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A Sharper Image: Conversation with Lillian Axe Guitarist, Steve Blaze

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 6:11 PM


Blaze talks about the band’s longevity, the existence of hidden tracks on the new CD, how fatherhood has affected him and what drives him to keep the band going.

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During my 10+ years or writing and submitting articles to KNAC.COM I have had the opportunity to meet lots of people and make lots of friends. There are very few rock stars that have impressed me as much as Steve Blaze of Lillian Axe. In addition to being the charismatic songwriter and guitarist for the band, he is also one of the most personable, down to earth people you will ever meet. And during that time I have reviewed a lot of Lillian Axe shows, reviewed not only their CDs but Steve’s side projects as well and have even had the pleasure of interviewing him 4 times now, counting this one. Somewhere along the way I went from being just a music correspondent and fan to being a friend of the band, and to Steve in particular. That’s what made this interview what it is, because it wasn’t just an interviewer and a subject, it was two friends just chatting about things. In preparation of what seems to be a big upcoming year for the band, Steve took time out of his busy schedule to call me from his car as he and his family were heading to Mississippi for the weekend and we talked for a whopping fifty minutes! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did doing it!

KNAC.COM: Lillian Axe has a new CD out titled Lillian Axe XI: The Days Before Tomorrow, the band’s 11th release. Did you actually think when you started out that you’d be talking about the band’s 11th release, especially when you consider that most bands of your era only managed maybe a handful and most haven’t released any new music in years?

BLAZE: Actually, I envisioned it from the beginning and I envisioned doing a Lillian Axe 24 days after my last Geritol treatment. (laughs) I’m going to be doing this for a long time. My personality is what I guess you would say is persistent and once I put myself on a particular course and I have a vision I am usually pretty disciplined about it and stick to it and so I never thought it was going to be just something I did just for a few records with this project and then do something different. It was my baby from the beginning and you’re stuck with that child for the rest of your life. I’m not surprised at all, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we’re doing, like I said, a Lillian Axe 24 or whatever. I know we’ve had a lot of changes, a lot of shakeups, about the same amount as any rock band. This is a very tumultuous business that we’re in so these kinds of things are going to shake you up. It’s like having a family you know, it’s relationships to the extreme measure because you’re not only dealing with just your group, but the entire planet comes into play and you have to deal with so many other elements that can cause you to go in so many different directions. At the end of the day, I’m not surprised.

KNAC.COM: I’ve listened to the new CD and it’s definitely one of the best Lillian Axe records ever and what I noticed right away was the sound mix. You guys brought in Sylvia Massey (Tool, Johnny Cash, Deftones, System of a Down, Prince, Black Crowes), somewhat of a heavyweight in the field to do the mixing and she hit the nail on the head with this one!

BLAZE: Well, we knew a little bit about her because on the last record, Deep Red Shadows, she did the mix for “47 Ways to Die”, for a movie that came out last year, Cuba Gooding’s movie The Hit List and that song is the song in the opening credits of the movie. About 2 ½ minutes of the song is played beneath the credits, so we got perfect placement for it. But we knew that because it was going into the movie that we really wanted to step up the mix. She came in, she knew about our history through a mutual acquaintance Barry Lyons, who was working in song and radio. He said that every year he’d take certain songs to have her do remixes or edits or whatnot and she’d select only the ones she really liked, only a handful. She knew of the band’s history but she didn’t realize, not to sound conceited, how good the band was. She was really impressed with the stuff and she did a great job on that disc. It’s almost like she could read what I was looking for in the mix. Mixing is a really difficult, tortuous part of the process and a lot times it’s best to bring somebody else in from the outside to do that. So when we saw how well she nailed that, we said, you know, let’s get her to do the whole record. She’s got a great team, too, she’s got a guy named Richard Beltrop and Richard works alongside her for a lot of the work and they just nailed it. I knew the first song they mixed, which was ‘Babylon’, when they brought it back to me I was like ‘Oh my gosh’. I mean, the CD was well tracked, Rob Hovey did a great job tracking the album but they really knew how to get those textures, those layers and make everything work well. It was huge. I could not see ever doing another record without them mixing it.

KNAC.COM: Listening to the mix, it was so separate, so clear that I could pick out one instrument and follow it through the entire song.

