I know it’s only Rock n Roll but I like it, I like it ta lot and Marc Eden lives it and then when he’s ready he’ll knock out an album full of the stuff. Harking back to the most recent not-to-distant stuff when he teamed up from Out of the Wilderness with the sadly departed Guy Bailey for the first Peckham Cowboys album of rough cuts through to the more polished albums but before that, there was DNA Dolls and Men and Gods. Timo passed away as did the phenomenal talent that was Darrell Bath but they all leaned a hand to Marc’s talent and helped form some of his finest music. He then found a kindred spirit in Peter Doherty of The Libertines and toured opening the shows as a solo artist for the Puta Madres it then went all quiet for half a decade but now Marcs is back and comes out swinging with this here album featuring collaborations from Alabama3, Congo Natty, and Peter Doherty.

Of the ten tracks on offer it veers from the opening acoustic lament of ‘Next Of Kin’ with its thoughtful musing as Eden uses his fantastic voice from hushed whispers to a whisky and cigarette-soaked rasp as the waves crash in and the song gently unfolds. ‘Free’ is a more aggressive beast with the pure chirping Rock n Roll guitar slash and hacking on a rollicking tune with a splendid piano holding court in the corner. He’s certainly got his mojo happening here and doing the 70s T rex meets Mott thang and doing it rather well.

‘Cruel Britannia’ is a howling kick to the bollocks mixing elements of the first Cowboys album with some wild and tasty guitar licks and a fuzzy morning-after vocal. Eden is on fire! He gets his funk on for ‘Mother Mary’ as he delves into the medicine bag of 70s white boy funk that the Stones mastered around the time of Some Girls and even further back than that. There’s a lot going on and you get drawn in on the rhythm and that filthy raw riff.

He chills out on ‘Mysterious’ with a great vocal but gets even looser on the fantastic ‘All Gods Children’ – great lyrics and cool vibe and those handclaps are killer. He goes slightly down a Doors route for ‘Suicide Blues’ and it works really well as the song drifts along.

It’s how Eden is rolling on this record veering between slightly chilled off kilter rock n roll al a Keith Richards and some straight-ahead rock n roll mixing some seventies beat combos on the slower more dreamy numbers Eden reminds me of Scott Weiland when he sings with hushed tones which is what might have drawn Slash to Edens door many moons ago.

The album closes on the ballad that is ‘Wish’ and a fine full stop it is too. If you want to rediscover the fine vocals of Marc Eden or just looking for a record that oozes Rock n Roll and all its purest components then dive in, this album will satisfy all your needs and cravings. Marc Eden take a bow son you’ve delivered what the kids call a fuckin’ banger. As this journeys through your creative mind meanders like a river sometimes fast, sometimes slow, never predictable but always moving forward and often fascinating. Do you want my advice? Buy it!

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Sparks are a band I’ve long since wanted to see live but never actually got around to getting a ticket for. So, when the legendary (and I mean that in every sense of the word) band added a date to their ongoing tour itinerary in promotion of their new album ‘The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte’ at the recently reopened Wolverhampton Civic, it was a total no-brainer for yours truly. A chance to see one of the all-time greats of avant-garde rock music in one of the very best live music venues the UK has to offer.

We just have to get there first, the traffic is horrendous tonight, just trying to get out of our home town of Newport takes nearly thirty minutes (it normally takes us five) so unfortunately we arrive at The Halls a little too late to see most of tonight’s support act Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer (who is actually Jim Burke from Collapsed Lung) playing his very own genre of hip hop called chap hop. His set (or what I get to see of it) largely involves him rapping in pronounced English tones whilst playing a banjolele over backing tracks and the audience here appear to love it, especially when he drops in a cover of ‘Big Boy’ by tonight’s headliners. In his online biog Burke proclaims his creation to be akin to “Noel Coward and Afrika Bambaataa enjoying a sweet sherry together.” Me, I close my eyes and can’t get the image of a Cassetteboy mash up of Jacob Rees-Mogg out of my head. This immediately sends shudders right down my already hunched up sciatica riddled spine, that’s beacuse tonight’s gig is also one of those dreaded things called, an all-seated show! Arrrrrgh!

Yup, Sparks appear to prefer to play these kinds of shows here in the UK, so its makeshift seating for my first gig back in The Halls since it reopened just a few weeks back and I can’t help by feel just a little bit jealous of the Amon Amarth fans who got to air row their way through their favourite band’s set in the venue just a week or so earlier.  To be honest, seating does actually work well for Sparks, simply because their live show is, just like their back catalogue, all over the place. There is a point tonight where the Mael brothers jump from the electronic pop of the title track of their new album to the unconventional deep cut art rock of ‘Beaver O’Lindy’ by way of the almost new wave throb of ‘Angst In My Pants’ and the poor girl sat a few rows in front of me is doing a Clodagh Rodgers, up and down like a jack in the box, not quite knowing whether to dance or just sit and watch the art (because there is no other word to describe it) of Sparks unfold before our eyes.

As it turns out tonight is also the final date of Sparks’ run of European theatre size shows before they play Glastonbury over the weekend, and me being me, I’d perhaps half expected them to mix the set up a bit ready for a greatest hits overload to please the Glasters masses, but no this is Sparks and they do things their way, so if you want ‘Beat The Clock’, ‘Tryouts For The Human Race’ or perhaps ‘Get In The Swing’ look away now, because what we do get is a most pleasurable trip through six tracks from thew new album (my pick being the uproarious ’Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is’) along with the likes of  ‘Balls’, ‘Bon Voyage’ and ‘Shopping Mall Of Love’ with the title track for the album from which the latter track is taken also providing the cue for the people of Wolverhampton to finally realise they really can dance too, and with everyone finally up on their feet for a fantastic ‘When Do I Get to Sing My Way’ the last piece of the Sparks jigsaw puzzle drops perfectly into place.

