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Wicked began in 2012 in New York when two brothers, Chad Michael “The Queen of Hearts” and Danny Doll “The Ace of Spades”, decided to become part of the Rock n Roll family. Scotty V joined the two brothers as “Jack of Diamonds” and the band began writing their own music always based on rock n roll and glam rock. The energy of KISS, the eerie seduction of Ziggy Stardust, and the masculine interpretation of Starz, led to a mix that inspired them to create Wicked. They found their wildcard in “The Joker,” GG (Gunnar), whose drums formed the foundations of their rhythm.

Live performnces followed at festivals alongside big names such as: Guns N ‘Roses, Mötorhead, Cheap Trick, Spread Eagle, Survivor, Crashdïet and others. In 2013 they managed to release limited copies on their album “Origins” and one year later they released “Life Alive ”, which they recorded live in an attempt to remain authentic in raw rock n roll as we have known it for decades. With high energy theatrical energy, they started presenting their material and becoming known in the New York scene!

After two years of lockdowns du to the pandemic, and plenty of time to create new music, Wicked decided to finally cross the US borders with their music by creating their first worldwide release. “The Last American Band”, which was released just a few days ago, has gathered already a large number of streams and their fanbase is spreading rapidly.

The “Blond Angels of Rock n Roll” spoke in an exclusive interview to SounDarts.gr, literally about everything. So who are the Wicked and how were they created? What are their next steps in the discography and who is the person who helped them create these world-wide releases? Read all you need to know about Wicked in the interview below.

Hello guys! Is this your first interview for Greek media?

D: That’s right and we’re so excited. We love Greece!

Have you ever been in Greece?

D: Not yet but we’re waiting to make our Europe debut in the coming year so…

Hope to see you soon in person then! So what have you been up to these days?

D: We just got done with our album release and our album release show in New York, for “The Last American Rock Band” and we’re so excited because this is like our re-entry after the last two years and the weirdness of the lockdowns due to the pandemic. Back into the market, bringing back rock n roll, and that rock n roll live party energy that WICKED’s all about.

Who are WICKED? How would you introduce your band to the Greek audience?

D: I’m Danny I play bass for Wicked

S.V.: Scotty V, lead guitar

C.M.: Chad Michael, lead vocals, guitar

G.: I’m Gunnar I play the drums

D: We’re Wicked from New York, U.S.A. and we’re bringing back old-school, classic rock n roll and that live arena-rock energy.

C.M.: It’s high energy theatrical rock n roll. You can’t deny it man!

How did you guys meet and how were Wicked formed in the first place?

D: It’s a pretty cool story. Obviously it all started with us brothers, Chad Michael and myself. It’s almost been 10 years since the very first day that we sat up, drawing down the wicked logo and saying “we want to create our own version of these bands that influences us like Alice Cooper, U.F.O., Scorpions, David Bowie”. We wanted to have this band looks, the songs, the stage show, like these bands in our past days that we lost in our days because they are not there anymore.
And then you need to make a band and where do you find other people that are like you with long blonde hair who also like the same music? It’s like the hardest thing when you’re getting started right? So of course back in the day we turned into that myspace kinda thing that it was called glamnation. It was an internet site and there was a profile base where you could make some music. Then we see this very feminine guy with the long blonde hair and we were like “oh shit he’s in our back yard” and it was Scotty. It was like internet dating for rock stars and we were like “dude we’re picking you up, you’re like in our back yard, you’re coming to spend the weekend” and the kid walks up and he’s got this whole Aerosmith vibe with a feather hanging out of his ear. He got to spend the weekend and we did like 50 songs for our first show. The rest is history! He’s never left. We’ve been living together since. To complete the puzzle, Gunnar comes in and he’s the foundation of what the wicked sound is, which comes from his drumming. He’s incredible! He’s a hard-heating son of a bitch, he has such rhythm and such a thunderous sound.
Since then the band has lived together. The four of us have lived together for seven years under the same roof, like old-school rock n roll bands do which means that we’re never out of each other’s hair. We’re writing constantly, practicing, having parties, just doing the real rock n roll life style, living it day in and day out. I think that’s what makes WICKED so special and unique. You can’t find that anymore!

You somehow answered my next question that was “why are you all guys blobde”… haha

Haha how are you gonna stand out and what’s gonna make us different? We think of us like the million dollar babies era like when Alice Cooper had all these white outfits on an he had these leopard platform boots and we said “yes that’s the shit that inspires us, that ziggy stardusts us”. We want to play hard rock music and have that look that even if you’re up on the nose-bleeds you can see us.

As you said, recently you released your album “The Last American Rock Band”, which is a melodic blend of all your fans’ favorites, why do you think this the right time to release your material discographically?

