Metal Mirror were formed in the county of Middlesex in 1979, at the height of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement. One year later, they released one of the most legendary 7" singles of the entire period, namely »Rock & Roll ain’t never gonna leave us« (with „English Booze“ on the B-Side) on the M+M Records label. Today, the original single is a precious collector's item selling for three figure sums.
Touring for Metal Mirror intensified after the release of their single in 1980. While gigging in and around the capital, the band rehearsed a lengthy live-set consisting of nearly 20 original compositions. Before disbanding in 1982, Metal Mirror only ever played about 30 live shows. High Roller released two limited edition vinyl albums entitled »I« and »II«, recorded live in London in 1981 (with a circulation of 500 copies each; both are completely sold out).
At this point in time everybody involved with Metal Mirror thought that this was it. But then the unexpected happened. Singer Cameron Vegas explains: “What happened was, I've had many fans asking me if the live vinyl albums were going to be made available on CD. Myself and Paul Butterworth decided to go through all the live Metal Mirror recordings that we have to see if there was anything we could use as some bonus tracks to add for a CD version. There were so many cassettes from gigs and rehearsals in various boxes etc. all over Paul's house that it took us a long time to sort them out. It was while doing this that we stumbled across
this box with all the original Metal Mirror studio recordings in. We thought they had been lost forever, so we were very happy to find them. It was very interesting listening to them again and they sound great, very N.W.O.B.H.M. Our record company has done a great job remastering the tracks and I hope the fans will really enjoy this album.”
So the new double vinyl Metal Mirror »III« contains every studio recording the band has ever made (between 1979 and 1982). Cameron Vegas adds: “Metal Mirror »III« is everything we recorded, not everything we composed. We have some tracks on cassette from shows and rehearsals, e.g. 'Nevermore', 'Not you again', 'Get down and play it hard', 'High on the Hill', 'Fast Cars and fast Bikes', 'Metal Mirror', 'One Way Ticket to Hell', 'Angel of Death' and 'Queen of the Street'. But these will never be released in their present state because of the audio quality. All of the above tracks were played at various shows. I guess looking at the above list, there is another album worth of tracks there. You've got me thinking there, Matthias, ha, ha.”
To make things clear, Metal Mirror »III« is not the »Commit no Nuisance« album rumored to have been a possibility in around 1981. Cameron Vegas: “We only recorded two tracks for the »Commit no Nuisance« album and the band split before we finished it. The tracks we did record for the album, namely 'Commit no Nuisance' and 'Mean Liar' are both on Metal Mirror »III«. The cover for the »Commit no Nuisance« album was a photo of us outside Wharf rehearsal studios in London. We are leaning on a wall which has a genuine old sign that says 'Commit no Nuisance'. This photo inspired the track. I think the photos are on the poster that comes with »III«. The record company wanted a new original cover for »III« and we were lucky to get Alexander von Wieding to do the artwork. I spoke with Alex and he said he wanted to do it with the cover of the »Rock & Roll ain’t never gonna leave us« single.”
Cameron Vegas, who's currently living in Poland, states that there is new activity in the Metal Mirror camp: “I have been working on brand new material for a new Metal Mirror album. We will be recording it very soon. I am just finalizing the band line up. It will be myself and Gary Hitchens, the original Metal Mirror drummer, and three new guys who we will announce shortly. We will start playing live shows in the beginning of 2014. We intend to play as many shows/festivals as possible. Brofest in Newcastle looks a great one - we would love to do it, but I think all the bands
are already booked. The Metal Mirror website will be up and running before the end of the year, so this will be great to let everyone know what the band is doing, where we are playing etc. It will be over thirty years that any of these songs have been played live, so we can't wait to get Metal Mirror on stage again. It says on the internet that the band reformed in 2006 as some sort of all-star line up, but this never happened, it was only being talked about. So 2014 will be the first time!”
Today everybody associates Metal Mirror with the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement but the band remembers it differently: “The thing was that we didn't know anything about the N.W.O.B.H.M., we were just a bunch of guys that loved playing heavy metal.
The first we heard of it was when somebody showed us a copy of, I think it was Sounds music paper, and there's this N.W.O.B.H.M. written across it. We used to live close to the famous 'bandwagon' disco and would go there all the time. It was there that we gave Neal Kay our first recording, he listened to it on headphones while he was playing some tracks on his turntable. Then he turned to the audience and said 'I want you to hear this' and he played the whole of the 'Knives and Dives' track. When it finished, he said, 'we like that, don't we?' and the place went crazy. This was a big confidence boost to us, it helped us a lot. Our musical influences came from many bands. Gary Hitchens was mad about Van Halen, Paul Butterworth was into Led Zep and Judas Priest, Chris Haggerty worshiped Michael Schenker and I was and still am into AC/DC. Ian Thompson loved everything metal and hard rock.”