Tuesday, October 21, 2014

interview with CLOVEN HOOF, part 3: growing up a metal music fanatic in the 1970s

interview with NWOBHM band CLOVEN HOOF
Cloven Hoof (U.K.)
After this brief intro, below is the new part of the interview!
Cloven Hoof—the New Wave of British Heavy Metal band—here in this interview provides a wonderful explanation about the current state of the band. They have a new album in 2014 called “Resist or Serve.” If you support traditional heavy metal and its aesthetics, or if you are crazy about the madness, chaos and glory of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, I highly recommend putting Cloven Hoof’s 2014 album on your list, if you have not done so yet. The band is definitely rocking in 2014, as you will gather from this interview.
Secondly, this interview is really good because bassist Lee Payne went all out and truly answered the questions presented to him. I imagine that he spent hours answering the questions. His effort to answer the questions is very, very professional. Lee explains lots about heavy metal in the 70s as he lived it and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal as he experienced it. In addition, given the nature of the written word, Lee’s explanations are multi-dimensional, with nuances that give much fuller elucidations on metal music, instead of just making inaccurate generalizations (like we often hear that “Sabbath invented metal music.”). Thanks to Lee for this wonderful interview.
Read it and get ready to learn much about Cloven Hoof and metal, including information that is often omitted in discussions about metal music.
www.clovenhoof.net www.facebook.com/clovenhoof1979 www.hrrecords.de
On growing up a metal music fanatic in the 1970s
What are some of your earliest memories with rock music that had an impact on you? You were born in 1960. Were you at all interested in rock at the age of 12, let's say? That would be 1972, a very productive period for so many U.K. rock bands.
LEE: Well, as a kid I was very rebellious due to the fact my parents moved around England a lot as publicans. They once owned hotels in Cornwall and Weymouth, but in the end we always ended up back in the West Midlands, that is where my true roots are. Through all this moving about I was always getting into fights being the new kid in town and I was pretty good at it, too! To this day I am still a bit of a loner who likes to be creative and use his imagination, I never run with the pack and am very strong minded. I am totally driven and dedicated. I very much like to make my own mind up about things and Cloven Hoof is my life's work so I care passionately about the band. Music is my life and I will always put it first, no matter what.
I was twelve years old when I first heard “Machine Head” by Deep Purple and I was an immediate fan. I then got into “Vol. 4” and “Paranoid” by Sabbath, then “four symbols” by Led Zep. 1972 was a very good year for me and I spent all my time listening to music. The band Cream were great, too, and I loved Alice Cooper. By 1975 I was something of an expert concerning all things metal. The first live show I saw was Rainbow at Birmingham Odeon in 1975, then the “Technical Ecstasy” tour with Black Sabbath in 1976, I think it was. Over the years I saw hundreds of metal bands, but I always go back to the same old favourites.
But being so young, does it mean, then, that to you, the old pioneer bands were simply not as relevant to you? Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin would have been in decline by the time you were in your late teens.
LEE: Hey, thanks for the compliment my friend, but I am older than I look lol. All those bands were right in my teens and I was lucky enough to see them all live. I was awestruck by these epic groups and I was a dedicated fan of them to the point of obsession. I saw Zeppelin at Knebworth and fought my way through 200,000 people to get at the boards down the front. I stood knee deep in mud for 16 hours and had bottles, bike frames and beer cans thrown at my head, but I loved every minute of it! So imagine how cool it was years later having Robert Plant taking my music into radio stations for me. Wow, it was such an honour and a privilege I can tell you. (The biggest perk in this business is you get to meet all your heroes!)
By the way, let's say in 1975, if you remember, did you have any sort of notion of something called heavy rock or heavy metal, or to you, Sabbath and the Who, Zeppelin and the Stones were just all rock music. Do you remembering making any distinctions? Was it around 1978 and 1979 that you were feeling as part of something called heavy metal?
LEE: Stones and Who were more of a rock act so were not aggressive or loud enough to capture my imagination. Zeppelin had inflections of blues roots, but they were dark, magical and heavy. However, “Whole Lotta Love” and the “Immigrant Song” are definitely all out true metal tracks. Jethro Tull was a folk and metal crossover band, but I loved them. They were technical and almost medieval sounding at times. I was very aware what parameters these bands were expanding and I admired them breaking new ground. I hate safe albums that is why Hoof has a huge band width and I try to keep it varied and musically interesting. Someone called us a thinking man’s metal band, I like that a lot!
When I was at school I had just bought “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and “Tyranny and Mutation” by The Blue Oyster Cult. Some kid saw me with the albums and said, “So you like heavy metal music?” That was in 1973 so the term was used in England back then for sure.
What are your earliest memories of the idea of heavy metal as a distinct genre? I think I have read that one of the members of Holocaust says that the first time he became aware of heavy metal as such was with a Scorpions album, that apparently was labeled “heavy metal.” Of course, those old Scorpion albums from 1975-1979 sound metal in the way that late 70s Priest sounds metal, different from the older blues/rock/garage rock of Sabbath. However, some people seem to want to dismiss old Scorpions simply because the band went mellow in the late 80s.
LEE: Steppenwolf used the term in “Born to Be Wild”
I like smoke and lightning
heavy metal thunder.
Racin' with the wind
and the feelin' that I'm under
Maybe that is where Heavy Metal got it's moniker from? Before then it was known as progressive rock. I got into music because of “Highway Star” by Deep Purple. I heard that song and it hit like a bolt of lightning and I knew I just had to learn how to play that song! I learned it on guitar then switched to bass because I wanted to play with Ritchie Blackmore one day lol! I wrote the song “Northwind to Valhalla” on the new album as my humble tribute to the great man and the memory of Ronnie James Dio. God rest him!
Metal certainly has evolved a lot over the years and it will continue to do so. The Kinks had riff based songs in the 1960s and no one mentions them. “All The Day And All of The Night” is a heavy distorted guitar riff and “You Really Got Me” is a prime example of this technique also. So who knows who really has the honour of being the first metal riff maker? It's open to conjecture, I'm just glad it caught on!
END of part 3. There is one final part of the interview coming up!
Hear two songs from the 2014 album by Cloven Hoof.
Cloven Hoof - Brimstone and Fire (Resist or Serve 2014)
Cloven Hoof - Deliverance (Resist Or Serve 2014)

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