Ra/ex-40 Ft. Ringo/Trixter bassist P.J. FARLEY!
Can you believe it’s been decades since we last talked to P.J. Farley? Actually, it’s only been 3 1/2 years, but it seems like decades.
When we first did 20 Questions with P.J., he and former Trixter guitarist Steve Brown had just released the debut 40 Ft. Ringo CD, "Funny Thing." Since then, P.J. has a joined a new band, gotten a new hairstyle, and done a few other things. He’s also parted ways with 40 Ft. Ringo, but we’ll let former Trixter bassist P.J. Farley tell you all about it in his Rewind. Let’s get right to it!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your shit.
I recently left 40ft Ringo in December after recording half of the new record (which sounds really good btw) because I have been in a band called RA (raband.net) for almost 2 years now. It?s a great band on Universal records, the band has one record out already titled ?From One? and I joined midway through that touring cycle. We just completed our second record called?Duality? and should be out in May with touring starting March 15th. Long story short, me and Steve are still best of friends and still play in our cover band together.
2. At what time did you wake up today, and can you describe the first 3 hours of your day for us?
I woke up around 9am (so un-rock but did have a little hangover!), me and my girlfriend of almost 3yrs Jill did what we do best before getting out of bed. I walked our dog(min pin Tyson), I had to get a new cell phone from my buddy AT&Timmy(Chiam), had my other buddy Frito fix my computer; then, came home,checked my e-mail and much to my surprise found these Rewind questions from you.
3. We heard that you?ve been recently sporting a new ?punk rock? look! Who do you think you are, Jani Lane? You?re not punk! You?re not actually considering giving yourself a Mohawk or anything asinine like that, are you?
I have what looks like a vagina on my head! (see pic) but not because I want to be ?Punk Rock? or anything stupid like that I?m just out of fucking options. I have to make do (no pun!) with what?s left on my head and this truly is the last thing I can do. Don?t worry, the DHT levels are coming to get it.!! Fuck it right?
4. Name the three highest and the three lowest points of your career to date.
1) Getting a record deal with Trixter
2) Playing my hometown arena,Meadowlands Arena in Jersey
3) Getting our gold records at that show with all of our friends and family there.
1) I love my cover band cause it can be fun and it pays the bills, but it can fuckin suck as well and it did when we played the opening of a 7/11 on Long Island in 100 degree weather, outside in the parking lot; for free, and to nobody!
2) Played a Bat Mitzvah hung the hell over, and on my(and my girlfriends) birthday nonetheless! That sucked.(oh yeah I?ve done it all at this point)
3) I?ll leave 3 open cause I?m sure there will be one coming any day now with the way this business is! Just kidding?sorta. But For real, I?m pretty lucky and I just take the good with the bad. I?ve had a lot of luck and I?ve paid a lot of dues as well. That?s life, its all good.
5. Rank the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being someone who truly sucks, and 10 being the ruler of the bottom end.
Rudy Sarzo = 7
Billy Childs = couldn?t tell ya
Duff MacKagan = 8 – underrated
Juan Croucier = about a 7 if I remember
Alec John Such = 3
Eric Brittingham = never paid attention, love the band though
Tom Hamilton = 8 again, underrated
Tom Petersson = 9! Master of the 12string. Great Musician
Jason Newsted = 7 for playing 8 for attitude
Bruno Ravel = 8 real good player, great guy
6. We heard something early last June about Trixter reuniting to record two new songs (?You Got It? and ?Close Your Eyes?) for an upcoming CD entitled ?Alive in Japan.? This was supposed to already be out by now! What?s the hold up?
Well, we didn?t reunite, we just had Pete throw down vocals on songs we recorded around the ?Undercovers? era. We thought it would be cool to put them on a cd with a live show from Japan. As for the hold up I?m not really sure, I think we?re just kinda draggin our feet. I know we were looking into the ownership crap and all that but I think its all good. I know people have asked us for it, but I don?t think many people are counting the days until its release so we?ll see. I would like to get it out for those waiting cause they?ve been really cool, and the songs are really good.
7. Who are these guys called ?Ra? that you?ve been playing with recently? When did you hook up with those guys, and what is ?Ra? all about?
