January 23, 2010

Another ROCK POWER Chestnut from RP7   !           (followed by some squared circle after the interview)Sebastian throwing the proper sign language


Rock Power:  How are you doin?

Sebastian: Fuckin great!! (ed. note : this guy really likes the word FUCK) .   I’m up in Superior, Wisconsin.  Jesus, 6 cities, 6 nights in a row!  We have a day off tomorrow and then it’s another 6 in a row in 6 different states.

RP:   You’re a pretty high energy guy to say the least but how are you holdin up?

Sebastian:  Man, we’re like a fuckin machine dude!  only thing is, it’s like 5pm and I just woke up.    You’re catching me on my first coffee here.

RP:  But you’re on ROCK AND ROLL time right?

Sebastian:  It feels great to be out doin this.   The whole tour has been sold out and most places are way over capacity.  Possibly too far  over capacity!   We’re doin better numbers on this tour than we were on the last tour SKID ROW did.  I don’t know where we were last night (asks someone)….oh, Clinton, Iowa.   FUCKING raging rock metropolis.  Psycho corn huskers, oh, wait that was Lincoln.   We’re hitting all the midwest rock centers!

Rock Power:   And this time, no Skid Row, you’ve got Jimmy from the Frogs along for the ride on guitar?

Sebastian:  Fuck!  That fuckin guy is awesome!  He’s my angel sent down to save me in the rock netherworld!  He’s a great guitarist and the BEST songwriter I have EVER met!  The songs we are working on are slammin dude, wait till you fuckers hear this shit.  I take his old Frogs songs and sing them like 2 octaves higher with a HEAVY METAL drumbeat behind them and they are A- MAZING….  You can hear two of our new songs on my website, “Sleep” and “The most Powerful Man in The World”.1987 era SKID ROW

RP:  What kind of people are turning up for the rock shows?

Sebastian:  Of course, we get a lot of old SKID ROW fans you know… a lot of fuckers who are out to get drunk and get into a fight.   We’ve been getting a lot of fights at these shows (maybe it’s the 6 ft tall guy with the angel wings blowing the crowd kisses- ED).   For instance, last night we had to stop the show three fuckin times cuz these big, musclebound meatheads were beating the fuck outta each other.  I won’t fuckin deal with that shit at my shows.  I’ll get in the bus and fuckin go home.  I fuckin hate that shit.  I hate fights and shit in front of the stage.  I’m talkin REAL fights, not people havin fun, messin.  I’m talkin fuckin 30 year old construction workers with fuckin O-Z-Z-Y tatooed on their forehead, ready to rock….

Rockpower:   “Sleazin in the city…..”

Sebastian:  (singing)  “Lookin for a fight!!!!!”     (talkin to someone on the bus)… This ROCKPOWER motherfucker knows all the words and is singing to me and shit!!  HaHa

rockpower:  We’re part of a select crowd that waited in line for “Slave to The Grind” to come out and own everything from weird ass bands like The Frogs.

Sebastian:  Get outta here fucker!  That’s cool.

RP: Who are you kidding Sebastian?   To people our age Nikki, you and Stephen Pearcy are like your generation’s Gene Simmons, Steven Tyler and Ozzy!

Sebastian:  What??   Are you serious?  You have no IDEA what that means to me.  I can’t really relate.

RP:  I skipped school with some friends to go see you guys open up for GNR on the “Illusions” tour!  Even though Dave “The Snake” (Skid Row guitarist) was fat.

Sebastian:  (Laughing uncontrollably)  Man!!!!!   I’ve got a story about that fuckin dude.   We used to have fuckin calendars out in like 89-90 you know??  Like we’d do these big ass photo sessions and they’d sell the shit at like Spencer’s Gifts or whatever right?   Well, fast forward a couple years to like 91-92 we’d do these same fuckin photo sessions and mysteriously somehow there’s no calendar out….So, I call my manager up, Doc McGhee and I’m like “Where’s the fuckin calendar at man?  What happened?”  And he’s like “Oh, Snake killed it dude.  He thought he looked too fat in the photos so you guys aren’t havin a calendar now, can’t do it”.  This happened like 3 years in a row after we got big and I’m like “Well, fuck this shit, what the fuck am I  showin up for these photo shoots for?”   Whatever, man!  Go run your ass around the block dude! ( funny enough..Sebastian is on the current season of Celebrity Fit Club airing now on VH1)

Rockpower:  I thought it was pretty cool a year or so ago when you said you’d be open to doing a SKID ROW reunion if they approached you like a human being over some pizzas and beer rather than send the lawyer mafia out after you.

