High Roller Records is proud to announce the very first longplay release of N.W.O.B.H.M. legend Burner. So far, Burner have just released two fantastic 7" singles for Zerlinda Records: "Savage Killer" in 2002, followed by "Hammer Of The Gods" in 2007 (in co-operation with High Roller Records).
However, the trio from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, which is in the Midlands, is not a new band at all. Their history goes back to the very early '80's, as drummer Steve Peach explains: "We formed as Burner in 1981 but were called the Savage Dogs previous to that, which was a kind of Punk/Metal band. After our first gig as the Savage Dogs, Andy Rotherham saw us play and asked a friend of ours if he could sing for us. The rest is what you hear!" If an album by Burner had been released in the early '80's, who knows, the band might have been one of the leading lights of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement.
How comes Burner did not fulfill its potential? The band did not even appear on one of the many compilation albums back in the days ... "Because we never really pushed ourselves to the point that you need to, to make it", Steve Peach analyses. "We were offered a chance to get a track on a compilation album by Ebony Records in 1982, as they really liked Andy Rotherham's voice, but we were going through a line-up change on bass guitar which never worked out and we never took them up on their offer." Burner even kept a low profile regarding the distribution of demo tapes, as Steve explains: "The only two demo tapes that we did are the two singles, 'Savage Killer and 'Lay Down Your Arms' from 1982 and 'Hammer Of The Gods', Time Is On My Side' and 'Old Enough To Know Better' from 1984. These were never official releases just sold at gigs with home made covers." Live Burner played mostly in the Midlands. Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire were the most frequently played areas, where they played in pubs and clubs. Their biggest musical influences were Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, early Def Leppard and Black Sabbath. So really a mixture of N.W.O.B.H.M. and traditional Rock/Metal. Which brings us to the new abum (recorded at Earth-Shaker Studios in Leicester), of which Steve is quite proud, and rightly so: "We recorded four new tracks in 2006 which we sent to Steffen at High Roller after he released the 'Hammer Of The Gods' single and he really liked them. There are another seven tracks that are near completion and it will be up to Steffen to choose which tracks he wants to put on the album because we have around one hour worth of music and we are limited to 48 minutes. I feel that the songs have a good mix of weight and melody. We have recorded two old tracks called 'Man or Machine' and 'Long Lost Friend', but the rest is all brand new. There is a track called 'Burner' which is like a Judas Priest track from their late '70's period but we're not ashamed to say that they were and still are a big influence to us."
Unfortunately, seeing Burner live (maybe at one of the European festivals like Headbangers Open Air) is not a very likely possibility, as Steve is sad to reveal: "Andy Richards plays in a band called Powerfield and I myself play in The Snatch, both rock covers bands. We gig quite frequently with those bands and Burner has been (quite recently) resurrected. At the moment Burner is a recording band only due to the fact that Andy Richards plays all guitars including bass guitar. The three of us knew what we wanted from the new material and it was easiest to let Andy write and play all the guitar parts than have someone new who might slow the process down. If we get a good reaction from the album, then we would have to seriously look at live dates in the future."
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)