Heather Shockley of ROCK IGNITION: Innocent Thing or Rock Vixen?

Hi, Heather! How are you doing? This is Rita van Poorten of Metal Maidens ’zine from the Netherlands. It’s been a while, since we last spoke to you. First of all, let me congratulate you on your new EP ”Innocent Thing”. I think, it sounds pretty strong and it has a good rock feeling...

So tell me, how did your EP ”Innocent Thing” come about?
Heather Shockley: ”Well, first of all: Hello everybody! It’s very nice to talk to you again! Well, we just released our brand new EP “Innocent Thing” and I have to say we're very satisfied about the final result. It took us a lot more time to produce it, in contrary to our previous EP, because we wanted to make sure we took care of every detail. We sat very long hours in the studio to free our mind and get inspiration for some new cool ideas. We wanted to give the best of us in our new songs.”

Can you tell us something about each song individually???
”Title track “Innocent Thing” is (like you might have noticed from the lyrics) meant to be very ironic. It talks about a woman that of course is the complete opposite. We wanted some special effect in the voice and that's why you can hear some distortion. I think, it matches very well to the song and it has got a lot of drive. “Tell Me”, the second track, is a very melodic and catchy song with a great guitar riff and the perfect candidate to be in a videoclip. It talks about a love story and love stories always make a good video (lol). After that, there’s my favourite song, called “One Love”, which is a kickass shuffle with a bit more agressive vocals. It's a great song to play live and a chorus, that just stays in your head! Our power ballad on this EP is called “In The Light”. We took a very long time to produce this one. We added keyboards, because we wanted it to have a special character, a bit more dramatic. I sang it with a lot of feeling and I think the emotion comes through. I personally think it’s a beautiful ballad and the response of the critics until now confirmed me that I was right. Our fifth track is called “Streets Of New York” and it’s a classic rocker. I love the guitar solo in this one and you get a feeling of what the ’Big Apple’ is all about.”

Who is responsible for the song writing and do you follow a particulair plan?
”Jürgen and I write most of the songs together. For this album, we invited Marco Wriedt from AXXIS to have some more input. We sat in the studio for weeks and just let our inspiration flow. It was really lots of fun and it's something that we might repeat on the next album.”

Why didn’t you release a full-length CD this time?
”Recording, producing and mixing a high quality full-length CD unfortunately costs a lot of money. With our economical situation right now, we have decided that quality comes first for us and five high standard songs are better than ten songs of a low standard. In any case with the help of our fans and our new record label, the chances are high that we can finally record a full-length album.. It's all in your hands my friends, so if you wanna support us, go out and buy our CD!”

You signed a deal with Sound Guerilla/DA music a few months ago. How important is this step for an independent band like youself to be backed up by a label?
”Very important. I have to say, that until now, we are very happy of the work with Sound Guerilla. They are a very professional label and the comunication works really well and although they usually don't sign female-fronted bands, they were very enthusiastic about us and believe that ROCK IGNITION has a big potential.”

The EP features some guest musicians, like Louis Sesto (BLINDMAN) and Oliver Palotai on keyboards (KAMELOT, SONS OF SEASONS). What can you tell us about that?
“They are both very good friends and great musicians. We love to have guests that put a special touch to our songs and they were very happy to contribute to the music of ROCK IGNITION.”

You choose the song “Tell Me” as your first single and also recorded a video clip for it (included on the EP as a bonus). Tell us about it....
“As I mentioned before, “Tell Me” is a very melodic and catchy tune with a great guitar riff and for us the perfect choice for a video clip. We called the famous Spanish actor Armando del Rio to direct our video and we spent three full days filming. For us, it was important that the story would have the main part in our video and not only the band shots. I believe, we achieved exactly what we wanted and we're very happy with the final result. The love story is greatly interpreted on famous musical actor Michael Eisenburger and the beautiful Spanish TV star Andrea del Rio.”

Why did you decide to call in the help of producer Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69) again?
”Dennis is a first class producer and has a lot of experience. He has mixed great bands like AXXIS, ANGRA and KROKUS and he knows exactly what type of sound our music needs. We can't imagine a ROCK IGNITION CD without those magic hands! (lol).”

I noticed, that you have a new guitarist since 2008, Fabian Dammers, and a new drummer Siggi Gruetz, who recently joined the band. What can you tell us about these guys?
”Fabian entered the band at the tender age of fifteen and he has practically grown up with us, personally and musically. With drummers, we unfortunately weren’t so lucky and we have changed already five drummers since we started. Siggi is our current drummer and until now everything's great. He is really a kickass rock drummer, very powerful and a very nice guy, so we keep our fingers crossed it will stay like that and this will be the steady, final ROCK IGNITION line-up.”

You’ve given birth to a little baby boy in 2012, called Sebastian. What’s life like being a rock mum these days, instead of just a rock woman? Do you feel a lot has changed with Sebastian and is it easy to combine music with nappies????
”Being a rock mum is the greatest and most beautiful thing in the world! Having a baby puts your life upside down and completely changes all your priorities. In any case, even if it takes a bit more organization work to rehearse and play gigs, it's still posible to combine both things and I enjoy them both fully.”

You contributed the song ”One Love” on the compilation CD ”Armed And Ready”, next to bands like TESTAMENT and SLAYER. How did that come about?
”The compilation “Armed And Ready” has been released through our record label Sound Guerrilla/DA Music. They wanted to include one of our songs in it, which is definitely a great honour for us, since so many legendary bands are included on this CD. We were asked which song we thouht would fit in best and we chose “One Love”, because it has a great groove and a lot of power. It's a great hard rock anthem.”

Do you have any live shows lined up this summer?
”We just finished playing the release parties for our CD, together with CIRCLE II CIRCLE and MIKE TRAMP and we have a confirmed open air show in South Germany on the 10th of August. We're also planning some acoustic shows in Italy this summer and some more shows this autumn. Our fans are able to check all these dates on our official website."

What are you future plans?
”At the moment we're busy promoting our CD. We'll continue to play live shows and the thing we love doing most: playing music!”

Any final words or comments?
”We want to send out a big thank you to all our fans for their great support! We hope you'll enjoy our new CD ”Innocent Thing”. Keep on checking our website and our facebook page for more updates. Rock on, everybody!”

copyright: METAL MAIDENS
interview by: Rita van Poorten, Metal Maidens 'zine / June 2013.

Check out this video by ROCK IGNITION on You Tube:
"Tell Me" (official video)

Visit ROCK IGNITION's official website at: www.rockignition.com/

---> Go to our ROCK IGNITION interview from 2008