Of course, they have to play ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both of Us’ and its here that I’m suddenly thinking of when I saw Sy Keeler’s post-Onslaught band Mirror Mirror thrashing their way through the classic in a tiny nightclub in Newport back in the early ‘90s, and then it hits my how much Sparks not only blend genres but actually help create them, as that really could  be current arena metal giants Ghost up there as the chords come crashing out of The Halls splendid all singing all dancing new PA system.

Having almost turned back at one point during tonight’s seemingly endless journey trying to get to the gig, I’m so glad we didn’t, as just like tonight’s headliners, great things do come to those who tough it out, and no that isn’t just a way for me to get an FM song title into my review.

A truly magnificent night of music. 

Author:Johnny Hayward

For under £20 you too can own a fine quality record of the debut album from power pop punks The Exploding Hearts. Their story is one of tragedy and a band dealt the most extraordinery end in music. There was talk of a documentary about the band but that seems to have gone all quiet and the one remaining member has surfaced to promote this here release, which is the shining light that has come out of this incredable story, apart from the fantyastic bunch of songs that made it to this record and the comp ‘Shattered’.

Four snotty kids with a bunch of Boys like power pop anthems enter a cheap studio and lay down some tracks that clock in at less than half an hour and subsequently blow people’s minds then tragedy strikes and the dream is gone. Kicking off with the majestic ‘Modern Kicks’ as good a power pop punk rock anthem you’ll ever hear, yup it’s that fuckin’ good.

I could have reviewed it from the original I own but I wanted to wait for the remastered to land with the bonus tracks but thanks to Third Man awful distro it was in the shops a few weeks before my copy arrived from their mail-order and almost ten UK pounds cheaper on Amazon but that’s a debate for another day. Where were we? Oh yes ‘Modern Kicks’ what a tune, an absolute gold standard banger. What a legacy to leave behind man some bands have been at it for decades and never wrote a song close to that, but, there’s more. This record is fantastic. House in a nice gatefold and with a decent loud remaster at least Third Man has done the band’s memory proud on that front.

Theres a new wave melody at every turn its like Rockpile if they were late teens mixed with the Boys mixed with valley of the dolls mixed with a hint of The Jam its none more evident than on ‘Throwaway Style’ or the epic and punchy ‘Thorns In Roses’ with the snotty melody and rapid beats underpinned by the chiming guitars before some serious boogieing.

This band could also seriously boogie on down with the best of them – from the Stooges one fingered piano drill on ‘Boulevard Trash’ to the acoustic baladeering on the dreamy ‘Jailbird’ turning the dial back as far as the Kinks or The Who for inspiration but you’re never far away from a Johnny Thunders inspired guitar lick like the snotty ‘Still Crazy’ with its cool as bv’s. As much as I love this album its forever steeped in tragedy but its one hell of a record and Third Man have done them proud here.

With a couple of remixes nailed onto the end is a welcome addition but I can’t urge you enough if you’ve never heard these cats then do it and buy this album – you absolutely won’t be disappointed – these songs rule and have aged superbly well. Long live The Exploding Hearts their flame is still buring thanks to reissues like this. Adam “Baby” Cox, Matt “Lock” Fitzgerald, and Jeremy “Kid Killer” Gage rest in peace fellas your legacy is forever preserved. Long live the Exploding Hearts.

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Author: Dom Daley

For this gig, I have to admit taking a different tact and actually booking public transport (a Train ) , not once did I realise I was about to enter Dante’s Seventh circle of hell, the one full of miini demons, dressed in pink cowboy hats watching Tic Tok vids endlessly of the arch demon known to us as Harry Styles and discussing pilgrimages to see his Succubus Taylor Smith!!!! Yup I chose to travel the day after the Harry styles gig in Cardiff stadium, after Taylor Swift announced her gigs for the year, the only saving grace on the whole journey, apart from my phone and Exit_International Black Junk on full volume a message from the H-Bomb himself letting me know we had tickets for TSOL & MDC in the Exchange in Bristol. 

This was my first trip to Wolverhampton and to a venue (The Halls) now run by Live Nation  but seen as a centre-point on the Local Authority’s regeneration  of Wolverhampton. Not having seen the Venue before it still has an old school venue feel and an excellent sound system. 

Tonight was all about ticking off another of those bucket list artists never having seen Siouxsie before and being honest I approached it with a bit of apprehension having seen some of the usual phone recordings of earlier shows on this tour. I needn’t have worried from the start things were almost bang on, as the intro of Camille Saint-Saens carnival of the animals drifted away the night kicks off with a fantastic 1-2 of “Night Shift” and “Arabian Nights” but Siouxsie is not happy with the sound something that then gets sorted very quickly after her berating the sound engineer. By the time we get to “Dear Prudence” the band are spot on and in the groove with a sound to match. We had a superb “ Loveless” a creatures classic “But not them”, before too soon we’re into “Christine” and “Happy House” and the set comes to an end. But just telling you about the songs played doesn’t really give the full picture, this was a show, Siouxsie orchestrating the musicians visuals enhancing each and every track.

Moving into the first encore, we had two!!!! we had a blinding “Switch” followed by “Spellbound”, then the second encore of “Hong Kong Garden” and “Israel”.

