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20 Questions With Keri Kelli, 7/24/01



Slash’s Snakepit Guitarist Keri Kelli

We’ve been trying to do 20 Questions with Keri for about a year now and we finally had him tracked down. What happened was the infamous Allison Miller, the Sludgette who got stripped of her title, emailed us and said she could get Keri to do 20 Questions in person. So we figured, why not? What did we have to lose? So we sent Allison 20 Questions and she pulled it off! She asked Keri all our questions in person, recorded it, and sent us the tape. It took us a fucking while to transcribe this though so you better enjoy it! To your right is a photo of Allison asking Keri our 20 Questions.

We’re pretty happy with these because Keri told some good stories and talked a bit of smack. Enjoy!

1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit and all your bands.
(Pause) What am I……..well…..
Allison: What are you up to?
You should know what I’m up to. What do you mean?
Allison: Well I know what you are up to but tell Sludge.
I’m up to, I don’t know, 6 foot……about 135.
Allison: Your band?
Oh, the band?
Allison: What’s up with the band, what are you guys doing?
Well I just got done playin’.

Allison: That’s all you’re going to tell them?
Well no, you know. No, just playing here with Snakepit. Just doing my thing. Had a good little rock show here in Detroit with Billy Idol. So that was neat. Good ole Billy.

2. In your expert opinion, where is the best place for sushi in L.A?
Oh really, in LA? Well, LA, there’s a couple of really good places in LA. There’s a place called Sushi Roku. And that’s down off a 3rd and La Cienga. And there’s another place called Kozu which is in the Valley off Ventura, but where I usually go actually is a place in Orange County, which is where I live, which is south of LA, it’s called California Beach Sushi, which is in Newport Beach.

3. Before Big Bang Babies you had a band called Empire who dressed like Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Tell us about Empire.
Uh….it was a pop band that uh….it was really pop it had like a female singer and a…..you know we did what we did. Whatever. I don’t know. It was what it was. You know, whatever, it was like 1988 or something I think or 7. I can’t even remember. Whatever.

4. You recently did a tour with Pretty Boy Floyd in Japan. How did that come about?
Uh, well it wasn’t really a tour. Actually it was very bizarre to tell you the truth. It was on a Monday night and ironically I was going to the sushi place, the California Beach, which you know is even more ironic with the Japan little dealy, and I was driving and it was 6:30 at night and I get a call from Kris Majors. He goes, "Hey man listen, can you help me out. The guys have a few shows and I can’t do ‘em, I’m not feeling good, da da da da da." And I go, "Well….what is it you know, tell me what the deal is." He told me basically what it was he said he could pay, he would pay me which he paid me out of his own pocket which was very cool of him. The band was in a spot, he couldn’t go. And I go, "Ok, what is it?" And he goes, "They’re going to Japan." I go, "Japan? Fuck when?" He goes, "The plane leaves tomorrow morning at like 8:30 in the morning." I haven’t played with these guys for years, whatever. So anyway we worked out a deal and it was…..you know, it was lucrative for me so I went did 3 shows and they actually turned out good believe it or not. Um, one of ‘em was basically at capacity, one was a little light, the middle one, the 3rd show was sold out. They were all in Tokyo. So it was good, I had a good time. I got to see some of my friends in Japan, obviously eat sushi and there it was.

Keri in Pretty Boy Floyd

5. Rate the following guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who plays with broken fingers and 10 being a virtuoso.
C.C. DeVille = (pause) Uh, I think the guy, I think he’s great. I think you know for what he does the guy plays fine man. I mean he’s a great guy too.
Allison: You’re not going to give him a number?

Oh, rate ‘em? Oh…….(pause) hell 10, give ‘em all 10s.
Tracii Guns = He’s great too. He’s a buddy of mine.
Erik Turner = If I could have anybody, Turner is an incredible rhythm guitar player, he’s solid as a fucking rock, man. I mean that guy is great. You know. I think all these players…a lot of people think, you know certain people do what they do good. You know whether it’s lead playing, rhythm playing, you know if you’re playing blues rock, if you’re playing, you know whatever classical European style Yngwie guitar, you know so…..Any, all these guys are good for what they do. Who else is on there?
Gilby Clarke = Gilby’s cool.
Mick Mars = Have no problem with him.
Kristy "Krash" Majors = Kris is great, I love playing with him.
Yngwie Malmsteen = Never played with him before but he’s obviously great.
Butch Walker = uh, from Southgang, right, or Marvelous 3. He’s good from what I know.
Jeremy Popoff = Lit. He’s cool.
Ryan Roxie = Ryan, he’s great too. He’s a buddy of mine obviously.

6. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give up and call it a day?
(pause) Ah……Well which bands are out there? Probably all the ones that uh….that are on tour now. Fuck, we should give it up! Right? I’d rather sit at home and drink beer and eat sushi.

7. Name the 3 high points and the 3 low points of your music career to date.
3 high points and 3 low points. Umm, well I think you could….a….one of the coolest that I can remember off the top of my head is a, when we played last year when we played Madison Square Garden. It was a….you know just the whole thought of it, you know. We took a limo in, it was the same route as like Zeppelin took on the "Song Remains The Same" so that was pretty neat. And we got there and the place was actually really packed for us, it was when we were opening for AC/DC. So it was, a lot of people where there when we were playin’, we had a really good show. Uh, the Aerosmith guys where there. We got to hang out with Steven Tyler. He came straight back after the show, so that was really neat. Um, I hung out with him. The Black Crowes were there and a got to hang out with them, after our set which was really neat. Then uh we all went out and watched AC/DC. So that was pretty much one of the highest points….you know.
Low points. I mean, hell, we have low points all the time. I’ve have low points in every band or situation, you know. So it’s hard to really…I can’t think of one specific one.
We had a low point the other day on this tour, you know, everything can’t go great.

Keri in Big Bang Babies
8. What are the guys in Big Bang Babies up to now and do you still talk to them?
Yeah, um, let me see here. I was just talking to my other buddy here that the drummer Keith Allen he plays with his new band called Handsome Devil. They’re totally kick ass. They have a record that’s going to come out I believe September 8th, I think is what he told me today. And that’s on a RCA which is through…..
Keri’s buddy: Dirty Martini. Lit’s label.
And that was actually, believe it or not produced by Jeremy. So I got uh…he gave me a couple weeks ago he gave me a…a…CD, or a test copy or something of the first single and it’s called uh, Money.
Keri’s buddy: It’s going to radio in July.
And it’s fucking great. It’s kind of like, it sounds like a mix between, I don’t know, (pause) it’s, it’s good. Lets put it that way. It’s definitely a current market type of thing but it sounds amazing. That’s what he’s doing and he’s having a fucking blast.

Um, the singer Kit, believe it or not, about a month ago he came over to my house and we recorded 3 songs, or I recorded 3 songs, or 4 songs actually, 3 songs were acoustic and one song we did was with a full band. For him on a little demo that he’s going to be shopping or whatever. So he’s still doing his thing. It’s more, obviously more acoustic, um, acousticish. Lets put it that way.
Uh, the bass player, he works over at Paramount Pictures. He like in charge of foreign marketing or something like that. So…I know he does things for like the film festivals over there in Europe and stuff. That’s all I really know. I haven’t really talked to him lately to tell you the truth.

9. It’s no secret about how Bobby Blotzer feels about Stephen Pearcy and what he did to Ratt. How do you feel about it and was Pearcy that much a pain in the ass to work with?
I think Pearcy’s great, I talked to him a few months ago uh… and apparently he recorded a couple of my songs or something…uh, for his new CD or something like that which I haven’t heard so I don’t really know much about it. I had no problem with Stephen, I’ve never had a problem with him. I think he’s a great guy, he’s funny as all hell. And uh, you know what happened I thought was very unfortunate. To tell you the truth what really happened, I mean I know there’s been many different stories about it. And I don’t think it was that cool on Stephen’s part…but can’t do nothing about it now. We were going to go out and do a run and he had and he had agreed to do it. He told me, we were at his house one day, and I asked him point blank, "Are you going to do this run? And we going to do it?" And he said, "Yes, I agreed to do it, da da da da da." And uh, it came down a week before, a week before the tour was starting. You know we were in rehearsals getting it all ready and the he canceled it. So….you know it’s just not cool to do that for the people, and for, you know, the kids that are coming out to the shows and for the people in the band. So, like I said I think it was unfortunate and I don’t think it’s right what he did, but whatever, I don’t hold it against him. I mean you have to roll with the punches and here I am today.

