This interview is dedicated to the Nasty Idols front man and founder Andy Pierce from Malmö, Sweden. The band has recently released a compilation with material taken from 3 of their 4 studio albums recorded between the years 1989-1995. I had a chat with Andy where we discussed the bands past, present and future and we also talked about Andy’s projects besides Nasty Idols.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Promo Pictures provided by Nasty Idols website
Pictures on Andy Pierce taken by Anders Sandvall
Hi Andy, how are things? Would you please give us some background info regarding Nasty Idols, when and where you started out and vital stuff like that?
Nasty Idols started out as a band in Malmö around 1987 when I met up with the bassplayer Dick Qwarfort. We had the same ideas to form a band that would have the same ingredients that our favorite bands had.
At the time we were much into the LA scene with bands like Motley Crue and Ratt. A friend of mine from school, Chris Vance played guitar and the drummer was George Swanson. We recorded a self paid single “Don’t Walk From Love” 1988. We got hooked up with the record label HSM Records. Our first album “Gigolos On Parole” was released 1989 and things started to take off. By 1991 we released our second batch of rock called “Cruel Intention”. We toured and made a name for ourselves. 1993 we released our third album called “Vicious”. Our last album “Heroes For Sale” was recorded 1995 but wasn’t released at the time.
How big were you in Sweden at the time and did you tour in other countries besides Sweden?
We got a lot of attention from the start. The papers wrote tons of articles about us an there wasn’t many bands like us in Sweden at the time. We never did any tours outside of Scandinavia, but we did promotion in other countries including England and USA.
Altogether you recorded 4 album, which one of them is your favorite?
Without a doubt “Cruel Intention”. That one is the most popular as well.
Why did you chose the bandname Nasty Idols? Was it any special meaning behind calling the band that?
I was very much into glam when I was 17. I grew up with Kiss and Sweet and through out my teenage years I only listened to that kind of music. In the middle of the eighties I discovered bands like Hanoi Rocks and Mötley Crue. I just knew I had to have my own band in that type of genre. One night I came up with the name which was inspired by the music I liked.
Do you have any figures on how many copies the albums have sold until now?
Very hard to say If you think of how many different editions there’s been of every album. I mean if you take “Cruel Intention” you got to this day 5 different editions and 5 different record labels including the Japanese market. We also know that we’ve been cheated by many of them. My guess is a number with at least 5 zeros after.
You are one of the main songwriters in the band, where did you find inspiration to your lyrics/music?
In life itself. I was living my life for the day. A lot of booze, drugs and rock n’ roll. So it was easy to find inspiration. It was harder to get it on print.
You have also participated in the production work, what’s it like to be a producer and producer your colleagues in the band?
I’ve always been a control freak when it comes down to the music. I know how I want it to sound. So it has always been natural for me to participate in the production . I’m always like being behind the big glass in the studio and telling the dudes in my band how to do it. Often they know by themselves and think I’m a pain the ass...he he. I think it’s a good thing that at least one member of the band follows the production ‘til the end.
How much did the image mean to Nasty Idols?
It’s only rock n’ roll, man. Who cares. As long as you are what you are. But I would lie if I told you that our kind of “image” didn’t mean a thing.
Perris Records released the three last albums and a compilation in 2002, was they released worldwide or only in Sweden and Europe and do you know in how many copies they have sold today?
All the Nasty Idols albums released by Perris Records were worldwide releases. I don’t know the sales.
Are the first releases of your albums still available today or are they sold out?
The first editions of our original albums is probably sold out a long time ago. But people tell me that you can buy first editions of our albums on Ebay and I understand they are more pricey and harder to get. Our first album “Gigolos On Parole” Is the most expensive one. I laugh when I think of it. I got a few copies on vinyl at home. When I’m broke I think I’m gonna sell them for the highest bid, he he.
Was HEROES FOR SALE released in 1995 or in 2002 when it was re-released by Perris Records?
