|Interview by Burt Wolf with Chris Bennett, lead guitarist for WIDOW.
Interview done February 5th, 2017.
WIDOW HAS BEEN AROUND FOR OVER 15 YEARS NOW. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME OF THE
BANDS HISTORY UP TO THIS POINT?
Well, we have made five albums and played a lot of shows all over the place! It has been a long road, but a lot of
fun. All our albums have represented where we were at the time, and for that reason I wouldn't change a thing
about any of them!
WHY WAS THE NAME WIDOW CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
We wanted a name like SLAYER, something really simple. Our first drummer suggested WIDOW. I assumed
another band might have used it, but at the time I didn't know of one. This was before you could easily search the
web to check out things like this haha. We went with it, and have stayed the course all these years.
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES IN MUSIC AND IN LIFE?
My biggest influences are KING DIAMOND, METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK
SABBATH, SLAYER, VAN HALEN, DOKKEN, RATT, OZZY and so many more. I also love old school
Thrash and Death Metal. Anything from VENOM to DEATH to FORBIDDEN have all influences on what we do.
Also, Punk like the MISFITS, RAMONES, BLACK FLAG, DISCHARGE, THE EXPLOITED. I love a lot of
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE STYLE AND SOUND OF WIDOW?
I think we are a melodic Metal band that are focused on strong, catchy songs. Stuff like Ozzy's early material has
really inspired our sound, but we mix it up with many different things to create our own sound. We create our
music by creating exactly what we want to hear.
WHO WRITES THE MAJORITY OF THE
MUSIC IN THE BAND OR IS A WHOLE
I write all the music and the lyrics. I always
have since the beginning. I just have a ton of
music flowing out of me, and this works for
CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH SOME
OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
I write the music first usually, sometimes the
vocal and then form the riff. But most of the
time it's the music and then I form a vocal
melody. Once I have the melody, I can write
the lyrics around that. I usually demo the
songs at Johnny's (bass) home studio, and
from there we record the songs. The guitar
demos are recorded with the possibility of
being the final guitar tracks. The first take of
a lot of guitar is what has ended up on the
album quite a bit!
WHAT IS SOME OF LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS?
Lately, our lyrics have just involved things I think about, life, death, personal relationships and how I'm feeling.
Just bringing my innermost thoughts out. It's a great feeling to express them, especially when you see someone
else relating to it.
"CARVED IN STONE" IS YOUR NEWEST RELEASE. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS
I think it's our best album, definitely the best songwriting. The songs are very personal, and it was great to get
them out for people to hear. The focus is on the song itself, instead of our playing and so forth. It's exactly what
we wanted, for the song to be the focus. We are very proud of the songs.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS ON THE ALBUM?
I honestly can't pick a favorite, they all turned out great to me. If I had to, it might be "Time On Your Side". We've
never done an all acoustic song before, and it was really cool to do that.
CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE INFO ON THE ALBUMS COVER AND IT'S MEANING?
It features a character we created on our last album "LIFE'S BLOOD", named Lady Twilight. She is emerging
from stone, making her mark on the universe. "CARVED IN STONE" really is about leaving your mark on the
world, whatever that may be. No matter how big or small, affecting the people around you in a good way. That's
what we want to do!
THIS ALBUM WAS PUT OUT BY PURE STEEL RECORDS. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH
THEM? HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
I met them in Germany at a festival in 2010, and they wanted to sign us. They are really cool people who have
helped WIDOW a lot. I think "LIFE'S BLOOD" and now "CARVED IN STONE" have done a lot to help WIDOW
reach a bigger audience. I am grateful to them for helping us with our vision.
WHY DID YOUR DRUMMER JASON LEAVE
THE BAND & WHERE DID YOU FIND HIS
REPLACEMENT ROBBIE MERCER? HOW
HAS THE ADDITION OF ROBBIE CHANGED
OR IMPROVED THE BAND?
We were on a bit of a different path than Jason. He
is a great friend, but he's more of a technical
Thrash drummer. Robbie has been a friend for 20
years, so it's been really comfortable with him
joining. We already knew each other well, so things
have been a blast!
YOU TOOK 4 YEARS BETWEEN YOUR
RELEASES "NIGHTLIFE" (2007) TO "LIFE'S
BLOOD" (2011) TO "CARVED IN STONE"
(2016). WHAT WAS THE DELAY BETWEEN
A lot of it just has been us taking our time to try
and produce the best album possible. We didn't
want to just rush something out, we have taken our
time to make sure each release has been the best it
could be. At least the best we were capable of haha!
YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED OUT AT A LOT OF PLACES IN MANY STATES, WHERE ARE SOME OF
THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED AND WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED THE
We've been lucky to play all over the world, doing shows in Europe, the UK, Australia, and Japan. We've played
around North America and hit some places I never thought I would visit in my life. It's been awesome! And
playing with childhood heroes like DESTRUCTION, CRIMSON GLORY and QUEENSRYCHE has been
incredible! We've also toured with some more modern bands, like WHITE WIZZARD, ICARUS WITCH,
SKULL FIST, CAULDRON, etc. and it's very cool to call these guys friends. We toured with DESTRUCTION
and KRISIUN and that was probably my favorite tour ever. To see them just killing on stage was awesome, we
learned a lot from these bands.
