Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27th, 2015 - From Wagga Wagga to Brewtality: An Interview With Phoebe Pinnock

Photo by Chuckys Photography

Photo by Anthony Pinder
Good evening friends!  You may remember that I paired Australian hard rock/metal band Heaven The Axe's great album "Sex, Chugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll" back in March.  (Here's a link to that pairing:  A very special treat for you tonight... an interview with Heaven The Axe vocalist, front woman, and founding member, the amazing Phoebe Pinnock!!  Phoebe and Steve Watts formed hard rockin' Heaven The Axe back in 2007 and released their excellent debut album "Sex, Chugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll on September 17th, 2011.  They have tirelessly toured Australia, opening for such bands as Rose Tattoo, Butcher Babies, Crashdiet, Fozzy, Dreadnaught, and supported Lamb Of God when theyplayed Hammersonic in Indonesia.  I recently chatted with Ms. Pinnock over e-mail about her band, upcoming new album, touring, and music in general.  Here's that interview... enjoy!

1.  How did you originally get started in music?  And what got you interested in the metal scene?
Ever since I was a toddler I was obsessed with music, it completely overtook me and everyday as a child I was taken away by it like it was my life’s mission. I was in awe of Steve’s band Manticore when I saw them play by trying to sneak into the pub in Wagga when I was 16. I had never ever heard heavy metal before that as extreme as what he was playing and I thought he was the absolute hottest guy I had ever seen to be completely honest. Something about the overwhelming intensity attracted me to him and the music. I love intense unapologetic people and Steve was fearless in his expression. It inspired me to want to write heavy tunes and from that moment I gave up open chords and started playing power chords on the guitar and amp I stole from my high school dreaming of my pop songs being played with extreme guitar and double kicks.

2.  What vocalists have influenced you most?
In terms of performance it would be Corey Taylor, Lizzy Hale, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Chris Cornell, Tracy Bonham, Nikkah Costa, but my fav vocalist is Barney Greenway from Napalm Death because of his heart and humility... I love Barney for his energy.

3.  What musicians/bands are currently on your radar?  Who do you listen to in your down time?
Mostly I listen to astrology podcasts and Santos Bonacci "MrAstrotheology" on YouTube, just like that chick in Spinal Tap. I do love Hiatus Kaiyote, Dallas Frasca, or anything on the Metal Spotify playlist which generally includes Motley Crue and Poison. Def Leppard gets a massive tick. 

4.  How did you and your bandmates come together originally?
Steve and I created an acoustic duo in Wagga Wagga after he ended Manticore. We fell madly and utterly in love and moved to Melbourne. We hooked up with liquorice, all sorts of our mates who just happen to be incredibly brutal metal musicians and we have a lot of fun. At one stage ,two of our bandmates lived with us for two years and at any time there could be any number of the rest of them sleeping over. The current line-up includes Tim [Miedecke] and Azza [Bok] from Frankenbok. We share a private rehearsal and recording studio called "The Lab" and it seems that we are all just made of the same stuff when it comes to music and life in general. Were a pretty close knit group these days and nothing less will do.

5.  What is your favourite Heaven the Axe song to perform live and why?
At our last show we debuted a brand new song called "Too Much To Think" It’s a thrash song were recording now at The Lab. Our next show is the Brewtality festival in August and I can’t wait to debut a number of new songs which are singing about things that are right there in my heart space for now. I’m most excited about a brand new track called "Robot Love" that no one has heard yet. It’s about how today we all want to fix our imperfections and asks if we were able to utilize technology in terms of surgery and medication to fix our faults could we really love someone, without having to suffer?

6.  Can we expect another Heaven the Axe album in the near future?  If so, what can you tell us about the writing, recording, and production of said album?
Yes. Were almost complete when it comes to the pre-production. Were still working out who will produce it but Dan the previous singer in Frankenbok is doing a kick ass job recording the demos at The Lab for now. It’s at the stage of singing it in the car every day and I’ll be laying down the first vocals on it this week.

7. Are there any other side projects you are working on currently?
I’m working on the Heaven The Axe ballads with another friend Skippy’s Brain, He hasn’t got the metal filter so were working together to make these songs a bit more emotional and then once we have the song completed we will take it to the boys to put a little bit of their edge to it. But Azza, Steve and Tim are in Frankenbok. Azza is in a third band called Never and Tommy our drummer is in Strict Vincent. Any day ending in Y and we are playing music.

8. If Heaven the Axe could tour with any band, what band would you most like to tour with… current or from the past?
Any of the classics! Black Sabbath, Metallica, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Poison! Steel Panther just cos they wear lycra pants and I'd like to watch from behind ;D

9. Where can my readers catch one of your shows?  What upcoming shows does the band have for 2015?  Any plans to tour North America, Asia, and/or Europe in the near future?
We play Brewtaility Festival for Heavy Magazine on Sat Aug 8 sharing the stage with The Hard-Ons and Hobbs Angel Of Death. It’s between two venues, The Tote and The Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood, Melbourne. We absolutely would love to get to the states and Europe!!
10. Brews and Tunes pair’s craft beer with hard rock, progressive rock, and metal.  So Phoebe Pinnock comes home from a long day at the studio or from a show… what beer does she grab and what album does she spin to help decompress?
OH MY GOD, I’m not drinking cos last weekend at the studio our studio engineer got some craft cider that was 8% on special...1.25 Litres for $3.50!!And we were riding around the neighbourhood at 2am all dressed up, I’m not kidding you the boys all looked really good!! Or maybe it was the drink? Haha….jk. My metal head mates happen to be beer and metal connoisseurs; there are absolutely no cheap commercial beers, its all craft beers and extreme music flavours. Steve's favourite is Moo Brew Heferweizen, definitely a fan of the wheat beers. As far as beers go, I don’t generally choose beer, but I do like Hoegaarden. Our friend Fanza, aka Fancy Pants, knows everything about beers. He was the guiatarist in Terrorust. He brews his own and is THE number one  super epic metal beer snob. He plays The Gentlemans Game – him and his mates get dressed in three piece suits, grab their canes and beat each other up on the legs until you beg for mercy or end up in hospital. You do not come out on top of a conversation about craft beer with the fancy pants.

Thanks Phoebe... cheers and hails!!

Check out Heaven The Axe at and check out the video for "Good Things Come To Those Who Hate":!  And if you happen to be in Australia, make sure to catch the Brewtality show in August!!

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