February , 1984
By Greg Garrett
Heaven Sent from Down Under
They hail from Australia where currently where they have already made a fairly significant splash. Now they want to ride the waves to America. For the band Heaven, making a mark in the biggest market in the world would be nothing short of, well, heaven!
"America is right over the top,” said vocalist Allen Fryer. “When you look at Australia, you've got to realize it only has a population of some fourteen million people. Now you take a city like New York, and it practically has half the population of an entire country living there.
"I don't think there are any better audiences in the world than those here in the U.S. In our country, for instance, you might be able to see Men at Work seven nights a week. You might be able to see Heaven seven nights a week. That's the whole thing. There are so many good bands in our country, people just take them for granted."
The band was originally formed in Adelaide under the name Fat Lip. It featured Fryer, bassist Laurie Marlow, Kelly Haese on guitar and drummer Joe Turtur. Soon after the band moved to Sydney but eventually returned back home. Shortly afterward, Fat Lip came to the attention of Michael Browning, a Sydney music industry figure who had managed AC/DC in the 1970s and had just started a new record label called DeLuxe that had just signed a group called INXS. Fat Lip began recording an album for DeLuxe, but changed its name to Heaven during the sessions. The album, Twilight of Mischief, was preceded in late 1981 by a single, "Fantasy". A second single, "In the Beginning" became the album's title track when it was released by RCA Records.
"It takes a long time to get outside Australia,” stated Fryer. “This is the first time that we've been in America."
The band has made an impact with the single “Rock School” which is on heavy rotation on MTV. The band is on tour now supporting their second album, Where Angels Fear to Tread. A song from the record, "Rock School," is enjoying solid rotation on MTV, further introducing the band to American audiences.
"After we finish the tour we're on now,” continued Fryer, “we'll go and do some dates by ourselves in Southern California. We have been slotted to open for Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, and have even been offered the opening gig for Iron Maiden’s upcoming world tour. Basically, what we're doing in the Southwest is going out onstage for thirty-five minutes, kicking a little ass and getting ready to hit the road again big time."
Heavy metal has become increasingly popular with today’s generation of rock fans. Heaven is seeing the effect of the music firsthand while they tour.
“You’ve got to remember that hard rock has always been there,” remarked Fryer, “and always will be. New music comes along like disco, punk and new wave, yet it all eventually goes down the shitter before too long. That type of noise is just not sustainable in today’s market. Rock and roll, however, will always be here, no matter how many attempts are made to destroy it.”
Fryer says the group has always considered themselves to be a street band. By that, he says the band wants to always identify with the fans that purchase their music.
“If you’re selling lots of records,” he said, “there’s no sense in frittering away your money on a stage show if you can get out there under a single spotlight and do the same thing, make the same thing happen. We don’t need special effects to create a magical feeling on stage with our music. We know that.
“Too many times we’ve seen successful bands get to the top and over-indulge. When you start getting too involved with yourself, and forget where you came from, that's when it's time to quit. We’ll keep slugging it out, cut through the usual rock and roll bullshit. In this business, you have got to work hard and be patient. You can't trust anything that happens too fast to you in this business. In that regard, Heaven can wait."