Philadelphia Is Dead for Music, at Least for Metal, Says American Guitarist Lawrence Wallace

Philadelphia Is Dead for Music, at Least for Metal, Says American Guitarist Lawrence Wallace
Philadelphia Is Dead for Music, at Least for Metal, Says American Guitarist Lawrence Wallace

Lawrence Wallace is one of the promising shredders from Philadelphia we featured here on Metalhead Community not long ago with a song review of Lost At Sea, off from his latest long-play album, Unleashed. We've made an exclusive interview with Lawrence Wallace regarding his career, new album "Unleashed", future plans, the rock/metal scene in Philadelphia, and the situation of up and coming bands.

Lawrence Wallace, Lost at Sea (Original Audio)

Q1 - Please tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do for a living?

A1 - I have been doing music only as a hobby for about 20 years. I have tried marketing it before in many different ways, listening to people who claimed they could help but no strategy ever worked. I work at an airport which pays me very well and have been there for 16 years. I also own a small apartment complex, so I do pretty well. I do get paid through my music here and there but not much. Usually through donations for allowing free downloads on bandcamp.

Q2 - When "Unleashed" was born? What does this album mean to you?

A2 - When I created this album, I wanted to make an album that was heavy and very active. I purposely told myself that I wanted to do one more full-length album in the year 2021, then take a break from writing music. I just wanted the album to be full of shred while also being very musical and enjoyable.

Q3 - What can you tell us about the story behind "Unleashed"? What were the main influences?

A3 - There isn’t much of a story. I went into it with the intent of making it sound heavy and with deep low sounding keys (like a 7 string guitar sound). This didn’t work as well as I wanted it to, because I’m not exactly a studio engineer, and no longer own the equipment that I would need for the sound I wanted, so I just did my best. Andy James, Jeff Loomis, Michael Angelo Batio were probably the main influences for this album overall.

Q4 - Are there any differences from the previous release in terms of writing, recording, or production?

A4 - There aren’t any differences at all from the previous release in terms of recording or production. As far as writing goes, I was aiming for a heavier album. However, it might not be. I was also aiming for a deeper sound. I’m not sure if I really achieved that though honestly.

Q5 - Where did you record the album? Who produced it? And how are you feeling about the outcome so far?

A5 - I recorded and produced it myself in my house. I think the overall outcome of the music is good considering I did it all by myself.

Q6 – When you musically compare "Unleashed" (2021) with "Journey Through Time" (2021) albums, what differences do you see? Where Lawrence Wallace's music is headed in your opinion?

A6 - I feel as though I see the second album as slightly heavier, some of it is more atmospheric and a little less 80’s metal sounding, a little more modern maybe.

Q7 - Is this musical direction what you have always imagined in your mind, or is it naturally heading somewhere it's destined to?

A7 - The musical direction is similar to what I imagine when I write the music but it does tend to come out a little differently than I imagine it. It’s never quite as epic as I create it in my mind for some reason. I think my equipment and my tone might have a lot to do with it. I’m pretty happy with it overall though. I think most people who enjoy guitar-shredding would like my stuff.

Q8 - Do you think you have proved the world your true potential with your releases so far, or is it still early to say that?

A8 - The world doesn’t really care about my music or what I can do haha… I don’t think I have many listeners but I appreciate the ones I do have and I know they like it. I am always happy to share my music online with those who know and like it.

Q9 - What is your ultimate objective as a professional artist/guitarist? Where would you like to see yourself in the end?

A9 - It would be nice to go out and play some shows, and maybe one day get a website of my own and start being more consistent with it. Unfortunately, there always seems to be things getting in the way of that though. I’d be happy just to share my stuff around with like-minded people.

Q10 - If Lawrence Wallace was going on a world tour, name 3 artists/bands you'd prefer to have with you on this tour?

A10 - ideally, if I could choose, I guess I’d say, Andy James, Yngwie Malmsteen, and maybe Dream Theater.

Q11 - Of course, the pandemic situation. How does it feel to be an indie artist trying to make records during such a dreadful situation?

A11 - It’s perfectly fine actually. When I wasn’t working it allowed me to have all the time in the world to write and record music. Then I’d just post the songs and share them around.

Q12 - How is the current situation there in Philadelphia in terms of live music? Do you feel like everything is getting back to normal?

A12 - The Philadelphia area has always been awful when it comes to the music scene. There is hardly any scene at all.

Q13 - What was the image of yourself in the future when you first started your professional music career? As a special collective of individuals, a full band where everybody's contributing, or a special project of you with session musicians?

A13 - Well when I first started playing music (I was 16 years old), I saw my future self as a rockstar in front of a huge crowd, playing in a band with the same members that were in the first band that I was ever in, who were also just 16-year-old kids. Of course, looking back, it was pretty funny that I was so naive. I now think it is better that I just stick to my solo stuff. Maybe I’ll even join a cover band one day.

Q14 - What can you tell us about the rock/metal scene in Philadelphia? About the general mindset and approaches? Any successful acts you'd like to give a shout out here?

A14 - I can give a shout out to my old guitar teacher Chris Gordon, my friend Ryan Moll who has played in many bands in that area, Josiah Domico and his band, my friend Steve Corridean who use to play in bands in Philadelphia back when there was a better scene. Nowadays there is literally nothing going on. There might still be house shows once in a while, and maybe some shows in bars and stuff, but Philadelphia is really dead for music. At least for metal, it is.

Q15 - About the current situation in the music industry, do you believe up-and-coming bands have a better shot than before? or they have lost the essence to make the necessary impact on listeners because there are so many people out there constantly making releases?

A15 - I can agree with both statements. I think it is definitely saturated as hell, but bands can sort of use that as an advantage by advertising themselves to fans of who they sound similar to. I think nowadays with Distrokid, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, etc, up-and-coming bands have a lot they can use to get their name out as long as they put in the work and are very consistent.

Q16 - Which artists/bands do you listen to lately? Can you share your Top 5 songs in your daily playlist with us?

A16 - I, unfortunately, haven’t been listening to much of anything. I have been too busy lately with this and that. I do have YouTube or pandora playing sometimes and once in a while hear something I like.

Q17 - Top 5 artists/bands/guitarists influenced Lawrence Wallace?

A17 - Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio, Nevermore, Children of Bodom, Andy James.

Q18 - Top 5 albums influenced "Unleashed"?

A18 -

Jeff Loomis - Plains of Oblivion
Children of Bodom - Follow the Reaper
James Moody - Eternity
(this guy actually isn’t very well known at all, but he had a few arpeggio ideas in his songs that influenced some of my riffs.)
Michael Angelo Batio - No Boundaries
Mark Hafer - Wanna Get High?
(Another not-so-famous guy whose blues licks sounded really cool.)

Q19 - Lastly, what would you like to say to our readers?

A19 - I would just like to say thank you very much for reading this interview. Please listen to my music and download it for free if you like it on bandcamp at this link. Also feel free to message me anytime on Facebook. I am always open to meeting new people, talking about music, art, etc. \m/



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