WHERE ANGELS SUFFER
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
Transcription assistance by EvilG
Where Angels Suffer (WAS) is a new band featuring former W.A.S.P. members drummer Stet Howland and guitarist Chris Holmes, vocalist Rich Lewis (Animal), and bassist Steve Unger (Metal Church), The original line-up also included another former W.A.S.P. member Randy Piper, but he split with the group earlier this year, and he’s now replaced by Ira Black (Lizzy Borden, Metal Church). The band was formed in 2010, and they released the debut album PURGATORY in the spring of 2011. Where Angels Suffer did their first-ever European tour last August, and in Sweden, we had the pleasure to sit down with Howland and Lewis and learn more about the band and its future plans, as well as some old stuff. Read on!
WHERE ANGELS SUFFER
First of all, what is WAS about?
STET: It’s Where Angels Suffer, and it’s our band with my favorite singer Rich Lewis and Chris Holmes and Steve Unger, our bass player from Metal Church, and Ira Black, our latest acquisition. And we’re the metal band playing old school metal and acting like asshole still. That’s basically what it is.
How did this thing originally get started?
RICH: It started when Randy Piper called me and said, “Hey, this guy wants to put this thing together. Are you in?” and I said sure. I got a hold of Steve, and he goes, “wow, Stet.”
STET: They had a concept going before me, and Holmes got pulled in. These guys had a concept with Angels Suffer, with the PURGATORY album, which was somewhat representing WASP. They had it all together. They washed it, what Blackie was doing, he went the route with the religious thing, and he went “ahh… an opening, an opportunity.” Then they put this whole thing together, and then they came to me. Randy and Steve were already together, and then they got Rich on board. They came to me with the idea, and I was like yeah, this sounds pretty cool. I heard the new music and was impressed. Once it started going a little further, it was like, “Do you think we can get Holmes to do it?!” and I was like, “I can get Holmes. He’s my guy.” Holmes and I have always had a great relationship and had Rich. So I got on the phone with Holmes, and it was a done deal. He was like, “YEAA! Fuck it, yeah!” It’s been a great thing; it’s been a building process. We just did our first festival the other day, which absolutely slammed, we did really well. It’s total, in my mind, this is a festival act. But of course, we got to play some smaller shows, you come over to do a festival, but you play smaller shows to support the trip and get the word out there and to have the opportunity to hang out with people.
Like just today, you guys and I were going to talk a little business afterward, and better things will happen. All the people we know are sucked into the vortex of what is going on. And everybody is interested, and hey, I love Blackie as much as anyone else, but at some point, EVERBODY gets fed up with his shit, you know!? No disrespect, but that’s the way it is. For us, it’s like, Bloodstock had WASP last year. They had their fill of that, and now it looks like we’ll be on the bill next year. You know he won’t allow us to be on the (same) bills as he is, and that’s fine. He’s the originator, and we’re not trying to be in competition with him. We’re just doing our thing and having our own band. He told me, near the end, because we’d have a go at each other, he said, “Stet you know enough, why don’t you go and start your own fuckin’ band?” So I said, “I think I will”…and I did, and it was Temple of Brutality. It was cool, but it was so obscure that it was tough to get it going. But with this thing, we’ve got a killer singer, great guitar players, great songs, and a great vibe on stage. I think I KNOW we got something really strong. I’ve been instrumental in rebuilding WASP many times, and I know what we got here. What we got here is a lot stronger than some of the versions of WASP we’ve built from the ground up. It’s a great thing. We all love each other, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
This band is a kind of continuation for the band Animal, right?
RICH: Yeah, sort of. I mean, it’s turned into a way more than that. But that’s kind of where it started.
The album PURGATORY is a bit of a weird release, as its songs were previously released under the name Animal several years ago. What is the story behind it?
RICH: We’re working on our own right now, but we have to have something to get out there and get this thing going. So on this tour, we’re doing the WASP and the Animal stuff, yup, you know.
