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After Simi completed his research and left Page to take a job at the university, he made one return trip to OC in 2004. But by then, he says, Page had already returned to North Carolina—though he did periodically stay in touch with his old buddies. Stevens says he spoke to the future mass murderer on the phone in July 2011, while Page was in Orange County for a gig with his most recent group, End Apathy. Even then, an attempt to catch up with his onetime bandmate offered little—mostly small talk and the news that Page had started a new job at a metal-working shop in Colorado. A little more than a year later, his mug shot and horrifying actions would be plastered all over the news.
"What he did literally makes me sick to my stomach," says Stevens over the phone. In the background, there's some chatter from his girlfriend, who is part Indian, as she attempts to quiet their son, who is busy making age-appropriate racket. Lately, Stevens says the actions of the quiet killer have left him with plenty to say as he unleashes his frustrations about the senseless murders the only way he knows how.
"[My band] had practice the other night, and we wrote a new song, and I just started spewing out lyrics about the killings," Stevens says. "By the end of the week, we'll probably have a song specifically about this incident because of how much it's really affected my life."
This article appeared in print as "The Ballad of Wade Michael Page: An ex-bandmate and ex-Nazi recalls his OC hate-rock days with the Sikh temple shooter."