After opening the Halls with Blur, this Siouxsie gig, Sparks the following night and many more top line artists to come, I’d really like to think that music can help regenerate a city and chatting to the owner of Stay Loose Records the following day he confirmed that yes things have been picking up since they re-opened The Halls and, footfall and number of people staying over has increased.

Just maybe the Local Authority have got this just right.

Author: Nev Brooks

Yeah that there fella Clayton, He’s keifs mate innit and he’s shared a stage with the likes of Spike, Tyla, Brian James, Jim Jones and a whole lot of Rock n Rollas and punk rockers over the years and as it goes his recording output is pretty bloody spectacular to be fair from top to bottom Them Dirty Strangers don’t bother recording duff tracks and if you were to cut em they’d bleed Rock n Roll no question about that.

‘Hunters Moon’ Started life during lockdown, the Dirty Strangers’ triumphant sixth studio album has been a long time coming, and what a vibrant, joyful, exciting, and life affirming record it is too. Quite how Alan Clayton has kept his chin up and been so positive and enthusiastic is a mystery considering he’s been at this for forty years.

I do love me a genuine bonafide 100% unadulterated, nonpretentious slice of Rock n Roll, and its easy to say that this here record contains Clayton’s strongest bunch of songs to date, bolstered by a new bunch of Dirties whilst saying farewell to long-time keyboard legend Scott Mulvey, who passed away in 2021 and features on four of the tracks herein.

Clayton attributes the records quality and the unique southern cheeky charm of his eloquent lyrics to writing in lockdown seclusion on the 1964 Gibson Hummingbird acoustic gifted to him by Keith Richards over 20 years ago. The record kicks off with the title track a laid-back slide-drenched rocker. Remember that balmy first lockdown when the sun was blazing, well, I can imagine this germinating in those sizzling nights in some dimly lit room with a warm valve amp crackling with ideas and a solo that just oozes class. It’s only rock n roll kids and far more dangerous than any virus.

When genuine Rockers have time on their hands it can lead to mischief and set off all sorts of alarms but for some, it can ignite a fire inside as the creative juices flow and boy were they flowing around at Clayton towers by the sounds of it.

As lockdown eased and against the tragedy of losing Scotty, tracks appeared as a new core Dirties line-up of Cliff Wright, returning drummer Lawrence Fox and original guitarist John Rollason, who’d go to jam and spar with Keith Richards on the band’s 1987 debut.

Clayton’s West One Two Studio in Sussex must have been on the radar as the epicenter of some pretty explosive songwriting was taking seed from the wonderful rework of ‘Gold Cortina’.

‘La La La I Couldn’t Care Less’ is driven by Alan’s then-thirteen-year-old niece Holly Clayton on drums, inspired by, “that sort of arrogant ‘I don’t care’ teenage swagger. Given the seal of approval by none other than Brian James it had to make the cut and on the evidence before us mlord it was a great call.

 If you’re looking for proof that this is the band’s best work thus far then get an earful of the magnificent ‘My Girl’s A Getaway Driver’. it’s a ram-raiding classic from the awesome lyrics to that driving bass and drum combo it’s unbelievably good and don’t you forget it. One minute and forty seconds long it’s a fuckin’ Blitzkrieg of a tune wham bang thank you, mam, If the Stones were to write and record a song this good they’d be taken on an open-top bus parade around shit island and have the keys to the country let alone the getaway car. If you think that’s good wait til you hear the sleazy party dancefloor filler of ‘State of Affair’ from the ole Joanna tinkling to the melody in the vocals never mind about those guitar licks it’s an absolute banger.

It’s as Rock n Roll as it gets, it’s laid back, cool, smoldering, the real deal, it’s the cat’s pajamas it’s the bees knees it’s the most accomplished well written set of Rock n Roll tunes you’ll hear all year. If I’m honest these eleven songs should come with a health warning. Alan should be immensely proud of this album and to sign off with the pallet cleanser that is ‘Anything You Say’ thats stripped down to its primal acoustic, slide, tambourine, and handclaps there is no weak spot, honestly. Any chance of another lockdown in about twelve months so The Dirty Strangers can get locked up to write another record, if it’s half as good as this it’ll still be better than 99% of new albums.


Author: Dom Daley

Revised and updated edition of the classic Johnny Thunders biography by Nina Antonia. I bought the original edition back in the eighties and must have read it a dozen times I loved Johnny Thunders and its fair to say obsessed about the man and his music – remember he was still with us and this was pre-internet so having a book written (very well I might add) about the guy and his music it was a doorway into the mystical magical world of one of Rock and Rolls biggest mavericks, an outlaw, a renegade and a genuine talent.

So the book and its relevance in 2023 might well be lost on a generation of kids looking to find out about youth culture or musicians who paved the way perhaps it’s just a catch-up and a top and tails or a full stop to the story of Johnny the man because his music has never gone away its always been with us and through RSD we spent years rediscovering live records and versions of one of the greatest albums ever made and to be fair Jungle always did a fantastic job of keeping his memory alive and now with this new version of ‘In Cold Blood’ the story gets a few additional chapters and Nina has updated a classic music book with just the right amount of empathy and sympathy as well as some wonderful new pictures from the archives.

