Murderdolls “Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls”

As if they haven’t been hyped up enough over the past couple months here I come to add my two cents worth to the fuss getting kicked up over the Murderdolls. Its kinda  difficult to review this cos by now all the lazy ‘Will the Slipknot fans like it?’ angles have been snapped up  and done to death by every hack on Roadrunner’s payroll. All the ‘new direction’ and ‘commercial liability’speculation is a bit like trying to read the deep, hidden meaning of poncey French sub-titled cinema into what is basically the aural equivalent of a low-budget ‘tits-lesbian zombies-tomato ketchup’ style B-movie. All you really need to know is that this is a spot on piece of throwaway genius. The utterly infectious chorus to ‘Grave Robbing USA’ while you love it now will almost certainly drive you insane in 6 months and this definitely sound dated in 10years time, hell, it even sounds dated now, with 80’s Motley influences a go-go worn unashamedly on its sparkly spandex sleeve. This is a band who with calls for ‘geetar’, accompanied by the customary widdly solo are desperately unfashionable, they’re not out to make a piece of art or a chart-topping product, just have a great party on record in the time honoured tradition of Poison, with name-drops to Psycho and The Exorcist and lyrics about necrophilia and murder this ain’t high-brow angst, and thanking fucking Christ – this is a band who aren’t trying to be ‘cool’! If we’re honest this wouldn’t have caught a sniff of hype or even interest among the music press were it not for the Slipknot connection but so fucking what – stop analysing and just enjoy this brilliant flash in the pan before we’re all bored of it and have moved on anyway. Pour yourself and cliched Jack and Coke and just *try* to not headbang, horns aloft, to the stomping likes of ‘Die My Bride’, ‘197666’ and the Dee Snider saluting ‘Twist My Sister’.

Acey Slade & The Dark Party

Acey Slade’s first solo album isn’t really what you could have expected from the ex-MURDERDOLLS/TRASHLIGHT VISION… member. No horror punk metal or sleaze street punk here, Acey chose to explore the electro-rock territory with The DARK PARTY. He tells us a bit more about it and his future projects.

Can you talk about the album? Why did you choose a drum & bass producer (Shaun Morris)?

-He didn’t know anything about my old bands so there was NO WAY it could sound like anything else I’ve done. I mean, it would be me-so it would still have Acey Slade in it. But, nobody to kinda influence things toward a specific direction.

Did you have a precise idea about the way you wanted the band to sound before recording or did it really come into shape while recording the album?

-Nope. The idea was no idea. I mean, I had a lot of points of referance that have nothing to do with each other. Some Visual Kei/Japanese rock bands, old post punk..which stems from glam ya know!

Do you see this album more as a solo album or as a brand new band?

-Yea, it’s a solo album. But now, the live band is ‘the band’. We are working on new music-as a unit all the time. So, it’s changed a bit.

How did you get to work with TrashPit records?

-I just wanted to work with a company that wanted to work! They have done everything they promised and more! Great, great label!

There’s a cover of The CULT’s “She Sells Sanctuary” on the album. Any other cover song you’d like to play with the DARK PARTY?

-Funny. We are recording a free cover album EP to come out later this year. It’s going to have Plexi, Redd Kross, Kate Bush and Hanoi Rocks covers on it. We also did ‘As Heaven is Wide’ by Garbage for the US version of the album.

Speaking of The CULT, they are a band who experimented with different styles through their career but they still managed to have their own identity… Do you see this as an example?

-Yes. They changed with each album and I plan on doing the same.

How would you describe your live shows compared to the ones you played with your former bands?

-A lot more musicianship. Probably because I play less, ha,ha..But more fun and more moody. I wanna incorporate more theatrics soon.

Imagine you have to choose 5 albums made in the 2000s. Which ones and why?

Wow. The past 10 years. Rancid ‘Industructable’, Ladytron ‘Witching Hour’, AFI ‘Sing the Sorrow’, APop ‘You and Me Against the World’, Wildhearts, ‘Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed’.

We talked about the MANIC STREET PREACHERS last time I interviewed you. Your thoughts on the last album?

-It’s very good. I saw their 1st NYC show in over 10 years a few weeks ago. It was very emotional to me. Great show!

Nowadays, lots of people just download music or listen to it directly from streaming websites. Isn’t it sad? Don’t you think they’re missing something? Nevertheless, as CD sales keep on collapsing, vinyl ones have been increasing these last two years. Can you imagine vinyl being the main music support again in a couple of years?

-Nahh..I mean that would be cool. I still believe in the hard copy of an ‘album’. I think Vinyl pants will make a bigger come back that Vinyl records. Ask Lady Gaga, ha,ha..

You live in New York, what do you like and/or diislike there? What are the good places to go to there these days?

-I like how continental it is. It’s really the port of the world and I love experience new people, new music and new art. The whole world come here. New York has a lot of that. Sadly, the rock scene here has been bad the past few years. The good part is its so safe. Humm the rock n roll leaves the city and it becomes safer…is there a connection.

Last movies and books you’ve enjoyed?

-The Death of Bunny Munro’ by Nick Cave. Movies, ‘Dead Winter’ a Norweigin Zombie Nazi movie and ‘Old Boy’ a Korean drama-very twisted!

