Heart of Steel: Interviews

Singer/Bassist  Billy Greer

Interview by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Frontiers Records for the promo pictures.
Thanks to Stefan at Atenzia records for the help with the interview

Billy Greer is the singer and bassist in Seventh Key who have recently released a second album called The raging fire. Billy is also the lead vocalist in the melodic hard rock band Kansas.

How do you look upon you debut today?

I am very pleased and proud of the new release of my second ‘Seventh Key’ CD. I think personally that this record surpasses the first CD.



How was the response from the fans and press on the debut?

So far, all I have gotten from the press and fans alike is positive feedback. A lot of the people who bought the first CD were surprised that I could sing like I do.



Is Seventh Key a band or a project?

At this point in time it is a project, but, I must add that we are trying to put a mini tour together to come to Europe and play sometime in the fall.


Did Seventh Key do any live shows on the debut? If so when and where?

No, we didn’t so any shows but don’t give up on us yet!



How long did it take to write and record The raging fire?

The CD was started in November of 2002 and the master was delivered to the record company in November of 2003. I have to tell you that Kansas was very busy during that year, so, I had to take the time when I could to travel to Los Angeles to Mike’s house, where we recorded the bulk of the CD.



Have you co-written all of the songs with Mike Slamer this time or have you written everything by yourself?

All the songs were written by Slamer/Greer.

We collaborated on every song on the CD and I think that it has made for a very exciting, well rounded record.



How was it to be produced by Mike Slamer?

Mike is an outstanding producer! His ideas seem to always make the song better. He always comes up with something that I would not have thought about that makes the song come alive. Whether it is a change in the lyrics or melody, we seem to compliment each other in the writing process.



In which studio did you record The raging fire?

We recorded most of the CD in Mike’s studio in Los Angeles, some of the bass and vocal were recorded in my studio in Jacksonville, Florida.



In the press notes it days that you have a unique vocal style and bass playing, how do you comment on that?

I am a product of my influences, starting with McCartney and Chris Squire and many more after that. I can’t tell you where my vocal style comes from, I have been influenced by so many singers. I would have to admit the Steve Walsh has been one of my major influences.



Are you satisfied with the new album or do you feel that you should have done anything different with it?

I am very proud of the new CD, I am proud of the song writing and the production of the CD. I will give most of the credit to my partner and producer, Mike Slamer. I think Mike is brilliant!



The new album has been out in the stores for a while now, have you read any reviews on it yet? How has the response been from the fans and press?

All the response that I have seen so has been positive, from the press and the fans.



Is the album released worldwide?

The album has been distributed in Japan, in Europe and in the U.S.



How is the co-operation with your label?

I couldn’t be more happy with my label, Frontiers. All the people at the label are fans of this type of music. I feel like the people at the label are more like family.



Are there any plans on doing a tour for the new album? If so where are you going to tour and which guys are you going to have with you?

Mike and I have discussed the possibility of taking 7th Key on tour, it is a very real possibility. I would most likely use Mike, Terry Brock, David Manion, Andy Began.



Is there any particular song you especially happy about on the album? In that case which one?

One song in particular that stick out to me is “You Cross the Line”,  I love the music and the lyrics to this song!



Why have you chosen the name Seventh Key? Does it mean anything special to you?

The name was chosen by my record company, and really has no special meaning.



What are the lyrics about on the album? Have you written about anything special?

I cover many different subjects in the lyrics of the songs on The Raging Fire. I think that I have written about a few things that are very personal to me.


The press notes describes your music like melodic hard rock. Personally I think it’s very well played melodic hard rock, how would you describe the kind of music you play?

It is what it is. Put a label on it if you must. Melodic hard rock is a fair label.



If I say that I think you have done one of the best melodic hard rock albums of the year so far, what is your comment on that?

I would say “thank you very much and I’m glad that you like my latest CD. There is more to come.”



What are the plans for the rest of '04?

I am working with Mike on his solo CD and I have signed a contract to so a duo CD with Terry Brock. Also, I will be touring with Kansas, we have about 20 more shows to do in 2004.



Are there any plans of doing a third album?

Yes, now that I know that I have genuine fan base that likes my work, I have every reason in the world to continue to produce more music.


Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?

I appreciate your support of my music and hope that you will support my future endeavors. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to do this solo project.



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you and I apologize for taking so long to finish the interview

Read the CD review for “The Raging Fire

Web: www.billygreer.com
Label: www.frontiers.it