Nina Antonia has always been the go-to person with regard to all things Thunders and always championed his corner and I think was well respected by the man himself who clearly loved her words and the way she told his story. It’s fair to say the new version of the book is bound in a very nice tactile softback jacket and a new forward from Mike Scott of the Waterboys fame. It was great to pick up a book I’ve read more than any other music biography but this time with a look into the rearview mirror and one with hindsight baked in. The author never sugarcoated Johnny and his struggles she never shied away from his shortcomings and it’s great to jog the memory of facts I’d forgotten. The real Jam here is post original book release. I saw the Oddballs play with Johnny a number of times and thought they were amazing and some of the bootlegs I have would back that theory up Johnny had a fighting chance and a band behind him that could see a resurgence in his popularity. Reading quotes from people inside the inner sanctum that orbited Thunders come across as a caring bunch whist the chaos that often circled his actions continued. Some of the final added chapters are heartbreaking and sad and ‘Fate and Fatality’ is a difficult read. Some words from Jerry about bruising are particularly difficult to read.

You just wish you knew him and could throw your arms around him and show him a little care but alas its history. and, I’m sure those close to him did and tried many times Johnny being scared by his health at the time and scared to seek medical help maybe because he knew and without an autopsy or a through investigation the final hours are in keeping with his life as a whole private, chaotic, mischevous, sad and tragic. I miss his music and reading about him or watching him play but through this book his spirit is kept alive and a treasure to own for all his shortcomings, he gave so much in such a short space of time.

Rest In Peace Johnny. And thanks to those involved in this new updated edition for keeping the flame burning for his memory. Along with ‘Looking For Johnny’ we now have the difinitive book lovingly updated without sugarcoating the man but letting it be known his soul was full to bursting with the good the bad and the ugly but also the talent, the love and the frailties of the man. If you only buy one book this year then make this it and let some love into your soul for the man who never made it to forty but lived the life of a man twice his age its mindblowing that this book is released on what would have been Johnnys 71st birthday – Boom! – ‘In Cold Blood’ Buy It!

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In Conjunction with this book’s publication, Jungle Records will release the LAMF Demo Sessions digitally together for the first time mid July. visit www.jungle-records.net for details.

Author: Dom Daley

Kenny caught up with the enigma that is Chris Holmes just before he hit the stage on his recent performance in Crymlin as part of his UK Tour. Sit back relax and have a giggle its the one and only Chris Holmes.

Thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat with me Chris!

 ‘No problem’

 Welcome back to Wales. Can you remember the last time you were here?

‘I’m not sure if I’ve ever been here’

I saw you in Cardiff with W.A.S.P. back in the day.

Oh yeah, I’ve played there, is that in Wales?’

Yes, Cardiff is the capital city of Wales.

You learn something new every day, y’ know?’

How are you, Chris? You’ve had a rough few years.

Yeah, I’m good, I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, going through the radiation and the chemo wasn’t fun. I finished treatment exactly a year ago. I’m still feeling the effects of the radiation, it was done in my neck, I can’t swallow too good. My voice is getting better, I sing now. For the last year on the road, the singer sang all of my songs, it was weird playing them without singing, but I’m gonna do them on this tour.’

So, your voice is much stronger now?

‘It hasn’t got any stronger, it’s just come back.’ I lost a lot of weight; I went from a hundred and twenty kilos down to eighty-eight. I’m back up to ninety-three kilos now.’

Tell me about lockdown Chris, were you productive? Were you writing music?

Yeah, I’ve got a bunch of music stored on a computer. In lockdown I recorded every song I ever wanted in my life from the internet. You can say that I bootlegged it, who cares about bootlegging? I never made any money from my publishing anyway. I sat for hours just getting every song and storing them on SD cards.’

Any new material from Mean Man?

Not right now, my computer went down. When I get that back up and running, I can record all the stuff and listen back and submit it to everyone else, depending on how I want to do the next album. Last album I did, it was actual people playing, the one before that I just programmed it all with Pro Tools.’

Have the rehearsals for the tour gone well?

Yeah, yeah, we did three days and we’re good.’

Tell us about your current band Chris.

‘I’ve got the same drummer I’ve had for about five or six years, Stephen Jackson, he’s from Carlisle, he plays in a band called Heartbreak Remedy, when Mean Man is in the UK, he plays for Mean Man. The bass player is a guy named Charles Lambert, he’s from Montreal and he speaks fluent French, I call him Chuck. We were going to tour together and then Covid hit, when Covid started dying down, Bam! I got cancer so we had to cancel everything. We did five shows in Canada together and I did a Q & A after a showing of my movie, the Mean Man documentary. I came out and I answered questions for around half an hour, and we played five songs. That was good. Florien plays guitar and sings back-up vocals.

So, it’s a stable line up?

‘Oh yeah, yeah. Usually, I have some guys from the Wicked Jackals, but they had some shows booked during this tour, so what can you do?’

Are you looking forward to this UK run of shows?

‘Yes! I haven’t really played properly for a long time.’

You live in France; can you speak much French?

‘No, my wife does all of the translating.’

Do you miss living in Los Angeles?

No, I was just there recently. In Cannes, the police are really nice, in LA they’re pricks. I got tired of it; I was bothered every time I got in a car by a cop. Good cop, bad cop, I don’t give a crap. I got sick and tired of it, it’s the way that I look. I understand what black people must go through; I don’t think it’s very nice. They think I look like a drug addict criminal; I choose the way I look. To most cops in LA I look like a criminal and I got tired of it. In the UK I don’t even see any cops! The cops in France are cool, they don’t look at me like I’m a criminal. I was just back in LA for two days because my father had passed away, I had to go and take care of everything.’

My condolences Chris.

