Black Halo is a fictional gothic metal band that appears in the Rock Hard and Black Halo series of books published by Mischief, HarperCollins UK.
Position: Lead Vocalist, Composer and Lyricist.
DoB: 19th July
Vitals: Black hair, Yellow Cat’s Eyes (rumored to be grey/blue), 6ft 2”
Hobbies: None that are printable.
Born Alexander T Liddell, the youngest of three siblings, Xane formed the original version of the band aged 14, along with drummer, Steve Matlock, Steve’s kid sister Jilly, and his cousin, Ric Liddell. (Note: Ric would later provide the artwork for albums, Belladonna, Darkly Hysterical and Beyond the Lich Gate, as well as an unreleased erotic art book of the band.)
Xane is best known for his incredible vocal gymnastics, which incorporates both a metal growl and melodic singing. He’s often described as being Beauty and the Beast in one package. Interestingly, his only formal voice training was as a choir boy while at boarding school.
Xane has a degree in Visual Arts, or something like that. He refuses to state from which University. He is currently single and has no known offspring.
Position: Rhythm Guitarist, Lyricist.
DoB: 29th February
Vitals: White blond hair, blue eyes, 6ft 1”
Hobbies: Photography & Scrapbooking
Jan “Spook” Mortensen is the rhythm guitarist for Black Halo. Born in Växjö, Sweden, Jan met fellow band members Xane, Steve and Ash at university in the UK. He is the fourth of five children. Spook’s solo techniques include sweep picking, sliding and legato work. He occasionally employs extreme whammy bar use. He is not particularly known for shredding, as his rhythms tend to be more melodic in nature, although examples include Midnight Wych and Hole.
The other members of the band tell us that Spook’s main passions outside of his music are for baseball boots. He owns several hundred pairs, and for cataloging the band’s antics in his ever growing collection of scrapbooks.
Spook is currently single.
Position: Bass Guitarist
DoB: 31st May
Vitals: Hair: Black/Red/Purple (depends really), Eyes: Hazel, Height: 6ft 6”
Hobbies: Martial Arts with a preference for Kung Fu and Chinese Broadswords.
Born Paul Matthew Marcus Reed, to parents Deborah and Marcus Reed of legendary folk rock band, the Toll Puddle Martyrs, Paul initially rebelled against a role in the spotlight, dedicating his efforts into martial arts training, and only learning to play guitar in order to please his mum.
It was while touring folk festivals across Europe, that Rock Giant met Elspeth, who would subsequently introduce him to the founding members of Black Halo.
At 6ft 6”, Rock Giant is one of the tallest if not the tallest bass guitarist currently playing. According to internal sources, despite his scary appearance, Rock Giant is really a big softy. We wouldn’t know, we daren’t get close enough to find out.
DoB: 17th October
Vitals: Hair: Black, Eyes: Blue, Height: 5ft 11”
Co-founder of Black Halo along with Xane Geist, Steven Aaron Matlock is the older sibling of Jilly Matlock, and a native of Cornwall.
Steve met Xane at high school aged 11 and the two quickly became friends. They’ve been hanging out together ever since. They formed their first band together Halo aged 14, and have remained together through numerous incarnations and line-up changes.
Steve is an enthusiastic swimmer and would love to see a tour bus that incorporates a pool. His favourite place to swim is in the ocean. He hates the gym, preferring to get his work out on stage.
Inside sources tell us that Steve is romantically attached, but refuse to reveal the identity of the lucky lady.
Position: Keyboardist & Backing vocals
DoB: 12th April
Vitals: Hair: Blonde, Eyes: Blue, Height: 5ft
Hobbies: Clothes designing.Swimming
‘The only woman in a land of giants,’ is how Elspeth Shriik (born Elspeth Laura Shaw) once described the experience of performing on stage with Black Halo. Standing at only 5ft, diminutive Elspeth is the keyboardist for Black Halo, and also provides haunting backing vocals, which perfectly mirror Xane’s harsher sounds.
Elspeth is an only child, but grew up in an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Her family were heavily into the folk scene, which is how she met and became friends with bassist, Paul Reed.
Elspeth is often rumored to be romantically linked to vocalist Xane Geist, though neither party is willing to confirm or deny that they are intimately involved. Elspeth is also frequently seen out with Paul Reed, though the pair maintain they are best friends and nothing more.
Last, because he was so busy entertaining the fans that we couldn’t pin him down, is Ash Gore. Welcome Ash.
Position: Anything involving the girl’s head being lower than her hips. Oh, you mean in what instrument I play. Well in that case, lead guitar.
DoB: 11th January
Vitals: Black hair, blue eyes, 5ft 11”
Hobbies: Licking. (Interviewer: You mean your guitar? Ash: Anything really.)
Born Ashley Ryan, the younger of two brothers, Ash Gore learned to play guitar after listening to his dad’s Hendrix collection. Ash maintains that he had no formal guitar training; rather he plays the music as he sees it in his head. Ash typically uses a range of hammer-ons and pull offs to speed up his riffs and soloing, particularly good examples of this can be heard in The Garden of Lost Time and Lilith Licked. The latter is Ash’s favourite Black Halo track to date.
Completely dedicated to the band, Ash maintains that he has no time for hobbies as his quest to entertain the fans takes up all of his time and energy.
DoB: 3rd November
Vitals: Blond, One pale-green, one hazel, 6ft 3”
Hobbies: Collecting vintage vinyl.
Luthor Albrecht joined the band to replace former drummer Steve Matlock. He is the nephew of Ulf, the band’s chief sound engineer. Born in Malmo, Sweden. Luthor also drums for Swedish band Denna Radsla.
Rumours abound that he is romantically attached to vocalist Xane Geist, though Xane’s continued rather public attachment to girlfriend Dani Fosbrook seems to suggest otherwise.