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.