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20 Questions with Sean Kelly, 2/1/05



Crash Kelly singer/guitarist SEAN KELLY!

This is the first time someone’s actually graduated from doing 10 Questions with us to doing a full-fledged 20 Questions! We first talked to Crash Kelly’s frontman Sean Kelly back when they were a bunch of nobodies on October 3, 2003. Since then, Crash Kelly has gone on to sign a big record deal with a real record label! And it’s all thanks to the exposure we gave them. At least that’s what we’re going around telling everyone, so deal with it.

Anyhow, Crash Kelly’s new CD "Penny Pills" is now available all across North America, and they’ve just returned to their home city of Toronto after doing a bunch of shows in southern California with big huge national acts like Union and Bubble. We figured that since we’re supposed to get 10% of all publishing and royalties they earn, we could afford to give Sean’s band a nice little plug on Metal Sludge. So without further ado, here’s 20 Quesitons with Crash Kelly’s Sean Kelly!

1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your shit.

Sean KellyCRASH KELLY’s new album, PENNY PILLS, was released on January 25th in North America. It comes in a deluxe gatefold digi-pack design, and it features the video for our first single "She Gets Away" and a bonus track version of Cheap Trick’s "Elo Kiddies". PENNY PILLS is for anyone into the classic glam sounds of the 70’s and the early 80’s Sunset Strip scene… actually, it’s for anyone with $11.99 (US), so run down to the record store and pick one up! It’s my goal to Sludge Scan over 1000 Cds, so that bastard boy floyd can present us with a certified plaque commemorating the sales at a "Sludgeaholics only" ceremony at Palladino’s in Tarzana, CA!!! But I digress… for more info check out www.crashkelly.ca, or the greatest Rock N Roll label in the world (and home to The Hellacopters, Hanoi Rocks, The Backyard Babies, Nebula, The Bones, The Thieves, and our fellow Canucks ,The Black Halos!) www.liquorandpokermusic.com!

2. Let?s get right to it. Back in the summer of 2003, Crash Kelly was one of the opening bands at the Toronto stop on the MSX tour. Since you were basically an unsigned local band, we threw you a bone and did a 10 Questions interview with you later that year. The next thing you know, you?re signing a multi-album deal with a real record company. How instrumental was Metal Sludge in you landing your deal with Liquor & Poker Music, and how grateful are you to us?

Crash KellyWhenever we’re on tour in Europe, the US, or Canada, I run into many people who know us from the 10 questions interview. It definitely helped our international profile (more so than any other interview), and it also was a great help in increasing awareness of Crash Kelly in the eyes of our label. I am very grateful to the Sludge. However, I suspect that as we sell more records and play bigger venues, I will grow to forget about Sludge and anybody else that helped us get to where we are…in fact, fuck all of you, where is my Perrier???

Seriously, I will always be grateful for the exposure given to us by Sludge… you guys were a major factor in making my dreams come true, and I’ll never forget it.

3. Who the fuck are the other people in your band, how did you hook up with them, and how long have you all been playing together?

Allister Thompson – My best friend and brother of 13 years, he is my right hand man in CK. He is an incredible guitarist, and the man responsible for bringing Thin Lizzy into my life. He’s been there since the first gig in late 2002, and he’ll be there until the bitter end.

Eric Herrmann – Eric joined us for our 2003 UK tour with the London Quireboys. He’s played with killer bands like The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and the Bel Rays. He’s a native of Cleveland, OH and he’s the perfect drummer for CK…he plays like Keith Moon and Tommy Lee fighting over the last hooker in a brothel!

Trip Phoenix – Some people call him a space cowboy, but I call him a gangster of love. Trip recently replaced Jeff Pearce of MOIST fame on the bass guitar (Jeff is a busy producer in Toronto, and touring was becoming increasingly difficult for him). Trip is a talented player and singer, and he proved himself worthy during our recent "Two Week Tear-up of Tinseltown!".

4. You?re both a singer and a guitarist. Fine. Rank the following singer/guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hack, and 10 being someone who blows everybody away.