Stephen Pearcy with Keri

10. On a scale of 1 to 10 rate the following bands on a scale of 1 to 10 on how much you would want to join their band. 1 being no chance in hell and 10 being a band you would really want to play in.
Union = (pause) I think they’re great. I love Corabi. I just had this little, we were doing this jam band with him. I love him. I mean…any band that has money I’ll play with so if any of these bands have money then I’ll play with them.
L.A. Guns = if they have money, if they need another guy I’ll come in there with Tracii, no problem.
Cinderella = Sure. Jeff, I love him.
Marvelous 3 = 4 piece? No problem.
Poison = (pause) I….I guess. Sure, you know.
Slaughter = Don’t they already have 2 guitar players? Mark…or they want 3? It would be like the new Iron Maiden.
Allison: They have one guitar player.
Oh, but the other guy plays….
Allison: No, Jeff does.
Doesn’t the singer guy, Mark Slaughter play?
Allison: Sometimes I think. I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to Slaughter.
Sebastian Bach’s band = Sure, I didn’t even know he had band.
BulletBoys = (pause) Uh…I don’t know.
Allison = Feel free to say no if that’s how you really feel.
No, I mean, I think that their stuff was great, you know, I mean uh…….one time I had an altercation with the bass player but it was pretty funny. It’s really not that big of a deal. But uh, yeah, I’d play with them.
Marilyn Manson = Sure, I’d just seen ‘em like a couple weeks ago before at the studio. They’re great guys. They rehearse at the same place that we do.
David Lee Roth’s band = If he wants 2 guitar players I guess, I think Bart’s probably doing a great job though.
Korn = Korn? (pause) Yeah, you know, I’ve never really played 7 string but I’m sure I could learn. If the money was right. Which I’m sure it would be.

11. It’s common knowledge in the rock world that you’ve been in several band over the last few years. Is it safe to say you’re the Rudy Sarzo of the new millennium?
(pause) Uh……I suppose so if Rudy Sarzo’s been in a lot of bands. How many bands has he been in, two? I really don’t know. What, was he….he was in Quiet Riot, no I guess he was in Ozzy’s band, so Quiet Riot, Ozzy and Whitesnake. So three big bands over the last 20 years so I’d say…..
Allison: You’ve already got him beat.
Well I guess so. You know it’s funny because the other day, and I’ll tell ya a story about bands, and this is probably going to be the longest interview of all time, but a….we were coming to a show, where was that, I can’t remember the location but I walked up and it was a and this guy was talking to Adam Day’s, Slash’s tech, and he goes, "Hey Keri Kelli, right?" And I go, "Yeah Yea, what’s going on?" And he goes, "Dude, I love you man, weren’t you in Brunette?" This old band from LA in like, I don’t even know what year, I think it was 88 or something like that, and I go, "You know what, that was one band that I was not in." So that was pretty funny. That was a new one!

12. Does Slash allow you to talk to him directly or do you have to go through his management first and set up and appointment.
Uh…he doesn’t really have management. We don’t have management right now.
Allison: Can I go on tour as your manager?
Yeah, right. Actually we’re looking, we’re fielding a lot of different management companies as we speak actually so…no, but we all speak freely amongst ourselves, you know.

13. Is it true that Jani Lane left the last Warrant tour without telling any of you guys and don’t you think that’s sort of fucked up?
(pause) Well….I do think it was kind of fucked. I mean we only had like a week left so it wasn’t really that bad. It wasn’t like, you know, we were half way through but, uh, he, (laughs) the last show that we had did on that run before the show he said he couldn’t do it. He goes, "Dude. I can’t handle it anymore." For whatever his reasons are, you know. Everybody has their own little demons that they have to deal with, or whatever. So he said, "Dude, we’ve got to quit, we’ve got to quit." And then whoever, I don’t know who it was, but convinced him to do this last show. And uh, so we did it and we were driving to Texas I believe and uh, I woke up in the morning and he was gone. So yeah it was kind of fuckin’ weird and I go to the driver, this Jimmy guy and go, "Hey Jimmy, where’s Lane, is he inside?" cause we were at a truck stop and he goes, "Oh no" in his country accent, "Oh no, I dropped Jani off back in like Texarkana at the airport like four hours ago." "Oh, alright." Then I just got on the phone with a travel agent and booked a flight.

Keri in Warrant

14. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why:?
Uh, smack in the mouth, uh, whoever deserves one. I don’t know I mean what’s going on…..I heard something happened with Rikki Rockett the drummer from Poison and my boy the Sack.
Allison: Actually they made peace.
Oh they did? Ok. I heard something, I don’t know, I can’t see how anybody can get mad at Mike. I mean he’s a great guy, he’s a nice guy, I’ve never heard him say anything to anybody….
Allison: It was a misunderstanding. And now they are doing a White Trash Dream Date contest where some lucky girl and her friend gets a date with Mike Fasano and Rikki.
Oh really, well there you go. Well see so if it was, if it was, if they hadn’t made up I’d say that Rikki deserves a slap in the face, you know. Cause I can’t see Mike doing anything wrong.

