Eric Wagner [THE SKULL, BLACKFINGER, ex- TROUBLE, ex- LID] Interview 09/21/2016
Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2016
Any tine the topic of doom metal comes up in conversation, it is almost a given that Eric Wagner’s name will come up at some point. As former vocalist for the legendary TROUBLE and now for THE SKULL and BLACK FINGER, he has stood apart from his contemporaries. Both vocally and lyrically, his approach has always been unique. Just listen to TROUBLE’s catalog which includes ‘Psalm 9 (1984)’, ‘The Skull’ (1985), ‘Run To the Light’ (1987), Trouble’ (1990), ‘Manic Compression’ (1992) and ‘Plastic Greenhead’ (1995) and his return album with them, ‘Simple Mind Condition’ (2007). Channeling such influences as John Lennon, Roger Waters and Ozzy Osbourne, his vocals have always had a unique sense of melody and melancholy that have gone perfect with whatever outfit he has fronted. When it comes to lyrics, he is as dark and brooding as the rest, but with a different angle to it. The world can be a very evil, cold and ugly place full of despair and he definitely paints that mental picture in his lyrics. However, his take has a more positive spin. That amidst all of it, there is hope and one can persevere through it. His life experiences are a testament to that.
In 2014, The SKULL released their debut album, ‘For Those Which Are Asleep’ (in my humble opinion, the best album from that year). The album encapsulates that old, classic TROUBLE sound that has been so revered by metal fans over the last four decades. I was able to see The SKULL perform live in Scottsdale, Arizona in September of last year and was thoroughly impressed with the band. His vocals still hold up pretty damn well, considering how long that the man has been recording and playing stages all over the planet. Just a few days prior to The SKULL entering the rehearsal studio to prepare for their upcoming tour with fellow doom metal heavyweights, SAINT VITUS, I conducted an early morning interview with him via telephone (see link below). I had a great time conversing with him his career in music, both past and present, and his experiences in it. We also discussed his philosophy on life in general and his fondness for “man’s best friend”. Most definitely a highlight for me! Cheers!
A DARK UNITED FRONT: Eric Wagner [The SKULL, ex-TROUBLE, BLACKFINGER, LID] interview 09/21/2016.