Sean KellyAldo Nova = 10. My friend Howie used to play Keyboards with Aldo, and he told me that Aldo used to control all of the lighting for their concerts with a specially designed pedalboard that he would switch on and off with his feet, while playing AND singing! Aldo should lose points for working with Celine Dion, but he’d get ‘em back for writing "Fantasy"!
Ted Nugent = 9. I don’t agree with his politics, but the SOB is a killer guitar player (literally!). He loses a point for that zebra-striped coat he wore in the video for "High Enough" by Damn Yankees. Still, no one made a Gibson Byrdland howl like the Nuge!
Rik Emmett = 10. Rik Emmett is a classy guy, and one of Canada’s most versatile guitarists. Plus he can sing REALLY high, like at the end of "Somebody’s Out There", where you can’t even make out what he’s singing, but it still sounds totally decent! Should be docked a point for spandex abuse circa 1986, but he makes up for it by his exemplary use of the Gibson doubleneck guitar on "Magic Power"
Kenny Wayne Shepherd = 8. Not my cup of tea, but he impressed me live.
Dave Meineketti = 9. My favourite singer on the Hear N Aid recording of "Stars" (except for Ronnie James Dio, of course), and a mean riff writer and lead guitarist…lost two points becuase of the robot in the "Summertime Girls" video, but got one back becuase people tell me that we have similar hair, and my hair rocks, dude!
John Corabi = 10. We played with Union recently, and when I met him he was super cool…actually while he was talking to me, all I could hear was "Hooligan’s Holiday" playing over and over in my head! Great voice and some nice guitar chops.
Butch Walker = 8. Great writer and producer from what I’ve heard, although I don’t know much about him.
Steve Brown = 8. I really dig 40 Ft. Ringo, although I wasn’t a big Trixter fan… still, a great player.
D.J. Ashba = 8. I actually really dig the Beautiful Creatures debut… I haven’t heard any of D.J.’s solo stuff… his eyes kinda scare me, sorta like a scary rock n roll clown! Still, all reports are that he is an incredible player.
Share Ross = 10. Share has rock n roll attitude for miles, and she shared her rig with us when we played together in Hollywood. For the record, Bam is the one of the best Rock N Roll drummers I’ve ever seen.

5. You did some work with former Slik Toxik singer Nicholas Walsh, not only appearing on a Cheap Trick tribute album together, but you actually performed on the debut CD from Nick?s new band Revolver. You?re obviously not doing that any more. Did you part on good terms, or did you split that project declaring ?I?ll never work with Sebastian Jr. again!?

Nick Walsh is a kindred spirit, and one of my best friends. I’m very proud of the work I did on the Revolver record, and I can honestly say that working with Nick is a pleasure. He’s a fantastic writer and singer, and people should check out www.revolvertv.com and see for themselves that Nick Walsh ain’t Jr. to nobody!!

Sean (left) in Revolver. By the way, that’s none other than ex-Slik Toxik singer Nicholas Walsh on the far right!

6. Who?s the most overrated band today?

You’re asking the wrong guy… the last album I bought was Kix’s "Blow My Fuse"! People seem to think the Scissor Sisters are the next Queen, but I saw them on SNL last night, and I wasn’t too impressed… nice jumpsuits, though.

7. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?

Sean KellyCrash Alley or Johnny Crash = Johnny Crash, because they opened for Motley on the Feelgood tour.
Kelly Hanson or Kelly Nickels = Kelly Nickels… I’m a huge LA Guns fan!!!
Gino Scarpelli or Gene Scarpelli = Gino Scarpelli is a fine gentleman, but I have to go with my brother "Mean Gene" Scarpelli… one of the most tasteful guitarists in Canada.
The House of Blues or the Hard Rock Caf? = Neither…the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto!! Darryl rules!!
Harem Scarem or I Mother Earth = I’ve got more Harem Scarem records than I Mother Earth records, so I’m going with Harry and the boys!
Labatt?s Blue or Molson Golden = I’ve always beena Molson Export fan, so I’ll stick with the Golden, eh?
Sam Kinison or Pauly Shore = Pauly Shore, becuase he’s still alive and could possibly help my career… call me Pauly!
KY Jelly or Vaseline = Whatever the record company used on me when I was negotiating my publishing was pretty good…I’ll ask them about it. Just teasing, Magic Arts Publishing rules!
Torti?re or poutine = Poutine, of course! I’m a native of Temsicaming, Quebec!
Kick Axe or Anvil = Kick Axe… I once went to an Anvil concert, and I asked the bass player if they were going to play "Mad Dog"… he told me to "go buy the fucking record if you want to hear that song"… I went and bought Vices by Kick Axe instead!

8. Crash Kelly was recently out in southern California to do some shows with Union, Bubble, and a few other bands as well as attending NAMM. Considering nobody really knows who you are yet, how were you received overall, and were the other bands you played with cool or did anyone pull that ?rock star trip? on you?

I can honestly say that everyone we met and played with were extremely cool…trust me, I was hoping someone would be a dick so that I would have some funny shit to say for this interview!!! Special thanks to Bubble for loaning us gear…very cool people, and a great band.

