Interview with Blvd. Strays; November 2003

Friction between a band and its label is something that seems so common that it almost borders on cliché. This is a worry that Blvd Strays will never (hopefully) have to deal with as guitarist Scott Beebe heads label Heat Slick Records. I had a chance to interview Beebe and allow him the opportunity to introduce the Strays to our readers.

Q1. For anybody who might not be familiar with Blvd Strays, please give a little bit of your history and describe your sound as well as touching on influences.

A1. Blvd. Strays formed in March 2003 in San Francisco. Scotty and Chris met at a Faster Pussycat show in March 2002 and found out they were influenced by the same sound and both were looking to form a new band. So that's how it started. Dee and Alex came aboard and Blvd. Strays were formed. Our sound is Trashy Rock n Roll with loud guitars, smashing drums, heavy bass, and in your face attitude ridden vocals. Influenced by KISS, Cooper, Stones, Aerosmith, Ramones, NY Dolls, and Jeff Dahl to name a few.

Q2. In addition to playing guitar for the Blvd Strays, you also run Heatslick Records. Do you find that at times you have conflicts of interest as far as loyalties are concerned between artists under your wing and your own band, or are the two able to co-exist harmoniously?

A2. No, there are not any conflicts of interest. Of course, Blvd. Strays are on Heat Slick and so far everything co-exists perfectly. Blvd. Strays do not have a CD out yet so I tend to focus more on the other bands that have a product to promote but when the Blvd. Strays CD comes out next year, the band will have the same energy as other bands on Heat Slick.

Q3. Blvd Strays formed earlier this year. For a band so young, how would you say that it's going? How many shows have you played and do you notice a consistent following starting to form?

A3. Thing are going good. We're getting lots of shows and basically just shoving the music down everyone's throats. Crowd reaction is good... no one is leaving when we come on! We've done 5 shows so far with a good success.
People... like Glitzine! ... have been really good to us and we're grateful for that. We're starting to see a small following of people come out but only after 5 shows... that's pretty cool!

Q4. What would you say are the benefits and drawbacks for a Californian band playing in Northern California versus the L.A. scene?

A4. Well, NorCal has less smog and better burritos. HAHHA! In San Francisco, the clubs treat bands better and pay them more than LA clubs. The drawback is the scene is SF sucks and it's better in LA. There are more clubs in LA and more of a crowd. SF has a small scene but nothing like it was in late 80's/early 90's when you had bands like Vain, Jetboy, and the Sea Hags from here. Those were the days! We're seeing a small resurgence of a scene here though. More people are starting to come out and appreciate rock and roll again. You really have to just promote your ass off to get people to come out! Just like anywhere though.

Q5. Do you worry about breaking out on a wide scale or are you still trying to take it slow and concentrate in existing on a club level? Additionally, how important do you think being patient with this step will be for the band's future?

A5. C'mon now! Were ever we go... people stop and ask for our autographs all the time! We're so huge! Yeah...! We're kind of in the middle with everything. Right now, we are concentrating on the regional NorCal scene... anywhere in a 3 hour radius of SF. We did play in LA recently though and that was cool. Trying to exist on a club level for 3-5 years is tough. But let's say, when our CD comes out and we break out on a wide scale, that's cool! We're not going to complain. You have to have the product to expand first and foremost! Like with any band that's new... we're just concerned on getting gas money, some drinks, and the occasional groupie! Hahaha! Being patient is key! Don't get us wrong though, if someone from Spain likes us and paid for us to play over there next week, we're there! It doesn't happen overnight! So that's where Blvd. Strays are.

Q6. Stage shows are important to many on the glam scene. Lately, Florida based 'Hell On Earth' has planned to allow for a suicide onstage at one of their shows. When do you think a band goes too far with the show? Where is the line that a band should not cross?

A6. A band goes to far if they kill someone at a show. If a band must kill do it as a drive-by shooting. We like to accent the energy of the music. We don't want to detract from it in anyway. Everyone's got their opinion, but it seems to me Rock & Roll should be about good times/bad times etc. But not pure DEATH!
Alex: Michigan and Florida are the wormholes to hell. I think bands in those states have no choice, but to be faced with death.
Scotty: But we'll play there eventually!

Q7. What five CDs are currently getting the most action in your CD player?

Alex: Junkyard - Tried and True, The Daggers - Backstabber Blues, The Dragons - Sin Salvation, Taxi - Like a Dog, Edison Rocket Train - Yes Yes Yes.
Chris: The new Cheap Trick I got from the library. It is real mellow.
Dee: Ultimate LA Guns - Waking the Dead, Elvis 1, Elvis 2nd to none, Any of a variety of Ramones, Early Crue, etc.
Scotty: Hanoi Rocks - 12 shots..., Motochrist - Greetings From The Bonneville Salt Flats, Lords of Altamont, Faster Pussycat - s/t, Serie Z 2003 compilation.

Q8. When was the last time you turned on the radio to listen to music?

Scotty, Alex: Can't remember
Chris: I listen to the radio everyday, lots of country and oldies.

Q9. Where do you hope to see yourself and the band in five years?

A9. Not working day jobs, touring and playing sold-out shows, get some records out, and getting chicks is where we would like to be in 5 years.

Q10. Please use this space for anything else you'd like to touch on about Blvd Strays or Heatslick Records.

A10. Blvd. Strays would like to endorse anything: beer, booze, gear, food, clothing, and Jenna Jameson. We're coming to your town, so lock up your daughters and hide the whiskey! We're unstoppable!

Interviewed by Lycan Davis

Visit the Blvd. Strays Website

Visit the Heatslick Website