Helix singer songwriter Brian Vollmer’s amazing stories! DHM


We have a lot of stories in this band, we’ve
lived a colourful life as a band and we met a lot of people and that’s part of being in
a rock and roll band for me, meeting those people like Robin Williams, Richard Pryor
and touring Europe with KISS and Motorhead and my Lemmy stories and that part of it,
it’s not all just money we got in this business for the music for meeting the people in the
music and for travelling seeing the world and that’s all part of it
and that’s where you kinda stand out there are a few others but there aren’t a lot where
they’ve had the experience as you have but they’re also great story tellers so question
for ya, was Alice In Chains the biggest band to ever open for Helix? I don’t know, who knows who is in the opening
band lot of times you don’t Ya? true enough that’s a pretty big band in hindsight
yes it was and you really don’t know who’s in the opening band we try to get out and
meet people you know that just like when we played with Ronnie James Dio he use to come
over in the dressing room and meet us and talk to us I think it shows a bit of class
When you guys were playing live you use to do can I call it the parachute roll? Brian? You know what i’m talking about right? Yeah, I don’t do that anymore. That’s what I was gonna ask. How does the body stand up after concert after
concert of doing that. It doesn’t. I’ve had back problems the last couple years
and they all are attributable to that roll. Is that right. We just come up with it one night and people
kinda of like it so we stuck with it and ya the more I did it, the more they encouraged
me to do it. Really, it wrecked my back and I have to be
very careful with my back now. Wasn’t there one incident where you did that
and you went right through the stage. Yes it was over in Germany, it was on the
Motorhead tour and I jumped off the stacks when I hit the stage, the stage was made with
chip board I went right straight through down into the scaffolding down below but I came
up because I had a ah cordless microphone and there was Lemmy just shaking his head
at me. Kind of a Spinal Tap moment right? It was a kind of a Spinal Tap moment. You were at another one too, you guys ah again
this is from your book “Gimme an R!” and you guys ah almost exactly the same as Spinal
Tap where you guys got lost trying to find the stage? Was that in Cologne? It might have been Cologne, it was at the
pink palace. Okay… yup and with a old Nazi tank factory
so the ah bottom of the building was all catacomb some rooms were quite tall other ones were
quite short and ah the dressing room was at the back and we had to take a elevator down
into the basement then walk through the basement to get to the front of the building and come
up behind the stage and just like Spinal Tap, we got lost nobody spoke English down in the
basement but eventually, we found our way up. You can’t write this stuff. Ya but you did and it’s damn good man, you
did a great job. The other great story was the drum stick I’m
sure it wasn’t great for you at the time but you got stabbed in the face with a drum stick
and bleeding profusely on stage? That was when we were in Winnipeg when we
were playing with Wasp and Krocus and I had grabbed the ah microphone and to sing I think
it was “Make me do anything you want” and I had a broken off drum stick in my hand when
I grabbed it when I went to sing I jabbed myself right in the face and I had to go get
stitches after the show. I was wondering if you were trying to break
up a fight between Wasp and Krocus. Maybe. They did hate each other. Oh yeah. The other great story that you had in the
book was ah recording at the Manor Richard Branson’s place. How did that happen? Well, we had been with Capitol for three albums
“Wild In The Streets” was our fourth album with Capitol EMI and basically it was kinda
known we were getting one last kick at the can so they pulled out all the stops and they
set up us with Mike Stone who at the time was one of the top ten producers in the world
he done the Harder Faster album by April Wine, he done some Queen albums, Journey albums. Anyway, they sent us over to England to record
with Mike Stone and Stone wanted to record at the Manor which was out in Killington ah
in England and so we went up there and were were there for about a month I think, a month
and a half and then we did the mixing in London at Richard Branson’s studio there called The
Townhouse. And the Sex Pistols had been at the Manor
and done some damage? Yes they had uh, there was a chip in the upstairs
foyer it was about ten feet long hand carved and it was given by Mike Oldfield Orchestral
Tubular Bells and they came in they broke the mask off there was a wooden trunk in one
of the downstairs rooms from the sixteen hundreds they carved their name in that. Lot of famous bands recorded at that studio. Oh ya ya that was a big one for sure. It cost us three thousand dollars a day. Holy Shit. Wow! So, what do go happening in 2020 Brian, you
got the Masonic April 17th? That’s correct, next night at The Hall May
the 10th I believe we’re out in Alberta doing a gig out there the gigs are just starting
to come in right now we might have some dates in Texas in March. Oh great that’s kind of where you guys got
a real boost early in your career right in Texas? One of the first gigs we ever did in a concert
situation in Texas we did a four date tour Houston Dallas Emerald College and Helotes
which was outside of San Antonio a big support of the band was a guy name Joe Anthony who
was known as a Godfather of rock and roll and Joe worked at KissKmack the big radio
station in San Antonio and he controlled the whole market Texas market and metal fans loved
Joe. Joe broke black acts when it wasn’t fashionable
to play black music in the United States and then later on, he broke metal music and um…
bands like Judas Priest, Moxie Triumph, he loved Canadian bands and us.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Helix road stories; jumping from a stack of amps and breaking through the stage, to being stabbed in the face with a broken drum stick, Brian Vollmer lead singer of Helix has some crazy tour stories! This interview covers some of them from his hilarious book Gimme An R!

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