WRATHCHILD (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with the band? How does it feel like to be back on track on 2011/2012 with WRATHCHILD?

Marc Angel: All Hail, the Queens of Metal from the’ Kings of Rokk’n’Roll’ – or the ‘Queens’ of Rokk’n’Roll depending upon your viewpoint, ha ha! We are in a good place right now thank you for asking.

– You were formed on the early 80’s, had a different attitude in the UK, where back then not so many bands were playing your style. Were things easy for WRATHCHILD during your first steps? And what was your motivation behind forming the band?

Marc Angel: We formed WRATHCHILD before Motley Crue even and all we knew back then was we were not interested in ‘Prog Rock’ or Black Sabbath type bands or in turning up on stage wearing jeans and t-shirts like we’d just come off a shift from the local factory making cardboard boxes! So we set out early on in our careers to reinvent ‘glam’ but with a seriously hard and punky twist. We called it ‘glam metal’. Once we got into creating our own costumes and stuff the stage outfits began to get more and more bizarre. Three of us, – me, the guitarist and Eddie Star (drums) played in an even more outlandish punk band prior to hooking up as WRATHCHILD and listening back you can spot very distinctive ‘punk’ roots to a lot of our anthems, even though our guitar gods were collectively, KK Downing (Judas Priest) Michael Shenker (UFO) – cos both these dudes looked so cool in leather catsuits and long blonde hair, and a burgeoning Eddie Van Halen. Things were never going to be easy for a band with our attitude and who looked like we did back then. But that just made us stronger. And of course it helped massively that one Geoff Barton, then of ‘Sounds’ fame and later as Editor of the now famous Kerrang! magazine, took a shine to us very early on.

 

– You released 4 albums during the 80’s which caused quite a buzz within the fans of the style. How did you live that period of the band and what are your best memories? How do you now feel when listening to your earlier releases?

Marc Angel: I was gutted when our singer left the band at the end of our ‘Delirium’ tour. Up to that point it had felt like the four of us had taken on the world and stuck with it through good and bad times. We were pretty broke too! But life and metal goes on. There was a lot of stuff to sort out after that but to be honest the three of us remaining used to deal with all that stuff in any case. It was only some time after these events that I enjoyed the mental space to be able to recollect in any sort of detail many of the extreme experiences that being a member of the mighty WRATHCHILD entailed. Stand out moments included selling out The Marquee a couple of nights, playing to a packed Fulham Greyhound on one of our many ‘comeback’ gigs and of course touring with W.A.S.P. Oh and a whole heap of convoluted meetings with lawyers and the like over the many legal scrapes we somehow always managed to get ourselves involved in. As for listening to our previous records, in all honesty I don’t much play them. That would be too much like I’ve got my head wedged up my own arse ha!

 

– On the mid 80’s you knew there also was an American band named WRATHCHILD. How were those years like (I guess you spent a lot of time with lawyers, etc.)?

Marc Angel: Like I said the over riding memory for me of that time is having to read through pages and pages of faxes, statements and lawyers bills, transatlantic conference calls, last minute put ups in a variety of hotels and all for the sake of having to either defend our own name or livelihoods. I never knew Rock and Roll could get so complicated. We did come to an agreement with the American band over the name thing. But the bottom line here was there was no way a bunch of Yanks was gonna come stomping all over our patch! They didn’t even back comb their hair – Some things in life are worth standing up for! And protecting your name is one of the most important.

 

– Then on 2005 you came back (with a different name though), what prompted this “return”?

Marc Angel: My mother (God rest her soul) had been seriously ill for a long time. But she had a vision – she told me she had ‘seen’ me and the guys on a huge stage in somewhere like Japan, with colours in our hair, and hordes of screaming fans jumping up and down to a song called something like ‘Trickle Treat’. Mum was always supportive of my music – she gave me my first guitar, signed by Elvis Presley, which she had bought for herself when she was a teenager. This was all the inspiration I needed to galvanise what was left of the band into action. We went on to write ‘TRIKK OR TREAT’ which is an immense song on our new album STAKKATTAKKTWO. Everybody we play to bounces around to that song – we just got to get our arses over to JAPAN now!

 

– And what was the band up to from 1989 until then? Tell us a bit about this for those who don’t know about projects like PSYCHOWRATH.

Marc Angel: Until then we had all been working to our own projects. For instance I spent around ten years with an Indie rock band called ‘Bang Bang Machine’. We had signed to London Records and released a couple of albums and toured extensively. Mostly Europe. But this gave me a sense of what WRATHCHILD should have been doing all that time ago. As it was we never left the country.

Psychowrath came about because we were trialling a new vocalist, Gaz (Psychowrath) Harris, and didn’t want any fuss over our first few gigs with him. As it happens word soon got out and before long there was no longer any point trying to pretend we weren’t WRATHCHILD. Meanwhile the previous singer apparently decided to reform the band but without the band members and that led to a whole heap of bad feeling. Thankfully, eventually everyone saw sense. Gaz proved himself above and beyond in those early gigs and he is now a fully paid up member of the WRATHCHILD elite squad. He’s the natural figurehead for the band now on stage and he sounds awesome on the new record.

 

– This “comeback” gave birth to your latest album, “Stakkattakktwo”. So, first off, why did you decide to entitle this new opus like this? What did (and what still does) “Stakk Attakk” (1) mean to you?

