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Interview with Jimi Bell
House of Lords “Come To My Kingdom” with Jimi Bell


Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: February 2008

Brian Rademacher: Hey Jimi, its Brian from!

Jimi Bell: Hey, buddy, what ya doing? What did you think of the tracks I sent you for the new album?

Brian Rademacher: Man, just amazing, I’ve been listening to them and you got some kick ass stuff on there.

Jimi Bell: Yeah, it’s out on March 14th. Our label, Frontier Records, sent some over to Andrew McNeice of and he loves it. He mentioned the hooks are huge and the choruses are fantastic; he had great things to say about it.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah, I can understand that. Andrew has a great ear for talent, and he has helped both my site and me in many ways. I heard there might be another festival, but not sure when.

Jimi Bell: I’m sure if there is we’ll be there. I know we are playing Rocklahoma this year, which I’m really excited about.

Brian Rademacher: I’m pretty sure we will be covering that for our site and RockNation this year. I have to get back to them in March.

Jimi Bell: Cool, I’ll see you guys there then. I am not sure what day we are playing, but I am told we are playing.

Brian Rademacher: What what’s been going on since the last tour?

Jimi Bell: Since we got back from the tour, we took a slight break, although I was still writing some new tunes. I have the guitar in my hands all the time. I am a practiceoholic. I have the guitar in my hands all the way up to show time. When everyone is out sightseeing like normal people, I’m either in the hotel or on a bus with the guitar in my hands. Basically, we started working on some of the material for the new album on the last tour. The last record did so well we couldn’t be any happier with the success that it had. We won back a lot of the HOUSE OF LORDS fans that weren’t pleased with the “Power of Myth” record; they like traditional HOL music. We got it back and the reviews were great; the shows were getting bigger and bigger. So when we started writing for this record the first song we submitted was “I Don’t Want To Wait All Night”. It got accepted right away, and then I thought we were on a roll. The next two we submitted got turned down and I started flipping out. I thought the songs were good, but the record company was looking for a particular something. For HOL [Serafino Perugino] likes the big heavy guitar riffs into a very melodic chorus and so do we. That ended up working out the best for us and for the record. We did the same writing format for this record as we did for the last record. I come up with the foundation of the song, a good riff, a good bridge and I go to B. J Zampa., our drummer, and bounce it off him. Then we send it to James and he will send it back what he likes, it’s a process like that. Then to the word writers, James ,Jeff and whoever else we use for lyrics, and boom: it’s done. It’s a very cool collective unit we have. It started to really flow towards the end .We have some great things done for the next record already.

Brian Rademacher: Does it suck when you think you have a great song and it gets turned down? What happens to those songs?

Jimi Bell: Nothing goes away. We will have them as out-tracks, and you say, "Why is he turning this down?" But after you heard the record, you will hear he was correct. You say to yourself, "That song he turned down wouldn’t fit the record." He’s been in the business long enough to know and has an insight of what he wants from HOUSE OF LORDS. Maybe someday we’ll put out a CD of all the out-tracks, which will be totally awesome.

Brian Rademacher: Well, how many tracks do you send him to pick and choose?

Jimi Bell: We send him one or two at a time. If you send more than one or two... they might not listen to them as well if we sent him anymore. Once we have the total, it’s done. Even if we have other songs that are better once we reach the total, it’s done. We can hold the other songs for the next record.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have to do a bonus track?

Jimi Bell: For Japan, which always gets a bonus track. James ended up doing a remix of one of the songs that Serafino turned down. James fixed it up and it was accepted; it ended up coming out really cool.

Brian Rademacher: When I listened to the first track “Come To My Kingdom”, I thought it was so great, just an amazing track.

Jimi Bell: That song is really cool. When I worked with David Wayne from METAL CHURCH (who passed away) and Mike Vescera who sang with Yngwie, I wrote in a heavier mode...and then for HOUSE OF LORDS, you do things different, like modulations in the chorus or the verse. I never did stuff like that until I became a member of HOL. “Come To My Kingdom” has huge guitar riffs and I did a lot of drop-turnings to make it sound that heavy. The harmonies are beautiful, aren’t they? The keyboard intro is just amazing. I think the words are awesome for that track. It’s about a girl who made a deal with the devil years back and she forgot all about it and now it’s time to collect. (laughing)

Brian Rademacher: From here are you working on other things?

Jimi Bell: HOUSE OF LORDS is my main thing. I did play on a record for a bass player, producer Fabrizio Grossi who lives out in California. He does a lot of records with a lot of people; The one we just finished has Danny Vaughn on vocals. I still do work for WWE wrestling; they are awesome people. If you can ever see the recording studio of the WWE it would amaze you. Put it this way: they have no budget. (laughing). I’m not opposed to do any studio work, but I'm very proud to be a part of HOUSE OF LORDS. It been a great avenue. Working with James Christian is awesome, and B. J. and I have been best friends forever. James is a pleasure and extremely smart and intelligent and knows what's suppose to be there. He knows the vocal structure of what the band is; you can take a song like “Come To My Kingdom” and give it to some else and their take on it would be totally different. I would love to take one song and give it to six different singers and see what they come up with. I just love what James does. Robin Beck (James' wife) and James work on all the harmony structures and you can hear her all over the record. It’s just fantastic.

Brian Rademacher: Since the last HOUSE OF LORDS album, what’s your favorite memory?

