Some people have accused Apocalypse of writing overwhelmingly negative lyrics. However, Steve Grainger does not agree: "Our lyrics were not all doom and gloom, but we did like the image of post-apocalyptic themes. Death and destruction, nuclear wars etc, whilst they are terrible in their own right, they do have a certain beauty about them, don't you think? We also had many a message in some of our songs. 'Chosen Few' for example was quite political. Aside from the pictoral feel of the song, almost like a short film. It is about the way that it it seems that wars are started and controlled by the big boys while the soldiers and fighters are left to pay the price. In 'Chosen Few' the returning army of a handful of men come back to see that all they ever treasured and what they had been fighting for had been blown away. All was gone except for the very people who had controlled the war in the first place (i.e. the chosen few). But, rather than a hero's welcome they are shot and killed. It doesn't seem so unlikely, does it? My case rests."
There was talk of an Apocalypse album but eventually the band changed their name to Omega: "We were aware of one other band in the UK called Apocalypse, they were completely non-apocalyptic if you ask me. More of a pop band. But they were under the guide of a major player on the UK music business so we felt that we would change our name. I was always against this. I thought, f**k them, let them change but hey, I was overruled . We did get a fair bit of music press coverage during the argument though, so it was not all bad news. As for all the others, we had no idea that there were more at the time. Looking back, it doesn't surprise me." The Apocalypse longplayer finally came out as "The Prophet" by Omega: "Omega was absolutely the follow on of Apocalypse. We were the same band until my brother left the band and was replaced by Graham on drums. I suppose we were always a bit adventurous musically, progressive? I don't know. They are just words. We didn't even have N.W.O.B.H.M. as a genre in those days, we just did what we wanted to do. Bands like us were not Punk bands or New Wave bands, we were good old British rock bands ignoring all the poncey '80's trends. In fact, we were slated in the music press for being old fashioned. Just goes to show, doesn't it? Anyway, wasn't it Neal Kay who managed to coin the phrase N.W.O.B.H.M. Looking back, it seems a logical description but at the time no-one could see it (except Neal of course)." Steve talks some more about "The Prophet": 'The Prophet' was a worldwide release on vinyl only, by Rock Machine, who were basically Razor Records in London. A Punk label that wanted to get into a few rock acts. It was official. It was new re-released. I now see that it is out on CD. This has to be a pirate. Nick and I own the rights to it and we have no idea how this release has taken place and who is behind it, ... we are still looking into it!"
Apocalypse, not Omega, had a very brief comeback in the late '80's: "When we got it back together with Marc, my brother, on drums, it seemed that it was logical to call the band Apocalypse again. After all, anyone who knew us referred to us as Apocalypse anyway, even when we were called Omega. Marc had left the band Omega before we recorded 'The Prophet' and as such didn't feel part of that band per se. And what with Nick not knowing where he was going with or without the band, Apocalypse just re-grew as it were. As years have gone on and our position has been gratefully elevated to where we are now, I have taken to tagging a small N.W.O.B.H.M. tag to the Apocalypse logo, just so that people know exactly who we are. Knowing now how many bands of the same name might have been in existence over the years it seemed sensible. We never made a great song and dance about reforming as such. I suppose it just evolved."
Which brings us to the album "Abandon Hope", which has just been released as a strictly limited vinyl edition on High Roller Records. Steve explains: " 'Abandon Hope' is basically the material that did not go on to 'The Prophet'. Tracks that were never released except as demos that we later recorded over the years. There is no new material. It is a record of what we did. In a word, if you put it next to 'The Prophet', you will have 90% of our catalogue. One track, 'Midnight Train', was to have been the A-side to the single, had we not gone for 'Stormchild'. All the recordings will not have been released before. 'Chosen Few' is a bit more adventurous in this recording. 'Killing Man' has a 'guest' appearance on bass by Dave 'Mex' Higgen, writer of the song, founder member of Apocalypse, who left after a very short while but nevertheless can be credited with coming up with the name in the first place. The title track uses the original intro soundtrack that we used as our entrance on stage. There is a bit of live recording in 'In the Heat of the Night' which prior to this was only ever released as a studio demo on the Omega 'Alpha' cassette, my copy of which you can barely hear above the hiss of the tape!"
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)