Black Phoenix Rising Interview with Steve

Steve spoke to Paul from Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forum recently following the very positive review for The Last Ride. If you wish to read the interview from the Black Phoenix Rising forums, then head to this link.

It was back in October 2013, shortly before the release of their second Album IX, when our own Black Phoenix first interviewed Hamerex exclusively for BPR.

The band have recently released their latest EP The Last Ride, you can read our review here……

Steve Blower from the band usually pops on the forum to give us updates but he has kindly agreed to have another chat with us and spoke about the latest EP and what the band have been up to over the last 18 months or so …

legalalien – Hey Steve, thanks for agreeing to have another chat with us and thanks for your support of the forum, how are you?

Steve – Hi Paul, it’s no problem at all. I’m good thanks yourself?

legalalien – I’m great thanks!! It’s great to be able to catch with you and we want to have a chat with you about your recent EP but before we do, how has the album IX gone down?

Steve – It’s gone down extremely well. The feedback from fans has been quite extraordinary, especially when some have described it as a masterpiece or a work of art, which is pretty much the best compliments we could possibly get for it.

legalalien – That’s fantastic news, you’ve been pretty busy by the looks of it so what else have the band been up to since we last spoke?

Steve – We did a lot of gigging in support for IX, recorded The Last Ride E.P. and undergone a few changes within the band over the last 8 months.

legalaien – Ah yes, so you now have a new bassist and you have taken over on lead vocal duties, how are you finding fronting the band?

Steve – I’m actually really enjoying it and settling in to the frontman role quite well. It’s quite a challenge having to learn how to play and sing at the same time again, also having to build my confidence up as well as the strength of my voice is another challenge, but it’s fun and I’m really having a good time with it. It has reignited a bit of a fire in me that I used to have in the early days. Not that I’ve not been passionate about the band in recent years, far from it. The whole IX album cycle I loved and had a real blast. But things at the moment are quite new and exciting.

legalalien – Well here’s hoping that you continue to enjoy your new role, don’t burn out though!! And how is the new guy, Simon, settling in?

Steve – Really well. He’s a really good fit with the rest of us and we’re all pretty much on the same page. He did really well with his first gig last month as well, and he’s getting some input with the things we’ve been doing lately such as the video and song writing.

legalalien – Onto the EP now. Is it important for you to keep putting new releases out there?

Steve – Definitely. We do like to keep quite active creatively. That, and we have a massive amount of unused material we’ve just never got around to using for anything so we’re always looking to the next recording even when we’re heavily focused on promoting our latest release or playing live a lot. Also, if we’ve got a lot of really strong material ready, why not put it out you know?

legalalien – Exactly. Keep ’em coming we say!! How did you find recording this EP compared to the album?

Steve – I think having a better idea what we were going to do and learning from IX made it much smoother, and with deciding for The Last Ride that we wanted to introduce the power and energy of our live shows and put that on to disc. But there’s always new problems that arise and we just learn from them and take that in to account for the next recording. The constant has always been myself Andy and Daz at all the recording sessions and we work together really well. In the past, some of the recording sessions we’ve done we didn’t quite enjoy or certain time periods when we were recording just, I dunno, weren’t great times in the band and it probably shows on the recordings.

legalalien – When I listened to the EP I got a sense that there was a theme running through of an apocalyptic nature, where did the inspiration come from for the EP?

Steve – All the songs are actually 3-5 years old now. Two of the songs I’d put forward for an album but we had a lot of music to choose from and I don’t think they quite fit in with the rest of the songs, or the ideas for what we were doing at the time didn’t quite come together. Reign of Fire was actually originally supposed to be Descent of Angels, but with Chris having written the lyrics for it before I wrote the music, he just said it was too epic sounding for what he had in mind, and that was the reason that didn’t make it on to IX. I think those four songs are what stood out from our unused material and they just happened to have an apocalyptic or theme of mass destruction.

legalalien – Did everyone have input into this release?

Steve – Song writing wise not so much. It’s mostly songs that I’ve written, though Daz got a couple of lines of lyrics in to Reign of Fire and there’s a few bars of guitar that was used in Natures Wrath, which was an idea from our ex guitarist Joe. During recording and the mix we all had some input.

legalalien – We love the EP, it’s right up our street here at BPR Towers, how has the reaction to the EP been elsewhere?

Steve – It’s been just as good if not better than IX so far. I think the change in vocals has been noted by most people, and it’s been a really big positive, which is definitely a confidence booster.

legalalien – I can imagine, what a big step to take personally for you. So what’s next for Hamerex?

Steve – We’re heavily focussed on writing the next album. While we’ve still got all the unused material, we’ve set a goal to write a full album together as a band instead of everyone fetching full songs in. Now we’ll fetch some riffs in, lyrics ideas or come up with something on the spot. It’s been a really fun process with one definite song for the next album and two others we’re still working on but they’re coming together really well. As well as that, we’ve actually penned in the fourth album and a possible track list. How that progresses will depend on the third album and how we decide to approach both projects. Apart from that, we’ll possibly put out a couple of rerecordings for songs we think would benefit from it, probably to release as a fund raising single instead of begging through a kickstarter campaign to fund any of the next releases. But saying that, a lot of things do change, such as the concept album we were originally planning to do, just isn’t on the cards now, though we’ve got some really strong material from it.

legalalien – Wow, third and fourth albums in the pipeline. That’ll keep us greedy Hamerex fans salivating!! I can’t wait to see the band again at Fest of Hades, especially with the changes. Have any of the big festies come knocking yet?

Steve – Unfortunately not. I’m still waiting for the offer to play Donington haha. I’m really looking forward to the Fest of Hades, much more than the previous two all dayers I’ve put on. I genuinely think all the bands are brilliant, which is kind of my aim with the Fest of Hades, to have more quality over quantity. I’ve kind of taken the inspiration for my approach with it from the Monsters of Rock Festivals at Donington, that, and with Metallica and Slipknot having done their own festivals. I’m even considering putting one on next year I’m that excited about this one.

legalalien – Well I echo your excitement and can’t wait for the all dayer. A couple of fun questions now. Hamerex are running for the general election. What music related policies will you have in your manifesto?

Steve – Probably make a new day of the week, which makes it mandatory for everyone to go to a gig. I actually had this conversation at one of our rehearsals haha. Or, something I think a lot of people would agree with, is people moving to an area where a live venue’s been running for x amount of years, they complain, the venue shuts its doors. I’d have to put some policy in place to protect the venues.

legalaien – Well with that on your manifesto I’d certainly vote Hamerex!! Thinking about the band’s style, diversity and influences, if you were asked to re-record any album from the past by another band, which would it be?

Steve – Probably something like Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son or Metallica’s Black album, but they’re as great as they are going to get, though it would be a lot of fun. Could always redo …And Justice For All and put bass in it haha.

legalalien – Well thanks again for spending time answering our questions. Do you have any message for people reading this interview or for your fans?

Steve – I’d just like to thank everyone from myself and on behalf of the rest of the band that’s supported and followed us over the last decade. We really appreciate absolutely everything everyone has done for us, whether it’s coming to gigs, buying CD’s, merch or even sharing our stuff on Facebook or wherever. I’m really excited about bringing more music out over the next however many years.

legalalien – And we look forward to many more Hamerex releases. Until next time, keep it Metal!!

If you want to learn more about Hamerex or see where they are playing then look them up on Facebook

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