TROUBLE Guitarist On Writing New Album: 'We Really Didn't Care If People Were Going To Dig It Or Not'

TROUBLE Guitarist On Writing New Album: 'We Really Didn't Care If People Were Going To Dig It Or Not'

Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with guitarist Rick Wartell of Chicago doom metal legends TROUBLE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Songfacts: It's been six years since the band's last release, "Simple Mind Condition". Why did it take such an extended period of time to release "The Distortion Field"?

Rick Wartell: Well, first and foremost, we went through two rather important personnel changes — they were both vocalists. First Eric Wagner and then Kory Clarke. Until we got to Kyle Thomas. So that alone is a big change. It's a big step, and it takes time to get acclimated to a new vocalist and for a new vocalist to get acclimated to what we're doing. That, plus recording glitches, that kind of thing. And another reason was that we didn't have a record deal, so we didn't feel any pressure to make this happen overnight. We took our time and wanted to make sure we were completely happy with it before we released it.

Songfacts: What would you say sets "The Distortion Field" apart from previous TROUBLE albums?

Rick: When Bruce [Franklin, TROUBLE's other guitarist/original member] and I wrote the music for this album, we kind of had something to prove. We wrote it with an attitude and wrote what we really wanted to write without any outside influences whatsoever for the first time in a long time, let's just say that. And we really didn't care if people were going to dig it or not. We went in and said, "We're going to write what we want to write and let the chips fall where they may." We had to be true to ourselves and make ourselves happy with this record first and foremost, and that was the attitude we went in with. Fortunately, people are liking it at this point, so we're happy about that.

Songfacts: How would you say Kyle compares to Eric, vocally?

Rick: Well, they're both completely different. I think Kyle's more a power vocalist with a lot of range. Eric is more of a melody singer with a really high range. But with Kyle, I think it gives us the opportunity to do a lot more musically, because we don't have to worry about keys and key changes, key progressions and that kind of thing, because it just seems like he has more of a range than most singers I've heard out there, let alone Eric. I don't like comparing one against the other, because it's like comparing apples and oranges, really. They both have their really good qualities.

Songfacts: Is Eric still on good terms with the band?

Rick: Yeah. There's no bad blood between any of the band members and Eric Wagner at all. Never been a bad word said between us. People probably find that hard to believe, but we've all known each other for an awfully long time, so we all wish each other well. It's just a matter of what projects people want to work on. It's individual choices.

Read the entire interview at Songfacts.

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