House of Lords recently released their 11th studio album “Saint of the Lost Souls” through Frontiers Records. I spoke to guitarist Jimi Bell via Skype on 5th April to chat about the new album, House of Lords, Maxx Explosion, guitars, his influences and more. That interview along with 4 tracks from the new House of Lords album and a Maxx Explosion track was originally broadcast on the Friday NI Rocks Show dated 7th April. That Show is now available on our MixCloud page -






(Photo by Gail Corrow)


The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

There was a recommendation for the new album posted on the Rock Radio NI website -


I posted an interview with House of Lords lead singer James Christian back in 2014 -


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NI ROCKS – Hi Jimi, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Rock Radio NI. House of Lords have just released their latest album “Saint of the Lost Souls”. Where was the album recorded and was it once again produced by James Christian?

JIMI – First of all, hello and I’m very honoured to be here. The album is always recorded in different areas. Usually what we start off doing is the records at our drummer’s house; he has a studio there - BJ Zampa. He lives close to me and what I’ll do is write a song and go to his house and present it to him. He’s a writer and arranger himself. Then we’ll work on that and once we have it to a point where we feel it’s a completed song we’ll record it in full. Not as a demo – we record it as if it’s going on a record. Then we send it down to James in Florida. Then if James likes the song, which we’ve been fairly successful at, he will start working on it in his studio. Adding the vocals, keyboards and producing it – making it into a song. Him and BJ worked on the production of the songs together and then they sent them off to the guy that mixed our last record, Ty Sims in Arkansas, and there you have it. We’ve never been in the studio together, not even on the first record that we did – “World Upside Down” in 2005. It’s never been done like that. We always record separately and it works out really well. We’ve got a good system and we’ve been doing it for the last seven records. It seems to work out just fine.

NI ROCKS – The previous six House of Lords albums had been recorded with the same line-up; with the exception of “Cartesian Dreams” which featured Matt McKenna on bass.

JIMI – (interrupts) No, no Matt only did the tour, Matt was not on bass. All the records were the same line-up except for this new one. We have a new bass player - Chris Tristram. Formerly of Jack Russell’s Great White. He joined on because Chris McCarvill had an opportunity to go back and work with Don Dokken. It was just a good financial move for him and he wanted to do it. So we gave him our blessing; and we still have our other project together – Maxx Explosion – with me, BJ and Chris. We have a new bass player for House of Lords and couldn’t be happier because Chris Tristram is a monster player and a great person. He fits right into us really, really well. I couldn’t have prayed for a more perfect person to join House of Lords; so we’re very fortunate.

NI ROCKS – How would you compare “Saint of the Lost Souls” to the previous House of Lords albums that you’ve worked on?

JIMI – We always try to do something a little different on every record. We don’t purposely go in and try to do something like the same record. It’s not the way that I write - I’ll come up with something. I always give James some heavier riffs. This time I had some riffs which weren’t so heavy and he happened to like them. One of the songs on the record, “New Day Breakin’” was recorded a few years back, but it wasn’t right for the “Indestructible” record. “Indestructible” had a few heavier tracks on it and that was the vibe that we were going for on that record, but it happened to fit on this record so we used it. It’s strange, sometimes when you do a record like “Indestructible”, some people are saying it’s a little heavier, it’s not as melodic as they used to be! Then with this record people are saying it’s too melodic or it’s not as heavy as it should be! So you’re in-between. As I said, you have to experiment, you have to try. We’re one of the only bands out there from our genre that is still putting out a record every year and a half. There is not a lot of us out there that are doing that and I’m very proud of that. That we have the opportunity from Frontiers Records to continually put out new records all the time. We work hard on them and most of the reviews on the record have been spectacular; it’s gone really, really well for us. I like the opening track “Saint of the Lost Souls” – I absolutely love it. Another track that I was unsure of at first was “Reign of Fire”. When I sent it to James -  I’m a huge AC/DC fan, so when I wrote “Reign of Fire” originally it started off kind of like an AC/DC song. Almost like “Live Wire” – I had the bass going at the beginning of it and then big power cords going over it. But when the song came back it sounded nothing like it whatsoever. It all these beautiful keyboards and vocals, and all of a sudden there was a Minimoog on it, and I’m going wow, a Minimoog! You’ve got to understand that we don’t hear the songs being done until James sends them back. So what we send James, we never know what it’s going to come back like. That’s one of the cool things. If we were all in the studio and we heard everything as it was being done, we would be used to it, but I like the element of surprise when I play the song for the first time and you hear it all completed with what James did to it. I always get that wow factor – this is amazing.

