Los Angeles-based female-fronted metallers HELLION are regrouping in the studio to record new material. The first set of new tracks will be produced by legendary British studio icon Ken Scott, who has produced iconic albums, including DAVID BOWIE‘s “Hunky Dory”, “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, “Aladdin Sane” and “Pinups”.
A top producer at Abbey Road Studios, Scott is also acknowledged as one of the five principal engineers for THE BEATLES. He has engineered countless classic works, including GEORGE HARRISON‘s “All Things Must Pass”, ELTON JOHN‘s “Madman Across The Water”, “Honky Chateau” and “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player”.
In 2012, Scott released his autobiography, entitled “Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust”, co-written with Bobby Owsinski. Promotion for the book included a high-profile event at the Los Angeles Grammy Museum.
The musicians enlisted by powerhouse vocalist Ann Boleyn for the new HELLION project include drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, QUEENSRŸCHE, DIO, DIO DISCIPLES) Swedish import, bassist Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DIO DISCIPLES), and upstart lead guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle.
Scott says of the comparison between working with David Bowie and Ann Boleyn: “They’re both professional. They’re both good at what they do, even though they’re two different styles. Working with Bowie or working with Ann of HELLION, you’ve got sheer talent. No vocalist is quite like David, but he was amazing. Almost all of the takes we did were first takes, from beginning to end. Just complete art and performances, and it was great. They’re both professional, they’re talented, they’re good. It makes it easy.”
Adds Scott: “What makes Ann special is her uniqueness. I’ve never heard another female vocalist that’s anything else like Ann. It was a long time ago, but the first time I ever heard her, it was on a demo, and I didn’t realize it was a female.”
Commenting on Boleyn‘s vocal intensity, Scott explains: “She was part of a very male-dominated market, and vocally she fitted in perfectly. And you saw her live, and you thought, ‘This is coming from her?’ It’s amazing.”
Acknowledging Boleyn as the driving force propelling the band, Scott notes: “HELLION was a group of musicians, and over the years, the musicians have changed. The one musician that has always been the same is Ann. So once again, it’s new musicians. The one constant thing about HELLION is Ann, and her incredible voice.”
Says Boleyn of working with the famed studio icon: “We’re the only metal band he’s work with. In 1986, we entered the recording studio with Ken Scott, but due to other commitments, he was unable to work with us. It’s documented in his book ‘Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust’.”
Says Wright of working with Boleyn and HELLION: “She’s tried to stay true to that heaviness and a certain darkness. She’s sticking to the same formula, just different musicians though.”
Wright, who is still working with Geoff Tate‘s QUEENSRŸCHE and DIO DISCIPLES, observes: “There definitely seems to be quite a buzz. I think it started even before me or Bjorn got involved, so that was cool. There’s a big fan base out there that has been reborn, and they’re really getting back into it, and really getting excited about what Ann is doing.”
Ann Boleyn‘s history is legendary in the world of both metal and rock. Ann was the first woman to successfully own and run a heavy metal label internationally. From 1982 to 2003, her New Renaissance label released albums from a stable of 65 bands.
Among the artists signed to her label was Johnny Depp‘s band ROCK CITY ANGELS (RCA). Boleyn famously released the band, resulting in Geffen Records signing them.
Ann remembers: “I always told my artists and bands to get work as extras in movies, so they would have an additional income. It just so happened that Johnny Depp‘s work led to being on the television show ’21 Jump Street’, and the rest was history.”
“I am so pleased to be able to work with Ken Scott, and this fine lineup of first-rate musicians. I couldn’t ask for more. The fans are really going to be happy with the result,” comments Boleyn.