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Ten Questions with...

STEVE GRIMMETT (Lionsheart/Onslaught/Grim Reaper)

One of the UK's premier hard rock/metal vocalists is back with a new album by his band, Lionsheart called 'Abyss' (Frontiers) and if you hanker after the sound of classic Dio & Saxon you'll be very happy. He was also a founding memeber of 80's metal act Grim Reaper and then had success with Onslaught. Over to the main man...

1. What are you currently up to?

I have recorded Currently we are rehearsing for up and coming tours and Ian and myself are busy writing new material for the next album. This new material that we are writing at the moment will go with a collection of 20 other songs that we wrote along with the songs for Abyss. And of course at the moment, we are very busy with interviews, etc.

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

The highlights of my career are many, but the ones that spring to mind are of course touring the states, and playing the Texas Jam with Deep Purple, Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Bon Jovi to 83,000 people. Also touring Japan was another major highlight of my career. The low points - there are so many low points I get depressed to think of them. The ones that really hurt me the most is what led up to me finally quitting the business. I hated every minute of working with the people I worked with and for. I think that says it all.

3. `Abyss' - could you take us through some personal highlights please and the ideas behind the music...

Abyss nearly became a war of attrition. The album was recorded twice before finally settling up the idea to record it at Warehouse Studios in Oxford. With everybody again, trying to take their chunk along the way. The album is full of ups and downs and is in a way an exorcism, but I really don't want to go into that.

4. Your are now signed to Frontiers - how did you hook-up with them? Any chance of live dates to back up the album?

My wife knows a guy from the States called Scot Heinz. Basically, he gave us the idea to send them the album, which we did. And as they say, the rest is history. As for live dates, that is all to be announced, but I promise you, we will be out there.

5. Why such a long gap since the last Lionsheart album?

Basically, as I mentioned before I hated working with the people I was working with and for, and I quit the industry because of it. I listened to nothing but talk radio for a few years, until Ian, after nagging me for six months finally made me give in and record a song. Thinking I was gonna hate the whole thing, I ended up really loving it; especially working with Ian.

6. What are your fondest memories of your days in Grim Reaper? Is there any unreleased material around from the band?

The fondest memories I've got of Grim Reaper are travelling along the M5 and any fucking motorway in England at 4:00 in the morning stopping at a service station and spending the money we just earned on a cup of tea and a greasy fry-up, getting back home at 6:30 in the morning having a shit, shave, and shampoo and then straight out to work - before it all got too serious. Yes, there is unreleased material and videos, which I will gladly talk to the highest bidder about.

7. How do you view the current rock music scene? Is it better/worse than five years ago?

If anything, it's slightly better than 5 years ago. But as always, it seems to be the musician that pays the price to start with. It doesn't seem to be the money around that there used to be. This has made it initially difficult to produce and get the album released. But with Frontiers, this ball has been easier to set rolling.

8. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In the years that I spent not being in the music industry, I studied the martial art Aikido along with Ian Nash. I am now a first Dan blackbelt, and Ian is a second Dan blackbelt. That has taken up a fair amount of my time. My main passion is, however, the building and flying of radio controlled model airplanes. On any given Sunday, you will find me flying at the local field right next door to my favourite pub.

9. Message for your fans...

To my fans: I'm sorry there has been a long wait, but I really, really needed the break. I thing you will find that this is evident in the new album. Thank you for your support. This is only the start of things to come. God bless you all

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

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