Seasons Of The Wolf is an awesome power metal band from south Florida that mixes elements of progressive metal and gothic into its dark style. Recalling the epic grandeur of such bands as Manowar and Iron Maiden and the guitar-oriented flair of Helstar and Helloween, Seasons Of The Wolf is any old-school metal lovers dream. The band has released two demos, a self-titled mini CD, the "Lost In Hell" full-length CD on Adrenaline Records (Italy), and their excellent new CD "Nocturnal Revelation" on their own Earth Mother Music record label. They are also featured on various Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Queen tribute CDs. Below is an interview with Barry Waddell, guitarist and founding member. This interview was conducted in the Winter of 1999 and is a condensed version of the one that will appear in "Sociopathic Despair" #3. All rights reserved.
List band members' names, instruments, ages, and day jobs.
I play guitar, am 36 years old, and work part-time at a pet
store. Wes Waddell, the vocalist, is 27 and works as a clerk at a Camelot Music store.
Dennis Ristow, our keyboardist, is 31 and works in computer
automated drafting. Chris Whitford, our bassist, is 27 and works
in a glass factory making windows. Wayne Hoefle, the drummer, is 26 and does
Your style is very much rooted in the 1980s sound. Is that
conscious? Do you believe the 1980s were a much better time for
metal as a whole than this decade?
Well, I suppose that is the impression our debut CD makes. We
did not intend on that happening as a whole. There were supposed
to be four other songs on that CD, which would have made it sound much more
progressive and futuristic. There is certainly a lot of good
stuff from the '8Os, but I like the stuff from the '70s more, when it comes to metal.
Metal even goes back to 1967, so yes, I'd say that the stuff
back then was much "deeper" and more entertaining than most of the stuff coming out
today. So far, the 1990s have been the shittiest decade for
metal. Certainly there is some good metal coming out today, but not much of it. I think
SOTW will be a band for the next millenium. We are just getting
started a little early.
It seems that old-school heavy metal is making a big comeback
nowadays, as testified by the rising popularity of such bands as
Hammerfall, Memory Garden, Destiny's End, Steel Prophet, and so
on. Has this rekindling of interest in traditional metal aided
your band in any way?
It certainly hasn't hurt us. We never thought that the 1980s
style of metal would become popular again. We try to look more to
the future of metal, rather than the past. That's one of the reasons we call
our style "New Age Metal." But we definitely have appeal to those
One thing that puzzles me is that there are quite a few people
out there who absolutely hate '8Os metal. I don't get that. Why
be so close-minded about it? Oh well, different strokes for different idiots.
Tell me a bit about your new "Lost In Hell" CD.
The new CD provides more of an example of our "New Age Metal"
moniker. It will be centered lyrically around science fiction,
honror, and fantasy topics. It will have a lot of twists and turns, but with
that unique SOTW feel. The production should be very interesting.
It will not be for everyone, but those who love it will love it and those who hate
it will absolutely abhor it.
How has the response been to the new CD so far?
It hasn't been out too long yet, so it's too early to tell.
We've only released it to the media so far to build up a buzz for
the band. Next we'll market it to the radio stations, as the CD becomes more available
across the country. Probably by this Autumn we'll have sold a few thousand copies.
Then hopefully we'll have enough demand to go out on tour. You
are one of the first persons to get a copy of the CD, Mike, so
I'd say your response has been wonderful.
Your band has an excellent website. How successful has the
website been in furthering your band's name?
Thanks! Wes does the set-up for the website. He knows all the
html encoding. I do all the photo-shop for it. We spend a lot of
time on it, and it never seems to be enough. The internet has been great in
promoting the band. Most of our contacts are via the web now,
which is cool because it is so much faster. We have sold some merchandise through the
'net. Not tons, but it's definitely been picking up. The internet
is the future. It's just taking a little while longer for people to get used to it.
What bands have most influenced SOTW? What is the first metal
album you ever bought?
We have been deeply influenced by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden,
Blue Oyster Cult, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Utopia, Montrose,
and Tangerine Dream. There are tons more, but I don't have time to
list them all. The first heavy metal album I bought was Black
Who came up with the name "Seasons Of The Wolf" and what does
it represent to the band?
It came from a song of the same name Dennis was working on. I
felt it would make a very original name for the band. Wolves are
very misunderstood creatures associated with many dark and negative
images. This also fit with the band's philosophy quite well.
Your band moniker has a very dark, ominous ring to it. Have
many people initially confused your band with a black metal or
doom band due to your name?
People didn't confuse it in the past, but they have quite a
bit in the past couple of years. I think it's the logo that
confuses people more than the name. I think we'll clear up the
confusion when our next album is released. We have fans into progressive metal,
power metal, death metal, black metal, doom, and metal metal. Let's just say metal fans dig us,
shall we? We're not trying to copy any one sound, but if
comparisons are made, then
so be it. We just do our own thing. One thing is a certainty, we
all enjoy horror, science fiction, and dark oriented stuff.
Since you've been around so long, why have you had so few
We had written many songs in the past but hadn't recorded
anything until we could find people who could actually perform
with us. Now that we have that problem out of the way, just watch the albums fly
out. We intend to release one album per year from now on.
Tell me about your first two demos.
