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Yet more hair metal memories. Lillian Axe, superb band and every home should have at the very least a copy of 'Love and War' & 'Poetic Justice'. Lillian Axe were a cut above this genre... Formed in the 80's they had the tunes but never quite got the big break they deserved. Released a string of quality melodic rock albums up until the mid-90's when they went on hiatus only to return a few years later with a rare/unreleased tracks album (well worth tracking down) and an excellent live CD. Mainman Stevie Blaze also fronts Near Life Experience, who can be heard on the Metallica tribute from Perris Records.

1. What are you currently up to?

recording a new Lillian Axe record...we are about 2/3 finished....recording a new Near Life Experience record....releasing my solo cd...playing shows with both bands....working on writing a new Angel album....

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

Highlight- Japan tour Lowlight- music industry changing in 1993 to a trend oriented industry.

3. How did Near Life Experience get together? How did the band end-up on the Metallica tribute album via Perris?

I started NLE several years ago with my brother Craig who now drums for Black Label Society. I wanted to start a new project in a slightly different flavor. We have release 2 independent albums since. I only sang on the Metallica tribute album on Master of Puppets. Tom Mathers and I have been friends for years. .

4. When will the live Lillian Axe album be released? Any plans for a DVD as well?

We are hoping this summer. We are working daily to get it done. I am talking to a few people now about a Lillian DVD. We have years of footage to go through.

5. How come Lillian Axe never made the big breakthrough they deserved?

That question has been asked a million times. I wish I had the answers. There are lots of great bands who never received their just due. Maybe timing, lack of support from labels, who knows. We will just keep pushing until it happens.

6. How do you approach songwriting and where do the ideas come from?

There is no set process. Usually, the musical idea stays with me and I arrange it in my head. I record on my home studio and write lyrics to fit the song. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes 3 weeks, depending on how much i have to let it breathe. I am influenced by emotions, weather, events, ideas, music, movies,etc. and any form of heightened stimulation.

7. Which Lillian Axe albums & tunes do you think have stood the test of time and why?

All of them but especially Love and War, Poetic Justice and Psychoschizophrenia. The Live 2002 album proved to me that everything can stand the test of time. We did songs from our entire career and they adapted very well to our style of today. A great song is a great song regardless of the format.

8. What made you first want to play guitar and has your style changed down the years?

My parents bought me an acoustic guitar when I was 7 years od, and I immediately started guitar lessons in classical and flamenco styles. My style has matured in that I have better control, more conviction, quicker picking, more innate understanding of the instrument, etc.

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

I play basketball, work out, Tae Kwon Do, movies, malls, take care of my pets, playstation junkie, music,music,music...

10. Message for your fans...

Thanks to all the dedicated fans worldwide who have supported me in all of my endeavors without judging me. I will keep making music until I drop. check out

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Interview © 2004 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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