SERGEANT STEEL: A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW


SERGEANT STEEL – Calling all open minded record companies around the world… there is a Hard Rock Band that has released an album of melodic driven, heavy hittin’, memorable and fun songs. They call themselves Sergeant Steel and call home Austria. Sergeant Steel’s debut album – Lover’s & Maniacs, (released March 6, 2010), is a decisive upper-cut to the mid-section of the Hard Rock world. Sergeant Steel’s debut release reminds us all once again what Hard Rock songs sound like when a band puts skills and writing first and doesn’t try to “fit in” with any trendy “sound of the month” club.

So, RoadRunner Records, Century Media Records and a score of other record companies out there, who without question, have their ears on “the pulse” of what bands are hot… Sergeant Steel has arrived with Lovers & Maniacs and they are making no excuses and not looking back. This is a band that is looking to the future with hunger in their Hard Rock souls, something that many up and coming bands out there today are in dire need of.

I reviewed this Sergeant Steel debut album – Lovers & Maniacs on July 1, 2010. You can click on the link at the bottom of this interview, to read all about it.

The following interview is with Sergeant Steel’s charismatic lead vocalist, Phil Vanderkill. Recently, Phil took the time to answer some questions for Metal Odyssey and proved to be as candid and cool as they come. Phil’s answers are just as the songs you hear on Lovers & Maniacs… genuine. Here is what Phil had to say:

STONE: Hey Phil, How are you doing? It’s wicked HOT here in Pennsylvania. We have been under a “severe heat warning” for many days now. My lawn I no longer have to mow… it’s fried! Hope the air over in Austria is more tolerable.

PHIL: It’s about 35 degrees Celsius. That’s also pretty hot but the humidity is quite low at present. Austrians get out of their shell at this time of the year. If you know “Sound Of Music” you have an imagination about our wonderful Lakeland areas and vintage cities like Salzburg and Vienna.

STONE: Creating a studio album for world wide release is for certain hard work. Still, what and how much fun was it to create and record “Lovers & Maniacs”?

PHIL: It is still hard work to promote the record, too. We have been donating a lot of our leisure on this record. But it’s still fun. Now that the album is released, we enjoy it when people sing along at our live shows!

STONE: Who or what bands are an influence to Sergeant Steel?

PHIL: Our major influence are bands from the 70’s like pomp/classic rockers Queen, Rainbow and Aerosmith. We appreciate glamsters like Slade and The Sweet, too. Of course we also love 80’s hair bands like Ratt, Cinderella, Europe and Extreme. We also adore the guitar driven yet melodic heavy metal sound of Judas Priest.

STONE: Describe the reaction your getting from your fans when playing live in Austria.

PHIL: There are only a very few hard rock acts on the map. Most people in the crowd experience arena rock live for their first time at a SERGEANT STEEL show. We always play in front of a grateful public. It doesn’t seem to be difficult to carry the Austrian audience. Rather the challenge is to convince bookers and organizers. Classic hard rock tunes are everything else than common in the public awareness over here.

STONE: Are you setting sights on touring North America one day?

PHIL: Well, Jack and me, (guitarist & producer Jack Power), are going to travel overseas in the fall 2011. We are ready and willing to expand our contacts in the USA.

STONE: If you could choose a guest musician to be on the next Sergeant Steel album, who would it be?

PHIL: We’d have some honorable gentlemen on the bill, e.g. Alice Cooper, Lemmy Kilmister, Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) and John Sykes (ex- Whitesnake). I think they are all unique performers and accomplished songwriters.

STONE:  Having “Lovers & Maniacs” mastered by Beau Hill is impressive. How was this working relationship born between Beau Hill and Sergeant Steel?

PHIL: Beau can be characterized by a maximum of politeness and reliability. We came in contact with Beau via Myspace, then sent him some demo tunes by mail and he became a real fan of our music (To quote Beau: “This record really kicks ass!”). Of course, we are extremely proud about that. It is highly probable to work with him on further material this year.

STONE:  Which famous phrase best describes Sergeant Steel: “Sex, drugs & Rock’N’ Roll” or “I wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll all night and party every day”?

PHIL: Definitely “Rock ‘N’ Roll all night, party every day”. We enjoy life, because we believe in the most important message of rock music: Fun!!! Yes, we are occasional drinkers and smokers. But we DO NOT believe in permanent self-destruction. Look at Gene Simmons and Ted Nugent. Both live straight but they are crazy motherfuckers on stage and deserved songwriters. That is what it depends on.

STONE: “Lovers & Maniacs” is a solid Hard Rockin’ album of 10 songs, an unreal great debut album. Were there any songs that just missed the cut that you wish were on the finished album?

PHIL: Thank you for showing us your appreciation! When we determined the tracklist for “Lovers & Maniacs” we had to choose out of 35 pre-produced tunes. Meanwhile we have over 90 demo songs to be at choice for a second record. You know, there will always be some songs that will be missed on a finished album by someone.

STONE: Which song or songs from “Lovers & Maniacs” gets the fans most fired up when you play live? Are there any “vintage” cover songs that you guys enjoy playing live?

PHIL: Our most renowned live smashers from “Lovers & Maniacs” are “Hammer Of Love”, “Still In Love” and “Nuts Of Steel”. People also get loco everytime we play a cover version of “Jailhouse Rock”!

STONE: How would you describe the “state of” Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in Austria?

PHIL: Well, being in a hard rock band in Austria is like being a human rights activist in fucking North Korea. As I told you before there are only a handful of bands playing that stuff. Anyway there’s no competitive thinking among these bands. We organize concerts together and exchange our experiences in the music business.

STONE: Are European Festival dates in the future for Sergeant Steel?

PHIL: We play at a local festival in 2011, which is going to be attended by about 4000 visitors. Beside that there’s nothing official yet.

STONE: From looking at the photos and “Hammer Of Love” video, along with listening to the Hard Rock glory of “Lovers & Maniacs”, I get the perception Sergeant Steel has a tight bond among themselves. How accurate is my perception?

PHIL: You are absolutely right! Being in SERGEANT STEEL is being among friends! It took a lot of patience and understanding to reach that level of fellowship, but now we are all geared up to take the world by storm.

STONE: Thanks again Phil!

PHIL: Thank you very much Stone. Best regards to the American rockers over there. We are proud about gaining fans in the home country of many of our favorite bands!!

* Here is some late-breaking Sergeant Steel news, as told by Phil Vanderkill: Ronny Roxx succeeds founding member Cosy Coxx on bass guitar. Cosy leaves the band in a friendly way due to personal reasons.

* For more info on Sergeant Steel, click on the links below:

SERGEANT STEEL – Official Website

Sergeant Steel – MySpace Music Page

To become more informed about this great new Sergeant Steel album debut – Lovers & Maniacs, just click on the link below:

SERGEANT STEEL “LOVERS & MANIACS” – GOOD TIMES & CONTAGIOUS HARD ROCK DEBUT FROM AUSTRIA!

Go Get ‘Em Sergeant Steel!

Stone.

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2 Responses to “SERGEANT STEEL: A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW”

  1. Music of the 70s and 80s are truly unique, no matter it is hard rock or heavy metal.

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