ANNIHILATOR Frontman JEFF WATERS Reveals His Worst On-Stage Moment - "I Just Stormed Off The Stage And Threw My Tuner Pedal At Our Backdrop"
November 2, 2017, a year ago
Annihilator frontman/founder Jeff Waters recently sat down with Music Radar for a Q&A in which he reveals his practice regimen (something he hasn't done since 1989) and his first real "rock star" moment. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Q: What's the one effects pedal you couldn't do without, and why?
Waters: “[MXR] EVH Phase 90 - that’s the secret lead guitar weapon I have used since 2005. It's tuned so perfectly to the frequencies around the picking sound. If you play sloppy, it’s not for you; if you play clean, it brings out your picking like no other pedal or effect.”
Q: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
Waters: “Alcatraz Festival in Belgium, a few summers ago. We were ready to rock such a killer fest, and my tech screwed up my tuner so that my guitars were tuned to a different tuning than the band. I played the whole first song and a bit of the next, knowing something was terribly wrong, but I couldn’t hear it. When I did, I panicked because my guitars were locked to the wrong tuning, but i still had no idea that I was out, and what was actually wrong, just that when i played, it was totally out with the other guys.
Instead of simply calming down, I panicked and didn’t even think to grab my other guitarist’s guitar or tell the audience to wait five minutes until we sorted it out... I just stormed off the stage and threw my tuner pedal at our backdrop on the way off! Haha! It wasn’t funny then... the crowd, band and stage crew had no idea what I was doing and why I left.
In hindsight, I should have either explained that we had technical difficulties, tried to solve them and, if not, apologise and call it a day... Instead, I pulled my first ’rock star temper tantrum’... but I also got a new tech after that!”
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Annihilator will release their 16th studio album, For The Demented, on November 3rd via Neverland Music/Silver Lining Music. The album will be available in a limited edition digipack with lenticular cover, a jewel-case CD, a 12" 180g coloured vinyl in gatefold and digital download. Pre-order the album here.
They say great (and often bad) things happen in threes, and Annihilator is proving the superstition on the eeriest day of the year. Combining heavy metal greatness with malevolent horror, the band is "thrilled" to reveal their extra-gory, NSFW third music video for the track "Pieces Of You" today.
"The following contains a graphic interpretation of a true crime story that includes potentially disturbing images and lyrical content," says leader Jeff Waters. "We realize this is not exactly the most pleasant subject to write about, however, in the world of being a writer and musician, sometimes these stories can spawn a song! While many of the songs from the new album For The Demented have positive messages in them, this one does not!
"This is about a criminally insane guy who murdered his "annoying" girlfriend to "silence" her voice. He then eats pieces of her, as a means of keeping her alive inside of him. Yeah, crazy, but when you watch horror movies, crime shows and own a few Cannibal Corpse t-shirts, this is tame in comparison. I like the three dimensions of this: seeing the lyrics roll by: hearing/feeling the music and watching the horror... almost difficult to take it all in, in one view.
“Enjoy "Pieces Of You", if you can!"
Since 1989, Annihilator have not stopped putting out records and touring the world. Despite the ever-changing climate of the metal world (and releasing a series of "different" metal records with various lineups along the way), Jeff Waters and company have consistently delivered strong albums since the band's debut Alice In Hell.
Then there was 1990's best-selling Never, Neverland, 1995's King Of The Kill, Schizo Deluxe in 2005 and many other critically-acclaimed releases up until 2015's Suicide Society. The 'under-the-radar' influence of this band, and writer/guitarist/vocalist Jeff Waters, has been felt throughout the entire realm of the metal world by a ton of well-known musicians and bands; that influence even stretching into the hard rock and instrumentalist genre.
Annihilator's main man Jeff Waters, in his usual humble manner, offers this in response: "Annihilator's music has been influenced by a good hundred of my favorite bands and musicians; you can hear their contributions to what I have been doing all throughout Annihilator's catalogue. It's a bonus and an honor when bands and musicians I love mention that I had something to do with their playing or songs!"
For The Demented is certainly their most complete and definitive statement yet.
"It was time to analyze what a lot of fans over the years have kept telling me," says Waters. "It was time to sit down and figure out "why" Annihilator's early "thrash-meets-melodic" caught the ears of so many and to try to sweep the "fan" part of my writing/playing/singing out the door and welcome back the mostly-original Waters writing that was to be the first four Annihilator albums."
Waters didn't venture back alone while looking back through Annihilator's history. "I was well aware that trying to re-capture the past usually fails, or at least won't come close. So, I decided to bring in fresh ears, both musically and physically with Rich Hinks, my bassist for the last few years. And doing most all of the records by myself, including writing and playing most all on my own, as well as mixing, mastering, engineering, etc..., well it can become routine and can often hinder you from being objective and more creative.
"Rich came in and co-wrote the music with me, as well as co-produced the beginning stages of the record. His background of classic thrash metal meets a newer "math" metal style was the perfect combination for me to simply ask, 'What do you think of this?' He would most-often reply with "not the Annihilator style I like", so we would keep going until we both felt that core Annihilator riffing and writing style presented itself.
"Bottom line, For The Demented captures some feel from Annihilator's 1985-87 demos mixed with the first four Annihilator records. Back to the thrash-meets-melody but with some pure Waters guitar riffing, up-graded lead guitar shredding and vocals back to the demo-days meets the King of The Kill record. Lyrically, I placed a theme on the record: the human mind and all of its glory, complexity, diversity, weaknesses and insanity! Pretty much the craziness of the music is matched by the lyrics.
"I think metal fans are going to hear much of what they have been waiting for from Annihilator."
For The Demented tracklisting:
“One To Kill”
“For The Demented”
“Pieces Of You”
“The Demon You Know”
“Altering The Alter”
“Not All There”
"One To Kill" lyric video:
“Twisted Lobotomy” video:
Jeff Waters - vox, guitar
Fabio Alessandrini - drums
Rich Hinks - bass
Aaron Homma - guitar