High Roller Records is proud to announce the release of the new Trouble double album "Live 1983". This can be seen as a counterpoint to the recent "Live in L.A.", which featured new vocalist Kory Clarke. On the 15 songs of "Live 1983" you can still hear the original vocalist Eric Wagner.
Maybe not everybody knows that the recording of "Live 1983" has already been released on a vinyl bootleg album called "In The Beginning" (on Slow Death Records) featuring a nice Rodney Matthews cover artwork. However, the sound quality of this totally illegitimate release was so poor (stemming from an x-generation analog tape) that it was rather hard to figure out the individual songs. The current album on High Roller was mastered form the original tape, so no sound troubles there at all …
The songs were recorded on February 5th 1983 at the Deaf Club in Aurora. Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell remembers: "We played there twice. It was a club for deaf people. As it turns out, they really liked Trouble because of the low tuned tones we have. Around 100 to 150 people attended the show. By then, we had already found our own style. I think we were signed at the time but had not recorded our debut album 'Psalm 9' as yet."
It's Metal history that it was Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records who signed the band to his label but have there been other offers as well? Rick Wartell reflects: "Yes, I remember Combat Records and possibly one other label." Brian Slagel himself did not watch Trouble live before signing them to Metal Blade: "No, he did not see us live in person before offering the deal. He signed us from hearing the 1983 live show on cassette tape that Wade Brooks (a friend) sent to him."
Brian Slagel himself is a huge N.W.O.B.H.M./Euro Metal fan, so maybe he liked the fact that Trouble played two covers on the night: "Son Of A Bitch" by Accept and "Confused" by Angel Witch. These were only two of several covers the band played live and at rehearsals. Rick comments: "We really liked Angel Witch at the time, but I don’t think they were an influence as much as a band we liked. Sabbath was our influence." In fact "Children Of The Grave" was also performed on the 5th of February 1983 at the Deaf Club (as the closing number) but couldn't make it onto the album as the sound engineers had run out of recording tape. Such is life! Rick Wartell is not sure, if "Live 1983" is the earliest surving Trouble live recording (the band formed in 1979) but it had the widest circulation, that's for sure.
Rick confirms that Trouble's influences in the early days were "probably more British than any other" but occult '70's act like Black Widow, Atomic Rooster or Coven (US) did not play a role. At the time Trouble came into being, there was only a handful of American bands who played a similar style, namely Death Row/Pentagram, Saint Vitus and very few others. That's in contrast to the N.W.O.B.H.M. with numerous doom/occult acts such as Witchfinder General, Witchfynde, Pagan Altar, Angel Witch, Demon, Desolation Angels, Widow/Ritual and Hell. Rick Wartell talks about the US connection: "Yes, we liked Pentagram and St. Vitus. We actually stayed with St. Vitus in California on one of our early trips."
The biggest show Trouble ever played was at the Dynamo Open Air on the 4th of June 1990. As the headlining act, Trouble played an absolute blinder of a set. I was there so I can personally confirm that. There is a good possibility that a broader public will soon be able to witness this classic Trouble performance as well. Rick reveals: " Yes, André Verhuysen has shown interest in releasing it one day."