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Ten Questions with...

Jeff Summers (Statetrooper)

Guitarist Jeff Summers has been involved in UK metal acts since the late 70's including Weapon and of course Staterooper. The latter have just reformed with ex-MSG vocalist Gary Bardens and have had their debut CD re-issued by Escape Music.

1. What are you currently up to?

Hi Jason, Thanks for your interest...

Statetrooper are currently working on the new album, a long and arduous but hugely rewarding task to complete, because Of the lack of time that we have spare... Unfortunately our jobs have to come first. At this stage and we are all very busy making a living!!

We are also considering/trying to organise the appearance of Statetrooper at some Festivals around Europe and south America... However the album must come first!!

Also, my first recording band WEAPON has just had a release on Zoom Club records called "Set the Stage Alight" This stuff was all recorded during 1979/80 and is very much a NHoBHM release.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Highlights have been playing the Hammersmith Odeon with MOTORHEAD on the "Ace up your sleeves Tour" (1980) A huge tour that completely opened the eyes of a young Guitarist and introduced me to a world of new possibilities!! And the first taste of "adulation"

Signing my first recording contract with Virgin Records in 1980 seemed like fantasy land at the Time and is still a massive highlight... There recording facilities and engineers were the best!!

Joining STATETROOPER and writing and performing with two of my heroes Gary Barden and Brian Robbo Robertson was fantastic and a definitive time musically for me!!! The band was very much in my blood And continues to be so!

3. Statetrooper: Why do you think the band never made the next step- up despite successful tours with BOC, etc? What was the live highlight of playing with Statetrooper?

A good question... We seemed to have all the ingredients including a great record (this has been confirmed by the continued interest in the band and the fantastic reviews the initial album received) Along with the many new reviews relative to the remastered version! We made some bad decisions back then And put our futures into the hands of a management company who had a more "personal" agenda... In the end it became impossible financially to continue and we reluctantly called it a day in 1988!

4. Statetrooper are back together and working on a new album. What prompted the reformation and what direction will the new material take?

The reformation as such was mainly down to the e-mails that Gary had received at his fans had been trying to buy a CD version of our 1986 Statetrooper record and some had even organised a partition via the internet demanding its release... Gary then contacted the rest of us and we managed to get a re-master of the original album released initially via Delicious records...We had however always remained friends and continued to work together with various other projects.

5. You were also a member of Wildfire, a band whose members made-up much of Statetrooper. Could you tell us a little more about the band and why it folded?

Wildfire was formed in 1982 and was fronted by the Golden Voiced Paul Mario Day (Ex MORE and Iron Maiden)

We recorded and released 2 albums and 2 singles on Mausoleum records during the early 80's... We never folded as such, we just metamorphasised into Statetrooper, it seemed a natural progression.

6. Weapon - This CD has just been re-released by Zoom Club. How did the band form and what were the highlights?

The band kind of grew from a School band I played in called "Flex" as various members moved on or were "outgrown" we came upon the definite line up of Danny Hynz - vocals, Baz Downes - Bass, Bruce Bisland - Drums and Me on Guitar.

With the various line up changes came different names including: "Legs Akimbo" "Fast Relief" and finally "Weapon"

As mentioned we signed to Virgin Records and toured extensively including tour support slot to "Motorhead" on the "Ace up your sleeves" Tour towards the end of 1980. The opportunity for all the material we recorded to finally see the light of day is another highlight... The only previous release from Weapon was a 12" double A side single release called "it's a mad mad world" and "Set the stage alight"

7. Paddy Goes To Hollyhead - This band was a staple of the live scene. Who came up with the idea for the band and did the band ever record/release any live shows? Do you still keep in contact with the various band members?

In 1984, myself and a few local to West London musicians were (as they say in the entertainment business) "resting" during the Summer and we used to hang around at the same pubs/bars etc. Danny Hynz ex Weapon and still front man with "The Paddy's" suggested that we put a covers band together to play the Sunday lunch session at the "Bull" pub in Sheen...

The original line-ups included: Danny, myself, Bruce Bisland, This Lizzy's Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham, "The Sweets" Andy Scott and lots of others too numerous to mention! As each of us would become busy, the next musician would slot into the last ones place and so the Paddy's were born!!

Danny came up with the name Paddy goes to Hollyhead, as a play on words with the then successful Frankie goes to Hollywood and the band are still performing regularly to this day!!

8. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

My older brothers Steve and Gary are both guitarists and they very much influenced me in my decision to be a musician...

As far as influences go, I guess the usual subjects... Hendrix, Blackmore, Beck and Van Halen although I listen to most kinds of music these days!! Also anybody I ever played with!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I work as Managing Director of my own Audio Visual consultancy and spend most of my spare time with my family!! I also like to play and watch football, read books, go down the pub, listen to CD's and watch live bands!!

10. Message to your fans...

Thank you to all of you who have given my music a listen and perhaps purchased an album or two...

And to all those who read this and were interested and perhaps want to learn more... please visit...


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Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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