WINGS OF STEEL is a new hard-rock/metal band from Los Angeles featuring guitarist Parker Halub and singer Leo Unnermark. The band’s 5 track EP is (you can check out my review in a previous post), and the band is preparing to make their live debut. The band’s sound captures the classic 70s & 80s eras of hard rock & metal (see UFO, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Great White…). Here is a new interview with Parker & Leo on the band, their EP, and future plans! …. *Check out the links below for more info and ordering their album.
Can you tell me [briefly] how yourself and Leo met and decided to put together Wings of Steel?
We met in April 2019 while studying music in L.A. It was pretty evident from the start that we would form a band and things basically took off from there.
Can you each give me a short list of favorite musicians, singers, writers… as well as ‘Top 10’ list of your favorite albums growing up?
Some of my (Parker) favorite musicians/guitar players include John Sykes, Michael Schenker, Neal Schon, John Norum, Estas Tonne, and many more. Some of Leo’s favorites include David Coverdale, Paul Rodgers, Steve Lee, Bruce Dickinson, Robin McAuley, and more.
Part of what makes Wings of Steel what it is, is the fact that Leo and I take influences from many different sources and it would be a difficult task to give an exact answer with every source that has inspired us.
That said, here are 10 of our favorite records; 1. Dio – Lock Up the Wolves (1990) 2. Judas Priest – Painkiller (1990) 3. Whitesnake ‘87 (1987) 4. Blue Murder – Blue Murder (1989) 5. Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations (1980) 6. Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell (1980) 7. Krokus – Heart Attack (1987) 8. Y&T – Ten (1990) 9. Dokken – Tooth and Nail (1984) 10. Gotthard – Gotthard (1992).
Where did the name Wings of Steel come from? And can you tell me a bit about the CD artwork?
The band name actually sprung from the title track “Wings of Steel.” We had spent a great deal of time trying to find a name that does justice to our sound/style, and after writing the song, we had found it. As for the artwork, Leo and I had an idea sketched out on a piece of paper that we took to our good friend and tattoo artist Spencer Caliguiri. We gave a rough description of what we wanted and Spencer delivered the final product on the first try.
What [if] of other recording bands had you each been involved with in the past?
Both of us have been involved in previous bands, more so for the sake of live entertainment rather than recording.
Can you give me a bit of insight in to each of the 5 tracks, as to where the musical and lyrical ideas came from and any antidotes from recording them?
Songs are totally up for interpretation. Most of the songs are written as perspectives on a wide variety of things. Fictive imagination and sometimes real life examples of society, spirituality, and overwhelming emotion are some examples of larger scale topics; things that can be touched on multiple levels. A part of the journey of Wings of Steel is to give the listener the option of owning the song by allowing it to carry multiple meanings. The music and what ultimately becomes the Wings of Steel sound is a combination of both our inputs.
As we mentioned earlier, our influences (musically and lyrically) come from many sources/genres and it’s tough to definitively name them all. The bulk of the EP was recorded in our Bomb Shelter turned studio at Parker’s parents’ place out in Thousand Oaks, CA. It’s hard to pick any one particular highlight as the EP was recorded over the span of a few months and when you’re having fun, the process takes care of itself and we’re just along for the ride.
This is a 5 song EP, done independently. Have you guys shopped it around to any labels? And is there plans [or work begun] for a full length album?
We’ve had several labels approach us with offers since the EP went live back in March, however we plan to stay independent for the indefinite future as we don’t want our creative process and image being limited
or influenced by a contractual obligation. Owning the rights to our own music is important to us as well. As for our next release, we have already begun the writing process and are looking forward to a release sometime next year.
As the band is based around the 2 of you, are any shows planned and other players chosen?
We have our debut show planned for September 23 at the Whisky-A-GoGo in Hollywood. We will be joined by a second guitarist and bassist, as well as Mike Mayhem who played drums on the EP.
(for Leo) – There is a huge hard rock / metal scene in Sweden. Can you share some insight on it and perhaps a few of your favorite Swedish bands at present?
In the bigger cities, there’s definitely a solid presence/scene of hard rock/heavy metal music. There aren’t too many upcoming bands that have caught my attention, however some of my favorite Swedish rock bands/musicians include Europe, Treat, 220 Volt, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Mickey Dee.