Trouble - Bruce Franklin, Kyle Thomas

Trouble - Bruce Franklin, Kyle Thomas

After Kory Clarke's unexpected announcement saying that left Chicago's legendary doomsters TROUBLE, METAL KAOZ grabbed the chance and contacted guitarist Bruce Franklin and Kory's replacement, Kyle Thomas who both of them commented the current status of the band, as well as the future plans. So, don't waste time and read all the interested things they discussed with us below.

Hello guys! First of all, we’d like to wish you all the best with Kyle Thomas in the new TROUBLE lineup! So, let’s go straight to the point: after Kory’s exit, you acted really fast! Was the decision to change singer made a long time ago?
Bruce Franklin: The decision was made weeks before anyone heard anything.

Why did you choose Kyle to be the new TROUBLE singer? Was it just because he was part of the band in the past? Did you have any type of auditions? What were your choosing criteria?
BF: There were no auditions. Kyle met the criteria: someone who has a strong voice, who understands what TROUBLE is about, and is easy to coexist within the band. Not a burden. We knew all of this from our past experience with Kyle. The only reason he wasn't considered in 2008 when we parted with Eric, is because he was in ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY at that time. They had a new record and the band seemed to be really working that hard.

Were there any other candidates?
BF: One other name was brought up, but Kyle was the first choice.

Has Kory’s exit caused any problems/setbacks, regarding the new album? I mean do you have to re-record songs or even re-arrange some to fit Kyle’s vocals?
BF: No setbacks at all. Kyle already has half the album lyrics and singing melodies completed and they are awesome. We didn't need to change any of the music. He really knows how to sing to TROUBLE stuff because he was a fan from way back.

METAL KAOZ doesn’t like the ‘statements war’ but it would useful to know the reasons for parting ways with Kory.
BF: What seemed like a good idea in the beginning increasingly became obvious that it wasn't the right fit for the band. Even though you might like someone's work with other projects, doesn't mean that it will work within your band.

I can’t help it so I’m gonna ask; ex-former TROUBLE members have created THE SKULL. What is your point of view about that, since reunions are so in fashion these days?
BF: People like tribute bands. They like nostalgia. Who hasn't gone to see a BEATLES tribute band or a PINK FLOYD tribute band? THE SKULL just happens to have some former members who want to do a tour and make some money.

So, lets talk about the new blood in the band; what will be Kyle’s contribution to the new album? Don’t you have all the music already written?
BF: Kyle's contribution will be writing about 90% of the lyrics and around 80% of the vocal melodies. That's the way we almost always worked with Eric in the past. We would write the music and then the lyrics and vocal melodies would come.

(addressing Kyle) Was an easy decision to take and join TROUBLE?
Kyle Thomas: I would say yes, it took very little debate for me to join TROUBLE as an official member. I got the call from Rick, and he had informed me that they wanted to move in a different direction for their new recordings. As a fan and with former experience playing with them live, I agreed to join. We discussed typical artistic and business topics, and shortly after that I spoke with Bruce on the same subject. I love these guys - my entire experience with them back in the 90's was phenomenal. I had no reason not to want this job.

(addressing Kyle) Kyle, how does it feel working with Bruce and Rick again? Do you see this opportunity as a challenge or as a lost chance in your career, since TROUBLE haven’t released an album with you on vocals?
KT: Every album is a challenge. The ones I have written with the other bands I have played in were, and so will this one be. That is the beauty of art, though. Creating something from nothing is an amazing thing. I really couldn't say it is a lost chance, either. That would be unfair to Eric Wagner, whose presence in this band was obviously deserved when I stepped aside for his return. They had given me four songs to work on when I was jamming with them in anticipation of possibly doing the album that came to be “Simple Mind Condition”. I did demo one song, but nothing I did ever made it to the album. Things turned out the way that they have between then and now, and here I am. Lost chance? Naah. Great opportunity by way of a long and storied path? Damn right! As I have already stated, Bruce and Rick have always been great to me as people and business partners. I was made to feel an equal back then, and the same goes for now. That is monumental for me - I grew up listening to these guys and now I am a member of one of my favorite bands. You can't beat that. I guess KISS and BLACK SABBATH are next (laughs)

