The Mystery Addicts (2001)

Their last album “Unluck & Shame” is a must if you like glam punk rock’n’roll and I had to know more about them, so I decided to send them a few questions. These guys have understood that glam and punk walk hand in hand. Jamy and Steven answer.

It would be nice if you could introduce the band.
Steven: We have Bryan “The King” Labonte on drums & assorted illegalities, Paul Bard on bass & the last six beers, Jamy Holliday on black Les Paul, vocals & personality, and last there’s me, Steven Gullett on voice & glittercide guitars.

How would you describe the band to someone who has never heard of you ?
Jamy: To me we’re a Rock N Roll band. As a songwriter, I know that my early musical influences creep into the tunes but not enough to sound like mimicry. I hear elements of tons of forms of R’N’R in The Mystery Addicts from Chuck Berry thru the stones and ’70’s punk and glam right on by ’80’s rock.

Steven: I’d say it’s a raw, intelligent Rock N Roll band with a tip of the hat to ’70’s glam & punk & all things trashy.

Are you satisfied with your new album “unluck and shame” ?
Steven: I’m pretty happy with the new CD. I think it’s the best we could do when we recorded it. I believe the next time get in the studio it’ll turn out even better, we’ll be less green the next time around. I might change some artwork aspects if I had the chance but I’m a nitpicker.

Jamy: Ultimately, yes. As anyone who has recorded knows, it’s tough to be completely satisfied but that’s part of evolving as a musician and recording more than one album. As long as ya capture good takes of songs ya think are cool with as good a quality as you deem desirable – then job well done and hopefully you’re not the only one who digs it. On to the next batch of songs.

How have the public and media reaction been ?
Steven: The public reaction has been killer. We’re getting really positive feedback from people who buy it. Same with media reaction when we get it. It’s little harder squeezing in to some media markets than others, but we’re pushing all we can.

Jamy: Yeah, so far the record has been well received by all we’ve heard from. People are buyin’ ’em at the gigs.

Are there special meanings behind the album title “unluck and shame” and the name of the band ?
Steven: That was Jamy’s title & name so I’ll let him handle that.

Jamy: “Unluck and Shame” is a name I’ve had around for a long time. Maybe it’s a somewhat nihilistic way of summing up some of life’s fates and fuels. As for the band name hmmm….well, there are many theories. I don’t know if I wanna let that cat out of it’s bag so you make somethin’ up and as long as it doesn’t refer to being a bookworm – it’ll work for now. Ha Ha.

Do all the members of the band share the same musical influences ?
Jamy: Does anyone really? I think that it’s safe to call our influences “varied”. Although, since we’re all roughly the same age we do have common and overlapping ones. I guess I’m the resident punk rocker but that’s a bit of an oversimplification.

Steven: We have one thing in common, we all really like The Mystery Addicts and that’s what’s most important. Musical influences questions are always weird to me cause I believe people often answer with what they want to be like. You need some distance from the music to sit back and say “Oh I kind of copped that from so & so” cause a lot of times you don’t realize you’re doing it. Anyways blah, blah, blah, that said; I ruthlessly steal from the following : Cheetah Chrome, Johnny Thunders, John Easdale, Tyla, Paul Westerberg, Peter Laughner, The Ultras, Manic Street Preachers, Humpers, Dgeneration , Keith Richards, Ratboy, Andy McCoy, Stooges, Iggy Pop, Chainsaw Kittens, Kory Clarke, Electric Angels & many Dayton area musicians & bands past & present.

Bryan listens to The Cult, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Bang Tango & more bizarre things like Orgy & Type-O Negative.

I know Paul is way into Hanoi Rocks & early skate punk, but he’s still new so I don’t have him figured out yet.

Do you play live a lot ?
Jamy: We’re averaging 5 or 6 shows a month at the moment.

Where ?
Jamy: Wherever we can.

Steven: Yeah, we play where they’ll have us. We did a Southeast tour in July & some East coast gigs in August. We also keep connected to the Midwest & throughout Ohio.

Jamy: So far we’ve hit about 10 of the states here.

In what kind of places do you play ?
Jamy: A mix of some well-known clubs, basically the 100-300 capacity rooms, with damn near every oddball thing you can think of.

Do you think that the Internet is a good promotion tool for a band ?
Steven: It’s been really good for us especially since our newest release. It’s a quick way to talk at people & hook up with other bands. We’ve also been doing some moderate CD sales through our website . has helped host some songs & we’ve gotten orders from people visiting that as well .

Jamy: Sure. Everything helps but ya can’t lose focus on gigging. I think live performances are the real litmus.

If you could choose three bands to play with, who would you choose ?
Jamy: Whew. Outta the bands currently playing I’d really like to play with The Humpers & The Lazy Cowgirls and this little known buncha brits called The Rollong Stones. Bands who are no-more : The Dead Boys, The Heartbreakers and maybe like The Clash in about ’78.

Steven: Living…Iggy Pop, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones. Dead…Stooges, Dead Boys, Hanoi Rocks.

Can you tell us in a few words what these songs are about :

Jamy: That’s all you, Steven.

Steven: I try not to give out too much on these type of questions just because I don’t wanna distort the way someone else hears the song, with the way I intended it, so much that they hear it different from then on out. And different’s not always better.

– “Godless” : Steven: I’m always somewhat curious & jealous of people that get comfort from their faith, whichever one they choose, because I’ve never felt that. So in a sense it’s about looking for that faith. Also a few lyrics came to me in a dream that involved my friend Tod Weidner of “Shrug” singing them onstage. Written circa 1995.

– “Dead Glamorous” : Steven: She’s all dressed to the nines but she won’t give you anything real in a conversation. I’m all Tramped up in my rock attire & make-up looking spiffy on the outside but I’ve felt nothing genuine all week long. I can only give ya hints, I write in code ya know. Oh the title was lifted from the Carole Morin book “Dead Glamorous : the autobiography of seduction and self-destruction”.

– “Imitation Roses” : Steven: From my anthem period where I wanted to write an Ultras meet the Manics song. We’ve all been fooled by fake beauty and I’m no exception. What’s fake to some is sadly authentic to others. A few angry & confused young man lines here & there and viola. Still one of my proudest moments. Another oldie written back in 1994.

What are your projects ?
Steven: Trying to hit the road more, push the CD on some labels so we can afford the follow-up, recoup the $$$ from “Unluck and Shame”, a few comps coming out on Besides Records, Vicious Kitten & Fistful of Rock N Roll vol. 12. Hoping to get back in the studio late Winter/early Spring to record again.

Thanks for your time guys, do you want to add something ?
Steven: Uh, Glam Rock forever! Hail to the chick looking dudes. And don’t watch MTV.

p.s.: Check out the website:

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