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19th May 2017

Q: So why a Lionheart reunion? What was the catalyst? I know you did the gig at Rockingham Festival in Nottingham last year.

SM: That’s right and that’s exactly why the reunion happened. A guy called Dave Herron who is the promoter of Rockingham was always a Lionheart fan and he contacted Rocky who I think he knew anyway and said what do you think the chances would be of Lionheart reunion. So Rocky phoned the rest of us and said ‘What do you think guys?’ and we said ‘Why not?’ It sounded like a bit of fun, it was a great band so let’s do it. We contacted Chad but he’s not involved in the music business anymore but Clive Dennis and I were up for it so we were on the lookout for a singer. We thought of a couple of people and then someone recommended Lee, we checked him out on YouTube and thought he was really good so we’ll give him a try thinking that it was just a one-off show. We all got together a couple of days before the show for rehearsals and it was remarkable! We started playing Wait For The Night and it just shone – I really can’t find the words to describe it but as soon as we started playing it, I knew Lionheart was something special. Anyway, we did the rehearsals, did the show, had a few problems with the keyboards but we all enjoyed it and the reaction afterwards was incredible on Facebook and from journalists asking if we were going to do a new album and so we thought ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’

Q: So what was the last gig Lionheart did in the UK before that?

SM: Oh you’re asking. That’s a bass player’s question because they remember everything; they’re like elephants. (laughs)

Q: I know what you mean. Neil Murray is the same – a walking encyclopedia as is Bill Wyman from the Stones.

SM: Yeah well Rocky is our walking encyclopedia and in The Sweet it used to be Jeff Brown. In the days before Google, we couldn’t ‘Google’ things so we ‘Browned’ things (laughs) and now we ‘Newton’ them. (laughs) I honestly can’t remember what the last gig was so ask Rocky. It was around 1985 and we had just come back from America and I think we were doing one or two one-off gigs. We were supposed to be doing a support tour with REO Speedwagon but something happened to them – they didn’t finish the album in time or something like that – and they had to cancel the tour so we were left in limbo and it somehow just all fell to pieces.

Q: With regards to the album, when we talked before I mentioned there were almost two Lionhearts: the NWOBHM super group as it was termed and the polished American one which eventually released the album. Is this Lionheart either of those, a combination of the two, a progression of the two or something different entirely?

SM: I think progression of the two is a very good way of describing it. When we got back together again, we said let’s go back to what we were originally doing in the early days which was more of the NWOBHM stuff because as much as Hot Tonight was a good AOR album, at the end of the day, it wasn’t really Lionheart, it was the industry trying to push us in that direction because that’s where they thought we were going to make money. We loved the album but we were a little bit fish out of water but we were happier when we were doing stuff that came naturally too us so when we started this new album we made a conscious decision to do the NWOBHM stuff but bring it up to date and we very quickly found out that the whole Lionheart machine just took over. It’s definitely an AOR album but it doesn’t have the light-weightiness of AOR. It’s a lot more powerful, open and live and one of the things we did find was that Lionheart has its own sound with the dual guitars and vocal harmonies. It was one of the most natural recording processes I’ve ever been involved in.

Q: Funny you should say that. I had a listen to Raiders Of The Lost Archives which is the album Pony Canyon put out here in 1999 and I thought you had your own sound on that which somehow got buried in the Hot Tonight album.

SM: That’s exactly what happened and I think in some ways Raiders Of The Lost Archives is much more what Lionheart is about. That was a collection of demos we had, nothing was recorded properly – it was all done on a Portastudio – and this new album is a bit like Raiders but recorded properly. In fact there are one or two songs from the Raiders album that we loved and thought were too good so we recorded them properly for the new album.

Q: Did you have the songs already written or did you start with a fresh piece of paper once you all committed to the record?

