by Ana Krunic
VANCOUVER – The lower mainland’s heavy music scene wouldn’t be complete without our homegrown road warriors, Black Wizard. Their brand of metal with a heavy lean towards rock n’ roll definitely sounds like it was cultivated here, tinged with the Vancouver haze we know so well. Their new record, Livin’ Oblivion, slated for release on February 16, brings us a heavier and faster ‘Wiz. Founding members Eugene Parkomenko and Adam Grant say it was an intuitive progression.
“It was kind of natural, honestly,” says Grant. “Even though it’s our fourth record, this is the first time we’ve had the same lineup following the last one. So it really helps, having that consistency as well as [guitarist] Daniel Stokes, who’s a genius and also a death metal boy. He definitely had a big influence on writing of some of the newer songs.”
The album ebbs and flows, as Black Wizard records have always done, with some slow-burners to break it up a bit.
“‘Feast or Famine’ is a faster one, but the rest of the record still follows our classic ‘Wiz formula, but on the next level,” says Parkomenko. “We spent a lot more time on tones and sounds this time, making it big and in-your-face.”
The guys have always considered engineer Michael Kraushaar the fifth member of their band, as he’s worked with them from the start and has had a big impact on their work.
“Having worked with Mike on all of our records, he’s just so fucking good at what he does, and he only gets better year by year,” Grant explains. “It’s become effortless now that we’ve worked with him so often. It’s great to feel comfortable doing what you’re doing, and having a guy that contributes valuable things. We’re definitely super happy with how the new record sounds.”
As for future plans, Grant says it’s their mission to tour with Judas Priest.
“Rob Halford actually left a comment on one of our photos one time,” Grant laughs. “It was a devil horns emoji, a microphone emoji and a little flame emoji. So hopefully that means we get to tour with them someday.”
“Naturally, we have an eternal tour question that we ask bands we’re on the road with: would you let Rob Halford suck your dick if he offered?” adds Parkomenko. “Whoever says no is probably a homophobic dickbag. Because if I can get it up, the answer is always YES.”
Black Wizard’s album release show is on February 16 at the Rickshaw Theatre with Mean Jeans, WAINGRO and Killer Deal.Black Wizard, Rickshaw Theatre, The Skinny