NI ROCKS – You and drummer BJ Zampa have a long history of working together. I’ll talk about Maxx Explosion later, but how long have you known each other and what projects have you worked on together?

JIMI – BJ and I have a great history together. He’s not only a great friend, he is an amazing musician. We knew of each other because we’re both from Connecticut here in the States and we were in local bands and we all knew of each other. But our real working relationship started in 1999, when a mutual friend of ours Ted Bullet, who was the singer of the band Thunderhead out of Germany, came home and said he was going to do another Thunderhead record and he wanted us to play on it. They did the record and the guitar player that they had wasn’t working out, so they called me to come in and do the leads. That started our whole thing and we ended up on tour. From the Thunderhead record, we went out on tour with Metal Church. This was when David Wayne had joined the band for the “Masterpeace” record. They did “Masterpeace” and then we went out on tour. We were on a double decker tour bus and David would come and watch us play guitar every show. Then one day on the bus he came and sat down and said listen I’m not going to be staying with this and I’m doing a solo record as soon as the tour is over, would you like to do a record with me? I said absolutely and that’s what started really our whole writing process between BJ and I; it was the David Wayne “Metal Church” record. I know he did some stuff with Mike Vescera, the singer from Loudness and other projects. We stay busy together . We play in tons of local bands together him and I. We have so many projects that we do. He plays with me in at least five bands locally, because that’s what we do. We’re full time musicians, we don’t do anything else except play music so we have to work. When one band is not working, we’re going to work in another band. That’s the way it is.

NI ROCKS – We’ll play a track from “Saint of the Lost Souls” now. Do you want to pick one and tell us something about it?

JIMI – I’d like to pick the title track which is a song that I’m very proud of. I like the guitar solo and everything (laughs). The title track “Saint of the Lost Souls” – I like the guitar riff. It’s kinda weird because I’d experimented in a couple of different keys for this song. I’d originally written it in a whole different key and then I started messing around and dropped the E string down to a D and said let me hear what it sounds like that. When I did that and starting playing all the parts I thought this sounds a lot better with the dropped D going in this key. One thing I did get to do, that I didn’t do on any of the other House of Lords records, was that I worked out all my guitar solos prior to recording them. Usually what happens is that I would go into the studio and we’d get to the solo section of the song and BJ would say let’s do the solo and I’d do one passage and he’d say that was OK but let’s do another one. So we’d do about 3 or 4 solos for each song and he’d say that one was the best and we’d agree which one we want to put on. But this time I actually sat down and recorded the solo track, or the rhythm part of the solo track and worked out a solo section for each song. Now I’m kicking myself for not doing it on all the records because it ended up working out so much better (laughs). So I’m still learning at my age. You’re never too old to learn!



Part 2 and 3 to follow



Playlist for Friday NI Rocks Show

SCREAMING EAGLES – Screaming Eagles

HOUSE OF LORDS – Harlequin

Interview with JIMI BELL Part 1(11 minutes)

HOUSE OF LORDS – Saint of the Lost Souls

Interview with JIMI BELL Part 2 (9.5 minutes)

HOUSE OF LORDS - Concussion

Interview with JIMI BELL Part 3(8.5 minutes)

HOUSE OF LORDS – The Other Option


THE QUIREBOYS – Killing Time


DEEP PURPLE - Stormbringer



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Last Updated (Saturday, 10 June 2017 06:31)