– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with AXEHAMMER?
Hey Sergio,how are you !!
Everything is great .Right now , we just released our new album “marching on “ which is getting great reviews all over the world, and we are all really excited about it.
– Though you have a pretty long musical history, you have just released your sophomore album so, first off, could you please share some history of the band?
The band got started with Jerry Watt and Kit Carlson back in 81, then Mark Sky and Bill Ramp joined the band, a demo tape followed, the band started to play around L.A., then Mark left the band and Joe Aghassi joined the band , the band recorded Lord of The Realm, but it never got released. The glam scene was taking over town and the band decided to quit .After 10 years, in 98 Sentinel Steel decided to release Lord of the Realm , which became a cult classic among metal fans specially in Germany , and then the band got together again after couple years to record Windrider.
– This new album is entitled «Marching on», which sees the light of day 7 years after your debut record, «Windrider», came out. What have you been up to during these 7 years? And what are your expectations on your new opus?
After Windrider The band did couple gigs in Germany ,then Bill left the band. Mark Stewart replaced him, the band went to play in couple festivals in Europe and did a mini US tour , then started to write new material for the new album, got into the studio, Mark left the band , then Kleber Mandrake joined the band,our bass player at that time Oso passed away, we had some line up changes , Horacio got into the band, we finished recording the album, we performed around California with Gamma Ray, Michael Schenker, Loudness, Lizzy Borden, then the album got released.
– This CD has the same trademarks as the first one, and it also keeps the same hook. How do you manage to get such a superb end result without changing the sound of such traditional songs?
We just do it naturally, we all got the same tastes and we love old school and power metal, so it doesn’t take a lot to write songs like we are still in the 80’s.Plus I think we all listen to old school metal bands.
– Anyway I think this is a more mature and solid album so, could you say what we find on «Marching on» is your actual personality or is there always room for evolution and to keep on shaping your own recipe?
I think its our personality for sure, who we are , but there’s always room for evolution , without compromising our roots .
– Due to this I would like to know how was the songwriting process this time around.
Jerry usually writes all the songs and melodies. When I got into the band most of the songs were already written.So Jerry and I got together to share some ideas and finish the remaining songs.
– This new opus has been produced by seasoned Bill Metoyer, and I think he has got a really clear and organic sound. Has he got the sound you were looking for? Are you satisfied with it?
Yeah, Bill is a great guy and an awesome producer, it was great to work with him , we got the sound we wanted for sure.
– This has also been your first release with Pure Steel Records. How is everything going with them so far? As they seem to be a really good home for «old school-sounding» bands.
The label is great, They have always believed in us and they are really nice people, it feels like a family , they have been doing an excellent work with this album.
– The cover artwork caught my attention as it did the cover for your debut album, as it could fit perfectly with any European Power Metal release, which I think it’s something that has given you a stronger identity. Would you mind to shd some light on this (the artist, what did you want to express with it, etc.)?
The artwork was designed by Timo Wuerz , he is a great artist and did a very good job .There’s a song on the album called The dragons fly and we’ve always had some ideas for the cover related to that, we wanted something with a dragon, and we got it.
– On this record I can find nuances from classic bands such as IRON MAIDEN or JAG PANZER among others but, what are your main musical influences?
The band’s main influences are ;Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Purple, Dio, Uriah Heep.
– All this about «Marching on» being said; how could you describe it in 3 words?
Metal,Fierce , Energetic.
– You started way back in the 80’s but didn’t release your first album until 2005. During these last decades things have changed a lot, for instance technology has changed a lot. What are your thoughts on new technologies and tools as the Internet?
I think technology is great , You can download our songs, watch videos on youtbe , like right now for example ,I am responding to this interview and many others from my computer. Back in the day a written interview like this would have to be sent by mail.
– And what could you say are the main differences into the 80’s scene and the current one?
I think the main difference is that back in the days bands were more real and true to their sound, They had to work really hard to record a demo, promote the band. Today with the help of internet , its easier to promote yourself, but most of these bands aren’t even real. you got a lot of bands, that don’t write their material, or don’t even know how to really play.
– Anyway you are not the only US Metal band that has came back, some others as DRIVER or OMEN also did it. What do you think is the main reason behind this «revival» (so to speak) kind of thing?
I think the main reason is that people want real metal, soaring screams, killer guitar riffs, but also quality sound.Sometimes they want to revive that feeling from the 80’s. when we do live gigs specially here in California, where the scene is very different from what we play ,you can see a “surprise”on their faces, like Yeahh Old school Metal!!
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We are getting new management and soon we will be playiong around the US and Europe.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
I just want to say thank you for the interview and a big thanks to our fans out there in Spain and all over the world that have been supporting the band and wating on this new album. We love our fans.