STET: And with those guys, we weren’t ashamed to support those songs because I think they’re fantastic. I think the material is fantastic. These guys have the rights to the material, and we’re like, “Let’s put, you know, let’s put a CD together to go out and play some shows.” And I don’t feel that those Animal things ever got their fair view. I mean, I think those are great records. I don’t think they ever got properly, you know, promoted or released or anything. I don’t think the world got to hear them. That’s what we’re thinking. It is like, “Hey man, this stuff never got heard, right? Why don’t we give a shot again?” And I obviously wouldn’t cooperate if I didn’t think this stuff was amazing, you know.
RICH: Another thing about the Animal stuff, everybody has the misconception that Randy Piper had written it. No, it was Chris Laney and me who did write all that stuff.
I’m not too surprised to hear that. Speaking about Chris Laney, have you been in touch with him lately?
STET: We have great – basically, we have complete understanding with him. And we’re just sitting and working with him in the future. I personally think he’s an unbelievable songwriter.
RICH: He’s a fucking great guy.
STET: Good guy. I mean, I’ve never had been in a room with him, but we’ve gone back and forth. And I’m just totally impressed with his perception of music and the way that he puts it in his blender and skips it back out as good as I’ve ever heard. I mean, it’s great. And he’s on tour – he’s with us.
RICH: Chris and I are great friends.
STET: He loves him. Chris, you know, he’s like, “How is it working with the best singer ever?” I’m like, “Not bad.” Do you know what I mean? He really loves – he loves Rich. He recognizes his talent. And I recognize talent, and it’s like; obviously, it’s crystal clear with him with Rich. But Chris Laney, I’m very impressed with the guy, and I look forward to working with him sometime in the future. But he’s cool with everything we’re doing. I mean, we’re not trying to sneak anything. We’re not, you know, his name is on anything we’re doing. He will be respected and paid for anything we do with whatever. I don’t know what that is. It’s very low key right now with what we’re doing. But we’re just seeing to work with him in the future and writing and recording. And we just felt, today we’re talking about, “Wow, we’re going to part tomorrow. We better figure out a whole bunch of things, you know.” And quietly frankly, I’m supposed to sit down with Ira and plan the next run of show dates and figuring out emails, and where we’re going next, you know, “laughs.”
CHRIS HOLMES AND THE SETLIST
For sure, it’s interesting to have Chris Holmes in the band. He was also playing with Animal as well at some point, wasn’t he?
RICH: Yeah. Actually, it was Chris and Tony Richards. Tony was in a band for just a little bit. Tony was having some problems, and it didn’t work out.
And Stet played with Chris in WASP for years. How is to get along with?
STET: Yeah. I’ve had – I’ve been friends with the Holmes and played with them for the years. I’ve known him since the middle to late ’80s. And yeah, I was in WASP with him for years. And we’ve been – we did several tours together. We did three or four full runs with him. And I and he were always good, you know. I get him. You either get Holmes, or you don’t get Holmes, you know. And everybody loves Holmes. I mean all fans, everybody adores him. He’s like a “Chewbacca.” He’s like a real-life character, you know. But I mean, it’s a deal with him behind the scenes to get him. And I do. And he is so kind that I love him to death. He’s a kind, sweet soul that acts like a douchebag. I mean, what can I say? He wouldn’t be insulted if he heard that. It happened, or if you’ve heard anything like, “Oh, that’s pretty accurate.”
When you’re now doing these shows, it’s evident that you’re playing several WASP songs as well. Why are you playing just the “Greatest Hits” type of WASP songs instead of doing some more obscure and rarely played songs like “Mean Man,” for example?
STET: Well, when we started putting the live show together, we – every time we do this, there are time constraints. And the very first time we played, everybody flew into Florida, and we worked for a while, of which, you know, everything was on the list. But we jammed it, and it was okay, and it just wasn’t magic. We just – we learned all the stuff that worked right from the get-go. We didn’t work on touchy stuff, you know. I think that “Mean Man” would be a good choice for us. We’ll probably get a little more into the WASP catalog, but…
RICH: We have it thrown together quick, plus do the stuff that I’ve heard before. Do you know what I mean? I’ve already done this stuff before with Animal, so I was like, “I’m in words. Let’s do this one.”