SM: Both. I have a whole shoebox full of ideas that I wanted to go through for this album but everything just happened so quickly I couldn’t but I had one or two ideas which were pretty much complete songs. I sent them to Lee and he impresses me a huge amount as he’s very creative – some of them you think are crazy and will never work but he constantly comes up with ideas – and he came back with these amazing melodies and lyrics. For me, I discovered this great writing process with Lee which bodes incredibly well for the next album and I think Rock and Dennis will also develop their writing relationship with Lee. Then there were a couple of times I booted up the studio, picked up the guitar, started playing and thought ‘That’s not a bad riff’ so I put down a guide drums and bass, sent it off to Lee and he came back with pretty much a full song.


Q: I remember Lee from the eighties when he was in Shy.

SM: Yes a lot of people know Lee but I’d never heard of him. We knew all the same people but never crossed paths. Better late than never.

Q: Well Shy were probably around when you were in America. I was talking to somebody about this the other day what some people don’t realize is that there were actually two waves or phases if you like of the NWOBHM. The first one had Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, etc but then the second phase had bands like Rock Goddess and More and Shy were in that second phase whereas you were in the earlier phase. The whole NWOBHM thing was probably only 3-4 years.

SM: It was and I agree with you on that although at the time we didn’t realize that of course, we were just a bunch of guys who refused to go along with the Punk thing. We were a bunch of likeminded guys who met down at The Ship (a legendary pub on Wardour Street close to The Marquee), went to the Marquee and a whole bunch of bands evolved from it. It’s only now when we look back on it that we realize it was a very important movement in the history of British Rock. It was very much a social thing back then when we’d meet at The Ship and then do the gig and I remember before a Lionheart gig one time I was in The Ship and there were a couple of guys sitting on stools and said they loved the band Lionheart and always came to see us when we played. I said ‘Oh that’s great! Are you in a band?’ They said ‘Yes we are. It’s called Metallica; we’ve just got it going.’ That was James and Lars and I wished them luck but thought ‘With a name like Metallica, they haven’t got a hope in hell’s chance’. (laughs) So don’t ask me for a band name – I’ll always get it wrong.

Q: Lionheart are here with Praying Mantis in July. Without giving too much away, what are you planning to play given the pedigrees of the people in the band?

SM: Well there is a surprise which is not a well kept secret and another surprise that is well kept so I can tell you the first one. Dennis used to be in Praying Mantis and I also produced one of their albums and I was also in a band called Stratus with Tino and Chris so the hook-up is a particularly good one and the two bands have always got on well so we thought it would be nice if the Praying Mantis line-up with Dennis could do a couple of tracks. That secret we let slip out and it could turn into quite a party.

Q: I know where you’re playing and unfortunately there isn’t a pub called The Ship nearby…

SM: Ok. We’ll just take over a pub and rename it The Ship for the night.

Q: Yeah that or have a sign made up and have a spare dressing room backstage renamed.

SM: That’s a very good idea! I’ll organize it for you. (laughs)

Q: Terrific! I’m really looking forward to this Steve and it’s quite rare for Japan to have two bands on like this.

SM: I know. The live market is difficult these days and it was Yumi at Onkyo that came up with this dual-headliner kind of thing. If it goes well, hopefully we can come back and do more.

Q: Finally, will you be here with Michael Schenker for Loud Park?

SM: Yes I will. Michael is really excited to be able to headline there and really excited that he’s on the bill with Alice Cooper because he’s baan an Alice fan for years and for me it’s just sensational: back in Japan and headlining Loud Park. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Q: Excellent news. We’ll see you in June/July Steve.

SM: Cool! Good to talk to you again Glenn.

Friday 30th June Osaka Club Quatro

Saturday 1st July Tokyo Toyosu PIT



Lee Small (Vo) Dennis Stratton (G) Steve Mann (G/Kb) Rocky Newton (B) Clive Edwards (Dr)

Praying Mantis

Tino Troy (G) Chris Troy (B) Andy Burgess (G) John Cuijpers (Vo) Hans in't Zandt (Dr)


