Interview with Boa (Alleycat Scratch) August 2005

Alleycat Scratch are one of the most legendary and most sought after bands to rise from the gutters of the Sunset Strip. Fueled by their unique brand of sleazy glam rock, they built a cult following unmatched by most, and today still spark interest other bands from their day can only dream of.

After stumbling across former bassist BOA on the wonder that is "the world wide web", he agreed to answer a few questions for us here at Glitzine

Q1. Can you give us a brief history of Alleycat Scratch. Where and how did ACS form, and how did it evolved over the years?

A1. In 1989 guitarists Justin Sayne and Devin Lovelace moved from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Mateo (just South of San Francisco) where they teamed up with a drummer named Scott. The trio placed an ad in BAM looking for a bassist, which I answered before meeting with Devin and Justin at a local Wendy restaurant. Shortly after I joined Scott was let go and his position filled by Drummer Mike Joyce.

After another ad was placed in Bam we found vocalist Tommy Haight and recorded our first demo, with the tracks Kiss Kiss and Jr's Bones. Straight after that we let go of Mike Joyce due to his flakey tendencies, and after auditioning many a drummer we met Robbi Black at The Omni in Oakland… and finally we had our lineup.

Later that same year we had a mutual parting of ways with Justin, who then moved back to Salt Lake City and
started guitar company Joes Guitar ( http://www.joesguitars.com/ ). A few months after that Tommy left the band and joined a rival band at which time we packed up and moved to Hollywood. It was here we found Michael Michelle, who was later replaced by Eddie Robison.


Q2. What other bands did Alleycat Scratch play with during their time on the strip, and what were your favorite venues?

A2. I remember playing with Pretty Boy Floyd, but I'm not a fan so I did not stay long, however I do remember them having wireless difficulties and the guitarist storming off stage when they tried to have their "Big" entrance.

We also played with the Glamour Punks (one of my favorite bands) and The Brats at Gazzaris. That was really great. We also supported both bands at The Omni in Oakland, CA. when we were still up north.

Q3. Your cd 'Deadboys in Trash City' would have to be in the top 5 glam-metal releases of all time. At the time of recording or release did you have any idea that you had a masterpiece on your hands?

A3. Of course we had no Idea what was to come! We just put our best foot forward with the limited budget we had. We were fortunate enough to get Mikey Davis (Keel, WASP, KISS) just by luck on a recommendation and it turns out he's done a lot of great things you can see what he's done on line at http://www.talonmusic.com/mikeydavis_producer.htm

Q4. Do you look back on that album now with an air or proudness, or like may artists do, do you cringe at your musical past?

A4. Definitely proud… even though it's really cheesy, it is my claim to fame, my first and last full-length album it was a good time in my life.

Q5. Was there ever a time where the album was shopped around to major labels (if so what was the feedback), or were the band happy with an independent release?

A5. Yes, we shopped to every major and were turned down by every one. I was not happy at the time, but it was probably best to release independently because we would probably still be in debt and unable to do future releases and Deadboys in Trash City would be in the bargin bin and I would not be talking to you today.

Q6. What do you think now when you see the cd selling for $100 on eBay?

A6. Flattered, I cant believe that people still care enough to pay extreme amounts of money to acquire some of our stuff. It's funny though…. some bootlegs out there that say it's Alleycat Scratch but it turns out to be Resurrection Mary (Eddies previous band) or they just put our picture on their own music…. so eBayer beware!!! Not to worry there some new Alleycat Scratch stuff headed your way including video.

Q7. ACS have fans stretching from the USA to the UK to Australia to Germany. How do you react when you find out these people remember you 12 years after 'Deadboys' was released?

A7. Amazed! I can't believe that we are still able to draw new fans. At one point a fan sent me a copy of a tour poster in Danish from our canceled tour - that was cool! I would love to get my hands on an original.

Q8. Apart from 'Deadboys' did the band release anything else?

A8. We released Love Song as a cassette single that we tossed out at shows, it was recorded in the same sessions as Deadboys in Trash City, but we didn't put it on the CD for fear of turning off record executives. It is the opening title and in the closing credits for porn called "Back Door to the City of Sin II" by Anabolic Productions.

We also did a 3-song demo as a preview for the next CD, Grave Gina, Sick of it all, and Don't forget Me When I'm gone. (My personal favorite)

Q9. When and how did the band come to an end?

A9. Basically, the band came to an end because we all lived together in close quarters for years and we were always together. The band was going nowhere (so it seemed) and tours were canceled due to the whole grunge movement killing the strip bands. Blacks on Hollywood Blvd. went from selling Lip Service to Flannel overnight, so we had a bunch of lumberjacks in the middle of a Los Angeles Summer. I always thought that was funny. It just made sense to call it quits. There were a few bands who still played out but could only draw a few people.

Q10. Do you still keep in touch with any of the band?

A10. Yes, everyone. Mostly Devin, I talk to him almost every day and we're both editors and work together a lot.

Q11. Do you still keep an eye on the music scene, and if so what bands do you currently follow?

