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Steve Watts
93 posts
Reg: 11/11-10
Posted: 2011-08-11 22:06   » Website
Hello - Steve Watts here...

Irony is a misguided fool; the same could be said of my involvement in the "Hold On To The Dream" album: firstly, I didn't want to be involved in it at all and secondly, the title is an irony in itself, as this would be my last album with Demon.

It's an album that is strangely closer to "Heart Of Our Time" than any other, in that it contains a rather directionless mismatch of songs that never really gel together; a collection I think, of some of the best, and certainly the worst songs that the Hill/Watts writing partnership ever produced. In retrospect, the album has grown on me with time, but there are far too many fillers, a least four or five of which, should have ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Up there with the best songs on the album (at least the ideas that gave me hope for a potentially positive future for Demon) were the first verse, bridge and chorus of "Ivory Towers".

I think if had we followed this track as a lead, along with the heavier more progressive songs such as "Barons Of Darkness" and the equally excellent title track..."Hold On To The Dream" could be sitting right up there with "Taking The World By Storm".

However, as the album progressed (or rather deteriorated) I'm afraid we ended up with yet more power-struggles within the band and the end result was rather mediocre. Consequently, I ended up in the intolerable situation where I simply could no longer be arsed... and no - contrary to popular mythology, there wasn't a pool table in site.

Another serious bone of contention was the album cover, possibly one of the worst ever produced. It appears to depict a cross between a Muppet and a Marionette dressed as a rock-fan being kicked out of an aircraft whilst reaching out in the vain hope that the toy guitar floating above it's head will suddenly and inexplicably turn into a parachute.

Or perhaps he's trying to play one final refrain of "Smoke On The Water" whilst being fired from a cannon? Douglas Adams would be proud.

Hmmm...this is proving to be a tough one...

Still...lets not wallow in the mire...let's talk about the good stuff...

"Hold On To The Dream" might have a crap shop window, but it's certainly got one hell of an opener - sorry...couldn't resist it!

"No More Hell On Earth" is a great example of the film-soundtrack quality of some of the best Demon tracks. It has a well thought-out arrangement, repetitive motifs and a great sense of dynamics. Anyone seen the classic-cult horror film "Phantasm"? It's a great film with a brilliantly atmospheric soundtrack by Fred Myrow and Malcome Seagrave: its soundtrack also inspired the opening of "No More Hell on Earth".

I've always been heavily influenced by film composers after being dragged to see "Jaws" at the age of twelve. I became obsessed with the soundtrack work of John Williams and queued for hours to see great films such as "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", to hear his soundtracks at full pelt, as much as to experience the films themselves; eventually taking myself off to that coolest of music stores where all self-respecting young lads of my generation went to buy the latest albums...Woolworths.

So...I'm in Woolly's (as us cool-cats referred to it) in Stoke City Centre (possibly shoplifting) and "acquired" a vinyl copy of "Big Terror Movie Themes" by "Geoff Love and his Orchestra" mainly, because it had a great cover of the Great White Shark from "Jaws". It's fabulously cheesy in places and has some groovy '70's film soundtracks... then suddenly from the Binatone Music System came the cyclic opening bars of Geoff's version of "The Exorcist".

I'd never heard of Mike Oldfield. A few weeks later, I also managed to acquire a copy of "Tubular Bells" and sat listening in awe, at what I perceived to be the perfect combination of studio-electronics, rock-band, and almost orchestral - arrangements, becoming obsessed with the idea of creating multi-instrumental rock-soundtracks.

Then, along with film composers, "Top Of The Pops", Radio 1, Beethoven, and the stuff my ferocious piano teacher forced me to play...

(you should have see her face when I turned up with Floyd's "Animals"... I had to tippex out the line "you fucked-up old hag" from the score)

...I then discovered the hard blues-based rock of Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Ted Nugent, The Scorpions and "The Friday Night Rock Show"; threw in some Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Jean Michel Jarre, Philip Glass and Brian Eno; a pinch of BB King, Keith Jarrett, Art Ensemble of Chicago; and added a heady mix of '60's psychedelia, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel, Gentle Giant, Yes, Van der Graaf Generator, Hawkwind, "Krautrock" and my favourite Punk band The Stranglers.*

(*Writing this list reminds me of a comment made by a dancer and choreographer student I attempted to mentor at Hull University. Whilst describing the various influences for a then fledgling "Demon Dudes Revenge" project he turned to me and said, "It must be very difficult to know which one of them is actually you"...very true, and suitably ironic as he was found nursing a dead rabbit in the University grounds where he began to sleep rough, suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder ... hell on earth indeed ... I think he ate the rabbit...)

Anyway, it all boils down (no pun intended) to what inspires us to be creative. "No More Hell On Earth's" Phantasm theme, is clearly inspired by Tubular Bells (as is "Phantasm" and countless other horror films such as John Carpenters "Halloween" and Dario Argento's "Suspira"). Oldfield himself was inspired by Minimalist composers such as Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich, who also appear to have been inspired by some of the nifty cyclic keyboard riffs of Bach's "Toccata in Fugue"...which also happens to be on Todmorden son, Geoff Love's "Big Terror Movie Themes" album... which leads us nicely back to...

...a party in Germany, to celebrate the release of "Hold On To The Dream".

So...I'm standing next to another one of my musical heroes, "Eloy" founder member Frank Bornemann, glass in hand, listening to the opening bars of "No More Hell On Earth", (Frank wasn't particularly good at speaking English and I was useless at German although thanks to Demon guitarist Steve Brooks, I could just about order a beer and/or a blow-job. Highly useful given the right context, disastrous if not)

So we're standing there, smiling politely at each other, when suddenly he leans over to me and says conspiracially, "Tubular Bells!" to which I reply "Yes!"

