Meister's Metal Mayhem

The Meister

TORONTO, Canada—The Swedish/Canadian bassist (“Well, Swedish is the minority now”) Anders Rönnblom jokes from his home in Sweden. His band Killer Bee has recently unleashed a new album entitled Evolutionary Children. The release comes less than a year Rock Rag #12-Killer Bee-From Hell (2)after their output of 2012’s From Hell and Back, but the story begins way before that. The band was originally named Desert Rain, which Rönnblom says comes from news reports of the invasion of Kuwait when Iraq started to blow up the oil wells, reporters said it was raining in the desert, voilà Desert Rain. After a gig playing Moscow’s Red Square, Desert Rain walked away from their Swedish record label because “the shoe didn’t fit,” says the bassist. After renaming themselves Killer Bee, the album Raw was released (1993), half of which were Desert Rain songs reworked and made a little heavier. 1995’s Cracked Up was Desert Rain’s never-materialised second album. 1997’s World Order Revolution saw Europe guitarist Kee Marcello assisting on the record, but after that, mismanagement and disputes led them to “just put everything aside,” as Rönnblom states in a phone interview.

In 2011, wanting closure with Killer Bee and in an effort to keep the music alive, Anders Rönnblom collaborated with original vocalist Brian “Bee” Frank. The pair chose songs from the earlier releases that they felt best represented the band for the compilation CD, Almost There. The response to the compilation surprised Rönnblom (“blew [him] away” he says). Wow. There was still a demand for Killer Bee. Rönnblom went to see drummer Morgan Evans in Toronto, in November, and there, Evans introduced him to Canadian keyboardist Denny DeMarchi (a former member of The Cranberries and Alias) . They hit it off well, and even laid down the tracks for the songs that were rolling around inside Rönnblom’s head at the time, and the From Hell and Back album was born.Rock Rag #12-Killer Bee-Almost There

The band lineup for the newest release includes Rönnblom, Frank, DeMarchi, along with drummer Morgan Evans (most notable for touring with Canada’s “Metal Queen” Lee Aaron), who’s been a member of Killer Bee since 1995, and the newcomer American guitarist Jimmy DeLisi.

When asked why he’s pushed out another album so quickly, Anders says: “In the 90s, when you had an article in a paper/magazine, you could actually survive on that for six months. Nowadays, it’s like a machine gun on the Internet, you basically have to be on every page to be noticed, and it changes so fast. I said to Brian and the guys ‘it’s gonna be like an avalanche, we got this thing in motion now, so we just have to keep going like a runaway train.’”  The cover art of Evolutionary Children depicts a rather creepy looking killer clown face that Rönnblom states “represents the masks that we all hide behind: boys shouldn’t cry, don’t show any weakness” and is a theme that started on From Hell and Back and will follow them to the next album, which is amazingly already written—it is like an avalanche!

“It’s not so deadly serious this time around,” Anders says. “I can do it my own way on my own timeline. I had an interview the other day with a journalist who said ‘what about the album getting mixed response?’ and I said, ‘Killer Bee will always and have always gotten Rock Rag #12-Killer Bee-Evolutionary Childrenmixed response, either you like it or you don’t.’ The thing is, we don’t write after a certain formula. Iron Maiden, they are like a James Bond movie: from the first chord or minute, you know exactly what you are getting. The people who say it’s too spread out and don’t get what we’re doing with our melodies is because they don’t give it enough time. A band that did it totally upside down was Queen, they did “Bohemian Rhapsody,” they did “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “I Want to Break Free,” “Flash”—so many. I’m very happy with what we’ve done. It’s always been important with the Killer Bee songs in general to have a groove in the song that your feet start moving because you need to have that rhythm.” As for playing shows? “It’s a little more difficult with three of the guys in North America and two in Sweden, but we’ll see what happens,” he says.

Killer Bee has also partnered up with Ron de Jeremy, the rum produced by the infamous adult film star.  While working at a bar, Anders Rönnblom watched all the bands coming out with their beers and wines, something that Killer Bee did back in ’95 with “Killer Beer,” but they were ahead of the times. He met the representative for Ron de Jeremy and they stayed in touch. Ron became a fan of Killer Bee’s music, and the two began to work together.

As for the Evolutionary Children album itself, give it a listen, but do it the respect and justice of listening with an open mind and giving Rock Rag #12-Killer Bee-Ron Jeremy Rumit the time it deserves. There’s something for everyone from the brooding epic Black Sabbath-esque pace of the opening track, “Children of the Evolution,” to the piano beginnings of the ballad “Angel’s Dust” to The Beatles-flavoured “Got Your Number” to “Gimme a Taste” oozing a 70s classic rock boogie feel.  There’s plenty of hard-rocking cuts also jammed in here such as “Scream It,” the shortest and arguably best song, “I’m On Fire,” “Letz Dance” (yes, it’s spelled that way on the inlay card) and “Ride On.” All in all, this is a great collection of tracks that gives something different with each spin of the disc and proves that Killer Bee is back again, hungrier than ever, but uncompromising, stubborn and driven at the same time.


The Meister


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