It’s the way it is, this planet. In a hundred years from now, this planet will still be turning, who knows what shape it’s gonna be in? But we’ll all be gone. I don’t miss LA, the rock music scene, just aint happening, it kinda died out in the Nineties, a lot of the clubs are closed, it was a better decision to leave.’

I’ve always wanted to visit LA, see the Sunset Strip, Rainbow Bar & Grill etc.

If you’re not from there, it’s probably fun to check it out, I was born in LA so it’s a lot different. I’ve been going to that garbage all my life. I didn’t come from out of state to make it in a band, I was stuck there, so it’s a much different situation.’

Were you pleased with the reaction to the Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes film?

Yeah, yeah, I’m pleased with it, it just shows, a few of my friends have said, it shows a different side to you Chris. Instead of sitting in a pool drinking booze, a lot of people have a vision of the way I am. If that’s all I did in W.A.S.P. I wouldn’t have played in W.A.S.P., I did a lot more than drink alcohol. I actually made it onto a stage once or twice! (Laughs) That’s not what most people think though.

How is it, having your wife as your manager?

‘I couldn’t imagine, if I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t be doing this right now. I’d probably be sitting in LA, I’d either be in jail in LA, or I’d be sitting there playing with Pro Tools somewhere in a closet, doing nuthin’ trying to find some band in LA to play with me. I’ve tried and tried and tried, nobody will really play with me. When I did find people, they would want to be put on a salary, it’s all about money. I didn’t make any money in W.A.S.P., I never got my publishing, I didn’t understand how it worked when we signed the deal and all that stuff, I was taken advantage of by someone I considered at the time my best friend. I didn’t understand how the situation worked back then, nobody told me, nobody explained it to me. They knew that I didn’t understand it.’

Most musicians get into music to play music. Not to be an accountant.

‘You’re right, the accountants and the people that know what’s going on take advantage. It’s really sad, when I actually looked into what’s going on, it really jerks me wrong that I would actually be a friend to somebody like that. All these people say to me, God, you should be back in W.A.S.P., no, no. You screwed me once, you’re not gonna screw me twice. No way. I did go back to W.A.S.P. in ‘95, I was promised it was a whole different ball game, everything will be cool. No, it was the same crap as before, it was the same narcissism as before, I just hung out on my own and did my job.’

Who inspired you to pick up a guitar Chris?

‘Jimi Hendrix was my first. My second would be Johnny Winter, my Mom always listened to the Stones and the Beatles. I would like to say Eddie Van Halen, but I was already playing guitar by the time I met him. I met him way before he was in Van Halen when he was in Mammoth. He was probably a bigger inspiration than Hendrix because I was friends with him. Inspiration as in, using a Marshall, how to set your equipment up on stage, how to treat other people, very important. I was in a dressing room in 1987, Van Halen’s dressing room at the Omni theatre, snorting blow, guzzling down booze with Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen and who walks in? Blackie Lawless, thinks he’s our friend. Eddie looks at me and goes ‘Who in the fuck is this dickhead?’ and Blackie walks right out. Ed could see the bullshit with people, he could see who’s full of shit and who’s not full of shit. He knew David Lee Roth was the way Dave was, Dave was exceptional with his lyric writing and Ed knew it was worth having him around.

 I learned a lot from Ed, I’d see him play and just be envious, I wish I could play like that! One time we were at my house in Pasadena, I had just got this Marshall amp. This was before Sister and W.A.S.P. Ed was in the process of making the first Van Halen album. He was over, we were getting high on pot, some real good weed. I had my Marshall cranked and he was playing my guitar, he was doing some tricks and he goes ‘Chris, you’d better close your windows, your neighbours are gonna get mad and call the cops’ I was like fuck the neighbours! and I was hoping they would think it was me playing! He was so good. He knew the insides and out of his gear. I learned a lot of tricks from him. If it wasn’t for Ed, I wouldn’t have the sound I have today. He was a big inspiration. Hendrix was a killer entertainer though.’

You mentioned Tony Iommi, was he an influence?

‘I love Tony’s sound and the way he plays guitar, he’s killer. Those riffs. I can sit and play and come up with ideas easily though. I don’t like using an acoustic, it must be an electric guitar’.

What was your first guitar?

My sister had a flamenco guitar and I put some super slinky strings on it and bent the neck! (Laughs). So, you could say that was my first guitar, I then moved onto a Fender Jazzmaster, I didn’t have too many guitars, I got an Ibanez destroyer when I was sixteen or seventeen, Eddie Van Halen used it on the second Van Halen album, I had broken my back in a motorcycle accident, and I was laid up in hospital. Eddie came in and asked if he could borrow my guitar. I said well, I aint gonna be playing for a while, he goes ‘apparently not!’ Then I got an endorsement with Jackson, so I’ve never really bought many guitars.’

What was it like being a part of the LA backyard party scene back in the day? Did you ever play with other bands on the circuit like Van Halen etc?

‘Yeah, I met Eddie at a party when he was in Mammoth, he had a guy named Michael Stone on bass and Alex (Van Halen) was on drums, they were playing all covers. Sabbath, ZZ Top, Ed would sing. I used to play at parties too, that’s how it worked back then. If you were in a band, you would play at a party on a Friday and Saturday night. When we weren’t playing, we would go and see Mammoth a lot. That was fun, good old times. Do they have that here in the UK?’

No, we don’t have the weather or pools in our gardens!

‘Oh yeah, we definitely had the weather. Sometimes we would get a friend to go to a gas station and call the police. They would come and bust the party and we wouldn’t have to play too long, we could just party! (Laughs)’

What was your biggest achievement as a member of W.A.S.P.?

