BBC CD Review In Fireworks Magazine (Sept 2022)
If you want a cult following, then I would suggest that you create an air of complete mystery and
stay totally underground. This is not something that many musicians can easily obtain. However
Heronimus Fin seem to be the absolute masters at this. There is little information at all about them
and they rarely release records; when they do they have very limited runs.
Despite forming way back in 1994 in Birmingham, this is only their sixth ever release and follows
on from 2018`s `The Pharmacist`. Heronimus Fin comprise Jon Buxton (Vocals/guitar), Jez
Nutbean (Vocals/Keyboards), Andy Cooke (Bass/Harmonica), Colin Edwards (guitars), Ashley
Buxton (drums) and in Spinal Tap fashion Terry Boazman (also drums). `Live in Session @ The
BBC` is, as the title suggests, a live album and is compiled from two shows. The first four songs are
from a show at the BBC studios in 2018, whilst the final two tracks are from a gig in Birmingham
dating back to 2016.
They are an underground Psychedelic band, and have been compared to various groups such as
Hawkwind, Budgie, The Kinks and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. I should explain that they
have their very own unique, quirky, fun sound that doffs its cap to each of those bands at different
Opening track `The Pharmacist` has a hypnotic, driving rhythm beat that SAHB would be
immensley proud of; I can just imagine a group of hippies dancing in a deep dark mysterious forest.
The tempo slows down for the gentle `Fool Killer`, featuring jangly guitar playing and softer
vocals. `Crossing The Rubicon` is driven along strongly by the rhythm section, and is a fabulous
straight-up rock tune with a great guitar riff and an epic soaring guitar solo.
Fans of Hawkwind`s `Space Ritual` album will totally be in seventh heaven grooving along to
`Riding The Great Fantastic`, my personal favourite on this release; the song has a seriously
psychotic driving beat. `Elviras Garden` and `Blown Into Another Man`s Sky` are much lighter
power-pop/punk-like ditties, and will have you bopping and singing along to the choruses.
If you are stuck in the seventies and want a new record to add to your collection, then look no
further than this release. Light yourself an incense cone or two and enjoy the journey.
New Release for 2022!
Live In Session @ The BBC
We are excited to announce that our live session recorded for the BBC in 2018
is now available as a limited Edition CD from the following stores:
The CD is a 'vinyl replica' disc contained within a gatefold sleeve and also includes a full colour 8 page booklet.
Crossing The Rubicon
Riding The Great Fantastic
(Live @ Tower Of Song 2016)
Blown Into Another Man's Sky
Cat. No. GCD016
Interview with Record Collector Magazine
Ian Shirley, Editor of The Rare Record Price Guide Talks to Jon & Andy In Issue 515 About Expensive 'Fin' Collectables, Bloodguilt & More...
"Bloodguilt" Album Makes The Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold on Discogs in August 2020!!
Nicole Raney posted October 7, 2020
It’s time for another breakdown of the most expensive vinyl, cassettes, and CDs were sold in the Discogs Marketplace. On the monthly roundup, we can count on seeing classic icons, limited LPs, and a few coveted 7-inch releases.
Let’s starts the most expensive item on the list. The No. 1 spot, which usually goes an older rock record (think The Beatles or David Bowie) and occasionally something fun like this punk 7-inch, has been claimed by a $5,000 test pressing of Metallica’s 1984 album Ride the Lightning. According to the Database, this version was for the Music Connection for Megaforce. And according to the Marketplace, there’s another pressing available — for $7,000.
Now, for the elephant in the room. If your eyes have already scanned the page and your initial reaction was shock at seeing No. 30, we don’t blame you. It’s not often that you see Adolph Hitler on an album cover (especially since any pro-Nazi or any other filth from hate groups is blocked for sale on Discogs).
The controversial cover was replaced with the one above.
“We were in all the national newspapers, on mainstream TV here in the UK, however, we used a historical picture of Adolf Hitler and the Pope on the front cover and suddenly people started refusing to stock it, the UK music mags completely misunderstood the meaning and went for our throats, so we withdrew [Bloodguilt] and changed the sleeve,” Jon Buxton told It’s Psychedelic Baby in 2019. “By the time it was reissued the momentum had gone. Interestingly though, the vinyl test pressing has now become a real collector’s item.”
