Greetings Lee, this is Metal Invader and once again I welcome you to our webzine. How are things lately?
We have had the most successful year in Cloven Hoof’s history so we have been super busy. The band have recorded a new album and played over 80 shows this year, plus made our debut in the USA too. I made a prog rock solo album on top of that, it really has been flat out all year. But that is the way we like it because music is our life.
It has been already 2 years since your last album was out. Shall we expect for a new one in 2020?
Yes for sure the new album is called “Age of steel”. It is all finished and sounds awesome! The cover art is holding it back at the moment but next year it will be released so expect a total killer album. “Touch the Rainbow”, “Gods of War”, “Bathory” and “Alderley Edge” will be all time Hoof classic songs I am positive.
What about the feedback from “Who Mourns for the Morning Star?” Did the audience like it? Was the sales numbers good enough?
It was an album that changed our lives and raised the bar really. Our singer George Call was fantastic on that album in particular and America was blown away by it. So much so that we got the chance to headline there for two tours in a year due to popular demand. It sold great and is my personal favorite Hoof album till the next one called Age Of Steel is released. Every song on Who Mourns for the Morning Star worked well live too. In many ways it is the album I always wanted because that was the sound I had in mind when I formed the band back in 1979. George’s voice was the one I always sought after, a cross between Halford and Dio. Mr Call still has his own style of course but he fits Cloven Hoof better than any other singer.
Are there any plans for another compilation via High Roller or any other label such as the BBC sessions or The Definite parts?
The BBC live sessions in the studio are great and we did that on High Roller records. Metal Nation records have released the CD Definitive part One recently. A new dvd called “Live at Bang your head festival” will be released next year along with a live album. It sounds and looks absolutely fantastic, so I recommend that compilation very highly indeed. More news on that project soon.
As you have seen and experienced, Cloven Hoof have younger fans as well, fans that can be way younger than the band itself, just like me (actually I have the same age with the band!). In parallel, do you think that you are also a kind of role model, especially to those younger at age? How do you react to that?
People look up to you so I try to be worthy of them and match their aspirations. I always try to conduct myself in a professional manner. If certain band members don’t give their best they are letting the fans down so we have to replace them. The fans deserve THE VERY BEST! We always make time for everybody and pose for photos and sign any autographs they want. It is an honor and I totally respect them always. We are a peoples band!
What were your original goals when you first started out as a band and how many of the goals you have set at times have been achieved so far?
I have fulfilled every one of my bucket wishes for a band over the years so I am a very contented musician. They were these…
- Get played on the radio
- Make and release a vinyl album
- Play in Europe
- Play in USA
- Do a solo album.
(I have just finished a progressive rock solo album and the band and album is called EAST OF LYRA.) If you like Rush and Yes then this album will be worth checking out. I have a duel passion for metal and prog rock so all my musical aspirations are realized. All these ambitions have become reality thanks to the support of true metal fans. I am honored and humbled and they make all this worthwhile.
When you are composing music do you have maybe some references, be it books, movies, artists, people, that inspire you?
I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology, Viking sagas, Horror and sci fi films, Marvel and DC comic books. But a lot of inspiration comes from Nightmares I have. I see songs as mini movies set to music so I always try to make my lyrics thought provoking. Imagination is the key, real life bores me a little, so I try to stay away from it if I can. Sometimes there are sex and politics appearing in our work but not much. Someone called us thinking men’s metal and I like that a lot.
What does the future hold for Cloven Hoof?
It is our golden age at the moment. There is the brand new studio album called “AGE OF STEEL” waiting to be released soon on Pure Steel Records. It is our best ever album I promise. Then there will be the live album and live DVD of the bang your head festival concert released in March next year. After that there will be a boxed set triple album rerelease of “Dominator”, “A Sultans Ransom” and “Eye of the Sun”. Plus a whole bunch of worldwide dates, so pretty busy stuff.
Is there a certain type of audience that makes you feel more comfortable, or do you just want to show to everyone what Cloven Hoof is all about?
We just go out there and run our flag up the pole and see who salutes it! We want to play everywhere to spread the word of heavy metal to whoever will listen to our music.
Thousands of miles, hundreads of venues, lengthy absence from home. Has anything changed concerning the way the bands tour now (comparing it to the tours of the past)?
Not really, it is basically the same then as now. In the USA we showed we are true road warriors with two back to back headline tours right across the States and Canada. We played every night none stop with only 2 days off in 68 dates! How many bands can do that and still deliver high energy sets every night? Just travelling 6 to 8 hours a day then doing a 2 hours set, have a sleep then move to the next town. The only way you can do that is by really loving playing metal!!!
What will we see from you on the Athens show in Saturday?
Nothing less than the best ever band line up with the most energetic live stage presence. We have played more shows together than any Cloven Hoof band so we really play the set with power and passion. No one can live with this band live and other groups hate following us at festivals, this is because we play great and make it look easy. We also run about like confident crazy guys! Experience and paying your dues pays dividends. No one wants to see a boring band standing there like statues, we involve the crowd to join in with the songs and sing their hearts out. We love the fans and they know it… it is a magical experience!
Alright, that’s all from me for the time being; thank you for making the time to answer everything, it means a lot. We’ll be seeing each other in Athens. Is there any message you’d like to send to our readers / your fans?
Thanks to the metal heads in Greece for supporting us all these years. We know you are some of our most diehard supporters and we appreciate your love and support. We always try our best because you deserve nothing less…. Cloven Hoof salutes you and see you soon in the land of immortals. Lee \m/