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This melodic rock quintet, originally from Michigan, was formed by Ron Taylor (vocals), Steve Blaze (guitar), Jon Ster (guitar, keyboards), Rob Stratton (bass), and Danny King (drums). The band was taken under the wing of Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby and named Lillian Axe. Produced by Crosby, their 1988 debut was a fine amalgam of infectious rockers and hard-edged pop tunes. Love + War was even more impressive, featuring extended atmospheric compositions that were both anthemic and memorable. However, the record sold poorly and MCA dropped the band from their roster. In 1990, King and Stratton were replaced by Gene Barnett and Darrin Delatte, respectively, after which the Music for Nations independent label became their home for the next few years. Following the release of 1993's Psychoschizophrenia, the band decided to call it a day, with Blaze going on to form Near Life Experience with his brother Craig Nunemacher. Lillian Axe re-formed briefly at the end of the decade to promote the rarities collection Fields of Yesterday. In 2007, after numerous lineup changes, Blaze and company returned to the studio with new vocalist Derrick LeFevre to record Waters Rising. Sad Day on Planet Earth arrived in 2009, followed by Deep Red Shadows in 2010, and XI: The Days Before Tomorrow in 2012., Rovi
Lillian Axe is a hard rock band from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, best known for its major label albums, Lillian Axe, Love + War and Poetic Justice, the band's biggest commercial success. Originally formed in 1983, the group is still active today although only the guitarist Steve Blaze remains from the original line-up.James Christopher Monger. "Lillian Axe - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
The classic line-up came together when former Stiff members, Ron Taylor (lead vocals) and Jon Ster (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), teamed up with Lillian Axe members Steve Blaze (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Rob Stratton (bass guitar, and Danny King (drums) in 1987. The band caught the attention of Ratt's management which led to a record deal with MCA and Ratt's Robbin Crosby producing the band's first album, Lillian Axe. However, neither this nor the 1989 follow-up, Love + War, produced by Tony Platt, met commercial expectations and the group was quickly dropped. A compilation of both MCA albums, (1987-1989) Out of the Darkness - Into the Light, was released in 1991.
The band found a new label home with Grand Slamm/I.R.S. Records for Poetic Justice, released in 1992, with Darrin DeLatte (bass guitar) and the former Dirty Looks member Gene Barnett (drums) replacing Stratton and King, respectively. The album peaked on the Billboard Top Heatseekers at No. 28, the band's biggest success to date, in part based on the strength of the single, "True Believer". Returning to the studio with the Swedish producer Leif Mases, the group issued Psychoschizophrenia in 1993, with Tommy Scott replacing Barnett on drums. Unable to capitalize on their previous success, Lillian Axe disbanded in 1995. Taylor formed The Bridge, while Blaze teamed up with his brother, the drummer Craig Nunenmacher, in Near Life Experience, and Scott, aka Tommy Stewart, found success with Boston's Godsmack, appearing on the band's platinum selling Godsmack and Awake albums.
In 1999, Lillian Axe released Fields of Yesterday, consisting of unreleased demos and album outtakes, followed by Live 2002, recorded in May 2002 in Houston, Texas, with only Taylor and Blaze remaining from the classic MCA line-up.
After several line-up changes, the band recruited as lead vocalist Derrick LeFevre, who appeared on Waters Rising (2007), Sad Day on Planet Earth (2009) and Deep Red Shadows (2010). On June 23, 2010, Ronny Munroe, formerly of Metal Church, replaced LeFevre, but he departed four months later before recording any material with the band. He was replaced by Brian C. Jones who can be heard on the latest album, XI The Days Before Tomorrow (2012).
On August 8, 2013, Lillian Axe was involved in an automobile accident.
Lillian Axe released One Night in the Temple, an acoustic live album, early in 2014. On November 29, 2014, former guitarist Jon Ster passed away from heart failure at the age of 52.James Christopher Monger. "Lillian Axe - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 December 2014. "Blabbermouth.Net". Blabbermouth.Net. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013. "Lillian Axe To Release Acoustic Live Album 'One Night In The Temple' In April". Blabbermouth.Net. February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2014 July To December". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
On May 16, 2010, in Erwinville, Louisiana, Lilian Axe became the first hard rock act to be inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.