Steven Waddell is the man behind several Bands like Tantrum and his One-Man projects Oath and Mortuus Rex. Additional with the Under The Radar article for Oath we had the chance to get an Interview from the man himself.
UG: Hey Steven, thanks for opportunity to have an Interview with you. First of all, tell us a little bit about your other bands Tantrum and Mortuus Rex. Would you say those bands led to the creation of Oath?
Steven: Well Mortuus Rex came after Oath and to be honest it was just an outlet for some doomy riffs that didn’t really fit Tantrum or Oath. As I had finished recording Melt It Down with Tantrum, I found myself with time on my hands. While that record was being mixed, this led to Oath being born. I was inspired in particular by Fetid Zombie (one man old school death metal project) and in particular the album “Holy Destroyer” which blended old school DM with a NWOBHM vibe, (fun fact - Oath was nearly a death metal project until I realised I couldn’t growl or scream) as soon as I discovered that it was a one man project with programmed drums i knew I could create something unique myself. Tantrum had already shown that I could write decent songs that people related to and that gave me the confidence to strike out on my own.
UG: Let's talk about your project Oath. As a one man project you have already two releases that you completely produced and put out by yourself - which for sure needs a lot of passion and dedication. Do you plan to work together with a label or record company in the near future or is it a personal matter for you to do all by yourself?
Steven: Well with Legion I worked with two great labels for distribution - Witchcraft Records from Spain and Underground Power from Germany, those were great relationships and I wouldn’t discount working with a label in future but here’s the thing - if you're signed to a label and you are working to their schedule, this could mean that you have a record made and ready to go but the label might not be able to put that out for another 3 months - the whole point of Oath is, that I like to work fast. On 3 months that record would be old to me, I’d have moved onto something new! I enjoy having complete control over every aspect of the release, I do all the artwork and layout too so no one gets to tell me how it should look or sound.
UG: Have you already thought about putting together a complete lineup for some live gigs or do you want to keep it as a one man project?
Steven: Good question, on one hand I would love to go out with a band and do some festival shows, Keep it True, Up the Hammers, Bro Fest that kind of thing. On the other hand I’d be worried about diluting the concept... I’d definitely not tour up and down the country, it would have to be selected shows, make sure it’s an event and a special thing, but yeah if I could find the right players then some shows would be cool.
UG: Your full length debut “Legacy“ is available as CD and you already plan a tape version. Do you also plan a vinyl release?
Steven: See that’s where a label comes in handy, vinyl is really expensive to produce on your own, so I would need a labels help with that. I love vinyl and it’s my preferred format for listening to music but I have to keep Oath financially viable. To be able to move as quick as I like I can’t be saddled with any debts. Tapes are great cos they're cheap and look cool as fuck.
UG: What kind of music did influence you in your career and life? Was it also music like Heavy Metal and especially N.W.O.B.H.M?
Steven: Absolutely. Iron Maiden have been a constant throughout my life, inspiring my guitar playing, songwriting and being there for me when times got tough. My dads record collection helped too, I discovered the wonders of Thin Lizzy in that way and their harmony guitars are what Oaths sound is primarily built on. Didn’t have a lot of money as a kid and there was no internet, this meant I wasn’t listening to a huge amount of bands but the ones I listened to I REALLY listened to you know? Like if I spent my money for that month on a record I HAD to like it, cos it would be a month till I could afford another! Saxon, Magnum, Helloween, Purple, Sabbath, Metallica. Those were the main ones. Nowadays I listen to hundreds of different bands, trad metal, prog, doom, death, synthwave even!
UG: What are your thoughts about the metal scene nowadays and do you have some favourite places where you go or play on festivals and concerts?
Steven: The underground metal scene is really healthy, recent developments have shown that it’s a real community that pulls together when shit hits the fan. There are so many incredible bands around now, Bandcamp has helped with this, I don’t use Spotify and discover new bands mostly through word of mouth or Bandcamp. No favourite place in particular but I did enjoy Newcastle University for Brofest recently, Haunt were awesome!
UG: Our last and classic question – Imagine you could meet your younger self ten years ago – What advice would you give to yourself with the knowledge of today?
Steven: 10 years ago I was in the middle of settling down and having a family and I had actually stopped playing guitar altogether so I would probably say “hey dickhead, pick up the guitar cos your gonna need it in a few years!”
UG: Thanks again for your time and keep on your incredible work!