The album “Heroes For Sale” was not released in 1995. It was close to our split-up and our record label never had the money or effort to do it. So when Perris Records came along in 2002 it was released for the first time.
Where did Perris Records release the second edition of the albums, was it only in the U.S.?
No, it was a global thing. All around the world.
Why isn’t there any bonus material on the compilation album THE BEST OF NASTY IDOLS?
There is actually sort of bonusmaterial or never heard material on it. “The Best Of Nasty Idols” was the first album for Perris Records to release. They decided to put two or three songs from the “Heroes For Sale” album on there. People had never heard those songs at the time. A couple of months later they released the whole “Heroes For Sale” album. It was a sales thing, you know.
A DVD collection with all your videos was also released at the same time, what can you tell us about that collection?
It’s a collection of old stuff. The videos, live performance, TV interviews and studiorecordings. Some of it got really bad quality but it’s fun to watch.
Are there any more unreleased material that Nasty Idols still haven’t released on the market?
No not really. The record labels been all over us to dig and find material from the past. We’ve actually released one album called “The Refused And Lost Tapes” containing old shit, outtakes and stuff. That’s about it.
Nasty Idols have currently released the CD compilation “The Swedish Sleaze Collection” in which areas will it be released in?
Mainly Scandinavian but also some countries in Europe like Germany and France. But you can probably buy it on Internet through out the world.
The this label is once again going to re-release the same three albums that already been re-released on time all ready, how come and is there going to be any bonus material featured?
The main reason for the release of “The Swedish Sleaze Collection” is for the Scandinavian market. The only albums that’s been available is import albums. We wanted a low-priced collection for our Scandinavian fans. We didn’t want any bonus material included on this one.
Why haven’t you re-released your first album?
Mainly because we think it sucks. We know we could earn a few buck on a deal, but we rather wanna leave that sucker in the past. Long gone and forgotten.
It’s Swedmetal that have re-released your albums, what can you tell us about that label?
We’ve just started working together. Give me one year and I’ll get back to you on that one. But It feels good right now. We had the American recordlabel Perris Records before and we felt that we needed someone to work with in our own domains.
Have you participated in the work of choosing which songs that was going to be featured on the collection?
Yes we have, and it didn’t take long to decide which songs to be featured.
What do you think of the cover artwork of the album?
I don’t think of it. It’s just a couple of nice female legs sitting on a tour case of ours.
Do you have any contact with the other former members of Nasty Idols today and do you know if they’re still involved in any music activities?
Right now I’m in contact every day with Dick Qwarfort and Peter Ezpinoza. I don’t hear that much from the other members that’s been coming and going over the years. I know that our first drummer George Swanson owns a rock club in Thailand and Jonnie Wee (the guitarplayer from “Gigolos On Parole”) lives in LA and works in a Tattoo shop on Hollywood Boulevard.
You have gone through quite a lot of member changes, in between 1989 to 1995 you have had two different guitarplayers, one keyboard player and two drummers, the only one who stayed true to the band was you and bassplayer Dick. Why so many member changes?
Different reasons for every member why they left or was kicked out.
Which members were featured on the 1998 reunion gig? And how did that show went that you did in Malmö?
It was me, Dick, Peter Espinoza and George Swanson. The gig was alright. It was no big deal, we just got up on stage and played the songs.
If you look on the bands website you get the feeling that NI still lives today, is that true? On the site there are interviews where you talk about NI as a band that has been active throughout 2000 and forward.
If you read the biography you’ll get a clear picture of our history. We haven’t existed as a band since the split-up ’94-’95 but we made a few attempts to re-unite the band. I think it was in the year of 2000 when we tried the hardest.
Who’s the webmaster?
A guy called Ulrik Andersson. He’s the man behind Power Music AB and our website.
How would you described what kind of music Nasty Idols played?
We played a raunchy type of hardrock with big guitar hooks. They started to call it Sleazerock.
Is there any Nasty Idol items that are especially hard to get to day?