STET: Yeah, and when we’re in a situation where we’re trying to pull the band together and make it look like we’ve been together for ten years already. And we had, you know, ten rehearsals. Remember, we build the band in about ten days from start to finish. But yeah, we were interested in digging a little bit more as a WASP catalog, but we’re also doing more of our own stuff. We – you know, we do – the one thing we do, we do is “Fuck Like a Beast.” There’s only one place to hear that. And you can’t hear it in the WASP show. You can only hear it here. And it’s kind of like that. That’s kind of our thing. We’re doing some of the stuff that WASP isn’t doing, and we’re just acting like we’re always acting. We’re not changing. We’re not – I mean, I’m not sacking religions or anything, but I’m not supporting the Christian bullshit on the rock and roll show. That’s fucked up.
How about the band name Where Angels Suffer or WAS. Why did you decide to use a name like that which is so close to WASP? Is that just some kind of slap for Blackie or what?
RICH: Actually, I hate calling it WAS, but Where Angels Suffer, that’s a little fucked up. It’s not WAS. I hate the fucking name.
STET: What happened was it got branded as WAS and all that. And so many things got bought and trademarked, and we’re like, “Wow, we own this. And we are Where Angels Suffer now.” And we thought of changing the name. It was highly suggested that we change the name. But it’s kind of like, you know, it still kind of a funny thing. I know it got to irritate some people, and I find that amusing. I mean, I’m sorry. And I love everybody. I love – I’ll never stop being a ball buster, and I don’t think it does anybody any harm, or else they’re perpetuating the name. If we go out and play shows, fire people up, and they buy WASP records, then Blackie makes the money, you know?! Our benefit is playing cool songs and perpetuating the name. We’re not doing anyone a disservice. Our band is every bit as tight, if not far better than the current WASP, and that’s not an understatement. That’s a fact. You can check that out for yourself tonight. I love those guys. They are my friends. I’ve been in that band and rebuilt that band more times than anyone except Blackie. I know what I’ve got right here, and it’s a motherfucker. We all sing our asses off. It’s real, and this guy’s got soul spilling out of his ears and shit. I’m proud of this thing, as you can tell.
THE SPLIT WITH PIPER AND WORKING WITH IRA BLACK
Okay, the next question is that whatever did happen with Randy Piper?
RICH: Randy and I were friends for years, but he just – I don’t know what happened to him. He forgot how to tune his guitar or what. I don’t know, man. He’s had trouble every night just struggling over there, and then he was mad at all of us for God knows what reason. I guess because he was having a hard time, do you know what I mean? So it’s just – we kind of –
STET: … and I kind of feel like for me he let a woman get in the way of in-between in the band and then his career. That’s what he did. He let the “Yoko Ono” thing happen. He let a woman get in his head, and she alienated Randy from the band and got between us. And we looked at each other and went, “See you.” He’s just wasn’t there. I love Randy. He’s a great guy. And, you know, he and Rich have a long history. But he just, you know – I have no respect for anyone that’s not brave enough to keep their eye on the ball and let a woman fuck their career up. So he started with that shit, and we were like, “Yeah, goodbye.”
How did he react to that when you told him it was time to go?
STET: He pretended – he carried on like he was the boss of the band, and then he thought that he was “unfireable” because he was “the president.” He was sadly mistaken. He was sadly fucking mistaken. I still love the guy.
RICH: He told everybody, “Rich really fucked up this time.” I’m like, “Oh.”
STET: Yes. Rich looked fucked up when you were singing at 10,000 people last week “laughs.”
That was the end of that Piper’s chapter. How did Ira Black come into the picture then?
I love Ira. He was playing with Lizzy Borden and Metal Church. When Randy left, we talked about all sorts. It was all a shocking amount of famous guys out there that were being considered for this gig. And Ira’s name came up, and it came up. And I was like, “You know what, that guy,” I didn’t know him that well, but he was a great player, a great guy. I’ve seen that he loves his family. I’ve heard, you know, he doesn’t get fucked up. I like everything about him before I ever really worked with him. And so he was a consideration. And we basically – we didn’t try out people. He just came in and joined the band at the year-end. And I find Ira as a gift. He’s a great guy, a great player. He’s a go-getter. He’s intelligent. I mean, he’s got it all.
Is Ira also taking care of some business things as well?
