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.
INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH is the new band of Spencer Robinson mixing psych to doom and stoner rock. “Reject” opens with a very slow and damp atmosphere reminding a bit of The GOD MACHINE. “Freight Train” has this heavy BLACK SABBATH vibe you could hear in early stoner bands while “Ghost” takes us to a dark psychedelic trip. There’s a suffocative desert atmosphere in “Hollow Soul”and in “Utah” that turns into 70s psych rock with “Spacemen” and “Rigged” is the most cinematic track, putting an end to this EP in a MARK LANEGAN way. This is the soundtrack for your dirty black summer. /Laurent C.
Joe Normal (The Zeros) has just released his new video “Summer Jobs”:
“I was raised on the comedy of Benny Hill, The Little Rascals, and The Uncle Floyd Show, so I wanted to make a video for “Summer Jobs” that brought a bit of that kind of humor to my song’s blue-collar ‘stick it to the man’ storyline. Please join me for a melody and a laugh.”
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the release Appetite for Destruction, The First 50 Gigs: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction podcast will be hosting a photo exhibition of Marc Canter’s photography on July 21st, 35 years to the date of the release of the seminal album at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood.
The video podcast The First 50 Gigs is the creation of Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction authors Marc Canter and Jason Porath. The book which was published in 2008 and won an IPPY for Pop Culture Book of the Year was just the tip of the iceberg of an archive created by Marc Canter; photographer, music historian, and owner of the world-famous Canter’s Deli. Canter captured the band’s formative years and the heyday of the Sunset Strip music scene. The project was designed as a gift to fans to unlock the stories behind the most famous songs from the ever-elusive band, in particular the younger fans, many of whom were not even born when Appetite came out. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about the stories behind the making of Appetite For Destruction. The show which is part of the Pantheon Podcast network is available on all major services, with premium tiered subscription offers available on Spotify and Patreon.
The First 50 Gigs project has been years in the making, “Marc’s massive and one-of-a-kind archive on the early days of Guns N’ Roses and the first fifty gigs of the Appetite lineup of Guns N’ Roses is unprecedented,” says Porath. “ Marc truly captured lightning in a bottle and the power of those images he and Jack Lue created will now be amplified by first-hand accounts by the people who were there, giving audiences a true play-by-play unfolding of events.” The video version of the show showcases never before seen audio and video from Marc’s archive, along with bonus episodes available via subscription on Spotify, and a premium subscription via Patreon that includes early access to the video version of each episode, along with access to exclusive photo galleries, merchandise giveaways and more.
The exhibit at the Bourbon Room will feature photos, videos, and ephemera featured in the podcast in addition to never before seen content from the early years of Guns n’ Roses leading into the recording of their first and most iconic album.
The Aquarian Weekly (New Jersey, USA) – “Celebrating the underdog and the average in the most heartwarming and melodic way possible – through song! … Authentic, underground, glam rocker with a storyteller heart.”
Boot Music (UK) – “Setbacks” is a swagger filled retro swirl!”
After playing a reunion show with The ZEROS at the Whisky a Go-Go, Joe Normal offers us his new solo video “Setbacks”:
Let’s start 2022 with one of the most interesting rock’n’roll bands from L.A. Chad Cherry (lead vocals) and Gary Martin (guitars & vocals) tell us about the release of their new album “Stars and Broken Stars” and new EP “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” and much more!
Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?
C.C.: It all started with Gary and I. Gary was living out here in Los Angeles and Sarah and I were out here visiting around 2013/14. We were staying at this place on top of Laurel Canyon. It was right next to an abandoned house that some producer from Walt Disney owned back in the 60’s. Place was trashed and cool. We’re checking it out, sharing a bottle of scotch, moonlight creepin, and we came up with the idea of us getting together to make some kinda noise when I moved out to Los Angeles. In the beginning we were just two guys with an acoustic guitar.
G.M.: Soon, Terry Love (bass) came into the picture, and this formed the core of the band. We recorded the début EP in 2017, and the ‘No Connection’ LP was released in early 2020. With the addition of Tony Pacheco on drums in 2019, and Mike Gavigan on guitar in the lost year of 2020, we began the recording of the follow up LP, which was released in late 2021.
