Wretch Announces New Guitarist Mike Stephenson
Northeast Ohio-based metallers Wretch have announced the addition of second guitarist Mike Stephenson to the group’s ranks. Shaun Vanek (Eternal Legacy) had been filling this role on a part-time basis the past couple of years but was unable to continue due to his busy schedule and other commitments.
Stephenson will make his live debut on October 16 when Wretch open "The Frets of Fury” tour with Firewind, Arsis, White Wizzard, and Nightrage at Peabody’s Concert Club in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I'm very excited to play with Wretch,” says Stephenson. “I actually haven't been active in any bands since the early 90’s. When the whole grunge scene made it look like it killed metal, I sold my equipment and walked away. But I should have known you can't kill the metal!
“When I read the announcement that Wretch was looking for another guitarist, I jokingly contacted Nick (Giannakos) and told him I was interested. After we both thought about it a bit, it actually made sense. Nick taught me how to play guitar back in the 80’s and we actually played together in a band called Castle Black in the 90’s with Tim Frederick. When I showed up for the first practice, things snapped right into place. And of course, I love Wretch's brand of pure, straight-ahead unadulterated power metal.”
The band’s lineup is now officially complete. Drummer Butch Likens was added in February to replace Chris Koshock, while ongtime members Nick Giannakos (guitar), Colin Watson (vocals) and Tim Frederick (bass) remain the same.
"The new lineup is really kicking ass," adds Watson. "Butch and Tim have given us the best foundation we have ever had. We also now have a powerful dual guitar attack locked in place with Nick and Mike. It's making me feel young again!"
Wretch is gearing up for the release of a brand new, as-yet-untitled studio album, due out next year on Auburn Records..
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