Troyen are from the North West UK, they formed in 1980 and were active until late ’82. The NWOBHM band reformed in 2014 and are now ready to release new material in July, drummer Jeff Baddley takes up the story…
‘We were requested to play Brofest #3 by the promoter Stu Bartlett, during and after the gig the reception was great we all agreed we had to carry this on. So the past few years we have been riding the wave playing around the UK and Europe. That’s included gigs at The Borderline in London and appearing at Heavy Metal Maniacs festival in Holland’.
How did you get your name and who were your influences ? ‘We were originally called Trojan until we found another band in the UK with the same name. So we decided to change to Troyen which is French for Trojan and is inspired by 1858 Hector Berlioz opera Les Troyens.
We all have an eclectic mix of music and influences ranging from traditional classic rock like UFO, Rush and Judas Priest to new rock sounds like Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Opeth and Joe Bonamassa’.
Did Troyen get out on the road ? ‘It was really hard in pre-internet days for Troyen to get noticed. It was down to hard work and gigging as often as possible. We did over 130 gigs all over the country in the two years we were together, including support dates with Spider, Girlschool, Rhabstallion, and Diamond Head. We also enjoyed a six week European support tour with Nightwing’.
What were your experiences of recording ? ‘Our demo was Gil Norton’s first ever studio job. At the time, Gil was just learning how to record, engineer and produce music. Gil’s current portfolio consists of work for the likes of The Pixies, Foo Fighters, Feeder, Counting Crows, Terrorvision and many more of the same calibre’.
‘The demo cassette was recorded in 1981 at Amazon Studios in Liverpool featuring Dreams Never Lie, Crazy Lady, Futures Friend and Don’t Send Me To War. That sold out of two runs of 250 copies and Troyen enjoyed good radio play alongside the promise of a contract with NEAT records for a three-track single and a possible LP’.
‘Rough demos for the single were done, but sadly the band split prior to completion of the single’.
‘Since re-forming we have produced an eight track cd featuring digitally enhanced tracks from the original demo, two old tracks that never made to tape or vinyl, Syrian Lady and First Blood. Also two new tracks Backlash and the title track Finish What You Started. This was recorded at Elusive Studios in St Helens and was partially crowd funded’.
Have you any funny stories from playing gigs ? ‘We have many ! Countless times meeting other bands in motorway services in the wee small hours of the morning and swapping experiences. Sadly most are not printable but here’s a few that are! We were gigging in Germany and driving down an autobahn, we didn’t notice till much later that someone was missing, it was one one our roadies !
Another one was in June ’82 and we were again in Germany playing the Schutorf Festival and during some down time we went to a park to play football, we recognised the other team but couldn’t think who they were. Turns out we played against Simple Minds. Think that was the night Jeff the drummer slept in a dog basket, or was that after a gig in Munster ha ha. Sorry we can’t reveal much more of this story but one night we had a very traumatic experience in a German night club with a pair of step ladders and a metal bucket’.
What are Troyen doing now ? ‘We have recorded an EP Storm Child to be released in July to coincide with appearances at the Drunken Monkey Festival in August, Grim Up North Fest in Bury with a great line up. Also the British Steel in France with O/D Saxon, Cloven Hoof, Salem and a few more bands. In addition to other gigs in the UK and Belgium which are being arranged as we speak, we will play as long as people want to hear us’.
Interview by Gary Alikivi April 2017.