The shows were amazing, and I think that we surprised a lot of people… the coolest guys we met were Dirty Power, and the blew us away with their incredible show… check out www.dirtypower.net, these guys ROCK!

9. You also did some shows in Europe late last summer, including a stop in the delightful city of Amsterdam. That town is best known for its coffee shops and lovely window-shopping experiences. While you were there, did you partake in any particularly interesting products or services? We?re all friends here, so don?t feel that you have to hold anything back.

I have to be careful to protect the (not so) innocent here… let’s just say that there was more snow than I could have imagined there being in September in Amsterdam! At one point, after a night of rock n roll Karaoke, I found myself locked in a stairwell in our hotel, completely wasted and screaming at Dutch people in the street below… our A&R guy finally heard me banging on the door of his hallway and saved me from an Amsterdam ass-kicking!

10. Name one good thing about:

Sean KellyDrugs = They can make certain bandmates more tolerable on the road.
Girls = If you play your cards right, you can find the right one and she’ll make you happier than you ever thought you could be.
Hollywood = The Rainbow…a legendary bar that actually lives up to the hype!
Touring = The friends that you make and the places you see.
Being on stage = The feeling you get when people you haven’t met are singing your songs back to you.
Masturbating = A solo performance that is generally free of critical scrutiny.
Being Canadian = Being guaranteed a smile at least once a day from a complete stranger.
Being signed = Being on the same label as people you admire and respect.
MuchMusic = The Power Hour on MuchMoreMusic
Metal Sludge = That you guys have created an environment that eliminates bullshit and celebrates the joy of hard rock n roll… there was a time when the joy was gone, and you guys have helped to bring the laughs and the smiles back.

11. You?re obviously a resident of the Toronto area. What?s the scene like there for new bands playing original music these days, and do you have any advice for young upstarts like Morningwood or Popjoy on how to take things to the next level?

The scene here is great, in my opinion… we all help each other out, we have some great clubs to play and hang out in here (especially The Bovine Sex Club… I know, another shameless plug!). there are so many great bands and artists coming out of here (Galore, The Illuminati, Revolver, C’Mon, Neil Leyton, The Poisoned Aeros, Spin Dizzy, Robin Black etc.).

The advice I’d give to any band starting out is simple… be nice and respectful to people. It really pays dividends to be honest and considerate… you also have to rock like fuck!! By the way, I read that the drumer from PopJoy plays in Helix… it is a childhood dream to open up for Helix, so if "Archie" can make that happen, I’d be very grateful!

12. Which ?rock star? deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

Crash KellyAny "rock star" who doesn’t get his/her ass on stage and perform for the people who have paid good money to see them… have some respect for your audiences, you self-indulgent bitches!

13. Yes or no, have you ever:

Crashed a car = No
Passed out in a bar = Yes
Met Jason Hook = No, but I welcome the opportunity… I think he was in Brat Farrar, who had a record deal with Elektra in 1991! I used to read about them in M.E.A.T. Magazine!
Flown in a blimp = No
Jacked off in a phone booth = Does it count if the phone has been ripped out of the booth?
Pissed in a clothes hamper = No, but I pissed on my friend’s bed when I was 15 years old and wasted on cooking sherry… unfortunately, my friend was in the bed… sorry, dude.
Shit in a potato bin = No fookin’ way, ya bastard! I’m fookin’ Irish…that would be like desecrating the Holy Grail!!!
Vomited on stage = Just a little in mouth… my manager has a habit of bringing me large shots of Jagermesiter when I’m on stage.
Touched another man?s penis = No, but apparently I was caressing Allister’s posterior when we were on tour and sharing a bed in the hotel room… sorry dude, I must have been dreaming of the wife!
Drove drunk = Regretably, I did once or twice in my youth. I thank God I didn’t hurt someone, and I would never do it again. A good test before you drive after a few drinks is to think about whether or not you could live with having killed a child, or taken a parent away from a child… just take a fucking cab.

14. For $1000 US (approx. $1230 Canadian): There are three objects in front of you. You must select one of them, forcefully shove it into your rectal cavity, and hold it within the confines of your colon for a full 20 minutes before releasing it. Which of the following objects do you choose (and you have to pick one):

Crash Kellya) a fully-grown Chia Pet
b) a 12? pewter replica of Toronto?s famed CN Tower
c) a 50-disc spindle of CDRs

Which one will it be?

I’ll go with the 50-disc spindle of CDRs… my only request is that the CDRs have been burned with a variety of Nu-Metal songs. That way, upon rectal-release of the spindle, the odour will reflect my opinion of the material contained on the discs.

