Interview With The Legendary Steve Zodiac Of Vardis

VARDIS were forged out of Glam, Punk, Heavy Metal, Blues and Rock´n`Roll in the crucible of 1970s northern England. They are a product of Rock music across three generations: inspired by the great Rock´n`Rollers and electric bluesmen of the 50s and 60s, learning their craft on the Hard Rock and Punk circuits in the 70s, before signing with Logo/RCA in 1979 and achieving prominence in the 80s as part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Their ferocious musical attack directly influenced the development of thrash and speed metal across North America and Europe, cited by metal giants such as Metallica and Megadeth.

Never losing sight of the melodic sensibilities of their earliest influences, Vardis’ unique heavy groove has endured as truly original.In 1980 they released the entirely live, classic debut album ‚100 M.P.H.’ that famously ”GUARANTEED NO OVERDUBS”, before hitting the road in a brutal touring schedule. Kicking off with the infamous Heavy Metal Barn Dance alongside Motörhead and Saxon at Stafford’s Bingley Hall in July, Vardis then joined Hawkwind on the 33 date Levitation Tour before embarking on their own 100 M.P.H. tour. 1981 saw no let up, with Vardis recording a BBC Session for Tommy Vance and releasing their first studio album, ‚The World’s Insane‘, accompanied by a tour culminating with the legendary Heavy Metal Holocaust in Port Vale, alongside Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead.Ignoring label pressure to be “more like Van Halen”, 1982 saw Zodiac placed in the world’s top 15 guitarists by Sounds Magazine, as Vardis embarked on a UK Tour with Slade and a headline European Tour supporting third album ‚Quo Vardis‘. ‚Quo Vardis’ pushed the boundaries of heavy music, with saxophone, bagpipes and mandolins alongside collaborations with Squeeze pianist Jools Holland and Status Quo’s Andy Brown. This led to mixed reviews from the conservative Metal press, while open minded journalists and DJs led by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 championed the band’s sense of fun and experimentation. 1983 – 1985 was an enforced hiatus for Vardis, as a two year legal battle with management precipitated lineup changes and missed opportunities. Emerging from court victorious but disillusioned, Vardis released the stripped down album ‚Vigilante‘ in 1986 on indie label Raw Power, an indictment of industry use and abuse, before Steve Zodiac walked out on the music business for good.Nothing was heard from the band for nearly three decades, despite the release of two compilation albums: ‚The Best Of Vardis’ (1997) and the double CD ‚The World`s Gone Mad: The Best Of Vardis’ (2002).

In 2014, Zodiac was coaxed out of retirement on social media by the old hardcore and new fans who’d discovered the Vardis legacy. Vardis toured Europe and released fifth album ‚Red Eye‘ in 2016 through SPV/Steamhammer, cementing one of rock’s most unlikely comebacks. Vardis have lost none of their unpredictable edge, and 2019 witnessed a triumphant appearance at Leicester´s ‚O2 Academy’ alongside English grindcore legends Napalm Death that surprised many, proving yet again that their special brand of Rock’n’Roll transcends both genre and time.Friday 13th March 2020: the true enormity of Covid19 was not apparent, but an uncanny atmosphere was palpable everywhere. With live venues still open in England, and rockers from all over Europe assembled on Oxford Street London, Vardis would play. For two hours, ‚100 Club’ escaped a troubled World, and the energy forged that night by Steve Zodiac (Guitar) Joe Clancy (Drums) and Roly Bailey (Bass) with a brilliant crowd was captured for a 2021 double live album release on SPV/Steamhammer. We present to you the Vardis live experience on record for the first time since 1980: ‚100 M.P.H.@100 Club’, “GUARANTEED NO OVERDUBS”!

It was my pleasure and honor to Interview the legendary Steve Zodiac, Check out the complete coverage on the below YouTube video.

Track listing:
CD1
01. Out Of The Way 3:10
02. Steaming Along 3:21
03. Paranoia Strikes 2:10
04. Situation Negative (Boogie Blitz) 5:37
05. Red Eye 3:41
06. Dirty Money 3:06
07. Mods & Rockers 5:25
08. Don’t Mess 2:55
09. Shoot Straight 4:22
10. Move Along 5:35
CD2
01. Destiny 3:05
02. The Lion’s Share 3:04
03. Radio Rockers 3:38
04. The Loser 5:47
05. Head Of The Nail 3:45
06. Jolly Roger 4:33
07. Let’s Go Again 3:21
08. 100mph (I won’t Go To Hell) 9:15
09. If I Were King 5:20
10. Living Out Of Touch (encore) 3:17
 
Vinyl bonus track:
11. 100 Soundcheck 2:58 (bonus track)

Line-Up:
Steve Zodiac (Guitar/Voice)
Joe Clancy (Drums)
Roly Bailey (Bass)

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