Jeff Waters

All posts tagged Jeff Waters

By Carl Begai

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Teramaze first became a blip in Australian headspace back in 1995, launched by guitarist Dean Wells and laying claim to two full length albums by the time he was 18 years-old. It was a short-lived pursuit, as Wells abandoned Teramaze in 2000 for what turned out to be a fruitful career as a songwriter and producer for TV programs including X Factor and Australian Idol, as well as an assortment of pop artists. It was only a matter of time, however, until Wells felt the need to escape the formatted structure of the pop music machine in favour of creating music on his own terms. He relaunched Teramaze and returned in 2012 with Anhedonia, following it up with Esoteric Symbolism a short two years later. It’s been a re-learning curve for Wells, which culminated in the creation of the band’s most progressive work to date, Her Halo.

“It was a good eight years,” says Wells of his pop industry days. “I got into writing a lot of heavier stuff and my publisher at the time told me they liked it but had no idea what to do with it. Somebody finally said ‘You should do a Teramaze album.’ I hadn’t even thought of that because I considered Teramaze to just be something I did as a kid for a bit of fun. I realized I did want to do it again, and around the time we started taking it seriously Jeff Waters from Annihilator heard the stuff and wanted to get involved. He was down in Australia at one point and he came in to produce most of the album with me. So, I put out Anhedonia in 2012, which came out of the heavier stuff I was writing a few years earlier.”

“Before Anhedonia there was nothing from Teramaze for eight years. People think we’ve been around for all this time, but no, there was a massive gap in between. We don’t really play any of the old stuff, but now that people are starting to realize this is the same band from back then we’re thinking about bringing some of it back. But it does seem to people we’ve done more than we actually have.” Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

How do you write a hit record? Lock a bunch of unattractive over-the-hill songwriters with shattered dreams of being spotlight superstars in a room, add money, buy auto-toon software, and hire a pretty face to sing the songs. Or, if you live in the blood and sweat world of Annihilator guitarist/founder Jeff Waters you go with your gut, hit the studio when the time feels right, and cough up an album like the highly praised rip and tear called Feast.

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“This is the first record where we took a big break from getting in the studio and writing,” says Waters. “We were finished with the cycle for the last album by the fall of 2010. It was a little over two years of not going into the studio to write. Dave (Padden/vocals, guitars) and I decided that we could pump out an album every year-and-a-half, and some albums would be better than others but it would be a case of just doing the same thing over and over. We wanted to see what happened if we took some time off from the writing. I did tons of guitar clinics around the world, we did some special festival dates, I did some mixing and mastering in my studio; there just wasn’t any new Annihilator stuff coming out of that. And from what I’ve been told it paid off because everyone seems to feel that Feast has brought things up a level.”

“I think it was good that we took the time off, and if I didn’t have all that stuff to do in those two years I would have gone straight into the studio and started writing. I had lots to do and Dave kept pushing me away from it, so I just decided to go with it until the time was right.”

Waters is in a good place these days both professionally and personally these days, yet the music he cranked out for Feast is (for the most part) full-on aggressive and a great soundtrack for pissed-offedness.. Not exactly a case of the art reflecting the man this time out.

“I don’t get that either. We threw that one song ‘Perfect Angel Eyes’ in the middle of the album, but you’re right, other than that it’s more aggressive and has an ‘F-You’ vibe. It’s weird how that worked out.”

Feast’s punk attitude is equally weird and totally unexpected. Sure, the legendary thrash sound that made Annihilator famous is very much alive and seething, but there are moments where Waters sounds like he’s channelling as much of The Exploited as he is Slayer.

“You know what? That’s the one thing I didn’t realize until very recently. I did a two-and-a-half week European press trip, I did something like 113 interviews – which is way more than I’ve ever done for an album – and I repeatedly heard the question ‘Where’s this punk vibe coming from?’ And my only answer was ‘I don’t know’ (laughs). I usually get questions about my soloing and I tell them it’s blues speeded up, and even though I don’t really know the blues, I just know the stuff passed down by Angus Young and Glenn Tipton who got it from B.B. King and Chuck Berry. At least I know where that blues influence comes from. The punk stuff… no idea where that comes from.” Continue Reading

More noise from the Hoser Empire. Read on…

Kittie are gearing up to hit the road in support of their new album, I’ve Failed You. Following what are essentially warm-up shows in London and Toronto, they’ll head down to Australia for a string of dates on the Soundwave Festival tour. Upon their return, the ladies will spend most of April and May on the road in Canada and the US. The tour is an all-Canuck affair, with Blackguard and The Agonist – both out of Montreal – as main support. Putting the “eh!” in metal, indeed 🙂 Go to this location for the complete schedule.