STET: Yeah. He was the one that – this particular – this particular run was spearheaded by him. And all the past bands, including this one up until that point, I was stuck doing so much business behind the scenes, you know. It made me crazy. It just so happened I was at a point where I kind of hit a wall, and he joined the band, and he jumped in and did a great job. He’s doing a great job. So now we have like – we’re all getting involved. And we’re pulling in like we’ll be talking about some business later, and we all got friends everywhere, and it’s just really coming together now. This trip is helped us figure out how to do everything. This trip has been extremely beneficial and successful, even though we’re in a small venue tonight squeezed in there. You’ll see. You imagine the WASP to get a little place like that what would happen? I mean, if like Blackie did decide to play, how un-enjoyable it would be made to be. And watch us tonight. I guarantee we’ll be laughing and giggling our asses off and having a great time.
Like you mentioned earlier, you’re going to do some new material with this lineup. How will you do the writing between the band members, and will you work with some outside people?
STET: Well, we’re taking – we’re listening to rough ideas from – I mean, I have submitted a good half dozen of new things.
RICH: Ira and Holmes do have a couple of great ideas, and…
STET: We were interested in getting really in a room. We’re just going to sit and getting with Chris Laney and do some writing. We haven’t got to that yet. But we did talk to him about him. But we haven’t figured out the actual logistics of it. Yeah, we’re wide open. We’re not like a stubborn lad or, you know, “I’m writing all the songs.” And this one guy, you know it’s like, hey everybody, we’re bringing in – whatever we got to do now we have the best songs for the band and for whatever writing credits have to be shared because someone else actually wrote it, that’s okay. You know you want to have the best stuff. And we’re playing the best songs.
RICH: As I told Stet, there’s not a better guy out there than Chris Laney.
STET: Yeah, and I hear that. I hear the results of that. And I hear him talking about it. And I see, you know – we discussed their recording writing techniques, and I’m just like, “Yeah, that guy sounds like he’s really got it together.” And I can hear that he had influences on the drums and stuff because I know it’s like it’s cool. I can’t wait to get into a room with this guy and get just inside his head, not to take away from Holmes or Ira in any way. But when you see something that works for your situation, you can’t – you can’t let your ego be a roadblock between, do you know what I mean? I mean, we could ignore it and say, “Well, Chris Laney, he was involved in the past. But we will be writing our own stuff from now on.” We might do that. We might be writing all of our stuff. We may not have the opportunity to get with him, but we intend to, and we want to. And so if I have a crystal ball, I’d tell you how it’s going to go. But you can’t do with me. We’re freaking – we’re inventing it today writing the band. I’m like, “Wow, guys, in this next round, if maybe if you guys come into Florida and stay a couple of days later, we could do a pre-production.” And we’re trying to figure out how to start writing in pre-production within these little ones, you know.
Do you have any schedule for the new album already?
STET: We hope at least to have something ready by the New Year. We’re going to have a spring release. By hook or by crook, we’re going to have a spring release. And we’re going to get our merchandise together. And it’s all out, you know. We’re right now, we’re, we got some t-shirts and stuff, and you know, that’s about it at the moment, and we’re going to really tighten it up over the holidays. We are just kind of been verified recently. I’ve been carrying it all along. This is a festival band. We don’t belong in tiny bars and all that stuff because it’s the truth. I’ve spent, you know, spent a lot of time in bars. Now I live in paradise, and I have my own thing, and I do these little bars and have a good time. But that’s one thing. This band is a festival act. We were in the place in Belgium the other day. We were lighting that crowd on fire just like WASP used to. It was igniting. And we almost got them. And we almost lit the place on fire. I’m kind of glad we didn’t because no one else did the whole day. I’m not to take away from anyone else, but we’re lighting it up. Helloween and U.D.O kicked my ass there, and I love Vicious Rumors. I thought they were a great band.
RICH: The one right up we saw they were – they were the surprise on the festival.
STET: So yeah, we’re trying to make some noise. And, you know how it is. I mean, I’ve been around Blackie so much. I’m used to having security guards and everything, you know? So when we’re doing it the way we’re doing it now we’re cruising, and we pull up a little van squeeze in, you know, went down the cellar of this little place which is cool. And quite frankly, the people have been great. There’s that little PA, and the soundman is great, so I have no complaints.
