Interview with Bobby Vanden & Mark Hayes of Heart Throb Mob; February 2006

Every true glamster will cite Heart Throb Mob as one of the most influencial and truly outrageous acts to emerge from the Hollywood glam era. With their unique bubblegum glam sound, they only recorded two albums and a handful of demos but those two albums have inspired many that followed and many bands that are still going today, you just need to take a look around to see and hear the evidence for yourself. Stick your girlfriend next to these guys and most people would have said that Heart Throb Mob were better looking, better dressed and more outrageous. So Marky Glam and I, especially Marky who is their biggest fan, jumped at the chance to finally question Bobby Vanden and Mark Hayes about their careers, music, influences and dress sense and bring to you one of the few up to date interviews by the guys from Heart Throb Mob.

GLITZINE: Mark, you joined the band around the era of the second album, Eat Your Heart Out. How did you come to hook up with Heart Throb Mob?

MARK: The first time I moved to L.A. I went to a Heart Throb Mob show and I met Lonny, he got my address in Kentucky (I knew I was moving back home) so he could send me Heart Throb Mob stuff and I told him if they ever needed a bassist or a rhythm guitarist (yeah right) to call me. When I got back to Kentucky he did send me melody madness and some flyers. About a year later I wrote him just to check on what they were up to. He said he had been wanting to get a hold of me because they needed a bassist. He said will ya, I said yes, wang tang I'm in Heart Throb Mob.

GLITZINE: Bobby, most people remember you for the Heart Throb Mob days but your musical life has a pre-Heart Throb Mob era, can you tell us about those projects?

BOBBY: Well, I'll name them, but the only one you'll know is Heart Throb Mob! LOL.. I grew up in Houston and the first band I was in was called "Talon" (until we played our first show with a band called "Artist".. and they talked us into changing the name to "Talent".. "Artist" "Talent"... get it??? But hey they let us open shows for them so what if our name was stupid we were playing in front of real people!!! Then I joined a band called "Onyx". These guys were all older, with way more experience, I respected and learned a lot from them. Then we get into my touring experience with "Kid Nasty" (which was originally called "Ginger Vixen"). We toured all throughout the south (Texas to Florida, Georgia and all points in between) for a while before I got a call from a friend of mine that I had recorded a few songs with, he just recently moved to Hollywood and was begging me to come out and join his band... I'll make a long story a little shorter... I moved to Hollywood checked out my friends band and had to decline... (I didn't move from Texas - real blues country - to come join some fake bluesy/Stones wannabe's.. even the Stones were blues wannabe's that couldn't touch the real thing.) Well, that friend and I eventually started to record demo's and put together a project called "Tinsol Tots".. and then later on we put together a band called Heart Throb Mob.

GLITZINE: How did Dev Estate come to leave the band and what were the best moments about being in Heart Throb Mob for both of you?

MARK: Just being in Heart Throb Mob - that was the best. As far as why Dev Left... I wasn't there... Bobby?

BOBBY: I don't really know but I think he just couldn't stand "me"...LOL... It could be something else but I always got the feeling he just didn't like me at all... As far as "best" moments there were a few... our very first show we opened for Pretty Boy Floyd... or the first show we headlined... or playing the special Olympics.....

GLITZINE: Heart Throb Mob already had a reputation on the Hollywood scene at the point of the line-up change. Was that a crucial point in deciding if the band should continue and go for the second album or was that already in the bag?

BOBBY: It was pretty much already "in the bag"..

GLITZINE: How do you imagine Heart Throb Mob would look and sound these days?

BOBBY: You know, I really think that Heart Throb Mob was what it was and wasn't meant to last. It took me a while to realize but looking back I see we did a lot of things that most bands never get to do (mag covers, interviews, radio spots, videos). We actually, as stupid as it sounds, had contracts in hand from more than one record company and turned them down flat for really young/stupid reasons but we did a lot in a very short time and I've come to appreciate that for what it was and not pine for those Heart Throb Mob days to return. And while I'm on the subject... WHAT THE **** IS GOING ON IN THE AMERICAN ROCK/METAL SCENE NOW DAYS?? ARE THEY FOR REAL TRYING TO KEEP THE '80'S BANDS GOING? THEY'RE ALL ON LIFE SUPPORT ACTING LIKE IT'S 1987... ONE OR TWO ORIGINAL MEMBERS AND KERRI KELLY... IT SEEMS ALL OF THEM ARE DOING IT, SO I WON'T MENTION NAMES, BUT I THINK IT'S PATHETIC THAT THIS IS WHAT WE GET
PASSING FOR ROCK STARS IN AMERICA. So to answer your question I DON'T see Heart Throb Mob around these days (well, maybe a Peppermint Creeps show! LOL).

