20 QUESTIONS WITH…
SHOK PARIS / AFTERSHOK singer VIC HIX!
The other day, we got a friendly e-mail from Wendell Neeley, our old pal from the Classic Metal Show. Some band called Aftershok he knew from Cleveland was interested in doing 10 Questions and asked if Wendell could hook it up. Apparently they even played at our recent Metal Sludge Extravaganza X party on New Years Day, so they thought they had a shot at getting a little more coverage on Metal Sludge.
Well, upon further investigation, we learned that Aftershok’s singer Vic Hix used to be in the band Shok Paris. Now, some of you might not remember Shok Paris, but they had a few albums out in the 80s, got airplay on Z-Rock and various metal radio stations, and even had a video shown on MTV’s Headbangers Ball with surprising regularity. So just doing a lousy 10 Questions with them would have been insulting! We couldn’t have that, so we decided to show Aftershok some Sludge Luv and sent out a full 20 Questions to their singer Vic Hix, and he had them back to us in about a day and a half! That rules, especially since we were kind of low on interviews this week. Anyhow, here’s 20 Questions with Shok Paris & Aftershok singer Vic Hix. Enjoy!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
The current project is the only project and that is AFTERSHOK, a 4-piece band in the CLASSIC METAL style. Aftershok?s music is ?Old School Metal, only new!? If you like Dio, Priest, Maiden, Savatage, etc., you should be able to relate. Please visit www.aftershok.com — it has both of our full-length releases for sale, sound samples, bios, etc. — basically, everything you would want to know about AFTERSHOK!
We are currently supporting our second CD ?BURNING CHROME,? released in January 2005 with our partner in crime, Bill Peters of Auburn Records (www.auburnrecords.com). Auburn is also where you can buy the official Shok Paris CDs.
2. Do you think anyone reading this has any idea who you are?
I very seriously doubt it, unless you?re a fan of music that is 20 years old, and even then, you would have to be pretty knowledgeable about Classic Metal or Power Metal to remember Shok Paris and myself. Maybe a few people, because we did have a video, ?The Heat And The Fire? that got some airtime on the Headbangers Ball-that?s how George Mihalovich, my current guitarist, first heard of me. But anyways, I am cool with my music career, even if I am unknown, and there?s always time for people to learn — maybe Metal Sludge will change everything and make me famous-finally!
3. Back in the day, you used to be in the band Shok Paris, now known as a ?classic metal? band. When did you form, how long were you guys a band, and what ultimately led to Shok Paris? demise?
The band Shok Paris was together when I joined in the fall of 1983, I do believe. They had been together for about a year and were looking for a new singer. When I joined the band, we immediately started writing songs for ?GO FOR THE THROAT? and the album was done within 2 months. We did 3 CD?s together, including ?STEEL AND STARLIGHT? in 1987 and ?CONCRETE KILLERS? in 1988. The demise was caused by the changing styles in music at the time (1989), problems with the label and typical other ?band? stuff — bet you?ve never heard that one before!
Shok Paris circa 1984
4. You now front your new band, Aftershok. Clever name. When did you get that project together, who else is in your band, and how did you hook up with those guys?
After I left Shok Paris, and I do mean I walked away ?cold turkey? from music, not looking back. I worked a day job, as I still do today, by the way. In or around ?94?, I kinda? got the itch to get back into it! I hooked up with George Mihalovich when a bass player and a drummer that I was jamming with called him to come over, and we started working on songs together. That took several years, and by that time the other guys were gone, so we started looking for a drummer and bass player to record our first album. I had played in cover bands before Shok Paris with both George Borden (drums) and Nick Gryska (bass), so I knew that, they could do what I needed them to do in this new project. All it took was a little prodding with one of those 100,000-volt cattle prods and I got them to join up! This was George B?s second chance, because he tried out for Shok Paris before we recorded Concrete Killers. He didn?t quite make it then, but he was in like flint for Aftershok. He must have practiced?
5. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being someone who sounds like they gargle radiator fluid, and 10 being someone with truly killer pipes.
Jani Lane = Who?s that?? Ah Warrant! 3
Jon Olivia = Great guy, The Mountain King! And he sounds like me!! 9… Shok Paris did our first major U.S. tour with Savatage, and I really like the guys and their band. Sad that Criss is gone.
Dave Mustaine = Cool guy and fits the band! 5
Bruce Dickinson = One of the best! 9
Ronnie James Dio = Nothing more said!! 10
Michael Vescara = I really enjoyed this guy when he was in Loudness. 8
Vince Neil = Again, fits the band, but not my style. 4
Joel Ellis = Is this a real question? Who in the #$&# is this guy?