ARE THERE ANY CRAZY OR STRANGE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED ON THE ROAD?
We've met some interesting people out there. We once walked in a hotel room in Kansas City that had used
condoms laying everywhere. The person there before us had a wilder time than we did haha. Over the years,
we've done some stupid stuff, usually fueled by alcohol. No one got hurt, and we've had some great parties with
friends from all over. It's been so cool meeting people and making friends. That's why we keep going, it's so
YOU HAVE ALSO PLAYED A LOT OF FESTIVALS OVER THE YEARS? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
FESTIVALS AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM SOME OF THEM?
We got to see bands like ICON at Rocklahoma, GRIM REAPER in London, RAVEN in Greece, SABBAT in
Japan, THE RODS in Spain. Man, just seeing these bands I love and beautiful scenery in different countries has
been so amazing. I consider myself so lucky to be doing this, I didn't think it would be possible. Metal is life for
me, and to see people of different cultures that you share that with is truly awesome!
ARE THERE ANY INTERESTING BAND STORIES THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH US?
I watched Jackie Slaughter from SKULL FIST put a lit cigarette on one of his balls in Tokyo. That is a tough one
to beat haha. The guys in SKULL FIST are complete maniacs, and I love them!
WHAT IS THE BEST AND WORST PART ABOUT BEING IN A BAND?
The best part is playing, seeing places and meeting cool people. The worst part is everything else haha.
DO YOU LISTEN TO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE
SOME OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN LISTENING TO?
I like a lot of different music, mostly Rock and Metal but different styles. I love Southern Rock right up to
extreme Grindcore. Lately, I have actually been listening to the new METALLICA album, I really dig that. Also,
the new FATES WARNING and ASPHYX are both really great. Lately I've been on an old school Death Metal
kick, listening to MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, OBITUARY, CARCASS, etc. I really love the new band
GRUESOME, that channels the feeling of old DEATH and PESTILENCE. Makes me feel 15 again haha!
WHAT IS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU EVER BOUGHT?
QUIET RIOT - "METAL HEALTH". It changed my life and ultimately led me to Metal. Actually, I think my
sister gave me that one. Bought with my own money? Hmmm, probably "MASTER OF PUPPETS" maybe?
METALLICA, MEGADETH, and IRON MAIDEN made me want to grow my hair and play in a band. I
appreciate those bands, thanks to them I've had a lot of great times!
WHAT IS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU EVER WENT TO?
First ever, was hehe . . . Tom Wopat from the DUKES OF HAZZARD playing at the state fair in Raleigh, NC
when I was very little. I loved that show as a kid, and I couldn't understand why he didn't play the theme song
from the show hahaha!
SINCE THIS ALSO A HORROR WEBZINE, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HORROR
THE OMEN, THE EXORCIST, PHANTASM, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN, NIGHTMARE ON
ELM STREET Uhhh, so many man! I'm a Horror fanatic. I was raised on the 80's slasher movies, but I really
love old stuff like ROSEMARY'S BABY. I love a good supernatural thriller with evil elements. I also love the
Heavy Metal / Horror films, like TRICK OR TREAT or THE RIVER'S EDGE! Great films! I think if I had to
pick an all time favorite it would be THE OMEN. So creepy and well done, with the best soundtrack ever!
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU THINK PEOPLE
WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT
I think over the years we developed a hard
partying image. That was true for a long time,
but now I'm a pretty relaxed dude who enjoys
being at home. My favorite thing to do is spend
time with my lady Allie and our kitties Jables and
Nugget. I love my cats and snuggle them
whenever they allow me to.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF WIDOW DO
WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE
BAND? JOBS, HOBBIES, ETC...
I really enjoy sleeping. I also enjoy site seeing,
going to museums and local events with Allie. I
work with my family doing HVAC work, so I'm
truly in the Metal business haha. I really enjoy
eating at nice restaurants too, I love eating good
food. I think one of my dream jobs would be
having a food TV show, or being a traveling
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT
We're going to Australia this year, and will be
doing more big shows over the next few years.
We've actually already started material for a new
album, so hopefully it won't be years before the
next one arrives!
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW THAT IT'S
Just relaxing around the house watching television. Tonight is the super bowl, so we're gonna have some super
bowl treats and watch the big game! I'm a football fan so I am looking forward to it! I would like to see the
Atlanta Falcons win since they've never won a super bowl. I will be surprised if New England doesn't win it
THANX FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING TO CLOSE OUT.
Thank you so much man, and a big thank you to everyone that has supported WIDOW all these years. You've
made my life wonderful, and I appreciate every one of you!