Bassist Rik Fox looks back on 37th year anniversary of release of Steeler’s debut self-titled album
Steeler‘s debut self-titled album featuring lead vocalist Ron Keel (Keel, Ron Keel Band, Black Sabbath), guitar virtuoso Yngwie J. Malmsteen and bassist Rik Fox (W.A.S.P., SIN) was released 37 years ago.
The following message was posted in part on Fox‘s Facebook page earlier today:
“37 years ago today. The Anniversary of the iconic, legendary Steeler album was released in September, 1983. Nashville Singer/guitarist Ron Keel, Dallas drummer Mark Edwards, NY bassist Rik Fox, and Swedish lead guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. A cornerstone of the 1980’s Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene, all-to-often, overlooked for their valuable contribution to the history of the genre. But the fans never forget. Often associated as the introduction of Malmsteen to the world of rock guitar. Their debut album amazingly stands the test of time and is often included in the fans’ Top 5, of The Top 10 ‘stranded on a desert island’ collection of heavy metal albums. “
In an interview with Sleaze Roxx back in May 2019, Fox talked about Malmsteen‘s part / role on the Steeler album:
“You know, even back in the day in the ’80s when he was with us, [being a] team player was not really in his wheelhouse. It wasn’t really part of his agenda I guess I’d have to say. It was begrudgingly done in my memory, as far as I recall back then. Ron and Yngwie were butting heads from day one over the music. The music was all written by Ron anyway. It was written before I was in there you know. I just had to learn the songs. You know, it was simple stuff. The album is a testimonial to the test of time. It wasn’t rocket science — three chords, straight ahead rock. I took heat and criticism from people saying that I wasn’t a very good bass player because of the Steeler album and I said, “Look. It’s Steeler music. I can play other stuff. If I came in there playing like Gary Thain of Uriah Heep or some great bass player, it wouldn’t be Steeler music. It would totally alter the sound.
So I played what I was requested to play and that’s that, you know? And I am the first bassist on US soil to go toe to toe with Malmsteen on a daily basis. He didn’t scare me. I wasn’t intimidated by him. He was impressive. We were all impressed because up until that point, everything was Eddie Van Halen. Yngwie was breaking new ground more or less. So he took raising the bar to the next level so to speak. But to answer your question, he wasn’t really that much of a team player. He went along with it until he could establish himself and move on as soon as possible. You know, the writing was on the wall pretty early on. It was just a matter of time.”