Interview with Criss Sexx of Nympho

I was asked to conduct an interview with Nympho front man and Brazilian glam veteran Criss Sexx also formerly of Bang Bang Rock, Bastardz and Snow) for Criss Sexx is currently promoting his new band 'Nympho', along with their debut album V.I.P. (Very Indecent People), so here goes…

Barry: 2009 sees you return with a new band Nympho and a new CD V.I.P. Could you tell us how Nympho differs from your previous outfits?

Yes, it's been quite a while since I've last done anything solid, in terms of recording. Nympho is a real rock n' roll band - I think it's what really differs from everything else I did in the past. As the first lead singer of Bastardz I was very glad at times, but the guys in the band wanted to do something more modern, sounding like Hardcore Superstar shit, and I think it really sucks. So we parted ways soon after recording what was meant to be our first CD.
As the lead singer of Snow we were into a more melodic rock meets glam thing, but our personalities didn't match, and we also parted ways soon after the release of our first CD.
With Nympho I've been doing what I've always wanted to do - straight ahead rock n' roll, cool lyrics, simple music and hot looks to match it all. "V.I.P." is the type of music I've always been into, and I can't remember an album recorded in the 2000's sounding so 80's like ours. I think it really has got everything to be a Perris Records top seller!

Barry: Nympho's sound has been described as somewhere between Motley Crue and Pretty Boy Floyd, how do you feel about that?

I feel quite happy about it! The Crue and PBF are some of my biggest influences! But I really think that KISS is our major influence; not only mine, but also the band's. The only problem of being described as "between Crue and PBF" is that people usually label bands before listening to them.
And we're not only a glam band - our intention is to be described just like a rock n' roll band, looking good and sounding loud.

Barry: How did Nympho come in to being?

I had been a little out of the scene for a year or so when this guy invited me to form a new band. But then we did it. He was out in a couple of months, and I felt we had something special this time. I had a bunch of new songs and I introduced them to the band. Pablo (Pinheiro - Drums) and Dick (Lead Guitar) have been there since the beginning; Olavo (Barroka - Bass) joined us later on and Nympho was born.
This time not only our personalities match, but we also have a lot in common when it comes to music. It's been quite cool playing with these guys so far.

Barry: How would you describe the Nympho live experience?

We've been together for 3 years now. We've played some cool gigs, some bad ones. But I think it happens to all bands. This type of music is not very popular here in Brazil, especially here in Rio de Janeiro, so we don't have so many chances of playing every night, if you know what I mean.
We wish the frequency of our shows could be bigger, since we have this new album and some good songs to show people.

Barry: Are there any stories behind any of the songs on V.I.P?

One that listens to the songs on "V.I.P." will feel the good time direction I wanted it to sound like. Most songs are really sexual, and I don't think any of these are real stories! I usually say that if I really did one tenth of what's on my lyrics I'd be a happier guy… HAHAHA… I think I'm a regular and straight guy wearing long hair and tattoos, but I don't do drugs, I don't even drink! But I can tell you the ballads on the album are very personal, all of them about personal heartbreaks. It can sound dated, but that's what really happens!

Barry: V.I.P. is your first release since your critically acclaimed solo album of 2003 (Bastard Barbie), is there any reason you decided to form a new band and not continue as a solo artist?

'Bastard Barbie' was actually the CD Bastardz and I recorded together; it had been forgotten for years, even though they released it with a different singer and a different mix, but anyone who could give a listen to its first version (Bastard Barbie) agreed that it was the definitive Bastardz CD. I sold some dozens of CDR copies back in 2003 or 2004, but it was only in 2008 when I was looking for a deal for Nympho that I had the idea of offering it to record labels as well. Retrospective Records was interested, and then I just added some tracks from the first Snow CD (never officially released) and 'Love Gun', a track that Franklin Villaca (producer and a good friend of mine) and I did together.
'Bastard Barbie' saw the light of day in early 2009, and it never really charted anywhere, but it is really a cult release.
The idea of forming Nympho and not continue as a solo artist is that I wanted to take it from where I had stopped when 'Bastard Barbie' was recorded, and it was recorded by a band at the time. Although all the songs on the Nympho album were written by myself (with two contributions) it is surely a band thing. You can feel it's not a Criss Sexx CD, but a Nympho CD, a real band thing.

