Axel Rudi Pell is a German melodic metal guitarist. Axel started off with the band Steeler in 1984 before leaving to start his solo career in 1989. During the years his band has included many well- known musicians like vocalists Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen Talisman, Journey), Rob Rock (Driver, Impellitteri) and drummer Jorg Michael (Stratovarius, Running Wild). However, today the band consists of Pell, vocalist Johnny Gioeli, bassist Volker Krawzak, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg and drummer Mike Terrana. This line up has been stabile since 1998. The band has released altogether fifteen studio albums and the latest CIRCLE OF THE OATH came out on the 23rd, March 2012. In June 2012, Pell returned once again in Swedenrock; this was the third time here since 2004. This time we finally had a pleasure to sit down with the man himself and discuss various topics including the past, the future, the Steeler years, as well as other interesting topics ….. Read on!
KEEL frontman Ron Keel is featured in a new interview with SleazeRoxx.com discussing various chapters of his lengthy career. An excerpt is available below:
Sleaze Roxx: What was it that led to you changing to country music in the mid ’90s?
Ron Keel: “You have to realize that in the end of the ’80s all the bands like us… like when grunge happened in 1991/92 we went from the top of the world to being slammed right in the fucking ground. We went from being gods of rock’n'roll to being a joke overnight — everybody, almost all of the bands hit the ground really, really hard. When I hit that ground I realized there was no more record deal, and had to sell the beach house and the sports car. What did I have left? I had my guitar and my voice. This was my way to avoid the drugs, it got really tough and I was able to express myself through that type of music and I was able to release my country music and that paid my bills and I expressed myself by being able to perform any music.”
Sleaze Roxx: Let’s go back in time to when you started STEELER. You recorded this legendary album in 1983, how do you explain that it would be one day become one of the biggest selling independent metal albums ever?
Ron Keel: “Of course you must have confidence and believe in what you do — my goals have never really changed. I just always wanted to be a rock star, make music, have fun, and make money! I’m very thankful for the success of the Steeler album because it launched my career and gave me the opportunity to put Keel together. The Steeler album, which was released in 1983, was part of the foundation of ’80s rock and has achieved a legendary status — and I’m very proud of that.”
Sleaze Roxx: What was the magic, in your opinion, of that album?
Ron Keel: “Well, it was my first album, and it was YNGWIE MALMSTEEN’s first album. The combination of my songs and voice — screaming metal vocals with powerful commercial rock riffs — and Yngwie’s classically influence guitar solos was a unique sound that inspired a generation of rockers.”
Sleaze Roxx: Is there any chance of Steeler coming back again?
Ron Keel: “There’s always a chance. 2013 will be the 30th Anniversary of that album’s release, and I’d like to do something special to mark that milestone.”