Thirteen years ago, Australian heavy metal powerhouse Superheist called it a day leaving many fans scratching their heads and asking “what the hell happened?”.
“It's a really good question and one I've never been asked,” guitarist and original member, DW Norton says.
“It was tough at the time; we had Joey Biro as our lead vocalist at the time. We were obviously battling our way through it after losing Berger [Rod McLeod] as our frontman, who was a great vocalist and a great performer and much loved by the fans, so we'd taken a hit in losing him. We got Joey in and while he hit the ground running, things got tough.”
It was after a volatile North Queensland tour in 2003 that tensions within the band hit breaking point.
DW recalls how Joey began distancing himself from the band to the point DW was forced to explain the situation to their record label. “Our record label advised us that it would not be a good idea to continue on with a third vocalist, which I think was a really stupid bit of advice because at the end of the day it's just music, who cares. It shouldn't matter,” DW says.
“We did decide to chuck it in at the time so it was really hard, really depressing and it was a really dark time in my life because we'd worked so hard to maintain all the luck we'd had and the hard work and the support we'd had from the label and our management.”
Superheist made an initial return last year with the release of their new album, 'Ghosts Of The Social Dead'. In April this year they gave us their latest offering, a blazing triple-A side called 'Raise Hell' showcasing their new line-up. Joining DW is vocalist Ezekiel Ox (Full Scale, Mammal), drummer John Sankey (The Devil You Know, Devolved), returning bassist Si Durrant (In:Extremis, Acid Wolf) and second guitarist Keir Gotcher (Insolence, Snot).
With their new formation, DW says Superheist have opened a new chapter in their saga, one brought about primarily by Ezekiel's vocal style, lyricism and on-stage persona. “Zeke fits in really well,” he says.
“He's brought a dynamic to the vocals of Superheist as well and his live performance is 100 per cent second-to-none; he's the best frontman that I've ever seen and it's great to have him in the band. He just knows how to win a crowd over, he's so good at it.”
As they prepare for a national tour, DW says he's excited for the future of Superheist and cares little for the condemnation of naysayers who think they should have stayed gone. “There's a lot of word out there that bands shouldn't come back after being out of the game for so long, but I think that's a load of bullshit,” he says.
“There's too much emphasis on what you can and can't do and as far as I'm concerned I've never seen a rule book for rock & roll, you can do what the fuck you want. That's what rock & roll is all about: doing what you want to do and fuck the system.
“We just play music, man. We write music, play it and I don't see why there's some people out there who think that's not allowed. Too many people are given a voice on social media who probably shouldn't be given a voice and they should just shut the fuck up and let people do whatever they want to do.”
'Raise Hell' AAA-side out now.
Superheist ShowsFri Jun 16 - The Croxton Bandroom (Melbourne)
Sat Jun 17 - Fowler's Live (Adelaide)
Fri Jun 23 - The Grand Hotel (Mornington)
Sat Jun 24 - The Brightside (Brisbane)
Fri Jun 30 - The Bald Faced Stag (Sydney)
Sat Jul 1 - The Cambridge (Newcastle)
Sat Jul 8 - The Caledonian Hotel (Wonthaggi)