Do you have any idea who’s going to release the record? I mean, have you been in any talks with any labels yet?
STET: Actually, we’re just starting that. We discuss how we want to go about this, you know. We’re going look for a deal, or we’re going to just look for distribution and fund it ourselves or find back in, you know. These days there are so many ways to do it: sponsorship, energy drinks, and clothing lines. We are really figuring that out right now what I said to my buddies today. it’s like, “Let’s all just reach out to everybody we know in labels because I know doing a lot of people labels.” And I’ll always go to reach out and say, “Hey, I got this situation. Hopefully, you’re aware of it. I’m not calling you asking for a deal. I’m calling asking, “What do you think we should do with it?” And let them say, “Well, it’s not for us, but maybe you should talk to so and so. Or we’d be really interested in talking about it, or do you know what I mean?” I figured if we’d go and not pretentious and just say, “Hey man, what do I do with this.” Because I mean I’m no kid. We’re not kids anymore. I mean, I have done a bunch of records. And I like the people – I’m working on those people like Danny Stanton and my friends in Century Media. I mean, we all know people at different places. I want to hear what they think we should do, and we’re going to take that, put it in a blender, chop, and let it pour it out. Do you know what I mean? See what transpires. It would be great to have a label that cares. I have labels that drag their feet and cost me time and don’t do what they say they’re going to. And I’ve had labels that drive their fee and do what they say they’re going to. But I’ve never had a label that does what they say they’re going to do it on schedule. Never, never. So that would make a monument right there. We don’t want to get stuck sitting on a good record waiting for a label to get their thumbs out of their ass. That’s not going to happen. But, you know, we’re in the process, right? Just today, we’ve had a lot of these questions you’re asking. We have discussions about it, right? So we’re having an exciting time. And then you can tell, I know, I’m just – these days I’m not like Blackie always telling me, “Watch your words. Guard your words,” and all that shit. I’m like, “I don’t give a flying fuck. What, are you going to take my drums away? Are you going to come and steal my dog or what? Am I going to fall from grace from my household name?” And it’s like, I’m a maniac, a drummer from my obscure cult band. Do you know what I mean? You can’t fuck my life up; do you know what I mean? What the fuck are you going to do?
WASP in 2007. Mike Duda, Chris, Blackie, and Stet.
Okay, guys, to sum it up, where do you guys stand to be one year from now?
RICH: A lot bigger than now…
STET: I could tell you… I mean, I suspect that we will be – we’ll be supporting our record. We’ll probably have a couple of videos under our belt whether or not they’re – wherever they get played. I’m interested in doing festivals and larger shows. I’d rather just stay home until we’re doing bigger stuff. I mean, I don’t want to be out like now and keep on doing little places like we’re doing now. We’re doing this for a purpose to tighten our band up. We need to reach out and show people that we’re real. We’re doing festivals and support and then maybe some occasional headlining shows at decent venues. Yeah, that’s what I see. I mean, it’s going to be something like that. We’ll have a new CD behind us, and we’ll be doing festivals. And things will be a lot better.
RICH: Blowing it out to have a lot of interest in doing this.
I can’t hesitate to ask, has Blackie ever commented on WAS in any way?
STET: Not to us… but he did reference us in the Sweden Rock interview, which I thought was hysterical. I love the guy for his sense of humor, but I know he went like, “WAS?? WAS = Used to be?” I know he busted our balls. Knowing him as I do, he doesn’t spend any time worrying about the Joneses. He doesn’t worry about what we are doing. I’ve got to think that he’s mildly irritated with me because we usually exchange birthday wishes, and this year it went by, and we haven’t. So, I’m thinking, yeah. Plus, that new book came out, and no matter what you try and say, it can come out a certain way. I just read it yesterday, and I’m going, “shit, I don’t really remember this, but that sounds about right.” I’ve said a couple of dumb things, but he doesn’t worry about anything. He’s not the type of guy who will spend any effort on trying to down us. I’m sure he’d tell festivals you can have WASP, but you can’t have WASP when you have Where Angels Suffer. I’m sure that would be a prerequisite, “if we play the festival, we don’t want those other bozos on it.” That’s probably what he’d say, and that’s not unreasonable. He’s been like a big brother to me for years. I know he finds me mildly irritating, but I know he still loves me too, AND Holmes… He loves Holmes. You don’t spend time with people like that and do not care about them. But I’m interested to hear a little more. If anything, he should be pissed off at this motherfucker over here (point towards the singer of WAS) because there are not many guys who can sing as those guys can.
