"We ain't sure, pal."
— Blackie Lawless, when questioned about the meaning of band's name.
W.A.S.P. is a Heavy Metal band from USA. Initially formed from the ashes of Sister, Circus Circus and London, W.A.S.P. gained notoriety for their shock rock antics (throwing raw meat to the audience, naked models tied to torture racks etc.) and the feud with PMRC in the 80's over their "objectionable" lyrics. Despite its attempts to ban the band, the outrage only resulted in higher album sales
. The band took a more serious turn lyrically and sonically in the 90's with The Crimson Idol
and, with the exception of Helldorado
, has continued to this day. The frontman, Blackie Lawless, is the only member of the band from the original albums, very much a case of I Am the Band
- 1984 - W.A.S.P.
- 1985 - The Last Command
- 1986 - Inside the Electric Circus
- 1989 - The Headless Children
- 1992 - The Crimson Idol
- 1995 - Still Not Black Enough
- 1997 - Kill, Fuck, Die
- 1999 - Helldorado
- 2001 - Unholy Terror
- 2002 - Dying for the World
- 2004 - The Neon God Part One: The Rise
- 2004 - The Neon God Part Two: The Demise
- 2007 - Dominator
- 2009 - Babylon
Band provides examples of:
- As Himself: Them making an appearance in The Dungeonmaster.
- Badass Biker: Evoked in "Hellion", "Mean Man", and "Savage".
- Badass Boast: "Widowmaker", "Mean Man".
- Chainsaw Good: Blackie Lawless wore a codpiece with a circular saw on it in band's earlier stage shows.
- "Chainsaw Charlie" begins with not one but three chainsaws revving up before the music kicks in.
- Concept Album: The Crimson Idol tells the story from birth to death of rock messiah Jonathan Aaron Steel with eerie parallels to the life of Kurt Cobain.
- Cover Version: Band has covered "Paint It Black", "Easy Living", "Locomotive Breath", "The Real Me", "When the Levee Breaks", "Whole Lotta Rosie", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "Burn" and "Promised Land" by Chuck Berry, "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain, "I Don't Need No Doctor" by Ray Charles, "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane.
- Creator Breakdown: Kill, Fuck, Die was as dark as it was at least partially because Lawless and Holmes had both just gotten out of bad relationships and were quite a bit worse for wear.
- Crucified Hero Shot: On the cover of ''The Crimson Idol◊.
- Darker and Edgier: Kill, Fuck, Die, which featured industrial influences and rougher production.
- Hell, they were this to the glam scene in general, both in terms of sound and onstage theatrics.
- Epic Rocking: "The Heretic (The Lost Child)", "Thunderhead", "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)", "The Idol", "The Great Misconceptions of Me", "The Horror", "Wasted White Boys", "Sister Sadie (And the Black Habits)", "The Last Redemption" and "Heaven's Hung in Black".
- Executive Meddling: Capitol Records left out "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" from the debut album to ensure it's selling.
- Snapper Music released The Sting (live album made from a experimental gig shown in the internet) without Blackie Lawless' consent.
- Fun with Acronyms: Band's name is a memorable example. However, two out of six of the songtitles are actual acronyms; those being "D.B. Blues" (Douchebag Blues) and "Rebel in the F.D.G." (Rebel in the Fucking Decadent Generation). Other two are Spelling Songs ("L.O.V.E. Machine" and "B.A.D."), one is a phone number ("9.5. - N.A.S.T.Y.") and one is a case of Xtreme Kool Letterz ("X.T.C Riders").
- Greatest Hits Album: There are three: First Blood, Last Cuts and 1 CD and 2 CD versions of The Best of the Best.
- Heavy Meta: "Rock Rolls On", "War Cry", "Rock and Roll to Death"
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: On the cover of Babylon.◊
- Instrumentals: "Mephisto Waltz" and "Euphoria".
- Intercourse with You: They were shock rockers, what did you expect? Examples include "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)", "9.5. - N.A.S.T.Y.", "Don't Cry (Just Suck)".
- Loudness War: Helldorado album.
- Money Song: "Fistful of Diamonds" from The Last Command.
- Mood Dissonance: Due to W.A.S.P.'s themes getting darker album by album in the 90's, return-to-form album Helldorado with it's Intercourse with You songs and badboy attitude weren't taken well by fans.
- Murder Ballad: "Jack Action".
- New Sound Album: Starting with The Headless Children, they switched from singing mostly about being a badass and having lots of sex, and began writing about more serious social and political themes. Aside from the Industrial Metal influences on Kill, Fuck, Die and the throwback Helldorado, they've continued with it to this day.
- Not Christian Rock: Songs like "My Wicked Heart" and "Babylon's Burning".
- One-Letter Title: "U" from Kill, Fuck, Die.
- Power Ballad: "Forever Free", "Hold on to My Heart", "Evermore".
- Protest Song: "Goodbye America" from Still Not Black Enough.
- Rock Opera: The Crimson Idol chronicles the rise and fall of fictional musician Jonathan Steele.
- The Neon God and it's sequel is a story of a boy with an ability to manipulate people.
- Self-Titled Album
- Signs of the End Times: "Babylon's Burning"
- Skunk Stripe: Are a part of Blackie Lawless' distinctive looks - even when he doesn't have them, it's like they were there, obscured by lighting or whatever.
- Something Blues: "D.B. Blues" from Live Animal single and Inside the Electric Circus.
- Spelling Song: "B.A.D." and "L.O.V.E. Machine".
- Subdued Section: "Helldorado", "Blind in Texas".
- Take That: "Harder Faster" (from Live...in the Raw) was written with PMRC in mind.
- What Could Have Been: Blackie Lawless was one of the candidates to play T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but he was too tall to get the role.