BLACKIE LAWLESS Explains Why W.A.S.P. Original-Lineup Reunion Is 'Pretty Much An Impossibility' For Upcoming Tour

June 17, 2024

In a new interview with Chris Akin Presents…, Blackie Lawless spoke about the 40th anniversary of the release of W.A.S.P.'s first album. To celebrate this classic metal album, W.A.S.P. will, for the first time in 40 years, play the entire album from top to bottom, start to finish, on a fall 2024 North American tour, dubbed "Album ONE Alive", this fall. Support on the trek will come from DEATH ANGEL and UNTO OTHERS.

Asked if he would be open to any of the former W.A.S.P. members who played on the "W.A.S.P." album — guitarist Chris Holmes, guitarist Randy Piper and drummer Tony Richards — making guest appearances at any of the shows on the upcoming tour, Blackie said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I remember specifically having this conversation with someone who had been through the same thing. And he had basically lost his original band and had to rebuild it with studio musicians. And I remember him telling me at that point, he goes, 'These guys are ringers. They're killers, these musicians.' And it wasn't until years went by that I began to understand what he was saying and would compare his original band to what he had built later on with really ringers, musicians. And he was right.

"Here's what happened to us," Blackie continued. "When we started, and this goes back to what we were saying earlier on in the conversation about crafting your skill as a songwriter, getting better as a musician, learning how to use the studio as a tool, all those things you learn, the records get better, but the records get more complex. You reach a point where the musicianship starts to grow. Not everybody in the original incarnation of a band grows together, or do they grow in the same direction.

"Everybody's heard the age-old adage about, 'Well, we broke up because of musical differences,' and as corny as that may sound, a lot of times there is truth to that. And you really find people either growing in different directions or some guys can't keep up with the rest of the class. And so, for one reason or another, if nothing else, just attrition will start to weed guys out, especially when you start getting into more complicated material.

"You can't really compare the band… As much as whatever the first record that we did, the magic that is on that, and I recognize that not as a fan, but as the person who created it," Lawless added. "Again, you're never gonna see it like the average audience member does, because you can't — you're in a bubble. You cannot see it the way they see it. And you have to really open your ears and listen to them when they talk. Whether you agree or not, you have to listen and you have to try to take what they're saying into consideration. But when you reach a point where that band grows — in our particular case, you go from the first record to [1989's fourth album] '[The] Headless [Children]', the band that created that first record could not create 'Headless'. It was impossible. The musicianship that was required to make 'Headless' was vastly different than what created that first album. That first album was done with attitude and snot and spit. That was an angry record made by an angry band. But it kind of reminds me of… In the movie 'Rocky 3', where Rocky wants to fight Mr. T and Burgess Meredith, who plays his manager Mickey, he tells him, he goes, 'You can't,' he goes, 'You can't fight Mr. T. You can't win.' And Rocky goes, 'Yeah, I can. Yeah, I can.' He goes, 'Listen, kid.' He goes, 'Every fighter thinks they got one more good one in 'em.' He goes, 'The worst thing that could ever happen to a fighter happened to you. You got civilized.' That happens to rock bands.

"You mentioned early on in this conversation about the first five years of bands together. If you go back and you look at most bands that you like, their bones were made the first five years they were together," Blackie explained. "Almost every band fits that description. There are a few exceptions. And that doesn't mean that they cannot go on to make great records after that five-year period, but their bones are made those first five years they're together, and then they start moving and growing in different directions and it changes and it morphs.

"I appreciate the energy level that came out of that first [W.A.S.P.] record — I really do. But how do I go back to guys I've been playing with for 25 years and say, 'Your tenure in this band has been five times as long as the guys that I worked with originally, but you can't play on this tour.' I cannot do that. And secondly, we're gonna do the show in two halves. The first half is the first record in its entirety. The second half is like a best-of set. The band that's gonna play that first set has to be able to play that second set as well.

"Listen, I totally get the idea of the romance that people have in people's heads about what an original lineup could be, but me as the person who's on stage has to understand that no matter how much the audience may want that to be the way it was, my responsibility to them as ticket buyers, I have to give you the best show possible. I have that responsibility to you. No matter what you think it is you may want, I know I have to deliver for you. And again, especially when people have been out of the game for a long time, for us to do what is being suggested, that the original band do it, I would think that that would be pretty much an impossibility. Forget the marriage/divorce scenario that you first suggested [about reuniting the original lineup being akin to going on a family vacation with an ex-wife to make the kids happy], which is not altogether untrue, because there is a lot to be said for that, but as time goes on, unless you stay in this game and you stay active, you start to lose it. And we've all seen situations of something we thought would be great and then when you see it, you realize, no, it can never be what it once was. Unless you're working with people who have stayed constant, who stayed in shape, that have done whatever it is they need to do to keep that edge, they're gonna go out there and it's not gonna be very good. And I cannot do that to our fanbase."

Along with bassist Mike Duda and lead guitarist Doug Blair, whose tenures in the band are 29 and 26 years respectively, W.A.S.P. is joined by longtime drummer extraordinaire Aquiles Priester.

The 39-city run kicks off on Saturday, October 26 in San Luis Obispo, California, making stops across North America in Vancouver, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dallas, Texas; New York City; Orlando, Florida; and more before wrapping up on Saturday, December 14 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California.

W.A.S.P. will again offer fans VIP tickets that give fans a chance to meet Blackie Lawless, get a personal photo with Blackie, autographs and take part in a very personal question-and-answer session with Blackie. VIP tickets can be purchased at

Because of the extensive back injuries Lawless suffered during the European leg of W.A.S.P.'s 40th-anniversary tour, the band's previously announced 2023 U.S. tour was canceled.

W.A.S.P.'s massive European leg of the 40th-anniversary world tour wrapped on May 18, 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria at Universidada Sports Hall.

W.A.S.P. wrapped up its first U.S. tour in 10 years with a sold-out show on December 11, 2022 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. This marked the 18th sold-out shows for the U.S. tour, which kicked off in late October 2022. W.A.S.P.'s performances included the return of the band's classic song "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)", which hadn't been played live in over 15 years.

W.A.S.P.'s latest release was "ReIdolized (The Soundtrack To The Crimson Idol)", which came out in February 2018. It was a new version of the band's classic 1992 album "The Crimson Idol", which was re-recorded to accompany the movie of the same name to mark the 25th anniversary of the original LP's release. The re-recorded version also features four songs missing from the original album.

W.A.S.P.'s most recent studio album of all-new original material was 2015's "Golgotha".

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