W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless spoke to Metal-Exiles.com about the group's upcoming album, "The Neon God: Part One – The Rise", and the group's touring plans in the U.S. and abroad. The following are some excerpts from that interview:
On where the story for the new album came from:
Blackie Lawless: "Well, it is basically a simple idea of why am I here. It is the one thing we ask ourselves more than any other thing. When I was putting this thing together I was thinking, 'What is the most common denominator that we all share? What is the one thing when we are by ourselves that we require the most or think about the most?' I needed the hook, the thing that would touch as many as many as possible and would mean the most to me.
"When you look at people that become cult leaders, you do research on them. I looked at the backgrounds on people like David Koresh, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and Adolph Hitler. They all have a similar childhood. Someone, anyone who gets to the point that they can become a cult leader, much less someone that believes that they are the messiah, must have had a background of anguish. There must be a background of severe, extreme trauma to a child to get them to that point for them to envision themselves being something like this. What separates these people from this character? Those people that became major cult leaders is that they told their followers that they were the messiahs but yet they did not believe it. This character at times believes he actually is. I had to go into great detail of his background on this first record to make the second part of this story believable. In other words you cannot have someone from a typical suburbia wake one day say, 'Hey, I am this' and convince people. You can say anything you want but convincing hundreds of thousands of people is a different issue, you have to be believable."
On the new album's musical highlight:
Blackie Lawless: "I think for me personally the biggest musical idea on the record is the finale of the first one, 'The Raging Storm'. What it is is the age-old struggle of good versus evil. This kid has already met his what will eventually be his manager/pimp, which I called Judah. He meets him in 'X.T.C.', by the time they get to 'Running Man', they have already started the grass roots of what is going to be this cult. Jesse literally climbs up a mountain in the lyrics it reads, 'I Stand Here, My Feet Alters Of Stone,' he is literally standing on this rock. On one hand he has God and on the other he has the Devil and he is basically saying, 'Let's choose sides, who wants me the most.' He does not get it so when he does not get it he takes that as a sign he interprets that as a no so therefore he thinks his path are clear for where he is going to go. The lyrics for that song were the most difficult to write because you have so few words to try to express very complex thoughts so it was really hard to put you in the driver's seat to get you to feel what this kid was feeling. That torment of the yin and the yang, the constant conflict that we all have as to what this thing is all about here on Earth and to try and make sense out of it. He is trying to go the right way but you take his foundation of his childhood and put it together with all of that and all he has seen is negativity. Except for the first five minutes that he is with his father and after that it is all down hill. He is looking for any reason to get out of this but he does not get it. This is designed again to make you wonder, who am I, where am I going, where am I in my life. If it can stimulate anybody into thinking I will succeed."
Read Blackie's entire interview with Metal-Exiles.com at this location.