THE WIZAR’D are coming from the distant shores of Tasmania. Metal (or doom metal) always have a different approach when comes from such remote places. They carry on with the ancient spirit started by Tony Iommy, Paul Chain with the addition of bits of Pagan Altar and Witchfinder General’s heavy/proto-doom and even slices from monoliths like Saint Vitus and Reverend Bizarre. THE WIZAR’D is Darkness, Misery and Doom combined with a lawbreaker attitude. Sailor captain of the rogue doom-ship, owner of Heavy Chains Records and speech-organ of the band Ol’ Rusty Vintage Wizard Master bravely resisted all our questions.
Howdy Ol’ Rusty Vintage Wizard Master! How is the weather in Hobart, what is the general moral of the people there and what were you doing today?
It's been hot today! I'm not too sure about the general moral of the population. I'm good though.
Some say people are talking quite a lot of shit about you. It seems like you are notorious folks who insults the posers of the Tasmanian “metal scene”. A lot of people hate you it seems. How does it feel?
Well I dunno how true that is, for sure – in the past I have been a cunt to other bands or whatever, but I never really cared either way, I was just a young, usually extremely drunk mother fucker being an arsehole for fun, some people thought it was funny and some didn't. These days I don't really have much contact with any of the bands around Hobart, apart from ones that I play in, or my friends play in.
How is the true metal scene in Tasmania and Hobart?
Well there is The Wizar'd, Dracula, Ironhawk (not purely metal, but fucking killer and heavy all the same), Tarot. These are the bands that to me have the real metal attitude, and aren't trying to 'make it in the industry'. Other than that, I don't have much to say, just lots of bands playing music that doesn't interest me one bit.
Please present the band members of The Wizar’d, what do you like and what do you hate about them? Who is the craziest person in the band?
Ol' Rusty Vintage Wizard Master – Guitars, Vocals
Blackie – Guitars
Tangerine Dream – Bass
Maniac Frodsham – Drums.
They don't call him Maniac for nothing...
Ok, tell us about how did you got in contact with the metal virus, why do you started playing doom metal and why are you still making music under the name The Wizar’d?
I guess I got into metal when I was around 13, by the time I was about 16 or so I was just starting to play guitar and was really into Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Sabbath, Trouble etc so it was just the kind of music I wanted to write as it was all I was really listening to back then haha.
You also sing besides the guitar duties, and your way of singing is not a regular type of clear singing, who were your inspirations?
My singing style just evolved from me not being trained in any way, and just going with whatever came out. I guess my main influences for singing would be Mark Shelton, Ozzy, Zeeb Parkes, Steve Sylvester etc, etc. So maybe you can see a theme of being into singers who used an unconventional style.
Your first release was the tape “Live Witcheryvenometal - Doom Metal Horror”, supposedly limited to 15 copies. It is sold out? Some people are saying that the tape is the documenting of some secret live shows back in the early years. Please tell me more about this.
This tape is long gone, and shall remain buried forever!! Seriously, no one needs to investigate the earliest recordings of The Wizar'd.
The new album’s cover (Ancient tome of Arcane Knowledge) it’s pretty fucking complicated. Is that creature on it “The Wizar’d”?
The artwork is a collection of the themes found on the album. The central figure is indeed The Wizar'd, and he reads from the ancient tome!!
You released a good number of EPs, singles, demo tapes, still the last 3 releases are 3 full-length studio albums. Will you stick to studio albums? Despite the many releases , you never made a split release, is this intentional?
I think the next release will probably be another EP of some description. I have two new tracks that need to be recorded titled 'Subterranean Exile' and 'Master of the Night'. I guess we've just never really been in the right circumstances to do a split. I think split releases should have a purpose, and the bands must complement each other’s music. It seems too often that split releases are just two bands farting out a song each that isn't as good as the rest of their music.
Why did you named the band The Wizar’d? What inspired it?
On the first releases the Saint Vitus influence was more detectable both musically and in the guitar tone, now it seems you pretty much left this behind. What kind of music are you into lately?
I guess on the earlier releases the style was a lot more simple, mainly due to me being an inexperienced musician/song writer. I still love Saint Vitus of course (mainly the Reagers albums though, personally I find the Wino albums to be vastly over rated ). Lately I've been listening to lots of Scorpions, Heavy Load, Blue Oyster Cult, 80s Sabbath, Hawkwind etc etc.
You released also a live album but only on tape and limited to only 99 copies. Does live rituals are important for The Wizar’d? How much importance do you give for playing live?
