Wade Black has sung with some iconic metal bands over the years, Lucian Blaque, Crimson Glory, Seven Witches and Leatherwolf to name a few. His latest project released June 18 with premier Italian based rock and metal label Frontiers Music is titled “Chalice of Sin” and is an 11 song collection of melodic and classic style metal tunes sung with the intensity and passion one would expect from a metal grinder of Black’s seasoned experience.
You have a new project coming out produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio from Frontiers Music called “Chalice of Sin”. Tell me a little bit about how that project came about.
Well, I had some music that I was working on and I had sent it to Serafino from Frontiers Records. He loved it so I sent him a couple more songs and he loved those. He turned me on to the meeting with Alessandro and you know, off we go.
How’s it been working with those guys? They’ve got a pretty big stable of artists there, don’t they?
It’s huge! The amount of work that they put out is absolutely amazing. Working with Alessandro and everybody that I work with at Frontiers, it’s just been incredible. I mean, these people are the juggernauts, you know? I think that’s what it takes in order to make it in the business right now, you’ve got to keep putting out product, and you’ve got to keep up with the times.
How were the musicians assembled for this band on the record?
Alessandro and I had talked back and forth and he had a couple people that he was interested in getting for the project and I was up for the challenge to listen to them and find out what they played and how they were as musicians and the outcome was incredible of the entire thing.
Will this be a touring lineup?
We are actually talking with a management company right now that wants to pick us up, and wants to start working with Frontiers that looks very promising. With everything going on, we want to get out there and we want to play, we want to tour, we want to do what we do. All the cards are on the table right now and everything’s looking really good for the future.
Did Alessandro contribute at all to the writing or were these all songs that you had?
I had some songs that I demoed first to Serafino and then Alessandro and I started trading back and forth songs and it was just absolutely amazing. How quickly this material was written, it almost wrote itself, but working with talent like this it’s kind of hard to get steered wrong. It’s just absolutely amazing, the Frontiers trip and everything. I think every 10 years I do something that’s really good. It’s funny how it’s working out.
How is his influence on the music itself? The title song, “Chalice of Sin”, has a symphonic metal sound to it, sounds very European to me. Is that really what I’m hearing, Alessandro’s input?
Absolutely, he’s such a huge influence on the whole thing on the music writing, as the producer, as everything else. He’s just absolutely amazing to work with and he just gets the job done, there’s really nothing else to say, he’s just in the game.
Were there any challenges when you were recording this? Was all the recording done over there or was it done here in North America?
We actually did it here at my home in Florida and it’s just interesting how it ends up working out. Like I said, we started trading back songs and everything just gelled together so good. We just ended up coming up with something that was really good and we felt comfortable with and when everybody heard it, we were just like, wow, we’ve really got something special here.
So how does this differ from your other current project War of Thrones?
The European influence that’s within the music gives a different kind of feeling to it of how you actually approach it vocal wise. I would say my other band, War of Thrones, is a little bit heavier so I approach it a little bit different. With this album maybe a little bit of clean vocals, maybe a little bit of a gruffy kind of vocals, mix it up a little bit and make it interesting for the listener.
When did you start singing?
I’ve been singing ever since I was about four or five years old. When I was in fourth grade, I end up taking singing lessons and actually joining a choir so it’s been a lifelong journey.
Who are your biggest influences?
Rob Halford, all of the typical people that you’re going to hear. I love Lou Gramm, Ian Gillan, and stuff of that nature. I guess in the end what you end up creating, you’re giving accolades to the people that have already done it before, and so you get these different influences within it. It’s just interesting how it ends up all coming together.
I definitely hear the Rob Halford influence. You can really hold those high notes and sound very similar to what he does. I think he’s just fewer than four octaves and I asked people all the time, if they know their vocal range. Do you actually know?
I’m probably right around four. The higher range is kind of weird once it gets up so high, you know your natural range only goes so high so really it’s all you can do.
You worked as a vocal coach for a while too, didn’t you?
Yes, I still do and I still teach anybody that’s interested in learning how to sing. I think it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to bring that out of yourself in order to do that. I’m more of a smooth vocalist but I’ve been kind of dabbling a little bit into a heavier, maybe gruffer kind of sound for a little bit different dynamics. But, just natural tone and everything that you have is really something special.
This is actually the 25th year for Frontiers Records. Does that make it kind of special to be working with them and releasing something in this year?
Absolutely, are you kidding me? This is the best time within my life, within my career! Since I’ve been in the music business, I’ve always been the fill-in guy, With all the other bands that I’ve ever been in, this is the first chance for me as a venture, not so much a solo artist but just being on my own terms, I own it, I wrote it, along with my partner Rich Marks.
It’s just absolutely thrilling at this particular time to be there and congratulations to Frontiers Records for 25 years. That’s a long time and look at the entire roster of bands that these guys have on their label. I’m reading my name with Robin McAuley and Michael Sweet from Stryper and this and that. This is something very special that happens a couple of times in a lifetime, so I’m so proud and humbled to be in this spot right now.
We’re actually going to work on the follow up. I don’t know whether it’s going to be this year, maybe the latter part September, October. We might end up starting throwing some ideas around about the next record. But like I said, we’re working with a management company that we’re about ready to sign with over in Europe and we are absolutely enthralled and excited to get back to playing, touring and doing what we love to do.
This is our life, this is what we do, you know? To take that away from us is like taking candy from a baby.
How about War of Thrones? You’re working on your sophomore album right now, aren’t you?
That’s absolutely correct. This record is incredible. We have had this band together for 10 or 15 years where we’ve been trying to get the right people within the band, the personnel is always important. It’s kind of like a marriage, you’ve got to know and get everybody’s traits and what they do and their peeves and everything. It’s always hard but like I said before, my writing partner Rich Marks and I are feverishly always trying to create and break out of that mold. I don’t want to try to create a record that’s already been done before, I want to make it exciting, I want to make it new. I want to make it to where when you hear it, you’re like wow, that’s good stuff.
Well, I’m looking forward to hearing this when it comes out. And in the meantime, people can find you on social media, Instagram, Facebook, Frontiers Music website. And all streaming platforms as well.
Yes sir, it’s out everywhere. I was actually on YouTube today looking at a couple of things and Japan and South America, Frontiers is pulling no stops there, they’re going full bore.
You have a couple videos out now. The black and white one for “Chalice of Sin” was really incredible, so visual.
It’s so good to work with such professional people that when you finally see the final product, you are just totally shocked. It’s like WOW! You don’t have to go back and forth, you don’t have to say you need to fix this and fix that. The first time run through is just brilliant, it’s absolutely brilliant.