💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal DAVID COOKE of NWOBHM cult band ROBESPIERRE! Welcome!
Great to be here. We are flattered that people are so interested in us after all these years in obscurity.
💿 Can you tell us about the early days of the band? When is this all begun? And what kind of bands have influenced you?
Gordon and I were in other bands in Liverpool – all of a rock/punk/metal nature – before we got together in a band called One On One. We struck up a friendship immediately which has lasted over 36 years. Only through playing rock did I realize how much more fun raw metal is to play and perform than any other kind of music. We realized that we wanted to go further than most in the pursuit of pure heaviness. I came up with the basics of a few songs which we recorded on 4 track, ran off a couple of cassettes, and the rest is history. Gordon was influenced by punk with a dash of Sabbath. I came from a more scholarly route of rock, jazz-rock, prog and pop before I got into metal. I think I brought some of those elements in with me, in terms of the writing as opposed to the playing. The metal I enjoyed was Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Rainbow, Montrose, Motorhead, Judas Priest – all the usual suspects of the time. Guitar wise I am influenced by Tony Iommi, Robin Trower, Frank Marino and Andy Latimer of Camel.
💿 For a few days is available the new album GARDEN OF HELL. Can you tell us somethin’about this platter and its composition process? Are you satisfied?
Since Die You Heathen Die was released in 2011, people have been asking us to do an album. We wanted to as well. Gordon and I lived 300 miles apart, so it was difficult to coordinate. We made many demos for this album (which was originally going to be called Reign Of Terror). Approximately 30 songs were sketched out which we narrowed down to 10. Obviously a lot of years have passed between now and then. We recorded an album which was not up to standard, scrapped it and started again. This led to songs being dropped and better ones coming in. In the last year, I have moved close to where Gordon lives so a more solid band dynamic has taken shape. Recording the album the way we did was very challenging. We are never satisfied, but we have learnt so much that the next one should be a breeze, relatively speaking.
💿The real “news” in music industry is the return of vinyl; What’s your feeling about this classic format and the current music business?
As someone always on the go, vinyl has taken something of a back seat in my life. For years I fought against CDs. I agree with all the positives about vinyl. There is something in the soundwaves that make it a more direct and emotional listening experience, although I cannot forget the feelings of misery every time I heard a crackle or a jump on my vinyl. The current state of the music business is something I have chosen to ignore as it is not designed for me. I do not like 99.99% of what is played on the radio. For me it the aural equivalent of Coca-Cola. There is more than enough music out there to entertain me, from the past, and on youtube where I discover new bands constantly. I was always trying to second guess record companies’ desires when I was young and ambitious. I made music I didn’t really like in order to get ‘famous’. Robespierre was the first time I made music for ME. Even now I hear bands all trying to be the next ‘big thing’ by trying to sound like the current ‘big thing’. Just play what you like.
💿 The new album is out via SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS. Can you tell us somethin’about the relationships with this label?
The relationship with Shadow Kingdom came about via a follower who became a friend (like they all do) who campaigned on our behalf. He did virtually all the leg work. His name is to be found on the album’s ‘thank yous’. Tim McGrogan sorted things out from that point on, mainly involving the packaging and presentation.
💿 What’s do you think about the renewed interest for NWOBHM and Traditional HM? Love for “vintage” or a new golden era? Anyway I believe that is magic this remade interest for this kind of music!
In recent years I have noticed when speaking to the younger people (aged around 25) that they are not only fans of NWOBHM but are extremely knowledgeable. They have enormous enthusiasm and are happy to travel. There is an element of ‘brotherhood’ for sure. The age barriers are shattered. They do not see it as a fashion or trend. They recognize that it’s a passion and totally for real. I am amazed when I am with these younger followers. They don’t see me as an older man – more as a senior statesman. We are all one. No division. They are vital. Without them, there is no one to pass the sword on to.
💿 Can you tell us somethin’about your next live projects? Are scheduled any gigs?
We have no firm plans at the moment. Maybe we could get some invites on the strength of the album. We shall see. We love playing live. Rocky (Roger Clegg) who played with us at BROFEST is now a full-on member of Robespierre and we are looking forward to his input on the new material.
💿 Lastly, Can you tell us somethin’about the cover of “GARDEN OF HELL”? Who made it? Really.. a good job!
Shadow Kingdom Records recommended Raul Gonzalez. We gave him a rough idea of the concept and he ran with it. Normally he does a single sleeve but got so into it he did it double size. We love it and can’t wait to see it on the cover of the vinyl album in all its glory.
💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal!
It’s been a pleasure. We look forward to getting out there and meeting old friends and making new ones.