20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Alexx Michael from Shameless
Now a few of you are probably going, "Who the fuck is this?" Well, Alexx is a dude from Germany who’s put out a few CDs over the years featuring everybody from Tracii Guns, Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer, Jani Lane, Keri Kelli, Gilby Clarke, Stevie Rachelle, Steve Summers, Kristy Majors, and every other guy who once played on the Sunset Strip. Alexx has been emailing us for years asking to be interviewed and during a moment of weakness, we actually agreed. We figured since he’s dealt with a lot of the people we rip on he might have some good stories, plus we like to do something different every now and then. Actually, this didn’t turn out that bad, even if the guy does look like he’s been trapped in a time warp. Enjoy!
1. What are you up to? This is your only chance to promote whatever it is you do.
Getting ready 4 the tour, doing a lot of promotion here for the release of our new disc "Splashed" and for the Tuff/Shameless England tour.. Getting everything ready for the KISS tribute "Undressed" that we gonna release next march together with a lot of cool bands from all over the world. Different to all other tributes this will be a tribute with only songs from the KISS album "Unmasked". there will be Rock, Hardrock, Glam, Punk and Industrial bands on it. We will have 2 songs on the disc. "Talk to Me" and "Tomorrow".When i don?t have any SHAMELESS work i?m watching Ebay.com to find parts that i can?t find here for my Trans Ams.
2. How did you get model Amber Smith to appear on the cover of your new CD?
Right after we did the first disc, i saw her on a magazine cover and thought that she?s really hot. I sent her a e-mail last year and told her i want her on the cover. She ansered me within 2 days that she wants to do it. Amber has a really cool website www.allamber.com with a lot of photos and informations about her.
3. Your bio says that you formed Shameless in 1989 and broke up in 1991. Then recorded the debut in 1998 with an all-star line-up of Eighties hairband refugees for hire. What the fuck did you do for the other half-a-dozen years and why not form a band with some German guys?
After our singer was out of the band we looked for a replacement but we couldn?t anyone that was right. One singer used his trips to sell drugs on the way. The other one set a friends appartment on fire, the other one thought he?s Axel Rose and so on. Good singers are rare. Most of them sound bad when they sing english and it sounds even worse when they sing in german. And the worst part was that none of them could actually sing. I also tried out 2 singers from England but they where to afraid to come to germany to play here. So after 2 years i gave up and joined another local band "Provoke" where i met B.C. After that band broke up in 1995 i was just busy doin? other stuff and write songs. It?s almost impossible to find people here. I was always into Rock like KISS, Girlschool, Motley Crue but most of the musicans here where just trying to copy other bands like Metallica, Queensryche, Manowar or later Nirvana or Rammstein. Those are all bands that i never like at all. And i?m probably too lazy to follow any stupid trends. I just can?t play music that i don?t like !!
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
As long as you have fun, there is no reason to stop. O.K. maybe if you are in Dokken you should think about it. Also Music isn?t just like a job. It?s a life style. I wouldn?t be able 2 just throw my instruments away and say "I?m done" and i also don?t think that anyone like Jani Lane, Rudy sarzo, Nikki Sixx, Sebastian Bach or Bruce Kulick is able to do that.
5. Rate the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a hack and 10 being a bass God.
Nikki Sixx = 10 – the last time i saw him – Since he writes most of the music he probably knows the best what to play on the songs.
Gene Simmons = 10 from 1977 – 1980
Jerry Dixon = 6 I never paid attention to him or his playing but he must be good since he?s always playing
Bobby Dall = 8 i think his stuff on the records fit always perfect with the songs and when i saw him live last year he kicked major ASS
Robbie Crane = 8 I never saw him playing but Stevie Rachelle & Keri Kelli had only the best things to say about him
Vinnie Chaz = 5 – I never saw him live so it?s hard 2 judge him from the record-
Juan Croucier = 5 I couldn?t tell. The bass on the Ratt records was not that loud and i only saw him live 10 years ago
Dana Strum = 7 He?s a good player and good producer.
