Dave: I want to discuss the beginnings of the band. Where did everyone come from?? Basically, how did Hanover Fist become the project as we knew it??
Frank: It started with a rockin band named "Z". We had some extraordinary gigs and made some demos, then the band burnt down in a rock and roll blaze of glory. The bass player of this band took the demos of 'his' songs to a producer (Yes, the same producer that did Hanover) with hopes of advancing 'his' career. The producer (Stacy Heydon) wasn't interested in the songs, but flipped over my screaming vocals. Stacy found my number and called me twice a week for months, to try and get me to record an album with him. I put him off repeatedly because I was trying to rekindle a record deal with Anthem Records (Rush's label) that I had signed with in 1981 and still had an option for a second album.
I had checked into a local studio to create some new demos (for what was to eventually become the Hanover Fist album), with George Bernhardt (guitar) and Gord Paton (drums) and George was trading off with me to play bass. While in the studio working up these new songs, Stacy showed up one day (uninvited and unannounced) and finally convinced me to create an album with him as producer. He impressed me with his persistence and ability to find me while I was 'in hiding' and his reputation as the guitarist for David Bowie on the "Station to Station" tour. Stacy's production work with Iggy Pop, Sheriff and Teenage Head, was all in the same direction that I wanted my music to take, so the fit was good. We continued our demo work with a new vigor and direction and George brought temporary players in from his ex band Lee Aaron to get some gigs in.
After some months we were ready to record the album with Stacy. For the album sessions, we auditioned the best players around Toronto and selected Chris Brockway (bass) from Wrabit, Dan Bilan (drums) from The White, and Kim Hunt (Drums) from Zon. George brought in Bert Bartoletti (back up guitar) from Lee Aaron and I brought in Jim Macdonald (keyboards) from New Regime. We all agreed to use Doug Baynham (one of Toronto's finest singers) for back up vocals on the album. In September of 1984, we checked in to Phase One studios and began to record the Hanover Album. The band played take after take that first day with a magic surrounding them. It seemed as though we had been together for years from the very first note.
I remember the date very well because after the session that night, while driving Chris home, I was involved in a serious car accident and we were both very fortunate to come out of it alive. Months later while waiting to testify outside the courtroom, Chris and I were joking about the courtroom scene from an animated movie classic called Heavy Metal. Although we couldn't remember the name of the character in the courtroom scene of the movie, we both agreed that his name should be the name of the band. I bought the movie that day and rolled up to the courtroom scene. "Hanover Fist" was again a perfect fit.