Tag Archives: 80s Rock

NESTOR – An Interview With Sweden’s Next Biggest Band

Nestor music, videos, stats, and photos | Last.fm

Nestor is a new [old] band from Sweden, who’s 3 videos from their debut album have amassed over a million views. Well….actually, they are old band, but have returned decades later with their first album. The band music is a return to the ’80s in sound and image, and their album (see my review elsewhere on this site) is full of great ’80s hard-rock. If you were a fan of aor/HR in the ’80s and Kids In A Ghost Town had come out in the mid ’80s – you’d likely already own it! Here is an interview with Tobias Gustavsson of the band detailing their return in 2021, and their exciting debut album. *Check out the links below.

Can you give me a bit of background on the band — you guys existed briefly and released a few singles!? What do you recall of those songs, and why/when did the band split back then? 

Yeah, Nestor was founded back in 1989, we all grew up in a small town together in Sweden, found each other through music and started playing together.  We released a couple of EPs up til ‘95. The first EP was all over the place genre wise. We mixed all kinds of influences, everything from U2 to Europe for example, but it’s hard to hear because it really sounds like crap. The second EP was a bit more unified, with influences like Queensrüche and Dream Theater, I’ll have a listen to that second EP from time to time and I’m quite proud of it still. We never really split up; we just went on a looong pause… haha!

Is there a bit more you guys can mention about your past in music, be it recordings you’ve been a part of (as musicians or producers)?  Tobias, can you mention a bit about your success as a producer [assuming this is your site – http://www.25media.net/tobiasgustavsson/  ?]

Yep, that’s me. All of us kind of worked with music in one way or another, played in different constellations and bands, but I (Tobias) went on to become a songwriter and producer and had a couple of projects, among them a duo called Itchycoo, and later a band called Straight Frank (that our guitar player Jonny was a part of too). I also wrote for other artists and made some pretty successful songs here and there through the years. I’ve kept on working with music in some form or another through all the years.

Sweden (as well as Norway) has a lot of great musicians & bands in the hard-rock, AOR, metal genre. Why do you think that is? And any favorite (or recommended) artists or albums from your country?

That’s a tricky question, right off the bat I think that the long winter has an impact when it comes to great musicians and bands (there is nothing else to do other than being in band or in a sports team). Also, success breeds more success probably, so thanks to ABBA and Roxette and all the other greats the tradition sort of goes on and inspires new Swedes to succeed maybe.

Some favorite bands from Sweden right now – Niki and the Dove (80’s pop with contemporary influences) and Ludwig Hart (sound like a mix of Tom Petty and Springsteen with a touch of Aha which is a great band as well by the way). Another band in our own genre worth mentioning are H.E.A.T that we’re joining in February on their Scandinavian tour! That’s gonna be fun!

It was the time during the pandemic that brought you guys back to record a full album, correct? Or was it merely one song that led to another and so on?

I would love to say that we had this master plan from the start, but the truth is a bit of both – one song led to the other and then the vision became clear; “to make the album now that we didn’t have the skills or possibility to make back in ’89.”

What did you do to get in that head space of writing so many great 80s type rock songs during the making of this album — did you guys go back and listen to a lot of stuff from that era?

Yes, we did, we listened to a lot of music from that era but also read magazines and watched a lot of movies etc to get the vibe to get back to that feeling from that time in our lives.

The videos have been well planned, very detailed, and humorous. What sort of inspired those type of clips, seeing as MTV went out decades ago, and not many bands put in such effort these days?

The inspiration was plain and simple 80s metal videos – they always had a story back then. Personally, I always liked the fact that music is entertainment and that kind of got lost somewhere in the mid 90s. We have a saying in Nestor that our mission is “to protect the legacy and re-invent the iconography of rock”.

Can you touch briefly on some of the songs, as far as musical or lyrical inspirations? On The Run, Perfect 10, Firesign, Kids In A Ghost Town…. etc. Are many of the songs written from personal experience? 

All of them are personal, the songs are about being a kid with big ambitions in a small town! The song Perfect 10 is a description of my boy room mixed with my first real crush, Johanna. “Darryl Hannah wouldn’t stand a chance – next to her she’s just a cheap romance” hahaha!

Can you tell me a bit about the song “Tomorrow”, and how you ended up getting Samantha Fox to guest on it?

When I wrote the song, I immediately felt that it was written as a duet. Thinking about the perfect duet partners (once again, going through the posters on my wall back in ‘87) Sam popped up and I can’t think of any other singer/artist that sets the tone of the 80s and represents that era better than her.

I contacted her management and asked if she would be interested in participating on the song. She heard the song and loved it, and the rest is history in the making! We also got her to appear in the music video which turned out really great.

Will there be any more video singles from the album? Any you’d like to do?

We’d like to make videos for all the songs on the album but unfortunately, they aren’t cheap… Hopefully there will be more. Stay tuned!

You also co-wrote a number of songs with Andreas Carlsson, who has had credits on some pretty big albums. How did you guys wind up working with him, and what did he contribute to? [songs]  

I knew Andreas from before as we’ve worked on some projects together. We wrote the lyrics together for Perfect 10 (Eyes like Demi Moore) and These Days. Andreas wrote the lyrics to Stone Cold Eyes on his own.

Can you guys (each) give me a few lists (5-10) of favorite albums and bands from the ’80s or that you grew up with (the 70s??)

Tobias: Kiss – Animalize, Asylum, Crazy Nights / Van Halen – 5150 / Europe – Out of This World, Prisoners in Paradise/ Bon Jovi – New Jersey / Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime / Giant – Last of The Runaways / Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry / Bryan Adams – Waking Up the Neighbours / Def Leppard – Hysteria / Motley Crüe – Theatre of Pain

Martin: Helloween – Keeper of The Seven Keys Part 1 / Giant – Last of The Runaways / Kiss – Crazy Nights / Magnum – On A Storyteller’s Night / Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime

Marcus: Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime / Kings X – Out of The Silent Planet / Toto – IV / Judas Priest – Defenders of The Faith / Accept – Metal Heart

Mattias: Rush – All The World’s A Stage / Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime / Deep Purple – Machine Head / U2 – War / Van Halen – Van Halen

Jonny: Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance / Gary Moore – Wild Frontier / Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin / Kiss – Animalize / Yngwie Malmsteen – Odyssey








KJ, 10/’21

ASIA – Archive Interviews with Geoff Downes and John Wetton

Geoff Downes: “The Drama Of Yes & The Heat Of The Moment” - Alchemical  Records

With the release of 2 ASIA box sets in 2021, I’d thought I’d tidy up and re-share these interviews I did years ago – one with John Wetton [2008] and one with Geoff Downes [2012]. Earlier this year BMG released The Reunion Albums slipbox [5CDs], and next month will release The Official Live Bootlegs : Volume 1. Next March marks the 40th Anniversary of the band’s debut album, let’s hope there’s something special being planned for release. RIP John.

ASIA Rises Again With Phoenix

This interview was done via email in 2008, following the release of Asia’s first comeback album Phoenix.  For whatever reason, it did not all appear as I’d written it, so here is the complete thing.   I’d originally sent questions for John Wetton and Geoff Downes, but only ever heard back from John.  

What was the catalyst and, I guess – major reason or criteria for the original line-up of Asia to reunite? And was it with the understanding that it would have to be a long term commitment [w/ new recordings] – as opposed to just a one-off tour?

It really started with ‘Rock of faith’,  a solo album from 2002,where Geoff and I wrote a song “I’ve come to take you home”, for the first time in many years.   From that came the Icon project,  and so on to Asia.  

Over the years the reunion rumor had come up several times.  How much had you guys kept in touch or had you sort of kept ‘tabs’ on each other over the years?  AND, How well did the initial reunion shows go? Did they meet or exceed expectations?   What have been some of the highlight concerts in the past 2 years?

Extremely well,  and by the time we were halfway thru out 17-date US tour,  we had an offer for Japan,  and the UK.

On Phoenix John & Geoff resume as the band’s main songwriters.  How easy was it to pick up your songwriting partnership after so many years?
As I explained in the first question,  the ice had been broken,  and we were used to working again with each other.  The spark was still there.

With John & Geoff doing most of the writing, how is an Asia song [well, on Phoenix and the next album] generally put together?   And what sort of input do Carl and Steve have? 

Carl is not really a writer, and Steve tends to write on his own, but Geoff and myself enjoy the process of writing as a partnership.

How was the atmosphere and feeling – being together as the original Asia band again in the studio and on stage?  

Much better than the first time around!   We enjoyed ourselves,  and banished some ghosts from the proceedings.

Phoenix is a great album, but it was more of a ‘grower’ from me because “Never Again” is such a powerful lead off rock track, but then the album really varies and includes more acoustic and softer songs.  Did you guys have any idea what you wanted the album to sound like – or be a heavier or lighter album?