That “real collector’s item,” which was intended as social commentary and not pro-Hitler, is what you see below. What is the most interesting album cover that you have in your collection?
Sold for $1,914.00
Label: Garden Records
Format: LP, Promo, TP
Styles: Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock, Acid Rock
Interview with Psychedelic Baby Magazine
10th July 2019
Psychedelic Baby Magazine interviews Jon Buxton & Andy Cooke from acid rockers Heronimus Fin!
Who’s in Heronimus Fin and what do you all play? Have you made any changes to the line-up since you started or is this the original line-up?
Jon: Today’s line-up consists of myself Jon Buxton: Vocals & Guitar, Jez Nutbean: Vocals & Keyboards, Andy Cooke: Bass Guitar, Colin Edwards: Second Guitar, and Ashley Buxton: Drums. Yes as the band has been together for over 25 years now there have been lots of contributors, the main previous members were Mike Bates, Terry Boazman, Paul Brookes (all drummers) and Paul Panic who played Bass for many years. We were a bit like Spinal Tap when it comes to drummers!
Heronimus Fin already played in the early 1990s. Were you a member of any bands prior to the formation of Heronimus Fin?
Jon: Myself, Terry Boazman and Paul Panic started in our teens in two bands Misspent Youth and The Accused. We then opened our own recording studios in Birmingham UK where we worked with other bands such as The Sweet, Felt and Napalm Death!
Andy: No, I played the occasional gig but Fin has been my first serious band and I’m loving it!
What do you consider to be your first real exposure to music?
Jon: A guy down my street used to work as a doorman at a local rock venue and when I was about 11 years old he introduced me to Led Zeppelin/Sabbath/Purple/Curved Air etc. and started to teach me the guitar…well there was no turning back. I still love that era down to this day.
Andy: I was raised in a house full of great 1950’s Rock n Roll records like Little Richard. Then one day when I was around 12 years old a friend told me about an album that had almost a whole side filled with a live drum solo…didn’t believe it, so I asked him to bring it to school. Turned out he was telling the truth! It was “The Mule” off Deep Purple’s Made In Japan album. Changed my life forever.
When and how did you all originally meet?
Jon: The band started when I met drummer Mike (Bates) who moved from Plymouth to my locality, he needed a someone to test out a new recording studio so we quickly formed Heronimus Fin (although we were originally called the ‘Orange Chair Lookalike Competition’ glad we didn’t stick with that one).
I had written a few songs for a friends play and through that met a great keyboard player called Jez Nutbean so I called on him, also my old friend Paul Panic (or Mr P as he was now referred to). Unfortunately after a couple of albums Mike had some major alcohol issues and left the band as he was such a great friend. Then we took a break. It was then that I met up with our current bass player Andy (Cooke) due to our love of vinyl collecting and he was the inspiration to get the band back on the road. We called on another old musician friend of ours Terry (Boazman) to play drums and Andy called up Colin (Edwards) from his previous band to play second Guitar, that was that until Terry due to several other musical commitments wasn’t able to continue. That’s when we drafted in my son Ashley as our present man on the skins (that incidentally is why there are two drummers featured on The Pharmacist album). As I said ‘Spinal Tap’
Andy: I met Jon after he ripped me off with a few records he sold to me (kiddin’)! We started talking about our love of 1960’s /70’s psych rock and realised how similar our tastes were. He then invited me over to have a jam (translated ‘audition’) which evidently I passed and he asked me to join the band.
What does the name “Heronimus Fin” refer to in the context of the band name?