Jimi Bell: It has to be the shows over in Europe; I’m really hoping this record will build something in the US. The record is being released this time in the US. I mean, things I remember were the shows in the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy... The crowds are so different; that’s why all these bands from the eighties are still doing this and going over there. You know Serafino from Frontier got every band from our era on his label, he has everybody. He even signed Rob Halford for God sakes. He has JOURNEY, WHITE LION, STYX, NIGHT RANGER, WINGER... he has it all, he’s got it. He’s a good man. I have to be grateful for what he’s doing.

Brian Rademacher: Did you hear any rumors about The Firefest festival coming to the US, at the Starland Ballroom in NJ this year?

Jimi Bell: Really! That would be awesome to play on that and the room I heard is great at Starland. I know B. J. played a few shows there with Eddie Ojeda.

Brian Rademacher: You’re going back over to Europe?

Jimi Bell: Yeah, we leave on March 18th to Germany, then Italy. We head over there for three weeks, come home for a week, then head over to Brazil (Rio) for a festival. We come back for a week and leave for England, Sweden and other places, including the Z-Rock Festival. After that we play Rocklahoma. James is still setting up other dates in the US... but things change daily: in January, we were supposed to go out with XYZ. It [went from] 40 dates to nothing. Promoters say things, but they often don't come true.

Brian Rademacher: You have any new endorsements?

Jimi Bell: Well, I know that Marshall will have a rig for me for Europe for every show. I’m happy with that. I was using Dean Guitars and their great and I still use them, but [recently] I have been using the Gibson SG. I love the Gibson SG and found a white one. For me playing left-handed it’s a nightmare, I can’t even tell you what I have to go through. But I can put two SG’s in a bag and bring it right on the plane with me as opposed to the flying V’s. I have EMG as an endorsement and GHS strings. My invention, Shredneck, has taken off. It’s in all the Sam Ash’s and a lot of private orders. I [also] got engaged this year; I met this wonderful woman named Gail Golden. I love her dearly.

Brian Rademacher: Congratulations!

Jimi Bell: Thanks!

Brian Rademacher: How come Europe and other countries can pack the houses, but American can’t? ... Although it is coming along...

Jimi Bell: I think they have a better appreciation for music, they can have the heaviest of heaviest and they will have good hard rock and melodic rock. People there go out to see it and they love music. The same people over there that would like HOUSE OF LORDS would go out and see a death metal band; they just love music. The US is just fickle, but we want to get on a US package and have like three bands going out from that same era and reintroduce ourselves to the fans. We have the support of Satellite radio; Eddie Trunk loves us and plays "Rock Bottom" all the time.

Brian Rademacher: What song on the new record do you like the best?

Jimi Bell: The first one I fell in love with is the ballad “Another Day in Heaven”. I usually wouldn’t like a ballad because there are no heavy guitars. The ballad is fantastic and the melody line and chord changes are incredible. I am going to like playing “One Foot in the Dark” with the heavy guitar riff in the beginning. But “Rock Bottom” from the last album is killer. I think that will be our second song after “Come To My Kingdom”.

Brian Rademacher: Does the European version of the CD come with a bonus acoustic track of “Another Day In Heaven”?

Jimi Bell: It has a piano version, so James did it with another piano player. Actually, the piano player is Jeff Battered who was in a band called Eyes with James here in Connecticut. It’s phenomenal!

Brian Rademacher: Have you added any new guitars to your collection?

Jimi Bell: I found two white SG’s down at South Paw guitars in Texas. I was on eBay and typed in "left handed Gibson SG guitar" and one popped up. I called my fiancée and said, "You're not going to believe it; I found a left-handed white Gibson SG on eBay." I told her, "I know I have two already but I never can find them," and without me knowing she bid on it and won! So I play that all the time.

Brian Rademacher: So how long did this album take to finish?

Jimi Bell: I want to say about six or seven months of writing and accepting. We ended up going a little over the due date. Then we ended up having too much. I have a bunch of strong [songs] ready for the next one.

Brian Rademacher: Will you be headlining in Europe?

Jimi Bell: Yeah, we are the headliner and I’m not even sure who we will be playing with.

Brian Rademacher: What are your hopes for the future besides getting married?

Jimi Bell: I know it’s a different time and different era but I would like to break into the US market. I think there are a lot of people that will love this band that aren’t aware of it. We did a small US tour last year with BANG TANGO and there were some decent crowds coming out. We were selling our CDs like crazy; we sold a lot in the US and I hope the band can build some US steam. The thing I can see in this band that I notice from the other bands is that we have come with a new record, but other bands from our era will go out and just play their old material. When we did “World Upside Downjimi that record got an amazing response. Like the people wanted to hear stuff off that record and also the older tunes. But the people loved that record and when we played Europe people would come up to us and say, "Thank you, thank you for this record." I said "Whoa, you're welcome!" (laughing) What am I suppose to say when people say, "This was the record we‘ve been waiting for"? I think a lot of the fans were scared when “Power of Myth” was released, and it wasn't that it was a bad record; it has great musicianship on that record, but the original guys, not James, wanted to come up with a new music direction and a lot of the fans didn't care for it. But we captured the fans back with “World Upside Down” and I hope this record “Come To My Kingdom” will take off. What I want is to keep getting bigger with the band. Have the band have much more success.

Brian Rademacher: Well Jimi, it was great talking to you again!

Jimi Bell: Brian, It’s always good talking to you. I always have a blast.


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