Funk, Rush, ZZ Top, etc. Larry, my brother Gary & myself played for years together since childhood days. Gary left for personal reasons, after many long hard years of building Kick Axe. When George Criston declined the reunion opportunity, I called my brother Gary. He was the only choice, as he has every right to work with us other original guys. I'm sure George would be the first one to endorse Gary's vocal talent credentials!
Music-Rock: Let's talk about the latest Kick Axe CD. What are some of your favorite tunes off the new CD and why?
Victor Langen: It is hard to pick favorites, but here goes... ALL OF THEM, as they are like children to me, each has it's own special identity.
Music-Rock: You have a very unique trademark bass. What can you tell us about the design of the bass and how it came about over the years?
Victor Langen: Since 1979, I have only played this special make of bass guitar. The company is called FURY, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. At the time of Kick Axe being signed to Pasha, late 1983... I convinced Glenn, the mastermind behind FURY guitars, to build me a signature bass guitar. I took delivery of the first one during the recording of Vices in Pasha Studios. These are fondly known as the FURY AXE series, only a few were made. All five of my bass guitars are made by Glenn at FURY Guitars, www.furyguitar.com.
Music-Rock: You were part of the whole Pasha music machine. We've heard many horror stories about Spencer Proffer over the years. Some folks even dubbed him "Spend Your Profit$". How would you describe your experience in the Pasha/Proffer family?
Victor Langen: We went into that whole deal with our EYES WIDE SHUT !!! Hypnotized by Hollywood, we were just young Canadian guys living the dream. Remember, Kick Axe was not some overnight sensation, we had built our Canadian following over the course of seven years and we wanted the BIGTIME. Here we were... living & recording in Los Angeles, hanging out at the Rainbow. I am certain that Spencer truly believed in what Kick Axe did musically. He was riding the Quiet Riot wave at the time he signed us, and ultimately I think that his priorities got screwed up with all that sudden notoriety & power he had. In the end, I must say that Spencer gave us our big break to be heard worldwide. I would work together again with Spencer Proffer or Duane Baron in a heartbeat.
Music-Rock: Let's take a jump back into the "Music Video Time Capsule". What's your favorite music video you've been in and why?
Victor Langen: On The Road To Rock. Why??? It was my first big budget Hollywood Rock Video extravaganza!
Music-Rock: What's your least favorite music video you've been in and why?
Victor Langen: On The Road To Rock. Why??? The first time we seen it on MTV in a Corpus Christi, Texas hotel room!
Music-Rock: A Few Quick Hits.
Victor Langen: First concert you ever saw: April Wine "Electric Jewels Tour". Awesome!!!
Worst concert you ever saw: Krokus (we opened for them throughout Texas in 84).
Most embarrassing album in your collection: Peter Frampton Comes Alive.
Favorite TV shows growing up: Monty Python, Gunsmoke, Hogan's Heroes, StarTrek.
The one thing Victor Langen is best at is: the questioning of so-called "authority".
The one thing Victor Langen is worst at is: lying.
When I was a kid you'd most likely find me: learning guitar & playing ice hockey.
The thing most people would be surprised to know about Victor Langen is: I have a home in the countryside, in northern Bavaria, Germany. Come visit me!
Victor Langen's guilty pleasure is: drinking the finest California Zinfandel red wine... Or maybe driving a Mercedes S-Class at 300 kph on the Autobahn to Munich... But never both at the same time!!!!
Music-Rock: The Music-Rock staff has whittled down a list of some of our favorite tracks you've recorded over the years. What thoughts, memories or anecdotes do you have regarding the following songs:
Victor Langen: "Heavy Metal Shuffle"- The very first Kick Axe song written by Larry, Gary & myself in 1976
"On The Road To Rock"- The Kick Axe "ultimate 80's" party theme!
"Vices"- Written at Spencer's first Beverly Hills (my favorite) mansion.
"Maneater"- An insatiable Lust for Flesh (Menschenfresser to our German fans)
"Dreamin About You"- Our first & only attempt at a LOVE song
"Welcome To The Club"- The story of our recording/touring experiences of 1984
"Hell Raisers"- For anyone with human blood running through their veins!