15. Out of all the bands you?ve played with so far, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you?ve ever met?

Coolest were the Quireboys (fond memories of Spike regaling us with booze and road stories, jamming with Michael Lee, getting up with the band to play "7 O’Clock" at soundcheck) and Dirty Power… as for jack-asses, I can’t say this for sure, but it definitely SEEMED like Blackie Lawless was a piece of work…when we played with them, the promoter told us that we shouldn’t approach him at all… we weren’t even supposed to look at him! But who knows maybe he was having a bad day…. or a bad decade! The rest of the W.A.S.P. guys seemed really solid though!

Crash Kelly
Crash Kelly on the street and homeless, just months before their big record deal

16. Rank the following Canadian chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of back bacon grease, and 10 being worthy of a royal mount:

Shania Twain = 9. She’s a good Northern Ontario girl, eh?
Neve Campbell = 8. Moments of cuteness fer sure, eh?
Pamela Anderson = 10 when she was a Labatt’s Blue girl in the late 80’s… gotta give her a 6.5 now!
Alanis Morrissette = 8
Aimee Mann = Definite 10…. she is a great songwriter, AND she sang on one of my favourite (note Canadian spelling!) Rush tunes, "Time Stand Still"… I wasn’t aware she was Canadian.
Lee Aaron = Can we go higher than 10??? Lee Aaron was the ULTIMATE Metal Queen!!! Dude, the video for "Whatcha Do To My Body" was responsible for many nocturnal emissions amongst young hard rock dudes in Canada! I also LOVE her voice!
Avril Lavigne = 8
Shannon Tweed = 8
Celine Dion = 5
Sass Jordan = 9, she carries herself with a lot of class, and she’s one hell of a singer.

17. For what amount was your largest music-related check, what did you buy with it, and when do we get our obligatory 10% cut?

It was for $7500 US. I used it to help pay off the massive loan I took out to get Crash Kelly to the UK on our first tour, and I took the liberty of donating your 10% cut to the Give’r To Your Liver Foundation, a charity set up by the members of Crash Kelly which allows the members of Crash Kelly the opportunity to buy beer and cigarettes.

Crash Kelly - Penny Pills18. How long until you?re dropped?

After my crack about the publishing in question 7? About a week.

19. The Last of Sean Kelly:

Last drug you took = Nicotine
Last fast food drive-thru you hit = In and Out Burger
Last CD you purchased (other than your own) = Kix – "Blow My Fuse"
Last concert you watched from the audience = Metal Skool at the Roxy
Last ?rock star? you shook hands with = Craig Goldy of Dio (and Giuffria!)
Last time someone asked for your autograph = Our last show in Hollywood
Last time you threw up from drinking = Dude, I’m a Canadian of Irish descent…I don’t waste my booze!
Last time you ate a tuna melt = At an Internet Cafe at the corner of Hollywood and LaBrea…some devilishly handsome fellow with the initials BBF suggested I give it a try!
Last time you shit yourself = I can’t remember, but I came close when I saw Ronnie James Dio at NAMM!!!
Last time you lied = At some point while answering the "Last Of Sean Kelly" segment of this interview!

20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.

Crash KellyGilby Clarke = Fantastic songwriter, guitarist and producer…also, one hell of a nice guy!
Chip Z?Nuff = I hail Chip Z’Nuff. I have a great memory of jamming with him and Ky Anto backstage at the Emprie Club in Belfast. He turned our tour bus into the world’s biggest hot box!!
Michael Monroe = My label mate, which is way fucking cool!
Bruce Kulick = Super guitar player, nice guy.
Darrell ?Dwarf? Millar = Uncle Dunk is a tireless worker, kick-ass drummer and a big supporter of the Sludge. He’s always been very encouraging
Steve ?Sex? Summers = Seemed like a nice guy… pretty crazy hair!
Chris Jericho = Canadian boy makes good… I’m glad he’s taking Fozzy seriously, the boy has pipes! I gave him a copy of Penny Pills at NAMM, hope he digs it.
Nigel Mogg = He is the one who pushed to get us on the Quireboys tour… I owe him a lot. Hey dude, where are my Mogg Jeans!!!
Alan Vine = Met him when Revolver did some shows with Vince Neil… nice guy.
Tommy Lee = 1/4 of the reason why I’m making records and performing… long live the Crue! Nikki, bring Crash Kelly out on the road!!

So there it is! The first 20 Questions done by a former 10 Questions interviewee! See? Dreams really do come true at Metal Sludge.

For more information about Crash Kelly and their soon-to-be chart-topping new album, check out their official Web site at www.crashkelly.ca. Tell ‘em floyd sent you. whoooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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