What’s next for the DARK PARTY?

-This fall will see us touring quite a lot! We have a live album and DVD ready, a remix album, and this free covers EP. And-I wanna record our 2nd album. …this is just the lighting of the fuse!

Trashlight Vision

If you’re familiar with Veglam webzine, then you’ve probably seen the name TRASHLIGHT VISION a few times before in the news section… Even if the band is often seen as MURDERDOLLS’ Acey’s band, their first album?Alibis and Ammunition? as well as constant touring shows that they are a band of their own, ready to come and rock you. They’ll be opening for the next BACKYARD BABIES tour so it was the right time to ask Acey Slade a few questions…

Can you give us a bit of TRASHLIGHT VISION history ? Was it difficult to get the right line-up together?

I started to write some TRASHLIGHT VISION songs at the end of the MURDERDOLLS, when I know we were going to take a break. I live in NYC and there are a ton of ‘musicians to hire’. Meaning they will work for money. But that’s not what a band is about. I wanted this to be a real band, so at first it was hard. Then I just called my close friends, and lucky me, they were available. Roger and I worked in a porn/punk shop in Philadelphia. He was playing with Lenny our drummer when I started to put TRASHLIGHT together. Steve and I met in rehab for drugs. So now we have a real band. We’re more dangerous than most gangs and bleed like brothers.

Your first album “Alibis and Ammunition” has just been released, are you satisfied with it?

Someone told me that you are never done an album. You just give up… haha. I’m happy with the point I chose to give up.. haha

Your music has a punk rock sound but glam and hard rock influences can also be heard in it, was it intentional to mix such styles when you started the band?

For me it’s so easy to explain. Without the NEW YORK DOLLS, there would be no SEX PISTOLS, no RAMONES. Without NY DOLLS there would be no GUNS N’ROSES either. Hell, we did some shows with the UK SUBS and Charlie will tell you that the NY DOLLS were one of his big influences too! What was intentional for me was to put out a honest album that showed my influences. I like The CLASH and RANCID, but I like MOTLEY CRUE too. I don’t give a fuck if some punks don’t like MOTLEY CRUE and I don’t give a fuck if some rockers don’t like The CLASH. My main two influences are Joe Strummer and Nikki Sixx. Both of them have never tried to be anything other than Joe Strummer and Nikki Sixx.

Your first album “Alibis and Ammunition” has just been released, are you satisfied with it?

Are you trying to trick me or are you drunk? Haha This is question #2! Maybe you want to see if I am some arrogant asshole who just talks and doesn’t listen.. haha

Haha… I swear I wasn’t drunk!!! I have no idea why and how question 2 appeared twice!

It seems like you’re more famous in the UK than in the United States, am I wrong? Why could be the reason for that?

Yes. Roadrunner Records did not want The MURDERDOLLS to do anything in America so they pulled all the funding.Roadrunner in the UK and Europe always believed in us. So yes, you are right and there is your honest response.

Since you started TRASHLIGHT VISION in a very DIY way with no support from record labels, I guess that touring was quite different from the tours you did before with the MURDERDOLLS, do you see it as a kind of coming back to the roots of punk/rock’n’roll?

I see music as being a creative process from the beginning to the end. So yeah, we make some of our merch. I always loved this about having DIY roots. I want people to know they have a piece of us in everything we do. When you come from an established band, people sometimes think that you have it ‘easy’. I want to work hard to prove that we are a real band and not just blah, blah, blah’s band from X’. People should know that TRASHLIGHT is paying dues too! Ha, ha…

If you had the chance to choose a band to open for in 2006, who would you choose?

Already happening, BACKYARD BABIES. Other then RANCID or GUNS N’ ROSES. We are just happy to be on tour.

I think I read somewhere that you’re a big MANIC STREET PREACHERS fan, what’s your favourite era and songs? Any idea about what happened to Richey?

I have a ton of MANICS stuff! 7′, 12′, vinyl, subway posters, etc., etc. I think that one of the things that Richey was good at was being a rockstar. How does a rock star gain imortality? To end on top. He knew that, but I think he is alive.

What is the last record you listened to?

Ours, just to make sure it worked… ha, ha…

The last book you read?

‘Hardcore Zen’, Punk Rock, Monster Movies and ‘The Truth about Zen’ by Brad Warner.

The last movie you saw?

In the theater: ‘V For Vendetta’ and at home ‘Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Hills Have Eyes’.

You seem to have worked hard for the band so far, do you have any idea of what is coming next after the album release and European tour?

Well, we have 9 songs written for the next album so I think we will take August to write more. I want our next CD to be even better, so we need to start now. Yep. 9 new songs and this album doesn’t even come out till next week! Ha, ha. I want to tour Europe again in September and maybe even November too! I would love to tour with some of theb ands on the People Like You label.

You’re going to be on tour with the BACKYARD BABIES in May 2006, it seems like the perfect band for TRASHLIGHT VISION to tour with in Europe, are you excited about it?

Fuck yeah! It’s the perfect tour for both of us I think. It’s also the perfect tour for the people! Make sure you schedule work off the day after this concert because it’s going to be a lot of fun!