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Interview with Steve Blaze
Guitars / Vocals- (Lillian Axe)

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2007

Steve Blaze: Hey Brian, Steve Blaze how are you doing, Buddy?

Brian Rademacher: Good how you doing?

Steve Blaze: If I told you I wasn't pulling my hair out, I would be lying, busy as hell. So tell me about

Brian Rademacher: Well were a webzine that is affiliated with an internet radio station called Stickman Radio we hope for a long time, but with this crap with legislature who knows.

Steve Blaze: Yeah I've been hearing a lot about that, so they're trying to levy fees higher than traditional radio.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah Stickman does it out of the love for music and the money that comes in through donation goes right back into the station. Rob & Kirk who run the site put a lot of work into their station and are always looking to better it, but with this shit with legislature how can they keep going. I mean Stickman plays music that the listeners request that you would never hear on traditional radio. You might hear LILLIAN AXE: on college radio but they will be affected too.

Steve Blaze: That's ridiculous, I am sure on-line advertising is minimal if any and these guys are busting there ass trying to play what others would not.

Brian Rademacher: Don't quote me but I think a month ad on Stickman Radio is like $20.00-$30.00

Steve Blaze: How can they survive, in this day and age bands and record labels need all the support they can, it's just ridiculous, traditional radio is so ridiculously political.

Brian Rademacher: When you were starting out in music did you start with keyboards?

Steve Blaze: Myself personally, I fell into that later on, I started playing guitar at seven-years-old, my knowledge of guitar led to other instruments. We have songs we play live that on the record that have keyboards but I play that with the guitar live. We do no sampling on stage. I love keyboards.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah keyboards are one of my favorite instruments. I first liked Keith Emerson then I went to Gregg Giuffria.

Steve Blaze: So you know about ANGEL, did you know I play guitar for ANGEL.

Brian Rademacher: Yes, I did do some research.

Steve Blaze: I guess you did.

Brian Rademacher: Let's go way back, as a youth what kind of kid were you in school?

Steve Blaze: I hate to be a braggart; I was always an  A' student. It wasn't I was so religiously in to my studies or anything like that. When I was in eighth grade, I went to a Jesuit high school, which was a top military school in the state. The reputation was all the smart kids went there. The problem was it was an all boy school, so you didn't learn a lot about interaction. It was pretty strict. It was a great education I learned Latin, Greek, calculus so I always did real well. I graduated Suma Cum Laude from high school with not being to diligent in my studies. I wanted to have fun and cut up.

Brian Rademacher: Did you play sports?

Steve Blaze: Absolutely! Basketball, Football, Baseball, I wrestled in high school we were state champs two years, even now I play in a basketball league here in New Orleans for eight years.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah seems like fans think that artists are not that bright so they go into music, which is not true.

Steve Blaze: Yeah the band that set the bar for me was QUEEN, Brian May was studying to be an astronomer I remember coming up, there was a stigma that all musicians were dumb, but that made no sense. The smarter you are could only help you, if you don't know math how would you know your royalty break or if you don't understand a contract you could be in a lot of trouble, being smart helps out. My education I was very fortunate.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah my education is called spell check&

Steve Blaze: Hey, there ya go. It helps. Yeah your brain is like a hard drive all the new stuff pushes the old stuff aside.

Brian Rademacher: What was the name of your first garage band?

Steve Blaze: (Laughing) that's funny; I use to do talent shows playing flamenco guitar. I was like the prodigy kid at eight-years-old. I was playing Malagainya. When I started playing they took me right out of the group and put me in private lessons. At an early age I was playing in front of people. When I saw ALICE COOPER on TV when I was ten I said that's what I want to do, that's it. I start with my brother and this kid Edward. I was the only one that played and we made up our own version of kiss with make-up but different. Put on make-up high heels and tights and running around with big shoes. I was like ten years old and would write these morbid songs, like  Injection 13', (Laughing) the band was BLOOD RAGE. I have some old 8mm film, about thirty seconds of it. We charged a quarter to come in and we got like 10 people to come, we opened the garage door we had incense burning and we had a coffin made out of bricks and my brother popped out of it. I was playing and singing and we had two lights, a red and green light and we had a guy plugging and unplugging them one at a time. We had big cans filled with different amounts of water beating on them. We didn't know what we were doing. That was my first attempt.

Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first record you bought?

Steve Blaze: The first record I had was the  Chilling Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House'; all the haunted houses used it. I bought the album at a local grocery store and used it to scare the crap out of ya. The first rock album my dad bought me was ALICE COOPER  Schools Out'. We opened it up and it had a pair of women's panties holding the album.

Brian Rademacher: Yeah I still got that album; ALICE COOPER was the first concert I ever saw with SUZI QUATRO opening at Madison Square Garden.

Steve Blaze: Dude that is uncanny that was the first show I saw too. That was  Welcome to my Nightmare' with SUZI QUATRO and EDGAR WINTER. I went to City Park Stadium and I didn't know what that smell was, (Laughing) that's crazy we both went to the same first show. I brought a hand held tape recorder all I could hear was a muffle.

Brian Rademacher: It's been fourteen years since your first studio CD? How has the music industry change in that long period?