The Wizar'd live is a very different entity to the studio albums, it's usually much more chaotic! We like to only play live occasionally, it irritates me when bands play too often, it kinda loses the magic in my opinion. Also, I only like to play shows that I would actually go and see myself, so the other bands have got to be killer. In December we are playing a show with Convent Guilt and Innsmouth, should be fucking great! Early next year we are playing with Inquisition, which should also be interesting.
How many gigs you played so far and what are the future plans on this? What kind of show tricks do you make live? Do you use ritualistic elements like inverted crosses, do you dress up like priests or do you play naked on stage? Anything to fuck up people?
As I said we don't play too often, maybe 3 or 4 times a year at the most. We just play it as heavy as we can. We let our metal from hell do all the talking so no need for hats, priest costumes or nudity here!
You have a nice lady playing on bass in the person of Tangerine Dream. When will you make a marketing argument, a selling point out of this?
When we sign to Rise Above Records.
“The Plague Ship of Doom” from the debut has in the middle some riffs reminding a lot of Tormentor’s Elizabeth Bathory’s middle riffs. Was that intentional or accidental?
Actually, I've never even noticed that before, so totally accidental. Tormentor are a killer band of course!!!
What are the drinking preferences of the band? What kind of drinks do you have in Tasmania?
We usually drink alcohol. There are various types of alcohol here in Tasmania.
What is your view on religion, church, Satanism, rituals, etc? Are the typical Tasmanian people “religious”?
I don't really care what anyone else chooses to believe. There are elements of most religions that are interesting, just as there are elements that are completely retarded.
What about books? What do you like to read and are they an influence on The Wizar’d?
I guess the stock standard doom metal type literature influenced me in the early days, HP Lovecraft, Poe, etc, I do like to read, but it doesn't really influence my lyrics or music much anymore.
What is your favorite format? CD, vinyl or tape? And why? Are you die-hard music collector?
Vinyl is the best format of course, everything about em is just better! The only thing that sucks about lps is that Australia Post is run by a bunch of extortionist cunts, so they are getting more and more expensive, and you can forget about sending an lp overseas. No one is willing to pay $20 - $30 in shipping fees.
Tell me about the local scene, bands, fans, gigs, posers and incidents!
As I said earlier, I don't really have anything to do with the local scene, if you could even call it that. I see no point in supporting bands I don't like, that kind of thinking is what allows cancerous shit like 'scenes' to exist in the first place. If you don't like a band, don't go see em, that way the shittiest bands will soon die off and we will only be left with the most killer stuff that is worth supporting.
You must have some good saucy band story, please tell something disturbing or funny or interesting affair the band experienced!
Ha I don't know what you want me to say here, I'm not going to go into any debauchery sorry, but there are the usual tales of extreme intoxication etc etc etc!!
Any good Australian doom metal, or any kind of healthy Australian music do you think it’s worth checking out?
I don't know of many Australian doom metal bands that are worth mentioning other than Zodiac, they are pretty damn killer! Other than them there are plenty of great bands like Convent Guilt, Demons Gate, Raven Black Night, Orb, Johnny Touch.
You are also running a small old school record label, tell us a few words about this exciting Heavy Chains Records? What are the reasons behind it, what are your plans with this label? We will see the next The Wizar’d released under HCR?
I started Heavy Chains as a means to put out Dracula's Open Graves at Midnight cassette, and I just continued from there. I've got some killer releases coming on soon, the new Tarot cassette is due out any day now, Orb (great late 60s/early 70s style hard rock – they've really nailed the loose but tight Blue Cheer kinda sound), Sweet Torment (rough as fuck heavy metal from Canada), Barrow Wight demo comp, Dracula – Black Wings Over Transylvania 7” EP, and Crypt Vapor (dark horror soundtrack type stuff similar to John Carpenter, Goblin etc) I wouldn't rule out a Wizar'd release through HCR, but only time will tell!
What do you think sets apart THE WIZAR’D from the other doom or heavy bands in the universe? What are your toughest points?
I guess what I like best about The Wizar'd is that we seem to polarize people who listen to us, people either seem to love or hate us, so we must be doing something right.
Tell me about the future of The Wizar’d, releases, live actions, rituals, any kind of stuff related to the future of the band. This is also my last question for you Ol’ Rusty, hails from Transylvania and thanks for your time!
We've got those two shows I mentioned earlier, other than that we'll just see what comes up. I would like to start writing some new music, so who knows, maybe in 2015 there will be something new out. Thanks for the interview!!
By Rob, December 2014