When you saw that there was an interview with Bonfire today, you were probably thinking it was that 80s hair band from Germany called "Bonfire," right? Well, you’re wrong! Instead, we’ve got a CopyCathouse interview with AC/DC tribute band Bonfire. They’re not from Germany, they’re from L.A., and they even played at our MSEXI party this past spring! Now that’s excitement! So here we are today with Steve and Sean (aka "Bon") from Bonfire. Here we go!
1. Plug away! Tell us all about "Bon Fire" and anything else you feel might be relevant.
I put Bonfire together in 2001. It took me a long time to find the guys for my band. If I was going to go out and do a tribute, I wanted it to be the best it could be, not half assed. After being together 4 years, I have to say, this is the best band I have ever been in. We get along, have fun playing for people & everyone is serious about making people go WOW! I wanted a tribute that was a show, not just the music. But, I have always loved AC/DC and I thought that high energy show with their songs was a perfect match for our band.
A Bonfire is where you get a bunch of wood together in a field and get some beers, oh you mean the band. Well basically we pretend to be AC/DC. Which requires me to get drunk every time we play, but I’m willing to do it for the sake of the band.
2. Besides playing at MSE-XI what are some of the biggest crowds and/or best gigs you’ve done?
There are 3 on my list. First, our second show ever was at Paladino?s opening for the Foo Fighters. It was a great experience and the Guys were really cool. Second, we have played House Of Blues – Anaheim 4 times. It has always been a full house there. A great place to play. Lastly, and probably our biggest show was at House Of Blues ? Hollywood. The headliner always sells out there so we played for about 2000 people. All 3 shows rate equally in my book. It quite a feeling to hear the crowd roar when you finish a song!
Our second gig we ever did was opening for the Foo Fighters, which was completely insane and great. Pretty much all down hill from there.
3. Rate the following Los Angeles-based cover/tribute bands on a scale of 1-10. 1 being a group that shouldn’t bother taking the stage, a 10 being some musicians who could practically stand in the shoes of the originators.
Atomic Punks = 10 – These Guys are amazing. We love playing with them. If it wasn?t for them, I don?t know if any tribute would have a chance to play House Of Blues.
10 The best. Without them, the rest of us probably wouldn’t exist.
Whole Lotta Rosies = I have never seen them play as a full band but I did fill in for their guitarist on a show. It was fun. They?re very cool and excellent musicians. Plus they add a sexy look to it, which, is always a good thing.
I’d like to give all those girls 10, but I guess that’s wishful thinking.
The Gay-Gays = Never seen them.
Wish I would have thought of it.
Metal Skool = We just played with these guys recently. Just an amazing show. I see why now Monday?s at The Roxy is always packed.
Those guys are foxy. In fact I think they got voted foxiest band.
Hangar 18 = Never seen them.
Haven’t seen them yet.
Led Zep-again = 10 – These guys are great and really nice. They are are getting some great shows and they are well deserved.
Great band, super talented group. I think they like Zeppelin or something.
The Spazmatics = Never seen them.
Haven’t seen them yet either.
Hollywood Roses = 10 – We have played with them a couple of times. They put on a good show.
I haven’t seen these guys lately, I hope they’re still around.
The Iron Maidens = Never seen them but we are playing with them in July.
We’ve got a gig booked with these girls so I’ll finally get to check them out.
Boogie Nights = I haven?t seen the Boogie Nights per se, but I have a couple of buddies playing in the spin offs that are owned by the same company. Really good musicians and fun music.
Haven’t seen them.
4. When did you first pick up an instrument, and what if any original projects have you done?
I started playing guitar at 16. I hardly went to any parties. I would just stay home and try to learn Rush tunes. I have written about 30 songs on my own but have never done anything with them. Writing some new stuff as we speak.
I’ve been playing with my organ since I was about twelve. Other than that I try to never pick up an instrument, that’s the best part about being a singer. I did a horrible original project in the late 80’s. Our first gig was our last. The guitar player attacked the bass player during the gig, very metal. We did a great cover of Symptom of the Universe though.
5. What is your favorite AC/DC song to play live, along with your least favorite and why?
I love High Voltage because every instrument is doing such cool things that fit together so well. I love playing it. We are going to start playing Back In Black at certain shows so my favorite might be Back In Black. I love the licks Angus plays in his solos. I really don?t have a least favorite. I?m still surprised that I enjoy playing every song after 4 years. It?s the energy that keeps it alive.
I guess Highway To Hell is my favorite just because everyone sings along and stuff. Actually, I really like all of them, except I can never remember all the words to Beating Around The Bush.
Bonfire at Paladino’s!
6. "Back in Black" is one of the biggest selling recordings of all time. What would have been Different had Bon Scott sang on that release instead of Brian Johnson?
I think it would have been a more raw rock album. Less focus on it?s perfection. Bon had a raw natural energy about him that made for some long lasting tunes. It?s funny how different playing the Bon stuff is to the Brian stuff. A whole different animal.
I think it would have been funnier. Bon’s songs usually have a sense of humor, Brian’s are a little meaner.
7. Pick your Poison:
Hollywood or The Valley = The Valley
The Valley I guess.
The 405 or the 101 = 101. 405 is always busy.
Sushi or Hamburgers = Hamburgers. I love meat!
Cheeseburger, plain w/fries please. To go.
Guitar Center or Sam Ash = How about West LA Music?
Blink 182 or Limp Bizkit = Limp Bizkit
That’s a trick question, right.
Bon Scott or Brian Johnson = Bon Scott, no question.
Porno or Pyro = Porno
The 70s or The 80s = I love both but rock really triumphed in the 70?s
Slaughter or Warrant = Slaughter. They had some cool melodies.
Is this another one of those trick questions?
Pauly Shore or Rikki Rachtmen = Rikki Rachtmen
Pauly. By the way, who the fuck is Rikki Rachtman?
8. Who in your eyes is currently the hottest chick in adult entertainment, porno, etc…?
Is Chasey Lane current? I guess I?m showing my age
Nicole Sheridan. No contest, she really makes you believe it.
9. Have you ever met or jammed with any of the past or present members of AC/DC?
10. Name the 3 best points and the 3 worst points about being in a cover band:
Best: 1) Great crowds, 2) Great opportunities, 3) A Fun Show
Worst: 1) Getting pains in my neck from being Angus, 2) Not being able to catch my breath from being Angus, 3) Getting scars on my knees from being Angus.
3 Best: Chicks, beer, and playing the music of the greatest Rock band of all time. 3 worst: Getting caught by my wife, hangovers and trying to figure out how to play the music of the greatest Rock band of all time.
Another astounding CopyCathouse interview from your pals at Metal Sludge! Thanks to Steve and Sean for putting their exciting careers on hold while they answered all our questions.
For more info about Bonfire, check out their one and only official Web site at www.labonfire.com.