My friend, Chris Tristam, played bass for Jack Russell's Great White when I first met him in 2014. I brought the band to Indianapolis to play a fall show in October. Chris and I had time to talk 'music' and develop a friendship. Chris even put me on his phone to speak to his significant other, Michelle, as we walked down the hallway of the hotel making our way to the venue. I thought that was pretty cool of Chris.
Then things changed in 2015, as they most often do in the music biz. Chris made a decision to leave L.A. after being there for over two decades and return to his home state of NJ for his own personal reasons. Dueto the logistics of him being on one coast and JRGW being on the other coast...this caused a changing of the guard and Chris began looking for other opportunities. He wasted no time and he had plenty of credentials to put him in the spotlight for those looking for available talent.
While Chris did not know, House of Lords, was looking for a new bass player. House of Lords drummer, BJ Zampa, heard about Chris and began to reach out to him. After many phone calls, Chris was invited to a rehearsal and HOL guitarist knew he was the right guy. Jimi Bell says, " I didn't even have to hear him play....I knew he was the right one,then he nailed it!"
House of Lords was formed in 1989 and opened for legends Ozzy and Scorpions. They became known for their hit "I Wanna Be Loved". In 2005they added guitarist, Jimi Bell. They continued putting our more records and did a 39 city tour, including a performance at Rocklahoma.
Although they are hugely popular in Europe, according to Jimi Bell, their hope is to regain their US audience. Thanks to Frontier Records, I was able to spend time on the phone with him to find out the latest on the band's new lineup, new tour and new record.
JB: Our new album, Saint of the Lost Souls, was put out by Frontier Records. We have been with them since 2005, 12 years. We wanted to go back to more traditional music. James (lead singer, James Christian) asked me to send some samples down to him (Florida), melodic rock tunes. Our song, "Oceans Divide" has a very strong 80s feel. I work closely with BJ, we provide the 'meat and potatoes' to James. We chord the track, then James makes changes, adds his magic and the vocal
tracks. My favorite band is AC/DC, their music gets me going. I try to put a cool riff in our songs that will put the same feeling in our music.
KH: The song "Saint of the Lost Souls" has a very compelling instrumental intro with a heavy lead-in.
JB: It's a great tune! It was the first track I recorded. I worked out all my solos in advance.
KH: Then there's "Art of Letting Go", another really good song, good
melodic guitar riff.
JB: This was one of our last songs that I gave to James. We do 15-18 songs for every record and then James picks the ones we record.
KH: Tell us your plans for 2017; your tour and what your fans can expect.
JB: Our goal is to regain our US audience. We have a very strong following in Europe. They love ALL music, they are not finicky...they'll come see us, then they'll go see a hard heavy metal show. US fans seem to be true to one genre or to one band. We will be touring in Europe this year starting at Hair Metal Heaven in Hull City, UK and then on to Italy, Spain and more. We recently brought in Ashley Talent to assist with our bookings and alreadythey are making an impact for us.
Be sure to check their schedule. They will be in the states on May 20th in Chicago, IL.