Viixen is the new lead vocalist for Thunderstick. The line up is Rex Thunderbolt (bass, backing vox) Baz Roze (guitar) Dave ‘Kandy’ Kilford (guitar) and of course the masked man Thunderstick (drums).
I asked Viixen was there a defining moment when you said I want to do that…
‘I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing. When I was little my mother would hear me singing and say ‘it sounds lovely but why do you have to change it’.
I was always changing the words and the melodies. I sang in the choir at school, and I used to enter school music competitions. Always coming second to a girl who sang opera.
I grew up in a small Shropshire town and had a religious upbringing so I didn’t have the exposure to bands that I could join. Then I got married and had children very young so it wasn’t until I hit 31 that I finally formed a band.
I had recently got divorced and moved in with a girl who could play guitar. One evening she was playing the song Zombie by The Cranberries and I joined in with the vocals. It sounded pretty good so we decided to form a girlband’.
Who were your influences in music ?
‘I’ve always been a rock chick at heart. Listening to rock and metal makes me feel free and rebellious. Some of my favourites are Deep Purple, Kate Bush, Skid Row, Marilyn Manson and Evanescence. If the music makes me feel something… I’ll love it’.
When did you start playing gigs and what venues did you play ?
‘I have been in two bands before joining Thunderstick. We gigged mostly in London and Kent. I started gigging in 2010 and played in pubs and clubs. Then we started playing festivals which were amazing.
I loved the big stage and having plenty of space to bounce around. We had a large biker following so we played various biker rallies and festivals.
I did a big gig for Gibson guitars during the London Olympics in 2012. The venue looked over the Olympic stadium and was pretty cool. I played at the London Hard Rock Café in October last year, which was a great venue’.
Viixen has brought both her vocal strength and stagecraft experience to her new challenge; Thunderstick. The ex-Iron Maiden/Samson drummer is known for having strong female vocalists fronting his band and Viixen fits that role.
He recently commented “I had been after Viixen for a while but the timing was never right, now in 2018 it will happen. The band is perfect for her, theatrics, energy and outrage allow her to express all of her personality’.
Where do the ideas come for your songs ?
‘Like most artists I tend to write lyrics based on personal experiences. However, if the band has already written the music, I search for how the music makes me feel and write from that perspective. It helps that I’m incredibly empathic.
I feel other people’s pain deeply even if I’ve not experienced the emotion myself. To me music is what feelings sound like and it’s a fantastic form of self-expression’.
What is your experience of studio work ?
‘I’ve done some recording work in the studio with the band and I love it! Especially when you’re recording your own material and you get to hear all your ideas coming together. It’s a magical experience!
Have you recorded any TV appearances or filmed any music videos ?
‘I have recently recorded a music video with my other band Black Roze. The song is called In the Darkness and it’s an autobiographical tale about the darkness of depression and coming out of the other side.
The guitarist and I wrote the storyline and how we were going to capture the concept of the song. It did involve running through a graveyard in a wedding dress during mid winter but it was well worth it!
Have you any stories from playing gigs ?
‘Haha yes I have a few…On two occasions we have set up all the equipment, started playing and the electrics blew in the venue! One of them was my sisters wedding which didn’t go down too well!
Due to my head banging and stomping around on stage I’ve had some wardrobe malfunctions. I did a biker festival last year and wore a tight cropped top. At the end of the gig the guitarists mum ran on stage and told me my bra was showing.
Looking back at the pictures I saw that I’d basically played the whole gig in my bra!
Recently I bought a new pair of goth platform boots from a charity shop, they were beautiful. I wore them to the gig and I was 6ft tall in them and I was boasting that I was taller than the other band members.
Just before the second half one of the shoes gave way, the heel snapped, and I fell over. A guy in the crowd fixed it with duct tape and I carried on.
Next thing I know mid song the other shoe did the same thing. Leaving me feeling very small in my socks for the rest of the gig! At least the socks matched!’
For further information contact Viixen and Thunderstick on their facebook pages.
Interview by Gary Alikivi March 2018.
PAUL DI’ANNO, True Faith 22nd April 2017.
THUNDERSTICK, Return of the Mask 19th July 2017.