NEUROTICA frontman Kelly Shaefer believes that his group's association with the WWE-owned Smackdown Records (which released NEUROTICA's self-titled third album) ultimately hurt the band in the eyes of the record-buying public, who refused to take the group seriously after seeing them cross-promoted at wrestling events.
"We're not a wrestling band — we're a rock and roll band!" Shaefer told RockRage recently. "I don't wanna be tagged or seen as some kind of a joke. It was a dangerous marriage to begin with that required very delicate hands and it wasn't handled that way. I think we needed to be promoted like DROWNING POOL where everyone knew they weren't going to be on wrestling and they were a real band on Wind-up Records. I don't have any ill will towards anyone and I am a fan of wrestling, but I don't think that people took us seriously especially when our album is all over 'Monday Night Raw'. When they see that they immediately put you into a corner and I don't want that to happen. I still do have respect for [WWE heads] Vince and Linda McMahon and think they're very smart people. I think that some of the people that work for them are evil, working right underneath their nose basically stealing money from them, but that's a whole different issue. To run a record company you have to be ready to go full force with it."
With regards to the band's recent split with Smackdown Records, Shaefer said: "Well, there really wasn't anyone there working the record because there really wasn't a label it was just a name. They were able to use their resources to promote our band but when it came down to the nitty-gritty and work the record, there was nobody there to do that. So here we have all this momentum from just getting off Ozzfest and we have our record company just not taking things seriously. We just asked them to let us go because it wasn't working and they weren't in a position to work with bands and they're better off releasing compilation records. It was better for both of us. They did a lot of great things for our band but the association with the WWE kind of soiled the band and it's just better we move on."
Shaefer also revealed plans to record and release another studio album with ATHEIST, the much-missed progressive-thrash act that issued a couple of stunning albums in the early '90s before unceremoniously calling it a day. "We're looking to do something with Century Media or Nuclear Blastand put a new record out," stated Shaefer, who plays guitar and sings in the group. "Those two labels are kind of like pioneers in that scene."
To read Kelly's entire interview with RockRage, click here.