"Feel the Power"- It's like a guiding hand, part of a higher plan, I feel the Power!!!!!!!
"Devachan"- One of my favorite songs that we have ever recorded. A blast to play LIVE also!
"Rock The World"- Inspired by the inner-city ghettos we saw while on tour in America. The actual title was F.T.W. (Fuck the World), listen closely to the chorus!
"The Dark Crusade"- Originally written before the VICES album. A band favorite. A song that was way ahead of it's time, in light of 9/11. It is a warning of barbaric evil invaders looming over the horizon.
Music-Rock: What's the best decision you've made during your career?
Victor Langen: Signing with Spencer Proffer and Pasha Records.
Music-Rock: What's the worst decision you've made during your career?
Victor Langen: Signing with our crack head Canadian manager.
Music-Rock: Coming from "The Great White North", who are your top 5 Canadian Metal/Hard Rock bands of all time?
Victor Langen: Steppenwolf, Rush, April Wine, SAGA, Headpins.
Music-Rock: We're going to put you on the spot regarding a few Canadian artists. Please give us your thoughts.
Victor Langen: Rush- They are one of a kind in the history of rock, let the music do the talking!
Triumph- Rush's "Trailer Park" half-brothers. Rik Emmett is the talented one!!!
Killer Dwarfs- As the shortest dude in Kick Axe, I am the Official Honorary Killer Dwarf.
Helix- Gimme an "R" ! Gimme an "O" ! Gimme a "C" ! Gimme a "K" ! What's that spell? ROCK ! ! and whatcha gonna do??? ROCK YOU !!!!!
Sebastian Bach- The only thing I can think of with Sebastian is this... he was at every Kick Axe gig in Toronto studying George Criston all night long.
Bryan Adams- Such a Super Nice guy, with Nice Super-songs
Slik Toxic- The only thing I can think of with Slik Toxic is this...
Tom Cochrane- Another Super Nice guy, with some Super Wonderful songs
Celine Dion- Super Nice try, Wonderful Nice songs
Shania Twain- Wonderful Super Nice body!!!
Music-Rock: You have a brotherhood with another Music-Rock Feature Artist, Helix. What do you remember most about those early days slugging it out with Helix, trying to break into "The Big Time"?
Victor Langen: The HELIX guys are like long lost cousins to me. I remember slugging it out with the HELIX guys, in the back of our tour bus (after their bus broke down on the highway & we rescued them in our tour bus) while touring as double billed headliners across Canada in the dead of our record setting, polar bear perfect, "I could eat an Eskimo" Arctic winter of 1985.
Music-Rock: "The Life and Times of Victor Langen" is being made into a multi million dollar movie. Who plays Victor and how does the movie end?
Victor Langen: Michael J. Fox would have to play me in my early years (Back To The Future), Dennis Hopper (Apocalypse Now) would be me now... as for This is the end... How about Anthony Hopkins, tending to his authentic Amsterdam "hydroponic" indoor herbal essence garden... (Silence Of The Lambs... Chlorese!) With the magical "Meet Joe Black" fireworks ending sequence... roll the credits "The Only Ones Here" is playing in the background. Fade into Moulin Rouge???
Music-Rock: With all the ups and downs of being a musician, we've all had to have a few "odd jobs" along the way. What was your worst "struggling musician" job?
Victor Langen: Delivering Kentucky Fried Chicken in Regina, 1977 with an Orange Austin Mini.
Music-Rock: What's the greatest life lesson you've learned over the years?
Victor Langen: I've learned most humans tend to mistake "the kindness of others" as stupidity.
Music-Rock: Every musician has their personal favorite "Jam Band" songs. Whether it be the last call, open mic night, or "Holy Crap Mister Rock Star is in the audience, let's jam"!! So what are your top 5 all time "Jam Band Songs"?
Victor Langen: the top 5 Jam songs...
1 - Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
2 - Paranoid - Black Sabbath
3 - Shot Down In Flames - AC/DC with Bon Scott
4 - Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf
5 - Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones
Music-Rock: You have 5 songs (spanning your entire recording career) to put into the "Victor Langen Time Capsule". What 5 songs are in the time capsule?