Rachel Bolan = 10 he always played really tight and well to the rest of the music which is more important than someone playing leadguitar on a bass
Todd Chase = 8 Great playing on "What comes Arround"
6. You?re a well-known KISS fanatic. There are upwards of a dozen KISS related links alone at your site. What?s with the KISS infatuation and what’s the most amount of money you?ve spent on some stupid piece of KISS memorabilia?
Well i think KISS is the reason that most of the Metal Sludge bands are actually musicans or started music. The list of names is endless (Anthrax, Poison, Pretty Boy Floyd, Skid Row, Keri Kelli, Marilyn Manson). They changed Rock?n Roll 4ever. Other bands or critics who complain about the merchandise or the reunion or farewell tour are most times people who are in less successfull bands or magazines. The Success proves them right. You can?t compare KISS to any other band. The day i saw KISS was the day i wanted 2 play music. The most i ever spent was $6000 for Paul Stanley?s Rock?n Roll Over Boots.
7. You?re from Germany, which isn?t exactly known as a hotbed for glam bands. Do you ever get any shit from people over there for being glam?
Back when i played in the original Shameless band we had a lot of trouble all the time ?cause all the guys from other bands hated us ?cause we had the most chicks at our concerts and we wore so much make-up. I can?t tell you what the people think about it now ?cause the only response i get, is from the website.I never cared about the other musicans here in munich ?cause most of them are dishonest asskissin? idiots. There was never a glamscene in germany ?cause that kind of music was mostly handled with dissrespect . Not only bands like poison but almost every band out of LA. The record companies just cast their bands now in stupid TV shows. Spinal Tap is Alive. All you hear and see are techno coverversions.
All the US bands like Poison, Ratt or Warrant hardly or never played here when they where big, so the fans felt cheated. That?s the reason why Poison wouldn?t be able to play here ?cause nobody knows who they are anymore. Sure there music was played on the radio but back in 1987 or 89 there was nothing here like MTV and they didn?t play live. The bands that alway played here like Ozzy, Metallica or Bon Jovi still draw huge crowds cause they always played here. Even band like Manowar or Wasp are still doin good here because of that. I don?t think it was the bands fault, but their managers and record companies never thought about the fact that there is a place called "Europe".
8. Of all the guys you?ve had play on your CD, what musician was the most difficult to work with and why?
Everyone who showed up was real easy 2 work with. Mark St. John never showed up. I called him the day of recordings but he sounded like he was totally wasted who barely was able to speak. I also know that Brent Woods is probably still pissed at me ?cause he was supposed to play on the first disc, but when i was in LA, he always said "Call Me Tomorrow about the recordings" ?cause he was busy with some other stuff. I gave up after 6 days. He called me back when we where allready mixing the CD. He was really pissed at me ?cause when i couldn?t get a hold of him we used Tracii Guns for the 2 remaining songs. I was just not able to stop the recordings until he was whenever available. Everybody else showed up in time. but beside of that, we had a lot of fun all the time doin?the records, everything was always real easy. Also LA is much nicer in january than germany. Don?t forget all the beautiful girls and Sushi Places in California !!!
9. Of all the singers in the world, you had Steve ?Sex? Summer and Stevie Rachelle sing on your songs. For the love of God, couldn?t you find anybody else?
No Cause they kick Ass and i never wanted anybody else. Nobody sounds like Steve. I know some people don?t like his voice but that?s the same with anything that?s unusual. You love it or you hate it. I hear that all the time. I just think Steve & Stevie fit perfect to the music. I don?t think James Hettfield or Mark Slaughter would fit.
10. Yes or no, has Alexx ever:
Had gay sex = No
Met Gene Simmons = Yes, A few times but Paul is way cooler !!