(addressing Kyle) Do you feel stressed in any way, since TROUBLE’s sound is quite demanding?
KT: Honestly, not any more than any other I don't think. In a small way I think the songs are so good that it is kind of up to me to not screw it up. I'm just doing what I do - trying to incorporate real life experiences, intriguing lyrical craft and vocals to make one's hair stand on end. So far Rick, Bruce and I have been communicating a lot over the phone and email as to how we can make this album top notch. They really like what I have done so far, and I keep telling them to stop me if they hear something they aren't happy with. So far anything that will be changed are things that I normally would after the first version was laid down anyway. We are all on the same track with how to do this, which is really great for TROUBLE and the people that eagerly await this release. I am positive that the majority will be pleased with what we are piecing together now. For the curious, obviously I am not going to be singing with the rapid, Thrash attack style of EXHORDER. However, I am and will always be Kyle Thomas, so fans of EXHORDER that also like music like TROUBLE will recognize that it is me. I'm sure a familiar growl or two will end up here somewhere! Also, I have been asked how being in bands with conflicting spirituality is going to work. I think that is something that may be more of a problem for listeners than for the band members. EXHORDER was built on the angry young man's gripes and observations. We're a lot more normal than you might think. It was Punk influenced Metal - it was supposed to be offensive. And in TROUBLE's defense, I would have to say through my experience that they probably got overly stereotyped on the whole "Christian band" thing. There's good and evil in the world, and if you read the lyrics of both bands, you will see that both topics are present. BLACK SABBATH got absolutely slammed back in their time for being Satanic. That was before VENOM, MERCYFUL FATE and SLAYER said it forward. Kind of nullifies the hidden backwards message phenomenon, don't you think? TROUBLE is a great, heavy band. Anyone that refuses to listen to them because they are a "Christian band" is missing out. If that aspect of the band enlightens you, then that is great. Music is for the listener, and they have the right to interpret and relate to it any way they choose.

So, Bruce, what is the latest update on the new album? Is there any release date in your mind? How is the process going? Have you finalized the album title?
BF: First of all, there is no release date. We have a few lead guitars to record and the vocals to record. Then it has to be mixed and mastered. Thankfully, we have not signed with a label yet. Having Kyle has changed things and when people at some labels hear a song or two it will turn heads. There is no title yet. I think that we will wait until all the lyrics to the songs are written and step back and see what fits.

After the release of the new album, are you going to be on the road for an extensive headlining tour or is it too early to talk about it?
BF: It's a little early to talk about it yet. There isn't a release date even targeted. We are looking forward to getting out and doing some shows once it's released though.

Should we expect a mini tour during this Summer? Are there any Chicago dates on the plans?
BF: There are no dates booked right now. We are concentrating on the record and once it is finished, that's when we can look to do something. Just because it's finished doesn't mean it will be immediately released.  It takes a little time from finishing a recording until it hits stores/online stores. That's when we will be looking to book some live dates.

Is there any message you’d like to share with the TROUBLE fans who have been so loyal through all these years?
BF: I certainly would like to thank all the loyal TROUBLE fans that have supported and kept us alive for 30 years. Loyal is the perfect word for TROUBLE fans. There is nothing better than seeing that satisfied, happy, orgasmic, even maybe proud look on TROUBLE fans' faces in a crowd. We really believe that we will see alot of that again when we go out and tour with Kyle.

That’s it guys! Thank you so much for your time to answer METAL KAOZ questions and we hope to catch you on the road really soon! Please, feel free to add whatever we forgot to mention. The last words are yours.
BF: Thanks for the forum to talk about the state of TROUBLE. I really believe that the new album will speak for itself without having to hype it. Thanks guys!