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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Troyen. The band that inspired so many are back with unfinished business!


Troyen first graced t h e NWOBHM scene i n early 1981. Despite a promising arrival, the band were sadly to part ways early i n 1983.

T h e y re-formed i n 2014 a f t e r 32 y e a r s a p a r t released t h e 9 t r a c k CD

'Finish What You Starte' and have undoubtedly come back onto the

s c e n e with energy a n d determination. Their E P 'Storm Child' was

released i n July 2017 to great critical acclaim. 'A New Dawn' was

released in July 2019. I n October 2019 Troyen signed with Classic

Metal Records to globally release 'Anthology 1981-2019'. High Roller

Records released a double issue vinyl version in November 2020,

'Syrian Lady The Troyen Anthology Part 1 1981-1982' & 'Nightmare The

Troyen Anthology Part 2 2014-2019'. 'Falling Off The Edge Of Forever'

w a s r e l e a s e d o n C l a s s i c M e t a l R e c o r d s i n A u t u m n 2 0 2 1 t h e b a n d s 40th

Anniversary y e a r. A n e w studio a l b u m 'Unfinnished Business' i s t o b e

released o n Classic Metal Records i n June 2024.

T h e bands first Demo a l b u m w a s engineered b y the now legendary

producer Gil Norton's i n his first ever studio job. The album sold out o f

two r u n s of 250 a n d Troyen enjoyed good radio play alongside the

p r o m i s e of a contract with Neat records for a three-track E P b u t t h e

band split prior t o completion. I n t h e time spent together, Troyen

played approximately 130 gigs and supported Spider, Girlschool and

Diamond Head amongst others. They also enjoyed a 1982 European

support t o u r with N i g h t w i n g .

After being approached to p l a y a t Brofest#3 events i n 2014 brought t h e

four original m e m b e r s b a c k together a n d i t w a s decided that the b a n d

w a s t o re-form. Since t h e n Troyen h a v e p l a y e d a t t h e l i k e s of D r u n k e n

Monkey Festival, Heavy Metal Maniacs in The Netherlands, British

Steel in France, Mearfest, HRH Xmas Rocka, Blast From The Past in

Belgium, Giants Of Rock in Minehead, Loverocks V and Headbangers

Open Air i n Germany. Since Re forming there have been several

personel changes but the current line up, definately the stongest to

date, consists of original members Jeff Baddley (Drums/Backing

Vocals) a n d Steve McGuire (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) joined b y

Mark Nortley (Bass Guitar), Simon Lind (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals)

a n d P a u l Ward (Lead Vocals).

S t e v e McGuire : guitar/backing vocals 

His int e r e s t i n m u s i c s t a r t e d a r o u n d t h e

a g e o f eleven whilst learning t o play p i a n o .

H e started playing guitar seriously whilst a t

university. His musical influences began

with Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Black

Sabbath and Bruce Springsteen (amongst

others) whilst m o r e recently enjoying t h e

work o f Joe Bonamassa. Muse, Eric Roche

a n d To m m y Emmanuel.

Before forming Troyen. Steve h a d a l r e a d y t e a m e d with Jeff a n o l d

friend of many years from playing in local bands, playing in the

s a m e football t e a m .

Jeff Baddley - D r u m s &

Backing Vocals

Together with Steve, Jeff was a Founder

M e m b e r o f T r o v e n b a c k i n 1 9 8 1 H e w a s

influenced back in the 70's and So's b y

bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple,

UFO a n d Rush. Their drummers John

Bonham, Ian Paice, Andy Parker a n d Neil

Peart inspired his ambitions to pursue a

career in Music. Following the demise o f

Troyen i n e a r l y 1983 Jeff w a l k e d away f r o m

playing live music completely and sold all his gear to g e t a

"proper job"! Twenty-four years later, a chance encounter with

Troyen's old Sound Engineer convinced him t o buy another k i t and

s t a r t playing again.

M a r k Nortly Bass

Mark joined t h e b a n d i n January 2019 having

played approaching 400 gigs across the

North West of t h e UK with bands including

Piggery Bandana, LA80 and Into The Void.

