W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless on the 2022 Tour, NEW MUSIC, & Defending Free Speech: “Few things are more important than that” – INTERVIEW
W.A.S.P. NATION: Highwire Daze #145 is now online featuring an interview with Blackie Lawless!
You can read the entire interview @ this location. An excerpt from the conversation has been provided below.
You recently had a show out here at The Grove Of Anaheim. How did that one go and how surprised were you that it was sold out?
Well, it sold out in less than 24 hours. And it’s the dedication of this fan base, because what happened – about three years ago the fan base starting petitioning promoters around the country. And because of social media, they were able to get a strong base together. And it really wasn’t hundreds of them – it was thousands of them. And quite honestly, I’ve never seen a fan base do that before for any band ever. So, it’s remarkable.
On the 2022 stage show:
There are three videos that go on behind us simultaneously – and in some of them you’ll see what were promo videos from the original sources. But also, there’s a thing where when we do the song Animal, you’ll see the PMRC hearings that went on in Washington DC, because that is historical. We hadn’t played that song in so long, and we wanted a way to showcase it that had what we felt was a real meaning. And the idea that that song was originally a part of that list of what was called The Filthy 15 and the dog and pony show that surrounded the PMRC hearings. We thought it was the perfect way to showcase this.
In addition to behind us, you see all the other things we had been doing for 40 years – with the blood and the meat and all that stuff. It’s a true retrospective.
But in addition to that, you see this giant circus banner. You’ll walk in, it looks like – and it smells like – you’ve walked into the midway of a carnival. What we do is we set up fog machines that go around the room, and we have one scent that’s cotton candy and another one that’s fresh baked popcorn. No one we know of has ever done this before. These giant circus banners – they’re 16 feet high and they go all the way across the stage – and it looks like you’ve stepped into this gigantic 1930’s midway or carnival.
We’re taking an arena-sized show into theaters, and it looks gargantuan when we go into these places.
Being a born again Christian – and looking back on your old songs and censorship, would you defend any forms of metal today as you did back in the days of the PMRC and Tipper Gore? Metal has changed and expanded quite a lot these days.
First of all, I wouldn’t go as far to say that I defended every style. Someone would have to give me specific examples, but I would say this. That any form of speech – and for me this is what this is about – if you’re talking about somebody doing some really heinous acts in a song, no I can’t support that. But the concept of speaking about it – that’s a different issue. Whether I like an idea – that’s my personal opinion – or anyone’s personal opinion. But the ability to verbalize it – that should be allowed at any cost. Because this whole idea of censorship rears its head about every 20 years – and we’re in it right now – with what social media has been doing. This goes back to – I can’t remember if it was Aristotle who said talking about the Greeks – “He who controls the speech controls the people.” So, this has been going on forever. It’s nothing new – but the idea of defending the concept of free speech – which is the reason why it is the First Amendment that we have. Few things are more important than that.
Is there any new W.A.S.P. music on the horizon?
Not that I would really want to go into right now, because we’re so deep into this tour – that’s what we’re concentrating on.
You can read the entire interview @ this location.