“My father, God rest his soul, told me he named me after the greatest country singer ever. He said ‘and you still sing that metal shit.’
“I’m the only Waylon in metal.”
Taking a break from a Los Angeles recording studio on a Wednesday evening, A Killer’s Confession lead singer and songwriter Waylon Reavis calls from the outside patio at the infamous Sunset Strip’s Rainbow Room. Reavis’ charm is immediate and the North Carolina-born-and-raised vocalist still has a drawl…. and a draw that can’t be denied.
It’s quite the juxtaposition then, to hear him talk about such an emotional juggernaut song like “Angel on the Outside.” Reavis, 39, started AKC in 2016, after being a part of Cleveland’s breakout band, Mushroomhead from 2004 – 2015. “Angel on the Outside” is a stirring track – it’s video done in black and white purposely. It’s plot circles around opening a Pandora’s box theme.
“I wanted it to be like a snuff film,” he said. “With me taking the makeup off. I’m murdering that side of me. I’m tracked in the box because of my own decisions. We wanted to play homage to B-rated movies and we threw in some Easter eggs, like from Doctor Who. We’re really nerds. I love my nerd stuff. I love being a gamer. It’s who I’m I am. The kids know that at home there’s a wall of nerd stuff and to stay away, it’s dad’s stuff.”
At its core, “Angel on the Outside” has a full-force melodic guitar music bed. The song feels as though it’s chasing you; its chorus tattoos itself to your emotional sleeve. Reavis’ lyrics are filled with layered nuances delving deep into the listener’s soul.
It fills me up with pride and ignorance.
I’m pushed away. I am damned to be left right here.
So if I can’t take flight, I need the will to fight.
And with my demons I deny the angel on the outside.
“With pride you are being full headed, you make dumb decisions,” Reavis said. “Whey you get prideful you make bad choices.”
Performing the song live is a challenge that Reavis struggles to get through, but he pushes through the pain. It’s what makes him an artist and not an entertainer.
“That emotion, to sing the songs properly I have to take things back to 2015 – I have to revisit” Reavis said. “I close my eyes. It’s the only song that I sing live that sometimes it will bring you to tears. I hate to say this, but I do have to torture myself to sing this live. “
And the fans can’t get enough.
Reavis calls himself an “open book to his fans” and can often be found via Facebook live (as do all the band members in AKC: Rocky Sobon (guitars), Morgan Bauer (drums) and JP Cross (bass)).
“Angel on the Outside” stands alone in its epic genre-transcending hook. Still, AKC sparks comparisons to Breaking Benjamin, Ghost, Clutch, Rammstein, Tool and A Perfect Circle – all bands Reavis admires.
Reavis holds nothing back in his adoration for Maynard James Keenan.
“It soothes me,” he said about A Perfect Circle’s songs. “His lyrics enrich me. I want real art.”
When he’s not recording or gigging, Reavis surprisingly is a reader.
“I’m big into Tolkien, Anne Rice, Steven King, anything Dr. Who,” he said. “I also like comics including Old Man Logan, Wolverine, but I also like classics like Homer’s Iliad and Mark Twain.”
This next chapter for AKC focuses on finishing the album and touring. Reavis names the above-mentioned bands as dream tour mates, along with Korn, Motionless in White and Metallica. It fits – his touchstone moment came when he was 17 years old.
“May 5, 1995,” Reavis said. “I saw Korn perform its self-titled album at The Ritz in Charlotte with Marilyn Manson and Danzig. There was no turning back after that.”