LEGEND Interview Page 6
By Bob Nalbandian
SW: Who are some of the other bands/artists you admire or respect? And who influenced you musically when you were starting out?
PH: My main influence has always been Jimi Hendrix, followed by Black Sabbath, Budgie, Deep Purple etc. Other than that, I listen to a myriad of artists and styles, guitar metal predominantly but I also indulge Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Sting and other great lyricists.
SW: In the early days of Legend, several metal journalists described your music as Black Sabbath meets Pink Floyd. Looking back, do you feel that was an accurate description?
PH: Well both bands were a huge influence on me, especially Sabbath's first album and Floyd's "Animals" so I guess it's not surprising, although I think Mike's voice was the main reason for our uniqueness. I find it hard to compare us to any other band to be honest.
SW: You self-financed the first three Legend albums and released them on your own label back in the early '80s. That must have been very difficult at that time, acting as the record label and artist..in those days, it was rare for an artist to obtain worldwide distribution on their own custom label as Legend did. Did the band showcase for other major or indie labels prior to self-releasing those records?
PH: Yes, every record was self-financed on our own label. Independence was the name of the game in those days. Everyone was doing it, even Iron Maiden until they got signed, that was what made the NWOBHM movement unique. We sold enough of the first album to finance the second and so on, and distribution was a lot easier than it is these days. Now you have to be signed to a major label just to get your records in the shops, and radio airplay is all sewn up by the majors hence why most of our albums are now sold mail-order or over the internet. It would be nice to be signed to a label but at least we can do exactly what we want, no compromise, no one saying what we can or cannot write songs about.
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