As big fans of the L.A. clothing brand (it was hard not to be if you were into glam/sleaze rock’n’roll in the late 80s/early 90s!), we thought it would be interesting to share this interview of Drew Bernstein (Lip Service founder) by our favourite paper zine Bubblegum Slut. Thanks, Alison for letting us share it. Read more cool Bubblegum Slut archives at https://bubblegumzinearchive.blogspot.com/
Alison’s intro (August 15, 2022):
t the time this interview was published (2007 / Issue 28), Lip Service clothing’s founder and CEO, Drew Bernstein, aka ‘Lippy’, had no real need of doing press, much less UK fanzine press.
His L.A-based alt. fashion brand had been outfitting the likes of Axl Rose since 1985, and true to its strapline, ‘The Original Cult’, it boasted a global, cult-like following. Fans calling themselves ‘Lippy Addicts’ built extensive fan-sites, and traded Lip Service’s limited-edition, highly collectable punk/goth/fetishwear designs for considerable sums.
In a bid to discover what sort of scheme or sorcery I used to secure an interview with Lip Service’s CEO, I started digging through the old Bubblegum Sl💙t inbox. The shockingly mundane answer is that I fired off a long-shot email, and three days later Lippy wrote back, apologising for the ‘delay’ in replying, and saying ‘call me tomorrow’.
While a lot of the fashion content in the zine’s later issues never really worked (eventually, I want to do a series of posts about regular columns which failed, no matter how much I forced the format, and fashion looms large on the list), this feature is a rare exception, which I remember fondly.
There are a couple reasons for this.
Firstly, I was a MASSIVE fan of Lip Service’s designs. The attention to detail on this stuff was unmatched by any of the brand’s competitors.
Secondly, having the chance to chat with Lippy himself about the work that went into realising those details – be it sourcing padlocks for a fetish line, or finding the perfect white flocking technique to create ‘lines’ on the controversial ‘Coke Fiend’ collection – turned out to be a rare opportunity, not be repeated. On 18th August 2014, I was shocked to learn of Lippy’s death by apparent suicide, at the age of 51.
For a ton of bonus images related to this feature, check out Story Highlights on the Bubblegum Zine Archive Instagram.
The dark side of Brooklyn brings us TWIN GUNS, who have just released their new album “The Last Picture Show” on Hound Gawd Records. If you love The CRAMPS, cryptic and hypnotic rock’n’roll, then you will be seduced…
Can you introduce the band?
Twin Guns is Andrea on guitar and vocals, Kristin on bass, and Jungle Jim on drums. We have been around for 5 years, and are based in New York. We play rock and roll.
You released two albums as a guitar/drum duo before. Do you see “The Last Picture Show” as a kind of new start?
Andrea: In some ways it does feel like a new start. Sometimes it feels like a different band, but since we never stopped playing since then, it just makes sense to be where we are now… It was a natural growth. I don’t regret becoming a three-piece, as I feel that we did our time as a duo, and did great. At least we made a statement; we proved that the power of a song and the way it’s presented and performed, goes beyond the limitations and expectations of that formula… it worked. Then we moved on. I am much happier now to have amplified the sound palette with the addition of Kristin on bass (and good taste). Being a 2-piece and having to hear comparisons or being associated with the White Stripes or Black Keys got tired after awhile. I don’t even like those bands.
“The Last Picture Show” is out on German record label Hound Gawd Records. How did that happen?
Andrea: It was time to make a new album and get some new music out, and initially we thought of self-releasing the album (we didn’t have much luck finding a label with the previous one, “Sweet Dreams”), so I started contacting recording labels. We were almost ready to give up (having already recorded all the songs), upon not getting much feedback, but then I got a reply from Oliver at HoundGawd!, who contacted me enthusiastically, and let me tell you… that was totally at the last minute. We couldn’t have been happier when it happened! He loved the songs, “The Last Picture Show” found a home, and the rest is history.
