Never too late for a come­back


Three decades after open­ing for Mo­tor­head, a Welling­ton rock band have recorded their first stu­dio al­bum.

Hard rock­ers Strike­mas­ter formed in 1981, played reg­u­lar gigs for about a decade, then went into a hia­tus in 1992, lead singer Steve El­liott said.

‘‘Welling­ton was huge for rock back then – we took it se­ri­ously,’’ he said.

They saw Shi­had start, had Paul Martin (Devil­skin) as a reg­u­lar open­ing act, toured New Zealand open­ing for in­ter­na­tional big names Uriah Heep and Mo­tor­head (both 1984), and played on Telethon.

Three years ago the band (El­liott, Porirua gui­tarist Paul Cullen and drum­mer Brian Des­mond) per­formed a set at Bar Bodega for old time’s sake, and were blown away by the crowds that came out.

‘‘We’d stop and ev­ery­one was singing along – after 25 years that’s not bad. We must have done some­thing right. ‘‘So we de­cided to give them an al­bum.’’ The new Strike­mas­ter LP, Sun for a Change, was recorded by Paekakariki’s Mike Gib­son, pro­duced in­de­pen­dently, and re­leased on May 7.

Back in 1984 Strike­mas­ter re­leased an al­bum of live record­ings, Good’n’Ready. Tracks were in­cluded in com­pi­la­tions by New Zealand la­bel Jayrem, and sold on the do­mes­tic mar­ket and in Europe, El­liott said.

‘‘They did well, so they said, ‘If you can get a good stu­dio al­bum you’ll sell it’.’’

Two ma­jor in­ter­na­tional la­bels also of­fered dis­tri­bu­tion deals for a stu­dio al­bum, he said.

‘‘We got close, it was al­ways at the back of our minds, but the prob­lem for us was we could never af­ford to record.’’

Fiercely orig­i­nal, their mu­sic is hard rock verg­ing into clas­sic metal, with strong in­flu­ences from groups like Deep Pur­ple, Black Sab­bath and ACDC.

Sun for a Change in­cluded good help­ings of rock bal­lads, hu­mour, and a ‘‘pos­i­tive out­look’’, El­liott said.

Two songs are from the early days, the rest are new.

They’ve started off sales with a press of 500 num­bered copies, avail­able from Slow Boat Records in Cuba St, and Fam­ily Mu­sic in Para­pa­raumu.

‘‘I’m re­ally happy with it. We wanted a world-class al­bum, and I think we’ve done it,’’ El­liott said.

‘‘We’re oldies now, but it doesn’t mat­ter, be­cause we’re still do­ing it from way back then.’’


Steve El­liott, front­man for Strike­mas­ter, whose first stu­dio al­bum has been re­leased, 35 years after the band formed.

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