Ground Attack

Ground Attack: Logo

At the beginning of the 80's, when heavy metal scene was bigger than today, and was still growing up, Tom Atkinson decided to got his band together again. Ground Attack was one of most known NWoBHM bands, but it was more than twenty years ago. What are they doing today, when actually real heavy metal exists only in the underground? I had a talk with leader and founder of the Ground Attack fame, Tom Atkinson...

Hi Tom, Hi Corrie! How's life?

Life is great thanks - full of creativity.

Let's go back to the 80's, the best years for Heavy Metal. I know that your band disbanded in 1982 after 3 years being together. What happened? And why did you decide to bring the band together again?

The original line-up had gone as far as it could without the backing of a major record company. Therefore, I decided to pull the plug whilst we were on top, leaving the fans with happy memories. The new line-up was brought together because of their extreme talent and experience. It was an opportunity not to be missed to work with such talented people.

In 1979 you recorded a tape, which was lost. Why didn't you decide to record it again?

The tapes were actually stolen (someone obviously thought we were good enough to make the big time!) At the time we couldn't afford to do it all again. We were gutted.

You recorded back then four songs, but only two of them can be found on your album "Sectioned". What about "Motorbike Song" and "Flying Time"? We can find those songs on your website, but maybe you have plans to release them in the future?

Well spotted! "Motorbike Song" will shortly be released as part of a compilation album which has been instigated by the presenter Mike Grindstaff from the Old School Metal Show at www.hardrockin80s.com. We have plans to record "Flying Time" - but are waiting for the "right" time in a creative sense! Watch this space!

Let's say, I want to buy "The Red Lion" EP. Where can I find it?

Copies of "Red Lion" are being sold on the internet by rare record dealers for around 70-80 €. We don't have any left to sell I'm afraid!

Why are you guys still looking for people from the picture from "The Red Lion" cover? And did somebody give a sign?

Many of the people have now left messages on the Ground Attack website. It's been fun having people say "Hi! who were on the original cover and nice to match all the names to the faces again! Sadly not all of them are with us anymore. The idea was to one day try to get them all together again for a new cover shoot at the same spot!

Tell me, Tom, why did you call your band "Heavy Duty" for a short time in 1989?

For two reasons really. Firstly, I still wanted to leave Ground Attack how it had been left - I didn't want to burst the bubble of what had been. Secondly, it was heavier than Ground Attack - I used part of a PA System just for my guitar! God we were loud! So it was "Heavy Duty"!

The members of Ground Attack have changed 2 times and every time only you stayed in the band. Why? Has it any influence on music? Do you think that present members will stay in the band longer than the previous ones?

I stayed in the band because it's my band with my songs, without me it wouldn't really be the same. And yes, changes in the line-up do influence the music. I think in our case it's a good thing. I think each time the music has been taken a step further - and kept up with the times. It's made the music quite fresh! But it's always basically Ground Attack!

Corrie, you are a female bassist in the band. Don't you think that some people can show interest in the band because of you? Maybe in future you will do some vocals as well?

Corrie's not here just now, so I'll answer! Corrie is a great asset to Ground Attack. She is a multi instrumentalist, playing keyboards, violin, saxophone, flute and bass and yes, she'll defiantly be doing more singing in the future. She also has great ears (not in the physical sense!) which means that in the studio - she's fantastic!

How do you remember gigs you played in the 80's? Could you compare them with present ones? Has something changed? Don't you think in XXI century it is harder to bring people on NWoBHM show?!

The gigs I played in the 80's were fantastic! Comparatively speaking they're the same - people still jumping up and down, spilling their beer. Yes, I do think something has changed. Noise meters in venues haven't helped things! I also think the pop scene took a lot of people away and the men in white coats took the rest. But I reckon these XXI century people will Get into NWoBHM. Just play them "Sectioned", they'll get the buzz! Nothing changed Rock is the foundation of the electric church - it's here to stay!

Did you play some gigs behind the border of your country already?!

Yes, but not as Ground Attack.

Your album is released by yourselves. No labels showed interest in release of your material?!

We haven't actually approached any labels as yet.

And the next question about your album... I always wanted to ask you, Tom, about cover of your CD on which you really looks like a woman! Was it your idea? Someone, who take your album for a first time in hands, and see this picture, may think that Ground Attack is a female fronted band! ;-)!

"Oi! Leave it out Pal!" What's wrong with guys wearing pearl earrings or do you think we should be "Sectioned!"

So, I think I asked you everything I wanted to ask. Best wishes for Ground Attack. Thank you for a nice talk. The last words are yours!

Thank you very much Marta for the opportunity to talk to you and the Polish fans it's been fun. Ground Attack would like to thank you all for your support. Keep on Rockin'! Tom, Corrie, Matt, and B!

Interview done by Marta Kroczak-Gabriel in August 2004.