I hooked up with RA almost 2 years ago. I did about 4-5 months touring on the first record in 03, came home and made a new record that is really great, it?s kinda like putting The Police, Queensryche, middle eastern flavor, and 7 string guitars in a blender. It?s a little retro and current at the same time and the singer has an amazing voice. We were getting the run around from the label for awhile cause they didn?t know what to make of it, but I think we?re ready to go now. One thing that is cool is that I meet Ra fans that were Trixter fans, and meet people in other bands that were Trixter fans, it blows my mind.
8. There have been unsubstantiated rumors circulating for years that Trixter didn?t perform all of its music live, some even going so far as to dub you guys ?Tapester.? Is there any truth to these allegations, and where did they come from? We?re all ears.
On our very first tour, being young and stupid, we did what a lot of other bands we?re doing at the time (and are still doing) and that was using pre recorded backround vocals. I think we had one small guitar lick in the sampler but that?s only because it was a key part and there was only one guitar player. We used this stuff for like 7 or 8 months and then bagged it because it was too much hassle and we didn?t really need it cause everyone sang, it was just that everything had to be so friggin big in that era that we thought we had to do it. It?s the Aquanet mentality that George Lynch used ?Oh Motleys using pink Aquanet, we need pink Aquanet.? Plus it was starting to give us a bad rap and ya know, …we weren?t the worlds best band but were passionate about what we did and I thought we held our own. We were the band that everyone couldn?t wait to bash and it was mostly older bitter guys in other bands who couldn?t get arrested and got our sloppy seconds!! Ooh that stings, I would bash us too!
9. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?
Sum 41 or Bowling For Soup =Sum 41, funny guys, remind me of Trixter
Prostate exams or hernia checks = Had my share of prostate exams so I?ll take hernia checks
Debbie Gibson or Kylie Minogue = Kylie!!
Laverne & Shirley or Mork & Mindy =Mork and Mindy, Robin Williams is the king
The New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway = Turnpike, you could always blame a fart on the turnpike!
The Stone Pony in Asbury Park or Studio One in Newark = Studio One was our stomping ground
Q-Tips or tongue depressors = Q-Tips (do you even need to ask)
Twisted Sister or Quiet Riot = Twisted
One-hitters or water bongs =Well the bong has a better hit but a one hitter is more convenient? I?ll take one hitter
A&P or Shop-Rite = Stop and Shop
10. Who are those Brian and Maz guys that played with you in 40 Ft. Ringo, and where did you find those two?
Maz is a buddy of mine since I?m 14yrs old. I was a fan of him and his old band. My old band (before Trixter) would play the same clubs as he and we became friends, he is the genuine article of rock.
Brian, I met when he was in a band called The Cheese and I was playing with a band called Sect 8 which was J3?s (from Tommy Lee fame) band. We would do shows together cause they were all friends and when 40ft needed a drummer he was the first guy I called. Great guy and great drummer. I?m gonna miss playing with them.
11. We heard that you claim to have been trained as a jazz bassist. Is that true, and if so, who are some of the jazz bassists whose styles you most admire?
No, I actually teach Jazz at B.I.T. and Berklee..I also have a bridge I?d like to offer you!! I?m kidding. That?s classic! But I would never claim to be trained as a jazz bassist. I?m all about the rock, however, I was influenced by Jaco and Stanley Clark. When I play rock its all about wearing your bass low and playing hard but, I also have a side that likes that ghost note feel that Jaco had and it comes out when I?m not using a pick (which is about 85% of the time now). My bass playing is adequate, my musical instincts and feel for song structure I think surpass my technique.
12. What do you remember most about writing or recording the following songs:
One in a Million = I always remember rehearsing this song before a showcase for like A&M or somebody, Steve had just written it and I remember suggesting making a slight change in the melody to the chorus so it would sound more like ?Sure Know Something? on Paul Stanley?s solo album. (in my head it does at least)
Give It To Me Good = I remember Steve working on his ?Honkey Tonk? solo which was cool because it was alittle different from what he would normally play. A new Flava if you will.