We just wanted it to be a representation of us 25 years on from our first outing. there are nods to our past, but the music is exactly what you get when you put those 4 musicians back on stage or in a studio. My one regret is that we didn’t have Mike Stone around to complete the circle,  but that was not possible, as Mike is sadly no longer with us.
Never Again is a very uplifting and memorable song.   Can you tell me what inspired that one musically and lyrically?  

It’s virtually the Ten commandments.   About never wanting to be judgmental, murderous or have evil intent.  It’s musically quite hard-hitting.   With the guitar intro, and powerful chorus, it is reminiscent of ‘Heat of the Moment’, but it was not intentionally so, and I think that is ok.
‘Parallel Worlds / Vortex / Deya’ is quite a melodic – progressive centerpiece to the album. Was this originally written as one song or separate pieces?   Can you tell me how this song developed in to such an epic?

Yes,they all come from different periods. Deya was written in 1976,in Deya, Mallorca, Spain.   Parallel Worlds was written in the Seneca Hotel, Niagara Falls, and was originally titled, ‘Sitting on top of the World’.  Geoff wrote ‘Vortex’ quite recently.

How have the new songs been received live? Does there seem to be any fan favorites or faves that you guys enjoy performing?

Yes,’Never Again’,  and ‘An Extraordinary Life’ go down very well in the live set.

Geoff and John are currently working on a new Icon album.   How is that going?   And is there any separation between Icon and Asia songs when writing?   [I mean, any difference in what you’re writing or intending the songs for?]
We’re quite a long way into the record now,  on overdubs – vocals, keyboards, etc.   Should be finished by December sometime.

You’re also going on tour as Icon.   How are these shows?   Any different approaches to an Icon performance?

Yes, it’s very different from Asia.   We have a cello (Hugh McDowell),  and will have a female vocalist (Icon has duets).
When might we see another Asia studio album?  Do you guys have any definite or tentative plans?

No plans as yet, but why not?   We waited over 20 years for Phoenix, we don’t need to put out 2 records in 12 months.

As the original Asia was a fairly short-lived, straight to the top band in the early 80s. Do you guys feel you have something to prove to critics since reuniting?

Only to ourselves, and on a personal level, not musical.

Any solo albums in the future?

Yes, 2009 should see another solo record.

You were friends with David Byron for years; have you had a chance to check out the new Byron Band release from Damage Control Music [Robin George]??  Any contact with Ken Hensley or other Heep alumni since your own comeback?  

I still have contact with Kenny, and Mick from the band.   I was unaware of the Byron action.
You and Carl both had serious health issues in the past 2 years.  How has that affected your drive and desire to create new stuff?  And are you guys in to some new routines brought about by these health issues?

Only as far as exercise and diet, we still have the desire to play, and to create.

KJ,  July 2012

ASIA – new album XXX

XXX had received rave reviews, many hailing it as the best since that first album. Geoff Downes is the band’s keyboard player and major songwriter – having contributed to such classic Asia songs as “Heat of The Moment”, “Only Time Will Tell”, “Don’t Cry” and numerous others [along with John Wetton]. Prior to Asia, Geoff had been part of “The Buggles”, before joining Yes for the Drama LP in 1980, a band he rejoined in 2011.  In this interview Geoff discusses Asia’s ‘new’ reunion era, as well as the album XXX, as well as reflects on the band’s historic debut album.

What are the challenges and rewards this time around with the line-up of Asia? [What makes things easier and more rewarding, and what has changed that you need to work harder or differently at?].

Whenever we make a new album, it’s always a challenge. Not only to write the material, but also make sure we can do it justice in the live setting. The reward is knowing we have new music to play to people, not just relying on the early ‘classic’ material. Simply, nothing has really changed since we began the band. The main suspects are all still there – alive and well, thankfully!

First, just wanted to ask you – what have been some of the highlights since the band returned in 2006?

It’s been interesting to say the least. We all went into it not really with any great expectations or plans for the future. It seemed a nice path to take for all of us at the time and since then it’s been hugely enjoyable. That’s one of the main reasons that it’s still a going concern today.

Can you tell me a bit about some of tracks from ‘Phoenix” and “Omega”, such as “Never Again”, “An Extraordinary Life”, “I Believe” and “Finger On The Trigger”? [these being my favorites. Curious if you’d have any particular faves?]   “Finger On The Trigger” was first recorded with John Wetton, but re-worked for “Omega”.  Curious if there’s other tracks from “XXX” that may have been around for a while?

We wrote most of the material for these albums in dedicated writing periods before the start of the albums. Actually, with the exception of FOTT which had already recorded on the ICON CD Rubicon by John and myself. I think the record label saw it as being appropriate as an ASIA song. NA & AEL all written specifically with ASIA in mind. No actual full songs remain from these albums, but there are some interesting unused snippets of ideas.

You stuck with Mike Paxman as producer again, as opposed to producing yourselves. How was Mike to work with?

Mike did a great job with Omega, and provided us with a comfortable and relaxed environment in the studio. We felt he kept a very good balance between all the band members not only musically but also personally. We got to know him as a friend too, and so we had no hesitation in asking him back to help us make the XXX album.

The songs on XXX are mainly written by yourself and John Wetton. How did that work out, as [going back to the first album] – there was more band credits? [Might we hear more from Steve and Carl in the future?]

Certainly, historically a fair percentage of the band compositions have emanated from John and me. That’s not to say that that diminishes Steve’s contributions. Actually, Steve has 3 co-writes on this XXX, which is the same as he contributed on ASIA. But yeah, a full group composition might be interesting for the next album!

What is the ‘process’ of yourself and John writing together? Do either of you tend to come up with more of the words, or more of the melodies, etc… ? 

The music is usually jointly collated. It’s quite rare that any of our songs end up as being the whole of one our individual ideas. I think that’s the beauty of it and why it works so well, is, that weave together two of our ideas and come up with – well, something different. John does most of the lyrics, but I’ll throw in the odd title or line here and there. I think it’s important for John that HE believes in what he’s singing about.

Can you give me a few lines on your Asia bandmates? [Having worked them 30 years ago, and currently, and what’s changed in the way you all get along and work together]

The thing with this band is that we are all very different personalities. In the early days, this could at times cause conflict, or conversely work in a very positive fashion. Since we got back together we have focused collectively on the latter. There’s a very strong level of respect between the four of us, and the chemistry is still there. That’s what’s important.

The new album seems [IMO] a bit more upbeat/rockier. I love “tomorrow The World” [and that intro], “Face On The Bridge”, Bury Me In Willow”, “Judas” …  Can you give me a few lines about some of the songs – as to what inspired them or how they came about, lyrics, etc…?

We wanted to give the fans something a bit more upbeat this time. That’s not to say our previous albums have any less substance. It’s sometimes just how they turn out in terms of balance, but it’s not possible to second-guess this when you embark on a new album such as XXX. The songs are based on hope and inspiration. They are more spiritual without being religious. But bottom line is, it’s better to listen to music than talk about it to be honest.

I enjoyed “Phoenix” and “Omega”, but think this album is stronger all around. How happy are you guys with its outcome and how it stands up with previous Asia albums?

Honestly, we think it ranks up there with some of our best historical work. Having said that, some people will get more out of one album than another, so it’s all a matter of choice and personal taste really. I think we’re more proud of the fact that, we’re still here making fresh and inspiring new music 30 years on. That’s more than quite a lot of bands could say these days!

You’ve also done 2 videos for this album [Face On the Bridge and Faithful]. Might there be any further videos to promote any other tracks?

No, that’s it. Two’s enough!

You guys obviously have a lot of material to choose from for a live set. Curious how much of the new album will be featured, and what ‘staples’ are there from the previous 2 albums?

The set will be made up of all the ASIA albums that have featured the four original members. Of course there will be some of the signature songs from the first two 80’s albums, but we will also be incorporating material from the last three.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the debut album. Reflecting back, what are your fondest memories of that period and what can fans expect [aside from the CD re-issue] to commemorate its release? Any chance there’ll be a live performance of that complete album?

There are many great memories to savour when that 1st album really took off, too many to mention. We had worked long and hard on that for a year prior to its release, so our efforts were thoroughly rewarded. It was an exciting time for us. So it might be appropriate to turn the clock back and play the whole of that album again, like we did on the first tour. But there again, a show is all about balance, and it’s important for us to feature the newer music as well.

Beyond Asia, what else are you working on these days? Any Yes projects, solo outings, … ?

Well yeah, aside from recording the new ASIA CD, I’ve been involved with a number of projects over the last year or two. Specifically, my return to YES which has been a real privilege, and great fun to be back involved with those guys again. But also, I’ve been working with singer/songwriter Chris Braide on an album, as well as a whole host of other projects, so it’s very busy times for me right now!

KJJ,  July 2012









KJ, 10/’21

ASIA – Official Live Bootlegs: Volume 1, Box Set To Be Released.

The Official Live BootlegsVolume 1 Out on 26th November
12th October 2021: Multi-platinum selling English supergroup ASIA are to release a 10CD boxset The Official Live Bootlegs Volume 1 through BMG Records on 26th November 2021. There will also be a digital album featuring a selection of 24 tracks taken from the full boxset, out on the same day.

