feelings do you have for music sold on ebay? Any problems as an artist from
a royalties perspective?
Well there's a song of mine "leather boys" being sold currently on eBay as a music download that I did not license. I'm not getting paid, so it's a problem! Other than that, I've had to ask 3 different people to stop who were selling multiple copies on a regular basis of a 3-CD set called "aeriel stiles demos." These were something someone burned and printed up. When it's a one-off sale anyone has the right to sell something they own, but when it's selling mass copies week after week, that's illegal. I asked them politely to stop, they did and that was the end of it. I don't want to kick people off of eBay, but just don't start up a business with my shit! No one has that right but me. (Will someone please explain this concept Kristy Majors?)
Do you have any feelings on this year's presidential election? Do you think
there's more venom going around than usual?
Q9. What bands did you see on the club level and were shocked that they didn't make it big?
Tryx. I thought they had great songs and the whole package. I even wrote some songs with the singer Jesse Star. I know there's a lot more bands, but I hate to admit that it's been over a decade and a half since then, so I can't remember any others right now!
Q10. Back to PBF. The band, since you left, has released more tunes as demos than they've written as a band. Since you wrote most of the tunes, you tell me, is it really that hard to write songs in this style of music?
Not really, but it depends where you want to take it. You can write three-chord songs and keep it simple. Then it becomes more about the lyrics and the melody carrying the song. The later stuff I was writing for PBF was more riffs than chords, more metal-style and thus was more involved to play. They don't play those songs live now, they stick with the old stuff and later stuff that's similar to the old stuff. They just recently put a couple of them (kiss my fist & no respect for the law) on their myspace site, there's pic of Kristy that comes up, but that's me playing. I don't know why they never attempted to write more of their own material (meaning not mine). I can't answer that. My best guess is that maybe by using my songs it maintained a consistency; since their sound and lyrics, are in reality-- my particular glam style of writing to fit that particular band. I was surprised to see "Porn Stars" come out as half of the first album again after 10 years! I expected all new material given that there had been 10 years in which to write new stuff. But I'm sure the reason was that they wanted new fans to hear songs that had become out of print, so it was kind of a re-introduction approach and in one way that makes sense. But in another way, why weren't Kristy and Keri Kelli writing? Keri Kelli is a strong writer. Instead, they do 9 of my old songs and 2 covers and 2 Kristy songs. But with releasing such a barrage of CDs consisting of old demos as opposed to new songs, that seems like a quick way to make a few bucks as opposed to a serious desire to progress as a band. More like living off the past. Had they not fucked me at every turn, perhaps I might still be writing new songs with and for them.
Here's a series of either/or questions. Please feel free to drop in explanations
wherever you see fit.
A. Coffee or Tea?
Iced Tea. I drink everything with ice in it, I don't like hot drinks.
B. Bikini or Commando?
I'll take a bikini stuffed with a female of ample bosom, please. But to stay out of trouble, I've actually got one of those at home. :)
C. Songwriter or Performer?
I love to play guitar live, that's my favorite thing in the world to do. However, I've been fortunate enough to make a living writing songs (and now teaching songwriting workshops, too) so I have to go with what's keeping food on the table. That said, I'm so grateful that I get to play music every day instead of working some other type of job.
D. Glam or Punk?
Punk: X, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, The Germs, The Gears, The Adolescents. However I prefer 70s glitter to 80s glam, way better songwriting and less contrived. I prefer 70s glitter to both.
E. Can or Bottle?
Bottle, Corona or Heineken.
F. Jenna or Barbara?
I've heard it said that Veins of Jenna are a great band, I have to check 'em out.
G. Los Angeles or New York?
Q12. When writing music, what's the process you usually go through with regards to order of instruments, lyrics, etc.?
Every order possible, no set pattern, wherever the inspiration comes from first. I try to make sure I have a good title or hook or lyric concept, match it with a catchy melody and a contagious groove. If I manage to do all that, then I've done my job. Back in the PBF days I always either had a title idea or a chorus melody. I'd write the chorus first and then work backwards to the verse. I always like to write to a groove, so I usually wrote to a beat on the drum machine.
Q13. Which of your musical influences would our readers find to be most shocking?