In addition, Kittie will perform at the Toronto tribute show for Woods Of Ypres founder / frontman David Gold on April 5th at the Wreckroom. In a recent interview with Morgan, she mentioned to me that Kittie might perform a Woods song during their set. Stay tuned for updates, click here for details on David’s tribute show, which also includes Eclipse Eternal and Novembers Doom on the bill. Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

In January 2010, Fozzy – the side-project turned full scale war machine featuring Stuck Mojo guitarist/vocalist Rich Ward and vocalist/wrestling star Chris Jericho – released their fourth studio album, Chasing The Grail. Amongst the guest musicians that appeared on the record was Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters, who laid down solos for the tracks ‘Martyr No More’ and ‘God Pounds His Nails’. Waters is no stranger to lending out his talents to projects he feels are worthy of time spent, and although it’s a no-brainer finding Ward and Jericho on that list, it’s still a big deal when Waters agrees to enter the picture and add his brand of shred to the canvas.

“That was the coup of ages, man,” laughs Ward. “I asked Chris if he was okay with having a guest guitar player or two on the album. We did it on the previous one (All That Remains from 2005), and it was cool having Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) and Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) come in and lay down their stuff. For me as a fan of those guys it was just cool. Chris asked me who I had in mind for Chasing The Grail, and I gave him three or four names. He balked on all of them except for Waters (laughs) Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

I recently caught up with Annihilator guitarist / founder Jeff Waters to discuss the band’s new self-titled album (that interview can be found on the BW&BK site here). Part of that discussion focused on vocalist Dave Padden and his influence on the band since coming on board in 2003.

WatersPaddenliveOfficially the longest lasting Annihilator singer with seven years and four records under his belt, Padden is also the band’s second guitarist when they perform. The new DVD, Live At Masters Of Rock, showcases a very different Annihilator compared to years past, with a Waters-Padden duo trading off leads, solos, and vocals over the course of the set. An effective approach that caught the fans off guard when the band hit the road in support of the Metal album from 2007. Asked if this approach was used on the new album, Waters says it was in fact business as usual.

“It’s still the same thing in the studio, with me playing the guitars and Dave singing, but he’s the second guitarist on stage now. He’s a really good rhythm guitar player but his confidence is really low in that, so I’m trying to boost him up. I only sing live because Dave needs a break. That’s all it is. On the DVD for example, we’re standing quite stationary a lot of the time because we knew we were being filmed. If we weren’t being filmed professionally there probably would have been more mistakes and we would have had a bit more fun. Dave had to plant himself at the microphone and then back off to play, but he couldn’t go anywhere because he had to play some Waters riffs (laughs). But, I think he’s gotten used to that by now.” Continue Reading

Hails!

Just a brief update on what’s been floating my Canadian-made boat as of late, to be applauded or dismissed by anyone taking the time to read this. But, since I don’t generally write about crap unless conned into doing so or I feel the need to make fun of somebody (myself included; see Retro Fit) chances are pretty good my opinions are actually of worth (says the diva… 😉 ).

Annihilator coverFirst off, the new self-titled Annihilator record is a killer. Guitarist / founder Jeff Waters shreds up a storm and nobody can take away Dave Padden’s rightful position as the band’s singer. It’s a grower though, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time through that I actually began hearing this album for the shredfest it is. Very ugly and mean just like the cover art, but that’s a good thing. As much as I like the previous record, Metal, I have to admit there’s an energy level and a lack of polish on the new one that makes it sit better between my ears. Been playing the hell out of it much the same way I did when Carnival Diablo came out all those year ago.

I recently spoke to Waters about the album; the interview will be online soon. Check out the album details here. Release date is May 17th… Continue Reading