In the annals of rock 'n' roll, few theatrical stage shows have shocked, horrified and entertained America as much as W.A.S.P.'s did on the Los Angeles-based band's 1983-84 debut tour.
Now, W.A.S.P. is resurrecting this not-for-the-faint-of-heart spectacle of blood and gore for the first-ever American Metal Blast 2005 tour. This uncontrollable onslaught, with W.A.S.P. planning a "greatest hits" set, comes exactly two decades after the band's scandalous, meteoric rise spooked the nation to the point where it was vilified by an out-of-touch Congress and hopelessly misguided Parents' Music Resource Center (PMRC).
Joining W.A.S.P. — vocalist/guitarist Blackie Lawless, guitarist Darrell Roberts, bass guitarist Mike Duda and drummer Stet Howland — on tour for this celebration of heavy metal are L.A. GUNS and former RATT vocalist Stephen Pearcy. METAL CHURCH will appear on select July dates. The second leg of the tour, which runs from August 18 to August 28, will feature all four bands. Complete details about the second leg are forthcoming, but Thursday, August 18 in Amarillo, TX, at Graham Central Station and Saturday, August 20 in Dallas, TX, at the Granada Theater are confirmed.
W.A.S.P.'s most recent album is the late 2004 Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records release "The Neon God Part 2: The Demise", the second half of an intensely emotional, thought-provoking, two-part concept album. "The Neon God Part 1: The Rise" was released first by Sanctuary/Metal-Is early in 2004.
"We are hell-bent on going out and having fun. It's like a working vacation," says Lawless. "The creation of American Metal Blast 2005 is the result of a combination of things. With 'The Neon God' tours and 'The Crimson Idol' tour back in 1992-93, we did shows where people listened with their ears and not their eyes. The general consensus among the band members was to go back where we started and do a tour utilizing our original stage show. That's the thought process that went into it.
"This tour serves another purpose, and that is to bring our classic stage show to the younger fans. We noticed on our European tour last year that there were a lot of 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds in the audience. There are certain heritage bands out there like us that have survived. We've turned over a whole new generation of fans and they've only heard stories of what these shows are like, and they loom legendary. The visual presentation combines with the quality of the music, which stands the test of time."
Fans will get to hear all of their W.A.S.P. favorites, and the band is more than happy to perform them.
"It will be a giant best-of set with mostly classic material. When you start playing too much new material, it becomes self-indulgent. Any band is in direct competition with itself. Fans have 10 or 20 years or more to romance your earlier music. They are flashing back to important points in their lives that your music was the soundtrack to. You are your own worst competition. You can't imagine how many people have told me the first time they got laid they were listening to 'Animal (F**k Like a Beast)'," Lawless says. "If your newer records are really good, fans will romance them and feel the same way about them in the future too. It's important to listen to your audience. I feel blessed to be able to do this."
Lawless is planning on American Metal Blast becoming an annual event. After this year's inaugural tour, W.A.S.P. will finalize work on songs for a new album to be recorded by the end of the year.
Confirmed American Metal Blast 2005 shows at this time include:
Jun. 28 - West Hollywood, CA @ House Of Blues
Jun. 29 - San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
Jun. 30 - Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
Jul. 01 - Yucaipa, CA @ Angels Concert Hall *
Jul. 03 - Farmington, NM @ Big City *
Jul. 04 - Denver, CO @ Oriental Theatre *
Jul. 06 - Andover, MN @ POV's *
Jul. 07 - Monmouth, IL @ Rivoli Theatre *
Jul. 08 - Chicago, IL @ Mr. Kelly's *
Jul. 09 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theater *
Jul.10 - Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues *
Jul. 13 - Buffalo, NY @ Club Infinity *
Jul. 14 - Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre *
Jul. 15 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom *
Jul. 16 - Poughkeepsie, NY @ Mid-Hudson Civic Center * #
Jul. 17 - Farmingville, NY @ Brookhaven Amphitheater * #
Jul. 20 - Atlantic City, NJ @ House Of Blues *
Jul. 21 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock *
Jul. 22 - Springfield, VA @ Jaxx *
Jul. 23 - Albany, NY @ Northern Lights *
Jul. 24 - New Philadelphia, OH @ Poncho's *
Jul. 27 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House Of Blues
Jul. 28 - Fayetteville, NC @ Jesters
Jul. 29 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
Jul. 30 - Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues
Aug. 02 - Springfield, IL @ The Warehouse
Aug. 03 - Omaha, NE @ Anchor Inn
Aug. 04 - Moorhead, MN @ East Gate Outdoor Fest
Aug. 05 - Casper, WY @ Lost Iguana Field
Aug. 06 - Salt Lake City, UT @ TBA
Aug. 07 - Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
Aug. 18 - Amarillo, TX @ Graham Central Station *
Aug. 20 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater *
* with METAL CHURCH
# with TWISTED SISTER