GLITZINE: Why do you think that people are prepared to pay hundreds of dollars for Heart Throb Mob originals or demos on eBay nowadays?

BOBBY: Because thats good shit bro!! Lead guitar all over.... LOL

GLITZINE (Grant): Hey Mark, are you gonna let Bobby away with that last comment LOL?

MARK: Hell yeah..... I fuckin' love Bobby's playing...

GLITZINE: Does that not mean that maybe 2005/6 is a more appropriate era for Heart Throb Mob than 1995?

BOBBY: I thinks it's time for a rock and roll revolution.. but the only time for Heart Throb Mob was then.

GLITZINE: Bobby, could there be some kinda Heart Throb Mob reunion, without Lonny?

BOBBY: Well, like I said before I REALLY THINK IT'S PATHETIC WHEN A BAND DOES THAT! And as for Heart Throb Mob without Lonny??... It wouldn't be Heart Throb Mob - Period. What made Heart Throb Mob's sound was the unique combo of Lonny's pop genuis, my metal playing mixed with the Hollywood glam/punk influence..... it was a product of those "times".

GLITZINE: There was a rumour that perhaps we would get a Heart Throb Mob re-release in the form of re-mastered tracks or perhaps even some old Heart Throb Mob demos. Is this something that either of you would consider as a project?

MARK: Whats to consider... check eBay.. someone did it without us....

BOBBY: Uh hmmm??.. Anyone out there in "Glitzine land" want to answer this one??? LOL.

GLITZINE (Marky): If you get the chance to release a rock and roll tribute project, and call all the shots, lemme know.

BOBBY: First of all.... you hit the nail on the head. One of my goals is to make rock and roll cool again. put my fist in the air, scream "Let's Rock!" "Louder Than God!" and get the world "High on Rock n'Roll".

GLITZINE: Which band members would you want for it?

BOBBY: There are so many great musicians I can't even begin. I wouldn't want to offend anyone I left out....

GLITZINE: Bobby, given the success of Tracii's Peppermint Creeps, don't you think the glam scene deserves to see your musical project?

BOBBY: Deserves???... hhhmmm I do so want to punish the masses, but with a much more heavy rock sound. By the way... what happened to guitar solo's? Or is everyone tuned so low we can't hear them?? LOL

GLITZINE: Can you both tell us what musical projects and bands you got involved with after Heart Throb Mob?

MARK: Lets see.... after Heart Throb Mob I came back to Kentucky.... for about a year then went back to L.A. to play with Lonnie in a band we never named..that didnt pan out so back to Kentucky... again..... I was in a pop punk band (I played guitar) called SILENT FILM STARS for about two years.... then I sang and played guitar in a band called SAME WAY BACK that band was kinda heavy. I called it THRASH POP... ha ha ha .... then I made a horrible attempt to play drums in a band called WORMWOOD and now I'm recording my own stuff hoping to find some cats that dig it, wearing make-up and lots of distortion.... I'm living with my girlfriend and trying to make music I dig...... I'm sooooo looking to putting a band together, I just have to find the cats to do it with...... oh I also played with FOXY ROXX when they needed me til they found Bobby... Right after Heart Throb before I moved back to Kentucky I lived with Tony (Foxy Roxx) I was really close to him and his wife (at the time) Patty...still love them haven't heard from 'em in a long time...........

BOBBY: I was abducted by aliens and just returned to earth.

GLITZINE: What's your five favourite albums of all time?

BOBBY:
1. Ozzy (Blizzard of Oz/Diary of a Madman)
2. Motley (too fast/Shout at the Devil)
3. Metallica (Ride the Lightning/Master of Puppets)
4. Pantera (Cowboys from Hell & earlier stuff)
5. Kiss (everything until the late eighties)

MARK:
1. Motley (Too Fast, Shout, Theatre)
2. Wasp (Wasp)
3. Ratt (Out of the Cellar)
4. Prince (Purple Rain)
5. Elvis (everything....the whole reason I play)

GLITZINE: What do you think are the most underrated bands of all time?