Sebastian:  Yeah, it’s like FUCK.  Come over, come out back, you know where I live…let’s fry some chickens and shoot the shit like rock and roll guys should.  That’s ROCK and ROLL to me.   I don’t need to do it for money.  If I were singing for money only I would’ve quit years ago let’s face it.  I love to sing.  I NEED to sing.  When I don’t sing I get sooooo depressed man, you can’t possibly imagine.  That’s why I started this new band.  I’m tired of waiting for Snake to get out of the fuckin Denny’s and get off the goddamn golf course.  I was completely tired of it.  Atlantic Records fucked around my other band “The Last Hard Men” (with Kelley from the Breeders, Jimmy from Pumpkins and Jimmy Frog).   That record from that band was supposed to come out ages ago but they just sat on it, they did SKID ROW’s “Greatest Hits” and I was like “FUCK YOU” to Jason Flom (A&R guy).  You take the same old songs from the records everyone’s already got and slap a new cover on them and pretend it’s a new product!!  Fuck you, I’m SOOO not into that.  I just wanna put out a great album.  The Last Hard Men thing was Atlantic’s fuck up.  They paid to have the album made and paid us.  When we delivered it to them all they did was bitch because I didn’t sing all the songs on the album, I sang on like half of them.  I was just like fuck it then, whatever.  Atlantic was like, “Well, you guys can put it out through a different label but then we get 50% of whatever it makes and if it does well, we have an option to put it out as well ”  and blah, blah, blah.  You can tell by the way I’m talking about all this just how much I like dealing with this shit.  It’s just not ROCK and ROLL.Mr. Rock and his hot wife Maria

ROCKPOWER:  Whipping a microphone around your head a hundred times and nearly taking off the heads of the front row is pretty Rock and Roll though….

Sebastian:   Definitely.   That’s why some of these bigger solo shows have been fun.  Like playing with my friends in Pantera.  I’m so thankful for these huge gigs cause that’s where I can really do my shit.  On a tiny stage, I can sing and sing and sing but I can’t really do my whole thing.  You talked about the Alpine Valley show with GNR and that’s what I mean.  I have to go nuts, have to do my rock moves!  I know how to fill a stage and entertain 30,000 kids.  That’s Rock and Roll.

Rockpower:  I could be wrong but I think when you look back on all this you might feel a lot better and more fulfilled if you keep on doing something totally new but keep touring and not turn your back on the old stuff either cause it’s not going away.  Then again, some of these reunions are really just guilty pleasures aren’t they?   (this comin from a guy who’s seen KISS so many times he’s lost count)

Sebastian:  That’s what I seem to be finding.  I don’t know, I’m not really a trend surfer like Metallica.  I’m not gonna change my look and sound or try to be something fans don’t recognize.  I’m me, take it or leave it.  I’m not gonna conform to fuckin whatever’s popular like matchbox 20 or Verve Pipe or whatever bullshit.  Every week, it’s some new band with some new song and then they’re gone…that’s not me, it’s all fuckin garbage.  It’s one thing if these guys have always been about that shit but half these fuckers were in Van Halen cover bands singing Diamond Dave eight years before Nirvana hit or whatever.  It’s so fuckin retarded cuz I know some of these guys and they’re like surfin, what’s the next thing gonna be Country rock, SKA… you name it.  FUCK EM.  However, at the same time I’m not interested in rehashing old shit or making a record that doesn’t excite me or sounds exactly like ehat I’ve done before.  Every album I’ve done has it’s own unique thing, an identity.  If you listen to all the Skid Row stuff they’re all the same band but each one has it’s own vibe to it.  I truly believe that the studio is a place where you can create anything you want, any kind of magic and why would you wanna do shit that’s just like what you’ve already done, that’s soooo boring.  I used to have crazy ass ideas about songs and stuff that I’d bring to Snake and Rachel and they’d be like “that’s really good Bas but that’s not Skid Row music”   I was like, well, BYE!  Life is a learning process, a growth process.  I’m gonna be doin new shit when I’m 65 years old.  If you look at the greats, The Beatles, Motley Crue, KISS (wow, this guy knows my favorite bands–ED)  all those bands, none of their records sound the same.  There’s a big difference between “Too Fast” and “Dr. Feelgood”  Or “Revolver” and “Meet The Beatles” .  “Love Gun” is totally different than say “Destroyer”!   And that’s good.

