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A Dirty Dozen with WILL AGUILAR from WILL THE THRILL – November 2023

| 18 November 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “St. Louis based melodic rock trio WILL THE THRILL comes out swinging today as their new album, Take It Sleazy hits stores across North America through Weapon Records / Vanity Music Group. Twelve songs soaked in late 80s / early 90s Sunset Strip sleaze metal, complete with over the top guitar antics, courtesy of G.I.T. graduate Will Aguilar, and lyrics that Tipper Gore would have most certainly had an interest in, Take It Sleazy is a lesson in the mentality of Rockstar 101.” We get Will to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This record is a more collaborative release between me and the other studio musicians I hired than previous work, and it was fun to hear them bring ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.  I hope this is a record people will listen to all the way through many times, and they should play a game where they try to figure out which bands I’m ripping off on each song, ha!  I think the only hidden nugget is part of a radio promotion I did for a station in Belgium.  So all you Brussels metalheads better listen up!  Oh, and the other nugget is on the album cover itself.  It’s a shout out to my home town and you have to be from there to notice it.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My mom is a singer and she gave her college recital when she was pregnant with me.  So I was born for this.  As for the moment I realized I wanted to be a musician, it was probably when I was 10.  I saw this beautiful blue Harmony electric guitar with a little orange Gorilla amplifier on sale at the local music store, and I mowed the lawn for money until I could get it.  It ended up being my Christmas present that year.  But I loved music since before I could speak.  I remember hearing Kool And The Gang, Pat Benatar, Scorpions, Rainbow, Ratt, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, etc.–probably all in order from 1980-1989!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Yes, Judas Priest all the way.  I got Priest…Live! for Christmas in 1988, which is their live show from Dallas, Texas in 1986, the Fuel For Life tour.  I listened to it and I was awestruck.  I listened to nothing but Judas Priest every day for two years after that, except for when I was waiting for Painkiller to come out.  Then I listened to Alice Cooper’s Trash for a couple months in early 1990.  An honorable mention goes out to Guns N Roses Appetite For Destruction, which I listened to every day for 6 months before I got Judas Priest.  It’s crazy how if you discover the right band at the right moment you become fanatical about them.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

The first guy I can think of is Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks.  He sings great, is more flexible than a slinky, writes awesome songs, and plays a few different instruments.  Also I think he’s a good person so working with him would be cool.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love college wrestling.  I just got done watching our 3-day national tournament and it was pretty wild.  I used to wrestle so I’m into it.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Power Slop, haha!  No, I would call it Classic Metal.  It’s got Glam, Traditional Metal, Power Metal, Sleaze, Grime, Punk, Shred, etc.  I remember the movie Airheads from 1993, where the band in that movie was called The Lone Rangers and they called their style Power Slop.  It was ridiculous and I loved it. One website reviewed my last album along with another EP called Jar of Farts.  They scored my album 73 out of 100 and Jar of Farts got 75 out of 100.  Ouch.  But to be fair, I listened to Jar of Farts and it delivered what it promised.  But yeah, sometimes you need to have thick skin in this business!

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’m a pretty good cook so I could do that.  I don’t drink alcohol but I always have a frosty mug of root beer for my guys.  I’m not a Boy Scout but I’m substance-free because I have too much to do and no time to waste.  And acoustic guitars are not allowed!  Just kidding, I have my mom’s 12-string acoustic but that’s it.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

In April of 2006 I saw Doro Pesch play and I was so close that she touched my fingertips and smiled at me.  If you’ve ever seen her smile, it feels like it’s just for you.  I wrote a complete song about it the next day in about 20 minutes.  She was fantastic!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

If I couldn’t be a musician anymore I would be a wrestling coach.  The sport gives you a lot of discipline and teaches you to find an inner strength and perseverance that no other sport does.  When you first start, it shows you what kind of man you are.  And after a while, it turns you into the kind of man you want to be.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I think a good question to ask anybody is, “What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?”  My answer would be I drove 1,400 miles round trip in 2 days to see Judas Priest for the first time, by myself.  I got punched in the face standing on the edge of the mosh pit while Anthrax was opening the show, but I got over it and really enjoyed myself after that. A question I’m tired of answering… I’m not really tired of answering any questions.  If someone asks me the same thing another person did, I can probably just open up an old interview and copy/paste the answer. 🙂

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yes.  In the past I haggled with a musician and a studio over their fees. I will not do that again, and I wish I never had.  When you haggle with an artist, you’re telling them they’re not worth as much as they know they are. They spend decades working at their craft in order to give you a few hours of brilliant, organized work. The way I look at it now, either I can afford somebody or I can’t. But I’m not going to ask them to charge less because even if they accept your project they might not be very enthusiastic about doing it. You want them at their best. On top of that, you need to be on time, reliable and treat everybody in this business with respect. If you do that you’ll become somebody everybody wants to work with.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I wish I could go back in time and take over for Pete Willis when Def Leppard was making Pyromania.  Steve Clark is one of my favorite rock stars of all time and it would be a dream to trade solos and riffs with him.  Also, I could learn so much from Mutt Lange about producing an album.  High ‘n’ Dry is my favorite album from them, but Pyromania was the one where they became huge.  Who wouldn’t want to play on an album that sold over 10 million copies?  It’s so good!

WILL THE THRILL LINKS:

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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