By Nicky Baldrian

Balance Of Power are one of the hottest bands in the UK. Their new album "Ten More Tales Of Grand Illusion" is a grandiose piece of music,and with high rating reviews from such magazine as Burnn! in Japan the future not not look undisillusioned for these power metalers, I caught up with the band and heres what went down...


Nicky:-Congratulations on a wonderful new album,can you tell me about it?

Lionel Hicks:-Well it's really hard to know where to start, that's quite a large question! The actual reason why the album came about was because we were frustrated after our last album, "Book of Secret". It did so well for us around the world and we really wanted more than anything to do a tour on the back of the album, however, after much effort and lies we were let down by our old record label, who seemed to promised us tour after tour that never actually happend. This was really sad for us and the only way to contain our frustration was to go back to the rehearsal room and get together some more killer songs to express our feelings. That is why the album actually came about. If we had been touring like we hoped for then off course they would be no chance to make another album so soon after "Book of Secrets". Music is what we love and if we can't play live then we'll write new material to relieve our frustration.

Nicky:- How's the reaction been to it so far?

Lionel:-We are over the moon with the reaction to this album, so far. The whole world has loved the album according to the press and said that it is our best yet, which always pleases us because we always try to make a better album than the last.

Nicky:-Will you be touring with this album?

Lionel:-We sincerely hope so ! As in my comments earlier about touring, you must gather that this is really important thing for us and one of the main reasons why we signed to Massacre Records. They are really into all the bands they have and they tour them regularly, therefore this was a key decision in choosing to go with Massacre. Already we are talking about playing a four or five band bills with other bands on Massacre. This we shall look forward to greatly.


Nicky:-Sounds great,will you be touring the UK?Or playing any of the festivals?

Lionel :-Yes, hopefully this time we will be able to tour next year. This is one of the main reasons why we changed record label to Massacre. Because they promissed to back us with the touring plans. It's already in the air that we'll play some festivals with other bands on Massacre ie. Fateswarning, Pink Cream 69 etc.


Nicky:- What are your influences and what equipment do you use?

Lance King :- I',m the greatest Geoff Tate fan which you've probablly noticed. He actually had some tuition with the same singing teacher as Geoff. Wether this has anything to do with the comparison to Geoff Tate I don't know, but I personnaly digg it. In the studio I prefer to use an Neumann, U87. For live the good old SM58, it gives you that great proximity effect.

Pete Southern:- Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore also a touch of Michael Schenker. I've got more guitars than I can even remember. The band always try out all my guitars for the best sound when we start recording an album, but strangely enough we always end up using my lovely Charvel guitar. It just seems to have a great sound from the body.

Bill Yates:- Scott Goham, Michael Schenker. He plays a Jackson, it's is my main baby. Chris Dale:- plays BC Rich and anything that sound really cool at the time. KISS KISS and More KISS (Gene Simmons).

Lionel Hicks:- Neil Peart, Tommy Aldridge and Brian Downey were my greatest influences. At the moment I use Tama drums but my snare is a Premier brass shell which is my all time favourite snare drum which I picked up really cheap secondhand (that was the best shopping day in my life!) Symbals are all by Sabian, I have an endorsement with them and they are really cool to me.


Nicky:- What happened with AOR heaven and how has Massacre records behaved in promoting your new album?

Lionel:-AOR Heaven were not our record label, Point Music was our record label and like I explained before reasons why we left them are apparent. AOR H. are our mail order firm that work with Point. It's early days but Massacre have been great so far. Let's just keep fingers crossed as all us bands have to do the best with our record label as we can hope for.

Nicky:-What's next for Balance Of Power?

Touring. With everthing crossed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicky:- I noticed Ivan Gunn is no longer with the band,what happened?

Lionel:-It's a long story, but in the end we had to part company to unite the band as a whole, Ivan didn't seem to fit in. I think to be positive it was a great move because our latest album has not suffered from the lack of Ivan's influence. Quite the contrary, we feel really at one with the current line up.

Nicky:- Any plans to shoot any promotional videos?

LIONEL:-We did two promotional videos for the first album, however we found this not very cost effective for this market. As you can imagine it's very expensive making a videos. And there's very few TV shows that will actually play our kind of music.

Nicky:- Lance is such a great singer,how on earth did you hook up with him?

Lionel:-Lance happens to be a business associate because he rans a small distribution company in America. We mentioned to him that we were looking for a singer and asked him if he knew anybody. He replied "What about me, I love your band and
think I will fit in really well." Off course we did not know he was a singer, so when we found out we said "Why not, let's give it a try." We hooked up and the rest is history. I kind of think it was fate.

Nicky:- And finally is there anything that you would like to say to fans of the band?

Lionel:-We would like to say thank you very much for supporting us and keeping this type of music alive and kicking. Without them we could not have our dream, writing, recording and performing our material.