Tell us about the recording of the album…
Andrea: We recorded at N.Y.HED Studio, with the lovely team of Matt Verta-Ray and his wife Rocio. We wished the sessions would never end, as we all really enjoyed the experience. It’s very cool to record with them as they are such fans of great music (especially The Cramps), and the studio feels like a time capsule into all things cool and Rock’n’Roll. In-between sessions we often ran into Kid Congo Powers, who at the time was recording with Mick Collins of The Gories and Bob Bert (Chrome Cranks, Sonic Youth) on a new project and album together; I honestly flirted with the idea of asking them to play on the Twin Guns record, but it didn’t happen… haha. I know these guys, but still too shy to ask that sort of thing. We started recording the album in the humid heat of the NYC summer, and finished in the freezing winter of 2014. One time, the lock of the studio door was frozen (un underground entrance on the sidewalk) and we couldn’t get inside, so Matt had to run to the store and get a hot cup of water to pour on top of the lock… It was a whole process. When I finally got in the studio in took me a long time to get warmed up… fingers frozen and all. NY can be brutal in its weather extremes. In the end, the recording went great.
Jungle Jim played in The CRAMPS and The MAKERS. Have any of you played in other bands before?
Andrea: I played in other bands before (mostly as guitarist), but none of them found momentum as much as Twin Guns.
The last band I played guitar for, before forming a band on my own, was Rockethouse (an electro-shoegaze-garage outfit), and we had fun touring the west coast, but we kept losing drummers, and got difficult keeping it together.
Kristin: A number of them, yes, but this is the first one that I was actually a fan of before joining.
You’re influenced by the dark side of cites, especially New York. How would you describe living in NY nowadays?
Andrea: I have been living in New York for 22 years, and have seen lots of changes… I don’t find it particularly exciting these days, and sometimes wish to live somewhere different… maybe an European town. It’s easy to be opposed to change, when you get the feeling that what you know and like about a city is being compromised, or changed altogether. But for as much as the city has transformed, I can still find aspects of NY that are inspiring, after all. It’s like when you focus on details that others ignore, and have sort of a romanticized vision of it. I have always been attracted by cities decay… traces of the past in everyday life… It fascinates me. I’m like an archaeologist.
Kristin: I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker. It’s been difficult to see so many of the things that give this city its identity get priced out, leaving generic chain stores and aesthetically bland high rises in their wake. But there’s still so much that makes it a singular place to be. My New York was never just about the Lower East Side or the parts of Brooklyn you might see in movies; it’s about turning a corner onto to a side street and seeing some stunning and totally unexpected architectural detailing on an old office building. Or taking a bus from downtown and watching the city change on your way up to the re-created Medieval abbeys that were built in a park in Washington Heights. If you look carefully enough, you can find almost every world culture represented here in some way, through its food or art or language or something. That in itself is miraculous and humbling.
Do you tour a lot in the US?
Andrea: We did a few tours of the USA, long and short trips… We go on the road at least once a year, but still haven’t managed to bring ourselves to the west coast. So many states so little time!
Garage, 70s punk, surf rock and psychedelia are all part of your influences, but movie soundtracks also seem to have influenced you a lot. Have your music been used for any movies yet?
Andrea: Yes, soundtracks are part of our influences, but no, we haven’t made it to the movies yet… I always felt that we could be good for it. A few years ago one of our filmmaker friends utilized our “Little Subway Rider” for the opening credits of a proposed tv series (which starred David J. from Bauhaus, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in the closing titles).. but not sure what happened.
Your lyrics are mostly stories/fictions, right?
Andrea: They are stories, but not always told in a traditional storytelling way… More sort of expressionistic poetry. Sometimes they are like an exaggerated version of reality. I often write in first person, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it represents me… It’s like being an actor, and telling stories from different character’s point of view.
