20 QUESTIONS WITH…
ex-Saigon Kick singer MATT KRAMER!
Sometimes people we interview use our 20 Questions as a chance to tell some great stories about years gone by. Some people use it as an opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions of the music industry. And some people use it as a forum to talk shit about someone. Well, in today’s 20 Questions, you get all 3 of those things and a lot more!
For those of you not in the know, Matt Kramer was the singer for the critically acclaimed band Saigon Kick, yet he abruptly left the band at the height of their popularity. He didn’t record again for many years, but has just recently put out his first solo album, and a few of his new songs appear in the forthcoming film Waking Up Dead starring his former Saigon Kick bandmate Phil Varone. We had lots of questions for Matt, and not only did he answer every single one of our ridiculous inquiries, but he also manages to talk plenty of smack along the way. So without further ado, here’s this weeks highly entertaining 20 Questions with Matt Kramer. Enjoy!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
Finally I put my first album out since Saigon Kick ?The Lizard?, Titled ?War & Peas? (Put out under my label Lascivious Recording Co.) It?s for now only available at mattkramer.net, check out the free mp3 samples and rare Saigon Material at my site. We will be Re-releasing it this spring with a new Cover art, done by my Miami, FL. friend artist JoeKlucar.com, It?s a heavy CD that wasn?t designed to sound like a Saigon Kick Album, Its shaped more like 70s art rock Like Mott The Hoople and Bowie/Ziggy only louder, edgier, and full throttle. It includes all of my favorite players and friends (?The Son of Slam? ?Jonathon Mover? on Drums, My old school S. Florida friend Dave Scott, recorded most of the Guitars, Miguel Gonzalez, also from Coma on bass, plus others) Co-writing, recording and playing live, ?War & Peas?, Is getting reviewed Quite Positive, by some major hard Asses in the rock critic world. Also A few tracks will soon be out in Phil Varone?s new Documentary feature Titled ?Waking up dead? . A Wake up call real life story for all artists. Definitly not pretty. Coming out Spring /Summer 2005, Check out the trailer at wakingupdeadmovie.com
2. Let?s get right to the point. Back in 1993, you quit Saigon Kick mid way through the recording of the album ?Water,? allowing Jason Bieler to take over vocal duties. Why did you part ways with the rest of the band when you guys were pretty much riding the highest wave of your career?
I didn?t allow Bieler anything, He bamboozled all that, I actually agreed to a press release back when I left saying that it was creative differences. Complete Bullshit. That just was to be cool on my part. Problem was no one was decent back to me. Bieler made off with the band and all the Loot. With his partner in grime, our manager Warren Wyatt.
Bieler wanted to take my job once the machine was well oiled. They pretty much took a strong-arm hold on the business. After stepping back and looking at what became of an artistic band that was built by 4 guys, not 1 and a shitty manager. At that point I read between the lines and made a decision. We were a band completely getting hosed internally. Big Time. You say I was riding high when I left? Ha that?s funny, I was making $200.00 a week, and left the band broke with a hit on every format of media at the time, I never got a single Atlantic Records royalty (Along with every other SK Member). and to top that! Every shitty hair ball compilation album SK was added to, where they use my performance in the video among others, to sell the late night commercial that ran for years, I never get 1 cent of that action either. You believe that. And I?m singing this shit not playing Tambourine. No exaggeration! Ask the other guys. They?ll tell you the same thing. The publishing money I did make, I lent all of it to the band! As a loan, and that was spent foolishly one again mismanagement, and as if it was my problem, then got convinced to give Personal high $ dollar loans to my fly by the skin of his teeth, manager, (who was getting his Business phones turned off every second and could not do SK even if he was competent) that I also never got paid Back for. ( I?m talking a lot of money that was mine, That never got into my account for me to distribute out, if I so chose to, hind sights 20/20). So that?s why I?m going the fuck off. Getting the story straight, Cause it needs to get off my chest.
Ahhh That?s better.
I?ve been knocked and supported on that move in every direction. It was that bad! Believe me I did not want to leave my band that I fronted from the inception of a nothing-local band in Miami, and I brought 100% to from day one. Everything changed just as it got into the machine (The Industry push).
Saigon Kick was over with by then, everything changed the day we signed our deal, no matter how you look at it. Then hearing the direction that certain individuals into singing more love songs were pressuring me, after the success of ?Love is on the way? it was just over. No more collaboration was happening, and the new crap coming out of Bieler was sappy self-indulged garbage. Think ?The lion king on Therozine?. Hey actually that might have been a cool direction instead of I love you poopsie.
Saigon Kick deserved to die after that drastic direction misplacement.
But it was a pretty romantic Departure leaving high rather than Tanking then pulling out.
I can actually say I have no regrets. Poopsie.
