One step away from heaven!!! Yes, the story about Tilt can be summarized with this few words, they had the chance to become one of the biggest hopes of British Metal scene of the eighties, two showcase organized for EMI and Phonograph Records, and the confidence taken by many artists as Lemmy, speak for themselves, but they lost the train of success for many obscure reasons.
“Ride The Tiger”, their debut, was a great heavy rock album that showed to us the potential about this band, with some amazing compositions and an intense songwriting, now that the album was re-released by the greek No Remorse record, we contact the guitarist of the band to talk about the band’s past….
Interview done by: Beppe “HM” Diana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi Lance and thanks for your availability, we are here to talk about Tilt, what are your fondest memories about early days?
Hi Beppe, my fondest memories of the early days are the miners strike tour of the north of England in 1984. We lived in a van and partied for days with the miners all night every night. We toured Wales a lot and we would see who could pull the ugliest girls…we were spoilt for choice hah hah !!
Coming from London, in many point of view can be an advantage, but how was hard for a band as your, build a strong reputation in your area at time?
We built a strong following in the east end of London, hoping to follow in Iron Maidens footsteps but venturing 200 miles up the motorway to Hull on a Monday evening to play to 2 men and a dog was somewhat demoralising !! We used to watch videos of ‘Bad News’ and ‘Spinal Tap’ and we considered them lucky bastards .
I know at time you toured with band as Wolfsbane, Angel Witch and Paul Di’Anno, did you had a good manager behind the band? It’s tue that your roadie were the famous bikers Hell’s Angles?
Our manager was an ex boxer and a tough man, we did a showcase for EMI and Phonograph records who both wanted to sign us but he blew it for us. That was hard to take.
Yes, we had REAL Hells Angels as roadies ‘Deano’ and the rest. We reheardes at the royal standard in east London…there were sawn off shotguns under the bar and strippers at lunch time….happy days!!!
Reading the linear notes on the booklet, I understand that the haven’t release any demo before the lp, is it right?
We recorded several demos before releasing Ride The Tiger but none of those songs made it to vinyl.
How hard it was to record an album like “Ride the tiger” that, in practice, was financed by a small label as T-Mac Records? Did you haven’t had a remarkable budget, right?
Recording “Ride the tiger” was done in 2 weeks in East London. We had £2,000 and we pretty much did everything, first take but we did spend a lot of the time playing video games!! I pushed hard for us to record our live sound and fight against what all the record companies wanted which was carbon copy bands of Bon Jovi and Europe who I detested. When the album came out, I remember walikng into Virgin record in Oxford street London and we had our own ‘Tilt’ section…..I felt like a rock star hah hah
Aahaha, cool!!! So the sound on the lp is very particular, a mixture of guitar’s oriented heavy rock, and a radio friendly’s approach, so, i think that, as players, you had a different musical backgrounds and tastes, right?
We had different influences- Dave was a big Led Zep fan and he now sings with Led Zepagain in LA America, Richie loved american bands like Kiss and Van Halen, Mark & Tony loved AC/DC, and myself I was influenced by The Scorpions and Judas Priest which I think you can hear in the riffs….
What you can say about the song writing especially about song as “Dark Heart”, “Bedlam rock” and the title track?
I wrote and arranged all the songs including the lyrics, so I will break down what I was thinking at the time…’Ride The Tiger’ was influenced by Metallica I guess as I was the only member into the heavier bands like Metal Church , Exodus and Accept and I wanted to write about the impending Nuclear Holocaust I was convinced was about to happen. ‘Dark Heart’ was a prophecy as it turns out to be about my first marriage,,,,enough said !!! ‘Bedlam Rocks’ was heavily inflenced by The Scorpions, Dave even sounds like Klaus Meine on that track.
Many times i’ve read about Tilt as one of the biggest hopes of British Metal, wich were your the expectations at time?
We were watching a tv show in the late 1980’s in which Lemmy from Motorhead was asked ‘Who is the best new band in England?’,,,’Tilt’ he said without hesitation. And we fucking were.
At the highest point of your career, Dave left the band, and was replaced by an american singer simply named Gipsy..
Yeah, Dave left us in the lurch NY going to LA, but Gyp was a great replacement and a brilliant front man. but the whole timing of Daves departure set us back by years.We split up due to a total frustration with the music business ignoring us completel. I had 2 little boys to support so I became a motorcycle courier to support my family as my rock star days ended in a blurr of drink and drugs sadly…
Are you satisfied with the new No Remorse record’s edition? Which has the reception reserved been from the specialized magazines and your fans?
Chris Papadatos contacted me on facebook and asked if I’d be interested in re-releasing RTG and I bit his hand off!!! I submitted a live dvd of previously unreleased songs that we performed at the Hippodrome in 1989. You can find these sings on you tube- I have been in contact with all the ex members of TILT and we are currently considering a 2nd album….only 31 years after forming eh?
I think Chris did an amazing job on the remastering and I urge your readers to check out other bands on the no remorse record label as Chris is a pioneer in the modern music seen -a man who puts his money where his mouth is !!!
Before the end, what you can say to me about the new Walpurgis Night’s album?
I formed Valpurgis Night in 2008. I had stopped playing and writing songs for at least 15 years after Tilt Disbanded in 1991 as I was heartbroken. I had turned NY back on the scene and got heavily involved with riding motorcycles and supporting Arsenal FC.
But then I dug out my guitar one day and I released ‘Psalms Of Solemn Virtue; on rising records (total cunts) I was more inluenced by bands like Amon Amarth and Candlemass which I think you can hear in my arrangements. We have another album which is finished but I do not have the funds to release it just yet so Valpurgis Night is ‘On Ice’ at the moment hah hah
Ok Lance could you do a special greatings to our readers?
Finaly I’d like to say hi to all the metalheads in Italy… I went to see Rhapsody Of Fire recently as I fucking love that band!!!!!