INTERVIEW WITH DEAD ORIGINAL
A chat with Paul Wandtke!
By Stephanie Stevens
Dead Original is from Chicago, IL featuring singer/songwriter Paul Wandtke (ex-Trivium, Rock of Ages) drummer Sean McCole, and bassist Mike Petrasek (Bedlem). Fusing together groove, grunge rock vibes in a straight ahead ‘less is more’ rock destination. Dead Original are on the verge of releasing their debut album on February 26th which contains melodic hooks with lyrics for the tortured soul. The guys are promoting the release of“Bought And Sold” with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping and the album features over 13 tracks written and produced by Dead Original.
The guys have given fans and the music world a sneak peek of some of the tracks on the album with ‘Restrained’, ‘Let It Burn’ and the most recent single ‘Blasted’.
I had a chance to speak with Paul Wandtke about the new record, leaving Trivium and working with fresh musicians in McCole and Petrasek, what they miss about touring and the most fulfilling part of being a musician.
Q: How long did it take you guys to write and record “BOUGHT AND SOLD” and how would you define the overall sound of this new band to fans and the music world just hearing about you?
A: It took about 6 months. It’s pretty straight ahead, you’ll know what Dead Original is about after a verse and chorus of one song. I engineered it at our music studio at The Music Garage in Chicago, IL, using Logic Pro and an Apollo interface. It was literally 3 months after I had left Trivium. I simply didn’t know what else to do, either find another gig or make new music on my own. To be honest I didn’t even know if it was going to work having been a drummer my whole life. But as Dave Grohl says, do it, even if you suck.
Q: You had drummed for Trivium and bassist Mike Petrasek is currently from Bedlem. To fans who don’t know the process of a band member leaving one band to start another, what kind of emotional toll if any goes through you as you start to build and begin with a new foundation of a band?
A: Being in a band is frustrating because one person that isn’t on board 110% can negatively impact a band. You’re literally only as strong as your weakest link.
Q: The album comes out Feb 26th, 2021 and you guys have released a few singles. Did you have certain reasoning why you put out each single when you did and do you feel that the songs build on each other?
A: The release was simply delayed due to the pandemic, so we just kept releasing singles!
Q: I love the harmonies vocally in the newest single ‘BLASTED’. When you guys sit down to write do you find it easier to write lyrics once you have a melody or vice versa and what do you believe is the most important thing about songwriting?
A: As of now, Dead Original was not a collaborative effort for the first album “Bought And Sold”, I literally tracked and wrote it all before finding Mike and Sean. Bedlem however is a collaborative effort, Mike and I exchange vocal melodies and lyrical ideas with Bedlem. That’s more of Mike’s vision lyrically and I support his ideas in Bedlem. Sean is a solo artist he’s a great songwriter on his own too.
Q: ‘LET IT BURN’ was probably the song that made me a fan of the band, I love the grungy gritty aspects with a ton of melody. What for you is the proudest moment of that song and if you could define the meaning of the song in 3 words what would it be?
A: I’m proudest of the fact that it is a slow riff but it’s still kind of energetic. I think we are on the cusp of being a generic band by being so simple, but we somehow pull it off, especially live.
Q: If you could pick the brain of any musician that has left us who would you want to sit down with and just be blessed with their knowledge of the music world?
A: Ray Manzarek from the DOORS because the guy was a genius.
Q: What is the most fulfilling thing for you on a personal level to be able to do this kind of job for a living?
A: Music is freedom whether you’re a fan or an artist of music or both. So, for us, it’s the freedom that we feel we are sharing with people and we love that.
Q: I thought it was sweet your fans were concerned about your video making for some of the singles you did for this album. How did you ease the worries and how did knowing people care that much mean to you?
A: It’s pretty cool. We like being connected like that!
Q: recently a lot of bands and artists are talking about cancel culture and being banned or taken off some media platforms! How do you guys view the likes of some of them taking their career on themselves and your view of the cancelling of some people’s freedom of speech?
A: It’s all just freedom of speech, if you believe in yourself keep on the good fight in whatever you are fighting for.
Q: What is the biggest part of touring that you miss and what do you think is going to be the biggest thing to shake the rust off once you start doing it again?
A: We miss the free vodka backstage, we never realized how expensive alcohol is until this pandemic hit. On a more serious note, we love playing shows and we miss that!
Q Empower other artists and give them a piece of advice?
A: We are living in interesting times. There’s so much knowledge out there! Go study/become a musician!
CONNECT WITH THE BAND:
‘Blasted’ (Official Video)
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.