JEFF WATERS of ANNIHILATOR

August 21st, 2005
by EvilG

JEFF WATERS of ANNIHILATOR
Interviewed on December 9th, 1997 by EvilG

Jeff Waters is the lead guitarist and vocalist (since 1994) for Canada?s best metal band ANNIHILATOR. Recently I was lucky enough to ask Jeff a few questions about the band and the new release “Remains.”


Metal Rules!!
OK, I don’t want to dwell on history too much but its a good place to start. When did you realize that music was going to be your life?

Jeff Waters:
When i bought “Elton Johns’ greatest hits (I liked the heavy guitar on saturday nites alright for fightin!) – Sweets’ Desolation Blvd. – Kiss Alive 2 – ACDCs’ If you want blood!

 

Metal Rules!!
In 1986 when you recorded the Phantasmagoria demo why did you do the vocals yourself? Was it because you couldn’t find a vocalist in Ottawa?

Jeff Waters:
Yup! I never wanted to sing (until 1994!).

 

Metal Rules!!
Was it your search for a vocalist that lead to your move to Vancouver?  Where do you call home now?

Jeff Waters:
No; I moved here because my new manager was here and there was much more going on out here musically and life is so much better out here! ALso, tons of good musicians!

 

Metal Rules!!
What made you decide to pick up singing duties later in your career on  1994′s “King of The Kill.”

Jeff Waters:
My girlfriend, at the time and my longtime writing partner/original Annihilator vocalist, John Bates, both convinced me to give it a try when they both heard me singing along to “Delivering the Goods” by Priest (mind you, I paled in comparison to the god Halford! haha!)

 

Metal Rules!!
The vocal style isn’t at all like that found  on the 1986 demo. How did you develop such a great voice? Practice?

Jeff Waters:
Not much practice; I always wrote the vocal melody lines for all of the Annihilator vocalists so I sang the parts over and over to the guys until they got it! Playing lotsa instruments doesn’t neccesarily mean that you can sing well but it sure helps!

 

Metal Rules!!
Will  you continue to be the vocalist for Annihilator, or do you plan on   working with a ?vocalist’ again?

Jeff Waters:
Unless I fire myself, I should be around for the 9th-10th cd ! ! !

 

Metal Rules!!
As a metal band coming from Canada, are there any barriers you face that say a US band wouldn’t?

Jeff Waters:
Only in the US ! ! ! ! The europeans and asian countries have always supported us; been touring oversea constantly since 1989! Despite the many great fans we have in the US, unfortunately no labels seem interested in releasing our cds! Maybe someday!

 

Metal Rules!!
In my opinion very few Canadian metal bands have their own identity and  are always compared to someone else. However with Annihilator this has  never been a problem. You have a unique sound that is instantly recognizable as your own. How did you accomplish this?

Jeff Waters:
Hmmmm? I’m not sure! One thing is that I am not just influenced by one or two bands; more like a thousand! I can actually pick apart my songs and tell you where certain parts came from! I guess that when I can’t tell you where one came from, then it might be a Waters lick!!!

 

Metal Rules!!
What do you think of the Canadian metal scene? What current Canadian metal bands interest you?

Jeff Waters:
I don’t follow the canadian scene at all; just concentrate on our tours and stuff overseas!

 

Metal Rules!!
Inside “King of the Kill” John Bates (original Annihilator vocalist) is thanked for “creative input”, exactly what was his input?

Jeff Waters:
For convincing me to try singing on the cd and for letting me demo it in his basement!!!!!

 

Metal Rules!!
What’s your  involvement, if any, with “Bates Motel.”?

Jeff Waters:
I mixed their last cd and wrote a song for em! He is coming into my studio to do his 2nd cd within a week or so!

 

Metal Rules!!
Besides yourself the only other two major Canadian metal bands that I’m really into are Voi Vod and Sacrifice(RIP). What do you think of those bands?

Jeff Waters:
I liked Anvil, Razor and Exciter!

 

Metal Rules!!
Outside of Canada, what bands interest you?

Jeff Waters:
From the metal vein, most of the 1975-1990 metal bands! (that sure is a broad answer!) From the non-metal vein, well I won’t tell you cause you’d laugh!!!!!!!! haha!

 

Metal Rules!!
About the Megadeth thing, before Marty joined weren’t you were asked to  join?

Jeff Waters:
Diamond Darrell, myself and Friedman were all asked to audition; Diamond and I had our own bands so we politely declined but the right man got the job!

 

Metal Rules!!
Did you actually jam with them?

Jeff Waters:
Nope!

 

Metal Rules!!
Why didn’t you join and any regrets?

Jeff Waters:
Annihlator had just released its’ 1st cd and we were on a tour with Testament when Mustaine called me. It was an honor to be asked but Alice in Hell was selling a good 250,000 and I probably wasn’t the right guy for the job. I had my vision: Annihilator!

 

Metal Rules!!
What do you think of Megadeth’s current direction?

Jeff Waters:
I liked them in the Peace Sells era!

 

Metal Rules!!
Why, as time progresses, have you recorded almost all the Annihilator material yourself (guitars, bass, and vocals)?

