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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 bandís 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 Steveís 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. Thatís what made this interview what it is, because it wasnít 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 bandís 11th release. Did you actually think when you started out that youíd be talking about the bandís 11th release, especially when you consider that most bands of your era only managed maybe a handful and most havenít 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) Iím 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 youíre stuck with that child for the rest of your life. Iím not surprised at all, I wouldnít be surprised if in a few years weíre doing, like I said, a Lillian Axe 24 or whatever. I know weíve had a lot of changes, a lot of shakeups, about the same amount as any rock band. This is a very tumultuous business that weíre in so these kinds of things are going to shake you up. Itís like having a family you know, itís relationships to the extreme measure because youíre 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, Iím not surprised.

KNAC.COM: Iíve listened to the new CD and itís 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 ď47 Ways to DieĒ, for a movie that came out last year, Cuba Goodingís movie The Hit List and that song is the song in the opening credits of the movie. About 2 Ĺ 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 heíd take certain songs to have her do remixes or edits or whatnot and sheíd select only the ones she really liked, only a handful. She knew of the bandís history but she didnít 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. Itís 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 itís 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, letís get her to do the whole record. Sheís got a great team, too, sheís 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 ĎBabyloní, when they brought it back to me I was like ĎOh my goshí. 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 theyíre able to do is to capture the essence of the song. Itís not overdone, itís not over-effected, itís like they take the tracks and with the proper layering and relationships between the different instruments it just really brings it to life. Itís powerful and itís 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 itís powerful and loud, but itís not like that irritating loud, you know how some albums the louder you get them the more certain things get on your nerves. Itís 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, thatís 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. Heís got a very soulful, passionate approach and it really fits well with the types of melodies and lyrics that I write. Heís just perfect for the band. Itís not an easy thing to find a new singer, you know thereíre 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 thatís still an extension of what you were before. Itís 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 itís 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, Iíve never tried to write to fit anything. I havenít 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 ĎWell, if you want to get that on radio, you gotta do this, this and thisí. 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 ĎDo this on pianoí and heíd 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 itís 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 didnít 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 letís work together on them and see whatís working for you and whatís comfortable. Fortunately, none of the vocalists have ever been to the point where itís like ĎAww man, thatís too much for me, itís too high or itís too low, I canít do ití. Iíve 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 ĎThis is the best Lillian Axe record Iíve ever doneí?

BLAZE: Cuz I wrote Ďem 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 werenít 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 Iíve never really quite felt before on any of the other records. I mean every record that weíve 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, itís like having a meal and Ďoh, I put too much salt in ití, 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 Iím really proud of him.

KNAC.COM: He really shows his chops on some of the slower songs like ĎMy Apologiesí or ĎBow Your Headí. It just really sticks out.

BLAZE: Heís got a very good range. Iíve 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 itís 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 ĎWow, heís got such a great tone in the low registerí and Iím a big fan of that. I like, you know, in ĎDeath Comes Tomorrowí, 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 guyís got such a loud voice too, itís like sometimes we have to turn his monitors down because heís just so strong. Weíre very fortunate, heís a great singer.

KNAC.COM: Iíve read several of your more recent interviews and it seems that no one has mentioned this yet, so hopefully Iím the first to bring this up, but tell me about the phrase ĎThe Impossible is Borní, 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 theyíre kind of a cross between the Cure and ÖÖitís 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 itís like the band is secondary to the show. The whole production was amazing. The first song that they sang is called ĎInterludeí or something like that and the first line in the song is ĎThe impossible is borní. 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 Ďthe impossible is borní 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 Ďthe impossible is borní all the time. I thought this was not only so sweet and so cute but itís also got this strong, spiritual feel to it and just the phrase ĎThe impossible is borní is such a great message of hope. So I thought, letís 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? Youíve got a two year old kid saying ĎThe impossible is borní, he can barely speak the words but yet heís giving this message of hope. By the same token, heís 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 ĎYou Belong to Meí. 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 itís 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 thereís also a little bit of a twisted side to it, which is the obsessive side to it. You know, youíd do anything in the world for them and itís basically, you belong to me and you better not think about anything else (laughs). Itís that weird kind of possessive, obsessive side of loving somebody. Itís loving and deranged at the same time. Thatís 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 ĎOh my God, that songís great! We gotta put this on the record!í. I was like, okay, are you cool to re-sing the vocals and he goes ĎNo, no, it sounds perfect like it is, just put it on with your vocalsí. I never really wanted to put something on there that I sang lead vocals on for a Lillian record but everybody loved it. Itís 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. Thereís no such thing as a filler song on our records. We donít put anything on as a filler. If itís not our A+ stuff, it just doesnít 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 couldnít believe that they were complaining about the album being too long, so I asked some friends of ours in radio and journalism, ĎWhatís your take on this?í. They told me that people just donít 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 theyíve listened to the whole record. So I got a little chip on my shoulder and said, ĎYou know what, alright, 10 songs, thatís it. Ten songs is what theyíre getting. But you know me, Iím like ĎAhhh, I canít do thatí. Weíll give Ďem 10 songs and the ones that really want more will find out thereís extra tracks. The Japanese version has a different bonus track called ĎAngels Among Usí, which is an instrumental that I wrote. It (the 10 songs) was kind of a throwback to the old days when youíd get a Van Halen or Sabbath record with 7 or 8 songs. Itís about the whole record as a piece, you know what Iím saying? I just thought it worked well and if we hadnít have felt that is was a complete sounding album at the end of 10 songs we would have added more on to it. Itís 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 didnít 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), youíve 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. Itís not like Iím 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 youíre familyís 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, thereís a lot of amazing people on this planet but thereís 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 Iím 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 youíre talking about, you know, heís gonna grow up one day and look at daddyís records and say ĎWow, Dad, that was heavy when you wrote this song ďBow your HeadĒ, but Dad, what were you thinking when you wrote ďShe Like It On TopĒ?í.(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 Lillianís always been about that. Weíve had our fun, sexy, tongue-in-cheek songs and things but that was then. Even though the messages are portrayed a little differently theyíre 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 Iím less afraid to get things out than I might have been before and I really donít care if somebody tells me Ďwell, this is what I should be writing aboutí because let me tell you something, the longer youíre 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 Iím doing, Iíve 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, youíve been around with us for a long time and youíve seen the ups and the downs and itís not just us, every band in the world has a roller coaster ride, and thatís part of the beauty of playing music and being in a band. Itís great when itís great and itís hard when itís hard. Many times in your career you say the heck with it, Iím 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 thereís so many elements that are wonderful but by the same token thereís 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 canít take this away from me, itís an indelible mark, itís there, itís history and you canít take it away from us. Itís about all the guys in the band, from the beginning to now, itís about our families, the guys who have been on our crew, anybody thatís been involved with the band right down to our fans. Itís what I said when I was giving my little induction speech, this is for everybody that shared our moments, everybody that bought our records, theyíre all a part of it. Thatís one of the things that, when people ask me, Ďwhat are the great, defining moments of your careerí, thatís one of the top 3.