スティーヴ・マン インタビュー2017



スティーヴ・マン(以下SM):うん、再結成は君の言うとおりの事情だったんだ。デイヴ・ヘロンという、ロッキンガムのプロモーターがずっとライオンハートのファンでね。彼がロッキーに声を掛けて、そこから再結成の機会が生まれていったんだよ。ロッキーが残りのメンバーに電話してきて、「またやらないか?」「いいとも」って感じだった。楽しそうだったし、ライオンハートはいいバンドだったから、またやる価値はあったんだ。そこでチャドに連絡したんだけど、彼はもう音楽業界から足を洗っていたから、クライヴと僕がその労をとることになった。ボーカリストを探して2、3人当たっていたところ、リーを推薦された。You Tubeで彼を見て気に入ったから、一度ライブでやってみようということになったんだ。ライブ前のリハーサルで2、3日一緒にやってみたんだけど、これが素晴らしかったんだよ!「Wait For The Night」をプレイし始めてすぐに気づいたよ。ちょっとその時の感じを表現する言葉が見当たらないね。もうプレイし始めた時からすぐに、ライオンハートってやっぱりいいなと感じたんだ。そんなことで、リハーサルをして、ライブをやったところ、キーボードにはちょっと問題があったけど、何とかうまくいった。後でフェイスブックを見たら、書き込みが凄かったよ。プレスの記者からは、アルバムを作るのか?と訊かれた。「ああ、やるよ。」って答えたけどね。









SM:あの2枚をさらに進化させたもの、と言う言い方が適していると思うね。またメンバーが一緒になって、初期の頃にやっていたNWOBHMらしいものをやろうと思ったんだ。『Hot Tonight』はAORアルバムとしても評価されたけど、あれはライオンハートらしいものじゃなかった。レコード会社に無理にあんなことをやらされたんだ。その方が売れるから、ってね。あのアルバムは気に入っているけど、ちょっと自分たちらしくないと分かっていたんだ。だから自然と今回のニュー・アルバムの制作を始めることができた時には嬉しかったんだよ。本来のNWOBHMに立ち帰るんだという気持ちだったからね。でも日が経つにつれ、気づいたんだ。まだまだこれからライオンハートの本来の姿になっていくってね。AORアルバムではあるけど、AORの軽さなんて微塵もないんだ。もっとパワフルで開放的でライブの迫力に溢れている。ツイン・ギターときれいなボーカル・ハーモニーこそがライオンハートのアイデンティティなんだ。これまでやってきた中では一番自然な形でレコーディングできたよ。


Q:あなたがそんな風に言うのは面白いですね。ポニー・キャニオンからリリースした1999年のアルバム『Raiders Of The Lost Archives』を聴いたんです。そこには『Hot Tonight』では失われていた、あなたたち独自のサウンドがありましたよ。

SM:そういうことなんだよ。『Raiders Of The Lost Archives』は、いろいろな点でまさにライオンハートそのものなんだ。正式なレコーディングまでは至らなかったデモがたくさんあったんだ。ポータスタジオで作ったものだった。今回のアルバムは『Raiders』のような感じでもあるけど、きちんと作り込んでいる。僕たちも気に入っている『Raiders』のアルバムの2、3曲は凄く良かったと思うんだ。だから今回のニュー・アルバムもそういう風にレコーディングしたんだよ。








Q:’シャイ’は、あなたがアメリカに居た頃に活動していたんです。このバンドのことを何人かの人に話したんですが、みんな知りませんでした。 NWOBHMには、大きく分けて2つの波もしくはステージがあったんです。初めは、アイアン・メイデン、デフ・レパード、サクソンなど。で、第二波は、ロック・ゴッデス、モアやシャイだったんです。あなたたちは最初の波に属していました。 NWOBHM全体としては、3~4年のムーヴメントでしたね。




















6月30日(金)7時 大阪:梅田クラブクアトロ (スタンディング)

7月 1日(土)6時 東京:豊洲 PIT (指定席)

ライオンハートのメンバー :

Lee Small (Vo) Dennis Stratton (G) Steve Mann (G/Kb) Rocky Newton (B) Clive Edwards (Dr)

プレイング・マンティスのメンバー :

Tino Troy (G) Chris Troy (B) Andy Burgess (G) John Cuijpers (Vo) Hans in't Zandt (Dr)

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