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A Killer's Confession Interview with Waylon Reavis

Interview with Waylon Reavis

By: Nina McCarthy, Senior Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio



Thank you to my friend Waylon for sitting down and having an intimate chat about AKC with me ar Fete Music Hall in Providence, RI.  We discussed his new independent singles, and his feelings about Mushroomhead (which I wasn't going to ask about!), and what to expect in the future from him!  We could have talked for hours, but that stuff was “off the record.”  Next time we do lunch!


A Killer's Confession is…
DRUMS / Jon Dale
VOCALS / Waylon Reavis
GUITAR / Matt Trumpy


(Photo courtesy of AKC)


You left Mushroomhead in 2015.  At that point, did you plan on starting another project or did you plan on taking a break from the scene?


WR:  Nope, I had no intentions.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  I, honestly, was done.  I was burned and tired: 11 years of touring doing 250+ days a year on the road.  A hundred days off a year is not fun, especially when you're touring and you're always in the elements and it's a different season, constantly in another town, another truck stop, another Walmart.


It sounds fun to a lot of people but it's not as glamorous as they think.


WR:  It is fun, but that fun part comes at that one hour of the night when you get to go onstage and play.  But, I was just so burnt out and tired of being used, tired of barely scraping by, knowing that we were taking in.  My dream turned into a nightmare and I was done.


All of you in AKC started playing music at an early age.  What brought you together as a band in 2016?


WR:  It didn't happen like that. I didn't know the guys.  I found Matthew Trumpy online just to do a track with him.  I heard it and it was the song “A Killer's Confession” and I got it and I was floored by it.  I sent it to Head (Brian Welch) from Korn and he said he'd play on it.  I didn't even meet the guys until the day before our first show.  JP is the only member of AKC that I have been playing with my entire life.  JP and I go way back to Three Quarters Dead. We've been playing together since he was 13.  Trumpy wrote the music, him and Jon Dale and they were out there together and I was by myself and they sent me the music and I would do the lyrics and vocals and then we came together and did it all together.



In Sept of 2016, you signed to David Ellefsson’s (Megadeth bassist) record label,  EMP...how did that come about?


WR:  “A Killer's Confession,” just that one song and we signed within the first week.  Credit for that was Opus (Christian Lawrence) from Dead By Wednesday and Tom Hazaert.  Tom, thank you.  He knew it was going to be a one album deal.  We were only going to do one album on EMP.  As you see, I released the new stuff on my own and it's doing well.  I know what to do but I needed that push to get it known. Now with “Angel On The Outside” and “ I Wish” everyone is like, “Wow!” and I have a lot of attention coming at me because of those.


Your debut Unbroken was released in May 2017.  “A Killer's Confession,” what came first, the song or the band name?


WR:  The song.  The band was called Unbroken and there so many bands with that name that we just flip flopped it.  We took Unbroken for the album title and A Killer's Confession as the band name and now our fans just call us AKC.  It just happened to be that way, and that's the biggest joke because that's the American Kennel Club.


That's funny.  It's definitely easier to say.


WR:  There's a lot of meaning behind A Killer's Confession too.  It's a good name.  It makes you think.  You hear “killer” but then you hear “confession” so you're like, “ Ok, what's going on here?”


I know the song but I don't know the meaning behind it.


WR:  The meaning with me was the inner turmoil between myself as Waylon Reavis and Waylon of Mushroomhead and the struggle between the two as to who was going to be the dominant person in my life.  Am I going to be me or am I going to be this character that was created, and me won.


That's good because I like this side of you.  You've recently have 2 new singles on your own label. More and more artists are going independent.


WR:  I did it for a reason and I won't say why and those reasons are paying off.   But, it was done to show the industry and everybody.  I got New Ocean Media, Doug Weber.  Doug is amazing. I love Doug.  I got the people I need behind me and I'm paying them myself.  New Ocean is family.  New Ocean has been working with me since Mushroomhead.  I have Logan with Satellite Touring doing my booking.  I got approached by Europe last night.  There's a lot of interest in AKC right now, and it's not because of Unbroken, it's because of “Angel” and “Wish.”  I had a couple old industry friends come to me last night and said, “You might want to buckle down. People are watching.”


The team behind you is what's most important. I've been listening to the two singles pretty much non-stop the last couple of days.  I absolutely love  “Angel On The Outside.”   Can you give me a little insight into this song.



WR:  “Angel” is the story of me being thrown out of Mushroomhead.  It is an embodiment, but it's told in the story of Satan being tossed out of heaven.  I'm the bad guy, and I'm not.  I just thought it was a really great story of being held above all and then being cast away.  To me it was about, where, do I go, what do I do?  I'm alone and damned to be right here.  It's an opening of my soul of how hard it was.  I'm not saying I was in love with being in Mushroomhead, no, but it was a fucking transition to come out of that world and to be so confused as to who I was.


“I Wish” is also amazing.  What was your inspiration behind that



WR:  That's about a friend of mine that got hooked on heroin and I watched it and I had wished I had done something.  By the end of it, it wasn't my fault and I had to take it off me.  I had this total guilt of watching him go down this tube and not saying anything like,  “Dude , what the fuck are you doing?  You know that shit is a dead end street.”  He got help and I'm so glad that story has a happy ending.  His mom got involved and he got arrested and he's been in rehab for a year and has not touched shit. I love him and I want him healthy. I don't want to lose my friend.


These singles seem to have a perfect balance of rock and metal, but lighter than I would expect coming from you.  Do you seem to be going a little more in the rock direction for your next album?