Bret Michaels = A real ladies? man!! But his voice is a 3
Sebastian Bach = A real #&*%, but a good set of pipes. 7
6. What ?rock star? deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
?ALL OF THEM!? Or at least, anyone who acts like the cliche?. Why? The answer is simple, it is the fans that make them this so-called ROCK STAR, so treat them right! It is by the fan?s support, through all of the concerts and merchandising that a ROCK STAR EVEN GETS THE CHANCE TO STROKE HIS OR HER OWN EGO! Thus, the people that support you do not deserve any bullshit from you! I am still a fan, and I never forget that when people want to say hello at a show.
7. Aftershok was one of the bands who played at our Metal Sludge Extravaganza X this past New Years in Cleveland. You must have noticed a huge leap in your career afterwards! How do you handle it?
It was a BLAST at the Hi-Fi, the crowd was rowdy and into the music and everyone had a good time. This single event could just be the start of the revival of metal in the United States! All I know is Aftershok will never be the same!
Aftershok’s George and Vic at MSEX in Cleveland, 1/1/05
8. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:
Super 8 or Motel 6 = Neither, my own bed!
T.T. Quick or Malice = Who? Malice
Rally?s or In-And-Out Burger = Forget that, give me a Greasy Spoon diner!
Jan Roll or Danny Simmons = Jan, he can play anything- almost!
Vicki Lawrence or Vikki Foxx = Vikki Foxx, sounds like a Porn Star.
Tommy Paris or Paris Hilton = Paris Hilton, I could use the cash!
Bob Borden or Lizzy Borden = I know them both.
Chris Akin or Wendell Neeley = I know both of them too — www.pitriff.com and www.theclassicmetalshow.com. What can I say, they are cool guys, fans and true supporters — kind of like athletic supporters of metal!
Ding Dongs or Twinkies = FUCK THAT, MAN! Real food, how about some German chocolate cake?
Hand jobs or rim jobs = Hand jobs, ?cause my ass has tattooed on it ?EXIT ONLY.?
9. In your opinion, who?s the most overrated band today?
Any band that doesn?t do CLASSIC METAL? I don?t worry about it too much, everybody can have their place, BUT I just want the chance for people to hear ALL of the good bands out there- including Aftershok! Right now, that?s not happening, but hopefully will change.
Shok Paris, 1989
10. Name the 3 highest points and the 3 lowest points of your career to date.
Highs (in no particular order):
1. Recording ?Steel and Starlight? in 1985, releasing it, and realizing we were actually getting fans and some attention in the music biz!
2. Getting signed to IRS Records in 1987 and doing our first tour with Savatage and Lizzy Borden.
3. The highest points, and believe me it is more than 3, is having opened up for, or played on the same stage with most or all of my favorite bands.
The ?Bang Your Head Festival? in Balingen, Germany on June 24 & 25, 2004 with the re-united Shok Paris is a great example. The European fans know and love their heavy music! And, after we finished playing for all of the early risers and hungover Germans (11:30 AM), we got to watch bands like U.F.O, Queensryche, Primal Fear etc.- it was excellent, hanging out, listening and talking to everyone. As I said before I am still a fan!!
The tours we did with SAVATAGE and LIZZY BORDEN, were a great time. In AFTERSHOK doing shows with even more bands like Yngwie, Judas Priest (almost, with Tim Owens on vocals, still pretty cool, the JP cover band) has been great! I think we have played with more known acts in Aftershok than I did with Shok Paris.
The ?Fall of the Metal Nation? in the late 80?s was it! And if that is my worst low, I?m sure I?ll live. But, here?s a few more:
1. Having Kevin Beamish produce ?Concrete Killers,? giving him all of our money and ending up with a record that we worked very hard on, loved the songs — but hated the sound. Did I mention the artwork sucked too? And no royalty checks! And I hated his freakin? lyrics on the video track!
2. Kicking some guy from Concrete Marketing and his bitches out of our dressing room (more like a closet) while they were snorting coke. Sorry, but we needed to get ready to play at the New Music Seminar in 1987 at the Kat Club in Lower Manhattan (with Armored Saint and some other bands) — that?s why we were there, right? But not a good career move?
3. The breakup of Shok Paris. Lots of good times, lots of bad, but it was important to all of us and we tried really hard to make a go of things. It was nice to have a positive time in Germany last summer after all of these years.
