Legendary vocalist Eric Wagner (BLACKFINGER, THE SKULL, ex-TROUBLE) was recently interviewed by Danko Jones on "The Official Danko Jones Podcast". The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On how a phone call from Dave Grohl restarted his career after he left TROUBLE originally:
Eric: "I had a family of five to feed, so I went out and actually got a job to try and support and everything. I can't remember exactly when it was, but I came home one day, and there was a message on my machine from — well, it turned out to be Dave Grohl. He's, like, 'I'm doing this project called PROBOT, and I wanted you to write lyrics to one of the songs.' He was getting his favorite singers that he grew up listening to. He was a huge fan of [TROUBLE's] 'The Skull' record when he was a kid in Virginia, or wherever he was from. I thought it was [a joke] — like, 'Yeah, right' — so I didn't even bother with it. Two weeks later, he called back, and I answered. I'm, like, 'I'm going to give it to this guy, whoever the hell this is' — but it was him. I was a little scared at first, because he sent me the track and I didn't know if I could still do it. I swear there was a blank piece of paper for about two weeks sitting there, and I was getting a little bit, like, 'Oh my God, I can't write anymore.' All of a sudden, I did, and we did the record, and it was great. I don't know if I should blame him or thank him, but after that, that's when I called the guys and we kind of kissed and made up, and got back and did a record and a tour again. The PROBOT project got me back."
On the origins and evolution of BLACKFINGER:
Eric: "I went through two divorces at the same time — one with TROUBLE, one with the ex-wife. I have to admit, I wasn't actually handling it very well, and I thought the only way that I'm going to get through this is if I do what I'm supposed to be doing, and that's to go write and start writing. I was living outside of Chicago at the time. I was kind of doing acoustic, singer/songwriter-type shit, and after a while, I got the little itch again and I put a band together – just friends I grew up with. We ended up working on [BLACKFINGER's debut album], and that came out pretty cool. I ended up moving to Pittsburgh about two and a half years ago, so Dave Snyder, our drummer, he lives here. He actually was the touring drummer during [TROUBLE's] 'Plastic Green Head' tour. He came over and [said], 'Hey man, let's do something.' All right, what? 'We should just do BLACKFINGER. You already did the work for it; why do something new?' I'm thinking, 'That could be pretty cool, where it's a completely different lineup but it's still BLACKFINGER.' It was a challenge to me, which at the time I needed."
On what he enjoys about fronting two bands simultaneously:
Eric: "Working on new music is my favorite thing about being in a band. Live is fun at first, but then it gets kind of old — it's every day, you get up, go to the next city, blah blah blah. It's the same shit — everybody wants to party with you. It's fun to leave, and just as fun to come home. Working on new music is one of the only things that gets me high anymore. It makes my soul happy. It's the only way I can express my feelings.
"It's not easy. I've sang lyrics to the wrong song. I got out of the studio with THE SKULL and I had to do some BLACKFINGER shows — or was it the other way around? I was singing SKULL lyrics and shit. I guess when I got to the TROUBLE stuff, I went on auto-pilot — that's just etched in my brain. It's not easy sometimes, and right now, both of my worlds are in the same room. I have shows coming with BLACKFINGER, and I also have a week or so with THE SKULL coming. I don't remember shit anymore, and I've got three different sets of lyrics to remember now."
BLACKFINGER's latest album, "When Colors Fade Away", which was released on September 15 via M-Theory Audio.