5 albums you couldn’t live without:
Andrea: “Rumble” the Link Wray collection on Rhino, “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, Suicide‘s 1st record, “Kicking Against the Pricks” by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, “Nuggets” Volume 1. And so many others, but…
Jungle Jim: 5 albums that I couldn’t live without are “No Way Out” by The Chocolate Watchband, “Forever Changes” by Love, “No Other” by Gene Clark, “I against I” by Bad Brains and “Love It to Death” by Alice Cooper.
Kristin: “A Northern Soul,” “A Storm in Heaven” or “Urban Hymns” by The Verve; “Wretch” by Kyuss; “First and Last and Always” by The Sisters of Mercy; “I Against I” by Bad Brains (Jungle Jim snagged one of my answers!); and “Chant Byzantin” by Soeur Marie Keyrouz.
5 movies you could watch again and again:
Andrea: Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blow Up, Blue Velvet.
Jungle Jim: My 5 favorite movies would be The Outsiders, The Babadook, Vampire’s Kiss, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly and This Is England.
Kristin: Pan’s Labyrinth, Blazing Saddles, The Godfather I, The Godfather II, The Departed.
Last book you’ve read:
Andrea: “Barbed Wire Kisses” The Jesus & Mary Chain biography.
Jungle Jim: The last book that I’ve read is Ginger Baker’s autobiography “Hellraiser.”
Kristin: I’m in the middle of three: “The Gift of Healing Herbs” by Robin Rose Bennett; “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson, and “Claire of the Sea Light” by Edwidge Danticat.
Here in France, we need more rock’n’roll then ever in those dark times. Will you come and play in Europe in 2016?
Andrea: We would love to tour Europe endlessly… We are hoping to make it out there very soon!
When we finished the interview with AMERICAN HEARTBREAK, we decided to go and say goodbye to The REVOLVERS who were sleeping in the same hotel. I wanted them to give me their email address so that I could send them some questions later because it was already half past three in the morning ! But they seemed to prefer live interviews, we were really tired and they were drunk, so the interview is quite short and chaotic! 🙂
Have you enjoyed the show tonight ?
Uwe : Yes, it was a little bit like Electric Light Orchestra tonight.
Tobias : Something was missing because our second guitarist is not there at the moment and, for us it’s really like something is missing in the unit. It’s a sad story because he suffers from cancer but it’s curable. It’s his third chemotherapy an maybe he can join us on saturday.
What’s the difference between The HAPPY REVOLVERS and The REVOLVERS ?
Uwe : The line-up and maybe the sound, now it’s a little bit faster and a little bit harder. Our lyrics are also a little bit more political.
Tobias : Yes, now we speak more about problems with yourself.
Uwe : And things like fascism and stuff like that. You know, when I go through the town, I always have the same kind of problems…so, that’s what we’re singing about now. The lyrics are more “street lyrics”.
Tobias : Yes, but the old spirit is still there, the energy is the same.
Uwe : Now we’re more like a group, not like a boy group. There was more fashion and styling in The HAPPY REVOLVERS. now, we’re more like a punk band.
Don’t you play “tragedy” anymore ?
Uwe : No…
Tobias : Maybe we’ll do it again.
Uwe : This song is about the MANIC STREET PREACHERS guitar player. The lyrics are about him and it’s dedicated to him. I wrote these lyrics when I was totally pissed… There’s nothing to do with the things we do now.
Tobias : I like this song.
Uwe : Maybe we’ll play it tomorrow (laughs.)
It seems like you have many influences from punk rock to glam… What kind of bands do you listen to these days ?
Uwe : BUBBLE.
Tobias : Right now I’m listening to AMERICAN HEARTBREAK. It’s not like they’re my idols or something but, it’s just good music and it brings glam pop punk back to life, it’s like The NEW YORK DOLLS and all these old bands who created this sound. Now, there’s a new wave coming with new bands growing up, new people who start this thing again. For myself, this is very interesting.
Uwe : For me too, but I also like ANGELIC UPSTARTS, CRASS, German punk like SLIME or The TARGETS…
JINGO DE LUNCH ?
Uwe : Yeah ! JINGO DE LUNCH. now the singer is living in Canada.