Barry: Are there currently any plans for live dates in the UK and Europe?

Not really!!! HAHAHA!!! But if there are any promoters out there interested in bringing us, it will be great!!!!!! I think Europe still has big interest in acts like us, it'd be great playing some gigs there!

Barry: Will V.I.P. be available to purchase digitally say via Itunes?

I don't know yet. Perris Records is responsible for the album distribution worldwide. Anything that has to do with it is with Tom and Perris Records. I can't really say much about that.

Barry: How is the glam/sleaze rock scene in Brazil, and how does it compare with that of the USA and Europe?

Brazil has never had a big glam rock scene. When Bastardz and I joined forces we saw some bands coming up back then. Before Bastardz I had released a couple of pop rock releases with the lyrics in Portuguese and glam looks to match (pretty bazaar???? HAHAHA)… Glam bands in Brazil think more of being the next Motley Crue instead of really dedicating themselves to music. For them, it's more a matter of how much they can drink to go onstage and how good they look - even though most times they look like fucking shit, rather than playing good music and being professional.

Barry: What is Criss Sexx like when he's not being the front man for a rock and roll band?

As I said before, I'm pretty regular. I don't do drugs, I don't even drink. I like to read. I', a music collector - I spend a lot of time listening to music, watching videos. A pretty serious guy maybe. More serious and centred than most people I know.

Barry: What five words best describe Criss Sexx?

Professional - Passionate - Friendly - Loyal - Centred.

Barry: Do you have any particular philosophy on life?

I think you really have to go for what you want. Nobodies gonna do anything for you. You gotta know that even your best friends can walk out on you, and you're the only one you can really count on. So, you gotta be around people whenever you can, but having in mind you can not expect them to give you what they can't or are not willing to. This way you won't let yourself down or let them bring you down. Once you learn that things are easier.

Barry: Who would you say has been your biggest musical influence?

Back in 83 KISS came to Brazil to play their 'last' shows wearing make-up. When I saw them on TV I knew what I'd want to be like. I may say that they are my biggest influence of all time. Later on, I also got really addicted to Motley Crue and Poison. Difficult to mention all the bands I'm into, but basically anything that has a KISS feel. I just regret trying to meet Paul Stanley this year when they came to Rio - the guy is such a jerk. So sad to see your hero act like a dick. Hey Paul, if you're where you are it's because of us, fans…
I also love bands like Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Nelson… more commercial music. My favourite singers ever are Paul Stanley (the asshole again… HAHAHA), Mark Free (or Marcie, if you like it better - from King Kobra, Signal, Unruly Child) and David Coverdale, three voices mine has nothing to do with.

Barry: What are your favourite 3 albums of all time?

1 - Nelson - Because They Can
2 - Mark Free - Long Way From Love
3 - KISS - Crazy Nights

Barry: What currently is your favourite song?

I think 'Everytime I Look At You', from the album 'Revenge', by KISS, is my favourite song of all time. Paul Stanley is a jerk, but he's undoubtedly one of the most talented musicians and songwriters ever.

Barry: I'm sure our lady readers would love to know the answer to this one, so do you prefer blonde's or brunettes?

HAHAHA, that's a good question! I think that I prefer blonde's. They look powerful, gracious and hot. But how come I always end up dating brunettes?
All of my girlfriends have always been brunettes, I think for some unknown reason they fit me better. They look more serious and I think they make me feel more secure when it comes to a serious relationship. I'm the type of guy that is really emotional, stable, I'm not looking for one-night stands.

