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The Real Heavy Bones: An Exclusive Interview With JOEL ELLIS Of HEAVY BONES

By George Dionne, Podcaster
Friday, July 7, 2023 @ 11:43 AM

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Hard Rock vocalist Joel Ellis signed his first major record deal with Atlantic Records back in 1986, as a member of the Cleveland, Ohio act MERRI HOAXX. From there Ellis, along with bandmate Randy Meers, teamed up with Yasuhiro Hatae and Takashi O'Hashi to form CATS IN BOOTS. Their sole album Kicked And Klawed (1989) still remains in constant rotation on my Apple Music player. Along the way, Ellis made a (very) brief appearance as vocalist for ROUGH CUTT, after the departure of Paul Shortino. More on that later.

In 1992 Joel Ellis formed HEAVY BONES. The project was originally intended to be a solo affair, but once Ellis recruited its members, HEAVY BONES became a partnership. Together with guitarist Gary Hoey, drummer Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT), and bassist Rex Tennyson (HELLION), HEAVY BONES released their self-titled debut in 1991. As with a lot of bands at the time, the music buying public was turning their ears away from their style of music, and record labels were too (if they weren't in complete turmoil themselves).

Joel Ellis is currently sitting on a treasure trove of unreleased music from his time in MERRI HOAXX, CATS IN BOOTS, HEAVY BONES, and beyond. Ellis is currently hard at work to get all of that music in the hands and ears of his fans. The first order of business involves HEAVY BONES. Ellis is readying a four volume collection of music from the band's entire working relationship, now branded THE REAL HEAVY BONES. The volumes will be released in stages, and are expected to contain the following...

Volume 1: Fully reproduced, remixed, and remastered live rehearsal sessions

Volume 2: Remastered 2-track home demos and recorded rehearsals

Volume 3: Home demos and outtakes

Volume 4: A reissue of the 1991 Warner/Reprise debut album

I had the chance to catch up with Joel Ellis, fresh off a mixing session of THE REAL HEAVY BONES with engineer Mike Jaworske.


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