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20 Questions with Steve Blaze, 2/4/03



Lillian Axe Guitarist Steve Blaze

Lillian Axe is a band that put out CD after CD after CD and always toured, but never got that big break. They still continue to put out CDs and recently released a live CD. In our never ending quest to interview every band that had big hair, it was time to conquer Lillian Axe. We’re talking this week to their guitarist and main songwriter, Steve Blaze. Enjoy!

1. What are you up to? This is your only chance to promote you shit.
I am currently in 3 bands: Lillian Axe, Near Life Experience, and Angel.
Lillian is playing in support of Live 2002 and starting to record a new studio album on Feb.15th.
NLE just released Day of Silver Sun and doing shows to support it.
Angel is waiting for me to finish writing a new album, the first in 20 years.
Working on a solo album.
Enough shameless plugging.

Lillian Axe 2002

2. You’ve been playing for a few years with your band Near Life Experience. How’s that going?
Things are going fine with NLE. We are on an indie label called Noiselab Records with good distribution, but as with any new label, there are difficulties and there are growing pains. This label has the right ideas and will support me till death do us part. They are looking to get picked up by a major. So we keep playing and writing and busting our asses, as I juggle 3 bands.

3. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
Faster Pussycat. Don’t get me wrong. I really liked them a lot when they came out. But I saw them twice recently and couldn’t believe it. They played 6 songs and were done. I wanted to see them play with fire but they seemed that they didn’t want to be there. The Nazi uniforms freaked me out. I think they should either change their name or remember that they were once a cool band with great songs and get back to writing good stuff again. I used to really dig them. Bummed me out.

4. How do you feel about Wednesday 13 of the Murderdolls name dropping Lillian Axe as a qualification to do 20 Questions with Metal Sludge?
Very cool. I will have to buy their record as thanks.

5. Rate the following guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being a virtuoso.
Warren DeMartini = 8
C.C. DeVille = 6
Mick Mars = 6
Joey Allen = 6
George Lynch = 8
Ace Frehley = 7
Zakk Wylde = 10
Tom Morello = 9
Tracii Guns = 8
Reb Beach = 8

6. Lillian Axe never got on any big tours back in the day, and even today with all the hairband bills, Lillian Axe isn’t on any of them either. What’s up with that?
Lillian’s only link to hairbands was the hair. Everyone had long hair then. We weren’t from L.A., we didn’t pal around on the sunset strip and didn’t kiss anybody’s ass. We were an entity unto ourselves. We toured with Accept, Krokus, Lita Ford, etc. but mostly headlined our own shows. Tours never seemed to end, but opening slots weren’t ever really available that we thought would benefit us.

Lillian Axe 1987

7. The first Lillian Axe record was produced by Ratt’s Robbin Crosby. What do you remember about working with Robbin and how did his death affect you?
Robbin was an incredible guy. Very humble, sometimes to the point of being insecure. Heart of gold. Always treated us very well. Paid for every meal. Wouldn’t let any else get the bill. Punctual. Wanted to join Lillian at one time. Lost touch until Juan gave me his number. We spoke and he sounded really bad. Next I heard, he had passed. I miss the guy. He was a true gentleman.

8. What do you remember about writing or recording the following songs:
Love & War = Very pissed off at ex-girlfriend.
True Believer = Heard that song in elevators, taco bells, beauty salons,etc. dedicated to fans who stuck with us through the label changes.
Body Double = Based on a Jeremy Irons movie. Teaches never to trust anyone.
Innocence = king’s x part in the middle started the idea
Crucified = wrote the lyrics while driving from cinncinnati to
Misery Loves Company = oldest axe song on any record
Show A Little Love = earthquake happenned while singing backing vocals
Daddy Long Legs = whole band wrote tongue in cheek lyrics while in the studio
Death Valley Daze = the intoxication of the deserts in the western plains
Dream Of A Lifetime = written 4 years before the first album

9. If you could relive any one year of your life what year would it be & why?
When I was 11. Life changed drastically. I was introduced to radio and Alice Cooper. It seemed that the world was still a fairytale with a lot of screwed up humans hiding in the shadows trying to take it away. It was the year I opened my eyes.