Tobias : No, it’s Texas. She’s living there in a farm.
Uwe : I’m not so much into glam punk anymore. I like stuff like DOGS D’AMOUR and The HEARTBREAKERS, a little bit of AMERICAN HEARTBREAK but it’s not where we come from, we come from the old punk stuff.
Flo : I think we neither make too much glam rock, nor punk rock. We’re in between.
What are your projects ?
Uwe : We are just a project now (laughs.)
Tobias : There will come a new full length in autumn.
On which label ?
Tobias : People Like You records.
Uwe : Hey ! Look at us, it’s like the John Lennon/Yoko Ohno interview (laughs.)
Tobias : Yeah, we’ve been having sex together for two weeks right now (laughs.)
Uwe : Let’s talk about peace and love (laughs.)
Tobias : Is the interview live on TV ? (laughs.) (Veglam Zine : cause one of my friend had a camera.)
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.
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 http://www.themysteryaddicts.com . Mp3.com has helped host some songs & we’ve gotten orders from people visiting that as well http://www.mp3.com/themysteryaddicts .
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.
The MISTAKES is a band that you appreciate whether you’re a punk or a glam freak (of course you can if you’re into something else as well !) , and you ever wished for the birth of the son of Mr RANCID and Mrs TWISTED SISTER, then this is the perfect band. ! They keep the spirit of punk and the outrageous attitude of glam alive. Here is an interview with Todd, this guy has something to say, believe me !…Or just read it !
Hi !, so what are the news for The MISTAKES ? We’re currently promoting our new CD “Dressed For Suckcess”! WE’ve just set-up our web site with credit card ordering, so ANYONE IN THE WORLD can order our stuff at http://www.themistakes.com ! We’re also planning our “Mowhawks,Make-up, and Mayhem 2000” tour. We’re gonna hit Europe first. the U.K., Italy and Germany, then our first full U.S. touR! Anyone that has a place for us to play, LET US KNOW!
I’ve read on your website that fanzines and the internet really helped to increase your popularity, could you tell us more about that ?
We are an independent band. We pay for EVERYTHING that we do, such as recording, touring etc.. and this stuff costs ALOT OF MONEY! We can’t afford major-label stuff like Ad’s in all the magazines, radio promotion etc..So we rely on the underground ‘zines to help spread the word about us! To be honest we’ve had some reviews in “major” magazines, and most just follow whatever is trendy (Korn,Limp Bizkit etc.. because their record labels pay the magazine to!) and automatically hate us cuz’ we don’t fit in. Those followers can all FUCK OFF as far as I’m concerned! WE DON’T WANT TO FIT IN! The ‘zines give us HONEST REVIEWS and treat us good even if we don’t have BIG MONEY!
Your “Mafia Drag Queen” look is awesome ! Does it generally shock people who don’t know you ? What do your families think about that ?
It shocks people that DO know us! Our image is always changing and keeps getting SICKER! My family (mom and dad) are used to it by now. I’ve been a freak all my life. They know that I’m a good person no matter what I look like! (Even though my mom would rather have me be a doctor)! It’s their fault anyway. They taught me that ALL PEOPLE ARE THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE!
Do you think that glam and punk is the best mix in music/image ?
I don’t think it’s a “MIX” I think it’s all the same. “Punk” is about playing what you want, looking how you want, and doing what you want. “Glam” is about looking how you want, playing what you want and doing what you want. They’re both the same to me. The current version of “Punk” was started by Iggy and the Stooges and The N.Y. Dolls as far as I’m concerned. The Ramones and the Pistols took it to the next level, then it splintered into “Hard-Core” “Glam” “Pop-Punk” “Emo” “Straight Edge” etc.. It’s so STUPID! “PUNK” is supposed to be about being yourself NO MATTER WHAT!, but here in CA if you don’t look a certain way, then you’re not “PUNK”. These sterotypes have been passed down from the millions of SHIT bands that called themselves “Punk” in the early 80’s. To me “hard-core” for most band means “I can’t write a good song!”
