💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal Rich Rutter, vocalist of TOLEDO STEEL! Welcome!!
💿 Can you tell us something about your early days? Which bands have influenced you and what’s the matter of your moniker?
Prior to forming the band, myself and Matt Dobson obviously already big fans of rock and heavy metal and our influences were already pretty broad within the genre. The big name bands of the 70’s and 80’s like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple and Saxon played a big part in the forming of our own sound but many of the lesser known bands from the NWOBHM and US Power Metal movement were also inspirational to us.
Bands like Savatage, Crimson Glory, Agent Steel, Avenger, Raven, and Satan spring to mind! The name Toledo Steel was Matt’s idea and historically Toledo in Spain is where swords were made for the military and they were known to be incredibly strong!
It was also Matt’s own personal interest in medieval weaponry and his hobby to fence at the time that played a part in the choosing of this name, it just all made perfect sense!
💿 After two Eps and changes of line up, you are now a four-piece band! Can you present to our readers your current members?
Yes we’ve had a few lineup changes over the years but right now as a four piece we feel like a solid unit and more focused than ever, although we are still on the lookout for a fifth member as we always intended to keep the twin lead guitar element in the band. The current lineup is obviously myself on lead vocals, Matt Dobson on drums, Tom Potter on Lead Guitar and Josh Haysom on lead guitar, although Josh has been playing bass until we find a suitable full time bassist to join.
Josh is also the newest member and although there’s been a few lineup changes previously, myself and Matt have been in the band since the beginning and Tom has since very early on as well.
💿 Your new album “NO QUARTER” is ready (available from May 11th). Can you tell us something about its composition’s process? Are you satisfied about this platter?
Yes the album will be out very soon and we are definitely happy with how it sounds, we can’t wait for people to hear it!
The writing process varied with each song, some were written musically before we worked on the lyrics and vocal melodies.
Others were spawned from a chorus vocal melody idea and we then wrote the song around that.
Some ideas surfaced in the rehearsal room too of course, usually a guitar riff!
A few of the songs came together pretty quickly and others took more time but overall we feel that we’ve come up with a coherent sounding album start to finish that contains variety and still sounds exactly like Toledo Steel!
💿 The real “news” in the music industry is the return of vinyl. What’s your feeling about this classic format and the current music “business”?
It’s great to see the resurge of interest in Vinyl as a format. I like CD’s too but Vinyl is no doubt more collectible.
I know lots of people prefer the sound of Vinyl and having the bigger artwork is great too.
I think now where so many people download or use Spotify, you need to have more of a product to sell and Vinyl offers that. The current music business has no doubt changed.
I was born at the end of 1989 so I didn’t see what it was like back in the day but the internet has changed the industry massively.
It’s much easier to self-promote your band, network with other people and reach new audiences but obviously bands don’t sell as many physical copies of albums as they used to! If it wasn’t for the internet, a lot of the newer bands may have gone undiscovered.
I could write a huge list of all the good and bad points but I’d be writing all day!
Haha On the whole I think you’ve got to focus on the positive and make it work for you and the band. 💿 The new album will be out via DISSONANCE PRODUCTIONS. Can you tell us something about your relationships and feelings with them?
Getting signed to Dissonance Productions is a great step forward for the band and we’re excited to be working with them! They’ve signed numerous other great up and coming heavy metal bands too, it shows real promise for the scene here in the UK and heavy metal in general.
Without the support of a label it could be easy to fall off the radar, but they’re able to give all the bands that extra push that can be hard to maintain if you remain solely independent.
They have worldwide distribution too so hopefully more and more people will start to hear what us Brits have to offer in the heavy metal scene worldwide!
💿 Can you tell us something about your next live projects? We are in waiting for FROST AND FIRE London and BRITISH STEEL II!
Yes the next two shows Frost and Fire and British Steel part two are great ones to be playing for sure!
Frost and Fire in London is also our album release show and we’re playing the official After Party. British Steel part two is a Dissonance organized two day event and all the bands playing are signed to the label.
London can be a hit and miss city to play but both of these events are guaranteed to attract a lot of people.
I know that Frost and Fire sold out months ago.
British Steel will also be our first time playing the Underworld. It’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to play but haven’t had the chance to, so as always we’ll be giving it %110.
8. We love the cover of NO QUARTER. Who made it?
Cheers we love it too! It was done by an Italian artist called Velio Josto who has also done album art for the German Speed/thrash band Vulture.
We feel it captures what the band is about and the feel of the album perfectly.
9. Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal !
Cheers Giovanni! All the best to you and cya on the road!
(Pics taken from RR, BAND, DISSONANCE FB)