Before PBF and Kery Doll I was totally a metal player. Priest, Maiden, Ozzy, Old Scorpions, MSG/UFO. But I'm sure fans will find it more shocking to hear that it's also: Country music. It's the first type of music I learned to play. My dad's from Tennessee, close to Nashville, so I grew up listening to Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, and Buck Owens to name a few. My dad played in country bands and got me started in music. What's cool though is that he actually helped us make KISS-like costumes for my band in high school. My sister was always playing records of John Denver and Neil Diamond, Elvis and the Beatles. I think those influences helped me because all of those people wrote or played well-crafted songs.
Q14. When was the last time you turned on the radio to listen to music?
Today. The nature of my job is doing a lot of parodies, so I have to listen to a lot of new pop, rap and country to stay up on current hits. Otherwise, it's all about the iPod for me.
Q15. What five cds have been getting the most spins in your player of late?
John 5 - vertigo; Jeffrey Steele - hell on wheels; Johnny Hiland; Zakk Wylde (never leaves the player); Wolfmother. It's mostly guitar players for me this week. It changes week to week. 70s style hard rock music is my favorite, so I'm digging Wolfmother. Yes, they are derivative but I don't see any of their influences making new recordings, so if you like the 70s rock style (as I do), this is as close as you can get to hearing some new songs in that style. It beats the choice of emo or metal with cookie-monster monotone vocals! I'm eagerly awaiting the day when metal singers sing again.
Q16. Are there any new bands you think our readers should keep an eye out for?
Killswitch Engage, although not really new, I think they're killer musicians. They have such a great sound to their guitars and drums in the studio and live. They recently did an awesome cover of Holy Diver as well. Anxious for the new CD. Also the aforementioned Wolfmother.
Q17. Over the last 20 years, what year would you consider to be the best, musically speaking. Which bands/cds do you consider to be the major reasons for this choice?
Great question. Let me say, that when I started playing I really researched my music history and went back before my time to check out groups from the 60s & 70s and what I found was that the music of that era was considerably better in terms of writing and playing. All were major influences for me. I can't narrow it down to a single year, sorry! But since I prefer hard rock, from '66 to '73 you have some great bands and albums: Jimi Hendrix (Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland, Axis bold as love, Band of Gypsys) (, Cream (Fresh cream, Disraeli Gears, Goodbye), Deep Purple (Machine Head, Burn, Fireball, In Rock, Who do you think we are), Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Volume IV, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Led Zeppelin (I, II, II, IV, Houses of the Holy); all British bands. American bands like The Allman Brothers Band, Lynryd Skynrd, Steppenwolf, Johnny Winter, Aerosmith, I know I'm missing a lot here. Then there's the glitter rock bands: David Bowie (the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust), The Sweet (as they were called prior to '74), Slade, T-Rex & Mott The Hoople [all British bands]; in America, Alice Cooper (love it to death, killer, school's out, billion dollar babies). Alice Cooper's band at this time was incredibly musically talented. What I didn't like in 80s glam was that bands that had the "look" weren't laying down these kind of chops like Alice's band, so the music was just poppy and in my opinion, weak by comparison. But that's me, a guitar player talking, and I know others like songs and certain music for other reasons. These 60s-70s bands paved the way first and were the best at what they did. These are the inventors of heavy metal and glitter, which gave birth a decade later to glam. I also think there was more open-mindedness and experimentation in the Record Industry then. I don't think bands weren't as pressured to write "singles." Bands were given more opportunity to develop over a few albums before they were expected to sell big numbers; not like today where it's more like a "go gold or your gone" mentality. The radio playlists had more variety and every song didn't sound like a formulaic radio hit. There's no such thing as an album track today, it's about singles and that's it. I don't want pre-packaged pop idols, I want artists. The late 60s and early 70s are the era of the true rock greats to me. I've met quite a few teen-age musicians that are influenced by the music of that era and see it as stronger, too, and I think that's a very good thing for the future of rock!
Q18. After purchasing an import cd, what do you suggest to do with the obi strip?
Keep it intact, it helps increase the value of the import to collectors!
Q19. In this space, please promote any projects you might have.
I've gathered my comedy cartoons from the various web sites into my own portfolio at loonymusic.com. and myspace.com/throttlehold is a now-defunct metal project I had going on in CA that I hope get up and running again now that I've moved.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Thank you for your interest!
Interview Questions submitted to Glitzine by a previous Staff Writer