W.A.S.P.'s BLACKIE LAWLESS: 'The Idea Of Charging People Money To Sign Autographs, I Detest That'

December 11, 2022

During a "VIP Experience" question-and-answer session before W.A.S.P.'s December 9 concert at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California, frontman Blackie Lawless was asked how he initially felt about the prospect of holding meet-and-greets with W.A.S.P. fans for the first time ever on the band's current U.S. tour. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Uncertainty. Because we didn't know how to do this; we'd never done it before. [We] didn't know what to do. So we looked at other people's web sites; we saw what they were offering.

"Quite honestly, the idea of charging people money to sign autographs, I detest that," he continued. "Now, I'm not gonna tell you that it's wrong for everybody to do. If that's what somebody wants to do, and they're happy with it, that's their business. I just don't like the idea of it personally. For me to wanna do this, I had to have something else that motivated me. So we came up with the idea of doing this. When we sat down here, the first thing I said to you guys was, 'This is the fun part' — for me at least… Because we didn't know what anybody else was doing. We thought, 'Okay, let's try to humanize this as much as we can.'

"One of the things we have heard over and over and over, which was news to us, 'This is the best meet-and-greet we've ever done,' 'cause no one has ever taken the time to do this," Lawless added. "But we didn't know that. So we were doing what we thought you should do. So the ignorance on our part ended up being a really good thing, I guess, because we didn't have any preconceived notions of what they should be.

"Look, [when] a bunch of people [are] coming up to you on the street, you can't address them, and that's frustrating. But this is organized, and we can have some dialogue back and forth, which, for me, is what it's all about. So to not be able to have that dialogue is frustrating to me."

W.A.S.P.'s first U.S. tour in a decade kicked off in late October. The trek coincides with the band's 40th anniversary and includes support from ARMORED SAINT and MICHAEL SCHENKER on select shows.

Lawless has led W.A.S.P. as its lead vocalist and primary songwriter since its beginning. His unique brand of visual, social and political comment took the group to worldwide heights and sold millions of records alongside a legacy of sold-out shows across the globe for four decades. He is joined by bassist Mike Duda and guitarist Doug Blair, whose tenures in the band span 26 and 18 years respectively, along with drummer extraordinaire Aquiles Priester.

W.A.S.P. recently postponed its European 40th-anniversary tour, originally scheduled for spring of 2022, until the spring of 2023. The new dates will take place in March, April and May of 2023. All tickets previously purchased for the 2022 tour will be valid at the rescheduled 2023 shows.

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".

W.A.S.P.'s first live performance since December 2019 took place on July 23 at Skansen in Stockholm, Sweden.

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