It’s kinda funny but the last two years we’ve been hunkered down because of the pandemic and we said “how do we take advantage of the situation and how do we stay efficient and move forward?”. We were lucky enough to meet a really good friend of ours, who not only moved from Panama to Brooklyn but from Brooklyn to upstate New York where we live, and he practically became “the fifth Beatle”. His name is Nacho Molino. He’s an engineer producer with seven Grammys, but don’t let that fool you, he is a rocknroller, he’s a hard rock genius. We basically joined forces and he helped us built a studio in our home. We brought everything in and we cut two albums worth of songs and when we said “ok what do we have here?, How are we gonna put this out?”, then we knew that we wanted to put “the Last American Rock Band”. We have some songs that fit perfectly. Some fan favorites and some new ones and it’s going to be a world wide release something that we have never done before”. We had some limited releases a couple of hundred CDs, just some special things that will never be re-released and now we wanted something that our fans can find on digital downloads, streaming, CD, vinyl you name it. “The Last American Rock Band” is perfect because right now things are changing, people are going out for live shows, it’s like the old days and that just proves that this is the time to relight the flame and get out there for rock n roll.

How’s your collaboration with Nacho Molino now?

C.M.: We got the “Last American Rock Band” that just came out, we have a whole new package of music coming out later this year that we’re so excited about. He spend time in California, shooting videos with a very great team of ours, and it’s really cool cause we got from releasing “The Last American Rock Band” to something that could mean a whole new era for Wicked. “The Last American Rock Band” is where we are now and the next album is where we’re going.

D: Nacho is here with us doing it. He comes and does the sound with us or when we’re on the road, he’s living so close and together. We’re actually going back into the studio during the summer even if we have a couple of releases ready for this year and we’re cutting another two albums. That really shows the creativeness that we have and the fact that we couldn’t be more lucky to have somebody with the friendship and the talent of Nacho. It’s like the rock n roll just can’t stop.

What details can you reveal about these forthcoming releases?

D: I’ll give you a little teaser, this next album is going to called “Living Like A Sunburn” and we’re excited because “The Last American Rock Band” kinda brings you back in and the next one brings you into that journey of our evolution. More global releases of Wicked music and a lot of new music that we were inspired by the last couple of years and our journeys like when we got on a van and we drove for 38 hours straight to California from New York nonstop, waking up in gas stations in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma, pounding energy drinks, sleeping out on the beach when we got there. We were like “how do you take the rock n roll lifestyle and put into a package to explain it?”, well that’s that album which is coming out soon.

If you had to choose one song that stands out the most for you from this album which one would it be?

I think it’s “Hot Stage Lights” for which we also did the video. It’s a perfect representation and the first tease of “The Last American Rock Band” because it’s a nostalgic song about being on the road and playing in shows. It’s a perfect mix for this album because it’s not only about the nostalgia of us being on the road but also a kind of nostalgia of the last two years during the lockdown, missing that, which fulfills the circle of “The Last American Rock Band” as an album.

What’s the song on this album that has the weirdest story behind it?

C.M.: I have to say “New York Tough” because it was the last thing we were doing in the studio after recording two albums with Nacho, and “New York Tough” just came out during jamming and we thought “this is a catching melody”.

D: It’s saying “We’re New York boys and we have a way different attitude than other California guys” and when you think of KISS, New York Dolls, Twisted Sisters, bands that are from New York, it’s a whole different edge to them and we really simulate that. The other thing is that it’s like we’re looking back on us and all these great memories of being in the city, which had this amazing rock n roll scene that was in the lower east side of New York City and it was like the old days really. These are the memories that actually went into that song and it’s a staple of who we are: rock tough rock n roll.

If you had the chance to collaborate with your favorite artists who would you call and why?

C.M.: I would say Butch Walker, he’s a producer but he was also in this band called SouthGang. Butch has done everything from Avril Lavigne to Green Day to Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts in his music production. He’s an amazing songwriter and he gets that old-school rock n roll. It’s something that we not only wish and dream to work with him but we will pursuit the opportunity and one of these days you might hear about a collaboration between Wicked and Butch Walker.

S: Speaking of that Tuck Smith would be great to work with too.

D: If you want to listen to good old American rock n roll in a period that we really miss that, Tuck Smith is an amazing artist that not only makes great rock n roll music but also he’s keeping the scene alive in the U.S.

Do you guys believe that music can change society in any way?

D: I’ll give you an example. At our release show only a couple of weeks ago I looked out and I saw a punk-rocker with a mohawk, standing right next to somebody with a corporate job in a suit and tie, next to a girl that’s in the college and there you have this diverse combination of people that are all coming together for one reason, a community that’s connected by one thing, and that’s music, having a good time and letting go of your day to day problems. I think that’s where it starts! Simple right? It’s nothing magnificent or scientific or complicated! It’s bare bones human connection. No matter your race, your color, your beliefs, you all come together for one common purpose, which is to escape your day to day, have a good time and enjoy the power of music. I think that’s where it all starts.

So through the power of music, what is your message to the people regarding the war in Ukraine right now?

You have all these people that control life: governments, dictatorships, people that are the real dark evil of the world, and behind the curtain of all of that you have amazing people whether they are from Russia, Ukraine, US anywhere… Those are the masses that do exactly what I just said… they’re willing to come together and look past everything just to be human. That’s the sad situation but you always have to hope for the light in the darkness, because at the end of the day there are good people out there and things like music connect them. You may have to go through some hard times but at the end of the day people will come together and a lot of times it’s over music.

What’s your message to your Greek audience?

Interview: Thodoris Kolliopoulos

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