Yesterday’s punks used to yell “no future !”, today many punks think “let’s change this world !” As glam punks, what would you say ?
I say I’m GONNA change the world. “No Future” was a cop-out. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE SITUATION WHERE YOU LIVE…CHANGE IT! If you just want to complain like a little baby.. then FUCK OFF! People need to realize that THEY are the only ones that can determine their own destiny. If you don’t like something CHANGE IT. If you say you can’t change it then that means you’re just a QUITTER!
I really like your catchphrase “fuck being normal”, according to you, what is being “normal” ?
“FUCK BEING NORMAL” is what I’ve lived my life by. It’s inspired from a T-shirt I had when I was 16. It said “WHY BE NORMAL” in big block letters on the front. The cool thing about it is that it was printed upside down! So people had to make an effort to read it. Changed my life! “Normal” to me is the majority of society which dictates how we should look, dress, act, what carrers we should pursue etc.. To me “Fuck being normal” means FUCK BEING SOMETHING THAT I AM NOT JUST TO FIT IN TO A SOCIETY THAT I’M NOT A PART OF. I guess everyone would have their own definition.
What is the last concert that you really enjoyed as a spectator ? Why ?
I used to LIVE for concerts! Music was (and is) my LIFE! I would have to say the last I can remember as something I will never forget was Twisted Sister, Oct of 1986 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit Mi. The reason this concert is so special is because I was in High-School at the time, and decided to join the wrestling team! (this was my only sports attempt) I found out ‘Twisted were coming (and that we had a meet the same day) so a faked a broken arm,(cast and all!) for 2 weeks before the meet! I had my mom write a fake note that I had to go to the doctor, and then went to the show with my friend Jesse . The show changed my life! What REALLY makes it memorable is that someone sent me a live ‘Twisted bootleg video a few years ago and it was THAT SHOW! I watch it all the time. NOBODY tops DEE SNIDER as a front man. Also when I saw RANCID in 94’ at the palace in L.A. Tim came up on stage right before they were supposed to go on and said “These are some friends of mine from orange county..please welcome SOCIAL DISTORTION! Social D. did a whole set. It was fucking amazing! THAT was punk rock!
Do you like TV ? What kind of programmes ?… Or do you think that every punk should burn his/her television ?
I like TV, but I’m finding that the internet is a much better source for global information. Burn the TV? That’s stupid. If you want to rule the world then you have to know what’s going on in it! Watch the news! Here in L.A. you get an hour of DEATH! I only like a few regular shows. “Married With Children” is the best show in the history of television PERIOD! Al Bundy represents the workin’ man that can’t get a break, but he makes it funny! The day that the last “Married.” episode was on was the same day that we finished our first CD “Angry Youth” kinda weird…
I know that you’re big TWISTED SISTER fans, what’s your favourite song(s) ? Do you have news from Dee Snider and his friends ? Twisted Sister is THE biggest musical and social influence on my life. I’ve listened to ‘Twisted every day since 1983. My favorite songs are also the songs that gave me the guts to pursue my dreams…”I Am I’m Me” (from ‘You can’t stop rock and roll’) “I’ll never grow up..now” (originally their first 7″ in 1978) and and of course “We’re not gonna take it” (all can be found on their greatest hits cd). We did “grow up.” on “Angry Youth”, “We’re not gonna..” on the new one “Dressed For Suckcess” and we’ll probably do “I AM..” on our next one. As long as I’m alive we’ll do a ‘Twisted track on every record. It’s the least I can do to show the kids of today a REAL HERO!. I’ve actually had the pleasure of briefly hanging out with Dee a couple times in the last 2 years. He is the coolest guy you will ever meet. If you have our new CD Dee has a hidden track on it! He’s doing great! He’s a DJ, Movie Mogul, etc.. check-out his site http://www.deesnider.com for updates!
Feel free to conclude the way you want !
