– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the AXXION’s camp right now?
Alison: Hey! Thanks for the opportunity! Things are a little quiet here, getting ready for Canadian winter but Halloween’s coming up so we’re pulling straws to see who has to dress like a giant wiener this year haha. Right now we’re working on some new songs, planning some (hopefully) tours for next year and all that jazz.
– You are a quite young band, in fact you recently released you debut album so, first of all, could you please make some history of the band?
Alison: It all really started when DD and I left our previous bands and started jamming in the hourly jamspace rooms. Then we got Inti our first guitar player and Jeff our first bass player. They both have gone on to do their own thing, Inti’s got a new band starting and Jeff’s got a band called Phantom which are AWESOME! I think they will release a full-length album soon. Anyways, so then we got Chris on bass once Jeff was gone and everyone knew Shred from the local scene and he told me he was interested in playing with us so we started jamming and voila! Here we are today.
– You play a really traditional Heavy Metal being quite young so; how did you get into this kind of music?
Alison: Hmmmm, well for me it started with the more broad metal bands. I used to sneak into my brother’s room when I was like 12 and steal his Metallica records and of course that led to Megadeth and Maiden and whatnot, but I grew up when the internet was becoming a really big media thing for bands so it was super easy to just type in what you were looking for and it all popped up. I joined Skull Fist when I was 17, and all the guys had a couple years on me so they would show me all these bands I had never heard about like Dokken, Helloween, Lizzy Borden, Saxon; all that stuff so then I just went on a music rampage and eventually you just start listening to what gets you going ya know? Don’t get me wrong I listen to a lot of stuff that’s not NWOBHM and I think the other guys’ are the same way; except for Shred he ONLY listens to NWOBHM stuff pretty much haha.
– As I said, you recently (last summer) released «Wild Racer», which is your debut album; how was its feedback like? Now that it has been a while since it came out; what are your feelings on the result obtained?
Alison:I think we were all pretty impressed with the initial reaction for the album. It’s different talking to the fans then reading a review online. I really hate when people do reviews online and say something sucked without giving a reason. I read one really good review where the guys hated us but I totally respected what he wrote becuase he explained why he hated us haha. Some of the reviewers are like, it’s boring 4/10 and then you look and see the guy who reviewed it works for a death metal review site; it’s kinda like WHY would you review us? Haha I don’t know, anyways I think we were super happy with the fan reaction to it all.
– The production on the album is just great, raw and live sounding. How was the whole recording/production process? I guess such an organic sound might be what you were aiming for?
CR: We recorded the drums at The Pocket Studios in Toronto and did everything else at Shred’s basement studio. He’s got a great setup and the raw sound that’s on there was what we were going for. Too much music is over-edited and over-produced so we wanted to fight back against that and do something really raw.
– «Wild Racer» is a traditional straight-forward Heavy Metal album with Speed nuances I could say, but songs as the mid-tempo «Still Hungry» manage to stand out, as it also has a certain Hard Rock vibe. What’s the story behind this song?
Alison: It’s funny that you brought up Still Hungry becuase it’s got a funny background. Originally before we had Shred in the band, DD had this song that he wanted to write about having to piss so bad, becuase we always drank beer while jamming and I used to say once you break the seal you’re gonna piss like 30 more times. Anyways, he had this song called “Don’t Break the Seal” and it was totally hilarious and some of the Still Hungry riffs were in it, and eventually it never got written fully and it turned into Still Hungry which sounds more serious but I guess it’s not really. It’s about after doin’ it, you want to do it some more haha! As for the hard rock vibe? I gues that’s just what comes out when you stick 4 people together, give them alcohol and pick a ridiculous topic for a song!
– And talking about such; what could you say have been the most influential bands for AXXION?
Alison: I think that’s really impossible to say because I’d like to think that all of us bring something different to the table. DD and I are kinda similar in the sense that we listen to a whack ton of different metal bands. I listen to everything from Blind Guardian to Ensiferum to Dokken, as long as it sounds good I’m in. Shred is a NWOBHM guy and no one’s gonna change his mind about that. Chris is the wierd one, he listen to everything. Like even the most subbiest of sub-genres, he’s listen to it, which is actually awesome because then we’ve got 4 people who just pull their influences from somewhere different every time and out comes Axxion.
– Canada has always had a really healthy Metal scene, in fact on the album you inclued a cover for THOR’s «Ride of the Chariots». How did the idea arise? And if you had to choose another three songs to cover; which ones would you choose?
Alison: I feel like I was the one who suggested a Thor cover, but I totally could be crazy about that. I’m pretty sure I wanted to do Thunder on the Tundra first but these cool Germans’ in Iron Kobra do a wicked cover of it so we didn’t want to be walking on their turf, so we picked another wicked Thor tune. Right now we’re thinking of potential songs to cover so I won’t spill the beans on those but personally, I would love to cover Accept’s ‘Aiming High’ or pretty much any Gamma Ray song but I don’t think the guys will let me get away with that one!
– You did a video for «Tonight». Was was the whole shooting and work behind it?