H i s m u s i c a l i n f l u e n c e s i n c l u d e V a n H a l e n

Metallica, M r Big, Journey, Rush, Zappa and

Malmsteen. Mark's hero's a s you might

expect from t h e l i s t above i n c l u d e Billy

Sheehan and Geddy Lee. Having gigged

heavily over the years Mark believes live performing "is the

real thing" where you stand and fall in the moment. Mark's

playing style adds powe to Troven's engine room a n d driving

rhythm section.

Hailing f r o m E d i n b u rg h Scotland 

Simon Lind Guitar/backing vocals 

started his musical adventure a t the a g e

o f 15 a s a drummer inspired b y John

Bonham and Simon Phillips and after a

brief spell on keyboards a n d a s a bass

player a n friend suggested h e should try

a 6 string a s h e kept bending t h e strings

o n t h e bass. Having settled i n the

Northwest UK i n recent years Simon has

been i n several bands playing across t h e

across t h e UK, Europe and USA including a couple of years working

with a Prog Rock group called FULA, playing lead guitar in an

original Alternative Rock band named 'Dr. Mustard', playing i n a

Meatloaf tribute band and pre Covid h e was in 'Captain Beyond' in

the USA a rock b a n d originally formed i n 1972 with original Deep

Purple vocalist Rod Evans.

Paul Ward: Vocals 

Paul P a u l has b e e n p a r t of t h e heavy rock

live music scene since the 80's. He's

been a lead singer, front man & guitarist

on stages all over t h e UK & beyond with

b o t h c o v e r & t r i b u t e b a n d s . H e h a s a

fantastic vocal r a n g e a n d a n imposing

stage presence, which has won him

many friends & admirers over the years.

His biggest musical influences come

from t h e 70's a n d 80's. Bands like

Motorhead, Saxon and Thin Lizzy are

f i r m f a v o u r i t e s .

It’s now June 2024; release month for the bands new album. We thought it a damn fine time to have a natter with Jeff.

Okay then Jeff let’s get comfy and talk Troyen. You co-founded the band with Steve McGuire (guitarist) way back in the heady days of NWOBHM, 1981. Were either of you in bands before or were you both stage virgins?

   Steve and I 1st met when we played for the same football team in 1974. We both had an interest in music and 1st played in the same band in around 1977. We both     played in many school and college bands in the late 1970's.  

Was music always your passion as a kid? 

   Music was always a passion of mine. I played piano from the age of 10 and I was always listening to music on the radio

What made decide you wanted to hit things as a drummer?

   I always wanted to be a drummer. I would use anything as drum sticks, drumming with knives and forks at the dining table much to the annoyance of  my                    parents πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  I would always watch the drummers when bands were on the TV. They eventually bought me my 1st kit when I was 12yrs old.

What was the early metal scene like in your neck of the woods?

    We live in a small market town between Liverpool and Manchester. Both cities and the surrounding towns had a great music scene in the late 1970's early 80's and      there were many bands  around on the circuit with plenty of venues to play. 

What made you form Troyen with Steve?

   Steve and I had lost touch, he had gone to university and I was in college and also working in a bar to make a little money. I got to know a guy while working there      who was a  bass player (Dave Strathearn) and we decided to start a band. I heard Steve was back home and in a band so Dave and I decided to go and watch them.    They were good but on the drive home Dave and I decided they would be better with us in itπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. I got in contact with Steve and he Troyen was born

Why the name?

   We originally decided on the name 'Trojan' but we found out there was another band in a nearby town called the same name. We were round at Steve's house trying
   to think of a new name when Steve's dad, who was really into opera music, suggested we call ourselves 'Troyen' which is french for Trojan inspired by the                   Berloiz opera 'Les Troyens' 
   Your first demo was produced by Gil Norton (legend) and that was sold out. With a promise of a record deal with Neat and hot gigs; why did you guys go quiet on us?!
   After two versions on 'The Demo' sold out and a successful European tour with 'Nightwing' we were approached by Neat to record a single and possible EP at the       end of 1982 but by that time we were already deciding to go our separate ways. The lack of money was pushing us towards getting full time jobs and we all                  drifted apart. 

What have you been up since then before you got the band together again?