You have two new releases, “Stars and Broken Glass” (album) and “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” (EP). Is this because you wanted the album to be released on vinyl and avoid having too many songs on it?
C.C.: We would’ve had a quadruple record on our hands if we didn’t break it up. There’s no lack of creativity with The Claws.
G.M.: It’s true. At this point, we have more than enough tunes for another full length (& EP!) Sonically and thematically, it made sense to do it the way that we did.
Was it easy to choose which songs were going to be used for the album and for the EP?
It was not a case of the “best 10” make the LP. The sequence needed to flow. The sound of the songs can tell a story. We tried our best to make that happen.
Can you tell us about the recording. Where and when did it happen?
G.M.: We recorded the new music at the same place, with the same producer & engineer as the last LP, 2020’s ‘No Connection’. It’s a cool little studio in the Hollywood Hills called Fox Force Five studios. We began the process in late 2020 and finished in the summer of 2021. The LP & EP was mixed and mastered during the autumn of 2021.
C.C.: That Beechwood Canyon studio is magical.
C.C.: That’s like asking a falling star where it’s going to land. There’s not really a rhyme or reason for anything that we do musically. Gary comes up with nonstop songs and we’re all over the place. We never talk too much about it, we mostly just blend together, push and pull melodies into place. I really don’t think we have a specific anything besides some good synergy going on.. we just do whatever it is we do.
Did you know how you wanted the album and EP to sound before recording them?
G.M.: Our surroundings, our adventures, and our personal relationships between the 5 of add spice to the tunes. Everything has an effect. The studio itself has a great feel, along with some excellent vintage equipment, that really helps bring out the nuance in our tunes. Gabe Lowry (producer/engineer) did a fantastic job of capturing The Claws at our best.
While the 70s influences are obvious, there’s also some 80s ones in the songs. Do you like both decades the same?
G.M.: The keyboard during ‘When The Nighttime Comes’ and ‘Strange Rumblings’ is a vintage synthesizer from the mid-1980’s. Totally. Strictly from a songwriting point-of-view, there’s so much great stuff from the 1960’s through the 1990’s that it is impossible to pick a favorite decade, but I do tend to prefer the production values of the 1970’s.
C.C.: I kinda love all decades, man. But let’s face it.. the 70’s ruled!
Some songs like “High Noon”, “A Song For You”, “Seven Medicines” or “In The Dust” could definitely be featured in series or movies. Did you get any interest from Hollywood film makers?
C.C.: We’re too expensive for them.
G.M.: Yeah, we’re open to collaboration with film makers, but they need to cough up the bread. Besides, we’re telling our own stories, so who needs ‘em?
How is the rock’n’roll scene in L.A. These days? Any new interesting bands? What are the best clubs thesedays ?
C.C.: L.A. still has just about everything happening musically. Nothing will ever be the past but there’s so many great bands here. Any club that you don’t have to pay to play is a good club.
G.M.: I love the current rock n roll scene in L.A.! Much like the city, it’s spread out. You may find yourself in the suburbs at the Maui Sugar Mill one weekend, and downtown at the Redwood (our favorite) the next. Great joints like Alex’s in Long Beach and the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena always have killer shows. There are many talented players in L.A., so you never know who is going to impress on any given night. Someone just needs to open a genuine rock n roll joint in Hollywood!
It seems like a lot of people are moving out of L.A, especially musicians who seem to have found a new home in Nashville…
G.M.: Don’t believe the hype. L.A. has always been a city with people arriving or leaving. Here today, gone today.
C.C.: That’s news to me.
Chad, you also sing in The LAST VEGAS but you have a couple of other projects. Can you tell us about them?
C.C.: I have some new TLV demos somewhere. Let’s see, everyday is Halloween with the spooky synth/guitar pop sounds of Razor Candy. I’m also doing synthesized music with my director pal, D.M. Cunningham in our outfit called Dreaming In Neon. We’re busy scoring his new film, “3 Demons” at the moment. But I do The Claws on the daily. Gary keeps me busy.
