20 Questions with Hotshot frontman Mike Pont.
Mike Pont the "Original" Danger Danger vocalist.
The story of Mike Pont is somewhere along those lines. Kudos to Mike for still burning the flame, he doesn’t do "low points" and is still friends with half ther rock n’ roll planet. Well, except Firehouse.
Right now it’s all about Hotshot. The CD just came out a couple of months ago and it’s available at www.HotshotRocks.com. It’s material I recorded over the past 20 years. Players on the CD include, Steve West and Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger), Al Pitrelli (Alice Cooper, Megadeth), Tony Bruno (Saraya, Joan Jett), Teddy Cook (Dio, Great White), Leslie West (Mountain), Al Greenwood (Foreigner), and more. All the reviews so far have been amazing. I couldn’t have expected any better. No tour plans as of yet. I’ve been keeping busy writing new material for a follow up CD. I’ve got some great players lined up for this one. I just hope it doesn’t take as long to get this one out.
(Hold on Mike, we’re gonna put on some steel toed boots if you’re gonna start name dropping on those levels and we’re only 1 question in. Okay ready.)
2. Okay let’s start with the opening of your CD. It’s a message on your machine from
At the time I was DJing at the
Hotshot with 2 guys named Tommy & Nikki.
3. The band has a laundry list of names that appear on the Hotshot disc. Names like Al Pitrelli (Widowmaker, Alice Cooper, Megadeth), Steve West & Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger), Tony Bruno (Saraya, Joan Jett Band) and a half dozen others. Is everyone waiting on royalty checks or is that unlikely to happen with this release?
Royalty checks? Everyone who was involved in the recording of the CD has been super cool about me releasing it. I’m hoping to get most of them, and a few other familiar names, involved in the next CD as well. I did promise Pitrelli a case of wine…
4. How did it feel knowing that nearly every guy that played in Hotshot got signed and toured except for you?
Oh… It felt great… ha-ha. Not that it wouldn’t have been great to have gotten a major deal and toured back in the day, but I can’t complain about how things worked out for me. I have been lucky enough to be involved in and to make a good living one way or another working in music for the past 25 years. I’ve been DJing at the VIP Club, one of the top Strip Clubs in NYC, for the past 13 years. No regrets.
5. Rate East Coast vocalists 1-10. 1 being a joke, and 10 being the bomb diggity?
Ted Poley = 7.5
Sebastian Bach = 8 – Rock star with an attitude (maybe a just little much on the attitude)
Paul Laine = 7.5 – Not sure if he’s from the East Coast
Tom Keifer = 8 – Cool mutha fucker
Steve Whiteman = 7 – Great front man.
Dizzy Dean Davidson = 6 – the poor mans Tom Keifer.
Jon Bon Jovi = 6
Corky Gunn = 8.5 – Props to my boy Corky Gunn. Sweet Pain was way ahead of their time. Not your classic singer… but classic just the same.
Peter Loran = 6 – haven’t really heard much of his stuff.
Danny Vaughn = Don’t know who that is. (Editor: Tyketto ring a bell?)
Gotta mention my favs: John Waite, Steven Tyler, and Robin Zander… 10s
6. Speaking of vocalists. The word is that you were the original Danger Danger vocalist only to be replaced by Ted. How did that feel seeing the band get signed, get MTV play, and go on tour with the press and all the glory?
I was actually asked to fill in at first. Originally, Phil Naro, former Talas frontman was suppose to fill the D2 vocal slot. About a week before the first show he called Bruno and backed out of the show. Refusing to cancel the show Bruno called me and I agreed to do the show. I had a week to learn the songs. It was Lamour East on a Saturday night and the place was fuckin packed. Things went so well that first show, that we just kept booking shows and eventually recorded a demo (Naughty Naughty, Don’t Blame It On Love, and Rock America). Some of those shows were really classic shows, but the whole thing didn’t last long.
It’s weird, I’m not sure I remember all that much from around then. Right after Danger Danger I left
Al Pitrelli & Mike Pont rock like fuck!