BLAZE: Right, and another thing that they’re able to do is to capture the essence of the song. It’s not overdone, it’s not over-effected, it’s like they take the tracks and with the proper layering and relationships between the different instruments it just really brings it to life. It’s powerful and it’s loud but very natural and real, and it actually adds to the personality of the band. You have a real cohesion, not only in the songs, but in the mix. You hear it and it’s powerful and loud, but it’s not like that irritating loud, you know how some albums the louder you get them the more certain things get on your nerves. It’s a very warm, comfortable, absorbing kind of mix.

KNAC.COM: You obviously have a new vocalist now, Brian Jones, who grew up as a fan of the band. How aggressive was he in his pursuit of the position once it opened up?

BLAZE: Well, picture a pit bull right behind a locked door to a room filled with raw meat, that’s how Brian was, trying to get the job. I used to joke with him about it all the time but that whole element, that passion is evident in his singing as well. He’s got a very soulful, passionate approach and it really fits well with the types of melodies and lyrics that I write. He’s just perfect for the band. It’s not an easy thing to find a new singer, you know there’re a million great singers, but to find the right one that fits in every category, not only to come in and do justice to the catalog but to take the band in a new direction that’s still an extension of what you were before. It’s a hard thing to do and I think he nailed it on the head.

KNAC.COM: It seems like on the prior releases with Derrick that you almost had to alter your writing style just a bit to suit his vocal abilities but with Brian it’s as if you able to go back to writing material that had that signature Lillian Axe vibe to it.

BLAZE: Yeah, you know what, I really honest to God did not think like that, and I never have. From the beginning, I’ve never tried to write to fit anything. I haven’t tried to write songs that fit the climate of the music business at the time. I might have been more aware of it at the very beginning because, you know, people are always telling you ‘Well, if you want to get that on radio, you gotta do this, this and this’. But as our careers progressed and the more that we learn, I write songs. Every song that I write I could take to Elton John and go ‘Do this on piano’ and he’d be able to do it. To me, a good song can be portrayed and performed in any format. If I took it to some guy playing bagpipes, if it’s a good song you can play it on any instrument. And the thing about Derrick was he had a very, very similar tone to Ron (Taylor). Their ranges were very similar to each other so I didn’t really think about it any differently, I just wrote. Now, I know what their ranges are, I know what their strengths are so if there was anything that was going to be out of their range, it never really came up like that. It was always just write and hear the melody lines and let’s work together on them and see what’s working for you and what’s comfortable. Fortunately, none of the vocalists have ever been to the point where it’s like ‘Aww man, that’s too much for me, it’s too high or it’s too low, I can’t do it’. I’ve been blessed to work with 3 very, very talented singers.

KNAC.COM: So what is it about Days Before Tomorrow that gives you the cojones to say that ‘This is the best Lillian Axe record I’ve ever done’?

BLAZE: Cuz I wrote ‘em all! (laughs), I can say what I want! I just have felt like it seems that every element of doing this record, from getting Brian, to the writing process, to the recording, getting the label put together and the team behind it and the mixing, the mastering, everything just really seemed to fall into place at a comfortable pace. There weren’t a lot of hiccups in the road, everything just seemed smooth and at the end of the day, even down to sequencing the record it all just came really naturally and it was like having a puzzle where all the pieces were just right there easy for you to put together as opposed to having a couple of them missing or just not being able to figure it out. It was just one of those intangible, spiritual things that felt perfect. There was this really smooth groove to the whole thing, a cohesion that I’ve never really quite felt before on any of the other records. I mean every record that we’ve ever done has been a lot of work, a lot of thought, a lot of heart and soul put into them, but this one just seemed to be like the perfect one, you know, it’s like having a meal and ‘oh, I put too much salt in it’, or not enough or whatever. It was like Goldilocks, just right. Everything just seemed to be at the peak of our potential. All the guys played very well, and then we hired Brian and when he came in we knew he was a great singer and that he was going to do well, but when you listen to the whole product at the very end, the whole record, you just realize, what a fantastic job we did. I was listening to the new record one night a couple weeks ago, really late at night I was listening to it and had to just call him on the phone and compliment him on it, it just really hit me that he really is the voice of this band and I’m really proud of him.

KNAC.COM: He really shows his chops on some of the slower songs like ‘My Apologies’ or ‘Bow Your Head’. It just really sticks out.