Steve Blaze: It really has changed a lot. You go into a Best Buy here in New Orleans you don't see a catalog anywhere. It's a shame; the only thing they put out is Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, all that kind of stuff. No wonder it sells a lot it's shoved in everybody's face. Even today, our album just came out and people are calling up stores and having difficulty finding it. The savoir of it all is people can get it online at least. Everything is watered down, there's no excitement anymore, and it's really tough for bands. The industry now is for the quick buck. You remember going to the record store when you were younger and looking for the album in the racks, that was the biggest thing. I mean you would go to the magazine store and look for the pictures of your favorite band buy a few copies, bring them home, cut it out and hang them on your wall. Today I can find out what color Gene Simmons slippers are, just go on the internet, everything is watered down. We're trying to bring back the rock show, the excitement; we have a good album, a good label, good distribution. Now that we are back in the public eye we are not going away anymore, we're already working on the next record.

Brian Rademacher: Do you feel the music of years year is making a come back?

Steve Blaze: Yeah we just played Rocklahoma with 110,000 people. I think the fans need to stand up, Fans should go to the record stores and demand it, I mean they can order it on line but they have to wait. You want it in your hands the day it comes out at the record store. You go in the store ask where is this album, they don't have it, have them order it. You want the bands back; you want the shows, go out and support it.

Brian Rademacher: Is your side project NEAR LIFE EXPERIENCE working on new material?

Steve Blaze: Yeah we are doing a new record right now; hopefully by the end of the year it should be out. It's a little heavier and gothic. It gets compared to TOOL and SABBATH but I can't compare the music. It's like comparing an orange, what does and orange taste like, well it sweet and it's an orange what can you say. What I say its heavy rock you gotta listen.

Brian Rademacher: How were you approached to play in ANGEL?

Steve Blaze: A friend of mine knew a guy who was writing a book called,  Rock and Roll War Stories' and he wanted me to give him a story. This guy Gordon was playing keyboards in ANGEL at the time and called me up, he said I don't think Punky Meadows is coming back, They flew me to New York I did five songs, I was a huge ANGEL fan and could have played twenty more. The manager took me outside right after I auditioned and said you got the gig. Been with them since, it's been a slow ride until they get a label together.

Brian Rademacher: ANGEL has a new CD coming this year; can you tell me anything about that project?

Steve Blaze: Well we got songs written, those guys are just waiting for the right label to fund it.

Brian Rademacher: Have you got any feedback from Punky Meadows or talked with him?

Steve Blaze: Nope, never talked with him. Invited him out a couple times but he never came. Mickie Jones sent me some e-mails, seems like a great guy.

Brian Rademacher: You have a new LILLIAN AXE: CD  Water Rising,' how did talks about a new CD come about?

Steve Blaze: Even though we took a little break. I knew we would get back into it. We went to Japan and did some reunion shows; we saw the response we were getting, so I knew we were coming back. I said we are going to do a new record, we're going to take our time and do it on our on, fund it ourselves and shop it around. We have to get a label that will have a relationship with the band, has to love the band, love the music and will work with us. So that's what we did, took a couple years but we did it. We found an Indie label with major label distribution, our publicist Chip found the label. It was Tim with Metro City; he's the president, it's a division of Ferret records. He loved the record and the band and he's the guy. We are growing together with this record.

Brian Rademacher: You're getting great reviews and  Fields of Yesterday' is off the hook? Was that song a long process?

Steve Blaze: Its nine minutes long. It kind of takes a life of its own. I don't pay attention about time when I am writing. It's about accent, growth, and decline of mankind's spirit. There's a part that has big strings and four-part harmonies and ambience sounds. To get the whole thing across that was it. If they want to edit it for radio we can edit it, you can always edit a song.

Brian Rademacher: How was it playing the National Anthem on electric guitar at the New Orleans Voo Doo arena?

Steve Blaze: Can I say I was nervous, two weeks before that I was a nervous wreck; it's so easy to forget something. You gotta play it passionately and respectfully and different, you gotta put your feel into it. I had nightmares of strings popping, amps blowing up and everything, worked on it for along time. I had all my guys standing around me if something went wrong. Got a great response, the crowd was screaming and I was fortunate everything went well and an honor to do it.


Brian Rademacher: You replaced TIGERTAILZ at Rocklahoma, do you feel it was the fans that made the difference in you playing since you were originally not scheduled to play?

Steve Blaze: I think it had a lot to do it; there was a lot of hoop-la. I told my agent to contact them because I wanted to get on this show, so he did but they said they were all filled up. So I made a post and told the fans to call the promoter, the fans really got into it and blah, blah, blah, my agent is in Thailand and he calls and says Rocklahoma 7 O'clock Thursday your on, TIGERTAILZ cancelled, all we wanted to do is be part of this thing. It was awesome and we got a great response. The promoter of the camp ground said we were great and next year you'll get a better time slot and we will be happy to have you.

Brian Rademacher: If you could play side by side with a legendary guitarist who would that be?

Steve Blaze: Anybody, living or not Randy Rhoads or Brian May.

Brian Rademacher: I see on ebay LILLIAN AXE: is a hot commodity, there were a few CD of the band selling for $103.00,  The Love and War' CD selling for $50.00 are you amazed by that?

Steve Blaze: Yep! It's unbelievable. We are going to try and get our catalog. It's a sin that all our albums are sitting in storage the MCA and Capitol stuff. It's about time they just let it go. People have to fight to buy a record; we get tempted to rerecord them.

Brian Rademacher: What's next?

Steve Blaze: We got a big tour, which is going to be crazy. We are going out there and giving it our all.

Brian Rademacher: Hey Steve it was great talking to you, would you like to say anything in conclusion?

Steve Blaze: Thanks for talking, come out and support the tour. Check out the LILLIAN AXE: website and hope to see all the fans in Jersey come out. Thanks buddy.


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