The last time that I pre-ordered an album of a new band right from its label store was back in 2005 when Crashdiet had released their magnum opus; the amazing debut “Rest In Sleaze”. 16 years later I find myself in the same, wonderful place, as Laced in Lust absolutely blew me away with their amazing debut “First Bite”. This is a brilliant sample of pure sleaze rock n’ roll with an authentic attitude straight from the glory days of the mighty 70s and 80s. Trust me when I am saying that this band has a lot to offer and I sincerely hope that they will continue to kick ass in the years to come. Lead singer and guitarist Torsten Steel was kind enough to answer to all of our questions… Interview: Sakis Nikas
Rockpages.gr: Greetings from Greece and Rockpages, guys! Congratulations on an awesome album…I really mean it! It came absolutely out of nowhere and I still can’t get enough of it! How long did it take to prepare the whole album?
Torsten Steel: Thank you very much! The album took 2.5 weeks to record working everyday on it over that time, but as a whole it was about a 2 year process. Originally we took a six-month hiatus to regenerate our personal funds, writers blocks, broken relationships and mental stresses that come with the industry…but after those 6 months everyone was happy not coming back to the band so I continued by myself. I got signed to a label in Europe with the idea of this album and had 3 months to release the album. I failed to get a standing lineup and to meet the deadline. I kept working on the album and about 3 months later another label (Rockshots Records) signed me.
This time I called the old line up in to help me with the album but not having to commit to the band, just as mates helping a mate out. In 2.5 weeks we had completed and delivered this beauty back to Rockshots Records, and the boys stayed with me in the band. Shortly after Covid-19 hit and we had to cancel all our tour plans that were in motion and any upcoming shows that were booked but not publicly released yet which made us have to push the album release date back. During Covid, Australia was in lockdown so I was stuck in another state for 5 months before I could come home to Adelaide. We kept pushing the album back and back until we couldn’t push back any further. We were hoping for a huge 5 month tour of Europe and Australia. I guess that will still have to wait…
Rockpages.gr: I truly believe that the album combines all the best elements of the Sunset Strip sleaze scene with the edge of bands like AC/DC and Hanoi Rocks. Which are your influences?
Torsten Steel: The two song writers have been myself and Brad Fry (Vivian), who when we set out years and years ago we were trying to aim for a 70’s Hard Rock sound with an 80’s Glam image. The main point of focus was on the Scorpions, but also on Status Quo, AC/DC, Slade, Foghat, Aerosmith, UFO, The Sweet and some 80’s Glam like D-A-D, Motley Crue ,Hanoi Rocks and Poison.
Rockpages.gr: The best thing on the album is the guitar-driven sound and its awesome, raw production; a characteristic that is so missed in the genre nowadays. From that perspective, that’s a return to a more organic sound crucial for the genre. What’s your opinion?
Torsten Steel: I’m so glad you brought that up!!! Because I agree. The raw feeling of straight guitar to amp is unbeatable, and the rawness of the genre has fallen completely way side now. Over production has just filtered down from crappy rap and pop artists that can’t sing or play, and use autotune ….as they say …as an effect!! Which is clearly not. But the public has eaten it up. Now for our underground genres to survive they have to incorporate it…which is not right. When I think about the pure aggression and feeling in AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock” album or Status Quo’s “QUO” album it’s unbeatable and heavier than anything. It’s pure and not made up in a studio with production. Hey, production still can’t mimic old tape, or vinyl sound, so that already says enough…I mean look at every KISS album… it sounds like my dad recorded them in his garage… a perfect example of attitude and organic personality coming out!
The other thing is when these bands go down the heavy production path they can’t mimic it live. Has to be fake backing tracks, no amps on stage and clicks everywhere… a perfect example of a fake band.
Rockpages.gr: I am sure that being a band from Australia doesn’t make things easy in regards to the touring and promo aspect of the business. Is it hard to follow a professional career in rock n’ roll down under and how’s the current rock scene in Australia?
Torsten Steel: Australia has some of the greatest rock bands ever e.g AC/DC, Airbourne and INXS and Jet just to name the big international ones. But rock…And I mean proper hard rock/pub rock is dead down here. There’s still a following but it’s small. Those people are hardcore followers and are more hardcore than Europe… just there’s only a few hundred per city. We will never give up supporting rock in our country… especially since the country was built on it. But yes, it’s hard. Touring costs have always killed us. To travel from Adelaide where we are to Cairns is London to Moscow…and the population is just too small to really get a foot hold.
When we started the rock scene was having a quick revival but since that (almost 10 years ago) most of the bands in our home town, Sydney or Melbourne, have all fallen away with only about a 33% up take. It’s hard but it’s not dead.
