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1981-1982


Biography

A hardworking London heavy metal band operating at the height of the new wave of British heavy metal (Kenny Cox on guitars, German's John Pettri on bass & lead vocals plus drummer Frank Darch) Defender had originally begun as more of a blues rock band in 1979, then undertaken some experience building club tours through Germany before returning to England. John was smoking cigarettes company More & Kenny Cox decided to change name to More.

More's vocalist Paul Mario Day and guitarist Paul Todd actually played briefly for one of the early incarnations of Iron Maiden. More debuted with the track 'Soldier' on the 1980 BBC Metal Explosion compilation album and released We Are The Band single, it reached No. 56 in the U.K national charts in 1981 before the group were signed by Atlantic and recorded their debut album Warhead. Warhead sold 40,000 copies in Germany. Todd had already been replaced by Laurie Mansworth on second guitar.

After supporting (with Lionheart) Def Leppard, Ted Nugent, Girlschool, Saxon and Krokus on their British tours and Europe (with their friends Iron Maiden), along with subsequent gigs throughout the U.K. as headliners on the Atomic Rock tour, More opened Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' (featuring AC/DC, Whitesnake, Slade, Blackfoot & Blue Öyster Cult) festival on 22.08.1981 with 65,000 people crowd and next day festival in Darmstädt, Germany (again with Blackfoot & Blue Öyster Cult plus Foreigner, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Kansas) before they began recording their second album Blood & Thunder. Early stage work began with producer Pete Hinton (Vic Rush came later), but Paul Mario Day quit (he had arguments with manager Gerry Slater) when 2nd album was completed to join Wildfire (1983-1985) with guitarist Martin Bushell and after Sweet (1985), Black Sabbath tour being cancelled, because Kenny Cox had arguments with Black Sabbath's road crew after they let a huge pyro off during More's sound check at Hammersmith Odeon, London on December 31st 1982.

Andy John Burton joined the band straight after Frank Darch left and before Warhead was released, and also was with the band from then on and for the 2nd album Blood & Thunder. He did all the major tours with the band. The band soldiered on, recruiting vocalist Mick Stratton although the album was delayed as Stratton re-wrote lyrics to all the previously recorded material. Bassist Brian Day left during recording to be replaced by Barry Nicholls. The record was never released in Britain, but did surface in Europe before Laurie Mansworth left (due to disagreements over musical style and direction with Kenny Cox & manager Gerry Slater) to form the much mellower Airrace with drummer Jason Bonham. Shortly, 7" single Trickster with an excellent version of ''Hey Joe'' song as B-side was recorded and released on Atlantic Records in 1982.

More reformed briefly in 1985 with Kenny Cox, vocalist Ron Jackson, guitarist Mel Jones, bassist Barry Nicholls and Paul George on drums, but the whole thing was unfortunately short-lived. Kenny Cox joined the ''Fatman'' band Mammoth led by ex- Samson vocalist Nicky Moore and former Gillan bassist John McCoy. Laurie Mansworth came back to the fore as manager/producer of Roadstar.

A further attempt at reforming More in the spring of 1998 (with a few gigs at the Cartoon Club in London), fronted by former Traitor, Axon IV and Brian Connolly's Sweet man Mike Freeland, drummer Rick Dyat and after Andy Robinson stalled when at Easter weekend 2000 Kenny Cox suffered five strokes, which ruined serious record company interest. Subsequently Barry 'Baz' Nicholls went on to Nightfall and after Dangerous Breed. Mike Freeland joined Nemesis before rejoining Nicholls in Dangerous Breed. Freeland subsequently journeyed on to Praying Mantis. Sadly, Brian Day died due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Kenny Cox left music business. Paul Mario Day lives in Australia and has a rock band called Gringos, Defaced and Crimson Lake. Andy John Burton moved to North East England in the late 1980s and formed a progressive rock outfit Matrix and later joined another called Phoenix Rising, but due to their geographical location neither band could secure deals and eventually split. Laurie Mansworth is a manager for his son's heavy metal band God Sacks Man these days.

By the way, Warhead album hit charts No. 1 in the UK. Both albums were re-released on the CD by Wounded Bird Records, USA in 2005.

(Source: MySpace)