Had a fetish for guys named Steve = No, I?m not into guys but i think he looks cool. Girls like him
Wore extensions = I tried one for my penis but i never had any on my head.
Thought Pretty Boy Floyd should be platinum = Yes, "leather boys" had great songs. Just the production and the mix could have been much better.
Hung out with a Nazi = No, even it?s amazing that those idiots are still all over the world.
Realized it?s not 1989 anymore = Yes, since 1990. I just love the music we do and i was always more into bands that sound and look cool. I don?t care for TV casted bands or techno and i always hated Grunge and that shit. Marilyn Manson is awesome but i wouldn?t be interested to play that kind of music. I was also never into Trash or Speed Metal. I LOVE ROCK?N ROLL !!!!!
Dreamed about being in a band with Udo from Accept = Of course – i alway have nightmares about it.
Seen Steve Summers or Stevie Rachelle without something on their heads = All the time, if you check our website www.shamelessrock.com , there are pictures of Steve w/o a hat from the recordings of "Queen 4 A Day". For those who don?t have that CD, there is also some videofootage from the recordings on the disc where you see Steve w/o a hat. By the way – our new disc "Splashed" also has 2 vidoes as a bonus. Featuring a live performance of "Lick It Up" together with Bruce Kulick" and Stevie with 3 different hats.
Kissed another man = No, there are too many girls
11. When Eric Singer played drums on your 1st CD, ?Backstreet Anthems,? did you guys have him sit on a booster seat so he could reach the drums?
12. Mike ?The Sack? Fasano was the drum tech for your 2nd CD, ?Queen For A Day.? Did you ever see his nutsack?
Tracii Guns, a dude, Gilby Clakre, Alexx, and Kristy Krash Majors
13. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
I don?t know but i would like to say something about people who make fun about Vince Neil drinking so much and beeing so out of shape. I don?t think anyone who haven?t lost a kid should even try to judge him. Even it?s been 7 years since then, how could he forget. This is probably the worst thing that can happen to anyone.
14. How did you get Jani Lane to do background vocals on the song ?Far Away?? Did you pay him in cash, beer, or cheeseburgers?
He did some recordings with Keri one night and he liked the songs we worked on "Far Away" and "Lonely nite in Paradise". He did both tracks in 20 minutes. Since i never drink beer the only thing i offered him was a diet coke. HE seemed really nice and from what i know from Keri, he must be an awesome cook.
15. The last of Alexx:
Last CD you purchased = Shakira -Underneath your cloth and Killer Barbies, for all of you that never heard of Killer Barbies, they are a spanish Punk band with a girl singing and she?s great looking and singing. check em out www.killerbarbies.de
Last Germany porno you saw that had shitting in it = The movie was called "Metal Sludge visits Switzerland". I?m too much into doin?my own porns. B.C. knows way more about porn than i do. He?s the pornminator of the band.
Last time you heard Rammstein on the radio = I don?t even have a radio in my house. Radio and Rammstein are horrible. If you guys would live here for more than a week you would make sure that there is no radio in sight. Germany is so different from the states. Just look at the girls, cars and sushi places. ? always have to laugh when Eric Singer tells me how much he loves german cars while i live in germany and only drive american cars.
Last rock star you shook hands with = Keri Kelli
Last time you listened to the Scorpions = Last week
Last Kiss concert you attended = Anaheim March 2000 while we recorded "Queen 4 A Day".
Last day it was sunny in Germany = Yesterday, it?s raining a lot here but we where lucky for the last 2 weeks. But it started 2 rain last night.
Last time you wore make-up = On the last tour.
Last time you visited a sex store = I can?t remember but i?ve been on www.ideepthroat.com last night.
Last American band to play Germany = I think Manowar but the last concert i saw in germany was Mariln Manson.
