Give TROUBLE Without ERIC WAGNER A Chance, Says New Singer KYLE THOMAS

Metal Kaoz recently conducted an interview with TROUBLE singer Kyle Thomas and guitarist Rick Wartell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Kaoz: Since there is a new TROUBLE album coming out this July, "The Distortion Field", can you give us an idea how it sounds like? If you were to compare it with previous TROUBLE albums, what would your choices be?

Kyle: As a huge TROUBLE fan, I can say that I truly believe this is the best batch of songs since the first Def American album they recorded with Rick Rubin. There is a nice combination of TROUBLE's past styles on "The Distortion Field", added to a current approach. Fast-paced, strong songs, slow, doomy songs, and some good grooves as well. There are even mellow moments and cool intros. I would say we have an album here that spans the entire career as far as style goes, with even some new territory being entered. I think most TROUBLE fans will be pleased.

Metal Kaoz: How long did it take you to record "The Distortion Field"? I am asking this because there was a lot of talking about this album, but no definite release date.

Rick: About two and a half years, on and off. Mostly because we only did the recording on a part-time basis, a drastic switch from previous TROUBLE recordings in which we recorded in much shorter time spans. It was nice to take our time and be able to go back and change sounds or riffs on a more casual basis. Really, there was no reason to rush because we didn't even have a deal in place when we started the process.

Metal Kaoz: What are the lyrics about? Reading songtitles like "Butterflies" and "Your Reflection", I'm curious about what this album is talking about…

Kyle: The old saying "art imitates life" really is completely true here. I tend to wear my life on my sleeve in my writing, although some songs I do enjoy writing from pure fantasy. If they did a movie or book about my life and what my family has endured, especially recent events considered, it would probably be disregarded as too ridiculous. The things that have happened to me could not be scripted — they are so insane and hard to believe. However, as much as I put my heart and soul out there for all to hear and see, I firmly believe that what the lyrics "mean" are subject to interpretation by the listener. Bruce [Franklin, guitar] and I wrote "Sucker" together, and "One Life" is all Bruce's lyrics. He, like me, puts a lot of his life experiences into his words. What does it mean to you? What is it saying to you, and how does it make you feel? That is what the lyrics mean, if you ask me.

Metal Kaoz: Are you prepared to confront any negative criticism from some "fans" who may say that TROUBLE without Eric Wagner behind the mic isn't TROUBLE at all? Because whether we like it or not, criticism is widely spread on the Internet nowadays.

Kyle: Everyone should give people that are not happy about Eric being gone a break. They are fans just like me, and have a right to feel the way that they do. All I can do is ask that they give TROUBLE without Eric Wagner a chance. If you hear it and hate it, fine. But don't discredit it without even hearing one song. That's unfair in my opinion. There was a time when I loved Ronnie James Dio in both DIO and RAINBOW, but not BLACK SABBATH. And do you know why? Because as a kid, I read all of the negative things Ozzy Osbourne's camp was saying about BLACK SABBATH with Dio. I can remember when I was just forming what became FLOODGATE with Kevin Thomas, my brother. I mentioned in passing to Phil Anselmo about how I loved Dio but never really got into the albums he did with BLACK SABBATH. He looked at me as if he was looking over me on a suicide watch and said in a concerned manner, "Maybe you should give them another listen, bro." Ronnie in SABBATH was amazing. So was Ian Gillan. It is equally amazing, just different. Tell me that DEEP PURPLE with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes sucks and isn't DEEP PURPLE because Ian Gillan was gone, and I'll tell you you're nuts. I'm not saying I'm Dio, Gillan, Coverdale or Hughes, but I am a TROUBLE fan. I'm not going to try to copy Eric vocally or lyrically, but you had better believe his reach over me was strong in making this album. He emailed me the day they fired Kory Clarke and it was announced that I was joining, and he thanked me for the nice things I said about him and TROUBLE. He also told me to "do us all proud." Do you have any idea what that means to me? I've never met Eric Wagner — he's not around TROUBLE when I am, for obvious reasons — but I am a fan of his and if he is cheering me on in the spot he once stood and greatly influenced me from, then I bow my head in respect. Are some people going to hate this album because I am singing and Eric isn't? Yep. There will be some that just refuse to accept it. On the other hand, I think the ones that are open minded but skeptical will love it because it sounds like TROUBLE. And there will be a new legion of TROUBLE fans that have followed my career but maybe never gave TROUBLE a good listen. Hell, there will be a lot of my listeners that may hate it because it isn't EXHORDER! I know that is true, because I got hate mail from some of my own fans before when I did FLOODGATE. I even got threatening emails a few years ago from EXHORDER fans because we went in a more groove direction away from thrash. People are as passionate sometimes as they are diverse, and they really take a lot of this personally, and sometimes too seriously. If I don't like something by one of my favorite bands, I simply don't buy it. But I would never disrespect a replacement guy. The band chose him and they want him there. Nothing a fan can say or do will change that except maybe just not buying the product. I met Tommy Thayer of KISS with my son the last time they played in New Orleans. He's the guy wearing Ace Frehley's makeup. You know what? He played great, and sat and talked with my son as if it was the most important thing in the world to the both of them. He's Ace in my book for that alone. I have defended him for that reason ever since. Some people may never accept me in TROUBLE or TROUBLE without Eric for that matter. The truth is, though, that Rick, Bruce and I have all discussed this, and we all feel so strongly about "The Distortion Field" that we are of the opinion that if one fan walks, we will gain three or four more. I believe it is that good, I really do. Please just give it a chance, people. If you hate it then, I will respect your opinion.

Read the entire interview from Metal Kaoz

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