The beauty of Facebook sometimes is that you can find some really great music there. Case in point: Australia’s HEAVEN THE AXE. I met the lead singer Phoebe Pinnock there and as we chatted I realized I needed to feature the band here on A&GS and snag an interview with her. Well, a few months later I got my chance via Skype and we had a lovely chat about the band, Australian soap operas, and when we can expect new material. Check it out:
Amps: Talk to me about HEAVEN THE AXE. You have one studio record (Sex, Chugs, and Rock ‘N’Roll) and the new single is “Good Things Come to Those Who Hate”. What else is going on with you?
Phoebe: Well we just supported FOZZY on Friday night. They are just awesome, such a great band. That was a real thrill, and the crowd was sensational. It was one of those crowds that hung on every little thing we did, such a great time. And we did it with a brand new drummer as well. We have a few interchangeable members. HEAVEN THE AXE is unique in that we have lots of members that come and go as they please, but they don’t ever leave the group. My husband Steve (Watts, guitar) is constantly jamming and rehearsing with them all the time. We had our new drummer Wolfman, and he was so good. He was very excited to play his first shows supporting FOZZY, but now we’re about to play a big festival in Canberra called Summernats, a big hot rod car festival. And we just recorded a new single for a TV show. It’s an interesting thing to write a song for somebody else’s purpose, but still keep it as a HEAVEN THE AXE song, so that was an interesting process to compose a piece of music and stay true to ourselves. We’re about to film a clip for that and it’s gonna be on TV next year, so that’s exciting! And we’re also talking about some international touring which is looking really promising.
Amps: The show you wrote for, it’s not Neighbours, is it??? (I start singing the theme song…badly)
Phoebe: (Laughing) actually, that would be a good thing because I’m sure we’d make lots of money doing it for Neighbours, but my friend, DALLAS FRASCA, her boyfriend is the director of Neighbours. You’ll have to check her out she’s an amazing singer from Australia who’s been touring and having huge success in Europe. Her music is sensational! Check out the song “All My Love”.
Amps: Sooo…when can we expect a new HEAVEN THE AXE record? Let’s go! Let’s get it done!
Phoebe: Oh God, if only it was that easy. We work with an amazing producer over here and he’s very busy working with some other international artists. It can be quite challenging, getting time with him, because he’s so in demand, but we really developed a very strong relationship with him. He has developed some kind of psychological stronghold on who I am and what I’m trying to say so that the songs come across so genuinely. It’s a really big trust thing. I let him see who I am on every level, good and bad, and in the studio he’s able to pull that out of me vocally. However, we are developing the new record. It is quite challenging because that last song that we released was so well-received and we do have a lot of rock songs-
Phoebe: (laughing) yes, yes! We are recording this year and will hopefully have a record out, but first we’re doing this TV show thing that will be something completely different and an amazing opportunity, and I love the song. That will be out early next year with a clip and then we’ll be making headway into the studio to really record new songs. We’ve got some funny songs, too! We really learned who we are as artists lately, and what we wanna be, and that’s entertaining and hilarious and so much fun.
Amps: Are we hoping to tour the States in 2014? The fact you haven’t left Australia is absolutely criminal.
Phoebe: (Laughing) we’ve done a lot of shows in Australia but we’re really focused on writing, recording, and developing our next move, and saving to get overseas.
Amps: Well, you come to Dallas, and the whole band’s crashing at my place, deal?
Phoebe: We will take you up on that! Get out those extra mattresses, then!!
Amps: Phoebe, I think you guys are a great band, and I wanna do everything I can to help you get over here. I don’t mean to get all fanboy here, but I will (laughing).
Phoebe: (Laughing) well we can’t do anything without fanboys, you know? We live on you! Who the fuck would be without fans?? We don’t see our fans as fans. They’re our friends. We connect with everyone on Facebook and in person.
Amps: We live in a time now when female-fronted bands are at the forefront of rock and metal. DORO, BENEDICTUM, HUNTRESS, IN THIS MOMENT, BUTCHER BABIES, etc. How do you feel about seeing all these bands doing so well and quite frankly kicking the boys’ asses?
Phoebe: I love them, they’re great! I think what they’re doing is amazing, and I look at what they’re doing and I learn from more successful artists who are overseas. Those bands are fantastic, they’re brilliant and it excites me because I see the opportunities they’re getting, I listen to their music and I think, “Well maybe there are some opportunities for us, too.”
Amps: I’m so glad that you found me and let me hear your band, Phoebe. I love HEAVEN THE AXE and I see big things ahead.
Phoebe: Thank you so much! It is lovely to speak to you, and I am so happy that you’re so supportive, and I am certain we will come your way. Bye darling!
I had a ball chatting with Phoebe Pinnock, and as you can tell, she had lots of fun laughing at my nonsense as well. And about a week later, what do you think arrived in the mail? The first album, the new single, AND a poster, all signed for Mini-Amps. This kid’s building up quite a collection, hey? But you seriously need to check out HEAVEN THE AXE, who I think will be the next great Australian import to hit not only the U.S. but the world. Right, off you go!