I conclude with this. I write every word like it’s my last. I am very greateful that you feel that I (along with my band) are worth the time it took you to write these questions. That’s why my answers are so long! I only hope that anyone that reads this actually LISTENS to our songs before judging us, and more importantly, that someone out there STANDS UP and helps me rid this world of: Racism, Predjuice, Hunger, Poverty,War, Hate, Ignorance, etc.. Don’t worry, I’ll do it on my own if I have to, but it would be alot quicker with some help!
They played in famous bands during the 80s/90s and have not decided to give up rock’n’roll or to remain passive such as fallen rockstars who have nothing fresh to offer. It’s time to BUBBLE !
It would be nice if you could introduce the band.
BUBBLE is Bam of Dogs D’Amour/Wildhearts fame on drums and backing vox; Share of Vixen/Contraband (bass) on guitar and lead vocals; Brent Muscat of Faster Pussycat on guitar and backing vocals; Eric Stacy, also, of Faster Pussycat on bass and backing vocals.
You’re recording a new album on your own label. Do you think that it’s a way to be more independent and get more freedom ?
We’ve worked with lots of different producers in the past and thought this time, it would be cool if we didn’t have to answer to anybody apart from ourselves. Funny thing is, we’re quite hard on ourselves…which is good. It will give us an album where every song stands by itself with no filler tracks. We definitely have more creative freedom and that’s great.
By the way, can you tell us more about Basement Boy Records ? Do you already produce bands/artists ?
Yes, we already produce other people. But none have had a proper release on our label. The first will be BUBBLE. Then, an LA heart throb named Ashleigh! (boys…look out). After that there are a few more acts we want to sign.
You chose “taxi driver” for the HANOI ROCKS tribute album. I guess that it must not be easy to choose only one song among all HANOI ROCKS songs. How did you decide to choose this one ?
Taxi Driver is our hands down favorite Hanoi song!
I saw on your website that The DOGS D’AMOUR are back with Share on bass. Do you think that it will affect BUBBLE ?
Not unless the Dogs and Bubble have to play a show on the same night on two different sides of the world!!!!
What kind of music do you like to listen when you’re at home ?
Ash, Radiohead, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Stones, Kinks, Bowie, Beethoven, Miles Davis, Beatles….everything really. We’re very open to new music.
What would you answer to people who say that rock is dead ?
WAKE UP!!! YOU’RE DEAF!
There are several BUBBLE webpages, do you appreciate that ?
Yeah, that’s really cool. The more the better.
Do you plan to come to Europe ?
Nothing would make us happier. But right now there are no definite plans.
The best thing to describe GLAMPIRE’s music is to listen to it because it is very personal. The man has a lot of interesting things to say, whether it is about his emotions or about this world -Positive music for a negative world-
Veglam zine could only offer him some space…
Are you satisfied with “Drop Dead Gorgeous”? What’s the main difference with the previous records?
The easy answer is yes. However being so close to it on every level of the presentation and recording, I am both privileged and disadvantaged. I know too much about it. I cannot make that judgement. The real question is will other people be happy with it. So far most people are satisfied.
The difference between this CD and the last release (The Soft White Ghetto) is DDG is a very “rock” record. It has elements of drum-n-bass as well as hip-hop soul grooves. SWG also had those elements in a mellower and quieter slant. DDG was done purposely with a harder edge and a rock n roll flavor.
What are the advantages/drawbacks of being a solo artist compared to playing in a band?
The advantages come in the form of freedom to move and grow as an artist as well as a businessman. The drawbacks are that sometimes it would be nice to have a “band” – to have people to help out and add a different spin to the songs. It is no secret that bands are hard to keep together. The most important thing is to make the best music I can, record that music and get it out to as many people as possible. It is an expensive venture with or without a band. I choose to get the CDs out, advertise and do promotion… and if a band comes together, fine. If not, I still have music and business that keep me busy. I am always on the lookout for the right people.
I’ve read that most of your fans have heard about you thanks to the Internet, is it true?