BLAZE: He’s got a very good range. I’ve found a lot of singers that have very wide ranges and when they go low, in the lower registers, they tend to kind of lose their pitch, and lose their vibrato and it’s a little more difficult. Guys that are more comfortable in higher ranges, when they go low, they tend to struggle. But when I was going through DVDs and CDs that Brian had sent when he was auditioning, I was listening to him do a lot of covers of other bands like GNR and Tom Petty and the Eagles and he was doing these songs where he was singing in the low register and I was like ‘Wow, he’s got such a great tone in the low register’ and I’m a big fan of that. I like, you know, in ‘Death Comes Tomorrow’, singing in the low register and then pushing it in that dynamic change. He maintains that rich tone no matter where his range is. The guy’s got such a loud voice too, it’s like sometimes we have to turn his monitors down because he’s just so strong. We’re very fortunate, he’s a great singer.

KNAC.COM: I’ve read several of your more recent interviews and it seems that no one has mentioned this yet, so hopefully I’m the first to bring this up, but tell me about the phrase ‘The Impossible is Born’, where it appears on the new CD and what it means.

BLAZE: Well, the star of that phrase is sitting here in his car seat right now drinking a bottle, so I can tell you about that. It started off as a band from Africa, South Africa called The Parlotones. Nobody knows who they are in the states but they’re kind of a cross between the Cure and ……it’s weird. The reason we know about them is because on DirectTV on one of their channels they were showing part of one of their concerts. Their concerts they do like theater, like a Sci-Fi show, they have all these costumes and lights and it’s like the band is secondary to the show. The whole production was amazing. The first song that they sang is called ‘Interlude’ or something like that and the first line in the song is ‘The impossible is born’. My son, I guess he had just turned 2, would come in and he was just mesmerized by this and he would sing the whole song. The song starts off in a falsetto and he would sing ‘the impossible is born’ in falsetto and sing all the words to the song. He would like go into a trance and sing it and watch the whole concert. It was the first song he ever sang and he was singing ‘the impossible is born’ all the time. I thought this was not only so sweet and so cute but it’s also got this strong, spiritual feel to it and just the phrase ‘The impossible is born’ is such a great message of hope. So I thought, let’s get him on the hidden track after the album to actually say it, because the way he says it on the record is cuter than like, baby kittens, you know? But just to have him do that is kind of a weird twist, right? You’ve got a two year old kid saying ‘The impossible is born’, he can barely speak the words but yet he’s giving this message of hope. By the same token, he’s my son and I wanted him to be on the record, forever on this piece of history.

KNAC.COM: Now, after this spoken phrase there is actually one additional song on the CD, titled ‘You Belong to Me’. What was the inspiration for that song?

BLAZE: That song I had recorded when I was tracking some Near Life (Experience) stuff a few years ago. I just wanted to do something that was all keyboard and nylon acoustic guitar and it’s about kind of a two-fold thing. It has a very sweet, love side to it, about waking up in the middle of the night and looking at your significant other just watching them sleep and there’s also a little bit of a twisted side to it, which is the obsessive side to it. You know, you’d do anything in the world for them and it’s basically, you belong to me and you better not think about anything else (laughs). It’s that weird kind of possessive, obsessive side of loving somebody. It’s loving and deranged at the same time. That’s also my vocal debut on a Lillian Axe record as far as lead vocals go and when I let Brian hear the song he was like ‘Oh my God, that song’s great! We gotta put this on the record!’. I was like, okay, are you cool to re-sing the vocals and he goes ‘No, no, it sounds perfect like it is, just put it on with your vocals’. I never really wanted to put something on there that I sang lead vocals on for a Lillian record but everybody loved it. It’s a really moody, spooky kind of atmospheric song and it works very well.

KNAC.COM: What was the purpose of making all of this hidden on the CD? Was it just to see how many people were paying attention when they got the CD or was there some other sort of motivation for it?

BLAZE: Well, it was kind of a tongue-in-cheek move on my part because when we put out Sad Day on Planet Earth my whole goal was to put as much music as we could put on a disc, and that album was 15 songs and it was right at the peak. It was like 76 minutes long, which is about as much as you can get on a CD. My whole idea is that people are paying for this so I want to give them as much music as we can on every record. There’s no such thing as a filler song on our records. We don’t put anything on as a filler. If it’s not our A+ stuff, it just doesn’t make it on the record. We put 15 songs on that record and there were a handful of people that actually complained about the album being too long. I started hearing that and I couldn’t believe that they were complaining about the album being too long, so I asked some friends of ours in radio and journalism, ‘What’s your take on this?’. They told me that people just don’t have the attention span that they used to. People like to get in their cars, pop the disc in, and by the time they get to their destination they’ve listened to the whole record. So I got a little chip on my shoulder and said, ‘You know what, alright, 10 songs, that’s it. Ten songs is what they’re getting. But you know me, I’m like ‘Ahhh, I can’t do that’. We’ll give ‘em 10 songs and the ones that really want more will find out there’s extra tracks. The Japanese version has a different bonus track called ‘Angels Among Us’, which is an instrumental that I wrote. It (the 10 songs) was kind of a throwback to the old days when you’d get a Van Halen or Sabbath record with 7 or 8 songs. It’s about the whole record as a piece, you know what I’m saying? I just thought it worked well and if we hadn’t have felt that is was a complete sounding album at the end of 10 songs we would have added more on to it. It’s about the whole work, not the individual songs.