Probably just staying alive…that really is my biggest achievement. I really didn’t give a crap back then; I burned the candle at both ends. When I was young, there was no say no to drugs, if you didn’t do drugs and alcohol, you were an outcast. I’m from California, born and raised in Pasadena, all my friends did drugs. I don’t even want to get into it, I was really stupid. I’m still here, that’s my biggest achievement. How many records did W.A.S.P. sell? I don’t really care, I have some gold records, they’re in a box somewhere at my mom’s, I don’t really give a shit about it because I look at them as a reminder of getting ripped off, rather than I sold 250 million records or whatever. To me that’s a bunch of crap, because I didn’t get any of my publishing so I really couldn’t give a shit. It’s sad, it’s sad. That’s something that at the age of fifteen I would have died for, a gold record? That was my dream. When I got it, I didn’t get what’s supposed to come with it, a nice house, cars and all that stuff. I was always in the dark, that’s the way it is. It’s sad that that’s what that bands about, it’s all about just the money.’

What are your memories of the Ronnie James Dio charity project Hear N Aid?

It was horrible. I knew Jimmy Bain well, a year before he died, he said, Chris, we personally asked your management if you could come and play guitar and they said that you had other obligations and couldn’t. Did you see me playing guitar on there? You know why I didn’t? It’s because of one man’s jealousy, I went to sing on there, yes, I sang on there because I went with Rod (Smallwood) our manager and Blackie Lawless. Jimmy Bain asked FOUR times and they said I couldn’t play; I had other obligations. That came from Blackie Lawless himself, he was jealous, didn’t want me being seen better than him. That’s what happens when you work with a narcissist. That Hear N Aid thing is a crock of shit to me, a bunch of crap. It was nothing but a jealousy thing. I don’t care what people say about that, when Jimmy told me that, we were great friends, we hung out together, he said we asked your management four times, I said, why didn’t you just ask me personally Jimmy? He said, we didn’t know how to get hold of you.

 Do you know why I did the Decline of Western Civilisation? Penelope (Spheeris – Director) called me personally. That’s why I did it. She didn’t call the management, she talked to me personally. She knew somebody that knew me, if she had talked to management, of course they would have said no. You know how many times I’d be on the road, this is about 1998, I found a bicycle in Switzerland and before soundcheck, I’d wake up on the bus, we were staying on the bus instead of hotel rooms. I would ride the bike around, come back play the show and then at night we would do a meet and greet, I never got paid any money for them, but fans would have to pay to meet us. A photographer I knew says, Chris, where were you today? I said why? He said, we requested an interview for you personally and management said you got other obligations. I was like, I was off riding my bike, I could have done it. It sucks that somebody keeps you down, its sad. That’s why I hate that whole situation.’

You’ve been referred to as the American equivalent of Lemmy on numerous occasions, and you worked closely with Philthy Animal Taylor. Tell us about that.

Philthy is one of the reasons I sing. A lot of people hate my voice, but Phil was one of the reasons why, if it wasn’t for my wife and Phil I wouldn’t have done my solo albums. He was a big inspiration for me, he taught me how to use Pro Tools and how to put drum tracks down. Phil was one of the coolest musicians I ever met in my life. He was famous but had a heart of gold. He didn’t like fake people, he didn’t like assholes, he wouldn’t even talk to ‘em. Believe it or not, he was a very quiet person.’

When you left W.A.S.P. in 1991, you formed a band called Psycho Squad, do you think the grunge movement was instrumental in the band not taking off?

‘We all drank, you know, they weren’t signing bands like mine with the kind of music I did, they weren’t signing anybody at that time. Bands like mine couldn’t get a deal, grunge was happening, and I didn’t play grunge. It was a great band, if it was a few years before that it would have been good, but it was the wrong time.’

You seem to be happiest when you’re playing guitar, do you feel that playing is the most important thing to you?

‘Yeah, my first wife was pregnant, and I wanted to do music more that raise a kid, my mom told me that if I stay around then the kid would get in the way of your music and ruin your career. I made a lot of sacrifices. I just enjoy playing, watching people enjoying themselves and enjoying the music you know? Now, a lot of people see me, I’ve been doing this for forty years, I play a certain way, I’m the only guy on the planet that plays like I do. I got my own sound, and some people still enjoy watching me play. I’m not schooled at music at all, I’ve learned what a major and minor chord is (laughs) I play by feel.

 My guitar sound is a really clean guitar sound, it’s got distortion, there’s ways of overdriving your equipment without getting white and pink noise. If you ever went to a Motorhead concert, now there’s white and pink noise! So loud and distorted but that was Motorhead! Phil Campbell is coming down tonight, we’re old time LA birds of a feather. He’s always treated me with the utmost respect.

Chris, on behalf of RPM Online, thank you so much for your time. Have a great gig tonight and enjoy the rest of the tour!

‘Thanks man, appreciate it.’


Just Shy of 400 pages the follow-on book to ‘Salad Daze’ sees Wayne picks up his pen and writes his story from ’85 to ’90. A time when Rock bands who had hits and worked hard could reach the heady heights of playing at Wembley Arena and globe-trotting with all the trappings of success you know Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll and to be fair The Mission did all three in copious amounts it would seem. This isn’t a day-by-day or month-by-month diary entries but more in conversation with one of the finest frontmen of the time. Sure there is debauchery and boys together fun ‘n’ sun stories a plenty (why wouldn’t there be?) As part of one of the UK’s biggest Rock bands, Hussey was larger than life and was intent on living the dream to its fullest. However, amongst the larger-than-life stuff, you also find a man who is thoughtful, shy, caring, and humble and one who carries a sense of humor about who he is and where he is.

