The NWOBHM’s most dangerous demo-band DEEP MACHINE made a powerful return to the London stage supporting Tokyo Blade at the Walthamstow Standard last year. They’re now confirmed for the ZT sponsored heavy metal extravaganza featuring headliners Manilla Road and Solstice at the Dome on the 3rd of June. ZT spoke to guitarist and forming member Bob Hooker:
ZT: What lead to the formation of Deep Machine? What were you major influences?
Bob: I just wanted to form a quality Metal band playing my own songs, I was sick of playing in covers bands……Main influence was definitely Judas Priest. (and still is to this day!) also admired Iron Maiden who were just starting to make an impression back then.
ZT: What does the name Deep Machine mean to you?
Bob: The name Deep Machine actually came to me, believe it or not, just before I was about to go to sleep one night! For some (strange) reason I was thinking of space craft (as you do!) … machines that probe deep into space, right? And I just thought ‘yeah, Deep Machine is ok for a name’ … and that was it! There was no intentional thoughts or influences of Deep Purple and their album ‘Machine Head’! I did want to change the name at one point to Screamin’ Demon, but it was decided the name Deep Machine had already started to become established, and so it stayed.”
ZT: Did you feel part of the NWOBHM back in the 1980’s? Did you hang out with any of the other bands of the era?
. B: Very much so. We were around just at the right time to enjoy the great vibe of the NWOBHM era. We didn’y ‘hang’ with other bands as such, but were always on good talking terms (with friendly rivalry) with such bands like Angel Witch, Desolation Angels, Pagan Altar, Gandalf Wizardry, EL 34, Destroya etc…
ZT: Back in those days, were you an active gigging band? What were some of your favorite venues?
. B: The Ruskin Arms (East London) was always our favourite place to play…..there was just a great vibe/ buzz about the place, we had some a great times there for sure. Electric Stadium Chadwell Heath was another good venue…we also played London’s Marquee club which was a blast.
ZT: Deep Machine are set to support Manilla Road on the 3rd of June 2012. What are your thoughts on the bill? Are you looking forward to the show?
B: Well there’s some real cool bands on the bill, it will indeed be a great night for Metal fans, we are really looking forward to playing and meeting everyone, and are delighted to be part of the event. Also honoured to support Manilla Road. It’s gonna be a blast for sure!!
ZT: Besides of the Manilla Road gig, what’s next for Deep Machine?
B: Well have decided to take some time out from gigs as such for the first part of the year, to record and put out a long-awaited album. We have currently recorded 3 tracks, which we’re hoping to bring out as an ‘EP taster’ to the forthcoming album. These tracks are currently in the production stage, and we’re hoping they will be available by the time of The Globe show. We have been lined up for several uk gigs so far, and also a return to Belgium (also taking in Holland) in the latter part of the year. Most of these future shows will revolve around our recording schedule…… we will be announcing some of these dates soon.
Deep Machine are a British Heavy Metal band, formed in 1979 by guitarist Bob Hooker.
The original line up was a four piece with Bob on Guitar, Kin Lou ( Bass) John Edwards ( Vocals), and Pete Clements ( Drums)…..
Kin Lou left the band and was replaced by Kevin Maloney on Bass. Several gigs were played at East London’s Ruskin Arms (London) and also The Bull, Hornchurch Essex.
John Edwards left the band, and was replaced by Mick Silver on vocals, and a few more Ruskin Arms gigs followed……
Bob then auditioned for Iron Maiden at Hollywood Studios Clapham London…
Unfortunately, although in the ‘top 3’, Bob didn’t get the gig, which went to Tony Parsons (who was soon to be replaced by Dennis Stratton).
Disappointed at not nailing the ‘Maiden gig, Bob began to put Deep Machine back together again (which at this point had pretty much fallen apart)
John Wiggins, guitarist from Metal band Black Friday, joined the band. Dave Orton (Bass) and Ricky Bruce (Drums) were recruited from Touchstone, a Metal band that had also played numerous gigs on the London circuit………
Intensive rehearsals took place, working on all original new material. When this was completed,the band then looked for a vocalist to complete the line up… and as a result Roger Marsden became the new frontman ……
In the following year,the band did numerous gigs with this line up including the Ruskin, Greyhound Electric Stadium Chadwell Heath Essex,The Swan South London, Red Lion Gravesend Kent to name a few.
In January 1981, a demo was recorded (the re-mixed tracks you can hear on this page) at Pathway Studios Islington London. Tracks were: Demon Preacher, Asylum, Witchild and Deep Machine.
Bass player Dave Orton left the band, and auditions started to find his replacement.
Andy Wrighton was chosen from around 30 or so applicants…..
More gigs followed with this line up including a support slot with Angel Witch at London’s Marquee Club….
Due to pressure from work, Bob (very reluctantly) decided to quit the band……and was replaced by the (excellent) Angel Witch guitarist, Kevin Heybourne.
The band played several gigs with this line up until Kevin Heybourne recruited Ricky Bruce and Roger Marsden to join the re-formed Angel Witch.
John Wiggins also left the band at this point and went on to join ex- Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno in Lone Wolf, and later Battlezone. John also went on to join Tokyo Blade, XFX and Slam.
Andy Wrighton continued with the band for a while, and at this point there were several line up changes…. more notable members included Tony Harris (Guitar) Paul Smith (Guitar) Tony Smith (Vocals) Steve Kingsley (Drums). After around a year or so with these various line- ups, the end of the band was declaired, and Andy Wrighton went on to play in Shogun before moviing on to join ex Deep Machine bandmate John Wiggins in Tokyo Blade.
Roger Marsden left Angel Witch, and went on to sing with EF Band and Nevadda Foxx.
Deep Machine re-formed briefly in ’88 to do a one-off gig at the Ruskin Arms….this line up included original members John Wiggins, Dave Orton, Roger Marsden, and notably new member Charlie Towler on Drums.
In January 2009, Bob Hooker, John Wiggins, Andy Wrighton and Slam Drummer Charlie Towler decided to have a jam after not playing together for 27 years! They were amazed at how tight it still sounded, so decided to re-form the band.
Rehearsals started, but it soon proved difficult in finding a singer that totally suited the band. Eventually Lenny Baxter (ex-Bass Player with Gangland, Straight Edge, XFX, Battlezone) became the new frontman.
At this point John and Andy were invited to re-join Tokyo Blade, and found it increasingly difficult to rehearse and commit with both bands, so after a very amicable split, replacements had to be found.
Bass player John Riley (ex- Stolen Property, Urban Clearway, Innovatia) joined the band, and guitarist Nigel Martindale (ex- Fawl, Carnal Rites, Art Of War, Torn Angel ) also joined the ranks.
A year of gigs then followed including shows at The Bridgehouse 2, The Royal Standard (which included a show with Tokyo Blade) and Negasonic club Aalst Belgium, a show that John Wiggins played a guest slot with the band that included the four songs from the original ’81 demo.
In February 2012, ex- Deadbolt and more recently Smokin’ Barrels axeman Nick ‘Beastie’ East replaced Nigel Martindale on guitar, completing the current line up.
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