HEAVEN THE AXE

Australia is as far away as you can get from Sweden. Yet I feel oddly enough closely connected to HEAVEN THE AXE. There is something about this band that is hard to resist. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’ve tried my hardest to understand the band name but I’ve failed miserably. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Is Heaven The Axe an internal phrase that you use? What is in the name to you?
-Hey there…HEAVEN THE AXE is a term representing the sound. It’s a combination of the lighter elements of my female vocals teamed with the rough, tough and mean heavy guitars…the “AXES”. In a personal way it also means to me, taking the greatest calling of my soul, my music, songs and messages and making the greatest impact that we can with them. I value the opportunity to be able to have my words magnified so I sometimes think deeply about what it is that I’m really saying with my songs and what impact will they have on others?

Some of my best metal experiences have been Australian, like Hobbs Angel Of Death, Chalice and Long Voyage Back but you guys doesn’t sound anything like that and yet I like you. How would you like for your music to be described?
-Thanks Anders…haha you’re old skool! We’re described as Australia’s Toughest Female Fronted Hard Rock band or as someone once said “Sounds like a hot chick driving a Mack Truck” which we thought was a pretty cool visualization of the music.

I noticed that you have shared a stage with Rose Tattoo. What is it like to play with one of the biggest Aussie bands ever (together with AC/DC obviously)?
-It was wicked. Angry is my “rock ‘n roll dad” as he calls himself. The tour was awesome and we made a lot of new friends but most recently, we performed as Rose Tattoo backing Angry Anderson at
a festival we organized in our hometown of Wagga Wagga in NSW. The town was severely affected by floods so in true “HEAVEN THE AXE” style of taking your gifts and making an impact, we organized a huge outdoor concert where 9000 people attended. That’s the shit dreams are made of.

Being stuck on an island, despite how grand it might be, must pose some serious problems when you want to reach out to the rest of the world. You just don’t hop into your van and drive to Germany.
What is the hardest part being stuck so far from the rest of the World?
-Australian culture is dominated by the monopoly of mainstream TV and advertising. The hard rock sub culture is limited in terms of population numbers. We work really hard on the band and touring and a drive from Melbourne to Sydney is ten hours one way. We’ve got our sights firmly set on touring in Germany as soon as humanly possible but for now we’re enjoying every success on our own turf.

What was it that made Heaven The Axe become what it is today? Any pivotal point that shaped the band into what it is today?
-Steve and I grew up in Wagga Wagga and when we moved to Melbourne Steve’s reputation as the frontman of death metal band Manticore paved way for a network of incredible musicians to
work with. Our first songs were recorded with Mat “Skitz” Sanders from Damaged, Humonic, Terrorust and other projects. His standing as possibly the most brutal pioneering drummer in the
Australian metal scene teamed with Steve brought us a huge amount of credibility as a serious act that wasn’t like anything else around. We run the band like a family, and work with a larger group of friends who get involved with the music “just cos were mates”. The most important thing about our band is that we care about each other as people first. Not only us, but the local music industry in general. Love is a currency that can outweigh money when it comes to music.

I’ve never been to Australia so all I know about your country is what I’ve seen on the telly. How hard is it to play live in the cities? What kind of live scene is there for a band like yours to tour the
country?
-Fantastic – we’ve worked to a point where were playing top venues and have a huge live pull. Not because we’ve had any major airplay on the radio, because our genre is severely under-represented on
air, but purely through word of mouth. That’s the best advertising cos it doesn’t cost us anything! We have a reputation for being one of the biggest pulling bands in the country without major radio airplay.

This might seem ignorant but I get the impression that most of the civilization lives in a circle around the coast and that the further in you go the less people/cities you encounter. How do you tour a
country like Australia without it getting boring and routine playing the same places over and over?
-You’re right, we have focused entirely on the east coast of Australian between Brisbane and Melbourne up to this point. We have Adelaide coming up. We do regional shows and we love
every second of it! Every time we go back to areas it builds, we have offers for shows most days and are working with some rad promoters. I have sacrificed a lot to manage the band myself up to this point, but this career requires that. And when I’m living my dream, I don’t need extra money to buy random shit to bring me happiness. We’re still paying the rent one year on from making this
a full time focus.

You have an album out now. What kind of responses have you had to it so far? Do you get a lot of attention from abroad media?
-The Oz media is served by advertising budgets and were an independent self managed band without that budget, however when the record was launched we have had an excellent response to the
music in a credible way. We were worried about what the media would say, being that this project is our DREAM and the amount of love and personal effort that’s gone into it – it would have been
devastating to have had a bad response. But when we got our first reviews we were blown away with what the media was saying. We are very humbled and grateful. It really means a lot to us that those
who have the power to say something to the masses did.

What kind of response do you want to the band/record? Is it enough that people just comment on the good looks of your vocalist?
-I don’t get it when people comment on my looks. I’m a chick, I’m blonde and apparently “I dress like a Whitesnake groupie in a 1988 hair metal video” but those appearances are deceiving. It’s really
funny to get those comments because it’s a blindspot for me, I’m not even AWARE I’m dressing that way…I just do! It comes naturally to me. I’m an activist, we use our bands pull to make a
measurable difference in the lives of others where we can, I write lyrics I’m proud of whether they be purely for rock n roll entertainment or something profoundly important from the bottom
of my heart. All in all I want to be a healer through my music. I love deeply and care very much for people. I’m not aware of my looks, I really don’t try to look a certain way. It’s just who I am.

Do you envision a future for Heaven The Axe so bright that you have to wear shades? What lies in the future for you guys?
-We have a plethora of shows coming up in Australia over the next six months, we are writing and recording new material everyday and we are completing our first video clip. I’m dreaming a lot of
getting to Europe and that’s what we plan on doing for 2013 should the Mayans be wrong and the world keeps on turning.

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