Jeff Waters:
Annihilator has really been a solo type of project from the beginning; even though our first label Roadrunner tried like hell to portray Annihilator as a true band! Thus, many un-happy band members! As time went on, I bought my own recording studio and spent alot of time in there! I play drums, bass, sing, guitar, produce, engineer, write etc… so doing most of the stuff myself in the studio seemed natural (and fun!) Saves alot of stress and hassle too! Live, on the other hand, all the “hired guns” have been awesome musicians and when fans see us on tour, they get the best show we can give! Live we are a band while off tour it is a solo project!

 

Metal Rules!!
Being a Canadian band, and considering that I also live in Canada, why are your recent releases so hard to find? Why should we be buying your CD’s as imports, at import prices, when Annihilator is a Canadian band? (I’m referring specifically to your last two releases – “Refresh the Demon” and “Remains”).

Jeff Waters:
No record company has been interested in signing us for years here; therefore, you can only get our stuff at the ridiculously high import prices! Good question to ask a canadian record company!

 

Metal Rules!!
What ever happened to the cover you did of Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather”? I read that it was released in Europe or Japan, why not here?

Jeff Waters:
It was on the european/japanese versions of the cd Set the World on Fire! I have no idea why epic/roadrunner didn’t add that song here!

 

Metal Rules!!
It seems as if your core fan base is not North American but Europe based. Do you have any theories on why this is so?

Jeff Waters:
Well despite our continuing big success overseas (asia/europe), there is a core fan base in North America; problem is that many of them have no idea that we’ve been constantly touring and releasing cds since 1993, the last time an Annihilator release was released there!!!! Thanks to the internet, I have got over 33,000 e-mails and most are from fans that thought we’d packed it in years ago!

 

Metal Rules!!
I unfortunately haven’t heard “Remains” or “Refresh the Demon” because I can’t find them. (As an artist this must be pretty depressing to hear).  I’ve read reviews of “Remains” and it seems as if some people are somewhat criticizing it because of the adoption of some industrialized sounds.

Jeff Waters:
Well the brits haven’t liked us since our second cd so any press that you can get here in import shops (Kerrang etc…) are likely slammin us but sales have been very very well for the last 3 cds or so. Remains has been out for 6 months now and is still in the top 15 in Germany and many other countries. Anytime I do a new cd, there are the few that have to criticize it; I guess that’s why they are called critics!haha) Boy, wht a depressing job, now that I think about it; you have to routinely cut down music that someone has worked hard on ! ! ! ! Anyway! Yes there was a bit of industrial sounds and a drum machine but this was just another fun experiment for me; I would get really bored quick if I kept writing the same stuff, over and over!

 

Metal Rules!!
Did you do this to try and sound current or to attract new fans?

Jeff Waters:
Neither, just playin in my studio! The “industrial” sound has been done years ago; if  I was trying to stay “current”, it wouldnt be with “industrial” sounds!

 

Metal Rules!!
Do you think long term Annihilator fans will be put off by it?

Jeff Waters:
Nope; longtime Annihilator fans know that ever cd i do is a bit different from the last! They actually expect it! I think that is the reason that Annihilator is now working on its’ 9th release (live cd!) and 10th (next cd!)!

 

Metal Rules!!
Are you touring in support of “Remains”?

Jeff Waters:
Yes but this will be the first time in 8 years that i will take a break from touring (for about 6 months) and work on other projects (producing) in my studio.

 

Metal Rules!!
Will there be any videos from the new CD?

Jeff Waters:
Not in the works but maybe before the next tour!

 

Metal Rules!!
The last one I’ve seen was on Much Music for “King of the Kill.”

Jeff Waters:
I know; we have done 9 videos and I think that much music has maybe played 4!!!! We have a more recent video for a song called Syn. Kill 1 but as usual, much didn’t play it!

 

Metal Rules!!
What are your immediate plans for Annihilator?

Jeff Waters:
Writing, then touring!

 

Metal Rules!!
What’s the deal with your studio – Watersound Studios? Do you personally work with the bands that are recorded there?

Jeff Waters:
If they want me to!

 

Metal Rules!!
Do you plan to focus more of your future energies on this as opposed to Annihilator?

Jeff Waters:
NO! They are both just fun ways to make a living!

 

Metal Rules!!
What bands have you worked with so far?

Jeff Waters:
Lots of local bands; from techno to dance to death metal to rock ! ! ! ! ! Some name bands, some not!

 

Metal Rules!!
Tell me about the Annihilator website ( http://users.uniserve.com/~jwaters/ ) how long has it been up and do you  personally maintain it?

Jeff Waters:
It has been up for about 2 years I think! My longtime co-writer John Bates maintains the site!

 

Metal Rules!!
Maybe you should start selling Annihilator CD’s (in Canadian funds) directly from your homepage so people like me can get them?!!?

Jeff Waters:
good idea!

 

Metal Rules!!
Thanks allot for your time Jeff, I wish you all the best of luck with the  new CD. Is there anything else you’d like to pass on to your fans?

 

Jeff Waters:
Thanks alot to you and to your readers! Hope to see you on tour someday! Have a good Holiday!

Jeff W.

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Posted in 1996-97 | Comments (0)




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