Sunday, October 30, 2016

Interview with Axxion members Sir Shred and Emily Annie

Axxion is a four-piece band that hails from Toronto and has been active since 2011. The group is lead by Dirty D Kerr and they have a highly-potent sound that blends together traditional heavy metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., 80's metal, U.S. power metal, and speed metal. Last month I covered the group's sophomore album, "Back in Time", and now it is my extreme pleasure to present this follow-up interview*.

Andy-Let me I just start off by saying how much I love your new album! Was this a group project or is there one or two people responsible for the album's music and lyrics? 

Emily (drums & vocals)-Most of the music is written by Shred (guitarist) and DD (vox). Usually whoever writes the song also ends up writing the lyrics because they have a feel or an idea for the song and an idea about where they want it to go, but there’s always blank spots that get filled together. However, Shred was really the grinding force behind this album; I honestly don’t think it would be out by this point without him. He forced us to sit down, work it out, plan the vocal melodies and get it tight. He also recorded the whole damn thing; which is an arduous task! He spent countless hours going over and over the tracks, getting everything sounding perfect before it went out for mixing and mastering, not to mention countless hours having to sit in that room and listen to all our shitty takes!

Andy- How would you compare back in time to your debut album? 

Emily-I think this release sounds more mature. And I don’t mean that in the ‘we’re getting old and running out of riffs’ mature; I mean that we have a more honed sound, we are tighter as a band and we know what we are going for. This album took a long time to get out and it took a LOT of work. I think Shred has probably aged about 10 years trying to push us all to get our act together and finish this damn thing. There was lots of time spent on perfecting the sound and getting everything to fit together just right; we spent a lot of time getting the vocals to sound just right. I have used the word ‘proud’ often when describing this album because that is exactly how it makes me feel; absolutely proud to have it come out this way and know all the damn hard work that went into it.

Andy-I'd say all that hard work really payed off...even if Shred is ten years older! So, what are the band's influences? Musically (and if applicable) lyrically.

Shred-Everyone has different influences but kind of the same at the same time. As long as it’s cool we’re all on board musically and we just kind of know what works and what doesn’t. Lyrically well….we just kind of write about whatever like chicks, riding stuff, time travel, and some of the lyrics make no sense at all but the words fit right. I never cared what lyrics meant anyway as long as the words work together. A new song usually starts with a couple chorus words that are usually the backups and it’s fill in the blanks from there.

Andy-Well, obviously it all works out in the end. Especially as the four of you have created a near perfect sound on your latest release!

Shred-I wouldn’t say this record sounds perfect, but it’s way better than what we’ve released previously and a huge part of that credit is due to the mixing guy Dan. He did a great job with what we gave him to start with and Engel mastered it just right. We’ll probably stick with the same formula moving forward.

Andy-Yeah, you're right. If it's not broke than why fix it! Changing gears here, but how did the band first come together? 

Emily-DD and I had both left our previous band (Skull Fist and Midnight Malice, respectively) in 2011 and I have known him since forever and we decided to get something together. So we just started jamming, pretty much; he had some original tunes that would become the early AXXION stuff and we rocked some Kansas songs in between and eventually we got our first line-up together and did some shows, did some recording, lost some members, gained some members and here we are! I would like to say that, though we’ve had some different musicians play and eventually move on from Axxion, that it was always really amicable and we still have great relationships with past members; we have a small metal community here in Toronto, Canada and everyone knows everyone it’s a pretty tight community so I think it’s pretty cool that we all support one another within the scene.

Andy-That's really how the metal scene should be. Speaking of Axxion members, what affect, if any, has your new bass player had on the group?

Shred-He’s definitely made us all look a lot shorter! Besides that he’s still working into the roll. He recorded the album on a whim and never really heard the songs before showing up to the studio but I wanted him to kind of just roll through it and leave his mark on it. He’s an excellent song writer and does cool stuff in Cauldron so we weren’t worried at all. It worked out.

Andy-That's for sure! Will you be hitting the road behind this release and is Ohio too far as a destination to consider?

Shred-We’re leaving for the US tomorrow for a one off festival, a couple Canadian dates in the next little while but no tour planned as of yet. The US is a serious pain for Canadian bands and costs a shitload so I don’t see us touring the US in the near future because we cant get our gear across the border. One off shows work cause we can sneak in and get away with it but until the US realizes that bands like us don’t make any money and lowers the fee’s I just don’t see it happening.

Andy-I've heard similar complaints from other Canada bands. I really wish the American government would get it's act together with that, but given the current condition of my home country....well, let's just say we have A LOT of problems and just leave it at that! But anyway, as you're band is quite busy I won't keep you long. I want to thank you for doing this short interview and I'll leave you with this one last question. Seeing as Axxion has been active for some time now I'd wager that you've had some good and bad shows.  Care to share one that sticks out for being great? 

Emily-I am so very glad you asked this question, because we recently played a ‘not-very-official-basement-party’ show. And this pretty much meant, everyone is getting drunk and, not being too serious and just having a good time, doing what we love; playing music. So, we are all getting ready, plugging stuff in, I’m switching the kit over to leftie and people are starting to gather around getting ready for us to play. And, with pretty perfect timing, the boys all strip down into- what I am told- are powersuits. Can you picture Ralf Scheepers? Or Steve Harris in those full spandex onesies? I’m sure you can; now imagine it but the sluttier version. Little straps over the shoulder and shorts that cover just enough….area to get the job done. Needless to say I had a blast playing that show, not sure how much the boys remember but I think it was a hit! That being said…I did have to look at 3 spandex striped butts for our whole set. I think I’ve got a picture of it around here somewhere…

Andy-I can see why that show "stuck out" so much! Thanks again for chatting with me and congrats on your new album. 

For all things Axxion (up to and including CDs, tee-shirts, stickers, and patches!) be sure to head here.

*Due to some unforeseen "technical issues" I am just now getting around to posting this interview.  While the band's responses were quick and precise my home computer was not as....accommodating. Let's just say it took on a life of it's own and we'll leave it at that.   

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home