Yeah. We had our own brand of beer back in ’91. I know a guy that still got two of them in his shelf. He was close to drinking them once in ’98 but changed his mind. He probably realized that the substance inside was rotten and would probably kill him, ha ha.
Who was Nasty Idols inspired of musically?
All the shit you grew up with like; Sweet, Kiss and Alice Cooper.
And later; Mötley Crue and Guns ‘N Roses.
Is there any particular funny episode out on the road that happened that you could tell us about?
We always thought meeting new people was fun. After a while on the road we noticed that people are different wherever you go. The city people are more used to stuff and people from the countryside or in this case the north are more curious and funny. I remembered this dude in north of Sweden that was hired to look after us and see to that everything was comfortable during our visit. But he had this thing; every time he saw us he always grabbed our nuts. We were; fuck! this dude is crazy. He mixed our drinks and stuff and then suddenly you felt this firm grip around your balls. We didn’t know why he did it. But anyway; the last night we decided to get some sweet revenge. So we broke into his hotel room and stole all his booze and pissed all over his bed. That was fun!
The bio says that you have reached cult status within the glam/sleaze genre, what do you think of that?
What can I say? That’s awesome.
Do you have any particular song(s) that’s your favorite amongst the Nasty Idols catalogue?
I like “Head’s Down in Tinseltown”, “Cool Way Of Living” and “Sheila”.
Why did the band split-up?
Mainly because of a gentleman from Seattle called Kurt Cobain.
The “Grunge” music from Seattle killed us.
Do you get a lot of mails from fans? Which one is the most common question you’ll get by fans?
A bunch every day and the most common question has been; “- when are you guys coming back together?.”
What do you think of the glam/sleaze revival that currently are spinning, do you have any favorite band amongst the new ones that have popped up?
I like CrashDiet.
Recently Dave Leppard from the Swedish glam/sleaze act Crashdiet died only 25 years old, do you think it will affect the Swedish glam/sleaze genre in any certain way?
I don’t know. I just think it’s sad.
Nasty Idols is going to play at Sweden Rock Festival this summer how’s that and way now a reunion? Do you looking forward to it?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it very much. The timing was right for us to do it.
Which members are going to be on stage on SRF this summer besides you and Dick?
We got Peter Espinoza on guitar and Ricci Dahl from United Enemies on the drums.
Are the show there going to be a one time thing or are you going to continuing to do shows this summer?
It’s actually not just a one time thing. In September 06’ we’re kicking of a re-union tour. But unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it at the moment.
What was it that made you and Dick to accept the offer to perform at SRF?
We thought that the festival was a perfect place and event to re-unite the band.
They have also booked another Swedish glam/act in Easy Action, which band is going to win the glam/sleaze battle Nasty Idols or Easy Action?
The fans of glam/sleaze rock is the absolute winners. They’ll get to see two Swedish bands, that I know they been dying to see perform live.
Is there any plans on releasing a new album with Nasty Idols any time soon and what’s going to happen with the band after this summer?
Like I said we’ll gonna do a tour kicking of in September. We’ll just have to see what comes out from that. But I can say this; there’s already been offers given to us about recording a new album.
You have a new band called United Enemies and I know that your debut album is recorded but not released yet, do you know when it’s going to come out and what’s the status with United Enemies?
Yeah, we got a recorded album with United Enemies. It was meant to be released this year but there was difficulties with the release. We didn’t find the right recordlabel and so on and when the re-union with Nasty Idols came up we decided to put United Enemies on hold. But United Enemies will release the debut album “All The Sick Things We Do” later this year or next year.
Are you involved in more bands or projects at this time then Nasty Idols and United Enemies?
No not at the moment. This year 2006 I dedicate all my time and effort for the re-union of Nasty Idols.
Finally, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions and is there anything you would like to say to the readers and fans outthere?
Kick ass dudes!
Read the CD review with Nasty Idols here
More info about the band