|High School:||Columbus High School; Columbus, Wisconsin||1984-1988|
|College:||UW-Whitewater; Whitewater, Wisconsin||1988-1995|
|Degree:||B.A. in Art/Graphic Design|
Why I started the W.A.S.P. Nest: I first discovered the Web earlier this year. I had read a lot about it, and a friend told me that they had just installed some computers in the library that had Netscape installed on them, so I went over to check them out. It didn't take me long to find out how to use the search engines with Netscape, and I came across the Def-American Ultimate Band List. I checked out Soundgarden and GWAR and came across some cool sites, but when I looked up W.A.S.P., I was surprised to find nothing. Later, AOL provided a browser with their software, so I stared exploring the web more thoroughly at home, although after I started getting $50 a month bills from AOL, I quickly dropped their service and got an ISP account which gives me unlimited mothly access for just a little than the basic monthly AOL fee. I got a copy of Netscape and there still wasn't any W.A.S.P. page, so I decided to write my own, and some time in late September or early October, the W.A.S.P. Nest was born.
How I got into W.A.S.P.: As a kid growing up in the seventies, of course I was a big KISS fan, like 90% of the other eight year old boys in my area, so I grew up on heavy metal from an early age. After some of my neighbors convinced me that they were devil worshippers, I stopped listening to them for a while. By the time I was twelve or thirteen, around when KISS took off the makeup, I started listening to heavy metal again. I started listening to a lot of KISS again, and getting into other heavy bands.
Around that time, I didn't get MTV, but there was a show on the USA Network called Night Flight, and every two or three weeks they did a heavy metal special featuring Iron Maiden, RATT, Judas Priest, Krokus, and all of those other greats of the early eighties. One night they had this video called L.O.V.E. Machine by a band called W.A.S.P.
It was a teenage metalhead's dream video. The song was good solid heavy rock, combining the Beatles-influenced heavy pop style KISS had popularized with elements of the heavier European metal style that was evident in Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The band was wild and energetic, wearing sawblades and outrageous outfits, plus there were tons of bimbos, too.
Shortly thereafter, I got the album and listened to it a million times, and then in February 1985, my two favorite bands, KISS and W.A.S.P. came on tour here to Madison, Wisconsin. I was fourteen years old at the time, and none of my friends were old enough to drive yet, so I begged and pleaded with my dad until I convinced him to take me to the show.
By that time, W.A.S.P. had dropped most of the theatrics from their show, but it was still amazing. They played just about all of the album, plus the infamous Animal, which I had read about in nearly every article that had been written on them, but had never heard before.
Starting with that single, I also began my interest in collecting import singles. I found a company advertising in Circus that was selling copies of the single that had been "banned in the USA". I ordered that and also began collecting singles from Iron Maiden and other bands that regularly released rare songs as b-sides on obscure import singles.
One of the reasons I'm still a big W.A.S.P. fan is because as I have grown up, the band has also matured musically. While many bands still are playing the same three chord teen angst party anthems (not that there's anything wrong with that), W.A.S.P. has grown into a heavier and more diverse sound.
Other bands I like: As I said before, I started out as a KISS fan, and other bands of the early eightines that I was a big fan of inlcude Iron Maiden (I have almost all of their original 12" singles), Ozzy, Twisted Sister, Accept, and AC/DC.
Around 1985 I started getting into another band that I first saw on Night Flight, Anthrax. I later heard on Z-Rock other thrash bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Carnivore. During the late eighties, I was mainly into the thrash stuff, but that grew old real quick, with a thousand imitators popping up after the first wave of bands. I was a real big Guns N Roses fan when Appetite For Destruciton came out, too.
After hearing Metallica's versions of Last Caress and Green Hell on Garage Days, I picked up the Misfits first greatest hits colleciton, and started listening to some other punk bands, like Dead Kennedies. Another punk/metal band I discovered in the late eighties was GWAR, who are still one of my favorites. They took the theatrical aspects that KISS, Alice Cooper, and W.A.S.P., had pioneered and took it to a whole new level of shock. Since I was a big Misfits fan, I also started listening to a lot of Danzig when their first album came out.
Growing bored with the current state of new metal bands in the early nineties, who mostly were just third generation rip offs of thrash or glam acts, I started looking for new things to listen to. On the Headbanger's Ball I started seeing this new band called Soundgarden, and although I didn't like them at first, they grew on me, so I picked up Louder Than Love and really got into that. I later got into Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Pearl Jam when all of that "Grunge" stuff came out. A lot of metal fans seem to hate grunge and alternative becuase they think it killed the metal scene, but to me there isn't a lot of difference. Mostly it's heavy guitar rock with a few ballads thrown in, they just draw from some different influences. There may not be a lot of similarity between Pearl Jam and Iron Maiden, but then again, there's not a lot of similarity between Aerosmith and Slayer, either.
Other stuff I listen to a lot includes Type O Negative, Faith No More, and Mr. Bungle. I also listen to some industrial stuff, mostly the heavier bands like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Bile.