Do any of you play in other bands/projects?
G.M.: I don’t play in any other projects or bands, as everything that I write I consider for TheClaws. If my tunes get too weird for The Claws, then maybe I’ll do some acid-jazz solo trip.
Will Europe be on the map when things finally start getting better in the world?
C.C.: Question is, will The Claws ever want to leave once we get there.
G.M.: Would love to do a European swing! I heard that many European rock n rollers have moved to Nashville..true?
Oh! That might explain why I haven’t seen any in almost two years! Haha
We’ve been keeping an eye on L.A. Based band The CLAWS since their first EP and here they are back with a 10 song new album and a 4 song EP! “Down In The City” opens the album in a STONES/QUIREBOYS way but the guitar solos definitely sound like good old American hard rock. “High Noon” has a bit of a disco rock vibe though, think of The ROLLING STONES “Miss You” or KISS’ “Unmasked” era. Singer Chad Cherry (The LAST VEGAS…)’s voice perfectly fits with the 70s rock’n’roll guitars and dusty road moods even when things slow down like in “A Song For You” and its Western ballad vibe. “High Sermon” must be a good one to drive to in California, “In The Dust” would be a hit on every radio station in a perfect world and “When The Nighttime Comes” brings a welcomed 80s goth rock touch to the album. There’s some groovy bass and cowbell in “Seven Medicines”, a bit of nostalgia in “Sway With The Hunted”, some well-dosed 80s hard rock influences in “Strange Rumblings” and something quite addictive in “Waiting At The Station” that makes you want to listen to more…
… And the good thing is that you can hear more with the “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” EP! Opening with a riff that could have been on The CULT‘s “Love”, “Ride” will stay in your head and take you to unknown lands at the same time. “Cheaper Stuff” will take you back to the late 80s when GUNS N’ROSES ruled the Sunset Strip and “Lost and Found” is quite catchy in a CHEAP TRICK way. Finally, “One Little Slice” gets us to crazier territories with its psych intro/outro. 14 songs later and I’d still listen to some more. Well done, guys! /Laurent C.
20 years waiting for this for fuck’s sake! First of all, I must admit that I have a special kind of love for Gilby’s albums, as a matter of fact, I decided to become a guitar player after his Pawnshop Guitars album. Always thought the dude’s great when it comes to riffs, Gilby’s work is all about explosion, he is a songwriter and riff master and this new album proves it again, no doubt about it. Before describing the album I’d like to clarify again the fact that I must be not that objective here, I’m writing this from a fan perspective. So here it goes : The album kicks of with “The Gospel Truth”, classic Gilby at his best, a catchy riff with pure Rock and Roll energy, a suckerpunch made in California. “Wayfarer” comes in second place, with amazing 1970s like keyboards and atmosphere, a bit Stones but raw. “Tightwad” features Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx on bass and Jane’s Addiction’s Stephen Perkins on drums, one thing I love about this album is how it’s mixed, Gilby’s vocals are up front, the rhythm here is killer and totally genuine, which is something I’ve always loved about his solo albums, Gilby’s albums are cult albums. “Rock and Roll is Getting Louder” is pure Gilby Clarke, a song about motorcycles, something that he is well known for loving, this one is anthemic, he shot a pretty cool video for it, Easy Rider spirit 100 % “Wise Old Timer” is a mid tempo riff based song followed by “Violation”, a Rolling Stones inspired tune which brings back so many memories of his concerts, I can totally see him opening a gig with this one. “The Ending” is a personal favorite here, a straight bass line and the feeling that real Rock and Roll is not dead, it just went under, like he said in the teaser for “The Gospel Truth”. Songs like “Dangerous Sin” and “Rusted N Busted” keep this thing up beat and they confirm the songwriter vibe and soul, finally “She Won’t Fight Fair” closes a Rock and Roll trip that it’s hard to find these days. I’m so glad this album is out!!! This is Rolling Stones meets Ace Frehley with more distortion, you cannot dislike this one if you are a true rock and roller. One more thing. Gilby, please, don’t wait another 20 years dude. /Juan Pablo Mazzola (aka Baby Scream)