1-First of all, thanks Scott for your time in answering this interview for my blig. How did you come up with a style so Thrashy but groovy at the same time from a band like Wrath back in the day?
-Our style was developed over the course of many years. We don’t write for anyone but ourselves, and are our own worst critic! We pride ourselves on writing interesting and memorable “hooks” and we try to keep the complexity of a song in a tasteful range. That said, every band is a product of their influence.
2-Where did the name Wrath come from?
-The name WRATH came from Gary Modica’s brothers band’s song title, “Black Knight’s Wrath”. Gary’s other choice was Realm, whom we played shows with later (from Milwaukee WI).
3-Did Wrath become popular here in the states and outside usa? What about these days, do you think is the same reaction from the old school fans?
-Our popularity was probably bigger outside US in early days once we put out Fit Of Anger. We were introduced to the world as they were introduced to us. We had no idea how huge metal was outside the states. The states however were VERY kind to us on tours, etc. Our audience is older fans and younger fans who discovered 80’s metal later on. Recent festival shows found us talking to people who were in their forties and newer fans in their early twenties. That’s fucking cool!!!
4-Are there any bands on today's metal music scene that you feel have been able to create a unique sound on their own?
-Newer bands like HAVOC, LAZARUS AD, DIAMOND PLATE, AND WARBRINGER have definitely tapped into the vibe and feel of true 80’s thrash. Those bands have bright futures, and their musicianship is fucking outstanding!
5-Tell me a little about all the special Re-issued cds of the band.
-Stormspell Records reached out to us to re-issue Fit Of Anger and Nothing To Fear. We opted to release it as a package deal with a bonus DVD – Mutants of rare and raw live footage from the days of those releases. Iordan and staff did an outstanding job on the layouts! We are considering re-issuing Insane Society at some point in the near also.
6-What bands were your main influences starting out?
-Our influences back in the early days: Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Accept, Motorhead, Metallica, Anthrax, and any other NWOBHM and later bands. Still listen to a lot of it!!
7-What kind of response did you get when the band reformed?
-The band kind of went silent around 1994-95 cuz the metal scene was in dire condition here in Chicago area. When we reformed in ’98-99, we picked up where we left off. It’s been fun ever since. Fans are so loyal in metal. We are very fortunate to have so many ties to the 80’s metal genre. It has meant a lot to our existence today.
8-What can people expect from a live Wrath show?
-At WRATH shows you’re going to see five guys give everything they have in the tank to make sure you leave with a thorough ass kicking! If you are not kicked in the ass, you are not paying attention. If you are not paying attention, stay home!!!
9-Insane Society is a cool cd, tell me about the unique lyrics on that album, what was the inspiration?
-The inspiration on Insane Society is rooted in all that was going on around us at the time (’89-90). Doomsday predictions (Test of Faith), plane crashes (Panic Control), Religious leaders molesting children (Closed Doors), and a very special trip to New York City (Insane Society). It’s kind of crazy how all of those themes are still happening here in 2013!
10-Mtv was such a good way to promote bands back in the day? It was all about music. What is your opinion about today's Mtv?
-Today’s MTV is dead to us.
11-How is Wrath different from the other thrash metal bands?
WRATH differs a bit in that we can relate to anyone. We’ve had comments from people over the years that were at a show and never liked metal, but they thoroughly enjoyed our show. Our singer Scott Matrise sings with very strong vocal melodies. He can bark when he needs to, and he can sing like his life depended on it. All of our singers over the years have brought something unique to the table. I think people can latch onto that easily. We are metal, but we are easy to digest!
12-What does the future hold for Wrath?
-Future is very good! We are finishing up our latest record as we speak (two solid years in the making!) and we recently hooked up with some people who were very instrumental in getting WRATH out on the road and spreading out. We are stoked!!!
13-Any words for the Soulgrinder readers and thrashers out there? Thanks for the interview Scott.
-To all of those reading this: THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST, SUPPORT, AND LOYALTY OVER THE LAST 3 FUCKING DECADES!!! WE WILL STOP WHEN WE DIE! TIL THEN, BRACE YOURSELVES! ITS’ GONNA BE A HELLUVA RIDE!!!!!
Interview by Paul Caravasi