Rockpages.gr: Getting back to the album, one of the singles/videos is the amazing “Hard in this Town” that starts with a kinda KISS riff and then explodes into a perfect rock n’ roll juggernaut in the vein of D.A.D. Tell us a few things about it…
Torsten Steel: Haha! I love how you picked those two bands out. You nailed it.
But yeah, I was living in a rural city in Australia and working…it was pretty much just a story of my travels and all the torment that happened during a massive flood that wiped the city out when I was there, on top of the huge unemployment rate, drug problems and crime that was happening with no government in sight…they opened the dam gate at night to release the pressure on the dam that was at threat of exploding with the heavy rain fall putting 10K homeless, hence the reset button remark in the song. Because I was sure that they knew they had failed as a government and was hoping they could wipe the problems away…it’s only made it worse!!!
Rockpages.gr: “Fire” is another, in your face (or throat, for that matter) rock n’ roll anthem that reminds of the glory late 80s days. This is definitely a standout moment for me and the song that I would definitely recommend to a potential listener. What do you think and which song would you play to someone who hasn’t heard of you?
Torsten Steel: Well thank you. It’s actually the second song that myself and Vivian ever wrote together. We were really trying to grasp the Scorpion’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane” sound. And I don’t know…we are quite a dynamic band so it would depend on the person or age I guess. I can’t really give you one but if I had to answer I would say “Hard In This Town” or “Lip Service”.
Rockpages.gr: This might be your debut album but you have released in the past a couple of EPs that are now hard to get and quite rare. Any chance of reissuing them?
Torsten Steel: Yeah, with the album we wanted the best of what we have ever done in our career because how many times in your life does a record company want to release your stuff worldwide (laughs). So the album versions are all remastered, some re-sung, added parts, taken parts out or have new solos. But yes, on our website www.lacedinlust.com.au we have put back up all 3 EP’s again in celebration to the debut album. And I have to say two of them we still have a lot of but one is veeerrrry veeerrry limited, coz once she’s out, she’s out!
Rockpages.gr: What’s your opinion on the global hard rock scene? Are you satisfied with the overall quality level?
Torsten Steel: Yes I am. Actually I feel like it’s getting better. The old bands are creating albums they haven’t done since the 80’s and the bands coming through are somewhat fresh, or at least might be the same boring stuff, but really happy to support them as there’s still choice and rock out there. But I have to say with bands like Wildstreet and Lipz, and Speed Stroke just some to note. Others to check out are Bad Jokers Cream from the Czech Republic, Sandness from our label also, Niterain always been killer and Eat Lipstick if you’re into Glam Punk…otherwise the last two D-A-D albums have been amazing, there’s a few to check out haha.
Rockpages.gr: Take us on a trip down to memory lane…which was the first album that you ever bought and the first concert that you ever attended?
Torsten Steel: Hahaha OK going to let it out the bag here…the first 3 albums were given to me by my dad. The first was “Gimme Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd , second was Steppenwolf’s second album, and third was “Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon” by Status Quo. The first I ever bought… I was 6 or 7…and it was Spice Girls (laughs). I mean Baby Spice was hot come on!!!
And the first concert I was taken to by a friend to see Taxi Ride…they weren’t too bad actually. “Get Set” was a great tune. Otherwise the second was Status Quo!
Rockpages.gr: If you had to select 4 (or 5) musicians that will comprise the ultimate rock n’ roll band, who would it be?
Torsten Steel: Shit this is hard and based on how I wake up and my mood (laughs)!
Okay we will play Football here…. On the field
Singer: David Coverdale (Whitesnake)
Lead Guitar: Rory Gallagher (Rory Gallagher)
Rhythm: Rick Parfitt (Status Quo)
Bass: Pete Way (UFO)
Drums: John Coghlan (Status Quo)
On the bench: Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) on Lead, Klaus Meine (Scorpions) Singer, Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on Rhythym, Gerry McAvoy (Rory Gallagher) on Bass and Laust Sonne (D-A-D) on Drums.
Rockpages.gr: I am sure that after the pandemic, you are planning on hitting the road…possibly a European Tour…?
Torsten Steel: OF COURSE! We can’t wait to get back to Europe so so bad. Also we have family over there that we really would love to see again and share a beer and a meal and a kiss with. It’s personal also. My dear Oma is looking after our whole backline in her basement wondering when we’re coming back to use it hahahaha. But as soon as we can it’ll be an Australian and Europe tour. We are open to everywhere also, but it would be great just to land and suck down a Kolsch in Germany, have a meal with my Oma at the local Croatians and get ready for a banging European tour.
Laced In Lust’s debut album “First Bite” is available on all digital platforms.
Album Order (CD) – https://bit.ly/3k083LU
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2Ngs5Wv
Apple Music – https://apple.co/3dTaTBh