3. Saigon Kick had a big chart topping hit with the ballad ?Love Is On The Way,? the video for which, featuring only you and Jason Bieler from the band, was in "heavy" rotation on MTV for ages. Why was it just the two of you and not Phil Varone or the other guy in the band? Did this obvious marketing ploy of courting the overweight souls of America cause any dissention in Saigon Kick, and where did you learn the sexy, ?mysterious? dance you performed in it?
Oh man we were being taken apart from every end. The company wanted the lead singer out front, and if you can see in the video, Bieler kept leaning into the frame every chance he got with that big Mr. Ed horse head in the shot, and he always tried to convince everyone that it was a dual lead singer band for more camera ?B? time. Phil wasn?t there for editing, so he got shafted for more ?B? time, and Tom was on his way out in about a week, so that?s what happened to him.
And I don?t know what the fuck that dance was, I think it was called the getting out of the cobweb dance. Where I kept moving my hands in front of me to clear ?The sexy mysterious Momma long legs? spider webs.
4. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being someone who sounds like they gargle sulfuric acid every morning, and 10 being someone who has mastered the art of voice.
Vince Neil = 10 paying homage to the old Too fast days.
Rob Halford = 1001 Like Mother fucking catching lightning!
Paul Stanley = I say 10 Much respect, but ?Simon says? a 9 deduct a point for the Lissssssp so 9.333
Mark Slaughter = 6 & 3/16th I need to ask him what that helium high is like.
Gary Cherone = 8 & 8/9ths Gary?s is a great cat, and good bud.VH though, was not a good move.
Jesse James Dupree = 6 & 6/666th I really don?t listen to Paul Bunion enough to cut down that forest.
Kevin DuBrow =7 & 18/37th Old school has a place in my heart, Slick back Cadillac
Sebastian Bach =9 Old Baz meant every word. Even if he didn?t know what the fuck he was saying.
Bret Michaels = 6 & 9/36th Predictable, but has his place.
Jason Bieler = Zero, point Zero Pied, For that whiney cunt!
5. Just how big of a dick was Jason Bieler to work with? Feel free to embellish your answer with as many illustrative examples as you?d like.
Ya know, I was going to stop the hate, Being that I already did a lot of interviews in this format that other sites have borrowed from You Metal Sludge cats.
But since this is the real McCoy 20 Questions. This is the last time I will mention the name.
You mean that slimy wanna be Prince/Sting egomaniac sack of shit ex band mate of mine. The fact that I called him a friend uhrggg. It just shows how low that cocksucker really is. Anyone that enjoys seeing his friends starve for no reason, because of his greed, lies and manipulating ego driven games, man they must be in a really bad place themselves, I wasn?t watching out for my friend to fuck me, that?s why he got away with so much. I always heard about the sharks in this business, but between him our manager. The sharks were in our own little fishbowl. Call me unprofessional all you want for spilling the pot of beans, it ain?t about you, or tarnishing the band. That?s the real truth.
I would like to walk around wearing a necklace of their teeth. (Sharks)
6. Why was Jason Bieler?s famous nickname ?Jabba??
Are you fishing for something? Try Chum?
7. After you left Saigon Kick, did you laugh your balls off when Jabba dropped his last name ala Cher? Wasn’t it pronounced ?Whasoan? like ?croissant? without the ?qua? at the beginning?
That?s Brilliant you get it!!!! Man was that some sad shit? But I think you pronounce it Whasuck. That fat fuck should of dropped a hundred pounds, and the love stories, instead of the last name.
8. What percentage of Brian Warner’s royalties are rightfully yours or Jabba?s?
Old Manson, spent a shitload of time in our rehearsal room in the early days, before he was a singer, and definitely came out smelling a lot like early SK?s shows. Its funny back in those days, he would bring me all kinds of shirts and jackets and funky glasses to wear on stage, and if I wore them he would tell all of his friends ?look he?s wearing my shirt.? Pretty fucking cool looking back on it. I still have a raincoat that he talked about in his Biography that he painted ?Jesus Saves? on the back. I bet I could get a fortune for that. Manson also painted the daisies on my obligatory combat boots I wore for a million shows. But in all honesty he?s a brilliant cat, and deserves all the credit for where he?s taken himself. Always a friend of mine.
9. Yes or no, has Matt Kramer ever:
Wrestled an alligator = No But I rolled a bitch for her alligator purse once.
Flown in a hot air balloon = No but once I farted so many times under the sheets that I got a Willie Wonka bed ride above the city just like the Glass Elevator.
Filed for bankruptcy = No, Because Saigon Kick made me Millions, no I mean Zzzzzzilliiiiiiiooooons of Dollars.