KNAC.COM: And just a side note to those that may be reading this after it goes online, if you own the new CD and didn’t know about the hidden tracks, then shame on you for not listening to the CD all the way through! (laughs).

BLAZE: There you go, but if you download it off iTunes you only get the 10 tracks. If you physically buy the disc, you get the bonus stuff.

KNAC.COM: Since my last interview with you (in 2003), you’ve had some changes in your personal life. One that you alluded to earlier is that you have gotten married and have a two year old son now. Has that impacted you at all from a creative standpoint?

BLAZE: Absolutely! My whole perspective on everything changes. It’s not like I’m a different person than I was before because all my ideals and the way I live my life has always been the same, but when you have a two year old you realize that just about every single move that you do in your life, the end result is to make sure that you’re family’s taken care of and that your kid is safe, protected and is going to have the best possible life he can. When I look out at the world and see how people are now, there’s a lot of amazing people on this planet but there’s such a large contingent of greed and selfishness out there. I just want to make him the best possible human being he can ever be. It starts with how I am with him now at two years old, telling him I love him 10 times a day, saying prayers with him, or when I get mad at him explaining to him why I’m mad. When you realize that everything in your life is not about you anymore and you try to take care of your wife and kids it does put a creative twist on everything because you start realizing that everything you’re talking about, you know, he’s gonna grow up one day and look at daddy’s records and say ‘Wow, Dad, that was heavy when you wrote this song “Bow your Head”, but Dad, what were you thinking when you wrote “She Like It On Top”?’.(laughs) I want him to be proud of me. As you go on through time and your values solidify you start to realize that every word that you say when you write a song is vitally important and it can upset a lot of people. It makes you become a little more spiritual and serious and you realize the implications of the messages that you send out. And Lillian’s always been about that. We’ve had our fun, sexy, tongue-in-cheek songs and things but that was then. Even though the messages are portrayed a little differently they’re always the same, about the strength and endurance of the human condition and triumph of the good soul over the bad. They just seem to be a little bit more dynamic and I’m less afraid to get things out than I might have been before and I really don’t care if somebody tells me ‘well, this is what I should be writing about’ because let me tell you something, the longer you’re in this business every single person on a business or friendship level will tell you what they think you need to be doing. I appreciate the comment but I know what I’m doing, I’ve been doing it a long time. I have to be true to myself and to my soul and my spirit, things that are really important to me. It really does have a strong affect in the big picture.

KNAC.COM: Also during our long gap, Lillian Axe was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, which was huge for the band. Lillian Axe is now listed up there with music legends like Louis Armstrong, Buddy Guy, Little Richard, Fats Domino and even Zebra.

BLAZE: You know, that was one of those defining moments because, you know Larry, you’ve been around with us for a long time and you’ve seen the ups and the downs and it’s not just us, every band in the world has a roller coaster ride, and that’s part of the beauty of playing music and being in a band. It’s great when it’s great and it’s hard when it’s hard. Many times in your career you say the heck with it, I’m tired and where are all my fans? When things were great there you were but then we go away for a couple years and where are you now? Everybody feels like that. You do everything you can to stay on top of your game and there’s so many elements that are wonderful but by the same token there’s a lot of difficulties you have to go through. When we get an honor like that, you get inducted, the first hard rock band to get inducted, it actually made me feel like I could die tomorrow and they can’t take this away from me, it’s an indelible mark, it’s there, it’s history and you can’t take it away from us. It’s about all the guys in the band, from the beginning to now, it’s about our families, the guys who have been on our crew, anybody that’s been involved with the band right down to our fans. It’s what I said when I was giving my little induction speech, this is for everybody that shared our moments, everybody that bought our records, they’re all a part of it. That’s one of the things that, when people ask me, ‘what are the great, defining moments of your career’, that’s one of the top 3.

