Dateline: April 10, 1991, Bogarts, Cincinnati , OH, WRATHCHILD AMERICA/PANTERA
We arrived at 4 p.m. and were quickly ushered backstage to WRATHCHILD AMERICA'S dressing room where Brad Divens (bassist, vocals), Jay Abbene (guitarist, vocals), and Terry Carter (guitarist, vocals) greeted us. We were treated like Kings! Being from Baltimore, and an ex-MD musician, we talked for awhile about how things "back-home" are. The conversation was so relaxed, it felt like I was talking to old friends. When I got into the interview, I found that this is not your typical beer & liquor guzzling, perverted sex road story band. These are very conscientious, intelligent men with something to say.
On the topic of censorship; Terry said, "Live & let live....I don't preach to anybody and I don't expect anyone to preach to me." Jay then added, "It's so hideous it's beyond words. How can anyone sit there and tell anyone what is right and what is wrong? To each his own. Nobody has the right to decide what you should listen to." Brad thought it would fade away. This brought some objections from other band members. Brad then went on to clarify himself. "I can see where people are bitching about what people say in their songs, but that's freedom of speech. That's three words and there is no reading between the lines. It's freedom of speech period." The US Constitution cannot agree with you more Brad.
After some intellectual exchange on Constitutional Law, the conversation got into the topic of personal rights. Mainly abortion. Terry had-this to say, "I cannot comprehend why a woman would say no thanks, I don't want that right. You can take it away from me. I can't comprehend why a woman would take one of her rights and decline it to let someone else decide." Jay added, "We are pro-choice across the board for everything as long as nobody gets the shit-end of the stick. That's the thing, give somebody a little bit of power and they think they have the right to tell everybody what to do. They think they speak for the whole nation."
All three stated that censorship and other issues were always spearheaded by extremists. I think Jay said it best, "The extremist will step over a homeless guy, to spit on someone wearing a fur coat. Where is the logic?" This is an answer people around the world have been looking for. The song "SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS" on the new album 3D encompasses everything we talked about and more. Terry said it was about every idiot you ever met while Brad added, "if that was the case, the song should be sixty-minutes long."
The boys are very conscious about the environment. This is on the song "11" off the new album. Brad recycles everything and feels it should be mandatory world-wide. Here is a little tid-bit about Mr. Divens. He attended Penn State University as an Electrical Engineer major. He dropped out after a year, by his own choice.
We talked a bit about the first video from the album which is "SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS." To this date it has only been shown twice by MTV. Probably because it's a good video and WRATHCHILD AMERICA is not a cheese band. We talked about some of the stupid things MTV wanted from them like cutting twenty seconds from the video! Brad summed it up by saying, "Let's just say, you have a better chance pulling a needle out of your ass with a tractor, than getting MTV to play anything." This is seen everyday ROC'ers by the cheesy video's they play the other 165 hours a week.
Shannon Larkin, the drummer of the group, later added that Cincinnati is his favorite town in the world because of the crowd support. Even before they were signed they used to pack Annie's and are now doing the same at Bogart's.
After reading this, you may think the band is a bunch of recluse intellectuals. It cannot be further from the truth. These guys are fun and when they hit the stage that night, total mayhem erupted! After PANTERA floored the crowd to near exhaustion, WRATHCHILD AMERICA came out and drained the last bit of life from the Mosh Pit. These guys are great! When they hit your town, don't miss them.