Steve Blaze, formerly of Lillian Axe, and now the front man of Near Life Experience talks about their latest effort.
First of all, how did the band hook up together?
Craig [Nunenmacher, of Crowbar] and I are brothers, so we got together at his birth. Bob [Bearden] and Okie [Jeff Okoneski] were in bands who opened for Lillian Axe in the past. Their talents always stuck in my mind. We called them for auditions.
How would you describe your song writing/recording process?
The song writing process is always different. The idea may stem from a riff, drumbeat, lyric or melody. We then hash it out in the rehearsal room. I take the rough tape with me and write the lyrics. Everything in the middle is very chaotic. We then play it live.
What is your lyrical inspiration?
Lyrical inspiration: color, weather, anger, sadness, peace, anger, sex, my universe, my disgust with mankind, my hope for man's awareness of how to live properly, love, childhood, death, frustration, ecstasy, happiness, dreams, beauty, Mother earth, etc., etc.
You've self-produced and released your first album to the public. Why do this instead of going the traditional route of shopping demos to record labels?
We chose to do the record ourselves strictly to use as a shopping tool. We are only letting it be available in limited quantities because we feel we will get a deal soon. Then we may re-record it and add other tracks.
What sort of a label deal are you looking for?
We need a career deal with a label who loves the band and understands what we do. We are only at the start of shopping.
What has the response been like for the new album so far?
The response is overwhelming. People really seem to love the CD.
Are there any plans for a tour of the US?
We play constantly but we cannot tour extensively till we get a deal.
How would you classify your music? Would you say it's metal, or would you prefer to think of it as heavy rock?
Hard rock, I suppose. I have trouble answering this question because we encompass so many musical facets.
What's your favourite music? That is, what music does the band listen to and currently like? Who would you cite as influences?
I love classical music, Beethoven and Bach, new age, George Winston, All hard rock and metal, very passionate artists such as Elton John, Tori Amos, Tea Party, Type O Negative, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Deftones, Scorpions, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Queen, Alice Cooper, etc.
What are your future plans and where do you see yourself in the year 2000?
Hopefully we will be established as a major force in the music world. We will continue to create beautiful music.