KNAC.COM: And what would the other 2 be?

BLAZE: Probably going to Japan and…..wow, did I say 3? (laughs) And when I say defining, that was the furthest we had ever been on tour. We’d been to Europe and stuff before but this was completely on the other side of the planet and not only being appreciated like we were but to experience the culture that treated music the way that it did, it really made me feel like what we were doing was so much bigger than it was because it was transcending the entire planet. So, in a spiritual way it was a defining moment. And I guess, at the beginning when we got our first record deal, that whole moment, that was the start of it all. There’s so many moments in the meantime, like touring with Alice Cooper and actually getting to meet him because my dad and I when I was like 10 or 11 years old saw Alice together on TV and that’s when I realized I wanted to play in a rock band. My dad took me to my first concert, which was Alice Cooper, and he loved Alice, too, but he passed away 9 years ago and he never got the opportunity to know that I was actually touring with Alice Cooper. It would have been cool if I could have brought him out on tour and have him meet Alice.

KNAC.COM: And it seems like Alice is a pretty big Lillian Axe fan now.

BLAZE: Yeah, you know, he was actually very complimentary all the times that we played with him. Hopefully we’ll be doing more tours with him in the future.

KNAC.COM: That’s a perfect lead into my next statement, thanks! 2012 looks like it’s shaping up to be one of the best years for Lillian Axe from a touring standpoint. Lillian is already confirmed to headline the second stage at Rocklahoma this year, but what other plans do you have coming up?

BLAZE: We are going out on a tour called ‘America Rocks 2012’ with Jack Russell’s Great White, Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys and Pretty Boy Floyd starting in California I want to say on June 15th, not sure yet, through July 9th and it’s going to be about 24 dates, something like that, then we come home and then 5 or 6 weeks later we go to Europe for 2 weeks and then we come home and 2 weeks later we go back to Europe for one festival and that’ll take us into October. Now, we’re going to be doing some ‘pickups’ between now and the Rocklahoma gig just to kind of warm up and all. We’ve got a lot of other things that are going on in the meantime. The second single, ‘The Great Divide’ is about to come out and the video for ‘Caged In’ just came out a few days ago. We’re going to do another video for ‘The Great Divide’, we’re doing a video for ‘Bow Your Head’ and then ‘Take the Bullet’. So we’re gonna go 4 videos and 4 singles deep into the album and then we have the touring. Then, in the meantime, we wanted to do a live CD but it’s really hard to capture that right sound, the right venue and everything so what we’re gonna do is an unplugged show and run a contest where about 30 winners will be able to come to this thing. We’re gonna set it up at home and we’re gonna record it for an album and DVD, an unplugged Lillian Axe acoustic show. So, we’ll have the contest winners and some family and friends, about 50 people, come to the studio and we’re going to do a concert and record it for the album and DVD to be put out towards the end of the year. We’ll be doing stuff from our whole catalog, songs we’ve never played before and it’s going to be really cool. Then we also have one of my guitar models, my Redeemer guitar line, we’re having a guitar built and every show we play we will play the song ‘Take the Bullet’, which is dedicated to our troops, and it’s going to be raffled off at the end of the tour and all the proceeds are gonna go to the families of these American soldiers in the Air Force that were killed in Afghanistan last summer. We have a mutual friend that was stationed with these guys and got killed by a rogue Afghan soldier. It didn’t make a lot of news, but we’re going to give this guitar away and the Air Force is supposed to get behind it and we’re going to make a really big deal out of it. The guitar is going to be all decked out with the guys’ names on it , with camouflage and purple hearts and all these things that are pertinent to what happened with this particular incident. AND, if that’s not enough, we have a brand new Lillian Axe app that’s out right now for Android and should be out in the next few days for iPhone. People can go to it and get pictures and songs and videos and news and everything.

KNAC.COM: Let’s talk about social media for a second. These days it seems that everyone’s either on Facebook or Twitter, or both, and it’s opened up a whole new avenue for bands like Lillian Axe to do their own self-promoting whereas in the past bands had to trust and rely on the record companies to do that, or not to do that as the case with Lillian Axe. You guys seem to be taking full advantage of that.

