TWISTED TOWER DIRE “Make it Dark”: An interview with Scott Waldrop

TWISTED TOWER DIRE‘s “Make It Dark” will be finally released on Cruz Del Sur Music hitting the streets on May 3rd in America, and May 13th in Europe. The comeback on the heavy metal scene of this long running, influential Virginia’s band has already turned some heads, already resulting in some great press feedback:

“Been a long time since I’ve been this “jazzed” about a new album from an established artist. Highly recommended! [9]”  from

“…a terrific release that signals Twisted Tower Dire’s  emphatic return to the forefront of traditional heavy metal. 9/10” Metal  Assault

“…the riffs of guitarists Scott Waldrop (While Heaven  Wept) and Dave Boyd (Volture) are firmly in charge here on Make It Dark,  re-presenting Twisted Tower Dire as one of the best hidden traditional metal  acts in America today. A Metal Army America

To give our fans some more insights into the making of another classic Cruz Del Sur Music‘s album, we reached TWISTED TOWER DIRE‘s guitarist Scott Waldrop to ask him how he feels about being back into the heavy metal game with one hell of a catchy, high octane record…

Finally “Make It Dark” is being released, and it sounds quite differently from previous TTD’s material… can you explain how this stronger 70s rock influence came into the sound?
Scott: We’d been wanting to push the band in this direction for a very long time but with Tony around some of the comedic aspects of our new sound would never have seen the light of day. Another thing that came into play was the song writing process. Before I would write riffs on the electric guitar and strung the song together that way in a normal “heavy metal” song writing process. Marc’s mom gave me an amazing old Hollow body Gretsch guitar from the early 70’s which I keep on a stand in my living room always at arm’s length. A lot of the songs came together on that thing  and were originally written as open chord “singer/song-writer” style, just vocals and guitar. So in a sense these were kind of written like folk songs and then we had to go back and turn them into metal songs as if we were interpreting an old cover song and “making it metal” (OR) “making itr dark” pun never intended until just now as I type this. Lastly, I think the “heavy music” I (and much of the band) have been listening to in recent years was the final ingredient which set the stage for the sound we wound up with. When we went through these songs and started “metalizing” them we weren’t asking ourselves what Priest or Maiden would do with them. We were all on very eclectic music kicks and still are, a lot of classic 70’s hard rock arena monsters and early american punk like the NYC scene of the late 70’s were at the forefront of our influence pool.

The album is amply graced with visual artwork by Martin Hanford, is there a premeditated choice behind such graphical concept for the album?
Scott: Yes, I wanted it to have a comic book look but not in the conventional sense. We wanted the whole thing to sound and look like a late night psychedelic 70’s adult cartoon where you see evil women on horseback
galloping through haunted forests. TTD has never taken our visuals too seriously. We want our output to be 100% quality but if you look at our old album covers a lot of the visual cues are pretty ridiculous. We take our art and music very seriously and put a lot of love into it but at the end of the day I think it’s always important to remember that you’re a rock band with tinges of tongue-in-cheek-isms and self deprecation delicately layered over some well crafted artistic ideas can be very endearing to the listener. I mean that in the audio and visual sense. The Ramones entire aesthetic was about this and I personally think it’s impossible not to love them.

How do you expect old and new fans to react to “Make It dark”?
Scott: That’s a huge unknown for us. Ever since we started working on these songs together and practicing them in the basement we’ve literally ended the sessions by saying, “well I have no earthly idea how these songs are gonna be received, but we love ’em (the new songs) so screw it”. We felt more sure than not that people would get the vibe we were going for and appreciate the amount of thought we put into it but then again we weren’t really sure how many of our fans were there because of our “tough guy” songs. Before now there has always been a dichotomy and huge contrast in TTD’s sound. There were two mains song writers: Tony Taylor the “athlete” and (me) Scott Waldrop the “artist”. We always had a tremendous amount of respect for each other despite our contrasting personalities so we would let each other express themselves in the songs even though our respective approaches to TTD were polar opposites. Somehow those extremes of “give and take” worked for us as a machine. However, these days there is no “opposite” influence. There’s just me and my “artsy” approach which very much would ALSO characterize the other personalities in the band, so going out and writing an “off the wall” titled “snow leopard” is totally natural for us because the artistic lighter-hearted influence has completely dominated our sound. It’s like how small mammals inherited the earth after the dinosaurs went extinct. Whereas we used to be primitive behemoths bent on crushing all in our path we’re now the sleek and cunning which calculate our slaughter! In conclusion, fans of “Axes & Honor” simply may not get or or relate to “Snow Leopard” and that’s fine but I think that 99% of our fans are a clever bunch and will go with us on our bizarre journey. I hope so because we LOVE them all but sometimes as a band you have to do what you want to keep yourself interested.

What are the future touring plans for TTD in support of “Make it dark”?
Scott: Since the album is coming out in late spring it’s difficult to make any sort of grandiose plans for a summer tour. We would have had to start planning it months back and seeing as how we’re been dormant for several years on the heals of our previous album “Netherworlds” (inarguably our least successful release) we probably would have had to nearly beg promoters to work with us as many people thought the band had seen
better days. We felt it was best to get our “come back” album to hit the ground running (yes I quoted Van Halen) and weigh our options then. We’ve been playing the entire album live down here in our area for the past year so that when we get our chance to hit the road again the TTD machine is fit for fight (yes, I ripped off Witchcross, my word creativity must be waning on this questionnaire). So we’re waiting on some offers! It would be great if we could make it back to Europe as early as late summer or fall 2011. I guess a lot will hinge on where the album sells best regionally as to where we wind up focusing our touring attention. What with our careers outside of TTD and personal lives it makes it difficult to be on the road for long stints so it’s key for us to hit the locations that matter most. The tour is coming though, that much is certain, but the shape of things to come will determine its coarse! See everyone soooooooon!!!!

To get a feel for the album, you can tune in to hear the fifth track , “White  Shadow”, CLICK HERE NOW!

And do not forget this is your chance to catch TWISTED TOWER DIRE Live:
5/20/2011  Kings – Raleigh, NC w/ Colossus, Volture, Sex Panther

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