BLIND FURY – Bringing In The New
Metal Forces, Issue 5 (1984)
To many people, Britain is still regarded at the heavy metal capital of the world. But the truth is, no British heavy metal band has really achieved total world recognition since Iron Maiden (forget Def Leppard, any true headbanger will tell you that they are not a heavy metal band). Still, despite the rather stagnant British metal scene a few young acts have been breaking through and causing a stir, albeit minor, on the outside world. Bands such as Tokyo Blade, Jaguar and Satan all released promising debut albums last year, even though the latter probably had the hardest task of all in securing a record deal. The Newcastle quintet had the door slammed in their faces on home soil by the record companies and had to venture to Holland before being signed to Roadrunner Records in Amsterdam.
Satan’s debut album Court In The Act, was released by Roadrunner last December and fulfilled all the promise the band had shown with their independent demo release Into The Fire. The album was later released under licence in the UK by Neat Records and in the USA by Metal Blade.
Earlier this year, vocalist Brian Ross was replaced by the band’s old singer Lou Taylor, who originally left Satan in 1982 to move down to London in search of fame and fortune. The band also decided to change their name to Blind Fury because of the wrong image they were getting, as guitarist Steve Ramsey explains: “Yeah, because we were called Satan everyone was thinking we were like Venom and Slayer. We don’t believe in that and don’t think bands should start writing lyrics about the Devil and getting kids of 15 into Satanism and that shit. We feel that music is to enjoy and have a good laugh, so we wanted to get away from the Satan image altogether.”
So why did the band choose the name Satan originally? Steve: “Well, when we started the band we were still at school and didn’t really think twice about what we were called then.”
Although the decision to change their moniker was unanimous, the choice of the new name was not so easy. Eventually they decided on Raskalle, only to be told by the record company that they didn’t like it. So in the end they plumped for Blind Fury, which was the name of Lou Taylor’s former band that also featured guitarist Kevin Heybourne of Angel Witch fame. So, won’t there be any problems in re-using the name Blind Fury? Lou: “No, because I own the name. I registered it in December when Kevin Heybourne left, just in case he wanted me to stop using a name that I had thought half of (for the record, Kevin come up with ‘Blind’ and Lou ‘Fury’).
“You see, I left Blind Fury to join Satan who were looking for a new name. We went through thousands of different names and someone suggested Blind Fury. I checked it out with the other two guys I’d left in the old band and they weren’t doing anything – in fact, they hadn’t even rehearsed for three months – so we used the name. Besides, I was the only member of any of the old Blind Fury line-ups that did anything to promote that name.”
One thing that the band do want to make clear, is that despite their choice of new name, Lou Taylor is in fact joining the other four members and not vice versa.
As well as changing their name, the band have also decided to relocate to London from Newcastle. Steve: “We’ve been wanting to move down here ever since Brian Ross (vocals) first joined the band, because there’s just nothing happening up in the North-East.”
Talking of Brian Ross, why was he asked to leave? Steve: “Brian just couldn’t pull it off live, that was the main thing. Also, he didn’t look the way we wanted him to and he wasn’t into what we wanted at all.”
Although I only saw Brian Ross sing live with Satan once, on that particular night I thought he put in a fine performance both vocally and visually and must admit I was very surprised to see him leave.
As I said earlier, Satan’s album Court In The Act was a promising debut and was generally well received by the critics. But were the band happy with the outcome? Steve: “No, not really. We weren’t happy with the production obviously and also the way we couldn’t write the songs with the vocalist, as Brian Ross joined after all the melodies were recorded and we had already written the lyrics to most of the songs. But this time we’ve got the chance to write all the material and get it the way we want it before we actually record it – with a decent producer.”
So what about the new material? Steve: “I suppose the new material now is more into what we call “contact rock and roll”, which means putting more fun into heavy metal instead of all this black death, killing people and devils. We want to get some life into metal. Music isn’t about death, it’s about life.
“In a way, I suppose the new material is a little more commercial. It will still be heavy like the last album, but with Lou’s singing it seems to give it more quality. Really, we would like to think of it as a fresh start. Although we will still try to keep hold of the kids who were into us on our last album, I think we will just broaden our audience with a new name and a different approach.”
Blind Fury’s new album, Out Of Reach will be produced by Steve James and should feature the following tracks: ‘Out Of Reach’, ‘Contact Rock And Roll’, ‘Do It Loud’, ‘Living On The Edge’, ‘Dance Of The Crimson Lady’, ‘Back Inside’, ‘Evil Eyes’, ‘Dynamo’ (dedicated to that Dutch heavy metal haven in Eindhoven), ‘Pull The Trigger’ (an old Satan song from the Into The Fire demo) and ‘Why?’, which features bassist Graeme English on classical guitar and vocals.
The album is due for release on Roadrunner in October and will be handled in the UK by Music For Nations. It is also hoped that the album will be released in the US, probably on Metal Blade, at a later date.
Once the album has been recorded Blind Fury will be touring Holland, Belgium and Germany.
During our interview the band played me a couple of the new numbers, ‘Contact Rock And Roll’ and ‘Do It Loud’. ‘Contact Rock And Roll’ is a catchy commercial number while the latter was a lot heavier and more like the old Satan material.
My first impression of Lou Taylor is that he has a far more melodic voice than Brian Ross, and will probably suit the band’s new approach that much better. While instrumentally, the band hasn’t lost that technical drive and excitement of their last album. Whereas Jaguar have musically changed for the worse, in my opinion, with their latest album (This Time), Blind Fury appear to be going from strength to strength and maybe, just maybe, are the band to cause bigger dents than most in the metal world and put a bit of pride back into British heavy metal.
Interview taken from Metal Forces, Issue 5 (1984)