Pre-order it here:-https://asiaband.lnk.to/OLB1PR

When ASIA came out on the scene in 1982, they were a huge global success with their debut single “Heat Of The Moment” and debut album – which was #1 on the US Billboard charts for 9 weeks! The band was instantly dubbed a ‘supergroup’ based on the success and achievements of it’s band members – ASIA: Geoff Downes (The Buggles, YES, keyboards), Steve Howe (YES, solo, guitars), Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, drums) and John Wetton (King Crimson, UK, Uriah Heep, bass/vocals).

Asia Discography - Progrography

The original foursome recorded just 2 albums, the self-titled debut, which also included the hits (“Only Time Will Tell” and “Sole Survivor”), followed by 1983’s Alpha (which featured the big hit “Don’t Cry”). Soon after John Wetton left the band, then returned, followed by Steve Howe’s departure (Howe went on to the successful GTR project, before resuming a solo career). The band carried on, making one further album with Mandy Meyer, and a few singles beyond that, before splitting up. Geoff Downes later formed a new version of the band (w/ John Payne), and Wetton went on to record a number of solo albums). The original line-up reunited in 2006, releasing Fantasia : Live In Tokyo (2007), and would release 3 further studio albums – Phoenix (2008), Omega (2010), and XXX (2012), before Howe left again (to focus on YES), and the band recorded just 1 further album in 2014 (Gravitas, with Sam Coulson), before the passing of John Wetton in 2017.

ASIA didn’t release an official Live album in their original line-up until the reunion happened, although there were radio shows and audience recordings out there from the ’80s, as well as now hard to find series From The Asia Archives in the early 2000s (which I might think included some of these shows came from?). So, this Volume 1 of the bands “official Bootleg” recordings will be easier to obtain and a nice addition to their catalogue for fans. The 5 shows in this slipcase box set include > 1982 (Buffalo, NY, USA), 1983 (Worcester, MA, USA), 2007 (São Paulo, Brazil), 2008 (Tokyo, Japan) and 2010 (London, UK), with all shows taking up 2 CDs each. *BMG also recently released a 5CD slip box of the ‘reunion’ albums. As one who has very little live Asia, I am looking forward to this.

Live Music: Asia in Cleveland, Ohio, 8/13/10 – Popdose

“This historical collection represents some of our finest and most defining live moments,” says Geoff Downes, “from the very first ASIA tour in 1982 and the Alpha tour the following year through three of our many ‘Reunion’ shows. It was such a privilege to take ASIA’s music to these different continents and feel the warmth and support from fans all over the world. We hope this brings back great memories and inspires others to appreciate the music of ASIA”. 

This the first time these recordings have been made officially available by ASIA and they are presented together in a superb collector’s edition boxset with original artwork by Roger Dean, who created all of ASIA’s album artwork.


Website: https://originalasia.com/

Facebook – Original AsiaTwitter – @OriginalAsiaInstagram – asiatheband

KJ, Oct/’21

NESTOR – Debut with Kids In A Ghost Town

NESTOR are five childhood friends who formed a band over three decades ago in their hometown of Falköping, Sweden. Now the rockstar dreams of their youth have been revitalized and once again the band embraces influences from the ’80s with tongues-in-cheek and a lot of heart.

Sweden band NESTOR debuted their first track via youtube back in March. The song “On The Run” is a classic ’80s type energetic aor-rocker, with a great riff, catchy chorus’, reflective lyrics, and a hilarious video featuring the band’s singer travelling back in his Volvo picking up his old bandmates to resurrect the band. It reminds me of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” video from ’85 as well as those Twisted Sister clips from the era. They followed that up with “1989”, a song about their fondness for that year — it was the year the band actually existed, as I listened to an interview with frontman Tobias Gustavsson where he talked about the band’s beginnings. “1989” is a punchy ’80s styed rocker, and again with another awesome video. The band’s third track released was the power-ballad “Tomorrow”, which is a duet with ’80s pop star Samantha Fox. Another outstanding track and accompanying video clip, featuring Fox, who looks and sounds better than I remember her from the ’80s. The track rivalling any of the great power ballads from 35 years ago. Now the whole album is ready to be released to the world on October 22. It features 10 tracks, and if the first 3 songs released got you excited for this album (with those 3 songs having been seen/heard over a million times on youtube), then Kids In A Ghost Town will be worth the wait! Every track would be a potential single if this was 1984. Kids In A Ghost Town might get you thinking back to those bands that were huge over decades ago like Journey, Van Halen [w/ Hagar], Kiss, Europe, Y & T… you’ll find plenty here to like, Great hooks, riffs, keyboards, all produced and presented like a lost ’80s album. Lots of fun, retro AOR rock tunes, lyrics reflecting and referencing the past relationships, stories and ’80s women – such as on “Perfect 10 (Eyes Like Demi Moore)”, other favorites being the heavier “Firesign”, “These Days”, as well as closing ballad “It Ain’t Me.” Included in the credits is Swedish songwriter Andreas Carlsson who has writing credits with TONS of 80s and 90s acts, including Bon Jovi (see Bounce), Paul Stanley (see Live To Win), Europe (see Back To Eden), Def Leppard (see X), as well as pop acts like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Celine Dion…. (seriously – look this guy up). Kids In A Ghost Town celebrates the spirit of the ’80s rock era in music and image. Can’t wait to get this CD for the car… may even want to dig out a jean jacket!

The album is produced by Tobias Gustavsson, mixed by Sebastian Forslund (The Night Flight Orchestra), and mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson at The Panic Room.

TRACK LIST: A Fanfare For The Reliable Rebel (Intro) / On The Run / Kids In A Ghost Town / Stone Cold Eyes / Perfect 10 (Eyes Like Demi Moore) / These Days / Tomorrow (Feat. Samantha Fox) / We Are Not OK / Firesign / 1989 / It Ain’t Me

NESTOR ARE: Jonny Wemmenstedt (guitar), Mattias Carlsson (drums), Tobias Gustavsson (vocals), Marcus Åblad (bass), Martin Frejinger (keyboards)

May be an image of sky and text


Order CD @ https://www.ginza.se/…/kids-in-a-ghost-town-2021/43275/



KJ. 10/’21

FIREHOUSE – 1999 Interview with Guitarist Bill Leverty

Firehouse - Category 5 - Amazon.com Music

Firehouse came out at the end of the ’80s with their hugely successful, high energy debut album, which featured the hits “All She Wrote” and “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, as well as favorites “Shake & Tumble”, “Love Of A Lifetime”, and “Rock On The Radio”. There’s a new reissue of that album out [Bad Reputation Records], which adds 2 acoustic tracks, and a 2nd CD of live tracks. In December of 1999 I interviewed guitarist / songwriter Bill Leverty for the band’s latest album at the time – Category 5. The following year bass player Perry Richardson left the band, and has since joined Stryper in recent years. Firehouse is currently playing live shows, but their last studio release was 2011’s Full Circle. Since 2007 Bill Leverty has released 5 solo albums, including last year’s Divided We Fall. *You can check out Bill Leverty’s solo albums and stories at http://www.leverty.com

FIREHOUSE’s latest album is called Category 5. The band, for a decade has included vocalist [and keyboardist] CJ Snare, bass player Perry Richardson, drummer Michael Foster, and guitar player Bill Leverty. I recently had a nice conversation with Bill about the band, the new album, and almost everything else pertaining to FIREHOUSE. The new album [on Mystic Records] is recommended to those in to the melodic rock, featuring a number of great pop-rockers and powerful ballads. For more on Firehouse check out www.firehousemusic.com , or check out Bill Leverty’s own site http://members.aol.com/leverty

How’s the response been to the new album?

Overwhelming! The people who have heard it, a lot of people are saying it’s our best album ever.

I must confess that I’m not overly familiar with the band apart from what I’ve heard on the radio in the past, so I don’t know what I expected, but thinking from seeing you in the Metal Edge pages and that that probably accidentally lumping you in with a few other bands would be a big mistake. This album’s got a real good pop-rock feel to it.

I think we have elements of the metal-edge thing in our music too, and elements of other stuff, and it’s just kind of mish-mashed in to our style, and we’ve always been liking all kinds of music so much that we really didn’t know what to put on our records. The way we do it is everybody writes and we take the best songs, and put them on there every year. And these were the best songs we had this year. It’s kind of interesting because we didn’t have any pre-conceived notions about what we wanted this album to sound like, we just wanted the best songs that we could come up with on there. There’s a little bit of diversity on there, I think.

There’s quite a bit. For instance like “I’d Do Anything” – which has kind of a country feel to it.

There’s a Southern feel on a couple of songs. We’ve all kind lived in the South for so long that it’s hard not to have that as an influence, and we really love the soul-ful vibe of Southern music, whether it comes from Country or Southern rock, or even old blues and stuff like that.

Where abouts are you guys based out of?