Right, Blackie usually doesn’t want to talk about his former bandmates in his interviews.
Well, he doesn’t put himself in that position. He’s so guarded in his interviews. He takes – he takes it more seriously than me. I’m kind of a joke. I mean, comedy is one of my things. And I just really don’t give a shit. I mean, I just know. I’m sorry. I mean, I respect you guys. I respect the listeners or the readers, but I don’t give a fuck. That is what comes out. I say what’s on my mind. It doesn’t always win for me, “laughs.”
THE CRIMSON IDOL STUFF
Because I am a huge Kiss fan, I have to ask what it was like to work with Bob Kulick in the studio. You were both making THE CRIMSON IDOL and STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH albums.
STET: I was around more for Bob during THE CRIMSON IDOL, and man, he’s good. That guy is really good. It’s so funny that more people don’t know him by name. Obviously, they know the Kulick name, but that guy is a master. I remember Blackie then, and I think some of his best work was on THE CRIMSON IDOL. I’m sure Bob might disagree. Who knows how he and Blackie parted? I don’t really know. I know whenever I see Bob it’s very friendly and I think he likes me. It’s tough to tell with me, you know (laughter).
So did Bob Kulick join the CRIMSON IDOL sessions about the same time as you did?
STET: I think Bob was involved before me. Yeah, there were already some leads done. Bob is a great man. He looks great. I haven’t seen him in years.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bob never did any shows with you?
STET: No. And we were talking about using him on the road, but it never happened.
About the same time, he had a band with Frankie Banali called Blackthorne. They did some live shows in Japan at least.
STET: Yep, and he was also in Paul Stanley’s solo band, and that’s how Eric Singer got into the fold, and the rest is history.
How overall, do you like the CRIMSON IDOL album and the whole creating process of it?
STET: It was an ongoing SLOWWWWW process….and expensive. I highly respect Blackie for putting together such a labor of love, but he must have had a big pile of money or something. It was a cool record. I got to say, and it pretty much changed my career. That and then pretty much when we went and did Donington, and MTV filmed it. By MTV filming it, and they replayed the show over and over and over, and well, it just so happens that I am in the shots just behind Blackie all the time. And people would go, “who’s that octopus animal behind Blackie? What’s going on back there?” (laughs) It kind of changed my career. I swear to god, it did, it did make things better. Considering I had no consideration for anything, I’m lucky that I’ve had a pretty damn good career, you know what I mean? I’m such a jackass (laughs)
The stuff on THE CRIMSON IDOL, how you and Frankie Banali shared the drum parts. I mean, you both are credited for that album?
STET: Well, Frankie started the record. Not everybody knows how the story went down, but I just read about it in that WASP book, which was somewhat accurate. Frankie started the record, then his mother passed away, and then I finished the record. That’s the short story.
Do you remember which songs you did play on the album?
STET: I never tried to dissect it. I can in and started with “Misconceptions” and “I Am One.” Then I started replacing stuff. Blackie always says that I played on most of it, but I think it’s at least a 50/50 split with maybe the lion’s share towards him. I fixed a lot of stuff. It’s weird, I re-recorded it along with some of his stuff so they could have alternate drums to work with, and some of it is a hybrid between us, and some of it’s just him. Yeah, and it was weird because Ken Hensley, the keyboard player, was my roommate at that time. So when he was going down to the studio to do keyboards, Frankie was down there, and he was coming home saying “fuckin’ Blackie” you know. He’d be bitching about Blackie, and I was like, “Is that guy a dick or what?” He was like, “Ah naw… he’s cool”. And before I know, it was doing the same thing coming home going “Fuckin’ Blackie” (laughs), and he’d go “ahh-haaa!”
How about the next album, STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH? Again, you both have credit on the album.
STET: With STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH, I’m like on one song or something?!
You are credited as a percussionist for that album, if I remember correctly?
