Interviewed by Robert Cavuoto
A Killer’s Confession is a new band led by former Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis. This past April he’s released a high octane, adrenaline-fueled, gut-wrenching album called Unbroken via Megadeth bassist’s David Ellefson label, EMP Label Group. The band has recently released two new powerfully haunting songs not on the CD; “Angel on the Outside” and “I Wish.” A Killer’s Confession consists of Waylon Reavis [vocals], Jon Dale [drums], JP Cross [bass], and Matt Trumpy [guitar].
I caught up with Waylon to talk about the two new songs and the impact leaving Mushroomhead has had on his musical creativity.
Robert Cavuoto: I heard your two most recent song releases, I really liked them. Why weren’t they added to your Unbroken CD?
Waylon Reavis: Thank you. Because we didn’t have them written! [laughing]. Last year we released a single at Halloween, and then Unbroken came out the following Spring. Then this October/November we released these two new singles. Next Spring we will release a new album. Then we will release some more singles in October/November. We always want to keep ourselves in the media.
You’re on David Ellefson’s label, how did you and he connect?
It was a band Dead by Wednesday that facilitated the connection. I have to thank Opus for that one. It was a one album deal. My two new singles “Angel on the Outside” and “I Wish” were released by AKC Global which is my company. This week I received the only two physical 7″ 45rmp picture disc with the song artwork on each side. I’m having dog tag USP drives with “I Wish” and “Angel on the Outside” plus the Angel video. There are only 50 available that I plan to only sell at the live shows. That’s all we are making, so it’s first come, first serve. I like these little things that you have to be there live to get it.
How did you come up with the band’s name, it’s pretty sinister?
A Killer’s Confession was not the original name of the band. The original name was Unbroken. Thom Hazaert was working on getting all the copyrights and trademarks, and one day came to us with a problem, “There are over a 100 bands with the name Unbroken.” I was like “oh no.” Thom had the idea to call the band; A Killer’s Confession. I was like perfect, let’s move on. Trumpy, our guitarist, wrote the song “A Killer’s Confession” after seeing a documentary about a serial killer. The spoken word at the beginning of the song; “I wouldn’t let me go!” is the killer speaking from the documentary. A lot of people thought it was me. When I first heard it, I too thought it was me possibly pulled from an old interview. I was thinking I must have been drinking a lot prior to the interview to say that [laughing]. I was glad to find out it wasn’t me in the end but it does sound a lot like me.
I really like the word “confession.” I have a lot of things on my chest and a lot of things happening from the old group; so on Unbroken, I was signing like this mean killer confessing things. I love confession because everyone can repent and admit their guilt in order to move forward. Killing can be applied to things other than killing a human. You can kill a career; you can kill your family life; it a real play on words and it’s not about murder. It about willing to accept guilt, move forward, and learn from it. Unbroken was about that period in time. I’m moving on to “Angel on the Outside” and “I Wish” which is a little more soulful. I don’t think I’ll ever do another album like Unbroken again; I was really angry and needed to get it off my chest. With “Angel on the Outside” and “I Wish” you can tell there is real deep feeling in it. There is more to life than yelling at people. [laughing].
You’ve been out of Mushroomhead for over three years; is there a sense of freedom musically?
Very much so. I don’t have to write with two other singers. I don’t say that as a bad thing. I can convey my ideas my way. When you are working with two other guys, you don’t always write the same. A lot of people think it was so cool and all the words were all planned; sometimes they are just accidents that sound cool together.
Do you find it easier to write with just one guitar, bass, and drums?
It is. What really makes it easier is that I have reached “that age” where I have so much on my chest and have more life experiences. You can’t write if you can’t relate. Honesty it’s not how many musicians you have with you, it’s just about the life experiences. I’m focused on what really bothers me. I’m not a happy song writer; I’m not going to write a song about holding your girlfriend’s hand. Do you want me to do that? [laughing] I want to write about stuff that bothers my soul. Living the life I have lived with all the ups and the downs, thank God I’m smart enough to realize it and hoping I can redirect someone else from doing it.
Is it hard to leave an established and successful band like Mushroomhead to start over from square one?
It is tough, but I have a good feeling about this group. It will be even more rewarding when it happens to us. Nothing worth having is ever easy! I love this band, and anyone who listens to us can tell there is passion in the vocals. I lost that with Mushroomhead. It became a factory job; punch in/punch out. This band is not that, this me evolving and growing. I want to sing songs that have meaning, I’ve been yelling at the fans for 25 years, and it didn’t work. Maybe if I sing a lullaby, they’ll sleep well. It’s a fun time in my life. It’s the most difficult but the most fun. It things don’t work out; you’ll know I stood my ground and tried my hardest.
Most aspiring musicians strive to get to that level of success yet you walked away from it.
It took me years to get to that point. I knew it wasn’t right and didn’t like it. I felt like a puppet with a hand up my butt. My dream and passion was no longer mine. It hurt and wasn’t fulfilling. I’m glad everyone loves “Angel on the Outside,” deep down that song was for me. It’s about me being cast out of Mushroomhead and leaving. I don’t mean it in a religious way, but it was like Satan being cast out of Heaven. What do I do now; I was held above all others? I wasn’t good enough and tossed aside. That song is about hurt. I don’t ever want to be back, but I can’t say it didn’t hurt. I was mad as hell, but it hurt. The best part is yet to come; I went to work with children for the next year and humbled myself. I became a decent person again and found the good ‘ole country boy from North Carolina that loved music and entertaining people. I prefer to see people smile; there is too much frowning and bitching. They care too much about their feelings; feelings will never make you a million dollars. Feelings didn’t buy your car or house. It was all the hard work that did it. Everyone’s got feelings, but nobody wants to hear them. It’s like a wet fart; nobody wants to hear it. [laughing].