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, but I live near Tampa, Florida now. We kind of live from Tampa to South Carolina, to Virginia — scattered about the South-East there.

Now you guys have been together for about 9 years now!?

It’d be 10 years now. We got together in ’89, actually really late ’88, but we’ve always said ’89. So it’ll be 11 years coming up.

When you guys started out did you have any plans of long-term goals that you sort of achieved or are still looking for?

We just wanted to make a living playing music, and trying to get our music out to as many people as possible, and have fun doing it. We had no idea that we’d get any real success, although we believed in ourselves and we had our dreams. Our goals were really to get a record deal, and we were really luck we got a record deal, and that record company pushed the buttons for us back there in ’91 and we had a lot of things happen for us, so it overwhelmed us all. Back then we were just happy to be playing music, especially music that we wrote because before that we were playing a combination of other people’s music and ours. I still like playing other people’s music, it’s just that it’s that much more gratifying when you’re a songwriter and you get your songs played on to an audience that knows them.

What did you guys grow up on?

Everybody in the band has very diverse influences, which is kind of neat. My earliest influences were Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin, and then I got in to Eddie Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Michael Schenker, and then Randy Rhoads. Perry grew up , and when he was very young played in a gospel quartet, and his dad played bass, and he learned the bass from that. Michael started playing drums when he was 3, ridiculously young, he’s been playing them forever. I didn’t start until I was 15. But his parents were really in to Elvis, so he had Elvis on all the time in the house, so he was rocking and rolling at a very early age. And CJ was classically trained in the beginning as a pianist, and then he got to sing, and he was in a choir. He was in the Pennsylvania State Choir, and he was first chair tenor. in the Pennsylvania State Choir by the time he was a teenager, so he was studying real hard with that. But then he started listening to Alice Cooper and Kiss, then Judas Priest and things changed. So, we all come from a very diverse background, but our common love is Hard-Rock…..and Soft-Rock, but you know – Rock n Roll.

You guys do a lot of harmonies, probably some of the best harmonies out there that a lot of hard-rock bands try to do, and it seems so natural for you guys. Have the harmonies always been there, what influenced that?

Oh thank you. I think that was a big influence on us all from the very early days. We’ve always tried on all our albums to have a lot of background vocals because it just adds to so much to so many songs where you could really emphasize words, and add layers of sounds to make the band sound bigger. We’ve all come from bands where we had that many people singing in the band, and when we put this band together we wanted to make sure that everybody could sing, even sing lead because we wanted our background vocals to be strong. And that’s one thing that we really concentrate a lot on when we rehearse is the vocals. A lot of times we’ll rehearse without our instruments, which is good, and just sing. We put a lot of emphasis on that.

When I listen to you guys I hear a little bit of Cheap Trick, a little bit of Bob Jovi [on the lighter stuff], and a little bit of Uriah Heep [on the harmonies]. Is there any bands out there that you guys kind of look upon that maybe this is where you want to go – direction wise, or who you want to compare yourself to?

Not really. I would love to be a band like say The Eagles – they’ve been around forever, and they have so many songs that people know and some of them are really hard-rockin’, and some of them are slow and soft, and some of them are kind of twisted. But I also like bands like The Scorpions too. I love the Scorpions, I love The Beatles, I thought Zeppelin was awesome, Aerosmith is a great mentor-type band for Firehouse, and Kiss; certainly Aerosmith because they still have their 5 guys together, which we do too which is so neat to see a band like that that has been together for that long, like the Stones. And they can keep putting out good music – I mean the last Kiss album was great, the last Aerosmith album was great, and I like the last Stones record too. It gets tougher and tougher for rock music as time goes on, but I really think that longevity is the key, and that we’ve got what it takes to be around for a long time, because we all love to write music, and we’re obsessed by it.

You guys all write, how do you come together with the songs?

When we’re touring it’s very difficult to write, I have a hard time anyway. I used to try to do it, but there’s so many distractions. What i do is I go home, and I’m off for a day and then I’m going nuts for something to do, so I just go in my studio and stay in there for weeks at a time, and don’t shave, and some times I don’t even shower. And I just go through all these ideas that I’ve been storing in my mind; like we’ve been on the road for 18 months on this last tour straight, so I came home with a lot of ideas in my head that I just wanted to document, and then I just keep developing them, and at some time we’ll get together and collaborate as a team, and we’ll come up with some more songs. Usually CJ and I put our stuff together, and we complete each other’s songs, and we co-write on a lot of other new ideas, and then we’ll get everybody together again and have another writing session, and then we’ll have pre-production for the album, and put all our songs together that we got – the demos, and listen to them, and then we decide which songs we’re going to put on the album.

How many songs do you usually come up with before you actually lay down the album?

Generally I say between 30 and 40.

You guys do a number of ballads here, and what I like about the ballads is you guys don’t do the ‘A typical’ rock ballad, like a lot of bands that have the formulated rock ballad down. Take a song like “Dream” – which is a very different to what’s out there, and it’s a great song.

Well, we’ve never done a song like Dream before. We heard the demo, and we really liked it. Perry had written it with 2 of his friends in Myrtle Beach. It’s a song about a child dying in their parent’s arms. Before we heard the song Perry told us what it was about, and then he played us the song, and we were like all in tears by the end of the song; and then we were like “yeah – that’s gotta be on there!” That song is really a beautiful song. We’ve been playing it live, and it’s a lot of fun to play live.

You guys also do a lot of pop-rock stuff like on “The Nights Were Young” and “Have Mercy”, i love the keyboard intro on that. (BL: “Thank you!), and “Can’t Stop The Pain”, obviously.

That’s the first single that Mystic Records has chosen, and that’s a song about the loss of my father. I wrote the skeleton of the song with Perry and Michael, and shortly after Perry’s father died, and he wrote a really good part to add to the song, and we recorded it. I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails from people who’ve said it’s helped them with the loss of a loved one, and they can relate to what the song’s about.

Do you incorporate a lot of life experiences in to the songs?

Absolutely. If it’s not our life experiences, it’s somebody else’s that we know.

Well, that’s an obvious choice for a single. It’s a great catchy song, and lyrically has something to say. What stands out for you on the album – songs that you like to play live, or you’d like to see as a single?

We’ve been playing Can’t Stop The Pain live, and that’s a great song to play live, for me because there’s a lot of guitar and soloing; it’s rocks too and people get it right away, people have been enjoying that song a lot. We’ve also been playing Dream, and we’ve been playing Have Mercy [which you also mentioned]. It’s so difficult because when I hear the album I like every song for something different because it reminds me of something different. I like the mandolin part in I’d Do Anything. I like the song “If It Changes”, and the sitar part that i played; it was fun to play, it has sort of an Eastern vibe.

You guys get a lot of different sounds in there with the sitar, the keyboard, and the mandolin; it’s not just your basic 4-man set up of guitar, bass and drums.

We try to stretch as much as we can without getting to be too strange; we don’t want to sound too weird. We want a sound that’s solid and that people can relate to. We’re not all that twisted as people, so we don’t really write to come up with something twisted or hard-core.

Is there anything as far as attitudes and your everyday life that influence the music as far as keeping it positive?

Yeah, we definitely try to accent the positive in our lyrics and in our everyday lives, on and off the stage. We’re guys that we’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we try to do the right thing in our personal lives as well. We try to write about things that you can give to your neighbor and he can play it for his kids as well, because I don’t have any kids yet, but I have nephews and nieces and I want them to be able to hear my music. And as soon as you put language like in the locker room then you limit your audience and you also offend people, and we’re not into being an offensive band, I think.

Do you have a problems with bands that are?

No, not at all. It’s great to be America where you can say whatever you want, but I have chosen to do it this way.

Where are you guys now – on the road?

Well, we’re writing songs for a new album right now, and we a ‘live’ album coming out real soon also. We recorded one night in Japan. That’ll be out right around Christmas, and available on our web-site which is > http://www.firehousemusic.com < . In the meantime we’re going to be writing and then recording. We might go out and do a string of dates in February, we’re working on that now. But the plan is if it doesn’t look good for that then we’ll wait for the spring, and finish the album – then go out and tour the summer. We’ve been out on tour for 18 months in support of this album. We just got off the road actually. I know it sounds different where you normally put out a record and then go tour, but we didn’t have a deal when we first put out this record, and we went out on the road and played every club in every town, and by doing so i think it helped get us a deal and get some people realizing that we’re still together and we hadn’t fallen off the face of the planet. VH 1 came out and did a “Where Are They Now?” special on us, which was real cool. And that wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t on the road at the time, so it all happened for a reason. And we’ve played every place about 2 or 3 times, so we kind of need to come back, write another album, and get out on the road in the spring, and we plan to go out with a package, which we’re working on, until the summer.

Any other bands you’re teaming up with?

Yeah, we have a manager named Perry Cooper, he works with Atlantic Records for 18 years as a vice-president in the Artist Development department, and he was introduced to me through a friend named Brian Johnson – who you might have heard of!?

From AC/DC!?