1985 to 1990, the time frame the book lives, The Mission had released the epic ‘God’s Own Medicine’, ‘Children’, and ‘Carved in Sand’. So it makes perfect sense that the time spent on the albums are laid out in vivid detail. Wayne is a colourful charachter and as he says himslef loumouthed, opinionated, arrogant, shameless, brazen Rock Star and to be fair credit where credit is due he bloodywell was. With the records being front and centre, you do get a real sense of pride in his and his bandmates work. Wayne was determined to enjoy the good times and deal with any bad that would come alongside. You do get the sense that the other side the shy, private (not that you’d think it) reflective side this is a man who appreciates with the power of hindsight everything his talent has afforded him. Prefacing the tome with the fact it might be a pack of made up wishfulthinking lies or the Gods Own Truth is everything and nothing and perhaps a little mischiefess or a riproaring giggle to the gentlemen in the band.

Wayne being the type of person who comits everything to a project or why bother also constructed a playlist to accompany the book all designed to enrich the reading experience of this here book (nice thoughtful guy) some bangers that indeed help to add a time and place to the story for the reader.

I did laugh out loud throughout the book at certain stories which all began at the descriptions in the prologue – Cast – Craig Adams – Lank, Manky Dark Hair, snub-nosed, skinny. and so it begins. I know some fans will then go and debate the fact that how dare Wayne call Craig he of Manky Dark Hair but it is what it is and I chose to laugh at his description of Lurch. He then goes on to explain himself as having a long Conk. and it begins in Leeds with a script of the two taking a bus ride it is neither romantic nor true probably even admitting to smoking Silk Cut has to be folly. but the anecdotes are amusing as are the tales however tall. It was a magical time to follow a band like the Mission let alone be in the band on the rise at a time when the decadence of excess was still full throttle.

The band had a close bond with the fans throughout their career maybe less so when they hit arena success but hey ho shit happens. Wayne does allude to that in the book and offers it up as one of his possible regrets. However, fans of the band and this particular period will have fond memories revisited of touring with U2 or the Cure recording with one of Led Zepplin, and hanging with the biggest stars in the business legitimately.

Throughout the book, you do get an insight into the man writing the book and a newfound fondness and respect for who he is – who he is. When writing a book his second as it goes and a third to follow bringing us up to date in Waynes World (there is a good title, no wait) he writes from the heart, and it’s like a chat over a few nights down the pub with a mate whos lived a little and that’s not something every book delivers. It’s weird I’ve interviewed Wayne and it was a highlight of doing what I do amongst all the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and I still get a thrill watching them live now as I did pre ‘Gods Own Medicine’ so when Wayne alluded to the writing of these books I was excited and having read the first two I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact, the opposite I have a greater respect for the man who wrote them and I found myself laughing out loud and shaking my head in disbelief in other parts but the overriding thought was doesn’t it make you sick with some of these people whatever they touch they make it look piss easy and are equally good at it be it writing music and performing or writing a book – fuckin show offs make me sick coming here with all that talent during their heady days when it would have been just as easy to bullshit and make believe instead of writing a bloody excellent book of a magical time, not many people get to experience and doing it so bloody well. Onto the most recent chapter in the trilogy, I can’t wait but I won’t say the final chapter because that would be a tragedy. Long live the Mission and long may Wayne continue to lead the band through the garden of delight in some very different times. A fantastic book for a fan of which I am, and a really enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down. Job done.

Buy Here


Or head to the bands website to pick up a signed deluxe edition Here

Author: Dom Daley

Whilst most of the rest of the UK is seemingly trying to cram itself into Cardiff tonight to watch some talent(less) show pop singer we’re (thankfully) heading in the opposite direction on the M4 (which is like a car park going the other way) as we breeze into Bristol unfashionably early, just in time to catch the first of tonight’s three band bill… which really is the antithesis of everything going on back home.

Seven Crowns from Bath who’ve been shoehorned onto the bill to give maximum value for mayhem get to give those of us in early doors an immediate bloody nose as their brand of punk/metal kind of reminds me of that time I once put an Eyehategod LP on at 45rpm by mistake (go on, try it). It’s fast., brutal and as heavy as a million burnt out suns. The fact that they have been together for 20 years and released multiple albums is quite staggering for yours truly as I really don’t think I’ve ever heard of them before, but in saying that when their singer Jonny Bainbridge admits they can’t be arsed to promote their new single, or in fact name it when they play it live, then perhaps I shouldn’t be that surprised after all. The locals must be aware of them though as they are all crammed around the doorway of The Exchange’s live room, making it almost impossible to get out for a pint or indeed a piss, all seeming positively terrified of the four piece, and there is an element of S.S.S meets Poison Idea like danger to their performance, but me I’m happy to be front and centre savouring every moment of discovering yet another great punk band.

I discovered The Hip Priests, Nottingham’s nefarious purveyors of black denim blitz-rock a long, long time ago. In fact, I’ve probably seen them live more times than any other band, but tonight is the first time I’ve seen them post the release of their fifth studio album ‘Roden House Blues’. Thankfully those who had been cowering in the corner of the venue for Seven Crowns pack the dancefloor for opener ‘Stand For Nothing’, the Jugend pleasing “woah oh woah-ing” chorus hitting the garage punk bullseye straight from the get go.