Just what exactly is a demo, anyway? Oh yeah, it's one of
those things bands waste their money on sending out to record
labels, right? These suck-ass major labels have absolutely no taste in music. All they
want is people's money, and the complete rights for all things
bands do, including their lives. Sorry about getting out of control, there. The way
record labels act really pisses me off sometimes. Anyway, our first demo tape was
recorded in 1990 in an eight-track studio called "Trick Tracks."
It was limited to 500 copies and was given away locally. There
were more songs on
it, including "The Bloodtree," "Far From The Light," "Beyond The
Wall," "The Coven," and so on. Our second cassette (released in 1991)
contained seven songs and was limited to 500 copies, as well. Song titles
included "Against The World," "Hell's Fire And Brimstone," "Death
Wish," "Centuries Of Pain," and etc. We plan to re-record some of those
old demo tracks and re-release it on CD after we build-up our
world fan base within the next few years.
How often do you play live? List some other bands you've
performed with. How do crowds often respond to your band?
We play live as often as we can. Right now we're playing a
couple of shows a month. Our fans are very spread out in age,
from the teens to middle-aged metal-heads. They are very loud at times and often
rowdy. But they never get out of hand. One of the bigger bands we
opened for was Blue Oyster Cult. That was a very cool show.
Your bassist recently left the band. Why was this? Who did you
pick as her replacement and why?
Phaedra developed some serious back problems in the past few
years. Due to that and other reasons her motivation began to
decrease, effecting her performance all around. She personally made the decision to
leave the music business. We will miss her. She was very cool.
Onr new bassist is Chris Whitford, He has been working with the band taking photos,
moving equipment, and as a roadie for seven years. So when Phaedra left, we
didn't have to look very far. Chris jumped right in and the live
performance level is much more intense than before. Things worked
out just fine.
Phaedra was an excellent bass player. Did anyone in the
audience ever try to give her flack or fuck with her?
Phaedra is a bad-ass bassist. When the bass slot first opened
up, we tried out several male bassists in our area and Phaedra played them all
under the table. She had the attitude, the ability, and the look
that fit SOTW like a glove. No one ever screwed around with her. Besides, she would
have been well able to take care of herself. Plus, there would
have been four of us to take care of anyone who gave her a problem.
I heard that you are going to have a track featured on an Iron
Maiden tribute. Tell me a bit about that.
Yes. We chose to cover "Flash Of The Blade," because it has
always been one of our favourite songs on "Power Slave." It is a
fast, meaty track. It has a cool spot for us to include our dark, gothic keys
in the middle section accompanying the leads. We also like it because it was used in
the soundtrack for the movie "Creepers," by Dario Argento. This
double CD tribute will be released In Europe on Energie/Adrenalin
Records of Italy. I have spoken to the label owner and he said there are
plans to market the disc here in the U.S. So eventually it should make its way over here
and get some radio promotion. We also plan to record some kind of tribute to Blue Oyster
Cult. If things go wIl with our material this year, we may
produce this project ourselves in our own studio. Maybe someone out there reading this
might be interested in this kind of project. If so, contact us.
I hear that your next album will be a double CD set. Tell me a bit about it.
We have already started to record that album in our studios. We learned a lot about
the recording process when we produced "Lost In Hell." So
the third album is going to sound even better. It's going to be named "Nocturnal
Revelations." Some of the song titles include "The Dead Zone,"
"Liar," "Star Struck," "Battle Scars,"
"Balance Of The Wing," and etc.
What do you think the future for metal will be like?
The future will be New Age Metal, if we have anything to do with it. Seasons Of The
Wolf will be a big part of that. Not to sound arrogant or
anything, but the music scene needs to get off its ass and rock with some imagination
again, damn it! Bands need to need to leave all that
"alternative" pissing and moaning and crying about politics behind.
Who wants to hear that crap?! We get enough of that stuff every day in the
newspapers and on television. All these popular bands nowadays sing about suicide and how
bad their lives sack. Meanwhile, people are starving in
the streets. I just can't get into that depressing mainstream subject matter. SOTW tries
to write more imaginative staff to take people's minds away
from that crap. It is time for true metal to rear its head up once again! The same thing
occurring today happened back in the 1960s when the hippies
were crying and moaning and their songs were all about peace and love and togetherness.
Geez, that sucked! Then the 1970s kicked in and we got
Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and Judas Priest, as well all kinds of weird fantasy, horror,
and science fiction stuff Now metal bands are writing
more imaginative stuff. This is reflected in the music they play, as it has more actual
talent and less posing. It's not just some slag asses strumming
out-of-tune guitars complaining how their pet rat died and how they ran out of crack. Whah
What do you think of the underground?
The underground zines and radio shows we've been in contact with have been very
supportive of us. The underground will never die! It is the music of the future.
List what you would consider to be the top five albums of all time.
Wow! To understand how hard it is to answer this question, you need to see my record
collection. But I'll give it a shot nonetheless. Black
Sabbath "Paranoid," Queen "A Night At The Opera,"
Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon,"
Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies," and Van Halen's
first album. The funny thing about Van Halen is that I've never been a big fan of them.
But c'mon, how 'bout the guitar playing on that album?!
That's it from me. Add anything else you want to now.
It's been a pleasure answering your questions. There were some unique ones here, which
is cool because we seem to get asked the same
questions all the time. Hopefully will be able to play up there in Bowling Green sometime.
Check out the band's official website here: Seasons Of The Wolf