RockPower:  You get it!

Sebastian:  Well, what you see is what you get with me.  We’re playing 2 hours plus, every night, sweating.  Fast, hard, loose and full o’ juice!  I’m not sellin you anything, I’m not promoting a new single or album yet, not pushing  a “radio track!”  You know how when you go see a band and you pay to see them and they play like their whole new album practically and hype the hell out of it and throw in a few obvious classic hits that you actually paid to hear, wanted to hear at the show?  Fuck THAT SHIT.  It’s like years ago when we were on Saturday Night Live and the record company and the SNL people and everyone was all trying to tell us what we needed to play, play “18 and Life” , play “Wasted Time”, play the new single and I’m like “Ok, let me get this straight, you want me to come  on at like 1 in the morning, do two BALLADS and then put everyone to sleep and go home?   Whatever dude, FUCK YOU!  So we did, “Piece of ME” and “Monkey Business” and tore the place UP.  Cause if it were up to those assholes, people would be snoring , you know?  I still catch that shit on Comedy Central reruns and it fuckin SLAYS!Sebastian's solo album, "Angel Down" featuring a certain Axl Rose and cover art by his DAD who also did the "Slave to the Grind" cover


Baron says "Read ROCKPOWER Bitch!"

TNA seems like it’s getting better.   Strange they are going with A.J. Styles as “the new Flair”…. Noone compares to Flair.  Instead of focusing on what’s still wrong, this is what was cool….

 I like how Flair dissed Terry, Ric in the ring talking for 5 minutes is better than Hogan for an hour basically doing nuthin…  I also liked how they had the Beautiful people gang up on Angelina, they’re all a bunch of ginches.   So was the blonde that went to Space Mountain with Flair.   I thought the Bubba replays were decent and really liked how Kurt Angle threatened to “Go back to WWE”, haha.   The Nasty Boys stuff was ok but what happened to Jeff Hardy?  And why no O.D.B?  TNA’s better than Vince still tho, dumbass needs to learn he’s only got so much talent and there’s no way he should be doing this split squad bullshit.   My wife hates wrestling pretty much (ever since George “the Animal” Steele stopped being a fixture)  and even she can see that’s stupid for Vinnie Mac to do.  Speaking of WWE, Raw was lame as usual, needs more Viper, Randy Orton and less John Cena who all of you already know to be the worst performer ever in the history of the squared circle.  He is the Rock’s lame wrestling skills with Stone Cold’s Jean Shorts.   Smackdown, on the other hand was decent.   Pushing CM Punk’s conversion angle is starting to get lame though.  He’s one of the only bonafide talents besides Jericho and he’s doing more of this dumb shit on the mic than his usual great solo mic stuff.  Plus, he’s hardly ever wrestling!  Stupid.  Punk CAN truly “Save us ALL” but only if he’s given a chance to actually do what he does and wrestle and I don’t mean in subpar tag team matches.   This week, he “saved”  some hot,  busty chick lost in the world of drugs and alcohol and proceeded to shave her head; how much did they pay THIS fucking chick.

Don’t even get me started on the joke that is ECW.   Good god.  And the offensive jobbing and mishandling of ROOCKPOWER’s KING, of the few people who can save wrestling, Chicago's own C.M. Punk,, hey Punk, stop making out with chicks and start WRESTLING


Scaling the heights of Immaturity, Rock and Wrestling commentary from a co-founder of ROCK POWER Magazine, John and his ever troublesome and far too influential evil dick

January 18, 2010

We’re gonna stick with the rock this time out cause Raw pretty much sucked again last night, the only good thing on the show is the MIZ and Randy “The Viper” Orton sooooo here’s a  ROCKPOWER golden oldie!

