Interview with Jonnie McKayne of the Guttersluts

Lock up your daughters, the devil's on the door! Arisen from the streets of Hollywood, Guttersluts are ready to conquer the world with their second CD. With looks that kill and songs for sore ears, these four sluts will soon be rocking on heaven's door of every glamfan. Let them enter at your own risk! Glitzine recently caught lead vocalist Jonnie McKayne for a chat.

What motivated you to start Guttersluts at a time when glamrock was suffocating from the acid rain of Seattle?

Good question, I was auditioning for bands at the time and I was really sick of what was out there. One night a friend invited me to a glamshow at the Roxy. I couldn't believeanyone was still doing glam but when I went there I saw older people and kids. So I knew there was an audience out there and the band wasn't all that great so I knew I could do it better than them. I went home that night all fired up and the next day started putting my own band together. I always go with the contrary opinion, if everyone bets one way, go the other.

Ok, What musicial experiences did you have prior to that magical night?

Lots of demo work, singing other people material, a couple of bands that never got off the ground. I've always had music, I come from a creative family, so I was always encouraged to be artistic and express myself.

Why did you choose "glamrock" in particular, to be your medium through which you could express your feelings and thoughts?

Well, why stop with the sound? How you look, how the stage looks, how you move on that stage has as much to do with what you're trying to say as the songs.

That is my opinion as well. You released your debutalbum "Beg, Borrow & Steal" in 95. What do you think of your debut today?

I'm embarrassed by it

Why's that? It got generally good reviews at the time

I'm not happy with the overall sound of the album. Some of the songs that made it on the disc, I didnt care for. Compared to what we're about to release, it's a pretty juvenile record. Although, I do think if it had been released in 86 we would be huge right now, too bad I was just a kid back then!

Do you ever wish that you were born ten years earlier, at a time when Glamrock was popular and it was a lot easier to earn attention?

No way. I'd rather be at the front of a movement than the middle. Right now is just like when Kiss started or Crue. All our friends sold out a long time ago and we've stuck to our guns all these years, grown and evolved as a band. Now rock is ready for a comeback in the biggest way. I've seen it. When we went on tour this year, people are starving for it. They're bored with what's out there.

That's the attitude of winners! Back to your debut; You are the only member left from that line-up of Guttersluts. What happened?

I guess it wasn't meant to be

For what reasons did you decide to continue with the band and where did you meet the guys that make up Guttersluts of today?

Hey man, I aint no quitter! If someone wants to bail that's their problem, I had to go on.
I met Ricky first, right after the band broke up. I was pretty down but he believed in it and got me to get off my ass and do it. We met Randy through Beau of Mother Mercy. Then we asked Frank who was In M.M. at the time to fill in for a few shows and he liked what we were doing so much better that he joined up. That was about two and a half years ago. I remember when I first met Ricky he said he would never be in band again unless there was brotherhood and thats what we got - these guys are my family.

Talkin 'bout the band. Could you please give an introduction to it's members. Yourself included

Guttersluts are:
Jonnie McKayne, Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Ricky Perdue, Drums & Backing Vocals
Randy Frazee, Guitars & backing Vocals
Frank Santanna, Bass & Backing Vocals

Ok, back to the chronological view. Guttersluts were voted "Best Glamband" at last year's annual Rock City News Awards. What did that title mean to you?

Well, it was flattering to be nominated in so many categories. We worked our asses off last year, I'm glad someone noticed!

Did that crown help you in your strive? Did it earn you more respect from media etc?

Unfortunately no. But it did help us get into a few clubs when we booked our last tour.

Talking about strive; in the eighties almost every glamband from Los Angeles got a recordcontract or at least major recognition. What's your opinion on the current situation today?

It's a joke. It's almost like the clubs, the community and radio are conspiring the scene. I know a Ska Punk band that got signed after playing to 50 people the same night we played to 500. I can't make sense of it. But I do know now, that L.A. does not represent the music scene in America. Everywhere we went this year, had cool radio stations playing locals, old rock and new rock together. The clubs are great and the people are so cool. America rocks and L.A. sucks.

You have told me before that there are a lot of rivalry between the glambands of L.A. today. How do you think that matter affect the genre and the chances for the bands involved?

Again, that seems to be an L.A. thing, The bands we met elsewhere were very cool and supportive. Rivalry is gonna get us nowhere. Look at the punk scene. They kept this underground thing going for twenty years before punk went mainstream. It's all about unity

Yeah. I think the punkscene generally is more united, like a brotherhood. Fanzines and magazines (such as Glitzine) are more respected among punks than elsewhere

We could learn a lot from that

Your last demotape shows a more varied and mature Guttersluts. Can you please describe the progression.

We made a concious decision to be like our heroes and not be afraid to take chances musically. If it's metal or country and it's gonna sound like us. So now we put out what we like and not what we think people want to hear from us. Musically we all like different stuff and those influences come together nicely.

Then who are you heroes? What bands inspired you musically?

As bands go, I'd like to aspire to be like Queen or Zeppelin or the Beatles, bands that can play anything and it still sounds like them. Bands that take chances. As for me personally, I'm a huge fan of great singers and any music that creates a mood or atmosphere. I'm the Goth of the Band. Franks the Punker, Randy's the metal head, and Ricky likes most anything but mainly rock

I know, you're recording a second album. What is your ambition with that album?

I hope to please our fans and also to win over anyone who dismissed us as just a glam band.

Can you tell me a bit about the album, as far as songs and styles?

We're starting it off heavy with our darker material then rounding it out with some more traditional stuff. There'll be a couple of ballads and some pop stuff. All the songs on the last demo will be on it but we've reworked them around.

Are you almost finished? When will it be out?

We're hoping for a mid February Release. We'll keep you posted!

I Suppose you're very satisfied with it so far, aren't you?

Extremely, I can't wait for you all to hear it

Have you decided a title yet?

No, we're still up in the air about that one and the cover too. I do know that every CD will come with a free color poster though.

That is cool. You said earlier that the image was an important aspect of Guttersluts. How have you worked on yours?

Just experimenting, taking little bits from stuff Im into, like 'The Crow' or 'Rocky Horror' etc. and making it my own. I try to alter my look every year so I dont get bored. I've got a whole new thing worked out for 99, you'll see it on the CD.

Do you think visual bands are coming back?

Definitely, I've always said it was going to come back but when it does it wont be like it used to be, it'll be new. There's tons of underground bands wearing makeup right now and they play all kinds of music. I think it's great.

Ain't it funny how everything goes in circles? Do you ever get frustrated at the music industry and the listeners being so opportunistic? I mean, hey you had make-up on five years ago. Then they laughed at you, suddenly it's cool.

They still do! But it's the duty off all artists to stay true to themselves. We dont do this because we want to, we do this because we have to. We're compelled. I'm just grateful that there's people out there who like what we do.

If you were sent to the moon, which three things would you bring?

A Blonde, a Brunette, and a Red-Head.

Mmmm, the agony of choice. :) Anything you want to tell the world?

If you'd like to know more about us, check out the following sites:
Guttersluts Website