15. Which do you prefer:
Speed or Cocaine = Oh cocaine all the way. Are you kidding me?
Black hair or blond hair = doesn’t matter, just through it in. Throw the dye in, bleach, I don’t care.
Angel City Outlaws or Jani Lane’s Allstars = Uh, you know, they were both, that’s funny, they were both great little fun jam bands. Uh…..I think it would be great if we had Corabi in Lane’s Underdogs, is what we called it. Um, and then it would pretty much be the same band. But I like playing with Sack and I like playing with Bob too. Bob has his own, Bob has his own way interpreting some of the songs. It’s pretty great. But you know that’s what makes Bob Bob. He’s a legend.
Warrant or Ratt = Which do I prefer? (pause) They’re both good for different reasons. I mean I thought Ratt was great you know. Ratt was easier for me to deal with because I didn’t have to do much, you know what I mean. I just played rhythm, that’s not that big of a deal. Warrant I got to act the fool, you know, play some solos and do all that crap. So I don’t know, I can’t really choose between those two. They’re great, both of ‘em.

Keri with the Angel City Outlaws
Robbie Crane, John Corabi, Keri, and Bobby Blotzer

Gerri Miller or Jerry Gittleson = Oh wow, that’s weird. Uh, which do I prefer? Well Gittleson actually probably more, well he use to be more fun to hang out with when you use to like hang out and party and stuff. But he’s sober now so he don’t do that anymore but uh Gerri’s cool too. I’ve never had a problem with her. Miller I mean.
Arcade or Nitronic = Uh, I’ve……to tell you the truth never heard either of them. I’ve never heard an Arcade or Nitronic song.
Nikki Sixx or Jerry Dixon = Uh, well, you know, I definitely….Jerry. Because I think Jerry’s cool, we got along great, and I’d seen Nikki in Japan, we happened to be there at the same time. We were at the same hotel and besides him ripping some shit off from Slash back in the old days, which we don’t back, um, there was some fucking tension in Japan. The motherfucker looked at me and I, I…..asked him…..It was after we were out with Vince all night. Me and Blackout got in a little trouble with Vince and the next day down in the lobby and uh, we were trying to figure out who’s cars, in Japan all these like little minivans they drive you around in, there was like 10 minivans outside, and I go, "Ahh shit, well here’s everybody lets get the fuck out of here." So we walked outside and I see Nikki, um which I had no problem with really before that, and I told Nikki, I go, "Hey man, I don’t know who’s cars are who’s." Mother fucker looked at me for like….3 seconds, you know a foot from my face, and then he turns around and walks away. I don’t know what that was all about. So I didn’t think that was cool.
Sorry, that’s the longest answers for one of these things.

Gazzaris or the Key Clue = Oh I think the Key Club is great. Gazzaris….that to tell you the truth…I don’t think in my previous bands we ever really played at Gazzaris. I don’t think we ever did. But I think the Key Club how they have it remodeled now and the sound system is much cooler and it’s darker, it’s all dark inside. The vibe is way better. So Key Club.
Eyeliner or lipstick = Uh…
Allison: Eyeliner obviously.
Yeah. Or both, you know. Who cares.
Kendra Jade or Jenna Jameson = I don’t even know who they are.
Allison: Porn stars.
Alright. Sure. Both of ‘em.

16. Have you ever seen Steve "Sex" Summers without his wig on?
Yeah, everytime I’ve seen him. That’s, that’s, that is one of the weirdest things because talking about people who have wigs…the people who have them, I don’t know if they know who has wigs or who doesn’t. Everybody talks about his thing about Steve having a wig…the guy, he doesn’t have a wig, that’s the funny thing. You know, but everybody says it. His hair is…I think in the old days what he had was like one of those thing they used to you could put in the back like …I don’t know.
Allison: Extensions?
No, not an extension. A clip thing. See I only kinda was around back then, I didn’t know him as well as I obviously do now. But I think he had that to make it look fuller and he used to wear that hat but he never had, from what I was told and since I’ve known him in the last 5 or 6 years, never had any kind of a wig or anything.

17. What’s more embarrassing for you:
A: That you were in Big Bang Babies
B: That you were in Pretty Boy Floyd
C: That you were actually in a band with Stefan Adika
Uh…Big Bang, Floyd….Well I think they were all, you know to tell you the truth, pretty embarrassing for their own reasons. I, you know, whatever. I don’t care. You know, give me the guitar, plug in and lets play. Who cares.