BLAZE: Yes, we are, and one of the good things is that we have some guys in the band that are pretty adept to it. Brian is a whiz on the computer. He’s all about that and it’s all he does, constantly. He’s the one working with companies, doing the apps, keeping the Facebook thing all hooked up. Eric handles the website and we have a couple other people that help out and those guys have been just busting it out. We have a ReverbNation page now that Brian worked with them to put together and he’s all about the social media. I’m on Twitter, and I just go on there and give little messages and say hi to people and stuff like that, but I’m not gonna go ‘hey, guess what, I just had a turkey sandwich 5 minutes ago’. There’s some things in my life that I like to think people really don’t give a crap about. (laughs) But I like the fact that we can stay in touch and let people know what’s going on. So, it is helpful especially in a time and day where you get no support from radio. Corporate radio is a joke now. If you’re not spending big money or have a big label with a lot of money to spend, you’re not going to get played on the radio. We get radio play on our own merit and the merit of the guys who are working our songs at radio. When you think about it, half the program directors out there don’t even listen to the song, they don’t care, all they say is ‘oh, this band’s been around for longer than 5 years, so we’re not gonna play ‘em. They’re older than 5 years ago so we’re not playin their stuff. We’re gonna play some garbage that came out 5 months ago cuz we think it might be hip’. You know what, I have more faith in human beings, I have more faith in our fans, the average human beings out there that are gonna listen to it and they’re gonna lock in to it. Give them the opportunity to make a choice on their own whether or not they like it.

KNAC.COM: I’m going to put you on the spot for a second. You were recently asked what the most asked interview question was. I’m going to take a little twist on that. I want you to think of one question that’s never been asked in an interview that you would ask if you were giving it?

BLAZE: That’s a good question. You know, a lot of people ask me about things relating to the band. Not a lot of people say ‘Steve, are you happy? Put the band aside, how is life? What would you be doing if it wasn’t for this band? Basically, as a human being, what are your thoughts on the planet?’. No one ever asks me that, it’s always ‘well, what were you thinking when you did this or wrote this?’. Not a lot of people say ‘what about you, as a person?’ KNAC.COM: And what would your answer be?

BLAZE: On the inside, probably happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m a very sensitive, nostalgic kind of guy and having a two year old kid has kind of turned me into a little kid again and brought back my whole childhood, so to speak. But by the same token, it makes me kind of sad because I don’t have my dad anymore. My dad never got to see my son and that really bothers me a lot because my dad would have just been in love with my little boy. You know, my mom’s okay, but she’s having a hard time right now. The older you get and the more things you have to deal with, the more those things tend too affect you. There’s lots of people that have things way, way worse than I do, things that are a lot tougher, but you know, it doesn’t make it any less tough for me. I know there’s people out there that never got to even see their dad or people that have just lost a dad. We all share the same kinds of human emotions and some of us are actually more prone to being open about them and not being afraid of them and relating to each other. But even your most hardcore, badass people out there that act like they don’t have any feelings, deep down under all the layers we’re all the same. We all go through the same emotions and feelings and on a band level that’s how I try to connect with everybody, by writing songs that will really amplify your emotions. If you’re going through a hard time there is nothing more helpful than somebody else understanding it.

KNAC.COM: And I think a lot of the songs you write for Lillian Axe gives people something they can relate to.

BLAZE: Absolutely, and that’s a good thing. At the end of the day I feel a lot of responsibility, I am responsible for how people see the message that we’re giving out. A lot of musicians don’t feel that way, they’re like, well , I can write and say what I want, but when you’re selling records to the public I think we have a responsibility, as with all things in life, to be concerned with how we affect other people.

KNAC.COM: Alright, last point. There have been a number of times over the past few years where you could have put Lillian to rest and focused on your other projects like Near Life Experience or your solo career. What drives you to keep the ‘ole girl alive?

BLAZE: I want to create a history, you know, a brand name and anything I do outside of Lillian is like a side road because at the end of the day, Lillian allows me to do everything, say everything that I want. I’m fortunate enough to be in a band with great players, you know, I don’t need to play with anybody else. If it was an opportunity to play with someone like Alice or Ozzy or somebody or another situation like that I would totally consider it, it would be an honor to do it, but everything I want to do musically I’m doing with Lillian Axe. I don’t think there’s another outlet that would allow me to say what I have to say as much as this project. I started this, it’s like my child, I gave birth to it and you don’t ever abandon it.

KNAC.COM: Thank you, as always Steve. It has been an extreme pleasure chatting with you over the years. Best of luck to you and the rest of Lillian Axe in 2012! I’ll see you on he road!


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