One More Time = This was fun because we got to play with Tony Thompson (Power Station etc…) and Edgar Winter on this track. On the demo it was written ?One Mo?Time? really out of laziness but, our manager actually printed it as that instead of ?One More Time? thinking we wanted Mo instead of More. I Believe its on the ?If Looks could Kill? soundtrack as Mo?
Rockin? Horse =This one really came to life in our abandon house that we were doing pre-production in. It was fun putting it together and it?s a fun song to play.
Road of a Thousand Dreams = Me, Steve and Liad in the back of the bus doing drum programs for this one, also Gus standing over me in the studio hitting the fretboard of my bass with his drumsticks, and me picking the strings so that the bass wind up in the intro followed the drums exactly.
Wild is the Heart =This was a riff that Liad came up with and would not stop playing, so it turned into a song. Another fun song to play.
Terrible Lies = We wanted to do something totally different (and some not so different!) so fuck it lets do a Nine Inch Nails song. I can?t bear to listen to it now and hear my voice! Shoot me!! Dark dark times!!
Book of Virtues =This is essentially an offshoot of a song that I wrote that Steve changed a lot. It has seen many generations and has had a few facelifts. He put that Urge Overkill riff in it. Though he?s not shy about lifting things here and there(who is?) and he?ll be the first one to tell you when he ripped something off but, that, (believe it or not) wasn?t the case here, he just put those chords together and never thought of that band. True story.
Anti Zero = probably my least favorite 40ft song, don?t remember much about it.
Jerkoff =I don?t like the way this song came out, it?s a little all over the place performance wise. I remember changing a few riffs in the bridge to be alittle more interesting.
13. 40 Ft. Ringo?s track ?Inside Your Head? also appears on our very own ?Hey! That?s What I Call Sludge ? Vol. I? compilation CD. What?s special about this song to you, and why did you guys select this as the track to feature on our CD?
At the time it was gonna be our new single from ?Funny Thing? and I think we agreed that it was one of the strongest songs. We had just had it remixed as well. Btw, love that cd. Fuckin Metal Skool kills me, and love the Wildhearts!
14. Yes or No, has P.J. Farley ever:
Met Jodi Bongiovi = who?
Pissed in a fish bowl = near a fishbowl .
Shit on a NJ Transit bus = nope, but have ?Bagged it? on a tour bus!
Jacked off in the Port Authority =not yet but cant wait.
Sold Trixter memorabilia on eBay = No, but if I ever thought I could get any money from the stuff I would cause I got tonz! Just kidding that?s a little cheesy.
Visited Mark Scott at Dave & Buster?s in Nanuet = Tried to but he wasn?t there.
Tasted your own earwax =nah
Been stalked by a fan =yup
Filed for bankruptcy = no, but should have
Drove drunk = no comment
15. What do you remember most about the following years:
1980 = not much
1983 = committing myself to music
1986 =Jersey shore and Rock n Roll
1989 =getting a record deal
1991 =on our way up! = gold record from the R.I.A.A.!
1993 =on our way down! = pink slip from M.C.A.!
1996 =working in general population for the first time in 8 yrs and making jack shit.
1998 =Soaked, and Sugarbelly
2001 = worst year of my life, I lost my brother Pat aka ?F.? I?m pretty sure that year sucked for everybody didn?t it?
2004 =being mentally and physically drained by a major record company and at the same time, getting an unbelievable perspective on the music business and the shitty condition it?s in. To all young people getting into music out there = stay into music! stay out of the music business! Your parents are right!
16. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you end up blowing it on?
I don?t know I think at one point I got a check for alittle over 100 grand and I was pretty lame with it, I just rented an apartment, bought a truck and just lived life.
17. Name one good thing about:
Beer = the buzz
Girls = the booty
Iguanas = cool lookin I guess
Eyeliner = can make anyone look good and young(er)
Condoms = saves a trip to the doctors.
Marijuana = makes stupid ideas sound cool
Atlantic City = atmosphere
Ear candles =huh?
Butt plugs = The sound they make when you pull them out !
Tacos = cheap eats
18. 40 Ft. Ringo was one of the bands that played at our MSX show at the New Jersey State Fair, held outside of Giants Stadium on July 1, 2003. This event was hosted by none other than 2001 Sludgeaholic of the Year Jim Bob Dwarf and 2003 Sludgeaholic of the Year C.C. Banana. You must have been in awe! How were you able to concentrate on your performance being in the presence of such Metal Sludge royalty as Jim Bob and the Banana?