That is true. I have been utilizing the web since early 95í. I saw it’s potential and decided that would be one of my key components to getting the word out to people. The ability to listen to music via the web grew rapidly and I took advantage of all that was available. The Internet will redefine our culture like no other thing hasÖ Look at the way Napster effected the music industry. We are about to break into a new era of commerce and communication. I am glad that I have a headstart. There is still more to do and more to come. It is a very exciting time. Along with these new paradigms comes a responsibility however.
Your music can’t really be labelled, is it a conscious choice?
Well thanks. Actually it can be labeled “glambient”. With DDG, I have come across what I feel is “goth-hop”. It may sound weird but The Cure, Peter Murphy and Depeche Mode, and Tones On Tail are all quite funky when they want to lean that way. Being an urban dweller in the USA, I am directly affected by funk and hip-hop beats. That type of grooves with big songs and glam/goth overtones is where a lot of the songs on DDG ended up. It made it very fun to work in those parameters. I see it as a new direction.
What do you mean when you refer to “the new responsibility of the artist in the 21st Century”?
Having the ability to record and release music so easily these days has me concerned as a member of pop culture. We have a large body of work collectively as a species, as a planet. So the problem is two fold: A) What to do that has not been done. B) How to learn about the great and small that has gone on before us. At least we have examples to go off of, but too many perhaps. There are traditions that are being carried on and new paradigms being constructed. Artists should be aware and sensitive to what the culture has done and what is happening to that culture at present. So as not to add any crap to the over crowded heap that exists. With the Internet you can safely and effectively see if people who you do not know like what it is that you are doing. It is an exciting time indeed.
You’re a vegan. When did you stop eating meat? What was your motivation? Do some of your fans or people around you sometimes tell you that you influenced them to become vegetarians/vegans?
I have been living as a conscious eater for almost 12 years now. I started young and made the decision because I wanted to be a good strong singer. As my instrument is my body, it made all the sense in the world to me to be a vegetarian. I am interested in herbal medicine as well. It is a large part of life for me.
I have had some nice connections based around it. A few people have become more dedicated and aware as a result of emailing with me. It is good to know I can pass on information to people that may have questions. Being healthy and living for a better planet is a job people all over the world should aspire to.
What’s your opinion about groups such as the Animal Liberation Front?
I am not that familiar with the politics of the ALF. I know of the work they do and I applaud anyone who puts their life on the line for a better planet. The news makes them out to be “bad” but that is all relative, now is it not? I say if they can rescue animals and create awareness, go for it. There are people out in the world claiming to be and making themselves out to be great humanitarians and they are far worse.
The world’s situation is scary; do you still have faith in human beings?
I had little faith before 9/11 and less now. It is a difficult time. There are forces at work we are not even made aware of. The worldís situation has been scary for many years. I have said this all along in songs and in interviews. We as a planet need to get it together – not just the USA or the Middle East, but the whole ball of dirt and water. We As One. If there is to be a future with any sort we need to raise the consciousness in ourselves. Perfection is not the goal. The goal is to be aware. Things may happen that are not pleasing, but at least we will not be blind. Politicians run the show and they say we elect them. That is only 1/2 true. In the USA, people are lazy. People are comfortable. So they do not want to rock the boat, at least here on this soil anyway. In the last year an election was stolen and we were attacked. If humans are to really get it together it has to start with self-awareness. America is in such a weird state at the moment.
In the USA, religion is still very important, what’s your opinion about organized religion?
It seems to me that most forms of organized religion are about rules and exclusion. It has grown into a billion-dollar business with one purpose, to exclude people if they are not part of that particular faith they feel you should be. Most people who read the Bible or the Qur’an, which is really what I am referring to here, feel they are close with God or Allah. They do not want to admit that there are bad thingsÖ evil things that happen in the name of “religion”. Again it goes back to we are all humans and as a species are made similar. Someone’s blood or beliefs should not matter, yet it does greatly. Not to me, but many people hold dear these precepts and they are in positions of power and influence. So people now believe these things, even if they doubt, they do not challenge those thoughts due to fear. Religion is a large part of why the planet is messed up.