Barry: What's your favourite film at the moment?

I haven't had much time to go to the movies lately. Can't really remember what the last big movie I watched was! People, you can laugh at me, but my favourite films ever are 'The House of Spirits', 'Far and Away' and, believe it or not, 'Titanic' was a hit.

Barry: What was the last CD/DVD you bought?

I think Europe's 'Almost Unplugged' and Doro's 'Fear No Evil' were the last CD's I bought.

Barry: What CD/DVD release are you most looking forward too?

This one is easy… HAHAHAHA… The KISS album that is supposedly coming out this year! I hope they are putting out a better release than 'Psycho Circus', released in 1998. I've heard Paul Stanley is producing it, and I can hardly wait to listen to it! I've also heard that Tommy Thayer will be singing on it too.

Barry: Who would you most like to work with musically?

As I'm a singer, I could tell you 264 names, but most of them are singers too! HAHAHAHA… But I'd love to work with Tracii Guns from L.A. Guns one day. I gave him a copy of "V.I.P." before it was really released, but I don't think he even remembers that! He's my favourite guitar player ever. Imagine Criss Sexx as the lead singer in L.A. Guns?!?!?!?!!… I'd also love to be on a Shameless album - Hey Alexx Michael, I hope you're reading it!!!!! I would love to sing on one of your albums!!!! HAHAHAHA….
And if Tom Mathers from Perris Records ever resurrects his Cherry Street band and records a new CD, I'd be really glad to contribute with some stuff too.

Barry: Have you ever had any 'Spinal Tap' moments? Do you have any funny stories to tell?
Yes, I have some maybe the funniest is the one about when I was still in Bastardz, and we were going to play in a country city in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We were called Criss Sexx and Bastardz at the time, and the press in that city put some of our pictures on some local newspapers. Everybody believed that Criss Sexx was a chick, and they were expecting to see a rock n' roll band with a female singer! Nobody was sure of what we were when they saw us live, a bunch of crazy guys wearing make-up… that was funny…

Barry: You've been around the music scene for a few years now, how do you feel that it has changed?

I feel the last big change in music was the grunge thing. Thank God it's been buried for good. Some new tendencies as the boy bands and artists like Britney Spears had their moments too.

Barry: Here in the UK we're just entering the tenth series of Big Brother. Are you a fan of reality TV shows and would you ever consider appearing on a celebrity version?

Big Brother is really huge here in Brazil too. I think I'd do pretty well on it, actually! I've sent them videos twice I think, but I never made it! But I wouldn't say I'd fit a celebrity version. I'm not a celebrity after all! These shows are interesting to watch, if you're not addicted to them.

Barry: What advice would you give to any aspiring young musicians out there?

If you wanna make it, think with your bank account and do something more commercial. If you think with your heart you'll make things the hard way, playing rock n' roll. By the way, never listen to KISS, once you do, there's no turning back! Look at me!

Barry: Finally, what does the future hold for Criss Sexx and Nympho?

We'll be demoing new songs for our next album. I think it will be twice as good, if you liked 'V.I.P.' and 'Bastard Barbie'. Straight ahead rock n' roll music, solid guitar riffs, catchy choruses, heartbreaking ballads, everything one would like to listen to. We'll be playing everywhere and anywhere we can, and hopefully, we'll be recording this second CD this year. Maybe releasing it in 2010.
I'd like to thank each one of you who is reading it and Glitzine for giving me and Nympho the opportunity to be online! Thanks to everyone who has bought our 'V.I.P.' CD; for those who haven't yet, please do! You can either get it at Perris Records or at EMAIL.
Thanks again, everybody! You rock!
Keep cool, stay glam!
Rock in,
Criss Sexx

Once again thanks to Criss Sexx for taking the time out for this interview, check out the new Nympho album (V.I.P.) and their myspace site URL

Interviewed by Barry Gennard