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Heir Apparent is voor de oudere generatie een band waar je met het nodige respect over spreekt. De band bracht in 1989 hun tweede langspeler uit (ja, zo heette dat in die tijd) 'One small voice'. Metal Blade bracht het dingetje uit in America, terwijl Roadrunner zorgde voor de Europese distributie.

Written by Filip DC


Strubbelingen voor, tijdens en na de opnames zorgden ervoor dat de band kort daarna uit mekaar viel. We spraken met oprichter Terry Gorle naar aanleiding van de heruitgave van bovenvermelde schijf. Om alles zo correct mogelijk weer te geven hebben we besloten dit gesprek niet te vertalen.


You left the band just after the recordings. What happened?

I didn't leave the band, there was a coup. I was illegally removed from the band I founded. Evidently the others wanted to escape the debts that were in my name as the band founder. Metal Blade supported their illegal path, and they breached the contract in doing so. I was forced to sue the previous band members for trademark infringement, breach of contract, and tortious interference, in which I prevailed.


You were not happy with the mix of the album. Their was a lot of work to do for this re-release?

I was disappointed in the track selection, the mixes, some of the production choices, and the fact that Steve and Michael took the album over budget in 1988. It turns out that they were planning the coup during the recording process. Guitars were buried in the mix to lesson its role in the music. If you recall the original release, you'll notice they cut me out of the band photo and didn't even give me credit as being a member of my own band. I didn't know the album had been released until a friend of mine called me to tell me.  I had to buy my own copy. So, for this new "Restored, Remixed, Remastered" reissue, the guitar parts and rhythm section are emphasized to add the intensity and balls back into the songs. And, because of the physical properties of vinyl, we are limted to 45 minutes, so there are no cover tunes from Paul Simon or Steve's previous band. This new release contains only songs written by Heir Apparent in 1987-1988, and includes material that is not on the original 1989 Metal Blade release.  The CD version (and Bandcamp download) contains a song that has never been released until now.  Also, the new album cover finally uses the proper band logo designed by Matt Bazemore over the original painting by Jim Warren.


The album came out through NW Metalworx Music. It will not be easy for Europeans to get one.

There are some resellers who have ordered quantities to make available in Europe, but I can't say the pricing will be much different than ordering directly from the label, since resellers must also pay for shipping and add their profit into the pricing as well. In any case, no matter where you find it, the product itself is a vast audible improvement over the original release.


Can you tell us more about the 2010 Arkeyn Steel Records release, it contains a bonus dvd.

The Arkeyn Steel release was remastered and edited with subtle differences and enhancements, and included two songs that were not on the Metal Blade release. It was accompanied by a DVD of a club gig from 1988 that was recorded on a VHS camcorder, before all the final arrangements had been made for the songs on One Small Voice. It is the only full length concert video of the band from that time, and it is an honest example of the band without any fakery or overdubs so common in many live videos.


After you left the band, Heir apparent brought out a demo in 1990. Have you heard it? 

Yes, but it's not Heir Apparent. The ex-members recruited a good guitarist, and they replaced Ray with the drummer from Steve's previous band at some point. It is curious why they couldn't get their own record deal or want to use a band name of their own.


A lot of songs were co-written by Ron Chick. Who is he?

Ronn is the guitarist of Steve's previous band, French Kiss, from Portland, Oregon. He co-wrote Screaming, Two Hearts, and Alone Again that ended up on the original OSV release. We had enough of our own songs that we didn't need to use Steve's old band songs, but...  I was trying to be diplomatic at the time, because I could sense there was shit in the air.


Earlier this year, 'Foundation' came finally out on cd, after being released as a tripple album. How did this project came together?

The original triple-vinyl was by Floga Records in Greece, 2015. The owner approached me with his idea for a limited edition release of rare demos and anything that wasn't yet available on vinyl. For the CD's, I was contacted by VIC Records in Netherlands. They wanted to release a 2-CD package of the same material, so we made a deal and added a 2003 demo since there were no vinyl time limitations. 


'The view from below' was released in 2018. It was my personal album of the year. How was it to work again with this mainly major line up?

Back in the 80's, we rehearsed almost every day, and we were tight. The instruments were all recorded live for the albums, and we'd add the solos and vocals and small touches as overdubs. That was the level of commitment I was familiar with, and a major factor in building chemistry. In 2018, we all lived in different cities (Will was 2000 miles away). We did not rehearse as a full band aside from 2-day sessions prior to playing some of the concerts over a 4 year time period. It was an entirely different process to write songs by sharing files and having meetings remotely on computers. The View From Below was an effort to see if the core of the original lineup could come full circle and help launch a new singer in the process. It was a huge amount of work and investment on my part. I'm proud of the results, but there were constant concessions in order to make it happen. I engineered the instrument recordings at my house, one player at a time, and Will came to Seattle for 10 days to record his vocals at Tom Hall's house, where the album was mixed. Considering everything that was involved with 5 disparate levels of commitment and resources, we accomplished quite a bit.


Will shaw left the band. What happened?

Exactly that. I'm not going to recount 4 years of history here. Suffice it to say he's a talented singer with a lot of potential, and I wish him and his family the very best.


You published a video from you with Paul Davidson, the man behind the mike on the legendary debuut album, doing a ozzy song. The start of something new ?

Seattle has a yearly event where musicians volunteer to play 2 cover tunes in a 2-day charity event. I have participated in two of these with Paul Davidson. We quickly jump on stage, plug into strange equipment, play 2 songs and hope for the best... then the next group does the same... ??


Up next is a Heir Apparent live album. You have to find a new vocalist who can sing the three voices. You found this golden voice ? Can you tell us more about the upcomming plans.

There are 5 people making plans to play shows and record songs. I will make formal announcements if and when the time is right.


Last one : a lot of people haven't got the chance to see the band. Is a European  tour still on your 'to do list'? 

I would enjoy that, yes. If I can put a band together that deserves a tour, hopefully a promoter will make it happen.


Photocredit: Stefanie Gadow



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