W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless took part in a press conference yesterday (Saturday, June 12) at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg in southern Sweden. You can watch video footage of the question-and-answer session in two parts below.
In a recent interview with Greg Olma of 69 Faces Of Rock, Lawless was asked how he knows when a song is done. "Oh, it talks to you," he replied. "When you're writing, one of the things you learn after you've been doing it for a while is once it starts to take shape, get out of the way of it. You see, it will start talking back to you after a while.
"All songwriters who have been doing this for a while will tell you this; that they [the songs] will talk back to you and the trick is to get yourself out of the way. Stop blocking it. Let it say what it wants to say and let it take you in the direction that it wants to go. Now, when it's done, and here is the torturous part that all creative people will tell you, it's then once you believe it's done, of then at looking at what are the alternative possibilities. That can be a torturous process because it's a lot of work for maybe a miniscule change.
"One of the things I learned from [Muhammad] Ali is the difference between good and great is the attention to detail. A lot of that, that last 10% as far as man hours goes, ends up being a lot more than the other 90% that got it going in the first place. So you have to go back, even when you think it's done, and say, 'Are there anymore possibilities of where we could go here or go there?'
"I think that at the end of the day, when you look at it and whether it's done or not, you ask yourself, 'Does this thing move me?' You can always tinker with something to death and it's not necessarily going to make it better. Sometimes it can make it worse."
When asked if there any plans on filming W.A.S.P.'s current tour for a possible CD or DVD release, Lawless said, "I don't know. We just finished three months in Europe and we did a lot of stuff over there. Some of it is actually really, really impressive-looking.
"This show that we're doing now has a movie screen behind us. We're running a lot of the old promo videos from the past and when you see 'Wild Child' or something like that, you see the old video behind us and it's in sync. You see me singing in the video from 20 years ago but you also see it in 3-D as I'm standing there singing in real time. It's got kind of a neat effect.
"When you see the presentation, it's pretty impressive and there is some really good stuff that we have, but I just don't know.
"The world has changed as far as the way bands approach making studio records and live records. I think live records are something you are going to see less and less of because labels aren't really interested in doing that anymore.
"Historically, a live record would have represented ½ of what a new studio release would have done. It's not just what bands want to do. You have a whole retail world that you have to take into consideration. Is Best Buy going to want to take that thing? There are all kinds of considerations that the people never think about. They think the artists make the sole decision and it's not always like that."