16. What is your expert KISS opinion on Tommy Thayer & Eric Singer wearing the original make-up?
I think it?great to see Eric doin? it ?cause he?s not only a good friend of mine but also the best drummer that KISS ever had. Tommy Thayer is a different thing but if that?s what they wanna do – I?m sure they have there reasons and it?s probably a dream come true for tommy. I can?t say anything about Tommy ?cause i was never into Black?n Blue and i hardly know him. I understand Gene and Paul in someway ?cause i traveled with Ace in 1995 for three weeks thru europe when we organised a KISS Convention tour with him. He got lost in a restaurant on the way from the table to the restroom and didn?t know where he was 99% of all the time. But they should rather have Tommy wear a Bruce Kulick mask since Bruce is the one who belongs in KISS when Ace isn?t.
|17. Do you realize the band name Shameless and your name of Alexx, with 2 t?s, went out of style back around the same time Sweet FA did?
Yes but why should i change it now. I had this name since 1987 and also the name SHAMELESS since 1989. The second x in Alexx stands for Xaver. I was born Alexander Xaver Michael . That?s the story about it. I know Nikki Sixx was the first known with 2 X but he was not the first who walked on a stage and i won?t be the last. And i never heard "Sweet FA". Where they good ?
18. This is a lyric from one of your songs:
?Hello boys and girls
Welcome to our show
Good times come and bad times go
You wanna join us ? lets go
It?s Friday night ? don?t stay at home
The girls in the city look so pretty
C?mon move your feet
cause there?s music on the street
You don?t need a passport to come with us
Ready for the show ? c?mon lets Rock N Roll?
Do you realize that most 4th graders could come up with better material?
Yes, but who wants another "Smells (stinks) like teenspirit (Nirvana)". I leave that to other people. But I think we also have other lyrics with a much deeper message then "Steal the girls" or "Backseat Action". There are tracks like "Lonely Nite in Paradise, Getaway, Love Game, Talk to me or "Don?think i love you" that are based on true stories. We play Rock and i don?t wanna sing about the news on CNN. I also can?t write about any crazy visons ?cause i don?t take drugs. Music is to enjoy your live and to forget about the trouble at least for a little. A lot of other bands from the 80?s forgot about that and are ashamed of the songs they wrote in the 80?s. We?re SHAMELESS , we have no shame and we don?t care. I also don?t have a horse that i could write about.
Why else do u think records from Warrant like "Dog Eat Dog" or Motley Crue?s "Generation Swine" sold that bad. Ask their fans why they didn?t like the way they changed their music, image and lyrics. Even i have 2 admit that i still think that "Dog Eat Dog" is the best album that Warrant ever did and "Generation Swine" was an awesome CD but maybe 2 different from their previous stuff. But that?s just my opinion and i have my reasons for writing songs like "Nonstop City" and looking the way i do.
19. Do you actually think the people you get to play on your CDs really enjoy your music, or have you figured it out that they?re only doing it for a paycheck?
Some of them are probably doin?it only because of the money but we all have 2 make money to survive and buy stuff on ebay. The others enjoy it as much as i do. Someone like Keri or Eric are more concerned about the quality of the music they perform than the money they get for it. I don?t think they would play something that they think sucks.
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Traci Guns = Tracii rules !!
Keri Kelli = the best songwriter, guitarplay and beerdrinker
Bruce Kulick = I can?t say enough good things about Bruce. We know each other for a long time and he?s a great guy
Stevie Rachelle = Stevie "workaholic" Rachelle –
Steve Summers = The Voice of Glam – Love him or hate him but u can?t stop him
Gilby Clarke = Great guy and great family and very talented
Kristy Krash Majors = Great Ieas for guitarsolos
Eric Singer = Great drummer, great friend
Nikki Sixx = Call Tommy and Vince !!!
Gene Simmons = w/o Paul Stanley there wouldn?t be any music on the KISS records.
Vinnie Vincent = You owe me money
Eddy Money = Idiot
Alexx added those last two names in Word Association, just in case you were wondering.
For more info on Alexx and Shameless, you can visit www.ShamelessRock.com.