Narcotic Wasteland – Interview

Interview with Dallas Toler Wade of Narcotic Wasteland and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

DTW- We do anything from classic heavy metal style riffing, to more extreme forms of metal. Metal and heavy guitar being the constant. There is also an element of fast punk music as well.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

DTW- I grew up in North Carolina. I came from a musical family so music and instruments were around my whole life. Around 8 years old I started really getting into drums like with that 8-year-old energy! I really loved playing along with records like Black Sabbath live at last, AC/DC albums, then later started getting more into bands like Rush. I practiced every day for hours. Then around age 13 I started getting into guitar. I started getting into metal much more. The usual suspects like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metal Church, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer. I guess I started playing in bands around the time I was 16. By then I had written some music but I was not very good yet or at least I thought. I think I started to get some focus on songwriting in the early to mid-90s. 


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

DTW- Other music and musicians inspire a good bit!!! There is nothing like talking to my fellow guitar player friends about music, guitars, amps. On the music side of things Sometimes I will hear something in my head, or sometimes just riffing experimenting with things. I like to write about things I have read about, personally observed, or in more recent cases it’s just me venting some frustration. Starting out overall the songs talked about hard street drugs, big pharma and the decline of our working class. I think I am drawn to topics that hit you in the gut!


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

DTW- My aspiration as an artist is to continue to grow and become better at what I do. Guitar is just a way of life for me I play almost every day and often for hours at a time. Through every transition in life good or bad guitar is always there for me. Whether I am doing it full time or just when I can for fun I will always be a songwriting practicing musician. I knew what I was getting into. It is a big commitment for life.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

DTW- This is a really tough question I am happy to say. I think the proudest moment for me was actually being able to get the opportunity to work with a producer in the studio. I was in a band called Nile. We were on our fourth studio album and we got to work with producer Neil Kernon. Not only is he a brilliant and talented musician he is a world-renowned producer from hell!! He did several albums with Nile, and he also mixed and produced our second album Delirium Tremens.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

DTW- It’s going okay I am still getting my head around the whole social media promo thing. I personally think too many people put too much stock in that garbage software. If you don’t post and get the three likes you hear crap about it. As far as the bedroom artist well we all started there. When I was coming up we had the 4 or 8-track cassette recorder and a drum machine, or you try to capture the drums as best you can and ping-pong tracks. The only real difference now is better tools. I have a small studio set up in my house. It’s perfect for recording quality guitars, bass, and vocals. For good-sounding live drums, you still have to go to a real studio for that, unless you invest in treating a room and killer mics and mic preamps. 


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

DTW- We have a booking agency called Ashley Talent International. They have been key in our growth from the very beginning. We try to promote shows on our band pages when we can. Being an indy artist can be hectic!!! But I am getting better at all of this I feel. We will be direct support for ACCEPT in the United States for the entire month of October. You can check out the dates on our Socials, or visit


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

DTW- I think streaming and downloading is pretty cool, but you need to pay the artists. These people have more money than you can spend in 1000 lifetimes and they probably can’t even whistle. We get it you won capitalism now calm down! Meanwhile, you have the industry expecting the artists to constantly toot their horns on social media like complete narcissists, and then pay them a fraction of a penny while treating us like complete slaves. I am real about it though. It’s the entertainment industry and like many other industries, there can be a very dark side to it. Spotify is getting zero money from me. I still buy CDs from time to time. I’m not young. I still listen to cassettes.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

DTW- Long live Rock n Roll by Rainbow!!!! For me, it is such an anthem with that heavy metal swing. It was written way before I could even spell guitar, and recently I have been getting into bands like this more and learning some of the riffs for fun along the way. I wish sometimes I was jamming in bands in the 70s. It’s a different kind of power than modern rock and metal but powerful indeed.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

DTW- The things I dislike about the music industry are the same things I dislike about many industries today. It has either gotten worse through time or we are just more aware of it now. Either way, you have a small number of people at the top going on vacations with their private jets on the backs of the underpaid people that do actual work. I wish I could change things and make sure artists get some real money from streaming and downloading. It would make a real difference as many of us would invest it right back into the project thus giving us more tools to create with. 


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

DTW- At the moment and for quite some time I have been busy with every aspect of the band. We have more singles we are releasing over the next few months and I am really excited to get these out. I also have one more song I am finishing up for the full album release in 2023. Between that and campaigning this upcoming tour with ACCEPT I have been managing to get in some extra practice time on guitar as well which I always enjoy.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

DTW- You can go to We are actually in the process of updating our stock of items as well.

Narcotic Wasteland links:
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