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20 Questions with Kane Roberts, 9/7/04

 

20 Questions with…

Former Alice Cooper guitarist KANE ROBERTS!

A few weeks ago, we got an e-mail from Kane Roberts telling us how flattered he was that we superimposed Floyd’s head onto his picture, which can be seen above. So naturally, we hit him up for 20 Questions, and Kane said he was down with doing them, so here they are! Plus he sent them back to us within 48 hours, so he gets props for that.

Some of you might remember Kane Roberts as Alice Cooper’s guitarist back in the 80’s. Some of you may also remember Kane as the construction worker in Wes Craven’s Shocker, but we’ll let Kane tell you all about that and much, much more. Here we go.

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

My interests have shifted slightly. I still play music and run my graphics company (www.pfxmedia.com) but I recently co-wrote and produced a 30 minute short film called EMBRYO with my friends at Belief Productions. The film has won a bunch of awards and I?ve gotten the opportunity to travel around the world to see it screened. Shooting the film in Hi-Def gave me a deeper understanding of digital production and working with cast and crew was nothing but good (you can check it out at http://www.belief.com/exp/un03/index.htm).

Kane Roberts and Alice Cooper2. Let’s get right to the point. There?s no denying that you were fucking HUGE back in the day. Did you simply lift a lot of weights, or did you also use any ‘protein juice’ (wink-wink).

It always made me laugh when I?d see somebody gain 40lbs of muscle and they?d attribute it to a diet change like an extra piece of red snapper everyday or some vitamin bullshit. I was 159 lbs at around 6? before I started lifting and when Alice Cooper?s band flew into Alaska to play new years I weighed 235 lbs. That?s a nice piece of fish.

3. Your solo album ?Saints and Sinners? had heavy involvement from songwriter Desmond Child. Did he ever give you that ‘fruity look,’ and if so, did you threaten him with a headlock for even thinking that way?

In those days it seemed like everyone was staring at me with a flashlight under their chin. But Desmond is too much of a workaholic to even think about that shit when he?s working. I mean he just recently had a few more number one hits?hes fucking relentless. Also, he knows what I?m into?he got me a fully hot stripper for my birthday (yeah she was female).

4. People nicknamed you "Rambo" back in the 80?s. Did this offend you, or did you take it as a compliment? Better ?Rambo? than ?Horshack,? right?

The Rambo thing was kind of ridiculous but it never meant much to me. I think I looked so off the wall (big guy/guitar etc) everyone wanted to explain my existence? something I?ve never been able to do. An English mag claimed it wasn?t me really playing on stage. Funny. The gun guitar happened because a brilliant kid came in to my manager?s office with these tricked out designs for me to try. I started using them cos, well, I just wanted to shoot flame and rockets and sparks cause I?ve always loved fireworks. I never even thought of the whole Rambo connection (looking at some of the pictures from those tours it seems hard to believe I would miss that). Horshak?s not so cool but Screech?. now that would have tits.


Kane Roberts on the Constrictor tour, 1986

5. Rate the following Alice Cooper guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hack, and 10 being a virtuoso:

Kane RobertsEric Dover = I haven?t heard him play.
Reb Beech = 5
Al Pitrelli = 5
Dick Wagner = 8
Pete Friesen = 6
Michael Bruce = 9
Steve Hunter = 7
Ryan Roxie =
I haven?t heard him play.
John Nitzinger =
I haven?t heard him play.
Glen Buxton = 10

6. Based on your super-buff appearance, did you ever get any offers to join Manowar?

Total number of offers to join another band = zero.

7. Did you take any acting lessons to prepare for your role as the ‘construction worker’ in Shocker?

No but I did audition three times. I had no idea what it would be like but when I heard Wes Craven (The Hills Have Eyes, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street) was doing a film I thought ?That might be wild.? I like new things going on. I kinda couldn?t believe it when I got the part. The final decision was between me and the lead singer from INXS and they chose me, probably cos I looked more pyschotic. It was cool to see I got front film credits right next to Timothy Leary.

8. Yes or No, has Kane Roberts ever:

Kane Roberts - TwistedDrank a blender full of raw eggs = I was about to do this but my dog Butkus ate all my eggs.
Ran up and down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art = Adrian! Adriannn!!! ADRIANNN!
Considered going to Vietnam to rescue American POWs = Yes but I only wanted what every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and gave everything he had wants… for
our country to love us as much as we love it… That’s what I want. And that’s what they wanted.
Helped the Afghani Mujaheddin fight off the Russians = Ain?t gonna be no rematch!
Been electrocuted = Dorothy, you don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Prank-called Shep Gordon = He believes any call from me must be a prank.
Seen Kip Winger naked = As a matter fact I have.
Received a massage from Renfield = Yes??Where?s my Methylphenidate?!!?? A psycho but actually quite good at his job. (Assistant Manager and compatriot for Alice)

Eaten at McDonald?s and Burger King in the same day = No but I have eaten 2 large Domino pizzas and an entire apple pie in one sitting. We used to train at the gym til exhaustion and then get steaks and beer at some of the local restaurants in L.A.
Been arrested = Yes I have.