18. Can you please explain the half blond/half black hair deal and did you know Brent Woods of the Vince Neil band is now sporting the same style?
You’re kidding me? I did not know that. Um….well I had that a long time ago, I haven’t really had it that way for years. Um, I mean I still have the colors obviously but not the half half. A long time ago I….like a long…I don’t even know what year that was, but there I played in this band with this other dude and we both had a black and white hair like that we thought it was going to be so fucking cool, but we never even got the band off the ground! (Laughs) But I just kept having the hair because everybody thought it was cool and stuff you know, back in the old days. It was what it was. It was just another fucking thing you know. I don’t think about things too hard I just do it.

Keri in Dad’s Porno Mag

19. You played on the Perris Records Tribute CD for Poison. Can you honestly say that CD is any good?
Well you know, I don’t know cause, to tell you the truth, just now heard a couple of seconds of a couple of songs just on the way over here. Seems to sound ok, I really haven’t had a chance to analyze it. I mean hell if people want to buy Poison tribute albums, you know, whatever, go ahead and go get ‘em. You know. They paid me and Tom’s cool, you know, I’ve known that guy since he worked at Guitar Center back a long time ago. 15 years ago.

20. Who’s liver is going to explode first?
A. Jani Lane
B. Jerry Dixon
C. Stephen Pearcy
D. Slash
Well definitely not Slash because of a…..
Allison: He quit drinking.
Yeah, exactly. He hasn’t been drinking for 3 months, man, it’s amazing. It’s great. Um…..lets see here…..Pearcy drinks a lot, uh I don’t know how strong his liver is but he does like to drink wine and Budweiser. Dixon, yeah he can get pretty loaded. Lane I think is sober right now so I would say it’s probably a toss up between Dixon and Pearcy. I think probably Pearcy because he probably does it a lot. You know, everyday.

21. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Jani Lane = (pause) He’s my bro, man, he’s great. I love him, great voice.
Slash = He’s also my boy man, he’s killer. I love that he’s not drinking man, I’m very proud of the guy man. I can’t believe it. I think for somebody like him who’s been doing this kind of a lifestyle for whatever it’s been, 14 or 15 years, to have this kind of a turn around is amazing. I mean the guy works out, he has a trainer and all this kind of crap, he’s eatin’ great, it’s a…I’m shocked. So I’m very proud of the guy.
Tommy Lee = Fucking one of the baddest drummers alive. In a good way.
Kid Rock = Seen him the other night, he was a very cool guy. We did a thing with him in Philadelphia. He was great.
Tom Mathers = He’s cool too, like I said I mean he’s been boy for like 15 years. He’s a great guy.
Vince Neil = (pause) Well, he was cool. I mean we hung out with him in Japan.
Allison: You’ve already sort of cover this part. (laughs)
Yeah right. Yeah, I mean it was great we were hanging out at the bar at the hotel first upstairs after the show and then we went to this, believe it or not, Mexican restaurant. He goes, (sounding like Vince) "Hey man, meet me over at this Mexican restaurant like around the corner." We’re like, "What dude? We’re like in Nagoya." He’s like, "Yeah Yeah, it’s around….." we thought he was bullshitting at first, me and Johnny. We went over there and it was a Mexican restaurant. In Japan! So it was bizarre. So we had a great time we were hanging out but things got a little heated when Johnny brought up the thing about him hitting Izzy apparently like at the music awards like in a 87, or 8, or 9, I can’t remember. Um, so that’s kind of when things kind of turned sour.
Dana Strum = Uh….
Allison: That’s the bass player for Slaughter.
Ok. He…..I don’t really know that guy. So I don’t even know.
Gerry Gittleson = He’s all good, haven’t talked to him lately. But he’s doing his own thing. He writes for a paper in the Valley. He’s a newspaper reporter believe it or not. The sports section or something like that.
Sebastian Bach = That guy fucking sings his balls off man.
Riki Rachtman = He….I, I never met the guy. Uh, so I really don’t know much about him. But a……..so hell, I don’t know.
Rueben Blue = Rueben Blue, fuck I haven’t heard that name for a long time. He uh………I don’t even know. I remember that guy from the fucking old days and uh, he was always cool back then. He was doing his own thing. His magazine was the top of the little LA rock scene back then. In the early 80s or whatever. Late 80s and early 90s.
Kit Ashley = He’s my boy too, man. Like I said I just seen him, we just got fucking, did that little demo at my house for him and he’s fucking great, man. He’s livin’, drivin’ a Jag again and fuckin’ making it happen man.

Now that was fairly entertaining. We have to thank Allison for pulling it off and Keri for stepping up to the plate and doing it.

For more info you can go to Keri’s site at www.kerikellionline.com

And to find out the latest about Slash’s Snakepit you can visit www.snakepit.org

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