Questing for more than the L.A. scene had to offer at that time -- a more “power” European style -- Jerry Watt (guitars) and Kit Carlson (bass guitar) formed AXEHAMMER in 1982.
The band eventually welcomed drummer, Mark Sky, and singer, Bill Ramp. Their first song, “Axehammer,” soon followed.
With their line up complete, Bill Ramp (vocals), Jerry Watt ( guitars), Kit Carlson (bass) and Mark Sky(drums,) the band recorded a demo of 3 songs –“ Wings of fire”, “Sword and Shield”, and “Axehammer.” They soon began to play in clubs around L.A. such as the Whisky-A –Go-Go , Troubador, Gazzaris (today known as Key Club), and so on.
However, mounting frustrations with Management compounded by the loss of their drummer, Mark Sky, forced the band to take a break.
Enter new drummer, Joe Aghassi, and AXEHAMMER re-emerges on the L.A. club scene.
In 1985 the band regrettably appeared on NEW RENAISSANCE’S compilation album “Satan’s Revenge” showcasing their title song “Axehammer”. “We were really pissed off about the title,” Jerry relates,” it gave the impression that we were a satanic band and we were not.”
In 1986 they recorded their first album “Lord of the Realm.” The band got a record deal but it fell through. The L.A. glam band scene was in full swing then and proved to be no fit for AXEHAMMER. Singer, Bill Ramp, then dealing with family issues, quit the band. The band disbanded in 1989 followed by a long hiatus.
In 1997 Sentinel Steel Records’ producer, Denis Gulbey, after stumbling upon an old demo of an AXEHAMMER classic, signed the band and released the “Lord of the Realm” EP album, despite the fact that the band wasn’t together, which became a cult-classic among European Metal fans. The album’s success inspired the band to reunite in 2005 with Bill Ramp (vocals), Jerry Watt (guitars) , Joe Aghassi (drums) and Colion Sauers (bass) to record “Windrider” with legendary producer Bill Metoyer. Metoyer recorded bands such as: SLAYER, W.A.S.P, LISSY BORDEN, and CORROSION of CONFORMITY. The band went on to play around the U.S. and was invited to play in Germany at the” Keep it True” festival. It was then that Horacio Colmenares of NEW EDEN joined the band for the tour as the new bass player.
Following the tour, Bill Ramp had to step aside due to health complications. Replacing Bill was singer, Mark Stewart (ex-singer for THRUST). Horacio Colmenares also left the band. Matthew Roxx replaced Horacio as the new bass player.
The band once again joined its fans in Germany to play at the “Headbangers Open Air Festival.” Upon returning to the U.S., AXEHAMMER played with bands like Forbidden and Agent Steel.
In 2008, after recording the new album with Bill Metoyer, Mark Stewart, the singer that had replaced Bill Ramp, left the band due to artistic differences. With an entire C.D. recorded, and no singer, the band was facing a serious dilemma. They were struggling to find a good replacement. And as if that weren’t enough, uncertain of the band’s future, bassist, Matthew Roxx, also quit.
Soon after hiring bass player, Eric”Oso” Hjort, to replace Matthew, the band began once again auditioning for a new singer. After auditioning more than 30 singers, the band found a replacement in Brazilian-born singer, Kleber Freitas (ex- singer for SACRED SINNER, TAILGUNNERS, and SINRISE). They immediately began re-recording the album. By July 2010 the new C.D. was finally recorded. The band started playing gigs in California with bands like MICHAEL SCHENKER and THE IRON MAIDENS.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck the band in September 2010. Bassist, Eric”Oso”Hjort, passed away while undergoing a stomach surgery procedure. AXEHAMMER suffered a huge loss of not only a band member, but a dear friend.
Patrick O’Brien performed briefly with the band before leaving due to artistic differences. The band called on Horacio Colmenares to fill in once again, but this time as a permanent member. The band wasted no time in getting Horacio to the studio to re-record the bass lines for the new C.D.
Enter the new AXEHAMMER -- Kleber Freitas (vocals), Jerry Watt (guitars), Horacio Colmenares (bass) and Joe Aghassi (drums).
AXEHAMMER currently performs around California with bands such as: LIZZY BORDEN, GAMMA RAY, LOUDNESS, THE IRON MAIDENS, and the BULLETBOYS, just to name a few. This year, in 2012, the band is scheduled to release their much anticipated new C.D. with Pure Steel Records.
They continue to be invited to play in Metal Festivals in Europe to perform in front of thousands of fans.
“Axehammer” was on Heavy Metal’s Top 10 and the “Windrider” C.D. has been considered one of the best heavy metal albums of 2006 by critics all over.
AXEHAMMER has always remained true to Metal music and their Metal fans, writing what comes from their hearts. You will be amazed at how powerful AXEHAMMER’s music is and what a great message it brings to their fans. Their shows are dynamic, full of energy and entertainment that you don’t want to miss.
Step into the experience of a lifetime with this band of brothers who will awaken you to great music and one of the most dynamic performances that you are guaranteed not to forget.
Don’t miss AXEHAMMER! Soon to thrill in a location near you.