11. Yes or no, has Vic Hix ever done the following:
Been stalked by a fan = Hell no! I?d end up shootin? the bastard!
Ate a meal cooked by Jani Lane = Jani, is that a girl?s name?
Considered a career in country music = I live in the country, but my music is METAL!
Stuck a banana in someone?s tailpipe = No, but I once chained a car?s rear end to a guardrail — not a pretty picture!
Jacked off in a car wash = Only topless ones!
Shit in a mop bucket = No, just the woods behind my house!
Fucked a blow-up doll = Are you sure it was a blow-up doll? I though she was just drunk!
Spent the night in jail = After that, I probably should. Who?s pressing charges-the passed-out girl or the doll?
Filed for bankruptcy = No, but after paying the lawyer relating to the former statements, I am sure I will have to consider it!
Touched another man?s penis = It was not a man, who told you that? And she was drunk!!
12. Out of all the bands you ever toured or shared the stage with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you?ve ever met?
With Shok Paris: We did very little touring, but when we did, everybody was cool in all the bands- no problems. As a matter of fact, on the Savatage tour, to keep the tour going, I helped Jon by sing on parts of his songs from off stage with a extra mic because he was having a problem with his voice at the time. It was cool to do. As far as jackasses, just leave that up to the ROCK STARS, I wasn?t big enough to play with any of them, guess that?s my loss, huh? Oh, alright, there is one story. We were going to do a gig in Cleveland opening for Slayer, but they were really late due to a bad snowstorm, so the club asked us to do the headlining spot- the place was packed! So we put up our full set and got ready to play, and BAM! They showed up. Of course, they were pissed and the bitching ensued because they had to go on before us. Hey, it wasn?t our fault, we were just doing what the club asked for the fans. To make a long story short, there was a little ?altercation? between me and a few of the dudes from the Slayer organization. We?ll leave it at that, but I have always been a big guy, and my temper was a LOT WORSE then!
With Aftershok: We don?t really tour, but we do one-off gigs with nationals when we can. Same deal, most are cool. Lots of times, you hardly see them, so we just do our thing and lay back. One thing comes to mind- Yngwie made Aftershok and our whole crew stand behind the wall so he didn?t have to look at us during his two-hour soundcheck at the Odeon in Cleveland. Does that count? After that, him or his wife or both got in a fight with his singer, and they kicked him out of the band and club that night! At least it wasn?t me! I would have sung if he asked, but he didn?t and it was one long guitar solo all night!
Shok Paris enjoying a few after-show beverages
13. Where did you leave the rest of your fingers?
So you noticed that? I did it with a band saw back in 1991. I lost 2, but the doctors reattached one, the other they could not do anything with. One thing for sure, I went right back to using saws, but got to be a little more careful with power tools! I can still hold a mic, so it?s hard to see! Second runner-up for the band name was ?Pinkyless Floyd.? But we are too metal for that one!
14. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you end up blowing it on?
You may not believe this, but all I ever got was a $19.00 check from ASCAP or BMI, whichever one it was, it was all a joke. To this day I have never seen anything or any money. I still have that check as a memento — why cash it? We only got paid for the touring, and that was a per diem, nothing for the 2 CD?s! The life of a big rock star I guess, you can pretty much say I did it all for FREE! As a matter of fact I?m still doing it for free today! Must be because I love the music?
15. Time for a walk down memory lane! Tell us what you remember most about the following years:
1979 = Out of high school and it?s sex, drugs and Rock n? Roll! Name your vice!!
1981 = Well, the Rock n? Roll?s still good!
1984 = Shok Paris begins!
1987 = And at the TOP of Our Game!!
1989 = Shok Paris ends!!!
1991 = Beware of Saws!
1993 = This day job SUCKS!!
1996 = Time to start another band.
1999 = Aftershok prepares to record Unfinished Business.
2003 = Promoting Unfinished Business, preparing to record Burning Chrome.
16. What do you remember most about writing or recording the following songs:
Battle Cry = This is the Vic Hix version of ?THE TROOPER.? I heard the instrumental and wrote the song a certain way because I heard a Maiden influence.
Can?t Fight the Evil = This is the fear of evil that seems to be in everyone from time to time.
Steel and Starlight = Kenny Erb wrote this one, it was a cool song to do!
Hot On Your Heels = We used this to inspire the band. We were the new guys on the block and we wanted to let all of the other bands (yes Breaker, we were in competition!) that we were up and coming, ?Hot On Your Heels!?
