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Exclusive Interview: Wednesday 13
Hey, man! How’s it goin’?
It’s goin’. It’s early! I can’t figure out why I’ve been up all morning. I’m still kinda jet-lagged from Europe so my sleeping schedule is kinda screwed up.
Oh yeah. You’ve just been back for not even a week, right?
I got back Friday night. It’s kinda hard coming down from that. We’ve been out for basically three months. To come back home and just chill out is just really bizarre.
Is it more beneficial for you to tour there? How did your tour schedule come together?
We did America first. We did six and a half weeks. I’ve never toured America that long or even hit half those places. We had booked the tour in hopes that the record would be out around the same time. Things got delayed and the CD got pushed back. I didn’t want to cancel the tour so we just went ahead and did the whole tour in America. Then the record came out and we toured Europe. The record had been out for two weeks in Europe before we got out. It’s a lot better for me over there because we did better as Murderdolls there. We sold a lot of records. Ever since Murderdolls came off tour I’ve been doing my own thing. I spent two years working that market, as well as Japan and Australia. I’ve got two years of working a building up a fanbase of my own over there. In America this is kinda the first tour I’ve ever done. It’s weird to play Indianapolis and have 15 people show up and then we go over to the UK and there’s almost 1,000 people in a club. There’s a big difference.
I wonder where that difference came from?
I don’t know. I think it’s just the fact that we did so well there as the Murderdolls. The UK is a smaller place. I’ve been trying to figure it out forever. I guess Americans just get kinda spoiled. They’ve got so many bands and some bands come through the same place so much. It’s really good for me over there. I hope to keep doing what I’m doing and in a couple of years be able to do as well here as I do over there.
Tell me about putting the new CD Fang Bang together. Didn’t you scrap everything you had originally written and start all over?
I started writing as soon as we got off the last tour. I had a whole different band that played on the last record. I’ve got a new band this tour. I’d just come off tour and at soundcheck’s we’d jam on some songs. I was making up some heavier riffs. I came home and was writing more in that vein. When the first of the year came around the guys I’d been playing with started doing their own thing. I wasn’t getting a lot of input from them. I’d offered for them to write stuff on the next record. Nobody was really sending me anything. I’m my own worst critic. I definitely pay attention to what’s going on. It seems like there was a whole new surge in metal to see how heavy you can be and how fast you can be. I didn’t want to do anything remotely considered heavy. I said “Fuck it! I’m just going to do a rock record.” I wanted a cool, fun, punk rock record. That would be my middle finger to everything that’s popular right now. I’ve always went the opposite way. I’ve been doing the same thing for 10 years now. I was just listening to the Ramones and old outlaw country music. I always still listen to all my old stuff like Alice Cooper, KISS and Motley Crue. I wanted to make a fun record that you didn’t have to think too much about. That’s how this record came about. I scratched everything I’d written before and I started writing the new one. With the exception of maybe two songs, I wrote it all in about two weeks.
One thing I’ve noticed about your songs is that every song sounds like an anthem. Some bands would kill to be able to do that one time on a record and you do it on every track.
I heard Cooper say something and I really took it to heart. He was talking about all the bands that have a great image, they’ve got the great logo and the great merchandise. But where is the songs? Where is your one fucking song that makes you as good as your image? Besides the image I’ve had over the years I try to create something that’s memorable. The twist I always put on my songs is to create an anthem that will get stuck in your head but the lyrical content is so far from being a hit song…I write anthems about grave robbing! That’s the funny part about it. Damn! That’s a catchy song but I can’t believe I’m singing about necrophelia! I just want to clap my hands.
“Faith In The Devil” is my favorite track off the new CD right now.
That’s definitely one of my favorites on the record. It’s great live, too. I’ll be doing that next week with the Cooper crowd, which is great. He has an older audience and I’d say 90% of them don’t have a clue who I am. To come out and play songs like “Faith In The Devil” and “Happily Ever Cadaver” is going to be fun. I played with Alice last year. It took the audience about four or five songs to get it – Cooper was doing this 30 years ago. It was kinda the same thing. We just come out and shove it in their face and they don’t know what to do about it.
You mentioned you’ve got some upcoming tour dates with Alice Cooper. Does playing with him make you want to up the ante a little?
