Trouble in the 1980s.
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Genres||Doom Metal, Psychedelic Rock|
|Years active||1979 - present|
|Labels||Metal Blade, Def American, Escapi, FRW|
|Associated acts||The Skull, Blackfinger, Lid, Debris Inc., Wet Animal, Earthen Grave, Retro Grave, Warrior Soul, Exhorder|
|Current members|| Kyle Thomas|
Trouble are a doom metal band from Chicago, Illinois. Active since 1979, they are cited as a pioneering band in the classic doom metal scene, even labeled as "White Metal" in contrast to the rising Black Metal movement of the 1980s in reference to their spiritually driven music. A critically acclaimed group, their first two albums, Psalm 9 and The Skull are cited as landmarks of doom metal. To date, Trouble has released eight studio albums.
The band was also distinctive for having two lead guitarists in Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin along with original vocalist Eric Wagner's distinctive, soulful voice.
Formation and Metal Blade (1979 - 1988)Edit
Trouble was formed in 1979 by Rick Wartell and was joined by guitarist Bruce Franklin, vocalist Eric Wagner, bassist Tim Ian Brown (not to be confused with lead singer of English band The Stone Roses), and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson. Ian Brown was replaced by Sean McAllister in 1983. Drawing from Black Sabbath for inspiration (with occasional nods to the psychedelic sounds of the late 1960s), the band used gloomy down-tuned riffs and spiritual, often openly Bible-inspired lyrics. According to the band, Metal Blade coined the term "White Metal" based on their sound to the band's disapproval.
The band toured throughout the Midwest during the early 1980s before signing with Metal Blade Records and releasing their eponymous debut (later referred to as Psalm 9) in 1984. The Skull followed in 1985 and reflected singer Wagner's struggles with substance abuse as well as growing turmoil within the group. This led to the replacement of bassist McAllister with Ron Holzner. Olson also departed to pursue studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Dennis Lesh was drafted as his replacement for 1987's Run to the Light. However, during the band's tour in support of the album Ted Kirkpatrick would join as their drummer before forming Tourniquet in 1989. The band would go on hiatus for a time soon after along with recruiting Barry Stern as their drummer in 1989.
Def American and Plastic Green Head (1989-1996)Edit
Sometime during the band's hiatus Rick Rubin's Def American Records would sign the band for whom they recorded a second self-titled album (Trouble) in 1990 with Rubin producing. The band's sound shifted from their traditional doom roots and put a stronger emphasis on a psychedelic rock sound. The band toured extensively throughout that year in support of the album.
Eventually Trouble returned to the studio for a follow-up. In 1992 Manic Frustration was released, delving into Beatlesque psychedelia and featuring some of Trouble's most aggressive, energetic performances ever with a tour in support throughout North America and Germany. The album however ultimately failed to connect with a wider audience and Trouble were dropped from Def Jam American soon after.
The band would sign with Music For Nations issued Plastic Green Head through the Music for Nations label in 1995 with the return of founding drummer Jeff Olson. The band would tour in support of the record albeit sporadically. Eric Wagner would depart the band in 1997 to form Lid. Trouble didn't break up but rather took a hiatus with former Exhorder singer Kyle Thomas as the vocalist. The band had only played a handful of gigs with Thomas on vocals between 1997 and 2000.
Reunion and Simple Mind Condition (1997-2007)Edit
Eric Wagner would eventually rejoin Trouble a few years later, citing his contribution to Dave Grohl's Probot as one of the inspirations to rejoin the band. Since that time, the band has played individual gigs throughout the Chicago area and metal festivals in Europe and the U.S. while working on a new album. A concert in Stockholm, Sweden (Alongside Candlemass and Force of Evil) in 2003 produced the live DVD Trouble - Live in Stockholm.
Holzner left the band soon after to be replaced by Chuck Robinson. The band's seventh album Simple Mind Condition was finally released in Europe on April 3, 2007 by Escapi Music. The band toured internationally in support of its release but were not able to secure a U.S. release date for the album until over two years later. An unplugged album was later released through the band's website and, more recently, Escapi Music.
Kory Clarke and Live in L.A. (2008 - 2012)Edit
In May 2008, it was announced that Eric Wagner has left the band and had been replaced by Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul, a contrast in vocal sound to Eric Wagner's melodic delivery that was criticized by some fans. Wagner's departure was said to be from a lack of interest in touring. Jeff Olson also announced his departure from the band in July 2008 to continue with his own band, Retro Grave. Olson's last show with Trouble was, coincidentally, at a rock club called, "The End" in Nashville, Tennessee. Olson was replaced by Wet Animal's Mark Lira for the band's upcoming U.S. East Coast tour as the band toured in 2008. The band's performances also primarily featured songs from the Def Jam/Plastic Green Head era.