REPRINTED With permission from ROCK POWER Magazine  ISSUE 7

“How ROCK AND ROLL Ruined My Life”- A  True Confesssion From John

It would be safe to say that Rock and Roll has ruined my life.   I know  it sounds difficult to believe but really it’s true.  Socially, vocationally and financially the world of rock music has treated me to a first class fistfuck.  As I sit here typing on the computer I can’t afford,writing for our magazine that barely supports itself, it’s all starting to make sense to me.    I don’t react to music the way other people do.   A lot of people hear a song or two from a band they are kinda into and that’s it.  In no way does it impact every facet of their lives.  That’s because they’re smart (or lucky).

To me, rock is so much.  It’s everything (and this is where it gets pathetic), it’s my  life.  I wake up and it’s the first thing in my head.  I go through the day and think about whatever CDs or interviews or shows we’re doing. 

I go to lunch and look forward to it not for the delicious food I’m about to eat but for the loud rock music my pathetic, underpowered car stereo will deliver to me.  I come home and pour through the mail, searching for traces of metal and put my sick little head to the pillow thinking of rock.  I dream of marshall amps, metal sluts and pyro.  My life  is only interrupted from this pattern for necessary  functions like work, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom and sex (but not necessarily in that order).  The truth is, this has been going on for far too long.

It goes all the way back to the 3rd grade as far as I can tell.  I distinctly remember sitting in class with my friend Brad Wilke trying to draw the album cover of Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” when we were supposed to be learning about the 1984 Presidential  candidates.  Now, If I wouldn’t have been so enamored by Dee Snider’s band of Twisted merrymakers maybe I would’ve learned something about Mondale and Reagan and could’ve avoided this vicious cycle.  That same year we got cable in our tiny little town and of course being the little shit that I was, my bored ass was sucked right into the black hole that was MTV.  I think the first video I ever saw “Bringin on the Heartbreak”.  When other little kids were dressing up as football players or pirates for Halloween, I was dressing up as Twisted Sister and Michael Jackson.  I was a little fucking kid  and Iwas dressed up as an effeminate black man and a derranged looking cross-dressing Metal singer for the most important holiday of the year.  Can you imagine what this did to my poor parents?  It’s not like my family did anything to help matters though.  My older sisters left their copies of Van Halen, Scorpions (I especially liked the Blackout cover) and Cheap Trick albums out in plain view for my young mind to consume.   They later encouraged me and told me to pursue this Rock Journalism Bullshit, awesome college track by the way.  However, I must stress that at this point it was still only an innocent fascination.   It was still all baseball, Star Wars and ninja movies and only the occasional rock thing.

That all changed when I soon became familiar with a band called Motley Crue.  From the opening shot of the evil dog to the last parting thumbs up from Nikki Sixx in  “Smokin in the Boys Room”,   I was HOOKED and had sealed my fate.   From that point forward, I became immersed in a world of molten metal and have been stunted emotionally ever since.  I had begun a life dedicated to loud guitars, rock concerts and burnout girls who felt exactly the same way.  These three things that have brought me the most joy in life are are also the very things that have brought me to this lowly  state I am presently at.  It started a chain of events that has yet to stop.   From Motley to Ratt to WASP, KISS all the way to Mother Love Bone, jane’s addiction, Smashing Pumpkins,  Veruca Salt, Figdish, Weezer, to triplefastaction there is one common theme in all the  music I listen to:  ROCK.   Big, loud, catchy, flashy guitar riffs.   I rarely, if ever, like any music that doesn’t represent this template; (with the possible exception of an even more immature form of music, gangsta  rap.) 

I think most people heard “Round and Round” by Ratt and thought “Wow, that’s pretty cool!”

I’m here to tell you, it blew my fucking head apart.  My parents took me to church and I drew the RATT logo on every piece of church literature I could find.  I drew pictures of Stephen Pearcy (lead singer of RATT) on anything.  I drew Stephen posed in his ripped up black and red outfit and red headband ala the video.  I drew him posed in rock mode, down on one knee, I drew that weird little side eyeliner thing that he put on his face, basically I just drew Stephen Pearcy.  What a fucking idiot.  You could imagine how beside myself I was a few years later when I found myself interviewing him for  the RATT best of album. 