BOBBY: I've got to mention "Children Of Bodom" they are great musicians also "Avenged Sevenfold"... oh, I can't forget the bro's in "American Headcharge".

MARK: AFI, Avenged Sevenfold and Stryper (then and now).

GLITZINE: And what three bands would you say were overrated?

BOBBY:
1. The White Stripes.. How is that a "band"?
2. Any '80's hair metal bands still using the same name without the original members or image (Motley not included)
3. The Rolling Bones

MARK:
1. Nirvana
2. White Stripes
3. Guns N' Roses (Appetite..one good album)

GLITZINE: Bobby, who are your five all time favourite guitarists?

BOBBY: Randy Rhoads... Dimebag.. Michael Angelo Batio.. Vinnie Vincent.. Stevie Blaze.. so many more.... even this kid in Texas that just blazes.. I can't recall his name but I found him on the internet.... a lot of great players out there with no spotlight on them.

GLITZINE: Mark, who are your five favourite bassists, in fact Mark, you can just name any influences seeing you seem into every instrument nowadays!

MARK: Elvis, Motley, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis (the comedian), John Travolta, Eddie Murphy, Stryper, Johnny Cash.... I'm a fuckin entertainer... so I'm influenced by entertainers....

GLITZINE: What 10 songs or artists would you love to cover?

BOBBY: Another WOW!... because there are so many classics I love........ but I really hope to create some new Rock Classics for others to include in their top 10 list.

MARK: For every day you have.. I'd have a different answer for that...

GLITZINE (Marky): Don't be lazy Bobby LOL, not 10 ten then, only 5 classics you would love to cover and which band members?

BOBBY: Back in Black, Rock n Roll Hoochie Coo, Children of the Sun, Shapes of Things, Flying High Again.

GLITZINE: 80's glam metal or 70's glam rock?

BOBBY: 80's Glam Metal!!! Remember there was a reason Tracii called me "Metal"....

MARK: Both....how could ya pick one over the other....

GLITZINE: Was it possible to be a rockstar without the rockstar excesses of drugs n' sex?

BOBBY: Well I grew up in that kind of enviroment and escaped it by joining a rock band... so yes it can be done but I think I'm going to dive back in and enjoy more "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" in the near future... so I'll let you know.... LOL

MARK: I've never did drugs so yeah....but what can you do without sex....

GLITZINE: What was your favourite show, with which bands, when and where?

BOBBY: All of them now... none of them then!

MARK: I dug them all...good or bad...you cant beat playing live...plus as you can tell from some of my other answers... I'm easy.. sleazy... LOL

GLITZINE: And your worst?

BOBBY: In my mirror at home.

MARK: What im doing now....not playing live that much.....

GLITZINE: There are big differences between both album eras (more bubblegummy and punky early and more 80's glam metal later). Was this intentional or just part of the band's development?

BOBBY: Just evolution man!

GLITZINE: Would you consider Heart Throb Mob to be one of the most extravagant and outrageous bands at the time in terms of image - you guys were like, well, you looked pretty hot in those outfits?

MARK: Shit yeah... if we were still together it would only be crazier too....

GLITZINE: How long would it take you to do your make-up, hair and outfits before the shows?

MARK: I wore make-up? ...LOL

GLITZINE: Which bands and people do you still keep in touch with from back in the days?

MARK: Quite a few... more and more people from back then find me on Myspace all the time... or I find them....

BOBBY: ?? none! LOL..

GLITZINE: Are you quite proud of the way that Heart Throb Mob came along, left their mark and made their own place in glam history?

BOBBY: Yes!

GLITZINE: Given that it looks unlikely that there will ever be a reunion, is there a chance we could see you two guys working together again?

MARK: Hey Bobby.... wanna move to Nashvile....?

BOBBY: Move? uhhh... visit maybe!

GLITZINE: Finally, if each of you could do it all over again and change anything, what would you change?

MARK: It was cool while it lasted...I just wish it had lasted just a little longer..... but hey... if any body wants to put something together email me elvispelvis72@hotmail.com

BOBBY: Wouldn't change a thing... only because I learned a lot from the experience.

Interviewed by Grant W. and Marky Glam