Yeah, and actually Brian’s helping us with a song. He’s writing a song with us for the next album.

What have been the highpoints for you guys over the years?

To me the most memorable high was when we won the American Music Award for Best New Hard-Rock / Heavy Metal Band. It was at a time where so many things were going on that were really good, but that is the one thing that I can look at every day and say “I remember those days – that was great!” It was also gratifying because we were voted on by the people, and not by the industry, not that the industry’s bad, but because it’s good to know that the listeners are out there; the real people that buy the music picked us and not some people in a boardroom that made a political decision.

Since the award, how about your favorite things such as live draws? Or bands you’ve toured with that stood out memory wise?

We’ve had so many great tours, we’ve been real lucky. In the beginning we went out with Warrant, and that was a tour that was hugely successful, selling out every shed and venue that we went to. And then we went straight in to the studio and recorded our 2nd album – “Hold Your Fire”, and before we even finished mixing the record we were out on the road with Tesla on a tour that was supposed to last 6 weeks and that lasted for 9 months, and that tour sold out every where it went, and it also went around twice to a lot of the same places because it was so successful for so long. And then we actually went out with Poison right after that for a little while, and then Damn Yankees, and that was a really good tour as well. It was also a great honor to be open for like Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw, Jack Blades, and Michael Cartellone – a great band. It was cool to open for Poison too, they’re a great band, they got a great show, and we learned a lot about what to do in the music business and what not to do also. That was interesting, and that was always one of the bands that i wanted to open up for because they had this huge following, and they had a type of music that was good-time rock n roll – and that’s the kind of rock n roll we’re after. Bon Jovi would be a great band if we could open up for them too, but we’ve never been able to.

I think the last Bon Jovi album was their best.

Yeah, I think Richie’s such a great guitar player, and a great artist. His solo album was awesome.

What are your thoughts on the current scene? There’s a lot of crap in the business with a lot of good basic rock bands being left out due to trends and stuff. Where do you see the industry at the moment, as far as being good for you guys and some of the other bands you mentioned?

I think it’s good for us right now, it’s not great, but it’s good, and getting better, a lot better than it was a couple of years ago. The industry – radio programmers, video channel programmers, record store managers and so forth have come to realize that that whole decade of music that we had from ’82 to ’92 was very successful, and a lot of people that listened to that really liked it. And all of sudden there’s a couple of bands that came out that were very different, maybe some sounds were over-saturated, and everything changed, and everybody said “we’re not playing that kind of music anymore.” Well it’s just until recently that people are going – “Well — those people didn’t just fall off the face of the planet either! There’s people that like that kind of music, STILL like that kind of music, and missed it.” And they’re finding out that, you know – you put out these ‘Ballad’ albums or these ‘Rock n Roll’ albums and they all sell over a million copies that this type of music is still hot, and that they made a mistake by shutting the door to it. They should’ve played every type of new music, but not alienated the last decade that they had supported in the past 10 years or so.

It’s good to see a resurgence in melodic rock, because a lot of it got shoved to the side in the early ’90s, which kind of sucked.

I see a huge resurgence, and I also see a huge resurgence on the road. When we go to a town and let’s say we went to a town back in ’96 or ’97 we couldn’t get any radio station to do anything – and now they’re calling us, and saying “Hey before you come here can we arrange for you guys to come in and sing a song for us on our ‘5 o’clock Drive Home’?” Which makes us go “Hmm.” Maybe they’re saturated with all the stuff that sounds alike. And that’s happening everywhere. Even these ‘Perfect Hair Shows’ on a lot of these stations, for lack of a better name, they should call them ‘Melodic Rock Shows’ because they’re the most popular shows on the stations is what a lot of these guys are telling me. They’ve got one in Tampa. It started out as “Perfect Hair”, and they started off as once a week, and then it went to every day for half an hour, and then they increased it for an hour because everybody calls, and it’s such a huge hour for them.

Even the stations around here, a couple of stations brought back the ’80s Weekend’ or a ‘Hair Fix At 5’ where they play some Poison or Bon Jovi or whatever. And a lot of that stuff really got shut off the radio for a few years.

It did. It was not cool at all to be a part of that. And they’re finding out that “Gosh – it actually was cool, and some of this other stuff we’re listening to is so primitive.”

Do any of you guys do anything outside the band such as guest appearances or solo things?

We really haven’t at this point. We’ve just focused all our time on Firehouse, and that’s what we really have to do right now. That’s what pays the bills. As soon as we get Firehouse at a level where people know who we are, …I think our songs are more famous than the band. People know songs like “Love Of A Lifetime” and “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, I don’t think everyone knows the name of the band, and also we have to change the perception of the band because everybody thinks that what we are – Don’t Treat Me Bad and Love Of A Lifetime because that’s all they’ve ever heard, and there’s a lot more to us than that. Until that happens I don’t know if we’ll have time for other projects unless something comes along that we can’t refuse then we’ll have to make time for it. But right now, Firehouse takes up my time 365 days of the year.

Any hobbies outside of music?

Recording…..just music. [ha ha]. Actually, I’m an ice hockey freak. The Red Wings are my favorite team, and I also like the Leafs a lot. Cujo is a great goaltender, and I got a Leafs’ jersey that a friend of mine in Toronto gave me, it has my name on the back of it. My favorite player on the team is Steve Thomas, he’s wicked, got a great shot, he’s a great player.

I was over in Buffalo a few months ago, saw Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Did you really?? We opened up for Lynyrd Skynyrd and that was like a dream come true! They were the biggest influence on me as a kid, a musical influence as far as writing, and learning how to play a whole song all the way through. When I first started I learned all these Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, and played them in my band. And we got to open up for them and meet them; it was just awesome! We played 3 shows with them on the Poison tour.

I love their new album, and seeing them live was just unbelievable!

Yeah, I’ve met Rickey Medlocke a couple of times, and he’s great, and it’s cool that he’s back in the band after all those years.

Are you familiar with Uriah Heep?

Oh yeah! That was one of Perry’s [our bass player] biggest influences. He brings a lot of that to the table when it comes time to lay down the fifth harmony, the real high, ya know!? [sings the words ‘Easy Livin’]. He was really in to that. And I love Uriah Heep! Great band! I just love the sound of the organ too, “Sunrise” and all that stuff.

What are you listening to currently?

I’ve got Jeff Beck’s new album – “Who Else?”. I love Jeff Beck, he’s one of my favorite guitarists of all time. It’s a really cool album, and he’s just from another planet, ya know! I like everything he’s ever done, and I got to meet him too – which was another dream come true. I have to say that’s the best. On the radio and on the video I’ve seen the new Foo Fighters, and I think that’s a good song. I’ve always like the Foo Fighters ever since they came out, Dave Grohl’s really talented, and he deserves every bit of what he’s got. He writes very melodic songs that are ‘hip’ and ‘today’. What a great writer, and a great singer. I think the guy’s got a great voice. I really have a lot o respect for him. He also comes from my home state of Virginia.

What is this “Compassion In Action” that is mentioned on the CD?

It’s a charity that Perry turned us on to where it goes to help pay for Hospice care for people who are about to pass away. They have shelters out in San Francisco, and they’re trying to get more shelters. This guy named Damion Brinkley, who is the head of it, and he’s been on Oprah Winfrey like 7 times, and he’s physically died several times from being by lightning and other accidents, and he’s come back with a lot more spiritual and wisdom and knowledge than he ever had before, and he’s turned his whole life in to doing things that are good for people.

Familiar with the Canadian scene?

A little bit.

Any bands in particular?

Yeah, Harem Scarem. We met those guys in Japan just this past year, great people. I liked their music too – they sent me a record which was really good.





December ’99. KJ

PETER GOALBY – Former URIAH HEEP and TRAPEZE Frontman Returns With First Solo Album After 30 Years

Peter Goalby had a long and successful career throughout the ’70s and ’80s. From Wolverhampton (England), Peter was in such bands as Fable and Trapeze as a singer, guitarist and writer. He also had a solo deal with Magnet Records in the ’70s, releasing a few singles. Following a final tour and live album with Trapeze he joined a revamped Uriah Heep, lead by Mick Box. As a frontman and writer he played a major role in the band’s resurrection in 1982 with the successful Abominog album, followed by Head First, and then Equator. In this interview [his first since his interview with the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society in 1992, and his first since walking away from the music business] Peter explains his reasons for leaving the band, as well as a few events that lead him to leaving music all together in the early ’90s. He took other jobs, put away his guitar, and moved on, having little contact with the music industry. However, November 5th marks the return of Peter Goalby in a way – it is the release date for his brand new album – songs that he’d recorded over 30 years ago! Songs he feels strongly about, and that he needs to see released. Easy With The Heartaches will be his first album since 1985! Peter says he is “thrilled” with this new album. And here’s hoping that it generates enough interest that we might hear more from the man!

*Check out the link at the bottom to order Easy With The Heartaches.

To go back a bit, I just want to clarify that you did not leave Uriah Heep because your voice was gone – it was the relentless touring along with personal matters at the time!? Can you talk a bit about that decision and how it came about ? Did the lack of success with Equator play a part as well?

