The moment Lockhart first passed by my radar, I knew there was just something unique about this trio of newcommers from Canada. Formed in recent times by frontman/mastermind Devon Kerr (formerly of Axxion and Midnight Malice), he quickly enlisted Cauldron’s Jason Decay to handle bass duties, who in turn brought on board Annihilator drummer Fabio Alessandrini, effectively making the project a “supergroup” in it’s own right. So it was far from a difficult decision to reach out to the band with some questions on my mind, and I was thrilled to swiftly hear back from Kerr himself, who provided me with answers to many of said questions.
Regarding the band’s origins, he explained; “The name Lockhart was an idea that came to me in 2014. I was fooling around with love songs, and wrote “No Chance in Heaven” way back then. I thought it was a half funny name for a love rock band. Eventually when it came time to name the band we stuck with it. But, hey maybe it’s after Lockhart, Texas… bands like Boston, Chicago, Toronto, London, and Europe name themselves after places (Laughs)!”
As far as putting together the missing pieces, he informed me; “Jason and I have been really close friends for over ten years; we’ve lived, worked, and played music together during that same amount of time. We both share a love for AOR, or essentially heavy music with huge hooks. Fabio was Jay’s friend and number one draft pick for drummer, and I wrote the music before asking anyone to play on the recordings. I play the synth, all guitars, and handle all vocals. The full length will feature Jason on backup vocals, and some guest guitarists, I hope. If we ever do live stuff we’ll have to get a guitar player, since my core role is synth and vocals.”
Kerr continued; “I wrote the songs, and it was a no-brainer to ask Jason to put his bass spin on things. I also knew he would have the perfect drummer for the project through his extended friend group…he suggested Fabio, and I’m glad he did! He’s perfect for the group, and gels with us flawlessly. Again, although I wrote the songs, I wanted both Jason and Fabio to make their parts their own, so they do deserve some real credit here!”
He elaborated further; “The songs turned out great because of (the two of) them. I’m trying to work a little bit closer with the other guys for the album when it comes to writing. Now that we’re solidified with the two other members, we can begin to incorporate the other guys’ songwriting creativity all while keeping the Lockhart sound you know so far.”
I wanted to know a little more about what lead Kerr to play the music he does, and he explained; “Guitar came first at maybe 11, or 12. I started playing piano at around 14, and got into actual sound design and the ins and outs of synthesizers in my mid-twenties. Self taught for the most part – I took music all through high school so that helped.”
He continued even further; “First started playing guitar to bands like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, and whatever classic rock bands were on shirts in the local “rock t-shirt store” when I was first starting out. It developed more into metal, and then dove pretty deep into the ’80s underground (Icon, Tyran’ Pace, Gotham City). When I was about 23, I discovered that to me, AOR music got me pumped up the most. Foreigner, Survivor, Europe, Night Ranger, Van Zant, Alien, Old Michael Bolton, Chicago, Cher, Heart, Anything Desmond Child wrote and SO much more…if it had great synth, I was sold! You can’t go finding ’80s rock synth guys on every street corner, so I took on that role. I am a better guitarist, but I prefer keyboards.”
And whether we see Lockhart on the road any time in the near future, Kerr informed me; “There are unfortunately no touring plans at the moment simply because of the responsibilities of being a grown up…hopefully one day we can make it happen again. And while there’s no touring plans yet, it certainly is something I hope we can one day pull off.”