Been booed off stage = No but I really pissed off a testosterone college crowd when they put me on as an acoustic gig after the fucking wildest wet T-shirt contest ever, and I was just fucking pissed playing for a crowd that was not in any way musically literate, so I asked them what I was going to do to top the Wet T contest?, and asked if they wanted to see my big dick and went into the tune, half the crowd sang Dear prudence with me, and the other half of those block heads were booing, pissing and moaning, I heard it on the radio, It kinda ended up sounding a lot like a European soccer game rioting anthem, Sometimes you just don?t want to please everyone. Those were the kind of guys that made me anti social in the first place. So I was happy to piss them off.
Pissed in a filing cabinet = I believe I have. It was all innocent though. Just putting out a fire I lit.
Shit in a plastic grocery bag = I prefer a twelve pack box, in between 2 chairs one for each cheek with the box below. Other than that, its the garbage can for a nice dressing room fecal Phenom.. That?s a fine shitter. Plastic grocery bags are for kids.
Jacked off with bacon grease = Hmmmmmm. No, I prefer a shoebox filled with liver.
Stuck your finger in your ass = That?s a dumb question of course. It’s especially nice during a Fluff and Fi Fi..
Touched another man?s penis =Only with a taint in between.
Been arrested = Si Senior?.. . Clink?..
10. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
I hate disturbed, that ooo aa aa thing reminds me of that chipmunk ting tang walla walla bing bang, meets the ending of grease, meets no talent, Yeah sure they?re unique, which is usually a god thing but not in this case. And Honorable mention, Limp and Company
11. Name one good thing about:
Drugs = Columbian neckties.
Girls = Beauty and Lies. Sorry that?s two
Tacos = The guac man.
Florida = The Mami?s and they?re luscious papayas. Ummmm.
Breast implants = Better drink coasters.
Jason Bieler = He?s Dead, Oh I?m dreaming again?. Nothing good here.
Hurricanes =Hurricane parties.
Lizards =BB guns. No I?m Joking! I love those little strange ones.
Masturbation = Having a good canvas for it?s descend.
Poop =Hey what can I say I?m a fecal feliac. It?s art. So Muy Fantastic. Caviar Und Schtinken. Ahhh Ze Shiezers und dunkell is mine. ohh Yaa. Saw it in a movie once. Oscar!! Oscar!!
I must have been German in a previous life.
Champaign wishes Und Caviar Schtinken
12. Time for a Metal Sludge walk down memory lane! Please share with us your fondest memory from the following years:
1981 = Van Halen live at The Sportatorium Hollywood FL. Huge impression. Long Live Rock.
1984 = Last time I can remember hanging with the neighborhood friends all at once. Finding cool underground progressive/punk clubs in Miami being introduced to Bands like ?Love and rockets? and ?Joy Division?, also discovering Motley Crue. Dying my hair white like Vince and quitting High school to get in a band. Damn good times.
1986 = Cruising my Burgundy wine colored 1980 Z-28 4 speed on the floor jamming much rock. Hold on to 18 Kids.
1989 = Janes Addiction Live opening for Iggy Pop At the Cameo Theatre in Miami beach, Changed my life, art and who I was forever. Perry Ferrel is still ?The man?.
1991 = Atlantic signed SK, Jason Flom who signed us was just another A&R guy, now King pin Of the biz (Whom I still have much love for), Lots of sushi, trashed, Peeing out the windows of Rockefeller Center at the Atlantic offices, Seeing the world for the first time on tour, and Recording Saigon Kick?s only good album with The great Michael Wagener in LA.
1993 = Mutiny on the high sea?s for me.
1996 = Coma in Los Angeles. Shooting lots of Big guns with Michael Wagener.
1999 = Stirring the Brew.
2001 =Started Recording my First Solo Album. You see, myself and Axle were playing Texas Holdem on getting something out. He won.
2004 = Shanna
Matt plays hide-and-seek with Michael Wagener
13. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you end up blowing it on?
$85,000.00 It was stolen from me so I didn?t get to buy shit but a $6000.00 Motorcycle just before I left the band. Guess where it all went? It?s a no brainer. That was just one check! Out of many, that was embezzled from my SK publishing. Where is the Karma in this world.
14. Out of all the bands that Saigon Kick ever toured with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you?ve ever met?
I don?t know man, I mean you run into these cats all the time so it kind of opens a can of worms that I have to live with, after this interview. But since itrs metal Sludge 20 OK
The Ramone?s – were very cool, Respect and long live the legend.
Cheap Trick – Was the best. Yo Bun thanks again for that Envelope.
Extreme – never crushed our sound or did anything but support and share the moment. Learned a lot from them cats.
Ozzy ? Man Those Guys were great, Mike Inez, Zack, Randy Castillo RIP cool as it gets great Guys. We Rocked Tokyo Hard, And drank ourselves to pure alcohol blood level.
Ratt ? Really treated us like shit on our first us tour, and I lost all respect. We never should have done that one.