Jon: I went to an English Grammar School and I used to take in albums by Mott the Hoople, Jethro Tull, Amon Düül II, Alice Cooper etc. and the other kids would get freaked out by the weird names… I loved that. Also people would often struggle to spell them i.e. Led Zeppelin “…surely it should be spelt Lead Zeppelin old chap?” So Heronimus Fin was from that world (Monty Pythons Flying Circus anybody?). When people write about the band we’ve been called Harmonius Fin, Hermogenous Fin, Heroneus Fin, Humungus Fin, Horonimous Fin even our live sound man Carl still sometimes announces us as Hermonious Fin ‘bless him’.
Can you share some further details how your latest album was recorded and released?
Jon: We have our own recording studios ‘Garden Records’ which we usually use, however as my son Ashley had never had the experience of recording in a top studio with a history, we opted for that. I remembered John Rivers and Woodbine Studios from my days working with Felt. I knew of John’s impressive track record (Ghost Town – The Specials, The Nightingales and Ocean Colour Scene) and he was still an indie set up. The whole thing was a very positive experience which I think is evident in the music. It’s released in 3 formats Vinyl, CD & Cassette; which all have a limited first issue, the second issues will have different designs as we like to keep things collectible.
Is there a concept behind it?
Jon: Absolutely, it deals with Steven who suffers from depression and turns to prescription medication to try and overcome it, this leads to him becoming addicted to the medication so the solution becomes the problem! The songs tell his story…his fight to combat his addiction.
Ashley (Drums) & Andy (Bass Guitar) Woodbine Studios, December 2017
I really love the production of the album.
Jon: Thank you. As a band you’re always trying to get the balance between making a well recorded/produced album but not losing the live energy of the band and we feel we definitely achieved that. We also approached the initial recording process with the knowledge that it must cut well on vinyl. John Rivers did a brilliant job. He said it was the best sounding vinyl production he had been involved with. However it was never meant to be a modern sounding, sterile production that you seem to hear on many releases these days, it was deliberately meant to sound like it was recorded in early 1970’s. John was in his element as he owned all these great vintage f/x which he rarely got to use, but we used lots of them, he said he was fed up of the usual customers question “Do you have auto-tune?” John: “Yes but I also have some great Phasers, Synths, ADT, & lots of Percussive instruments you can use” customer: “nah let’s just stick with auto-tune & samples”.
Who is behind the artwork?
Jon: Credit has to go to Andy on this one. He is a real connoisseur when it comes to album artwork. He has met with Storm Thorgerson (one half of the famous Hipgnosis team – Pink Floyd, UFO, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Scorpions etc etc) several times and purchased some originals, he’s always dragging me across the country to various exhibitions. My only brief to Andy was it had to be a bit of a gimmix sleeve the rest was really down to him and he did us proud!
Andy: Ahh thanks Jon.
You released four other albums. Would you like to tell us about those albums? How would you compare them with your latest release?
Jon: With the first 2 albums The World According To… and Riding The Great Fantastic you have to think of me in the Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) mould as I had a vision and really the band just applied that influence. Musically those albums would fit more in the late 60’s Psych mode (Barrett, Pretty Things/Blossom Toes/Kinks).
The third album Bloodguilt was a marked change in that it was recorded live and allowed all the band to add their own personal influences. As it was live it had a nice rawness to it. It was at this time we’d signed a deal with BMG and things were really starting to take off big time. We were in all the national newspapers, on Mainstream TV here in the UK, however we used a historical picture of Adolf Hitler and the Pope on the front cover and suddenly people started refusing to stock it, the UK music mags completely misunderstood the meaning and went for our throats, so we withdrew it and changed the sleeve. As you can appreciate by the time it was reissued the momentum had gone. Interestingly though the vinyl test pressing has now become a real collector’s item. It was also at this time that the drummer had his drinking issues so we slowed it all down and I discovered ProTools.
This lead to remastering all the old analogue tapes of the early albums/out takes etc. and we put together our 4th album Blown Into Another Man’s Sky which was up for The Mercury Prize, in hindsight as this album also dealt with High School shootings and other controversial subjects it was never going to be a winner was it?
All of your material is released on Garden Records. What’s the story behind Garden Records?
