Interview with Hollywood Teasze

Q1. It's been a while since Hollywood Teasze last released an album. The last release I have from you guys is "No Flakes" from way back in 1998. 10 years is a long time between drinks. What happened during this time? (Were the band together for that whole time, or did you guys take some sort of a break in the period?)

Oh man, so much happened in that time. The last show we played together with the old line-up was in 2001. After playing in Australia, FrankEEE met someone, fell in love, and eventually moved to Melbourne. That pretty much killed things as they were. I had already been doing a few other things, including playing with New York's Kevin K. I was soon joined by Chris LaKriz, so the awesome rhythm duo was soon re-united!! Together we recorded the13th Street album. We also toured a lot over the next few years as the Kevin K Band. Chris also did stints with Total Chaos and has his side-project Slamdunk and I've also been playing drums with Steevi Jaimz again. So we've all kept very busy. Eventually we figured it was time to resurrect Hollywood Teasze. Our new guitar player Matze completed the line-up, with Chris switching to lead vox.

Q2. "No Flakes" is one of the best glam-punk albums I have the pleasure of owning. Do the band get frustrated seeing other bands obtaining massive commercial success with a similar style of music, while gems like "No Flakes" really only make a dent in the underground market?

Wow, thanx for the compliment. That CD was well received all over, but like you say it was just an independent release. However, saying that, when it was picked up and released on the German label Schlecht und Schwindlig that really did feel like a great achievement. It's also just been repressed too, so it's now available again after being completely sold-out. Of course we'd be lying if we said we didn't want that major commercial success, but I guess you don't miss what you haven't had, and also there'd only be one way to go from the top... and that's down!

Q3. Would Hollywood Teasze rather have 2 short years as a roaring commercial success, or 15 years of underground success?

The short answer is NO! We definitely have longevity. We've been around for a long time and we've gained a lot of respect because of that. The period just before FrankEEE's departure was pretty full on. We were touring non-stop all over the place, so that felt like we were pretty successful. Also, I'd like to think Hollywood Teasze is like some kind of virus that you just can't get rid of. You think you're cured and you've got rid of us, then BOOM, we're back!!

Q4. The band has quite an over the top image. Was the image something the band planned as a gimmick, or was it something that just evolved?

The image was a product of the times, the environment, and our influences. We'd all grown up listening to a variety of punk, rock and glam music and were also influenced a lot by what was happening in LA back then too. The glam-punk image just reflects that. True, it is an image, but it is also a "true" image of what we're about. We must've got it quite right because we're still looking same after all this time, and to be honest, we'd look much the same if we were going out to hang out at a club together, pretty much!!

Q5. Germany doesn't conjure images of having the biggest glam-punk scene around. Is the band still based in Germany, and if so, is there much of a scene for glam-punk?

Ha, you're right. It's not the first place you think of when thinking about a glam rock scene! That's why we've always been known as "Germany's One and Only Glamour Punks." Although now there seems to be a much bigger scene. In the past we've been lucky to tour with some great glam/rock/punk bands like Thee Trash Brats so we become like our own travelling freak show, bringing the glam-punk scene to cities all over Germany. Also in the past we've been able to hijack punk rock gigs or just as easily slot into a classic rock venue or biker bar. Guess we're lucky that we have a good crossover appeal.

Q6. What types of bands do you usually play with, and how are you usually received?

Like I said, we've been able to cross over all kind of genres, so we'd go down well playing with punk bands, metal bands, classic rock. We even once did a punk and percussion show where we combined our tunes with bongos and didgeridoos. That really had to be seen to be believed!!!

Q7. How has the way audiences receive the band changed over the last 10-15 years?

Hmmm. I get the impression that we are definitely more accepted. Perhaps we don't appear quite so alien any more as glam bands seem to have made something of a comeback. Also, after the break we had, the audiences definitely seem happy to see us doing what we do best and kicking some serious ass again, so that's all good.

Q8. I saw that you recently completed some shows with Hanoi Rocks. How was that, and how did it come about? Were you playing mainly old material, or were you trying out some new material?

Playing with Hanoi was a dream come true. We'd all been fans for years, so getting to share a stage with them was awesome. I'd like to be all professional and say it was through our management or agent, but to be honest it was down to our pushy bass player Chris LaKriz, who saw they were playing in Germany, getting in touch with the promoter and bugging the crap out of them. That seemed to do the trick!!
As for the set, we've got two albums of cool tunes to choose from. People wanna hear the old classics so we give them what they want. We threw one new tune into the mix.

Q9. What other well known bands have you shared a stage with in the past?

We've toured and played with the likes of the punk legend that is Captain Sensible, Thee Trash Brats, Kevin K, The Sweet, The Bates to name but a few!

Q10. Being Australian, it interested me to learn that Hollywood Teasze had a few ties with Australia a while back, including a record deal and some live shows. When was that, and what happened to your association with Blastzone Records.

We had a small deal with label called Recognition Records based in Geelong. They put us on a compilation album of theirs and we licensed our CD "No Flakes" to them, so it got some kind of Australian release. In 1999 we came over and played a bunch of shows in and around Melbourne. Melbourne is a great vibrant city. Reminded me a lot like London... just newer and cleaner!! Great music scene. That was a great experience. We played with some real cool bands out there and made a lot of new friends and fans.
As for the association with Blastzone? That's news to us, unless they were involved in distribution for Recognition Records. We'd be interested to hear if you know anything else about it, haha!!

Q11. Did the band ever record any videos or live show that may see the light of day?

We sure did. We actually made 3 videos. They were for LA Diddy, For My Parents and I Don't Wanna Be Alone. They were all a blast to make. LA Diddy was filmed in an old run-down farmhouse in Germany where we used to rehearse. For my Parents is a live clip and was filmed during our tour with the Bollock Brothers. I Don't Wanna Be Alone is special because we actually had a budget for it and could spend a little money making it look cool. Our first idea was to film the video in a huge inflatable castle! This proved totally impractical, but it was a lot of fun trying. You can see all these videos on you tube.

Q12. What is on the horizon for Hollywood Teasze in the near future?

So glad you asked this question! It's a very exciting time for us right now. We have some ambitious plans with Hollywood Teasze. Still fresh from the hype of playing with Hanoi Rocks I was straight into the studio in Germany laying down some drum tracks. On the one hand we are getting back with original front man and guitar player FrankEEE to re-record our debut album Glamdolls in Toyland. This time round with a monster drum sound - and all new guitar, bass and vocals. All these songs have developed so much over the years; so expect some changes, and even some totally different arrangements. Then on the other hand we are recording and will be releasing a brand new tune "A Little Going Crazy" with the current line-up, featuring our new guitar player Matze. Look out for info regarding both these projects, which should hopefully see the light of day later this year.
Besides recording, we'll continue to play whenever and wherever possible. We already have some dates in Germany coming up. We'll also be planning some Italian shows, and hopefully another trip to England this year too. Check our myspace for details on all forth-coming events.
Finally, just want to say a big thanks to Glitzine for your continued help and support over the years and to all our friends and fans out there. Hope to see you all out and about soon.

Interviewed by Lindsay Buloch

Visit the Hollywood Teasze Website