The Bible is rewritten all the time to suit the people it is being marketed to. The original writings have been changed so many times, who knows what the true words are? I am not a scholar by any means when it comes to the Qur’an, but there are various opinions on that as well. So we are left with people fighting over beliefs. What about ideas?
Here is an idea. If we as humans lived in accordance with nature, the world would be balanced. People can prey all they want, but if they live out of balance then no god or religion will save them or make them safe and sound here on earth. It will be a false illusion. The force of nature cannot be stopped. It can be tapped into and used as a benefit however. As a race of people we could use many more ingenious aspects of our intellect and serve mother earth with what she deserves seeing she has provided us with so much abundance and beauty.
What kind of music are you listening to these days?
As always I am listening to a wide range of music. The new Perry Ferrell is amazing… The new Roni Size is great… DJ Hi Tek is mad cool… Charles Mingus, the king… The London Suede is one of the best bands around… PJ Harvey – love her! What I listen to all depends on the day…
What are your projects?
I just finished two projects for Cleopatra Records. I did a cover of “Porcelain” for the Moby Tribute, which is out on January 15th, and a cover of “Serial Thrilla” for the Prodigy tribute. I do not when that one is going to be released.
There will be a second single released from DDG in the spring of 2002 entitled, “Life Means Nothing To Them”. It will go out to clubs, DJs, street team members and selected press people. There will be two b-sides on it as well.
Anything else to add? Thanks for your time.
Thanks for the support. Peace n Glitta 2 U n Yours!
Freddy Lynxx (former JET BOYS member) did a club tour in France and Spain this year with his CORNER GANG and KEVIN K headlining. He showed us that true rock’n’roll is not dead. Let’s listen to him. Interview by Franckie.
Freddy, can you make a brief summary of your career so far?
I’ve started in 1983 with a band called « Les Aristochattes ». It was mostly a girls band with two guys on guitar. After 1 year I started my own band called « The Jet Boys » and played during 10 years in Europe and in the USA. We released an album « Larger Than Life » and few singles. After we broke up, I played solo, and did some tours and studio with Jeff Dahl and Nikki Sudden.
How was your last tour?
Really good. We played 1 show in France and 7 in Spain where it was really hot, on and in front of the stage. This time I used Jeff Crane from « The Ballbusters » (USA) on guitar, Laurent Ciron on bass who’s playing guitar with the French band “The Dogs” and Frenck Witch, a drummer from Rennes who uses to play with “The Witcherry Wild”, now “Born In Flames.”
You have played with many musicians, can you name a few who really impressed you?
Johnny Thunders, Jeff Dahl, Glen Matlock and Nikki Sudden with no doubt.
Worldwide press speaks of you very highly, do you sell many albums abroad?
Yes, but it could be better if I had a serious distribution, which is not, even here in France.
You already produced other artists, will you do that again?
I will, when I’ll have more money cause my label is on stand by right now. I produced a new Kevin K album that should be released for 2002 as a SUCKSEX compilation and my next album.
Are you envious of the popularity of more commercial bands?
Not at all. I hate what they’re doing and don’t give a flying fuck if they’re making lots of money. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been into that business to make some money or rip off people.
According to you, what musicians keep J. Thunders’memory alive the best today?
The Golden Arms from Japan, Kevin K from NYC and many others but the list is too long I guess to mention everyone.
What are your musical projects?
Like I said before, there’s many. I need more time, but I should go back to Boston in February to record a new album with « Born In Flames ». Release my next album with covers only that has been recorded with the same line up and people than for « Bloodied Up » and some other as well as RICK BLAZE and the BALLBUSTERS when I was in Worchester, NIKKI SUDDEN in Leamington Spa and LAURENZA PONCE who’s playing violin with CHERYLE CROW. Then I’ll try to go back to New York, to record an acoustic album but it’s another story.