CR: A really wicked dude by the name of Kevin MacAllister (He also did the Cauldron «Nitebreaker» video) did all the production for it. We’re all pretty goofy so one night sitting around pounding beers this show called «Squatch Hunters» came on and we couldn’t believe that these people existed so we thought «We gotta have a video with the Sasquatch.» Kevin cleaned up our basic idea, wrote a treatment that could actually be shot on our budget and took us out to the country to shoot the video. It was such a fun shoot and Shred almost died a couple of times making that video (dedication!).
– As I said earlier, «Wild Racer» is your debut album, and it was released by Highroller Records, a quite strong label into the underground. How is everything working with them thus far? It seems to be a quite fitting label for a band like you.
Alison: To be honest, I have always found working with record labels is like work work work and comprimise and all bullshit, but with these guys it was so simple, everything flowed so nicely and they had our backs 100%, we even met the guys at Headbanger’s this year! The label has been really fair with us and has done a lot to help support us in my opinion so I’m really glad we wigned with them for this record.
– All this about “Wild Racer” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
CR: «Kickass Heavy Metal» (I know I kinda cheated there)
– It seems like there’s lately a huge interest for traditional Heavy Metal. Have you noticed this interest with AXXION in any way?
CR: For sure, being part of the community was really good for us so we’ve enjoyed a much greater momentum than most bands of our age have been able to enjoy.
– As I’ve mentioned above, Canada had back in the 80’s a strong Metal scene, but nowadays it’s also quite healthy with bands as yourself, CAULDRON or SKULL FIST (you played in that band as well) among others. Is this a positive thing for bands like you or rather the opposite, as it may be harder get noticed?
Alison: You mean is it a positive thing that 2 of us played in Skull Fist? Well for recognition purposes for sure…don’t as me about the mental consequences though haha! But yea I mean, we’re all from the same city so you’re bound to start in one band and end up in another, the amount of times members have gone around the local scene is pretty nuts actually, but I think that’s because the scene is small here, it may be strong but it’s not big. I think there is some confusion because international countries see a couple Canadian bands get big and think it happened all back home but NO it most likely happened overseas somewhere; we’ve got the land but not the people if you know what I mean.
– In fact you also appeared on the video for CAULDRON’s «Nitebreaker». How was the experience like?
Alison: Yea that was really awesome to work with the Cauldron guys. And I did get to smash Decay with a giant log like 50 times haha! No, it was really fun, but also the guys were super professional, I guess they’ve got it under their belt, none of them slept all night it was nuts.When I look back at our video making experience I just think about how much nonsense went on between shooting;we should make a blooper video! Anyways, those guys, they just kept going going going totally dedicated to getting it done I had a really good time working with them and Kevin too, who filmed it all.
– From Queens of Steel we have always brought special support and promotion to women into the Metal scene, so I can’t actually help asking you a couple of things in concern. First of all, could you say there’s discrimination into the Metal world? As even though many people respect and admire female Metal musicians doing their own thing, into the Metal world people tend to illustrate differences between both genres instead of highlighting similarities.
Alison: I think there is intentional and unintentional discrimination. I can’t tell you how many times people have been shocked to hear that our band has a chick
drummer after hearing us. That’s kind of sad right? I actually heard recently this friend of mine had another chick friend who was a drummer and she QUIT because she thought no one wanted to see a chick play drums and all that stuff. First of all, it shouldn’t matter who’s watching, I used to drum alone in my basement for year before I met even one metal head! And second, isn’t that so sad? This girl (who I was told was a really awesome drummer) actually gave up something she enjoyed because she was intimidated by the scene. That’s pretty brutal to me. I have seen awful musicians female and male, but there are also wicked ones! I think sometimes chick maybe get down on themselves because for some reason they think they can never play ‘as good as a guy’ so they limit themselves and don’t try to get outside of their box (no that was not a sex joke). So coming back to my unintentional dicrimination, a lot of the time you’ll hear, ‘WOW you really play like a man’, or ‘you’d swear it was a guy playing’and I think that comes from the experiences of seeing chicks just hang back and let the guys tkae centre stage. You know why people love Doro? Because she fucking ROCKS that’s why. She’s amazingly talented, and that talent is what makes her not only loved, but respected by her fans. So there, my rant is done….for now.
– And are there any female artists that have influenced you as musician?
Alison: As I just mentioned, Doro is my biggest hero, she’s so damn cool! But no, my hair is not blonde because of Doro, that is genetics haha. Also, both my grandmas always pushed for my to play music. My one grandma would take me to piano lessons when I was a kid and she used to make us all play Christmas carols as a family when I was younger haha! They were surprised when I went for the drums but hey, whatever calls to you right?
– Finally, what are your near-future plans?
CR: There’s nothing that we can say yet but rest assured that we’re coming back to Europe soon. We have to come back of the cheap beer and amazing fans!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Alison: Yea, thanks for everything to the people who have supported us. Thanks for the e-mails and the photos, and thanks for listening! Thanks to everyone who had the patience to sit down and have a beer with us and shoot the shit, if you ever see one of us just hanging around come and say hi, drink some beer and if you’ve got a band show it to us we want it alllllllllllll!