Those were the only words we spoke to each other all evening and I still consider us to be very close.

I came up with those cyclic opening bars to "No More Hell On Earth" and the entire instrumental section one afternoon at Keith Baddeley's Keyboard Store in Stoke on a freshly un-boxed and hugely expensive Techniques Organ. It had a high-tech cassette player built into it and it was this that I later played to Dave Hill. Dave's verse, bridge and chorus; again revolving around cyclic repetitive figures, really rock-out, and fit the composition of the song brilliantly. The "twist" in the middle section is one of my favourite bits of any Demon track; I did write a chord sequence for this but as Dave decided to "talk" the lyrics through this section, we decided to drop practically all of them (unfortunately included in the 2001 CD Re-Master) and just leave the percussion, voice and eerie sound f/x.

When the final remaining chords do kick in as Dave screams "You Left It All To Us"; it sounds as though you've been picked up by a cyclone and suspended in mid-air whilst below you the bowels of Hell slowly begin to open...

...hmmm - it felt a bit like that once I'd finished the album and finally decided to leave...

Good image that - I think I'll leave it there.

Except...seeing as we're going 'round in cycles...

Irony is a misguided fool...especially if the particular dream you try to hold on to...belongs to someone else.

I've uploaded the original vinyl version of "No More Hell On Earth" to You Tube at:


...that groovy Geoff Love version of "Tubular Bells" at"


and for those who don't mind spoiling the end of a good film...the last section of "Phantasm" at:


Demon demos; tour photographs; music scores; lyrics; and other memorabilia will be appearing exclusively in the future Demon Archive Room accessible only via the DDR.com - Central Control Panel.


Steve Watts 11 : 08 : 2011

Next Transmission: 11 : 09 : 2011

(c) Steve Watts 2011
[Edited 2011-09-20 10:16]

746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2011-08-12 11:43
Irony is a misguided fool...especially if the particular dream you try to hold on to...belongs to someone else.

Very good! The troublesome bit comes when the dream exclusion extends to the public.

Damn funny about the cover Steve, damn funny!!

Steve Watts
93 posts
Reg: 11/11-10
Posted: 2011-08-13 10:52   » Website
Troublesome yes...but only if based on misconception and lies.

We are all of us part of this particular dream, and it has been truly wonderful to read everyone's individual stories as to how they became, and are still, part of it...

Misguided fools we often remain...but we can allow ourselves enlightenment anytime we choose...

Would you like to do an interview?
[Edited 2011-08-13 10:53]

746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2011-08-13 16:06
"especially if the particular dream you try to hold on to...belongs to someone else."

.....or somebody else's dream that - whether they know it or not - doesn't actually exist anymore!?? Now there's a very interesting thought, because what happens then is that it leads to deception, oppression and supression of other band members in a project that merely represents a vehicle for a certain individual's conceit and ultimately amounts to little more than, essentially, a 'hobby'. This can damage a serious musician's career path - I have seen it happen.

Would you like to do an interview?

I would Steve, yes.
[Edited 2011-08-13 16:14]
NP: I am the future - Alice Cooper

Steve Watts
93 posts
Reg: 11/11-10
Posted: 2011-08-14 02:16   » Website
Right then...lets do it...

Demon:Dudes Revenge
70 posts
Reg: 11/11-11
Posted: 2011-11-11 20:59   » Website   » Email

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-10-11 23:02   » Email
Here you go Larky.


Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-10-11 23:02   » Email
Here you go Larky.

Savona - Italy
69 posts
Age: 48 years
Reg: 9/9-12
Posted: 2012-10-12 10:17   » Email
It was back in 1991 when I bought vinyl "No More Hell On Earth".
ouch...ouch ... away from Clay or Sonic (another label, another sound?)
Happy and curious at the same time (not bad the idea of the puppet Steve...not bad).
A beautiful composition of an LP with a maxi, a nice project in fact.
Accustomed to the old rhythms of "Breakout" definitely the album with one of the best cover in the history of metal and "Taking The World by Storm" (I bought it when I was a soldier, and will always remain in my head). Well feeling it at first listen, it was immediately felt a new wave of metal, much more dark, heavy, haunting and definitely out of the commerciality of the classic metal.
Tracks of the lp are certainly better than the maxi (maybe the only one who saves is Shoot For The City ... the other is a bit like deja vu ...
I love Dario Argento, I have seen many times his films (Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, I do not know which titles have seen them), and despite recent efforts are not just beautiful ... uhm remains an idol ... the choice details of certain shots .... always cool ... sorry I digress ...
Well returning to Hold On .. I said ... it's a good album built really well off the beaten rhythms (the superb intro Barons Of Darkness), just approaching the legendary Heart Of Our Time, but still perhaps more in The Plague (in my humble opinion).
I will always remember that in Italy was panned by critics (cannot remember which magazine it was, but at the time, there were not many, in fact I wanted to slap him that fagot critic) does not allow you to insult the demon, asshole! ha ha ....
Of course, the opinion of one can not affect everyone, but you know how things go ...
Apart from anything else I liked it as a job, in fact I think I am one of the best album of a band that despite all the efforts face is always looking for new sounds to be proposed (for this I love Demon)
that unlike the other groups will churn out an album that is equal to the previous (see Iron Maiden, Helloween etc. etc. ....). Surely the merchantability of a product does much that if a group does not sell .. cannot produce
I know the Eloy of Bornemann (if I'm not mistaken was the owner of Horus Sound Studio (Helloween etc etc) I have a couple of albums. Ra of 1988 is very similar to the sounds of BSA, but Destination of 1992 is much better, even if you feel it is ... is also available on yt ....
Okay um since it's almost noon, and I did not do a fucking ... I'm going to eat a big plate of spaghetti ... ciaooooo
see you later boys... Twisted Evil
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