The touring was relentless from day one. Everything revolved around the live shows . Just to give you some idea, we once did 22 countries in 30 days. My longest run was 16 nights back to back. I remember checking in to the Hamburg Hilton and I bumped into Gary Moore in reception. I told him that this was show 16 on the bounce, he said “Sack your manager!” Our manager was standing next to me, so I said “Gary meet Harry!” LOL.
Equator was a major part of the end for me. I have never understood why we did not use Ashley Howe on this third album > I was told we were using Tony Platt because he had worked with Mutt Lange. The album flopped mainly because the sound is awful. It’s drenched in Reverb and difficult to follow. Way too many overdubs.
We arrived in Australia to do our second tour in two years. We were met from the plane by three people from CBS Records. They had no idea that we had a new album out (Equator). We were so pissed off – I could not believe it . What a cockup!
So. as the first Aussie tour went so well. this time they put 36 shows into 40 days . We got about three quarters through it, then one afternoon Lee took me fishing off the rocks. All I caught was a throat infection – Laryngitis. I lost my voice completely for 4 days. I was not allowed to speak at all. We resumed the tour and my voice was fine. My voice did not give up, I did! Many reasons added up to me wanting to leave but my voice was fine. I hope you will agree when you listen to my album .
I am so proud that finally people will listen to my very best work. I love the songs – all of them! It’s the real me, what I always wanted.
The story of me having problems with my voice suited the band at the time, it fitted in . No one ever asked me if it was true. This is my first interview since those days [ed – UHAS int] .

Can you touch briefly on the highlights of your career – with Heep, Trapeze, as a solo artist… Any tracks you were most proud of or favorite concert moments?

There are so many Highlights in my career –
Fable was a great band, all 5 of us sang; I loved the harmonies and all that stuff. We were a cover band really but we did the songs live better than the original artists.
I was thrilled when I was asked to join Trapeze. Mel was a great guitarist, very unique style of playing. I wrote three songs for Trapeze – “Livin On Love”, Don’t Ask Me How I Know”, When Gou Get To Heaven”. All three ended up on side one of the album, Yea! My favorite Trapeze track I sang was “Don’t Break My Heart Again” – I think I did a fine job on that one !?
Castle Donnington was the start of the Heep story – we blew all the other Bands off the stage, as we did so many times, at many festivals over the years. We headlined so many, all over Europe, it was great! I remember waking up one morning in a hotel in Europe, I could hear the riff to Golden Earing “Radar Love” live – It was 11am, the show had started and we were not on until 9pm. I thought to myself “Wow that’s where I am, great stuff!”
I loved working with Def Leppard – Joe, Phil and the boys – great people, they really were. We were all great buddies at the time. Joe and I played golf in Las Vegas. We used to share a taxi when doing the radio interviews before every show.
I was watching Sky Arts TV channel the other day, watching the Eagles live, and I thought “look at the size of that gig!” – then realized it was the LA Forum. I have played that gig!
I loved playing India, that was incredible, And yes, I really do have a scar on my back, where I was bitten by a naked Indian guy who jumped on the stage.
I regret not doing Russia; that must have been fantastic for the boys.

Was the possibility of a trip to Russia in talks before you left?

Just before we went to Australia for the second time , we were offered Russia but it  was not officially on . I did not realize it was going to be that big , must have been incredible . Well done Mick.

Too Scared To Run was a great intro for the band!?

When I wrote “Too Scared To Run”, as I did with a lot of songs, I always pictured certain bands playing it or what would they would they do. And I wondered what would Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy do? And it’s really weird because looking at some of the comments on the internet about Too Scared To Run one guy actually said that it reminded him of Thin Lizzy! So, I thought ‘yeah, I got it right.

Immediately following Heep, was your initial plan to get on with a solo career or was there other options, offers, things you wanted to do? And what lead to eventually writing and recording these tracks that make up Easy With The Heartaches?

Straight after leaving Heep I I was introduced to Mickie Most. He had just bought back RAK records from EMI. He signed me and we made two singles which he produced . “Mona lisa Smile” an d then a great song called “I Don’t Wanna Fight”. I then got a publishing contract with Rondor Music. They treated me very well. I was allowed to go into the studio any time I had new songs and record them . Which I did; that’s how these recordings came about. I would wait until I had three or four songs ready to go, then book the time in Mad Hat studio in Wolverhampton . We would record three songs complete in a couple of days . To be honest I was thinking maybe I would get an offer from a band. I never thought of me doing a solo thing or having my own band. My writing was getting better and better at the time; I felt like I was in the zone. The songs were getting stronger and stronger. Had I stayed with Heep they would have ended up as Heep songs I am sure. I also think part of the reason the songs were getting better was that I now had the time to concentrate on being a writer. Really that’s all I wanted to do, be a writer of songs. The songs on Easy With The Heartaches were written after I left Heep, there was nothing left laying around with the band, nothing.
John Parr contacted me, he had heard some of my songs and loved them. He asked if we could do some co-writes for his next album I said YEA. We wrote “It’s Startin’ All Over Again”, “Everytime”, and “This Time”, which John put on his Man With A Vision album. John played all guitar solos, I played all other guitars.
I also did some co-writes with Robin George. Robin is from Wolverhampton, so we knew each other for many years . I have put three Goalby / George songs on my album : “I Built This House”, “Monalisa Smile”, and “Chance Of A Lifetime”. They were recorded in Robin’s home studio.

In talking about some of the tracks – Monalisa Smile is one many will know [as it was a single], but it also created a bit of controversy in comparison to a Heep track on Raging Silence!?

When Heep were doing Raging Silence, Mick asked if I had any songs they could do. I had “Monalisa Smile”, and I wrote a new song especially for the album, I called it “Blood Red Roses”. It is a great song. So I sent those two songs to Mick. Then when I heard the album I played “Blood Red Roses” and thought “WOW – I should have recorded it myself”. I loved it . But the next track came on and my father-in-law said “that’s your song too ?” I phoned Mick and said that “Voice On My TV” was the same as “Monalisa Smile”. He told me it was a co-write with the new keyboard player. Mick apologized and it has not been mentioned since that day.

Do you have any personal favorite tracks on this album? Anything specific that you felt would’ve made a great single at the time you recorded them?

I love every track on Easy With The Heartaches. I chose that song as the title track because of the lyrics. They are rather fitting. they mention ‘too scared to run’ and ‘Rainbow’. I think my very favorite has to be “They’ll Never Find Us”, it fits together so well, and I sing it well (I hope).

These songs have always been noted as being demos!?

I call them demos, but they sound as good as anything else that’s out there from the 80s. 

What happened following these recordings that they ended up getting shelved [and eventually bootlegged] and you eventually leaving the music business as a writer / performer?

Mickie Most went to America with “I Don’t Wanna Fight” and “Monalisa Smile”, and got me an album deal. And they offered him 15 points [percentage breakdown], and he wanted 19, and he walked away! So yet again – this is the story of my life! There would’ve been a Pete Goalby album a few years after I’d left Heep.

This single started to do well, it was on round table, which is a Friday night radio show where they play new singles and comment on them
UK DJ Mike Reid was on that night .I remember it well, I was listening to the show. They played my record and Mike said – “What a song. The vocal is a hit vocal, but the production sounds so old fashioned . It sounds like the sixties. Awful”. Monday morning Micky pulled the record from release. He withdrew the record .

I remember there was a shake up at Rondor, my contract was up for renewal. The guy that had signed me got fired and so did all of his Artists – including me . So that was the end of that. I decided enough was enough and quit the music industry. I had given my all for so many years but decided there were other things in life like being happy.

In the years since leaving the business did you miss it at all – not so much the ‘business’ end, but the writing, recording or performing live? And do you still play on occasion [in private, for company or yourself]?

I missed it all, big time! That’s why I stopped completely. That was the only way to deal with it. I was in denial.
It took a long time to get over it all and become normal again. I could not figure out why I could not get it off the ground. So I stopped. I have not picked up a guitar in many years. And the same with the singing. The last singing I did was for Uli Roth, 1992, I think.
Looking back, I hated the music business, but loved the music . This album is so important to me. I truly believe these are my best songs.

What sort of lead you at this stage to get these recordings out? Curious if you’ve seen a lot of positive comments about your recordings with Heep and Trapeze, and if that played a part? Can you kind of go through what got you motivated, and the whole process to get to this release? {i believe it was late 2019 when you first mentioned it].

I had been looking on YouTube etc , and was blown away with the comments about the songs. People totally get it! And that’s great. So many people saying they like the songs.
A very important thing happened to me when I was 60 years old – my Mother told me the man who I thought was my Dad, actually was not my Dad. My real father was a singer and piano player – Wow! Then it all made sense. I finally knew who I was and where it all came from. Had I known this before I would not have stopped singing and writing etc (isn’t it a strange old world?)
Losing Trevor, Lee and Ken made me think real hard about things. I thought when I go, some one will buy the rights to my songs and release them anyway. So I decided to stick around and hopefully enjoy releasing the album and all that goes with it.