10. Give us a touring memory about the following cities:
Atlanta = Masquerade- Great club. Rough neighborhood.
Minneapolis = Mirage- So damn cold I couldn’t breathe. Did an interview with a girl who a week later was paralyzed in a car crash. Met Joey Molland from Badfinger,who grabbed Gene Barnett’s crotch in the dressing room because he was so drunk.
Phoenix = Mason Jar- Stayed in the swimming pool with singer from StripMind ( Sully from Godsmack’s old band) for 5 hours not realizing that dry heat was still heat. Baked myself into severe burns and intense pain.
Austin, TX = Back Room- Phil Lewis from L.A. Guns sang My NUmber with us.Or did I make that up? I remember they were there at least.
Chicago = The Thirsty Whale- Best memories. Always freezing cold the way I like it. 2 shows a day. Stanley from LSD jammed with us. Lots of unusual antics at the Best Western.
Detroit = The Ritz- Harpo’s- IROC-Last show Axe did before taking a break in 1995. Drove after the show to Chicago to be on the Jerry Springer show with Pete Steele from Type o Negative.
Boston = Axis- Ate dinner with my lawyer next to the guy who created the h-bomb.
New York = Limelight- too many memories- arguing religion backstage with some drunk Iranian. Trust me, you can’t win.
Los Angeles = One of 10 people at Milton Berle’s private Birthday party at the Rainbow.
St. Louis = Ask Tommy Scott.

11. How much was your biggest music related check for and what did you do with it?
One check was about 40k. Half went back to tour support by the coaxing of the label.

12. Compared to most of the rock bands of the late 80s/early 90s, Lillian Axe didn’t get much press at all in Metal Edge. Why the lack of coverage?
We never hung out with Gerri Miller. We weren’t an L.A. band. But they have done some things here and there, Paul Gargano is a good guy.

13. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
They all deserve one. Name one that doesn’t act like an ass.

Lillian Axe 1990

14. Of all the bands Lillian Axe shared a stage with who was the coolest and who treated you guys like shit under their feet?
The coolest was Cinderella. The biggest assholes were the Outfield. Can you believe that? I never dug them but Ron did. We said hello and they acted like two flaming jerks and gave us snotty looks. They sucked bad.

15. Yes or no, has Steve Blaze ever:
Been mistaken for WWE wrestler Al Snow = I have been mistaken for the executioner
Had dinner with the old lady on the cover of "Poetic Justice" = Yes I had lunch with the old lady, but no sex.
Used an axe to chop down a tree = Never hurt a tree.
Had sex with anybody named Lillian = Don’t know anyone with that name.
Wanted to slap Tom Mathers = In a friendly way.
Broke a string 1 minute into a show = Never pop strings. Maybe 5 times in 10 years.
Purchased a Britney Spears CD = No. But I doubt she has any of mine.
Woke up in a puddle of urine = Not my own. John Ster did urinate in my shoes once while we were recording Poetic Justice. I got up early to go to the studio, and he was wearing my shirt as pants and pissed in my shoes.I stepped in them and poured them on him to wake him up.
Auditioned for another 80s band = No. Only Angel.
Seen the inside of a tour bus = Yes, we traveled by bus for 5 years.

16. When Tommy Stewart was in Godsmack, did he pretend he didn’t know you or did he acknowledge your existence?
No, Tommy was always cool.

17. Do you think not having an image hurt Lillian Axe?
You mean not having a ridiculous image. We were always concerned with writing great songs and connecting with our fans. I still think the Popeye’s chicken boxes on our heads would have worked.

Lillian Axe 1992

18. When you look at Ron Taylor now and look at Ron Taylor 10 years ago, do you think that’s the same guy? Are you sure?
He shaved his head 10 years ago. He looks good now. He’s in shape. Keeping himself trim. As soon as he starts drinking I remember it’s him.

19. Was Blaze the best last name you could come up with?
I didn’t come up with that. It was either that or Mohammed and I didnt want to change religions. I always am on full speed, so my friends nicknamed me that. For God’s sake, do you know my real name? That should answer the question.

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Bret Michaels = chihauhua
Jani Lane = pingpong
Vince Neil = unsure
Enuff Z’Nuff = hippies
Jason McMaster = rebel
Tom Mathers = workaholic
Robbin Crosby = king
Butch Walker = transition
Gene Simmons = yogurt
Gerri Miller = hollywood

For more info on Lillian Axe, you can visit their website at
www.lillianaxe.com. And for info on Steve’s other band, you can drop by www.nleweb.com.

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