Which brings me to my next point.  This whole rock thing continued all the way through to high school much like this.  Along the way I had developed an affinity for rock-related things such as pornography (mostly Hustler, then VHS), Jack Daniels (Nikki was a good role model), peppermint schnapps (yuck) anf finally, girls (duh!!).   I managed to keep up decent grades so as not to get in trouble at home but started  going to rock shows like crazy.  I met a crazy, cool, pot-smoking guy named Mike Weber who did a tabloid type zine that went in all the bars and clubs.   I somehow convinced him to let me review CDs and shows for him and that was okay for a while.  He soon  tired of me bugging him for stuff to do and gave me the “secrets” of how to get the tickets, CDs and press kits for myself.  Just call up the record companies in New York  or L.A. , ask for the publicity staff, tell them who  you are and what you want and you’ll get it.

I couldn’t believe it was that fucking easy but turns out it was.  I started calling 411 and getting every goddamn record company on earth’s number and then mailing them copies of my writing and dealing with them.  I started getting a few CDs a month mailed to  me and all I had to do was listen to them.  The old man who ran the post office thought I was either breaking the law or really important when I started getting an average of 2 or 3 packages a day from Beverly Hills and New York.   Pretty soon he got so sick of my ass he stopped having me sign for shit and just started making piles on my doorstep.  Meanwhile, my parents, who were also convinced  that I was probably breaking the law,   were even more concerned about phone bills and my constant absence from the dinner table.   Then I started doing interviews.  The first one was Don Dokken, lead singer of the once very  popular group Dokken.   Many more followed.  After that magazine folded, the guy was cool enough to forward my shit to the daily paper in Rockford who wanted me to pretty much do the same thing.  Soon, dinner was being interrupted by phone calls from rock stars on a regular basis.  You don’t know the meaning of embarassment until you have the guys from Anthrax on the phone line and your mom picks up the phone to tell you that you left your bookbag on the living room floor. 
The best  ever was the time my dream came true and I had Paul Stanley of KISS on the phone and my Dad starts picking up the phone without listening for a dialtone and listens to what’s transpiring before saying “Son, I need to call about that trolling motor”.   GODDAMN

This  continued on through high school and of course I’d be a friggin liar  to say it wasn’t kickass.  When the rest of my classmates were trying to score fake IDs to take their girlfriends on beer runs I was drinking beer with Slayer and talking to Metallica.  When they were waiting in line overnight for opening day ticket sales for GNR, my lucky ass  was picking up 5th row tickets and passes at will call 5 minutes before the show.  It was just like little Henry in Goodfellas.  I totally remember sitting next to writers from USA Today and Circus and freaking out cause I was jumping around and acting apeshit during these shows while they were all sitting down, taking notes and acting like bored doofuses.  I still can’t relate to that.  If we get tickets and stuff for a show, we’re gonna rock out and have a fucking blast and take mental notes whether we paid for the show or got in for free.  I guess that’s what separates a lowly little guy like me or Joe from a guy like the Sun-Times  Jim Derogtis.  In the years that I wrote for the daily I could never bring myself to behave like those guys, and I guess  that’s why I’m where I’m at, NOWHERE.

After the daily paper  decided they no longer wanted local writers to cover entertainment and would just  use wire services, I still kept writing like an idiot.   Almost immediately, I started ROCK POWER with Joe who I met at the first of a series of music-related dead end jobs (read, “Chain record stores”).  I trusted Joe mostly because he liked Veruca Salt as much as I did.   Joe’s dumb ass convinced me (though it didn’t take much arm-twisting) that we could make a go of this.  Seven issues in, I guess it validates its’ existence (or our stupidity) simply by still being around.

The point of all this is; I’ve worked and continue to work a bunch of shitty, low paying jobs.  I didn’t finish college at this juncture, lost a few friends and girlfriends and I can’t help but believe it has something to do with this beast called ROCK.  My ex-fiancee told me I should dump her and marry Blackie Lawless of WASP.   If Blackie had been a woman  I might have taken her up on it.  The whole idea of this rock thing encompasses so much  more than music.  It sounds super corny and VH1 but it’s a lifestyle.  I sometimes wish I didn’t have this “Pox”.  I wish I could’ve been happy to go to school and be a biologist or an accountant.  Maybe then I wouldn’t be scrambling to  pay my car payment and rent, but the rockpox attacked then and it’s attacking still.   They don’t have preparatory career paths for those of us who like to examine men who play bass and spit blood or folks who write about grown men that have flames shooting out of their crotch.  If there is such a career path or internship, let me know because I’ve been forever lost since hearing the question “Who are you, where do you come from, what do you  wanna do with your life?!!!!”

I just wanna rock.