In a September 2008 interview with Rock N Roll Experience, guitarist Rick Wartell mentioned that Trouble has written "eight or nine songs" for their next album, and would begin recording it after touring. When asked which direction is the new music going in, Wartell replied, "I know people have said this a million times and I know you've heard this a million times, but it's pretty fucking heavy, let's put it that way! The music end of it that Bruce [Franklin, guitar] and I are writing is getting heavier and heavier...it's getting heavier and then we want Kory to incorporate his style to what we are doing, that's basically all that we really want out of this.".
On November 18, 2008, Trouble announced, via their website, that they were in the process of writing songs for an album that would likely be released in the summer of 2009. A month later the band would self-release the live album Live in L.A. with Clarke on vocals (Turning out to be the only release featuring the singer). The band would tour Europe in 2009. On March 4, 2009, Trouble revealed on their website that the new album would tentatively be called The Dark Riff. On September 9, 2010, the band announced that they are "getting ready for the studio now. [We] have been making preliminary recordings and working out things in order to bring the best possible Trouble release." Bruce Franklin later said in a 2009 interview that The Dark Riff would not be the title of the forthcoming album.
In February 2012, Kory Clarke was out of the band, later trashing them in an interview with Blabbermouth over the band's spiritual beliefs.. Also of note around 2011 and primarily in 2012, The Skull was formed by former Trouble members Eric Wagner, Ron Holzner and Jeff Olson, performing original and classic Trouble songs.
The Return of Kyle Thomas and The Distortion Field (2012 - Present)Edit
Kyle Thomas, who was with the band from 1997 to 2000, became the current singer for Trouble. Not long after the band would begin doing shows in the Chicago area while continuing work on studio recordings.
On February 16, 2013, Jeff Olson announced that he would be playing some keyboard intros on the new album as a guest. In May 2013, it was announced that the band's eighth album, The Distortion Field, was scheduled to be released July 16 in North America and July 26 in Europe. This is the first release to feature Kyle Thomas, and was produced by Bill Metoyer. Shortly after its release, Rob Hultz of Solace and Godspeed joined the band as bassist. The band would follow with tours of Europe in 2013 and 2014 in support of the record. The band also made an appearance at the 70,000 Tons of Metal Festival (A festival on a cruise ship) in 2015.
Trouble is currently writing new material for their next studio album and toured Europe in 2016, including a 30th anniversary show at DesertFest London.
Current Lineup Edit
- Kyle Thomas - Vocals (1997 - 2000, 2012 - Present)
- Rick Wartell - Guitars (1979 - Present)
- Bruce Franklin - Guitars (1979 - Present)
- Rob Hultz - Bass (2013 - Present)
- Mark Lira - Drums (2008 - Present)
Past Members Edit
- Dave Snyder - Drums (1979)
- Ian Brown - Bass, Vocals (1979 - 1983)
- Jeff Olson - Drums (1979 - 1986, 1993 - 2008)
- Eric Wagner - Vocals (1979 - 1997, 2000 - 2008)
- Sean Mcallister - Bass (1983 - 1986)
- Ron Holzner - Bass (1986 - 2002)
- Dennis Lesh - Drums (1986 - 1987)
- Ted Kirkpatrick - Drums (1987 - 1989)
- Barry Stern - Drums (1989 - 1993) (Deceased)
- Chuck Robinson - Bass (2002 - 2009)
- Kory Clarke - Vocals (2008 - 2012)
- Shane Pasquila - Bass (2009 - 2013)
- Psalm 9 (1984, Metal Blade)
- The Skull (1985, Metal Blade)
- Run To The Light (1987, Metal Blade)
- Trouble (1990, Def Jam American)
- Manic Frustration (1992, Def Jam American)
- Plastic Green Head (1995, Bullet Proof)
- Simple Mind Condition (2007, Escapi)
- The Distortion Field (2013, FRW)
- 1980 Demo (1980, Self-Released)
- 1982 Demo (1982, Self-Released)
- 1983 Demo (1983, Self-Released)
- 1985 Demo (1985, Self-Released)
- One For The Road (1994, J.W.M.)
Live Albums Edit
- Live in Stockholm (DVD) (2006, Escapi)
- Live in L.A. (2008, Self-Released)
- Live Palatine 1989 (2010, Escapi)
- Live Schaumburg 1993 (2010, Escapi)
- Black Shapes of Doom (2011, High Roller Records)
- Live 1983 (2011, High Roller Records)
Compilations & Other Selected Releases Edit
- Unplugged (EP) (2007, Self-Released; 2009, FRW)
- Revelations (Life or Death) - Demos & Rarities Part 1 (Compilation) (2011, High Roller Records)
- Victim of the Insane - Demos & Rarities Part 2 (Compilation) (2011, High Roller Records)
- ↑ BlabbermouthAccessed 13 January 2017
- ↑ NoisecreepAccessed 13 January 2017
- ↑ Metal StormAccessed 13 January 2017