Kings X ? Booted us off the tour after playing 12 minutes instead of the 11 minutes they gave us, because they sound checked all day and 38 minutes into our set. Bieler attacked and choked they?re tour manager when he pulled the lights and power on us in the middle of the last tune, that was fucking funny. Definitely worth losing the tour to see that.
15. After you left Saigon Kick, you started to work on a new project called ?Coma? with guitarists Harry Cody (ex-Shotgun Messiah) and Jimmy Griffin, formerly of Kingofthehill. You guys had originally hoped to release a debut album in 1995, but that never quite came to fruition. What happened?
You forgot to mention Alex Kane (aka AntiProduct) , Guitarist Doug Aldrich, and Drummer Ray Luzier were all in Coma Through out its span as well. Now that?s a nice line up of players don?t ya think? Them boys were bad!!
All star bands were hard to sell back in 1995, Coma would have been huge, if it was 2005. But that?s entertainment. Long live Velvet Revolver.
Coma in Miami Beach, 1994
16. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:
Chameleons or iguanas = Iguana?s even though Chameleons are cooler machines, The Iguana at least knows who the hell he is.
Las Vegas or Amsterdam =Ohhh That?s too tough for me. I?ll Pass Alex.
Ozzy Osbourne or Alice Cooper =Ouch you had too, no I cant! they are both to deep for any comparison.
Chicken Vindaloo or Chicken Pot Pie =Vindalooo and a little spar crooning from my boy ?Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? Rest his soul.
Parachute pants or acid washed jeans =I know a trick question when I see one.
Tom DeFile or Chris McLernon = Did you say prefer. No, I?m Joking they?re my cronies man.
Type O Negative or Sisters of Mercy = Sisters, any day
Bing Crosby or Perry Como = Bing Bling was a smoooooth singing, abusive daddy genius.
Vaginal sex or anal sex = To promote cleanliness. I prefer Anal, Mouth, then Vaginal, Come on get your chain of events straight. Damn dude.
Opium or hashish = Those are Drugs man. Uhh Toss a coin.
Matt prepares to address the crowd
17. What part of the female anatomy drives you wild like no other, and what does the phrase ?the jaws of life? mean to you?
The curve right behind a woman?s ear, Just talking in a breathy low voice to rise their temp gets my horns up, also have a strange fetish for lightly biting a nice hip bone.
Jaws of life? Oh the speculum, we had some great movies on the bus and this one fetish work I picked up on Old 42nd, had ?the jaws of life? in it. All together it was a little anal. Butt I wept. Brilliant cinematography and walkie talkies.
18. Do you take any personal satisfaction in the fact that Jason Bieler?s ?Super Transatlantic? project flopped as badly as it did?
No, I?m trying to take the high road from here on out.
19. The Last of Matt Kramer:
Last book you read = Howl & other poems By Allen Ginsberg
Last CD you purchased =Notorious BIG ready to die, I highly recommend it.
Last person you hit in anger = I don?t think that does anybody any good, if you cant talk it out. Shoot em.
Last movie you saw in the theatre = The Aviator. I wonder if Howard Huges ever shit in a 12 pack box?
Last concert you watched from the audience = 2005 Native American music awards, The Nammy,s Great Experience.
Last time you heard ?Love is On The Way? on the radio =Don?t make me puke OK.
Last time you saw Phil Varone?s penis = I saw that Staticbeth.com page last week. When I did a SK Google search. But Phil enjoys showing his as often as he can. The best is when he does the Order in the court bit, where he yells order and bangs his cock ring on the table to get everyone?s attention. Man there?s a lot of free time on the road. We were always about the comedy, even if somebody got hurt, if that ring goes flying off you can put an eye out.
Last time you missed a flight =About 8 months ago, United sucks
Last time you shit yourself = A couple of month?s ago. But it was just a mere dollop. Total accident when a turd was honking for the right of way.
Last time you jacked off = He He He um I gotta go. Be right back.
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association! We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Ted Nugent = New wardobe
Gene Simmons = Demon Jew with a clue
Doug Aldrich = Bad Bad Leroy brown
Robbie Gennet =Fine Laddy
Marilyn Manson = Peeing in the blue water turning it green, He?s a good ole boy.
Harry Cody = Marvin the Martian, I love Harry. Plays his ass off.
Jeff Blando = 2 x 4 Machine
Alex Kane = Quilby walla hulf meilm hielg qualla fallma. P.S. Undielzib Pkit.
George Lynch = Heavier and deeper than popular belief.
Nikki Sixx = Our Hero
That works for us! Anyone who calls Jason Bieler an ‘egomaniac sack of shit’ and a ‘whiney cunt’ in the same interview is O.K. in our book.
For more information on Matt Kramer, including a look at his years with Saigon Kick and info about his new solo CD, check out his Web site at www.mattkramer.net.