Has this release inspired you to want to see more stuff from your past get released [or reissued] – like Fable, various singles…..? 

As I said when I am gone , it will all get released so, if that’s what people would like . Then let’s go for it now Kevin.

Why did you decide on Easy With The Heartaches as the title?

I wanted to call it Easy With The Heartaches because it could be about me, if you listen to the words.

As you had more than enough songs to pick from [people who have the ‘bootleg’ out there will say there’s songs missing]. So curious how you chose the songs for this release? And what might become of the ‘leftovers’?

I was not even aware there had been a bootleg album of my songs. I thought some one had been nice enough to put a couple of my songs on You tube.
I wanted the album to be punchy. After being in such a great band with Mick. I think that is what people will expect. I have more songs and we will see how things go with this album.

How happy are you with this album being released [finally]?

This is my first album since Equator and it’s been such a long time. It’s weird but I can detach myself from them ’cause it’s been so long since recording them. It’s as though I am listening to some one else. I think he is good, I like his voice! But I love the songs and style of the songs. It’s the kind of music I love. So it makes me very happy.

Could you foresee yourself recording anything new – be it reworkings of old songs or perhaps writing something new?

I am not sure about singing or writing new songs but lately I have learnt – NEVER SAY  NEVER!

How involved and happy were you with the Trapeze compilation that came out in 2019?

I had a nice surprise last year with the release of the Trapeze compilation. I don’t know why but they did not use “When You Get To Heaven”. I think that was a strong song… Anyway, never mind. I was not involved at all with the release. I was asked to do something for the sleeve notes, which I was very happy to do.

There are a number of things in the Heep vaults from your time – the Ridge Farm stuff, the live in Auckland show, there’s also a live show from Glasgow [radio broadcast]. . Would you be keen to seeing some of this stuff ever released? 

No!  The live in New Zealand  I think is fab. I’ve watched it. That was done properly, it sounds good, we’re playing [what I call] proper songs.  That wouldn’t be a problem.  But all this stuff like Ridge Farms, and stuff I’ve seen over the years like backing tracks, I’m thinking ‘who is doing this, what is the point?’ ,  it’s crap – it’s not very good.  [Q- stuff on the box sets?] . Yeah, I don’t agree with any of that, it was never meant to be released. You wouldn’t release them at the time. The reason something doesn’t get released is because it’s not strong enough or it’s not in the right style, or whatever. So you pick and choose what’s going to be on the album, and all these songs get fallen by the wayside, and a lot of them aren’t even finished because you think there’s no point in finishing it because it’s not going to make it; it’s a no-go.  And to hear them coming out as bonus tracks, I’m embarrassed, because it was never meant to be! 

You remained a very private person since leaving the business, even avoiding social media. Can you give fans an insight in to how you are doing and what you’re into these days?

So, it’s all looking great, I have been very lucky in many ways. I am enjoying my Retirement, although I think I will be very busy after November 5th.
We are still very much into our horses and horsey stuff.

Though it’s been a long time – have you occasionally been recognized or approached by fans while out in public?

I am still recognized, yes. I have always played it down though. A lot of our friends still don’t know I was a singer in the 70s and 80s. It’s great fun when they find out.

You spent a lot of time with Trevor and Lee, and were friendly with Ken. Any special memories or tales of any of them? 

We  lost Trevor, Lee, Ken , and then John Lawton . I did  not know John but he was part of the family  and all are missed .

I loved Lee, he looked after me . Bob Daisley said , if Lee tells you anything you must either half it , double it, or completely ignore it  LOL

Bob  called Lee  ‘Grenade Head’ ’cause he was likely to go off at any moment  LOL.  Bob and Lee were very close right until the end .

Lee was an absolutely fantastic drummer. To stand to in front of the drum riser with Lee playing behind me, his bass drum used to blow out my trousers, he was so loud, he was like Cozy Powell. Cozy was exactly the same. A fantastic drummer. But Dave Holland was a great drummer too. 

Trevor – What a  bass player! I still see him all the time on all the Spiders From Mars videos on TV. Trevor was also a funny guy; very quiet  but in a calm way I loved sharing a stage with Trev.

Ken, what a talent – so many classic songs . I wish I could have shared a  stage with Ken. It did cross my mind to do an album with him but I left it too late . He was a great keyboard player; a different style to my mate John Sinclair, Both  fantastic.

You’ve kept in touch with Mick over the years, and presumably John Sinclair. And Bob Daisley was in the band prior to Trevor…

Yes I am in touch with Micky  but more so with my mate John, he is the funniest man in the world, so funny. He said to me a few months ago – “Pete you are the best singer I have ever worked with… Oh, apart from OZZY!” LOL

When Bob left the band I was so upset, as we were great together. He is a great bass player and writer – ,everyone knows that. Bob and Lee together, WOW – bloody fantastic! It was an honor Bob.

If you were to ever join Heep onstage for a couple of songs from the ’80s — what would you like to do? 🙂

If I ever joined Mick on stage for a couple of songs from the 80s – “To Scared To Run” – for sure, as it’s my song. And I think maybe “The Other Side Of Midnight.”

Join our Peter Goalby Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124798726162

Check out Peter’s 1992 interview with the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society > http://www.travellersintime.com/UHAS/UHAS03.PDF and http://www.travellersintime.com/UHAS/UHAS04.PDF


*Pics of Peter Goalby – from Head First & Uriah Heep from Abominog by Fin Costello.

KJ, 09 / ’21

PETER GOALBY : Post Heep Solo Recordings Finally Get Official Release!

Peter Goalby left Uriah Heep following 1985’s Equator album and world tour. His first move was to release a single under the name Perfect Stranger in 1988. The singer, who also was a major songwriter during his time in Heep would resurface on the band’s 1989 album Raging Silence, as he wrote the single “Blood Red Roses”. As well he wrote “Falling Apart”, for Smokie on their 1989 album Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. He would also record a number of tracks for a solo project in 1990. A few of these tracks would see the light of day on official releases – “Mona Lisa Smile” was issued as a single in 1988, co-written & arranged by guitarist Robin George [ex Byron Band], and produced by Mickie Most. That track, as well as “Chance Of A Lifetime” [also on Easy With The Heartaches] were also recorded by UK band Estrella for their 2012 album Come Out To Play [an album produced by former Heep keyboardist John Sinclair]. Peter also wrote for a few other artists [notably John Parr], as well as guested on stage with Uli Roth, but would retire from the business, and taking on a job for a guitar company. But these recordings would later find their way out on the internet – bootlegged to download or on Youtube. His 1990 unreleased solo album was no secret amongst Goalby’s fans. Recently retired, and knowing these are the last things he wrote and recorded, and was proud of, the singer finally decided it might be a good idea to get his lost solo album out as an official release. Easy With The Heartaches features 11 tracks personally overseen (from tape transfer, mastering and artwork) by Peter Goalby. And here’s hoping that fans enjoy it, it’s not the last we hear from him!

Track Listing:

1 Easy With The Heartaches
2 Hold The Dreams
3 I Found Real Love
4 Chance Of A Lifetime
5 Mona Lisa Smile
6 They’ll Never Find Us (Running For Our Lives)
7 I Used To Be Your Lover
8 Take Another Look
9 Perfection
10 I Built This House
11 The Last Time

*Also released on the same label in 2019 was a 2 CD Trapeze compilation , which includes a previously unreleased live show featuring Peter Goalby [his debut with the band] from 1977. https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/trapeze-leavin-the-bad-times-behind-the-best-of-trapeze-2cd/

The PUMPS – 40th Anniversary CD Reissue

 After 40 Years – GOTTA MOVE by The Pumps released on CD for the first time.
You look pretty cool,
You look pretty nice
Well let me give you a little advise
You driving me into a nervous wreck
And all I want is a little success
Just a little success
Just a little success             – The Pumps, “Success”, 1980
The music roots of Winnipeg, Manitoba run deep with more than “just a little success” with the international prominence of Neil Young, The Guess Who, B.T.O. and Burton Cummings setting a high standard. Throughout the 70s a homegrown rock sound continued to evolve in Western Canada and while acts like Loverboy and Trooper were finding international success, The Prairies would brew their own driving beats with acts like Streetheart, Harlequin, Queen City Kids and … THE PUMPS.

Formed in 1978 by taking their name from a random pick in a local phone book, THE PUMPS consisted of the unmistakable vocals of bassist Chris Burke-Gaffney and drummer Terry Norman Taylor (TNT). Joined by quirky guitarist Lou Petrovich, who was compared to greats like Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, and Brent Diamond’s tapestry of keyboards creating a lush background, THE PUMPS unique blend of infectious pop/rock and high energy live shows made them a regular on the touring circuit opening for acts such as AC/DC, Triumph and Styx.