Whizzing through a set containing some of the band’s best singles (‘Jesus Died So We Could Ride’ and ‘Cheers To Me’ take a bow) along with a tasty smorgasbord of tunes from the aforementioned new album (‘The Best Revenge’, ‘Can’t Abide With Me’ and ‘Shakin Ain’t Fakin’ all getting the faithful dancing) it’s impossible to fault the boundless energy and commitment of the five guys up on the Exchange stage.  Guitarists Austin Rocket and Gentle Ben trade licks like Kramer and Smith on speed at opposite sides of the venue whilst in-between them giant of the bass rumble Lee Love along with frontman Nathan Von Cruz tease and please those diehards draped over the monitors. The surprise performance award tonight though must go to drummer DP Bomber who is like an East Midlands Tommy Lee behind his kit, and as we all know great bands all start with a great drummer.

The Hip Priests most certainly have a tiger in their tank right now, but they save the best until last as they thrash through ‘Juiced Up And Loose’ and leave everyone hot, sweaty and wanting more. Now, talking of which, where was ‘Zero Fucks…..’ Only joking lads, I know it was a support slot and time was tight, although in saying that, tonight the world revolves around Zeke Time.

Zeke really are like no other band in the world right now, as tonight they play for around 40 minutes and in that time bludgeon their way through somewhere in the region of around 25 songs. It’s not fast, its fucking hypersonic hardcore, and the fact that they do all it without a single set list on the stage is nothing short of a modern musical miracle.

Whilst trying to track said set list for the purpose of this review I just had to give up and simply enjoy the moment, as the band, as always, chaperoned by singer guitarist Blind Marky Felchtone, thundered through the likes of ‘Holley 750’ ‘Two Lane Blacktop’ and their as always awesome cover of ‘Shout It Out Loud’ like they were on dreaded a club curfew (they weren’t by the way) and my fellow gig-goers hurtled past me with expressions on their faces like they were trying to escape a zombie apocalypse, by way of some sort of twisted appreciation.

BMF is certainly a man of few words between songs (its normally just a series of noises and grunts, that to my ears have always sounded positively West Country-like) but when he tells everyone that drummer (and band co-founder) Donny Paycheck is playing everything a little fast tonight, the affirmative roar he receives in response should be proof positive that what Zeke do they do very, very well indeed.

Special mention must also go to bassist Jason Freeman and guitarist Jeff Hiatt, who put in a towering shift on the opening night of this extensive European tour, and I can just feel it in my bones that the upcoming album that this line up has just recorded is going to be an absolute headfuck.

With The Exchange situated deep within Bristol City Council’s recently introduced Clean Air Zone I can’t help think the enforcement agency employed to collect the tariff for noxious vehicles travelling within it perhaps missed a trick with Zeke in town tonight, because this eight legged punk rock juggernaut is easily the most toxic thing on the road anywhere in the world right now, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Author: Johnny ‘ZFG’ Hayward 

It’s been a while I’ll give you that. One man Trash Rock n Roller Kevin K has released a bazillion self released albums over decades and its been a whilse since we heard from the man and then an email hits the virtual doormat with a thud and low and behold its only a new long players from da Man containing his heaviest bunch of lo-fi tunes to date.

He’s been leaning on the fact that these tunes are his heaviest songs in a Blackest of Sabbath way and as soon as the title track kicks in you get his drift. Kevin took himself to Detroit to record in a cold dark basement just to set the tone and boy has it shaped these tunes. In an age where you can produce a piece on pro tools in your toilet if you so wish and get amazing results but Kevin heads to the basement and digs up a tascam four track and buries it in the dirt then digs it up and then begins recording. Twelve songs the next as dark as the previous taking a heavy metalic goth sledgehammer to each track.

‘Broken’ is heavy distorted riff-a-rama but heres the thing its not a giant leap his vocal is instantly recognisable for fans of his work and the solo is sweet whilst the drum machine plays on behind the wall of fuzz its a cool riff and a great way to kick off the album.

Kevin pays tribute to one of the finest bands ever to walk the planet with ‘The Lords Of The New Church’ not a new idea one that Michael Monroe did very well on his solo path and an idea that Stiv did with the Dolls so full circle is done and I do like the use of the tracks riff. ‘Wrong Way To Hell’ is an aggressive little bugger and I also like the riff on this I can imagine this done in a studio with a real live band and a big production being a bit of a beast and the melody is really good.

The theme follows throughout with strong vocal melodies from the Double K with fuzzed up fucked up guitar riffs kicking the tunes out of your speakers with less abrasive vocals from KK. In a dark Hellhammer kinda way ‘Prayers Of Life’ bursts into life.

The lyrics tread familiar ground for Kevin but you knew that but the change here is trading in those Thunders licks n fills for a blunt trauma forced guitar hitting your speakers with little finesse and it actually works for Kevin. The album gets a little lost midway with the same tempo and drum sound and beats but ‘Winter 22’ soon sets that to rights. Something as a little interlude ‘Winter 22’ is some light relief before heading back into the darkness with ‘Catacomb Heart’ a rolling solaplex punch of a riff over a staggering stuttering beat before a brief dark bridge and then heading back into the darkness. Excellent song.

The record signs off with a one man assault on the Dead Boys classic ‘Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth’ that ends as abruptly as this record begins. A cool experiment from Kevin K and over all it actually bloody works. Dive in summon the beast and let some darkness into your world. Kevin K did and made a record.

Buy Here or Bandcamp

Author: Dom Daley