After calling it a day in 1987 after six years together, Scottish rockers Heavy Pettin will play their first live set in 25 years when the reunited band appear at the WinterStorm festival this month. They also reveal that a return to the studio is on the cards.
Tagged ‘the next big thing’ in the mid80s, the Glasgow band seemed to have the world at their feet. They toured the world supporting rock royalty including Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake and Ozzy Osbourne, signed a major record deal with Polydor and had their 1983 debut album, Lettin Loose, produced by Queen guitarist Brian May. But sadly the good times didn’t last. In 1987 the band members went their separate ways after touring the UK with Magnum, and their final album, Big Bang, was released posthumously in 1989.
Now they’re back, and will play at the WinterStorm festival in Troon, Scotland on November 24. We caught up with vocalist Hamie and guitarist Punky Mendoza to talk about the band’s past, present and future plans.
Looking back, what caused Heavy Pettin to split in the late eighties? Hamie: After touring the world for so long and recording album after album in the eighties, it finally caught up with us. We were burnt out, disliked each other and the people we trusted let us down badly.
Punky: Mismanagement, a change in personnel at the record label that left the band rudderless – and the band’s inability to see itself through hard times during a period of change.
What happened after you went your separate ways? What other musical projects did you get involved in? Hamie: I started a band in Los Angeles with David Bowie’s guitarist Earl Slick and Autograph’s drummer Keni Richards. We called the band Dirty White Boy and signed to MCA. After that I started another band with Damon Johnson called Chyld and we ended up signing to Virgin Records.
Punky: I produced demos for bands, mainly for Polydor. The Almighty was one band I worked with.
You’re now back together and are playing this year’s WinterStorm festival in in November. How did that come about? Hamie: We’ve been asked every year since we split up to reform and play this festival or that festival, but either myself or one of the others always turned it down. This time it just felt right.
Could this reunion lead to the band making a new studio album or to further live dates.
Hamie: Yes, definitely. Guitarist Gordon Bonnar and I are writing songs as we speak for an album in 2018.
Going back to the eighties, you toured with some of the biggest names in rock. Which memories stand out for you from back then?
Hamie: There’s a lot of great memories – some crazy, some good and some bad. Touring America for the first time was life-changing. Playing with so many great bands, most of whom I’m still friends with, was awesome. Touring the world in a successful rock band and watching it all unfold through the eyes of the lead singer was pretty fucking amazing. SM Heavy Pettin play WinterStorm on Nov 24. Tickets and info at winterstorm.co.uk
After letting the big time slip through their fingers in the 80s, the one-time 'next big thing’ return. “We were burnt out, and people we trusted let us down badly.”