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In Words: W.A.S.P.

- Blackie Lawless - Sep. 2004 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

W.A.S.P.: Blackie Lawless - live 2007
Claudia Ehrhardt

Blackie Lawless - September, 15th 2004 (phoner)

The second part of W.A.S.P.'s The Neon God will be in the stores soon and they did a tour last May / June here in Europe, so there are some topics to talk about with Mr. Lawless. About the concept you could read in the reviews to The Neon God Pt. 1, so no need to ask about this. I was just surprised that the band releases the 2 albums within 1 year, but not as a double CD. "Retailers dont want double CDs these days. They only accept classical ones like the red and blue album from the Beatles or Pink Floyd's The Wall. So we had no idea in the beginning how to do this. On the other hand it's cool, coz otherwise wouldn't have the chance to tour twice." Actually these days still double CDs are released like Therion's Lemuria / Sirius B or Ayreon's The Human Equation. Many bands decide to do liner notes in the booklet or on their website, coz some details can't be transported in the lyrics and there are still many metal fans who doesn't speak English well enough. "We talked about that, but the label thought is ain't necessary. Even not to release them at our website, so we didn't release liner notes." I still think that it would be a good idea to do liner notes, but well... Okay, the argument that you can't do it in all the different languages I have to agree on. A band put a lot of effort into a conceptual album. "It was 2 years of hard work. Actually it takes 4-times as long to write a concept album as to write a non-conceptual one." The story was there first, had to be worked out and then the music has to be written to fit to the story. That's what takes time. The Americans got known for their outstanding shows and a conceptual album like The Neon God is demanding to work with visual effects. "We won't use visual effects on the coming tour as we didn't on the last one. We want people to hear with their ears, not their eyes! The visual effects would distract them from the music." An unusual statement for a band which worked in the past a lot with visualizing. On the last tour they played just 2 or 3 new songs, also unusual if you are out to promote the latest release... "The album was just out and so fans didn't knew it that well. To play more then 3 new ones would be too much for the fans. Beside that the new ones have to compete with the old classics and need more time to get fans into them. So to play 7 or 8 new tunes would be too much. When we come back in November we'll play other songs. 50% from the last tour and 50% new which means songs we haven't play for a long time and new tracks." W.A.S.P. have enough songs to choose from, even if some tracks have to be played. After the tour last May / June some fans were complaining that the show was too short... "We played 80 minutes every night", Blackie stated. But there were shows were they didn't played that long... "Well, if the audience didn't response to us, then there is no reason to play an encore" Mr. Lawless explains. Another thing fans wondered about were the ticket prices. "Hold on, the band has no control about that. We have nothing to do with the ticket prices and we also don't print the shirts in the back of the bus." This I heard a few times, but shouldn't a band care of it? Even if they can't change it, they should find a way to give something to the fans and if it's by playing a few more songs as usual.... This time W.A.S.P. will just play 3 shows in Germany and they are mainly in the South. "We toured 2 months earlier this year, now we come back for 3 weeks. We can't play everywhere." So die-hard fans have to travel. The band hasn't started to rehearse and so Blackie couldn't tell anything about what songs they will play. Anyway, these days it's getting harder to tour and quite some fans were complaining about the last tour. If it's the right concept the band is following on, the future will tell.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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