Heaven The Axe
Heaven the Axe could certainly be the next band to break out of the sluggish Australian heavy rock and metal scene and really make a name for themselves not only on the national, but global scene. Featuring some of the absolute cream of the Aussie heavy music scene, such as former members of Damaged, Manticore, The Berzerker, The Amenta and many more, the band is also fronted by the very outspoken firebrand of a lead singer Phoebe Pinnock, who makes many other female rock singers on the Australian scene seem like shrinking violets. It’s a very loud and heady mix, and with their debut album Sex, Chugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll set to drop, these guys (and gal!) are primed to make a massive noise in rock scene.
“It started quite a few years ago in Wagga Wagga,” Phoebe begins, regarding the band’s colourful history, “it was me and Steve, who was the front man and guitarist for Manticore…I grew up in Wagga as a young girl, the first time I saw Manticore, I couldn’t believe it, there was this really hot guy playing metal in footy shorts in a pub of people wearing leather and hot women; I was 16 years old and trying to sneak into the pub at this stage. I couldn’t believe the metal; I’d never heard it before.
“Steve had been through a whole heap of touring and things like that,” she continues, “and he had long hair and he was going through a bit of an awakening. He was in a hairdressers in Wagga one day, getting his head shaved, because someone might have called him a ‘long haired poof’ and he’d had enough. He wanted a whole new image change. He said he was thinking of doing something else other than Manticore, I’m thinking of doing a female fronted Grinspoon, I reckon that’d go off! The hairdresser said ‘you should get Phoebe Pinnock, she’s walking past right now!’ He ran out the door and grabbed me, and said ‘do you want to hook up and play some music?’ and I was just like ga-ga for him! I’d had his picture from Rolling Stone contacted to my year 12 folder! So I just said ‘Absolutely!’ From that point we hooked up and started writing acoustic songs together.”
From the relative musical backwater of that regional New South Wales town, a move to more conducive musical climes was in order, and the pair shipped themselves off to Melbourne in search of the instrumentalists who could assist them to bring their vision to fruition.
“So we came to Melbourne in 2007,” she carries on with the story, “Seeking the musicians to make the acoustic songs…we really developed these acoustic songs, working with some of the most brutal Australian metal musicians. It was quite uncomfortable for me at first because I didn’t envision these songs that I’d written on the acoustic guitar to go so far. I didn’t have a choice in the sense of how these guys played; they were the musicians available to me at the time, some of the best musicians in the country. The songs were really quite heavy compared to what I originally thought. But once we’d gone in and recorded with Ren at Melbourne Records we were just blown away. We were like ‘Fuck! This is unreal!’ It was exactly where we wanted to go.”
This Saturday night sees the Melbourne launch of Sex, Chugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll at the House of Rock night at the Palace Nightclub in the city, and this band promises a truly crazy, unpredictable and blistering set of raucous heavy rock to metal, which will set the Palace alight. Phoebe described the essence of the Heaven the Axe live show for the uninitiated punter thinking of coming down to check them out.
“It’s basically very loud and tough, very tight and heavy,” she explains, “The live show is where I’m very exposed. I feel quite vulnerable thinking about it, in the lead up. And I have to put a lot of pressure on myself to be like an athlete, in order to maintain the level of singing that’s required. There’s a lot of very intricate dynamics around getting the right sound, the right frequencies. There’s a hell of a lot of preparation when it comes to costume. I think every costume I wear at each show is very indicative of where I’m at as a person at the time when the show is on. One day I might be looking like I’ve been rehearsing in a garage for a week, and the next day I could be Cher, in a G-String or something! And God forbid, that may happen! We like to give the sense on stage that we’re an army and a team together, and that I’m not going to apologise for anything. People want to come and see somebody who is wild, and I definitely like to let myself go wild on stage, and do things people wouldn’t expect. And involve the audience in certain ways, let loose and give them the hard rock element which is what they’re there to see.”
Heaven the Axe have been described as sounding like a ‘hot chick driving a Mack truck’. If you’re a fan of loud rock music and that doesn’t sound appealing, you’ve probably been hit by one.
Heaven the Axe launch their debut album Sex, Chugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll this Saturday September 17 night at House of Rock at The Palace.