Jon: Having been involved in the music business in their youth and the control it had over their creativity, Garden Records was set up by a group of musicians as a means of managing/selling/recording their work without interference, rather like a musical Kibbutz. Unfortunately musicians and business rarely mix so many fell by the wayside and Garden Records is now run by just a small team and has also added reissues to plump up the catalogue.
Live at The Astoria 2001
What are some future plans?
Jon: Over the years the band has been fortunate enough to make some great friends/contacts throughout Europe and it is still our desire to conduct a small promo tour, as with the US where we have a great fan base but that might prove a lot harder to do!!
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?
Blossom Toes – We Are Ever So Clean
Nick Drake – 5 Leaves Left
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother
Golden Earring – Moontan
Various Artists – Nice Enough to Eat
Genesis – Lamb Lies Down
Stray – Stray
Kinks – Arthur
Led Zeppelin – III
Camel – Camel
Budgie – Never Turn Your Back on A Friend
Budgie – In For The Kill
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
The Doors – The Doors
David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock
Nick Harper – Lies, Lies, Lies
Pink Floyd – Meddle
Not really a new band but most underrated – Rose Hill Drive (first album – awesome)!
ROCK ON THE RADAR
Seventies-saturated underground rockers, Heronimus Fin, are gearing up for the release of their next full-length, The Pharmacist. The concept album follows the tragic life of an individual addicted to prescription drugs. The release comes in several different physical formats, all packed with detail, so we caught up with Jonathan Buxton about how their album design came to be…
The gatefold introduces a character called Stephen who’s battling depression. Tell us more about the concept behind The Pharmacist and where it originated from.
The concept is based loosely on my own situation having been on prescription medication for 30+ years due to chronic migraines and now finding the medication has become the problem, the addiction…I think this has become a major issue for many people today who look for a solution to an ailment then the solution becomes the problem..ironic really!
We seriously rate the sparkly gold tape but why revert to this old format?
The very first Heronimus Fin album called The World According To.. released in 1994 initially came out as a cassette as that was all we could afford back then, what with all the downloading going on these days we thought it would be great for the Fin Fans to have a nice sparkly cassette to hold, there are of course some people who still possess walkmans, or players in their homes or cars, we might even kick off the cassette revolution…who knows.
Each order comes with ‘drugs’, what’s the meaning behind the gimmick?
Firstly need to clarify these are just tic tacs before the nation’s addicts start buying copies, hoping to get high. This idea came through our bass player Andy Cooke who’s very much into vinyl designer artists like Storm Thorgeson/Hipgnosis (Pink Floyd) etc. where the theme of the album is carried through with extras (you don’t get that on a download.eh)
What does the collection of symbols and letters on The Pharmacist’s cover mean?
The symbol on the front sleeve is for Fentynal, which although far stronger than morphine can be obtained on prescription, the most recent casualty being Prince. The shady character seen on the cover and running away on the inside sleeve is The Pharmacist (he could represent the official NHS guy or the dodgy internet suppliers, or even the guy who bends the rules to supply the rich and famous (see Michael Jackson/Marilyn Munroe etc.) but that’s for the listener to decide ..I’m not telling..who is The Pharmacist?
Where did the idea for a ‘Listener Information Leaflet’ come from?
This is modeled on the information supplied with most medication available today, a warning sheet about possible side effects. Our sheet is a warning about possible side effects of listening to Heronimus Fin (could be addictive).
There’s so much detail in each of the physical formats, why was it important for the band to produce exciting, tangible products?
The album is what used to be commonly known as a concept album (or a story album), we’ve just extended the concept past the music/lyrics to the product itself plus of course the video / called "The Pharmacist". It is important when you purchase something to be able to see it, touch it & hold it..don’t you think?
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the record or physical products?
As record collectors ourselves we love to own / purchase limited edition and rare records, the first 300 LP’s will be just that, if we do another press there will be changes that will signify to the collector it is a second pressing. So our desire with all our releases is for them to be collectors items, some of our past releases never turn up for sale as they are so rare, what I can say is that this album has been produced and cut directly for vinyl and as a result musically and dynamically it bursts out of the grooves like no other rock album.
The Pharmacist is due out Aug 20.
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