If you’re into extreme metal in any capacity, the name Dallas Toler-Wade may no doubt ring a few bells. You may best know him from his two-decade tenure as vocalist and guitarist for seminal death metal band Nile before his departure earlier this year. Now, his project Narcotic Wasteland — whose self-titled debut album dropped in 2014 — is back as a full-time unit rounded out by drummer Phil Cancilla (Hank 3), guitarist Edwin Rhone, and bassist Chris Dupre.
As the group are gearing up for the release of sophomore album Delirium Tremens this month, Dallas himself was kind enough to give us a rundown of the most influential bands and albums that shaped his growth as a music fan and as a musician. Get a look into the anatomy of Dallas Toler-Wade’s musical development below.
First Band and album on the list is Rush – Moving Pictures. I had started on drums by then at eight years old, had been practicing drums for about a year. Ended up totally addicted to trying to play that stuff, and ended up playing “Tom Sawyer” on the drums at my 4th grade talent show. I remember being afraid of one part in that song, but I could hear everything and nailed it! Very great band with many great albums.
Second band and album on the list would have to be Metal Church. It was one of the first bands that made me want to get better at guitar. By the time I was 14, I had been into metal for a while, not really playing guitar seriously yet, still playing drums more, but after hearing Metal Church and a bunch of other bands I had never heard of before that had that super heavy guitar tone, I just had to try and figure that out.
Third band. Judas Priest. This is not so much on a musical note as it is on memories. I have been listening to them for as long as I can remember, and with so many great songs to sing along to, back when I could actually sing, I used to drive around an extra hour leaving a friend’s house just to sing along with Painkiller.
Fourth band and album is Bolt Thrower – Warmaster. At this point in my life, I was starting to discover a lot of really heavy bands, and this album for me stands the test of time. I remember the guitarist in my band bringing that cassette over, and us realizing that there is double bass through the whole album. So brutal, still one of my very favorite bands. I already loved Realm of Chaos, but the pace of Warmaster is so powerful. I will also say I really like everything they have ever done, but that album was when I really discovered them.
Fifth band and album is Sanctuary – Refuge Denied. I saw these guys in 1988 opening for Warlock and Megadeth, and I was blown away. Bought the cassette a few days later, wore it out had to buy another one. Learned the whole album just rhythm guitar, and back when I could sing a little my first band covered Battle Angels. Can’t hit a high F sharp anymore lol. Warrel Dane was very influential on me even though I’m more of a death metal style vocalist. Something about the clarity of the words when he sings, it hits me in the gut.
Sixth band and album is D.R.I – Four of a kind. I was already a huge fan, but when that album came out it was a real fun diverse time for punk, rock, metal. By this point I was into anything. Minor Threat to Sepultura – so many different things going on with so much passion. Such a nasty guitar tone on Four Of A Kind, I fell in love with that album instantly. Love the lyrics too – very inspirational.
Final mention is Uriah Heep – Demons and Wizards. I remember my mother listening to this record when I was really young, and would hear the song Easy Living on the radio from time to time. I rediscovered this band in my early twenties, after years of getting into all kinds of music, and have needed occasional doses of that album ever since. Lots of feeling in that record, and even though I write or play nothing like that, albums like that inspire me to always write from the heart and mind.
Narcotic Wasteland’s new album Delirium Tremens, on October 13, 2017 via Megaforce Records. Get an advance taste of the record with the new single “Faces of Meth” below: