Horror fans, rejoice! Hailing all the way from Denmark, we have guitarist Thomas Pedersen and vocalist Michael Sonne chatting with us about all things Wasted.
We hit on their trials, tribulations, beginnings, influences, the occult, and everything creepy and horrific as it pertains to classic metal music.
From touring nightclubs and bars to big outdoor festivals, Wasted has secured their place in the Danish and intercontinental metal music scene. Moreover, their extreme passion for all things horror and metal is apparent in everything they do.
Not unlike other bands of the time, Wasted experienced an early (although amicable) breakup from the mid-’80s to the early 2010s after only one album. But no to worry – they’ve exploded back onto the scene with previously recorded and new music for everyone to rock out to.
Today, Wasted remains busy touring, writing, and recording new music. So, sit back and enjoy the ride that Michael and Thomas take us on us today in this all-encompassing chat with Copenhagen’s very own Wasted!
It looks like you’ve been busy with your latest album, The Haunted House. What can your fans expect from The Haunted House?
The fans can expect some really heavy, old-school metal. There are slow and doomy songs, fast and furious songs, and some mid-tempo songs. All the songs are more or less within the horror universe. Expect some catchy punchlines and furious leads. The last song, “The King,” is actually a re-recorded and extended song from 1984 with a lot of guest guitar leads. Hank Shermann from Mercyful Fate and Michael Stüzer from Artillery are among the guest guitarists.
You filmed the songs “Mr. Black” and “The Haunted House” on location, right?
We filmed the videos for “Mr. Black” and “The Haunted House” at an old abandoned farmhouse in the countryside. No one had lived there since 1999. Kristian, our video guy, found the place. It was a really creepy place.
In the attic, there were all sorts of old boy scout magazines and closets filled with old jars of pickled fruit that almost looked like fetuses. In the “Mr. Black” video, there is an old photo of a girl that we later discovered is a photo of our Queen Margrethe 2. It was hanging on the wall in the living room. We had so much fun filming the videos and Lucy, the little scary girl, was awesome. It is also her voice on “Mr. Black” in the speaking part. Lucy is also featured in the video for “Evil” from the Electrified album.
How do you feel the album compares and contrasts to your previous works?
This album is by far the best album we’ve ever made. We have some great musicians in the band, some strong songwriters and music writers who have been writing metal songs for the last 20 or 30 years. And now they’ve ended up in Wasted and poured their skills and experience into the songwriting of this album.
How has the band evolved since its inception in 1981?
Aside from being better musicians, the first Halloween… The Night Of album from ‘84 was terribly mixed and had a strange kind of sound which I would disagree with if we had that sound today. So, all in all, we have grown a lot since the early days in metal and finally, in 2018 we had the right guys in the band to make and create some serious metal the Wasted way.
Going back, can you take me through the formation of the band?
In 1981 we started the band under the name Radon 81 and had a rehearsal room under the control tower in Kastrup airport as a four-piece band between the ages 18 and 22. We had fun making tracks and recording demos on an 8-track recorder, and had a few jobs in local youth clubs and bars in our hometown.
In 1983, we started writing tracks for the Halloween album and we upgraded Wasted to a five-piece band with one more guitar and released our debut album Halloween… The Night Of from 1984, the year after we had material enough for yet another album, but unfortunately we had to break up with the record company because our expectations and music style were so far from the company’s expectations that we simply could not see ourselves working with them anymore.
This led to a break in the band the following year and in 1986 Wasted was definitely wasted, over and out. The Final Convulsion and the Halloween album was released in 2013 on the same label as the new releases Electrified and The Haunted House from Denomination Records.
What were your early shows like in the band’s infancy?
We were totally overjoyed and loaded with youth and power and we really had some great times way back then. We did not really support any other bands until 2015 when we opened for Artillery which was a cool evening – all the other events were either three or four band events without headliners or at festivals.
You had plans to release your second album, Final Convulsion, can you go into what happened with that as well as the band’s subsequent breakup?
As mentioned earlier, the band broke down shortly after canceling the contract with record company, which corroded the band and after a while. Some of the guys went to other bands, while two of us finished Final Convulsion well knowing that the band had no foundation anymore. We called it over and ended the band as a united band and just went on with our lives with the family and kids.
How did the reunion come up after 15 years of being apart?
In 2013, I was contacted by a booker guy from MMF festival Denmark and he asked if I would be able to reunite the band for the 2013 festival. I contacted the old guys and suddenly we were four of the five guys ready to do this event and then we did it, and what a fantastic feeling after all these years to be playing all the old stuff on a big outdoor live stage in the sundown a Saturday evening, that was awesome and called for more, much more.
Sadly, the old scars and bad vibes came to the surface, so we had to make some changes in the band to make it work. We replaced the bass and the drums and went with them for some new lineup for a couple of years through a whole lot of “BIG” Danish festivals and some great indoor metal events with other Danish bands.
In 2015, C. Jepsen, the greatest bassist in DK (Denmark) joined the band and in 2017 I was so lucky to meet up with Thomas Pede and Alex, our current drummer. After a while, they were in the band replacing the two guys whose interest for the band was at a low point and on the brink to split anyway, and NOW we had a NEW Wasted, with really competent musicians to drive the band forward to more festivals and metal events.
When your third album, Electrified, came out, how did it feel to finally get some of you unreleased music out in the world?
Well, the Electrified album is kind of the best of the songs written in the ‘80s. We re-recorded them with a new modern sound and rearranged some parts. The song “Forces of Evil” was actually an instrumental song we added lyrics to. The title track “Electrified” was a brand new song. The songs are good and really rose with new modern sound and tighter playing.
We made that album, because we were offered free studio hours, and because we were a fairly new line-up we needed to do something else than sitting around in the rehearsal room every Monday evening playing the same old song. We wanted changes, we wanted to get closer to each other both humanly but certainly also musically.
So, we decided to take advantage of the free studio hours and booked Wasted to a record session, well knowing that we would have the full support from our record company to do that. And a few months later we released Electrified with all old tracks except for the title track Electrified which was the first track made with the new line-up, and in the making we also threw some fresh vocal lines on an old instrumental track called Maidens as Thomas explained above
Is it safe to assume that you guys are into horror? Where do you draw on for inspiration?
One hundred percent safe! I am the one writing most of the lyrics to our songs, so when I have to perform them they have to make sense to me and fit into my little horror universe. I love the Halloween movies, I like Friday the 13th and Jason, I´m a big fan of John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and all in all, I like slasher and horror movies and good solid books with some great stories from the dark.
My musical songwriting inspiration is clearly Mr. Alice Cooper, who I think is the greatest lyric writer of all time, but I also allow myself to look for inspiration in the old AC/DC and KISS universe. But most important of all, I just want to be myself and do the things in Wasted that I do, and fill in a character who fits into the running music and create the Wasted touch.
What does the future for Wasted look like from here?.
Well, in the near future, we are gonna shoot a couple more videos for the album. I guess that we will have a new album release in 2023 and know that with this strong and faithful line-up we will be here for some years ahead, still playing and listening to metal and rock even at the age of 60 and never getting tired of it.
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Of Wasted: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at end of the article.