Interview by Higgo.
Higgo: Always great to chat with Phoebe (Pinnock) from Heaven The Axe. You will not find a more loving, caring and wonderful human who absolutely dominates on stage like a demon possessed. I have to mention that it was great to see Heaven the Axe complete again.
Phoebe Pinnock: Thank… can I swear?
PP: FUCK YEAH!! (Laughs) YEAH! Finally! Well it was a bit challenging there for a bit, sharing members with other bands, and you only get them for a couple of hours a week, we had lots of commitments and we had to keep forging ahead. It was really enjoyable for a while there but we all got to a point ‘nup, we have to find our own people’ so it was pretty incredible. We just put it out there on Facebook and see who comes to us, and you get messages from people around the world, and when Alex (Hellenbach), our current guitarist, contacted us from Croatia, we thought it was pretty funny, we laughed, but we said if you’re serious just send us a video. He sent one through, and it just blew everyone out of the water so we said you’re in, pack ya bags!
H: It’s just such an incredible story; he’s left his home country to come all the way to Australia to play in a band.
PP: I know, I took him down to The Tote to show him the Brewtality stage, and I’m like “Brewtality is awesome, it’s gunna be the best” and he’s like “is this it? it’s tiny” and I’m like “This is Australia mate, this is the best!” So hopefully he’ll enjoy the tour and see what Australia has to offer, a hopefully some people come and see all the hard work that him and Ben (Gilmour), the new bass player have been working their butts off since February to get up to speed with all the songs.
H: The tour happens during Brewtality, and it’s been a while since you’ve gone on the road on this scale.
PP: Yeah well we haven’t been able to, with the different members we’ve had, they haven’t really been able to give us that kind of commitment to tour, so whilst we had those great support spots of Sebastian Bach and Zakk Wylde and those kinds of shows, which were AMAZING and absolutely wonderful, it was kinda heartbreaking not being able to tour when things such as Bogan Hunters was on television. I actually booked a tour then but someone in the band couldn’t get the time off work and things like that, whereas now we’re set up to go hard which is what we really really wanna do, and not have a regular job and just push the band and that’s what we’re most excited about, is just being unstoppable.
H: So what does this mean for recording then?
PP: We’ve been working hard to get the band up to the live level, which takes a lot of work, and heaps of focus, but we’ve got some new songs in the set, then when we come back from touring, we’re going to start some tracking. We’ve been talking to a producer over in America that we’ve been really wishing to work with for quite some time, so we’ve been sending some recordings of some of the new songs to get some feedback. Hopefully he’ll come back and say “they don’t suck”. (Laughs) So that’s why we’re excited to take some of the new songs on the road to get some feedback from the audience because no one’s heard these yet.
H: Can you give us a hint on direction, have you gone insanely heavy or have you found the heart again, what have you done?
H: Coz it’s a mixed bag when it comes to Heaven The Axe!
PP: It is it is, it’s very diverse because the songwriting starts, generally, as a rule, with me writing a song on the acoustic guitar. Then I’ll give it to Steve (Watts) as a skeleton, and of course Steve has two genres, ‘heavy’ OR ‘metal’ so he takes whatever acoustic pop song I write, which I guess is structured like a pop song, but then he’ll take what I’ve done and completely rip it up. I remember when we first became a band and we moved to Melbourne, we were jamming with Skitz (drummer), and it was so heavy… and I’m standing there and Steve’s like WHAT? And I said “ohh I dunno, if we should be a roots band, it’s just so.. it’s just so heavy” and he and Skitz looked at me and laughed and said “well if you wanna be in a roots band you’ve got the wrong people in the room!” ha ha ha. I’m just so amazed at what Steve does to the songs, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of writing a new song and just giving it over to him and having Sav (Adam Savino) on the drums, who’s just so ideal, he’s just dialled to the kind of music that we write. Just hearing what they do makes my brain just leaks fluid. I feel that excited to hear what they do to the new songs.
H: I can’t wait to see you on stage again, the band is complete, ready, which means more shows, and that’s great news.
PP: Thank you so much. Well we just can’t wait to get out there. There’s nothing like playing shows and just hugging everyone, ha ha, a big sweaty hug!
RSVP and invite mates to the Brewtal tour event: https://m.facebook.com/events/302334603435910/
Dave ‘Higgo’ Higgins is a radio presenter, band manager, podcaster, interviewer and writer. He’s been a staple on Australian radio for the past 16 years, working in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, Mandurah, Horsham, Lithgow, and for the last 10 years, in Melbourne at Fox FM, then Triple M for the last 5. Higgo has always been an advocate and ambassador for Aussie music, believing that it deserves more exposure then it gets and will do what he can to make that happen.