STET: Yeah, but that was incorrect. I was actually on one track or something. That was recorded in 90′ something…? well, several years before that (album). A LOT of my stuff got pulled out of vaults and out on records to keep me alive. It was the weirdest thing. I worked with him so long, I had laid down so many drum tracks, and this was before Pro-Tools…so…
WORKING WITH LITA FORD
The last thing I was going to ask is about your work with Lita Ford. How that thing came about, and why it didn’t last any longer?
STET: Oh, well, long story short, Lita, I was – my friend Danny Stanton called me up and said that Lita was making a comeback. And I said – I’ve just taken a break from, I have left WASP and I was on a little break. I just remarried. And Danny reached out to me, and he said, “Hey, you know, I got something big on the hook. It’s a long shot but would you be interested in joining Lita’s band?” and I said, yeah. We talked about the money. And it was really good. It was a really cool situation. And long story short, I came in. It was difficult to get everything the way I want to get it and the way I’m used to getting it mainly because her husband was directly involved and just, you know, I love Jin Gillette. He’s a great guy, but he was in the fucking – he had his nose in everything, and we wouldn’t let us alone to get our business done. Hence we never got to prepare to my standards, and we went out, and I was completely unsatisfied with the presentation. And after all of the effort we’ve gone through in the past, he wants to go and slay people. I was a little embarrassed in Sweden Rock, and I decided to cash it in and go my own way after that. That’s how I got up of those. I adore Lita, and she’s awesome. And now, unfortunately, she and Jim broke up. And I think she’ll do a lot better because what he was really trying to do is get in her band. And when I was in the band, he’s like, “Get a microphone, and I’ll sing vocals from the side of the stage.” I’m like, “No fucking way you’re going that. I don’t give a shit. We’ll fight again.” I have to get to him in the ring with him five times. He threw me around like a rag doll. If I’d do it, I’ll get in the ring with you for six fucking times. You’re not getting the microphone. I don’t give a fuck. You know. And then, when I left at the very next rehearsal, he showed up with a wide smile, and before he knew it, he was out there running around grabbing her tits and sing along and playing his new songs that no one knew. And I was like, “Wow, what a fucking cluster fuck.” I actually watched the YouTube after I left the band. I saw some clips from the festivals which they did after I left. And the guy was running around like a jackass and just being disrespectful to Lita, I think. Again alone, but it wasn’t a situation I could work with. And I’m not the type of guy to sit around for that shit. You know me well enough.
How do you like the album, the WICKED WONDERLAND?
STET: The drumming was awesome “laughs.”
And that’s about it? “laughs.”
STET: It was all good; it started off being really cool. We worked with this producer, a writer guy, Greg Hampton, who was absolutely really amazing. When we started, it was a beautiful record. Then it just got veered Jim’s way, and he got a little. All of a sudden, his vocals were all over it, and I mean it. I listened to one mix, you know they were in LA doing mixes, and they’d do a mix, and they’d send it to me, and you know me, I’d go ape-shit with a two-page email with “What the fuck is the matter with you guys, are you fucking deaf?” But there was one mix they sent me. His vocals were SO out front that the rest of the band sounded like, you remember on Frank Sinatra records (laughter) where there is like this “whaa daa dee de… daa daaa daa daaa” (imitates Sinatra) and then in the back there is this little tiny “dee daa daa” (in a small low voice) in the back like that. I was like, “you have to be fucking kidding me, dude!” I went absolutely bullshit. I wish people saved those emails. I write famous emails. So I was just like, “Dude, I love you but are you fucking guys deaf here…seriously!?!” That was kind of the beginning of the end….and she doesn’t even…I looked on her website, and it’s not even listed as a record on her website. So I’m like, “Do I have to take it off my wall?” because I have all the CDs I’ve played on in my studio. I’ve got like 50-something of them, and I have the Lita CD up there, and well I’m like,e I guess I should take that down cause she won’t acknowledge me. It’s not on her website as a Lita record. But you know, to answer your question, I think it was a cool record that just went crazy under the power of a madman.
Ok, Stet and Rich. I think that’s enough for now. Have a great show, and see you there, guys!
RICH AND STET: No problem man!
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