The Heat and the Fire = I?m gonna? step away from this one. See Kevin Beamish and low points!
Concrete Killers = What a country boy (this long-haired country boy!) thinks of the big city!
War Machine = This one still fires me up when I hear it! It?s about getting back into doing music after all of those years.
Armageddon Rocks = A little Biblical prophecy anyone?
When Comes the Rain = A little sadness – with attitude.
Burning Chrome = Guitar players wanting to be singers, and singers at full throttle!
Shok Paris 2004
17. How do you pay the bills?
I work for an automotive security company that designs and builds remote starters and keyless entry systems. I work in the R&D and Tech Support departments, been with this company for 12 years. They have no problem with my professional hobby!
18. Which of the following would you rather have happen to you (and you have to pick one):
a) Rob Halford approaches you and volunteers to give up the reigns of Judas Priest to you, which will finally give you the international acclaim and stardom you’ve sought all your life. However, to make this happen, you have to continually and publicly denounce Auburn Records and its owner Bill Peters as a know-nothing hack that held your career down for two decades.
b) Rob Halford approaches you and volunteers to give up the reigns of Judas Priest to you, which will finally give you the international acclaim and stardom you’ve sought all your life. However, you have to perform some ?sexual favors? for Rob that only a man that wears leather all the time would enjoy. No one would ever know that you did this to gain success except for you.
Which one will it be?
Damn, I should have tried out for Priest, maybe I would have got the gig and wouldn?t have to think about this! I don?t have to tell anyone about Bill Peters, everyone already knows he ruined my career- and continues to do so!
C) Well, it think it?s a NO BRAINER, I would just make sure it was Bill Peters that has the sex with Rob, after all you know it?s the record people that always say ?Anything ya need, just let us know!? Well Bill, there ya? go! He?s a big Halford fan anyways, now he can prove it — unless he?s not Rob?s type!
19. The Last of Vic Hix:
Last book you read = The Ultimate Sniper by Maj. John L. Plaster USAR (Ret)
Last CD you purchased = Killing the Dragon, DIO
Last fast food drive-thru you hit = Could not tell ya?!
Last movie you saw in the theatre = It?s been some time, but it was ?Three Kings.?
Last concert you paid to get in to = Kiss back in the 70?s. The only pay I ever get for playing is to stay and see the show for free afterwards!
Last time you got an offer to reunite Shok Paris = Last week- and I?m serious!
Last time you saw the inside of a gym = Does it look like I?ve been in a gym lately? By the way, what is a gym? If you don?t like the size of my ass, come and try to kick it!
Last time you farted in the bathtub = Shower, it?s not as noisy!
Last time you talked to Ken Erb = When I got off of the plane in Cleveland, returning from Germany in June 2004.
Last time you barfed = Are we back talking about that drunk girl again? Speak to my lawyer!
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Axl Rose = Katherine Hepburn of rock! (inside joke) We were recording ?Concrete Killers? out in LA, and when EVERYONE was trying to be a Guns N Roses clone, I knew were were in trouble!
Dee Snider = Stay away from Captain Howdy?.
Gene Simmons = This guy is a rich, but still sick bastard!
George Mihalovich = Crazy Serb, but one hell of a guitar player.
Yngwie Malmsteen = He?s not too bad either!
Kel Berkshire = The best unknown bass player there is!
Alice Cooper = One of the Lords of Metal!
Zakk Wylde = Another great player??.
Billy Morris = Who?s that? Ah Warrant, Hi-Fi Club! Just kidding Billy?. Good guy, good player.
Nikki Sixx = This is another sick puppy!!!
My parting shot: Thanks to Neeley of the Classic Metal Show (www.theclassicmetalshow.com) for setting up this interview, and to Metal Sludge for thinking my career was Sludgeworthy! Appreciate the webspace, and the fact that you guys are still promoting metal while busting balls and keeping rock star?s egos in check all at the same time! Now support new classic metal by going to www.aftershok.com and buying our albums so I can quit my day job!
So there you have it! All your burning Shok Paris questions have now been answered.
Thanks to Wendell for hooking us up, and special thanks to Aftershok guitarist George M. for coordinating everything and sending us some cool pictures to use.
For more information on Vic’s latest project Aftershok, be sure to visit their official Web site at www.aftershok.com. And if that’s not enough, you can check out a retrospective look at Shok Paris by visiting their band saw-free official Web site at shokparis.infinitymusic.com.