KICK AXE Guitarist Issues Update On Kick Axe IV
August 17, 2004, 18 years ago
KICK AXE guitarist Larry Gillstrom recently spoke with MTM Music in regards to the band's long awaited return to recording duty with the album IV, due out in September.
Says Larry, "So why now. why are we reuniting at this particular point in time? Quite simply, it was not possible to do so until now. Kick Axe was forced to disband in the late 1980's due to financial and legal reasons. We all remained close, but the members went off in different directions. Then in early 2002, we all found ourselves back in Vancouver out for dinner together. We talked about reuniting and agreed it was time to deal with some unfinished business.
Some people ask me why George isn't on this album. It would have been great if George could have performed on the album, and I know he would have liked to, but the timing wasn't right for him and he had other long-term commitments. We still remain in contact with George and he was one of the first people to get a pre-release copy of the new album.
It may seem a bit strange for us to say that we are all original Kick Axe members, since Gary Langen has replaced George Criston in this incarnation of the band. But it was Gary, Vic and I that started Kick Axe back in the 70's and Gary was the singer and drummer for many years before personal reasons forced him to leave the group.
Unfortunately for Gary, that was just prior to our first record deal and George ended up being the first Kick Axe singer on record. The great thing about this formation of the group is that we've all known each other for at least three decades and feel very comfortable with each other both on and off stage.
This is the first album where the songs were not written while the band was on the road. On the first three albums, the whole band always got together in someone's hotel room and we wrote the songs together. On this album, individual members brought songs to the project that had been written prior to the reunion. There are also several new songs that are collaborations between two or more members of the band, and we also collaborated with a couple of outside artists (Laurel Aura and Floyd Ray).
The songs on Kick Axe IV are a little more serious and melodic than on our previous albums. I guess that's because we are older and wiser now. Well . at least we are older. Several of the new songs were written about real life experiences. Rockin' Daze is a song about the band's demise in the late 80's.
Consolation and Turn to Stone are songs about moments of pain and grief. But there are also light-hearted songs like Slip Inside My Dream and Rock n Roll Dog. We produced the album with the guitars loud in the mix, which is the way we have always been live. I think the whole record has a very live feel to it.
At first we weren't sure if we would tour live for this new album, but as we neared the end of production on the album, we felt a growing desire to get out and perform again.
We're going to do our first live show in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. This is the city where most of us were born and raised. As soon as we announced the show, we had all the old crew calling us up offering to do the show with us. We expect it to be a blast!
We've had a lot of people contact us trying to find a copy of Rock The World on CD. I hear copies are selling on e-bay for $100+. It's our intention to re-issue the Rock The World CD in early 2005. There will be new cover art, because the original cover art was forced on us by our record company at the time.
They rejected our initial cover, and created one without our input while we were on tour. We've never really liked that cover and now we have a chance to put things right. That will also leave the original "Rock The World" CD as the unique collector's item that it is.
One of the things that really inspired us to reform was the continuous fan-mail we received over the years, which increased dramatically with the re-issue of the Vices and Welcome to the Club albums. And we were also encouraged by the numerous fan web sites that appeared, especially the one created by Vlado from the Czech Republic: kickaxe.wz.cz/main/main.htm. "