When Eric Wagner was little, he would attend heavy metal concerts, and he remembers loving Slayer, Slipknot, God Forbid and Hatebreed. However, his favorite band was Cannibal Corpse, and when he got a chance to tour with them, he was over the moon. With such fond memories, it is no wonder that Wagner became a metal musician, but that does not mean he does not enjoy other music genres. His favorite musician is Chris Ledoux, whose songs he can listen to for 10 hours. There is much more to know about the rock star, so here are some facts to get you started.
1. He is Currently Hospitalized with COVID Pneumonia
According to Loudwire, Wagner was hospitalized with COVID pneumonia days after The Skull said they would not be touring with The Obsessed. The band took to social media to confirm that of the five members, four had tested positively for COVID-19. However, later they said they had tested negative, but Wagner was rushed to the hospital when his condition worsened.
2. He Hates Monotony
Wagner’s first band was with Bruce Franklin, but they left because they did not like their band’s music. The two then responded to an advert of a band looking for a singer and guitarist, and they joined Trouble. However, after being with Trouble for 15 years, Wagner was tired of touring and playing the same songs every night. He could not foresee the band doing something new, so he left. The musician quit the music business, cut his hair and settled down with his wife and three kids. He was even working a typical 9-5 job.
3. How He Formed The Skull
In an interview with Old School Metal Maniac, Wagner sent two former Trouble band members, Ron Holzner and Jeff Olson, an email saying they should create a Trouble cover band. He planned on being the lead singer while Holzner would be the bassist and Olson the guitarist. They decided to only play songs from the first two albums before writing their own material. They were torn between naming the band “Psalm 9” or “The Skull”, but they settled for the latter, which is Trouble’s second studio album.
4. He Prefers Waking Up Early to Get Work Done
Anyone with kids appreciates the silence in the house whenever the children go to sleep. Therefore, when Wagner had kids, he realized that if he wanted to do some songwriting, it would have to be during the morning hours. He said it is usually the most peaceful time because once the kids were up, he would be the one to prepare breakfast and take them to school. However, even after the kids were grown, he continued waking up at 5 am and sleeping by 10 pm.
5. He Pretended to Be a Rock Star as a Child
Every dream is valid; it’s only that most people give up along the way. As a child, Wagner would pretend to be a rock star and blast music from his room until his father pounded on the door asking him to turn it off. He said the love for rock and roll got him into music and added that being a singer also helped him get a few girlfriends. Unlike his father, who did not want rock music in his house, Wagner told My Global Mind that he would play music for his son’s friends and their parents.
6. “The Skull” is Dedicated to His Best Friend’s Dad
Many of the band’s fans wonder if Wagner will ever write a song as good as “The Skull”, but he hopes not. He left for Los Angeles to attend his best friend’s father’s funeral, and it was such a dark moment that it took a while before he could come to terms with the loss. He eventually wrote the song as a tribute; even after recording it, Wagner took some time before gathering the courage to listen to it.
7. He Hated Being Referred to as “White Metal”
Metal Blade Records referred to The Skull’s music as “white metal”, and Wagner told Metal Assault he wishes they had consulted the band members first before making such a significant decision. He believes it was a mistake because although he tried bringing positivity to rock music when others were singing about Satan and Lucifer, the label made it sound as if The Skull were preaching religion. The label stuck with the band, yet Wagner wanted fans to make up their own mind.
8. He Loves Playing Live in a Band
For someone who hated touring, Wagner said that playing live is his favorite part of being a band member. He, however, has a few things he does before going on stage. First, he has to eat because he believes he plays so much better when full. He then rehearses on the guitar for twenty minutes to get the adrenaline flowing. After exercising his fingers, he gulps down an energy drink and immediately before the set, he asks someone to slap him hard in the face. With such a routine, the singer says he gives the fans 110%.
9. He Did Not Think Gatecreeper Would Become a Big Band
Before starting Gatecreeper, Wagner revealed to New Transcendence that he had been trying unsuccessfully to make music a full-time gig for over ten years. Therefore, he only started the band to make music for fun, but he was still wanted to give fans high-quality music. He focused on giving it his best while having fun writing and recording. Since the band loved it, it made sense that the public fell in love with it too.
10. He is Working on His Solo Album
Wagner has been in bands for so long he thought it was time to release music on his own. Therefore, according to Blabbermouth, in November 2020 he said the album was in the final touches. After working on it for several years, the singer added that it would be out in 2020 or 2021.