Not really. It definitely makes me…I know he’s watched us before because he’s told me. I just don’t ever want to look over and see him watching us! I would fucking fall apart! I’m really good friends with the guys in his band. Those guys are veteran dudes. I definitely play harder and I think I concentrate more. It’s more of a challenge. I don’t ever really support anybody. I usually do my own tours. To go out in front of an audience that you have to win over makes me work harder. When you play your own shows it’s just easy. I’m looking forward to this because of the challenge.
I’ve always dug your stuff. The music has been dead on and I get a kick out of your play on words for the song titles and the lyrics. It kinda makes me think you’re a pretty funny dude…
Oh, I’m an idiot! Ask anybody that knows me. I’m constantly funny. I’m never a guy that’s depressed or sitting around dwelling saying “Oh man, this sucks!” 24/7 I’m a comedy show. I’m always laughing. They guys in the band are really funny so it’s cool. Me and the drummer are just non-stop jokes. The first thing I do with a song if I write a riff, I’ll write something that makes me laugh. With songs like “Happily Ever Cadaver” – the title alone is more than ridiculous. “Morgue Than Words” is basically a parody of the title of that Extreme song. It’s all based on a sense of humor and making something that’s fun and memorable that you can sing along to.
Have you ever written a song just because you came up with a clever title?
Yeah! “Morgue Than Words” and “Happily Ever Cadaver” were titles that I had and wrote a song around. I either make a riff up and put words to it later or I’ll make up the entire song in my head when I’m driving down the road. I’ll come home and run upstairs and grab my guitar and have it. I’ve written the best stuff driving on my way home or mowing the yard on my lawnmower. I just don’t have time to fucking sit around and think about it! Imagine me on a lawnmower in North Carolina coming up with these songs! It really doesn’t make any sense. That’s pretty funny itself!
Only if you were in black and white striped stockings, dude!
(laughs) I’ve got a riding lawnmower and usually the sun’s always out when I mow. I’ll wear all black and a big black hat. I look like Darth Vader mowing the yard! It’s ridiculous.
I know you’re lyrics have always been tongue in cheek, especially when it comes to death, suicide and drugs. What’s your real life point of view on those things?
I definitely try to push buttons and say things people don’t want to hear sometimes. As far as suicide goes, with that “God Is A Lie” song from Transylvania 90210, that was a take on it. When I wrote that song I remember reading about three of four suicides in the news. Somebody jumped off the Empire State Building. What goes through somebody’s head? I don’t really know what that’s going to prove. I’m definitely not a guy that promotes suicide at all. Death is exactly what it is. It’s the end as we know it! It makes for great subject matter and songs.
What about drugs? Where do they fit in?
Drugs have never, ever been a part of my life at all. I drink like a fish. I haven’t been doing that my whole life, either. I just turned 30 in August. I really didn’t start drinking until 2002. I drank a little bit when I was a teenager. Maybe once or twice. I’m kinda living my teenage years now. I never did anything before. As far as drugs go, I believe it’s up to the person. It’s not for me. I don’t do it. I don’t need it. I’m also not against everything as well. There are people that can do it and be OK and there are people that abuse it and destroy their entire life. I’m not a preacher. Somebody could just as easily preach to me saying I drink too much. Know your limitations. That’s basically it. I’ve got this far without it.
What is the ideal situation in your mind? Are you happier doing the solo thing or doing Murderdolls?
I’m definitely happier doing my own thing. Murderdolls was really a kinda thrown together project. It was great and it was my first time going out doing that kinda stuff. There was also a lot of chaos and madness that wasn’t fun. On the other side of doing big shows and festival tours, sometimes the day to day life behind the scenes wasn’t a glamorous. That made it bad. I’m the kinda guy who wants to have fun. No drama, no bullshit, no arguing. That can kill a tour. Every show can be sold out but when you walk off stage you’re back in Dramaland. You gotta live with people who are in misery and you don’t like being around. That can kill the whole vibe. That was how we worked, I guess. We worked on disfunction. I’m definitely happier doing my own thing because everybody gets along and I call the shots. I get to do what I wanna do. I’ll still ask, but at the end of the day everybody knows that it’s my show and they’re cool with it.
Thanks for taking time out for this, man! What would you like to say to your fans?
Thank you for all the support. There’s a reason I get to do what I do. It definitely ain’t the radio or anybody else. That’s the cool thing about my fans. They are die-hard fans and they’ve been supportive a long time. It dates all the way back to when the Drag Queens started about 10 years ago. They’re the reason I’m doing what I’m doing, so thanks!
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