Well, how comes a band like The Restless Breed sounds so much like Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Iron Maiden in their early '80's heydays?
"Almost overpowered by the heat
The meaning of your life is now complete
Leather jackets everywhere
Heavy Metal reigns the air" (from "Anthem For Doomed Youth")
The answer to that question is quite simple. Although The Restless Breed released their self-financed debut album in 2003, they have actually been around almost as long as those mentioned N.W.O.B.H.M. legends, albeit without the privilege of their own vinyl release. Having been formed in Aberdeen in the early '80's under the name of Saracen, they soon discovered that there was another band (from Derbyshire) around with the same name and an album already under their belt (the highly regarded "Heroes, Saints & Fools" on Nucleus Records from 1981). To avoid confusion, Saracen (Scotland) changed their name, first to Blaze and then to The Restless Breed: "The other Saracen got played on Tommy Vance's 'Friday Rock Show' and more out of courtesy than anything else we felt it was right to change our name. Our drummer changed at the same time and although both Saracens played good Metal neither band wanted anyone to be confused, so it seemed OK to have a new name." As you already might have guessed, their current band name was indeed inspired by the legendary American outfit Riot: "Back in the '80's we used to do a great cover version of 'Rock City'. It really was an awesome cover version. Riot were a band we had on the tape decks in the cars all the time."
With a lot of Scottish acts putting out self-financed products during the period of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, why did Saracen (aka The Restless Breed) not join the ranks of Snakebite, H.G.B. or Knightrider in releasing their own slice of vinyl? "We almost did", says band manager Mike Weatherley: "We had a couple of promoters ask us to put out a single but they lacked the financial backing and we were broke so nothing got put out. London record companies were reluctant to travel to Aberdeen to hear us so we never got picked up by the majors (we could have giged in London but that would have meant the guys giving up their jobs and that was a huge step for them to take with no guarantees at all). We very nearly sold all our gear to self finance a single (would have been 'Smoking in the Boys Room', before Mötley Crüe ever thought of the idea) but the band members liked playing live too much to 'go for broke'. And gigging around Scotland in our bus was a lot of fun!" With Holocaust hailing from Edinburgh and Heavy Pettin from Glasgow, The Restless Breed's hometown of Aberdeen is probably most rememered for Prog Rockers Pallas. Nevertheless, as Mike Weatherley reports, Scotlands third-largest city was not a dire place for Heavy Metal at all: "Aberdeen always had a good scene and we were very popular - we did a lot of touring north of Glasgow/Edinburgh which few bands did but we enjoyed immensely. We won the Scottish 'Battle of the Bands' and had a slot on a BBC 1 music programme for up and coming bands (have it on video!). It would be fair to say that we were the top Metal band of the region and regularly pulled in large crowds - as evidenced by two big charity shows we promoted ourselves at Aberdeen Music Hall (in aid of Cancer Research)."
"Hiding In Plain Sight" by The Restless Breed was initially released as a privately pressed CD in 2003. The current High Roller vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies worldwide, pressed on extra-heavy 140g black vinyl, catalogue number HRR 19) does feature the best 8 songs taken from the CD.
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)