Marc Angel: The title STAKKATTAKKTWO for the new record was a no brainer for us. First off the lettering looks great. All those ’K’s and ‘T’s in a row. The word is a brand all of its own, a re-brand if you like, given that the band has had cause to re-invent itself for the future age. STAKKATTAKKTWO is now synonymous with the word WRATHCHILD. You can google STAKKATTAKKTWO and it will take you straight to us. Our first album, Stakk Attakk, launched us and for that reason alone it holds dear. There are also some great tunes on there and those songs define the band early on cos every one of them was conceived at a time when none of us knew whether they would ever make it on to a record. So they bring back all those memories of a bunch of kids getting excited about going to gigs, rehearsing, writing and discussing costumes and stage sets without any fear at all of what the future might bring.

 

– Have been several months since this new record came out so, is there something you would have liked to changed or done differently on it?

Marc Angel: Ha! Are we ever satisfied as artists? That is a dangerous question. Of course I should love to play around with it some more but there comes a point where you just have to say to yourself,” this is it! Lets do it” ! We do have plans to do a limited edition re-release but you will have to talk to the record company about that.

 

– “Psychophantic Suicide” is, for instance, your first ballad as so. How did you come up with a tune like this?

Marc Angel: Well our first ballad actually I would say is ‘Long Way To Go’ from the ‘Delirium’ album, But Gaz’s voice is so suited to the ballady thing that ‘Psychophantic Suicide’ just had to be included on the new album. It’s about those people who are hurting but who end up hurting all those who love them most. The ending is our version of ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles – I love the way that song just climaxes into a massive sing along that goes round and round. At the end of ‘Psycho…’ the guy in the song is going out in a state of ecstacy and delirium, he thinks he has finally achieved something monumental but in reality he is simply looking down at his own corpse.

 

– Musically you are still recognizable but with a certain new twist. Could you say this is just a natural evolution? As have been over 20 years since your previous opus came out.

Marc Angel: Songwriting has always been the major draw for me. I am not so much into performing and all the bullshit that goes with that, the aftershows, the drugtaking and ‘hanging out’ scenes. But I have always got off on creating something and then recreating it in a band setting. Any band should split by equal shares any royalties if only to prevent a whole heap of crap getting onto a record just so the person with the least discernible talent can have a cut. Singers who can’t play an instrument are the worst for claiming the credit in interviews for stuff they have had very little input into. This will piss somebody else off in the band at some point. The clues for this will usually be the regularity and volume of turnover of ‘essential’ band members. WRATHCHILD by comparison has only gone through three personnel changes in over thirty years.

 

– For instance, I’d dare say this “Stakkattakktwo” is your most diverse effort ever. There are songs that could perfectly fit on your 80’s albums, some other tracks have certain Hard Rock or even AOR elements… Have you opened to more influences throughout the years?

Marc Angel: Well I would say that I have a lot more confidence now in my abilities and Gaz is really easy to get on with when it comes to trying out new stuff. Me and Lance (Rokkit) worked well together in the previous line up and similarly with Phil (Wrathchild – former and current lead axe) we communicate well on melodies and arrangements. We are both into the same stuff and we all come from a background of enjoying ‘big’ choruses and catchy licks. Music to us is like a feast at a table – and the ‘Wrath’ table is a very big one.

 

– And after so many years without being really active with the actual WRATHCHILD on studio; have things been different? The songwriting, the production process (as I guess production equipment may have changed a lot since the 80’s with all the digital recordings and so forth).

Marc Angel: Computers have taken over the art of recording. Anyone can do it and some people don’t even leave the house. They will zip off a file half way round the world (or next door even) to a drummer who will zip it off to a bass player somewhere in Mongolia and then pay some bloke in Sweden to ‘master’ the results at 300 dollar a track. And there’s your album! I remember when recording onto video tape was the new fad which made a mockery, it seemed to me, of studios which were dominated by mixing desks the size of aircraft carriers that never got used. STAKKATTAKKTWO was recorded fairly conventionally, with all of us in the studio throughout, and we used real mikes and cabs and drums.

 

– As I said before, your debut album had a great impact among followers of this style. Nowadays the Internet allows more people to have an easier access to different bands and albums, also newer generations; have you noticed this? Could you say with your latest piece you’ve gotten more attention?

Marc Angel: I love and loathe the internet. It is immediate which is a good thing, especially for communication with fans, but to work the social networking thing in all it’s forms i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc. must be extremely time consuming and I prefer to have a life. Cream rises. No amount of pestering on the internet will gain you a loyal following. Thankfully we are gaining more fans by the day and regaining some older ones. We never take these people for granted and it is always a joy to receive a compliment after a show or when someone has bought the album. I do miss the old fan club letters though. You could smell the perfume on a letter!

 

– And finally, what does the future hold for WRATHCHILD?

Marc Angel: The future is ‘Heavy Metal – Rokk ‘n’ Roll’ for WRATHCHILD. We are still the best at what we do. Coming to a Town near you. STAKKATTAKKTWO!

 

– That has been everything from my side, thanks you once more. If you want to add some final words; last lines are all yours.

The STAKKATTAKK is BAKK ! Check us out on www.wrathchildofficial.com

Marc Angel, the bass player, the four string slayer – the harbringer of the STAKKATTAKK.

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

 

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