9. If you could put any rock star?s head in Alice Cooper?s guillotine, who would it be and why?

Michael Jackson?then I would try and find a doctor to transplant his head on a really hot 18 year old girl.

Kane Roberts10. Name the 3 highest points and the 3 lowest points of your musical career to date:

High Points ?

Playing my guitar at a birthday party when I was 10 years old.

My first tour with Alice Cooper.

Writing with Bob Ezrin.

Low Points ?

Losing a really hot girlfriend after touring for a year.

Forgetting the intro to a song called ?Is it my body? on Alice?s tour.

Having a German girl slam a metal door on my big toe (ripping the toenail back) right before a show.

Kane Roberts and Axl Rose
Kane Roberts and Axl Rose

11. Give us a memory about touring or being in the following cities:

Dallas = Strip clubs.
Phoenix = Outdoor show where I met Nikki Sixx (good guy).
Seattle = Meeting a bunch of kids in a local band outside our bus. They were in an unsigned band called Alice In Chains.
Tokyo = Food / all night clubs / great commercials. We were flown their first class to see our film screened at a digital film festival.
Paris = When I was a kid I toured with a reggae band throughout europe. We played in Paris and then ate at an all night oyster bar. Talking Heads came in and they sat with me and I fell in love with Tina their gorgeous and talented bass player.
Denver = Snow.
Milwaukee = Clydesdales
Montreal = Strippers. Did a photo shoot with two strippers with an incredible photographer named Peter Cronin. I also walked into a club and heard a band playing a song I wrote. That was cool!
Philadelphia = Food.
Detroit = Joe Lewis Arena?Detroit?that town?.fucks sake they know their music!

Kane Roberts12. Speaking of touring, of all the bands you toured with, who was the coolest to work with, and who were the biggest dicks you ever had to deal with?

Alice?s band was the best because he?s so frikkin? cool. Bombs could be going off all around us and he?d say ?These are the best gummi bears I?ve ever had.?

In term?s of band?s that played with us?you know just about evey band is the same because musicians are the biggest bunch of fucking nitwits that ever walked the earth. I mean ask any guitar player playing in an empty dump nightclub on a Tuesday night and then talk to a guy performing to a packed stadium. It?s the same fucking guy! ?Duhhh? I like to have sex and party and? uhh ass is a funny word!? Hey? but we all can play Smoke On the Water!

13. What do you remember most about writing or recording the following songs:

Teenage Frankenstein = Recording with that Ratt producer dude Beau Hill. Chaka Khan would come into the studio when I would play. Shes overwhelming?sexy, talented?she smells good too.
Thrill My Gorilla = I played this for Alice and he started laughing so hard we had to record it. Alice and I wrote a lot of this stuff at Shep Gordon?s famous beach house in Maui. In three weeks I went from playing at strip clubs in New York and opening for bands (including Alice before I met him) to writing and recording in paradise with Coop. Wiiiiilllld.
Rock Doll = Pretty fuckin funny shit. Still pretty shell shocked by the whole deal. The girl in the video was Penthouse Pet of the Year. I knew I was in trouble.
Triple X = Michael Wagener had his hands full producing us. He?s a tough muthah tho. I think he may very well be the best vocal producer ever. He also loves sushi.
Freedom = I bellieve this song has Alice?s favorite solo I ever played with him.
Roses On White Lace = We had just gotten of the road and the band was hot to play. That?s one of my favorites from that cd. Alice?s voice is particularly wicked. In many ways we were, in my opinion, one album away from creating total theater together. But when somethings ready to end you gotta cut bait.
Bed Of Nails = Desmond and Alice called me to do that solo. It was the first thing Alice and I did after leaving the band and there was no tension? nothing. Just like we?ve always been… friends and no pressure.
Wild Nights = Pretty good guitar? great rthym section!?. the lyrics don?t get me hard tho.
Too Far Gone = It had been written and re-written so many times. It was a hit in some states but I never would have guessed.
Reckless = The session went really fast. Lyrics vocals writing?everything just moved along like it it had serious momentum. Mike Slammer is so kick down great on guitar.

Kane Roberts14. Your Saints and Sinners album also contained a cover version of ?Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore,? a song co-written by Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi for Cher?s 1989 album ?Heart of Stone.? Of all songs to cover, what the hell made you decide to cover that one?

Sometimes you have so many people yelling at you to do something you just do it. Suddenly its in the top 40 blah blah blah. And there I am making a rock ballad video. I never heard the Cher version.

15. We heard that your song ?Twisted,? also from the Saints and Sinners album, was re-recorded by Mike Matijevic for inclusion in the movie Rock Star. Were you stoked about having one of your songs in that movie, and did you end up seeing any coin because of it?

I think they recorded Reckless and yeah I was stoked. I’ve had a number of songs in films and yes they do send me checks and yes I enjoy that. Twisted was actually in a Willem Defoe / Susan Sarandon film called Sleeper.

16. In your opinion, who?s the most overrated band today?

Overrated? hmmm I think that record companies, the press, MTV, etc. are so pumped to sell shit that they oversaturate the public with bands. Limp Bizkit for example and even Korn. Two amazing fucking bands but then the marketing machines go to work and oversell and the messages get all screwed up. Its very difficult to judge why we respond to certain bands and their music. I rely on the first listen and how it makes me feel.

