Monday, February 13, 2023

Interview with Ike Baestlein and Sean Teeter of Ike's Wasted World (third interview) by Dave Wolff

Interview with Ike Baestlein and Sean “Sarge” Teeter of Ike's Wasted World by Dave Wolff

How has your third full length “Tres Lobos” been doing since we discussed it in our interview a year ago?
Ike Baestlein: “Tres Lobos” is doing great. My friends at Nervous Breakdown Records from Portugal released it in conjunction with Half Beast Records from Portugal and did a great job on the packaging. We received a good amount of press in Europe, and the songs are going over great live. I'm happy to be working with Hugo at Nervous Breakdown again. He has released a good chunk of my catalog over the years. His past label Blood And Iron Records released albums by my bands Blind Legion, Lost Breed and Cardiac Noose. It's imperative to work with people who believe in you as an artist and Nervous Breakdown fills that need.

Can you tell me if there are any remaining recordings by Blind Legion, Lost Breed, and Cardiac Noose?
IB: All of the Lost Breed, Cardiac Noose, and Blind Legion releases are sold out, but you can probably score them online and I encourage you to do so. We ain't in it for the money, as always, we just try to spread love through rock and roll.

Today, do most of Blind Legion, Lost Breed, and Cardiac Noose's releases still reside on streaming outlets like Bandcamp and Spotify?
IB: Altogether I'm guessing I have released about fifteen albums, plus a few singles. The only band I have on Spotify is Ike's Wasted World. Ike's Wasted World is also on Bandcamp. My Ike's Wasted World Youtube page also has a bunch of Lost Breed and Cardiac Noose songs on it.

What release deal did you arrange with Nervous Breakdown? How does the new “Tres Lobos” package differ from the first?
IB: We have a good thing going with Nervous Breakdown; to me, they are Blood And Iron. In the underground, where we forever reside, it is best to work with people who dig your music. The new release has great graphics in a jewel case and it is remastered.

How long did it take you to find Nervous Breakdown? Is a Portuguese label presenting more chances for overseas exposure?
IB: It took a year for us to hook up with Nervous Breakdown, but we got shot down by a slew of labels within that time frame. I was lucky to reconnect with them. Underground music is a labor of love. The labels are run by passionate music fans who do it while working day jobs and they all deserve credit. We have already received attention in Europe. We recently got picked up on a radio channel from Scotland. We hope to play in Europe and if all the little things line up, I believe we can make it happen.

Does “Tres Lobos” receive more coverage in online or print zines and magazines?
IB: Most of our press is from bloggers, God love me, and we appreciate it, but Metalized Magazine in Denmark is doing a review on the record. They are like Circus or Hit Parader. And for the record, I have all kinds of outtakes, live recordings, and bonus songs in the vault. I sleep with them.

Did you snail mail your official press releases to bloggers or contact them online? How well established is Metalized and how much can they expand your fan base?
IB: Online. We have a killer press kit. It contains videos, songs, pictures, press releases, and interviews. It has everything you need to know about the band. Click a button and out it goes. Metalized has been around for many years. They recently contacted Ike’s Wasted World and it is a great-looking magazine. From what I understand European headbangers love it. I’m still trying to make my first million, but I've been told that I'm a dreamer. We will see what the future holds when it gets here.

Are you seeking additional US-based labels or labels from Canada and Mexico?
IB: I'm interested in Ripple Records. I have to talk to them and they passed on us, but I believe if we keep recording great music and play many shows they will come around. Canada and Mexico would be great. I should look into Canadian metal record labels. You got me thinking.

Where in Europe are you making arrangements to perform live?
IB: Germany for sure, but I'm getting shot down by some promoters. I'll keep trying.

How long has your drummer Sean “Sarge” Teeter been a band member? What is the story behind his nickname?
Sean Teeter: I’ve been in the band for about three years now. I heard about them through a former member of a cover band I was playing for and he thought I’d be a good fit. I hit the boys up, and they sent me some songs to learn, and I ended up getting the gig right then. It was a great fit and even though I’m twenty years their junior, I felt it was an excellent match and I’m proud of the songs we’ve written together and excited for the direction we’re heading. I got the nickname “Sarge” from being a Sargent in the US army. Only the guys call me that; everyone else just calls me Sean.