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

BLAZE: Probably going to Japan andÖ..wow, did I say 3? (laughs) And when I say defining, that was the furthest we had ever been on tour. Weíd 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. Thereís 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 thatís 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 weíll be doing more tours with him in the future.

KNAC.COM: Thatís a perfect lead into my next statement, thanks! 2012 looks like itís 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 ĎAmerica Rocks 2012í with Jack Russellís 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 itís 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 thatíll take us into October. Now, weíre going to be doing some Ďpickupsí between now and the Rocklahoma gig just to kind of warm up and all. Weíve got a lot of other things that are going on in the meantime. The second single, ĎThe Great Divideí is about to come out and the video for ĎCaged Iní just came out a few days ago. Weíre going to do another video for ĎThe Great Divideí, weíre doing a video for ĎBow Your Headí and then ĎTake the Bulletí. So weíre 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 itís really hard to capture that right sound, the right venue and everything so what weíre gonna do is an unplugged show and run a contest where about 30 winners will be able to come to this thing. Weíre gonna set it up at home and weíre gonna record it for an album and DVD, an unplugged Lillian Axe acoustic show. So, weíll have the contest winners and some family and friends, about 50 people, come to the studio and weíre going to do a concert and record it for the album and DVD to be put out towards the end of the year. Weíll be doing stuff from our whole catalog, songs weíve never played before and itís going to be really cool. Then we also have one of my guitar models, my Redeemer guitar line, weíre having a guitar built and every show we play we will play the song ĎTake the Bulletí, which is dedicated to our troops, and itís 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 didnít make a lot of news, but weíre going to give this guitar away and the Air Force is supposed to get behind it and weíre going to make a really big deal out of it. The guitar is going to be all decked out with the guysí names on it , with camouflage and purple hearts and all these things that are pertinent to what happened with this particular incident. AND, if thatís not enough, we have a brand new Lillian Axe app thatís 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: Letís talk about social media for a second. These days it seems that everyoneís either on Facebook or Twitter, or both, and itís 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. Heís all about that and itís all he does, constantly. Heís 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 heís all about the social media. Iím on Twitter, and I just go on there and give little messages and say hi to people and stuff like that, but Iím not gonna go Ďhey, guess what, I just had a turkey sandwich 5 minutes agoí. Thereís some things in my life that I like to think people really donít give a crap about. (laughs) But I like the fact that we can stay in touch and let people know whatís 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 youíre not spending big money or have a big label with a lot of money to spend, youíre 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 donít even listen to the song, they donít care, all they say is Ďoh, this bandís been around for longer than 5 years, so weíre not gonna play Ďem. Theyíre older than 5 years ago so weíre not playin their stuff. Weíre gonna play some garbage that came out 5 months ago cuz we think it might be hipí. 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 theyíre gonna lock in to it. Give them the opportunity to make a choice on their own whether or not they like it.

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

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

BLAZE: On the inside, probably happier than Iíve ever been in my life. Iím 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 donít 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 momís okay, but sheís 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. Thereís lots of people that have things way, way worse than I do, things that are a lot tougher, but you know, it doesnít make it any less tough for me. I know thereís 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 donít have any feelings, deep down under all the layers weíre all the same. We all go through the same emotions and feelings and on a band level thatís how I try to connect with everybody, by writing songs that will really amplify your emotions. If youíre 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 thatís 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 weíre giving out. A lot of musicians donít feel that way, theyíre like, well , I can write and say what I want, but when youíre 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 Ďole 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. Iím fortunate enough to be in a band with great players, you know, I donít 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 Iím doing with Lillian Axe. I donít think thereís another outlet that would allow me to say what I have to say as much as this project. I started this, itís like my child, I gave birth to it and you donít 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! Iíll see you on he road!


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The Origin Of Death Metal: An Exclusive Interview With PAUL RYAN Of ORIGIN





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