Kane Roberts17. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?

John McCurry or Gene Allen = John McCurry mainly because hes talented AND funny. Gene?s talented but not funny.
Barney Miller or Starsky and Hutch = Starsky and Hutch?.Huggy Bear rules!
Taco Bell or Subway = Taco Bell. The fancy bread thing at Subway is a scam and 911 is a joke!
Lizzy Borden or W.A.S.P. = W.A.S.P. because of the periods between the letters.
Jessica Simpson or Paris Hilton = It’s hard to judge without having my tongue up their asses? maybe Paris Hilton just on attitude.
Wayne?s World or Monster Dog = Wayne?s World cause I never saw Monster Dog.
Michael Angelo or Doug Marks = Shit Michel Angelo?.wasn?t he the guy that played two guitars at once! That was funny shit man. He wins hands down cause he could always say?.?Yeah but can do THIS!??
?He?s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)? or ?Prince of Darkness? = Prince of Darkness?Great lyrics by Alice (took him a half an hour)?he inspired all of my playing on that one.
Nolvadexes or testosterone suspensions = Testosterone.
Poison or Warrant = Poison. I met the guys in Poison in the late eighties and they were totally cool. Before they made it they went around saying ?we are gonna be huge? to everybody and they succeeded!

18. For what amount was your biggest music-related check and what did you do with it?

Biggest single check? $350,000. I had as much fun as humanly possible on that amount of money.

Kane Roberts19. The Last of Kane Roberts:

Last new CD you bought = Meteora – Linkin Park. Me am also be listenin to Fatboy Slim, Jay Z, Radiohead, first two Static-X cds, John Coltrane, Biosphere, Pulley, Frank Sinatra, Perfect Circle, Sonny Rollins, Ageispolis, Yellowcard blah blah blah?.
Last concert you watched from the audience = Rage Against the Machine at Universal Amphi-Theater.
Last breakfast cereal you ate = Frosted Flakes and I added thinly sliced fresh peaches.
Last CD packaging you designed = My next cd called ?Touched?. I havent paid myself yet so no tickee no shirtee.
Last time you worked out = Yesterday. I hate gyms with a passion. I never went to one where I felt like hanging out. Gym owners should offer a bottle of Purell to anyone who walks through the door.
Last time you benched over 300 = Geez?1990 I think. Right before my last meal of red snapper.
Last fast food drive-thru you hit = El Pollo Loco. Other favorites?In ?n Out, McDonalds, Jack ?n the Box, Dominos.
Last rock star you shook hands with = Voluntarily??. not one.
Last time someone asked you for your autograph = Voluntarilty?? hmmmm? in Japan at a film festival.
Last time you talked to Alice = Voluntarily??. hmmmm Santa Monica CA., at Hans Zimmer?s studio in July of 2004. The guy who scored our film (Jim Dooley ? you can also hear his work on Gladiator, The Ring, Lion King and so on) called me and said Alice was asking about me so I paid him a visit. He talked about the tour when Kip and I had seven girls in a hotel room in Nova Scotia. Alice claims some of the girls were so butt ugly but when youre on the road you kinda look for that after a while.

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

Bobby Rock = Rocky Balboa
Paul Stanley = The last resurgence of Kiss proves how great they are! They have beaten the odds again and again. Paul and I wrote a song together with Bob Ezrin (Take It Off). I was impressed with how hard he works and he has a keen business sense. I still get checks from that song so I really like Kiss! We hung out briefly and then he invited me to one of his infamous bowling birthday parties. I almost got in a fight with some guy there and then he never returned my calls.
Desmond Child = Prolific genius.
Alice Cooper = Innovator, generous, funny, brilliant, tough and a great family man.
Kip Winger = Someday his t-shirts will fetch a pretty penny.
Bob Ezrin = He?s da man. I was introduced to him by a Don Paccione at EMI. We had a bit of a rough start (argued constantly) but then I was lucky enough to survive the initiation. I learned so much from that dude. Recently he produced a great Jane?s Addiction cd.
Lita Ford = I wrote with her briefly in the ?90s. So hot! I kept staring at her ass. She swore like a sailor and I threw wood everytime she opened her mouth.
Jani Lane = She’s one of my favorite actresses. Actually, I?ve never met him. He did an album with my bud Michael Wagener. Wagener is still churning out monster rock as we speak.
Eric Singer = Very professional and seriously funny.
The Incredible Hulk = I actually know the guy that played the halfway point between Bruce Banner and the Hulk from the original TV series (Ric Drasin). I also saw Dr. Smith from the original Lost In Space series at a restaurant. Ah yes? life can be grand!

Well there you have it! Not only can Kane type in complete sentences, but he also didn’t puss out on any of the questions, and ended up telling some pretty entertaining stories along the way. Plus Kane can still fuck somebody up pretty good, so we’ve only got good things to say about him and his interview! Kane rules!

Anytime you want more info on Kane Roberts and his various projects, head on over to www.kaneroberts.com.

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