A11. No, not really, unless someone says "You've got to check this out". I have always listened to a lot of other music than the people I was around, in elementary school when everybody was into Kiss and Queen I liked The Monkees, The Beatles and Jan and Dean. High school The Cure and Hanoi, Social D. I'd always hear, "BOA what the fuck are you listening to now?" I'm also a big Jazz fan Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller.

There is a really cool guy I heard about on a local talk show last week - http://www.batlord.com. I do not have his album yet but I've heard some stuff.

Q12. New releases from the likes of Big Bang Babies, Vain, Tigertailz have certainly helped to spark the glam-metal revival. Rumors abound at the moment about ACS... is there going to be a new Alleycat Scratch release, and if so what can fans expect? Can you ever see 'Deadboys' being re-released?

A12. Yes, we are getting ready to release a CD with Grave Gina, Sick of It All, Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone, Love Song (remixed), along with a variety of rare live performances of songs that have never been recorded. A couple of surprises too! I have had it ready for almost a year now but I am waiting for the money so I can release it. If I can't get a distributor I'll sell it on eBay.

If that does well I want to release a CD with all the early Demos and covers that we did live.

Also, my brother Rich video taped pretty much every show we ever did, along with parties, loading the van, setting off pyros in the apartment, sound checks, arguments backstage probably 20 - 30 hours of good fun stuff. So I would like to release that as well. If any body knows a distributor let me know.

I really doubt Deadboys will ever be re-released, I like the fact that it is a gem for the collector I actually still have a few that have never been opened, I occasionally sell them on eBay, either under account "Kick Your Cat Records" or "Robert Dias".

Q13. Did Robert 'BOA' Dias play in any bands before or after Alleycat Scratch?

A13. Of course, …I started off as a guitarist. My first band in high school was called Amonre (Egyptian Sun God or something). We played some clubs like The Mabuhay, The Stone, Pony Express Pizza and parties in San Francisco Bay Area.

After, I was in a band called Dynamis, then another band called Morning Star either ever got out of the rehearsal studio.

Then I picked up the Bass for a band called Distress. We played local clubs like Nile Station in Hayward CA. and The Omni in Oakland.

Then Alleycat Scratch, After Alleycat Scratch I was in a band Called Race Riot, and then after that I was in a band with Robbie Black called 51 Dead. That ended when I showed up at the rehearsal studio and they were auditioning another bassist on my gear. I don't think they ever played out. That was about it, then years later Eddie, Devin and I along with some friends put together a cover band called "The Fabulous Disasters" and played the Coconut Teaser a couple of times. I have not played live since…. although I just had my bass repaired, so if you know anybody who wants a has been (almost was) washed up shitty bassist, let me know I would love to play again.

Q14. Any chance of Alleycats Scratch Re-forming?

A14. No, no chance of an ACS reunion.

Q15. What have been the highs and lows of you musical career to date?

A15. The highs definitely Alleycat Scratch selling out everywhere we played, the lows, walking in on somebody auditioning for my spot in 51 Dead.

Q16. To let us get more of an insight into the mind of BOA...some quick answers: -

Beer or bourbon?
WHISKY!, Jack Daniels

Blondes or brunettes?
YES

Love or lust?
Is there a difference?

Glitter-glam or sleaze-glam?
Sleaze-glam

KISS or Motley Crue?
Reverend Horton Heat

Pinball or playstation?
SEX!!!

Subway or McDonalds?
Subway

Dogs or cats?
Cats (duh)

And your brief thoughts on....

American Idol?
GO AWAY!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

Napster and mp3 file transfers?
Awesome, although MP3 is such a shitty format they should pay the people who have to listen to it.

What CD is in your CD player at this minute?
I have a 6 Disc changer so….
Hanoi Rocks "Two Steps from the Move"
Johnny Cash "Cash"
Foo Fighters "The Color and The Shape"
Songs That Got Us Through WW II, features Andrew Sisters, Tommy Dorsey and Peggy Lee.
Reverend Horton Heat "best of"
and of course…. Dogs Damour "Dynamite Jet Saloon"

Your favorite band and album of all time?
Too many to decide, but my Disc changer above pretty much covers it.

EBay?
How did we ever live without it?


Q17. Are there any other thoughts, messages or plugs you'd like to pass on to your fans worldwide?

A17. Live life to the fullest, regret nothing, sleep when you are dead.

If anybody out there has any photos, videos or stories to share of/about Alleycat Scratch I would like to hear from you….. rdiaseditor@hotmail.com

Be sure to check out:
Robbi's band, http://www.dramafiend.com/index.html
Joes Guitars http://www.joesguitars.com/ Look for the "BOA" bass.

Watch eBay for up coming new releases by Alleycat Scratch. from Kick Your Cat Records.

If ever on myspace, feel free to say hey.

Bassist seeks band, Orange County, Los Angeles, influences are Social Distortion, Reverend Horton Heat, Hanoi Rocks, Dogs Damour. Contact: Robert "BOA" Dias at rdiaseditor@hotmail.com

Interviewed by Lindsay B.

Visit Robbi's Bands Website

Visit Joe's Guitar Website