How many bands was Sean a member of before Ike’s Wasted World and how much experience does he have as a musician? How long did it take him to learn the songs he was given?
ST: I was in a local southern rock/country band called the Inner Bred Chicken Herders. Goofy name but it was a lot of fun. I’ve been playing drums since about age eight and I’m 32 now so 24 years. I’ve sung even longer than that and took college-level music theory classes in high school. It took me about a week to really get the songs I auditioned on solid. Then from there once I was official, it was a process to learn all the old material but if I remember right, it was about a month from when I joined to when we had our first gig with me.

How helpful were the music theory classes Sean took? Did you attend any music schools following high school? Do you have any self-taught experience?
ST: The music theory course was and is extremely helpful for the writing process. It allows me to understand where the melody is and what chords or time signatures would go best. Our song “Grass Grows Thick” is a perfect example of that. The main riff is in 9/4.
I went from high school right into the military so that’s as far as my education goes. I had a drum teacher for a few years from about 2003-2008, then I’ve just been doing self-taught since then.

How much of a hand has Sean had in writing the band’s material so far? Who is the band’s current bassist and how well do you work together?
ST: I help with the writing process just as much as the other members. Usually, it’s Ike creating a riff, bassist Chris Adamson helping with structure, and I helping with the beat and music theory part of it. There are a couple songs where I had an idea and sing it to Ike and we go from there. As far as working together I think the music we’re putting out speaks for itself. We all have different influences so it’s a perfect blend of what we like and what we want to create.

I heard Ritchie Teeter, the drummer of the Dictators is Sean’s uncle. Are there any stories Sean wants to relate to the readers, about how Ritchie Teeter helped get him into music, what bands he introduced him to, et cetera?
ST: Richie Teeter is in fact my great-uncle and one of my first vinyl records was the Dictators’ “Manifest Destiny”. Sadly I never got to meet my great-uncle. I can’t really say he was a huge influence, just a thing my Dad told me when I was younger. I was more inspired to play by guys like Buddy Rich, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Phil Collins, and Brann Dailor.

What about the drummers Sean was inspired by gave him the incentive to become a drummer? Are there drummers in the stoner rock genre or any other he would consider inspirational?
ST: My drumming inspiration comes from all the types of music I like; jazz, progressive metal, straight rock, etc. I like and pull from everything. I would say the only genre I’m not a fan of is pop/ rap that’s out today. I’m more old school than most my age.
When I joined the band it was my first “stoner rock” experience so, no, I don’t pull from or know any doom or stoner rock drummers really. But that might be an advantage, I bring something different to the song writing process than most would think.

What equipment does Sean use most often? How do you go about deciding what equipment works best for you while playing with the band?
ST: As far as equipment, I’m not endorsed by anyone, I just use what my ears like and I think sounds best. I use a DW design series drum set, a custom Spaun maple snare drum, Meinl, Sabian, and Zildjian cymbals, Remo heads, Tama drum pedals, and Vater drum sticks. It’s all about sound and how my instrument can complement and contribute to our overall sound.

Are you planning for more collaborations with Scott "Wino" Weinrich of The Obsessed and St. Vitus after working on “Get Quarantined” together?
IB: I jam with Wino often. We'll see what the future holds. He has an open invitation at The Recording Company studio. Check out our Lost Breed videos on Youtube, not to mention Ike's Wasted World’s “Get Quarantined.” I'm thinking about covering a Dictators song. Maybe that one. We just covered The Obsessed tune “Be The Night.” Check it out on Youtube. Also, he has a video of us jamming in Woodstock on his website “New Terms”.

Did you check out Wino’s appearance on the Haunted Chapel Podcast when it aired a week or so ago? How much do you think podcasts help independent bands?
IB: Wino had some funny stories. Also, the Wino Documentary will preview at The Tinker Street Theater in Woodstock, New York on April 20, 2023. I'll be there with bells on.
Podcasts help infinitely. Plus, they are fun to do. It's usually like bullshitting with friends, plus you get to swear constantly.

Has Sean done any podcast appearances with Ike since he joined the band?
ST: I have a buddy that has his own podcast but we haven’t had our schedules lined up yet. Other than doing interviews and podcasts with the band as a whole, no.