THE PUMPS quickly signed an international recording deal with Polydor Records in 1979 and flew to Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec to record their debut album with British producers Phil Chapman and Jon Astley at the helm. Gotta Move was released in 1980 to critical acclaim. The powerful singles “Success,” “Coffee With The Queen” and “Bust The TV” become staples on Canadian rock radio airwaves through the 80s.

In 1983, the group signed with CBS/Portrait, changed their name to ORPHAN and released 2 more albums. The single “Miracle” was a top 10 hit. In 1991, Burke-Gaffney and Taylor briefly reunited to release one album as The Deadbeat Honeymooners.

Vocalist Chris Burke-Gaffney would go on to form CBG Artist Development to manage and develop singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, co-writing and producing her Juno Award-winning and triple-platinum album, Under These Rocks and Stones. He continues to develop new artists gaining accolades, chart success and Juno nominations along the way.

The unique story of THE PUMPS & ORPHAN was told by film maker Terry Goring in the 2016 documentary “Just Little Success.”  The group continues to perform live on the classic rock circuit as THE PUMPS & ORPHAN with Burke-Gaffney, Taylor, Diamond and Orphan guitarist Steve McGovern.

Gotta Move is finally released on CD for the first time by Music In Motion Entertainment as Gotta Move – The 40th Anniversary Edition. Fully remastered, Gotta Move includes 4 bonus tracks : An early live recording of “Bust The TV,” an equally early recording of “Steel & Iron” (which would eventually appear on the ORPHAN disc Salute), the radio edit of their biggest hit “Success” and a brand new acoustic version of “Coffee With The Queen.”

Gotta Move is licensed for distribution by Music In Motion Entertainment.
Gotta Move is available through their webstore on RockPaperMerch.com
Gotta Move is distributed to retail worldwide exclusively by Isotope Music Inc

Socials :
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thepumps.orphan
Community : https://www.facebook.com/groups/29172
Just A Little Success Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpYCLir_Uf8

International Release Date : July 30, 2021Just A Little SuccessCopyright © *2021* *Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.* All rights reserved.

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Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll : Classic ’80s Rock

Twisted Sister - Galeria de imagenes - Imágenes en Taringa!

New York’s Twisted Sister became a household name in the mid ’80s with the success of their 3rd album Stay Hungry, and more so with the hit single “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the comical videos created for the Stay Hungry singles, as well as the follow up album’s videos. But my favorite from Twisted Sister is their 2nd album – You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll in 1983. The album may not have been a huge commercial success, but it was the band at their best, before the hilarious videos, and the attempts at appealing to the mainstream. You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll was full of straight on edgy and angry TS rockers and anthems. You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll was actually the band’s first North American album release, as their debut Under The Blade was recorded in the UK and did not get a US deal & release until after the band had found commercial success; it was remixed and issued in 1985 in Canada and the US. It was produced by British producer / Engineer Stuart Epps who, at the time was producing Wishbone Ash and Vandenberg, and who’s previous engineering credits included Elton John, Chris Rea, Bill Wyman, and US band Shooting Star. Also recorded in the UK, where the band had built up a strong following and would issue 3 singles from You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll. The cover art was simple – with the band name in huge pink letters accompanied by the TS logo on a dark background, Difficult to miss, very to the point!

One thing Twisted Sister albums always had were great intro songs, Under The Blade had “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)”, Stay Hungry and Come Out And Play both had strong intros with the title tracks, and You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll had “The Kids Are Back”. Drawing on those rebellious / outsider teen ideas, with a chorus (like many TS songs) that’s not overly complicated but easily burns into your brain. The next 2 tracks come at you aggressively first with the opening riff to “Like A Knife In The Back”, followed by “Ride To Live, Live To Ride” and heavy metal battle cry “The Power And The Glory”. “I Am (I’m Me)” went in to the band’s sorta poppier direction, catchy, but ..ok; was probably a good choice as a single.

Side 2 opens with “We’re Gonna Make It”; a good song, tho the riff reminds me of Sammy Hagar’s “There’s Only One Way To Rock”. A couple of solid rockers in “I’ve Had Enough” and fast paced “I’ll Take You Alive”, followed by the closest thing to a ballad in “You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)” – penned by Snider for his wife; not one of my favorites here, but it’s a decent forerunner to future ballads “The Price” and “I Believe In You”. The album closes with the title track,; another great anthem, intro & title would’ve fit well on an AC/DC album! Cool video to boot.

The 2018 2 disc reissue contains 3 bonus tracks, as well as 1 disc being the band’s 1983 performance at the Marquee in London, UK.

The band followed this up with their break through classic album Stay Hungry in 1984. That album I remember picking up at the time, then later going back to get the previous 2 some time later. It was their biggest success with a couple of huge hits & videos, but the band’s next album Come Out And Play veered more in to the commercial direction, lacking a bit of the weight and anger, but heck I loved that album, and played the crap out of it! It is also notable for including the return of Alice Cooper (I was a huge AC fan then, and this was his first ‘new’ thing when he came back). The band’s last album was 1987’s Love Is For Suckers. And whether I wasn’t paying attention at the time or what, but I don’t recall hearing anything about it until I walked in to the local Sam The Record Man and saw it on display. I liked that one too, tho’ not so crazy about the production (heck, I don’t think TS ever found a great producer to capture them properly, and consistently). The band split after this album, and Dee Snider (who also wrote the band’s songs) went off to other projects, but by then I’d moved on and didn’t keep up. I have gone back and picked up some of the archived and later released live albums, as well as Dee’s last album For The Love Of Metal, and the excellent For The Love Of Metal : Live, released last year.

07 / ’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 1985

Well, this is the year where things kinda took a turn, IMO. Not a huge list to choose from, and for the most part these are where bands got way more ‘commercial’ or pop oriented, more keyboards (or introduced keyboards)… Not the best from many. Considering I pretty much hated the ’90s, and there was less releases going forward; these lists may get tougher.

Rush – Power Windows

I thought “Big Money” was great as the lead off single here, and it’s still the stand out song for me on this. “Territories”, “Manhattan Project”, good songs, even if it was further into the use of keyboards, etc… but give Rush credit for always moving forward and doing something new – that is why they lasted. Released in October. I saw this tour at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Coney Hatch – Friction

The 3rd in the ’80s trilogy by the Hatch, and the 2nd with Max Norman. A very good album, though the focus on 1 lead singer lost a bit of the magic in the band. But, great tracks – “She’s Gone”, “This Ain’t Love”, and good singles “Girl From Last Night’s Dream” and “Fantasy”.

Headpins – Head Over Heels

The 3rd and final album from the Vancouver band fronted by the amazing Darby Mills, and lead by Brian “Too Loud” McLeod. This one seemed to come and go with less impact than the previous 2. Less of the heavy, a bit more ’80s pop driven, but plenty of good songs – “Stayin’ All Night”, “Never Come Down From The Danger Zone”, “Be With You”…

Helix – Long Way To Heaven

The 3rd Helix album during their heyday, released in November. My favorite one, with “Deep Cuts The Knife”, “The Kids Are All Shakin'”, “Without You”. I remember seeing these guys walking through a local mall back then – wearing their tour jackets! I got Brian Vollmer’s autograph on the back on gift card bag [I was Christmas shopping].

Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

The band’s 4th, released in August This one featured 2 top 10 Billboard hits, the title track [penned by Mutt Lange, who thankfully did not produce this album], and a ballad “This Could Be The Night” [with a co-writing credit to Jonathan Cain, uhg]. A bit heavier overall, another lame cover. I did like this album.

FM – Con-Test

The ‘reunion’ album w/ Nash The Slash returning. A definite more ’80s keyboard pop direction featuring a few hits like “All Of The Dreams”, “Just Like You”, and “Why Don’t You Take It”, as well as favorite “Distant Early Warning” [Ben Mink on guitar].

Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club

This Regina, Saskatchewan band’s 2nd album, and 2nd with Spencer Proffer producing. Some deliberate attempts at breaking the big time with a guest-list filled cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”, but it’s the band’s own songs that I liked far better, like the ballad “Never Let Go”, “Comin’ After You” [single], the title track, and “Hellraisers”.

Saga – Behaviour

Released in August, the last to feature the ‘classic’ line up [for a few years]. Included the hits “What Do I Know”, “Listen To Your Your Heart”, as well as favorites “Here I Am” and the title track.

Orphan – Salute

The 2nd and final album from this Winnipeg band, released in the summer. Featured the hit “Lyin’ To Me”, as well as favorites “Open Up The Skies” and “Woman In Love”.

Aldo Nova – Twitch

Released in October. Not much hard-rockin’ here, with [again] way more keyboards and pop produced tunes. But, heck there are a number of very good songs, like the hits “Rumours Of You” and “Tonight (Lift Me Up)”, and rocker “Heartless”.

Other releases: Lee Aaron Call Of The Wild , Blind Vengeance Blind Vengeance , Hanover Fist Hungry Eyes , April Wine Walking Through Fire , Convict Go Ahead…Make My Day Touchdown Tricks Of A Trade

06 / ’21