Annihilator frontman / founder Jeff Waters recently responded to a fan’s question on Facebook regarding the band’s Set The World On Fire album and the vocalist on that record, Aaron Randall. Check out the exchange below.
Q: Can you tell us the story behind Aaron Randall’s brief stint in the band? I did read somewhere that a mic issue during the recording of Set The World On Fire left the vocals sounding like Aaron had a lisp when in fact it wasn’t the case. Why did you not carry on with him for King Of the Kill?
Waters: “Aaron rocked. We were in studio in ’92 – ’93 with Aaron for what would be the Set The World On Fire record. Basically, we tried around eight different mics to see which suited his voice. He was kinda inexperienced but great! The rental cost of the mics we rented was a LOT of money so, after the manager heard me say ‘none of these seven mics seem to work’ he rented the most expensive one and said ‘Use this; your last one.’ We did but did not realize that there was some kind of hidden frequency roll off, or that maybe the mic itself was damaged, but we could not hear Aaron’s letter ‘S’ or ‘T’s… so therefore, we kept saying ‘Aaron, you need to say and almost spit those letters out, every time they come up in the lyrics…’ which was always hahaha! So what you get is poor Aaron literally spitting into the mic and trying to concentrate on the SSSSS and TTTTT’s… not feel and notes and stuff.
In the mixing at Little Mountain Sound, we literally had to boost the frequencies like mad. Huge amounts, just to hear them. I salute Aaron; we put him through a polite, Canadian hell over that in the studio. He is actually one badass singer. He was capable, only a few years later, of cloning Seb Bach and Layne Staley. I look forward to possibly having him on a tour or set of shows soon!
After that CD, which sold very well, we were actually dropped. It was the year that most labels were dropping ALL bands that were in that ’80s metal category. In came the Seattle sound, then metal shifted a different way. We didn’t want to change it up so we left Roadrunner / Epic and got super duper lucky that Music For Nations in the UK and a killer Japanese label grabbed us for the King Of The Kill record and a few after that. At least outside of North America, KOTK was huge for us, but I couldn’t have brought Aaron with us on that record/cycle. I had felt I needed someone with more experience. I couldn’t find that person then so I just took it on myself and totally shocked myself when our KOTK CD hit #2 in Japan, just beaten out by Bon Jovi hahahaha!”
Randall has resurfaced with Wreck-Defy, also featuring guitarist Matt Hanchuck, former Testament bassist Greg Christian, and former Malevolent Creation drummer Alex Marquez. They recently released the official lyric video for the new single “Scumlord”, from the album Powers That Be.
Powers That Be is available now at all digital retailers and providers. Also available on CD via Punishment 18 Records and vinyl via Doc Gator.
“Powers That Be”
“Drowning In Darkness”
“Goodbye To Misery”
“I Am The Wolf”
“On The Other Side”