IT’s hard to believe that this dreadlocked, guitar-wielding rocker is the same unassuming joiner shown below.
But that is exactly the case as guitarist Kevin Bower swaps this heavy metal look with flailing hair for his more everyday uniform working as a joiner in the Ilkeston area.
And now Kevin and his singer brother David are hoping to put Ilkeston ‘on the heavy metal map’ after their band Hell signed a contract with a major record label.
The Ilkeston born-and-bred pair are set to embark on a gruelling European tour of back-to-back festivals to promote the release of their first album Human Remains.
The former Ilkeston Grammar School pupils, signed with Nuclear Blast Europe/USA earlier this year and expect to see the worldwide release of the LP, produced by Grammy-award winner Andy Sneap, on Friday May 13, preceded by a single release on March 4.
Kevin, of St Andrew’s Drive, said: “We actually received firm offers from five labels – that’s almost unheard of in the current economic climate.”
Despite their success, the pair still hold down day jobs – Kevin runs Homeworks joiners and David, of Park Drive, is an actor, having recently appeared alongside Lenny Henry in the West End production of Shakespeare’s Othello.
“If I turned up at your house to fit your new kitchen looking like this, you’d probably call the police,” he said.
“The studded boots and dreadlocks definitely have to come off for the current day job.”
The band has been taken on by Robbie Williams and U2’s European management company and the summer will see them perform at festivals all over the continent including in Slovenia, Austria and Hungary.
Producer Andy Sneap, who has played with metal giants Megadeath, was so impressed by what he heard during the recording sessions that he has now joined Hell as full-time second guitarist.
And Kevin described the staggering series of events as ‘very, very humbling’ and a ‘little scary’.
The band was formed in 1982 but disbanded in 1987 after the tragic suicide of original singer David Halliday.
They reformed recently to re-record their 80s material with Kevin’s brother on vocals.