WR:  I don't want to be heavy anymore.  I'm doing what I love.  I can't make everybody happy.  Yes, you are going to get your brutal moments from me.  The kids are going to get their heavy stuff, but I'm pushing 40 and I want to sing stuff that has feeling.  I want to sing more mature songs.  I've yelled at you for 20 years. I don't have anything else to tell at you about.  That was a very lyrically and vocally brutal album.  You got your heavy album.  Now, I'm laying back and I'm going to start showing you some other stuff.  I'm getting fans from those singles that have no clue who AKC or Mushroomhead, or who Waylon Reavis is and I love it.  I don't want my past achievements and past endeavors to embody what I'm doing.  I'm not the same person.



That's what surprised me when Doug sent me the singles. It was not what I expected from you, but I actually liked  it better.  Speaking of which, what are your plans? Are you going to release a new album?


WR:  They're not going to be on the new album. They're singles.  If they are, they're going to be bonus tracks.  I'm releasing The Indifference of Good Man early 2018.  I already have a new album.  I said it before and I'll say it again, “Ten years, ten albums and I'm out.”  I'm retiring at 48.  I've got nine albums left.  That's all hon.  And then I'm going to fake my death and nobody is ever going to hear from me again.  


Opus will find you!


WR:  Opie will find me! (laughing)


I've seen your live show a couple times already and it's always a lot of fun. For those who haven't come out to see AKC, what do you have to say to them?


WR:  What are you waiting on?  Get up and do something.  You have to experience AKC to understand it.  You don't have to know who I am, you don't have to know who Mushroomhead is, because you aren't going to get either one of them.  You're going to get AKC.  You've been here every time.  It's a different experience.


Absolutely.  Do you have anything else you'd like to say in conclusion?


WR:  Go to  Spotify.  You really need to hear these songs: Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon.  It's on every digital outlet. Go look up “I Wish” and “Angel On The Outside” by A Killer's Confession and you will find it.  Give it a listen.  It's going to shock you.  It's not what you think.  I am not the same Waylon.  Don't expect the same Waylon.  I told everyone from the start, I'm broken as Unbroken.  Unbroken was a testament to my soul at the moment.  That moment is over.  Don't ask me to be loyal to what you want.


Now it's your band and you can dictate your music.


WR:  I don't dictate.  My music will dictate itself.  It's going to speak that moment in life.  That's what real music is.  It's going to speak the moment in time.  The greats capture a moment, an era.  I'm not trying to be dated or anything.  This sounds very modern because I worked with the producer.  It was me and Sahaj (Ticotin) out in L.A. and Sahaj has amazing talent. Amazing brother, I love him to death.  I can't wait to work with him again and I will continue to work with him.  He brought the absolute best out of me.  When you listen to those songs you know he took me somewhere else and I needed that.  


It's great and I'm looking forward to seeing the difference in the show tonight.


WR:  Thank you sweetheart.  It's going to be fun.  It will have it's brutal moments. I'll do normal show and I'll have everybody laughing then I'll turn around and say, “Did somebody just say that?” I still hold to my statement, “Fuck your feelings!”  If you're going to get hurt feelings, get the hell out of here right now.  I'm an 80’s child and I don't give a damn.  Don't bring your 2nd place trophy to me.  I'll break it.  I want people to come in that are free thinkers and are about having freedom of speech, that are about making a change and understand that true change starts with themselves.  If I don't want to be around something, I'm not going to be around it and cry about it.  I'm going to go somewhere else.  As long as they are here in the United States of America they can do what the fuck they want; it doesn't matter religion, race, all that, it's the same boat.  I want those fans and maybe these kids will start understanding why we are so hard on you millennials.  None of us want to hear you whine, because I know I don't care about your feelings and you don't care about mine.  We do in a way, but what it really boils down to…


You have to take care of yourself first!  I get it.


WR:  Once you do that, then you can give back and you can care.  But, when they're ungrateful, it's not going to hurt your feelings because you don't care what they think because you did it because you knew what was right.  I don't need your acclimation or your praise.  I did that because I knew what was right.


What I think you're really known for is being humble and being yourself.  People are like, “ You're interviewing so and so?” But you're everyday people who perform.


WR:  You've seen naked rock stars, you're good.


But you're very approachable and humble and known for that.


WR:  I love that I'm known for that, but I'm also known for that moment in Mushroomhead where I flipped.  I think now that people are seeing me in the industry in the last year as myself, they realize, “Damn, it took 11 years to do that.  That wasn't part of his personality.”  That was a build up.  People “knew” me as a mask and a lot of anger.  That wasn't me at all.  It didn't define or represent me.  It didn't speak for me. I am my own man and I walk my own path and I don't give a damn what you think, I will speak what I'm going to say.  I love my fans.  I love all of you and I'm going to be good to you.  If you need something, ask me. If you want to talk to me and ask me questions, ask me.  I'm just a guy.  I'm lucky that I have a band and I can sing and all that bullshit, but I'm just Waylon.  If you want to meet me, just walk up and say, “Hello.”


I like when you do the Facebook Live and stuff like that.  It means a lot to the fans when the artists interact.


WR:  I've been doing that for so many years.  I've been doing blogs since 2007.  I was doing video on the first flip phone of myself and posting it on YouTube.  I was on top of that shit before Facebook Live and all that crap.  It started as Periscope on Twitter.  But I go on Twitter and only see WWE and Trump.  We're really strong on Instagram and Facebook.










Thank you to Doug Weber of New Ocean Media for making this interview possible and Alex Lindsay for his photography.


© Boston Rock Radio 2018















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