    We all got full time jobs, got married, had children and even grandchildren...grown up stuff

You must’ve missed the guys and the metal, you released “Finish What You Started “ and you played live again in 2014’s Brofest and plenty of other gigs since!?

    I really drifted away from live music and concentrated on my career in the financial industry but secretly always wanted to drum again. In 2008 I bumped into our
   old roadie who told me a friend of his was forming a band and wanted a drummer... that was all I needed, I had bought a drum kit within a week and we formed a         covers band. I got back in touch with Steve and he joined the covers band too. In 2014 I was approached by the guys who ran the Brofest festival who asked me if I     could get Troyen back together to play Brofest#3 in February 2015. Once I had tracked everyone down and we met in a bar not having seen each other for 32yrs we     agreed we would do the gig initially as a one off. At our 1st rehearsal and we played the old songs it was like we'd never been apart. Since then we have played          over 80 gigs and festivals across the UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.
    It’s not quite the same lineup though now is it? You have new members?
    We had a couple of line-up changes in the 80's and we have had a few since we reformed due to demands of life etc. Our new line up for the new album                       'Unfinished  Business' is me Jeff Baddley - Drums, Steve McGuire - Guitar, Mark Nortley - Bass (joined 2019), Simon Lind - Guitar (joined 2022) and                                  Paul Ward - Vocals ( joined 2024).

How do you feel about playing with them, has it injected a new life into Troyen?

    This line-up is awesome, all great guys and great experienced musicians. We all have our own influences and styles which comes out in the material we write.              Everyone has contributed to the tracks on the new album.

Your EP Storm Child was critically acclaimed that must spur you on?

   We write for ourselves but it's always nice when fans and critics appreciate what you do and of course it gives you a good feeling.

It’s cool that Classic Metal Records have also released your Anthology and on good ol’ vinyl too!? 

   We played a gig with Quartz in early 2019 and Patricia and Denis from Classic Metal Records were there and soon after signed us which was a great honour. The         Anthology 1981-2019 was released on CD later that year and on vinyl in early 2020 by High Roller Records. Classic Metal Records have since released our 2021           album ' Falling Off The Edge Of Forever' and our new album this month 'Unfinished Business'

It’s hard to believe that it was 40 years since you formed in 2021 and you celebrated with a new album Falling Off The Edge Of Forever (also on Classic Metal). How did recording a new album go after so long?

   It was great. It was our 1st original material since our 2019 EP 'A New Dawn'. It had been delayed by Covid-19 but we were happy with what we produced

You must be wanting more. Tell us about the new album Unfinished Business?

    We have had a few problems recording the new album with illness, family bereavements and line-up changes but we delivered by the deadline...just. 
    There are 11 tracks, 10 brand new and one re-working of the classic track 'Nightmare' now called '(recurring) Nightmare'. All the other 10 tracks offer something          different... we have even done a power ballad 'It Wasn't Just Me' which is a 1st for us. In all the tracks we have tried to pay homage to our NWOBHM roots but as          musicians we have developed over the years and the tracks reflect that. As I previously mentioned all the band members have contributed to thetracks on the              album either musically or lyrically. The 1st single  (and opening album track) 'The Man I Used To Be' has been really well received. 

How do you feel about the metal world nowadays?

    The metal world is very different in the 21st century. There are many new sub genres for fans to identify with and may new ways of accessing music not just live,        Vinyl and CD but digitally too. All our back catalogue in available on all good streaming platforms and the new album will be available from the 6th July.

You are kicking ass live too. Where can folks see ya ?

    After our album launch at the iconic 'Cart & Horses' in London on 22nd June we have a few weeks off to holiday with our families etc then we have a string of gigs     and festivals from the end of September which take us across the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Check out social media (@Troyen14) for details  

What do you guys like to do to kick back?

   We all have our own ways of chilling but mostly revolve around spending time with friends and family

Anything you would like to say to your fans out there?

    We REALLY DO appreciate all our wonderful fans and followers, we’d be nothing without them. We have always said we’ll continue to play as long as people want      to see and hear us……long may it continue, there’s so much more to come yet.

Da info:

“Unfinished Business “ is out 22nd June 2024

 on Classic Metal Records 

Get your Troyen gear here!

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