Have you appeared at Maryland Doom Fest since Lost Breed played there, or other fests that promote metal, doom, and stoner rock?
IB: Lost Breed played Maryland Doomfest twice, in 2021 and 2022. They were my only appearances, and it was nice to get the old band together but, hopefully, next year Wasted World will be on the bill. I’m interested in playing Desertfest in London, also Ripplefest and Monolith on the Mesa.

Would there be any chance of reforming Lost Breed or Cardiac Noose or did their former members move on to new projects? Do their videos receive a lot of hits on your Youtube?
IB: Lost Breed might record again, but Wasted World is my focus and Cardiac Noose have no plans to do anything, but you never know. We do OK on Youtube. I really urge you to watch my videos. The latest Wasted World video was filmed at Wing's Castle in the Catskill Mountains, such a cool location. I filmed Wasted World's “Lady of the Blues” in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and Wasted World- “Dreams of Atlantis” on the streets of Manhattan in the pouring rain. An ambulance whizzed by to add to the ambiance. It was cold out and it fit perfectly with the song, a huge bonus. “Key of Satan” was filmed in Whitehall, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains.

What turnouts do those fests you mentioned draw each year? How many shows have Desertfest and Ripplefest held to date? Are those two local fests or do they have a chance to be picked up by major promoters?
IB: I am not sure what the attendance is, but they are pretty big. I mentioned them because we fit into the category. Stoner Rock and Doom Metal are terms I initially laughed at. Especially Stoner Rock. Shit, I thought all bands were stoned. Why do we have to be considered the burnouts? But "If the shoe fits...".The bottom line is it helps to market the band. So be i.e. are proud stoners.

How important do you think metal fests have become as far as helping unsigned bands?
IB: Well, playing Maryland Doom Fest led me directly to Nervous Breakdown Records, so, I think it is a great way to network the band. Everyone is in the same place at the same time, plus it is a big party, which is right up my alley.

Have any more vinyl record stores opened in the past year? If you still visit the stores that were open in 2022, what have you picked up lately?
IB: We have a few stores in the Albany area, The Re-Collector in Schenectady and The Last Vestige in Albany are my go-to shops. Record Riots are popping up all of the time. They are fun, too. Essentially, they are a swap meet or flea market for vinyl, if you did not already know. I got “James Brown Live”, “Steppenwolf Live” (the psychedelic one), a Twin Peaks DVD box set for my daughter, some weird Danzig “Cain” and a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins CD.

Do vinyl stores or Youtube present you with more opportunities to hear rare albums?
IB: Both are great. Youtube is endless and there is nothing better to me than spending the day looking for records. As kids, we based our weekends on it. There is nothing like holding the record in your hand for the first time.

You considered writing about the 70s serial killer Robert Garrows on the next Ike’s Wasted World album. Has this happened yet?
IB: I'm glad you mentioned Robert Garrows. I still have not written that song and I still have not seen the movie. I better get to work. We are in the studio now, working on three new tunes. I got killer guitar tone and Sean and Chris laid down some excellent tracks. Next up is lead guitar, vocals and whatever else we come up with.

What are some of the other ideas you’ve been considering for the next album in the past year?
IB: I'm writing a song now and it is top secret, but I'll send it to you when it is done.

Is this the first secret song you're working on for the next album or are there any others?
IB: We have the next record about halfway done. It will be finished this year. I’m always writing. I can’t stop.

Can you tell me about your sessions with producer Don Fury if you are still collaborating?
IB: We recorded two songs live in the studio with Don Fury. It went well. It was a free promotion and we took advantage of it. The song “Wild Dogs”, a Tommy Bolin cover, is on Youtube. His studio is really nice. It is in Troy, New York. He's into recording the whole band at once, which is cool to do once in a while, but I prefer recording at The Recording Company near Schenectady, New York. It’s pro tools and click tracks. We keep it as honest as possible.

How much input is Sean getting to channel into writing and composting for the next full length?
ST: As far as writing the next full length, we’re all equally involved. Sometimes that’s the benefit of being a power trio, we all pull the weight and all can come to decisions really quickly.

Are there any new developments you want to announce for the coming year, promotional videos, live online events, podcast interviews or anything else?
IB: Check out Ike's Wasted World on Spewtube, Stupify, and all the usual bollocks. Our latest video is "Be The Night" originally recorded by The Obsessed, and come see us live. That’s what we live for.

-Dave Wolff

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