W.A.S.P.'s BLACKIE LAWLESS Rules Out Guest Appearances By Former Members On Upcoming Tour: 'There's Very Little Chance Of That Happening'

May 30, 2024

During an appearance on the May 29 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", 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 by host Eddie Trunk if it was always the plan for W.A.S.P. to celebrate the debut LP's 40th anniversary by playing the album in its entirety, Lawless said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yes and no. It had been talked about, and I would love to sit here and tell you that it was part of a master plan, but it wasn't until we were doing the last tour that it really… A few things dawned on me while we were doing that tour — in no small part.

"When we did the meet-and-greets [with fans on the last W.A.S.P. tour], it was the first time I'd ever done that," he explained. "And I realized, not long into it, that I was getting as much, if not more, from those people that were coming to the meet-and-greets. I was getting more than they were out of it. Because I was learning in a way that was not chaotic. Like, if you are trying to talk to somebody at a show, or in a situation where there's a lot of other people and fans are trying to talk to you and you just cannot communicate the way like we are right now. But in those meet-and-greets, that was a controlled situation. And I was able to talk to those guys, just go back and forth, and have dialogue with them, and I listened to them closely. And like all other artists that are out there — and I don't care who you are — we all suffer from… We live in a bubble, to a large degree, and you think you're hearing what the fanbase is saying, but you really aren't. Not until you have an opportunity to sit down with them on a daily basis and listen to them talk. And first of all, it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I certainly appreciated getting their input, but as they're talking, I'm listening to them, and I realize that there's more going on than even I understand.

"We put that last tour together… I told my tour manager. The whole thing was gonna look like some sort of circus side show," Lawless continued. "And I told him, I says, 'When people walk into the room, I literally, I want them to feel like they've been transported Into another environment.' So what we did is — and we didn't even know it at the time that it was available— we discovered that there was… You use fog in shows. Well, to create that fog, it's done electronically. It's literally called fog juice. Well, in the early days, you could get it in strawberry and vanilla flavored because fog without it kind of didn't smell great, so artists were complaining about it. Now you can get it in a bunch of different scents. We discovered that there was two of them. There was one called popcorn and another one called cotton candy. And so I told my tour manager, I said, 'I want to fill the room with this scent. When the people walk in the door, I want them to not really even be conscious of what's happening. We don't want them to just go see a rock show. We want to transport them into a different space.' And it worked far better than I even thought that it would.

"Well, again, talking to the fanbase throughout the tour and doing those meet-and-greets, it hit me that what is possible is that… If it's a band who actually lived through the time period that we're talking about right now, and specifically this would have been 1984, can you then create an environment where they're not just coming to see a show, can you take them back to that time period?" Blackie added. "Because three-fourths of that audience that's there now really didn't live through it. So can you create an environment where not only are they coming to see an album that they wanna hear but can you transport them into a mental space where they think for two hours they're actually back in that? And that's what we're working on now. And when we put the videos together, it even hit me, it struck me. Because every time we did promotional videos before, you saw those videos with clips that span the career of the band — 30, 40 years. Well, we concentrated on stuff just from the first year and a half. And when I saw it put together, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I went, 'Son of a bitch, look at this. This looks like…' No wonder people wanted to see this before. It was an extremely angry band playing angry music, but it was a mindset. You can't take a band, and there are other bands out there that did not live through it, but are recreating the whole '80s thing right now. And I'm sure for the fanbase that wants to go see that, that's fine. But those weren't the people who did it in the beginning. You take a band that was actually there, and if they do it right, they can take you back to that space. And that's what I'm trying to do with this show."

Asked if W.A.S.P. is planning to perform the debut album in its entirety in the exact song order as it appears on the original LP, Blackie said: "We're gonna do it in its entirety, from top to bottom, just the way that record is that you have. So we will begin with 'I Wanna Be Somebody', which we have never done before.

"This took some doing," Lawless admitted. "We went into rehearsals last January, and we wanted to make sure that we knew what we were talking about before we said anything, because we didn't even know it would be possible. I talked to a number of promoters around the country who had done things like this with other bands that had played one-off records. Because I didn't think it was important to do it in the same running order that it was on the record. And they all corrected me. And they said, 'No, you don't understand. To do what you're trying to do, where you wanna transport people back into that time and space, you have to do it in the running order that is on the record.' And that was a daunting task to me, because we've always closed with 'I Wanna Be Somebody'. Imagine KISS opening a show with 'Rock And Roll All Nite'. How do we do this? So we went into rehearsal and we tried it, and, surprisingly, it was better than I thought.

"We're gonna do something in that first half of the show, and I cannot tell you what it is right now, but when we do it, and it's got something to do with 'I Wanna Be Somebody', it's gonna be really cool, and it will work," he added.

"So, to answer your question, yes, it will be done in its entirety, from top to bottom, in the running order that it is on the record."

According to Lawless, W.A.S.P. will "take an intermission" after playing the entire debut album "because there's two stage sets. What you're gonna see in the first half of the show is a combination of what our original stage set was and the original album cover, and we're fusing the two together," he explained. "And this is where it gets really interesting, because there's elements of that first album cover that are gonna take a prominent role in this show. And I can't tell you what it is, but trust me, it's gonna be really cool."

Asked by Trunk 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: "I've spoken to Randy over the years, but not the other two. And I'm sure I don't really need to go into the state of what might exist with the others. I think the fanbase out there is pretty aware.

"I don't wanna dangle a carrot in front of anybody and say there's a possibility because as we sit here and we talk right now, I think there's very little chance of that happening," he added. "So I really don't wanna say, 'Yeah. Well, you know…' give you a stock answer and say, 'Well, you never know.' I really don't think there's much chance of that."

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 waspnation.myshopify.com.

Last August, Blackie underwent a successful surgery to treat two herniated discs and a broken vertebra.

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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