If ever there
was an argument that Birmingham was the home of heavy metal, after Black
Sabbath, Judas Priest and Magnum, Marshall Law probably settled it.
They appeared in
the late 80s and their self titled debut is an anthemic trad metal classic,
although it did draw Judas Priest comparisons. The band recorded on and off
throughout the 90s, and more recently the Power Crazy compilation CD provided a
good career overview.
2008 sees Marshall Law release their new album Razorhead, three years in the
making and a terrific return to form that is already well received; heavy
thunderous trad metal with riffs galore.
Joe Geesin talks
to the band's guitarist Dave Martin
Was the heavier direction intentional?
Yes. It's been a
while, and we have a lot of influences, and we listen to a lot of modern stuff
too, so we've kinda evolved. We wanted it heavier, and changed the amps too.
How did the band get back together?
(singer) Andy for over 20 years, we've always played together. The records were
still selling well, lots of fan feedback, and we've learnt more about the
business. It all cemented us to come back.
You've kept the trad metal sound?
In parts. I must
admit I love loads of different sounds, but if we came back as Marshall Law you
have to sound at least a bit like Marshall Law. The market is still there in
Europe, so we didn't want to move too much. There's a hint of balance; we've
lots of material.
Can we expect to see more of you now?
You mean live?
That's what we plan. Guitarist Andy Southwell sadly had to leave, personal
problems, he'd hurt his hand and couldn't play, but the new line-up is sounding
What's in the setlist?
fighting over it. I'd like to do more of the new album, but there will be a bit
from each era.
What's your view on the current music scene?
I think it's
changed a lot. You have so many sub genres now, it makes competition hard with
the quality so high. It's all evolved, more aggressive, I like it.
What was the first record you ever bought?
The Sweet -
Blockbuster. But in terms of metal, I was more into playing. I'd been trained
classically. I remember going to see the Shadows and Motorhead the same week. I
remember saying to a friend before that gig "we're going to come out deaf" but
we went in anyway.
Last record you bought?
remastered reissues by bands like Dokken. Also Advance, an Italian metal band,
and something by the Rammstein guitarist.
Favourite all time record?
I know it's maybe
a bit cliché but I keep going back to Judas Priest, Defenders Of The Faith era
stuff. Michael Schenker too, like UFO's Strangers In The Night. Dokken's Under
Lock And Key, and Ramstein too.
Do you see the Judas Priest comparisons a help or hinderence?
It's an easy tag,
but we have so many influences, so it's a bit of a millstone. But it's an honour
too, so I'd have to say a bit of both.
Will you be reissuing your back catalogue?
We don't own it,
and most of it's out there on different labels. There's a couple of albums we'd
like to re-record because it'll be a fun project and we weren't happy with the
production first time round.
Is there anything in the vaults?
Yes. The Power
Crazy EP isn't on CD yet. And for every song out there, you write 4 or 5.
Message to your fans?
sticking with us. We look forward to seeing you on the road, our gigs are bit
like a party.
October 2008 Joe Geesin.
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