HistoryWhen Kitchener, Canada's Helix burst upon the scene, the band was compared to April Wine and generally celebrated. The gang was formed in 1974 as The Helix Field Band. The early line-up was band leader Bruce Arnold (drums), Brian Vollmer (vocals), Ron Watson and Rick Trembley (guitars), Keith Zurbrigg (bass) and Don Simmons (keyboards). Don and Brian had been in a school band called Homegrown. Trembley was let go due to a lack of playing ability. The band carried on with one guitarist. This act's first ever show was at a local high school and they played covers of bands like Uriah Heep and Golden Earring. Arnold left as well. Brent’s identical twin brother Brian took over the stool. The debut LP was a success and the band even ventured into the USA for shows on the back of some radio airplay. One show was opening for Y&T. H&S was the label of the band and its manager William Seip. The reception to White Heather & Black Lace was not as positive and following another album the hard rockers appeared on the verge of oblivion when it was rumoured that Vollmer took off to join Strutz. In fact, the band obtained a major deal with Capitol and headed out to Europe to tour with Kiss. The act opened for Headpins at home and also toured with Honeymoon Suite. No Rest For The Wicked (a catchphrase of Brian’s father) was a good effort, and Heavy Metal Love was written about Joan Jett, although the Kitchener band had lost the Doerner twins by now - although Brian returned for Long Way To Heaven and other albums. Bassist Daryl Gray joined for Walkin' The Razor's Edge. Gray was an Irishman who had immigrated to Canada twice, once as a little boy and again later as a teenager. The band opened for Ratt. The band’s Rock You video was a hit. The band also covered Crazy Elephant’s Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’, which had two versions of its video. One with topless girls and one safe for daddy and mommy. Traci Lords was in the better version. The band next toured with Accept and Keel. The band filmed a commercial for LaBatt Blue beer. Deep Cuts The Knife from Long Way To Heaven was a hit.
Capitol, directly or indirectly, sent the band back to the drawing board for a more glam metal image. The band’s stage show was choreographed and included rolls and dives off the PA system. Nevertheless, or because of this fact, Helix had a hit single with the aforementioned song Heavy Metal Love at this time. The makeover did not work out and by 1990 Helix was back on an independent act. The band also released a sampler on the local Maximum Records, which also counted Anvil as a member of its roster. Back For Another Taste was supported with a tour with Ian Gillan.
Paul Hackman was killed on the road near Vancouver in Western Canada whilst on tour in 1992. It's A Business Doing Pleasure was meant as a Vollmer solo record at first and became a Helix record dedicated to Hackman. Greg Fraser joined for It's A Business Doing Pleasure. Business was extremely slow, however, and the band called it a day. Vollmer became a vocal coach and various band members became studio musicians. Half-Alive was a collection of live and studio songs largely culled and released by Vollmer and the band. The original line-up got together in 1999 long enough to record three new tracks for an up-coming compilation CD of the band. A video was also promised. Vollmer and Gray collected a number of guest musicians and toured across Canada at the turn of the century. The band also released a DVD sampler.
Helix was preparing a new studio album and a thirtieth anniversary video in 2003. The band released a new studio CD called The Power Of Rock And Roll through Capital Records/EMI in September of 2007. The band was singer Brian Vollmer, Jeff Fountain (bass), Steve Georgakopoulos (lead Guitar) and Rob MacEachern (drums). Helix was rehearsing for a new 2009 album due through AOR Heaven. The band was singer Brian Vollmer, guitarists Brent Doerner and Jim Lawson, bassist Sean Kelly and drummer Rob MacEachern. Helix announced Vagabond Bones as the title for its next album, which was due in the winter of 2010 through AOR Heaven. Helix released its new album, Vagabond Bones, on November 17th of 2009 through Universal Music in Canada. Singer Brian Vollmer and new guitarist Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly/Nelly Furtado) wrote the album. Select Canadian dates were planned for November. Toronto's Helix signed a deal with EMI Canada for the release of its acoustic album, Smash Hits Unplugged. The songs That Day Is Gonna Come and Dream On were released as singles in January of 2011. Helix was being filmed for the pilot of a reality-TV show called Vagabond Bones in early 2011. Helix was tentatively planning to release a compilation album that autumn featuring five new songs plus tracks from the most recent three CDs, When Pigs Fly (Vollmer’s solo record from 1999), Vagabond Bones, and Power Of Rock And Roll. The band had already issued an acoustic album, Smash Hits Unplugged, in January. In June of 2012 guitarist Brent Doerner left Helix. He would play with the band in Toronto on September 28th and on September 29th in Stratford. Canadian hard rock band Helix picked Bastard Of The Blues as the title for its next album, which was tentatively due in March of 2014. According to singer Brian Vollmer, "The CD will follow in the vein of Vagabond Bones" album. The album featured a new line-up aside from Vollmer of course. Drummer Greg "Fritz" Hinz was placed in a medically induced coma by the ambulance orderlies in late 2018 after fracturing his skull during a fall from the roof of his house where he was conducting minor repairs. The band’s immediate shows went on with Jamie Constant of Syre. Hinz would re-join the band for Canadian concerts in June. The band’s song Heavy Metal Love was to be featured on the white trash serial Trailer Park Boys’ movie, but that was nixed by EMI since the release was on Universal. Old School was a bunch of old tracks that were polished and released by Helix. The tapes were stored in Vollmer’s basement. The band was Vollmer, bassist Daryl Gray and drummer Greg Fritz, as well as guitarist Chris Julke. Original guitarist from 1974 Ron Watson, who was replaced by Brent Doerner, died in 2019. Eat Sleep Rock was a 2020 compilation. Original keyboardist Don Simmons died in 2021. He was in the band in the 1970s. He and singer Brian Vollmer were in a school band called Homegrown. Helix and Killer Dwarfs played a show together in Edmonton in 2022. Early 2000s’ Helix and Tim E. & The Yes Men guitarist Daniel Fawcett was found murdered in London, Canada in a park on November 6th 2022. He was 52. A pair of known criminals Craig Allen and Allana Lebars were apprehended later and charged in connection with the murder.
According to the band, actor Michael J. Fox once auditioned for the bassist slot, while comedian Jim Carrey once opened a show for the band performing his comedy routine. The band has opened for Rush, Quiet Riot, Heart and Aerosmith among others.