I meditated before getting to the stadium and mentally prepared myself as if I were meeting the Dali Lama. Once again, I?m a pretty lucky guy. Both are awesome, however was disappointed that I missed the banana rumble at the end of the night.
40 Ft. Ringo playing to huge crowds at Giants Stadium, 7/1/03
19. We heard that you live somewhat near the Satin Dolls strip club on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey, which is more famously known as the location of the ?Bada Bing? club on HBO?s The Sopranos. Did you ever go in there hoping to run into Tony, Silvio Dante, Christophuh, Pauly Walnuts, or any of those wacky mobbed-up characters?
I actually live 3 minutes from there and have been there many o? times but not looking for fat Italian guys. Actually, the bar isn?t that exciting because its bikini.
20. For a quick tax-free $10,000 in unmarked bills, which of the following would you do (and you have to pick one):
a) Willingly let a full-grown St. Bernard hump your leg until climax once a day for a week, and when he ejaculates all over your leg, you have to scoop up his dog-jizz with your bare hand and smear it all over your face, and you can?t wipe it off or wash yourself until after it?s fully air-dried,
- or -
b) Willingly saw off one of your ears with a steak knife, quickly pack it on ice, and drive yourself to the emergency room. The trauma staff there will be able to reattach your ear with no visible scars, missing cartilage, discoloration or anything fucked up like that, and within a few short months, no one will ever be able to tell that you cut your own ear off.
Which will it be?
I gotta say, this is a tough one! Well, I do love dogs? but I?ll go with cutting my ear off because even if they couldn?t reattach it, I could always get another one from a Mr. Potatohead!.
21. The Last of P.J. Farley:
Last CD you purchased = Jimmy Eat World (Futures), Red, White, and Crue, Kelly Clarkson (fuck you she has good song writers)
Last strip club you visited = probably the Bing with my girlfriend.
Last fast food drive thru you hit = White Castle!
Last movie you watched in the theatre =Team America (Fuck Yeah!)
Last concert you watched from the audience = Papa Roach, H.O.B. in Anaheim.
Last time you ate at the Seville Diner on Route 17 =Seville?, I don?t know that one unless it?s the Suburban Diner with a new name. Either way, not in years.
Last time you talked to Pete Loran = 2 weeks ago.
Last time you got an ear infection = When I was an infant. But you would think right?
Last time you smoked pot = probably 8 months ago
Last time you barfed = My birthday 03
21. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association! We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Ted Poley =good dude, good voice actually.
Vince Neil =ya know, Vince is Vince and he?s one of my heros. Gotta love ?em. ?whoa look at Vince!? (quoted from the ?remaking?)
Danny ?Borga? O?Neil = one of my best friends, and tech during the early days and Trixter days, could sell the Pope a rubber.
Butch Walker = Talented, love his first solo record. Something going on with why he dosent have any success as an artist but plenty as a producer/writer. Fuck it, who?s bigger than him? I?m sure he?s not complaining too much.
Chip Z?Nuff = Old buddy of mine, I always regret the fact that he did me a huge favor when I was recording the ?Hear? record by loaning me his 12 string bass, and I totally fucking forgot to thank him on the record. Thanx Chip!!! Love ya brother
C.C. Banana = real nice guy, has a huge career ahead of him (if he gets some grapes and berries he can do a Fruit of the Loom commercial!). He?s cool.
Alice Cooper = Never was a huge fan but got tonz of respect for what he?s done / started.
Bret Michaels = nice guy, never seemed to lose focus on what he wanted or was about.
Eddie Trunk =Old friend and genuine lover of great music.
Steve Brown = my brother from another mother!
So there you go. Interesting facts all around.
In light of P.J.’s departure from 40 Ft. Ringo, rumors that Steve Brown has renamed the band to ’30 Ft. Ringo’ are flying around everywhere. Naturally, we cannot confirm or deny anything about that at this time. For more information about P.J.’s latest endeavor "Ra," head on over to their official Web site at www.raband.net.