Victor Langen: In no particular order... Vices, Never Let Go, Warrior, Piece Of The Rock, Time.
Music-Rock: Anything else you'd like to talk about?
Victor Langen: I live in both Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as well as Coburg, Bavaria, Germany. Ich wohne alle beide Vancouver, Kanada und auch Coburg, Bayern, Deutschland. Ich Liebe Deutschland uber Alles!!!! Haben Sie Rammstein oder Toten Hosen???
Music-Rock: *Here are some other great stories Victor shared with us*
Victor Langen: Kick Axe and Black Sabbath
What many Kick Axe fans might not realize... While Kick Axe were busy recording the Vices album at Pasha Studios, Spencer was negotiating with many new projects to bring into Pasha Studios. He had us write & record a number of tunes for his secret future considerations. Black Sabbath was to be the next project into Pasha & Spencer was hoping to have them record some of these extra Kick Axe demo songs. This particular lineup of Sabbath never stayed together to begin recording, Ian Gillan went back to Deep Purple, to do the Perfect Strangers album. At first, Tony & Geezer wanted to steal George for Black Sabbath, I kid you not! The Sabbath sessions were put on hold...
Kick Axe and King Kobra
Carmine Appice's King Kobra came in. They did record 2 of the songs we left for Spencer, Piece of the Rock & Hunger, for their debut album, Ready To Strike. Their video for Hunger is cool. You can hear the actual Kick Axe version on the Transformers soundtrack.
Kick Axe and WASP
Next up in the Pasha Studios after King Kobra was the one & only WASP! They also recorded one of our demos, Runnin' Wild In The Streets for their Last Command album. Except Blackie insisted that we sign it off to him! We did.
Kick Axe Undercover
Almost forgot this tidbit of information, we also recorded two cover songs! Spencer's arrangement of Humble Pie's "30 Days In the Hole" which was included in the movie Up The Creek and the soundtrack album. But to this day... nothing has been heard about our special Kick Axe version of Born To Be Wild.
Music-Rock: What was your "Spinal Tap Moment"?
Victor Langen: We were the opening act for Lita Ford and Ratt in an old ballroom in Chicago... Anyways, we were using a janitor's closet as our dressing room in the basement. Stage call rolls around... time to head for the stage, following our road manager. Remember the "Hello Cleveland" bit in Spinal Tap, that was exactly this scene! Oh yes, and to top it off... when we finally found the backstage area..., here is Tony & Geezer hanging out & offering us best wishes for a great show. Tony & Lita were an item back then... and they were there scouting out George!
Music-Rock: You have only 5 albums you can listen to for the rest of your life. What are they (no greatest hits, live albums, or box sets)?
Victor Langen: The top 5... for the rest of my natural days:
Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
Deep Purple - In Rock
Uriah Heep - Magician's Birthday
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffitti
Rush - Moving Pictures
Music-Rock: You get to put together the "Victor Langen Dream Band", dead, alive or otherwise. As an added bonus no lawyers or agents are involved in the formation of this band. Who is in the band?
Victor Langen: Dream band Alive:
Lead Vocals/Keyboards: Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep)
guitars: Michael Schenker
guitars: Eddie Van Halen
Rhythm guitar: Malcolm Young
Drums/Vocals: Carmine Appice
Bass guitar/Vocals: yours truly!!! ( if I am dead, then it must be Rudy Sarzo)
Dream band Dead:
Lead Vocals: Bon Scott
Guitars & vocals: Jimi Hendrix
Guitars & vocals: Tommy Bolin
Drummers: John Bonham & Cozy Powell
Bass/Vocals: Gary Thain (early Uriah Heep) please add me if I am dead
Keyboards: Johann Sebastian Bach (Amadeus)
Music-Rock: Thanks Victor!
Victor Langen: I must thank you "Music-Rock" for this opportunity to be heard by your readers! Fight the Good Fight!!! God Bless America.
Music-Rock: You are another warrior keeping the spirit alive. Keep Defending the Faith!