7. Lets talk about roadies shall we? Your bio says Kelly Nickels (LA Guns) was the Hotshot band roadie and light man. How did it come about that the roadie joined LA Guns and went onto super stardom and…oops…okay…so maybe not super stardom but LA Guns was a bit bigger than Hotshot right?
Kelly, or Blade as we used to call him, is like a brother to me. We first met back in 1983 when he was roadie and light man for the original Hotshot. It was Bruno and Steve from Danger Danger, Joey Sykes (Coward, New English), Bobby Guy (who since was nominated for 2 grammys for dance production), and me doing new wave cover tunes 5 nights a week. On most nights Kelly made more money and got more chicks then the guys in the band so it’s not like it was a bad gig. I can’t forget the time we were on stage and I look at the light board, where Kelly’s suppose to be, and its on fire. I mean the whole thing is in flames and Kelly’s not there. Turns out he was getting crazy with some chick out in the equipment truck. He got docked pay that night and was pissed for the next few gigs.
Kelly and I made our first trip to
By the time I got to LA Kelly had already been in and out of Faster Pussycat, and was in LA Guns. I lived with Kelly when the first LA Guns record was released. It was Kelly and me in one apartment, Tracii was down the hall, and Phil Lewis was across the pool, in an apartment complex they named Chez Guns. After the Guns record came out they left to tour with AC/DC and a few months later I moved back to NY. We still talk all the time and I get out there a few times a year. You can be sure he’ll show up on the next Hotshot CD.
Bruno Ravel of Danger Danger, Tommy Lee (Shout at the Devil tour),
Mike Pont (Top looking very Fast Times at Ridgemont High),
Kelly Nickels pre-La Guns and Corky Gunn.
8. Back to the Bio. How come you didn’t just kill yourself? It seemed like every guy you stood within a foot of joined Alice Cooper, Dio, or signed deals with their own projects and you got assed out time after time. Then when
Wow… when you put it like that… BANG!!! I guess it just seemed like the more fucked up shit that happened, the more press the band and I got. I felt like if I could just keep it together a little while longer… yada, yada, yada… BANG!!!
9. Considering the Vince situation, did it ever come about that they (Motley) might give you a chance to audition? After all the word was out that everyone from Sebastian Bach to John Corabi to Stephen Sheraux of Kik Tracee were considered. How come not Mike Pont since they were so into your band?
Not really sure. Ask
10. Memory Lane with Mike Pont:
1975 = Bought Kiss “Dressed To Kill” (my first rock record)
1979 = Started my first band, Silver Sage… we sucked. I used fake ID to see Swift Kick and Samantha at Speaks,
1982 = Hotshot is born… some of the best times of my life. At that time Hotshot was a New Wave cover band. We played 3 sets a night 5 nights a week for the next 2 years.
1986 = I was playing around NYC and recording with The Mike Pont Band.
1989 =I just got back from living in LA. Al Pitrelli and me started the later version of Hotshot.
1993 = I stopped Playing in the band to DJ in some of the biggest Strip Clubs in NYC.
1996 = Tits and Ass
1999 = More Tits and Ass
2002 = Somehow I found myself right in the middle of the world of dance remixes. Under the name Two Main Guys, my partner, DJ Razor (“Do It Again”), and I did a bunch of remixes for Mary J Blige, Whitney Houston, Tweet and others.
2005 = The Hotshot CD… Finally!
11. What rock star deserves a big smack in the mouth and why?
Where do you start? Most of them could use a good smack…Steve West for not returning my “Girl Next Door” DVD (He can’t still be jerkin off to that movie)
12. Kill, fuck, marry! (Gwen Stefani, Stephanie Seymour, Steve West)
13. Name the 3 high points and the 3 lowest points for Mike Pont and Hotshot!
I don’t do Low Points.
14. If you could be a human toilet seat for any celebrity who would it be and why?
Someone’s always pissin on the seat… I’ll pass on that.
Steve West & Mike Pont life long rock n’ roll buddies!
15. Pick your Poison….
Trixter or Firehouse = Fuck Firehouse
D2 w/ Ted or D2 w/ Paul = uhhh… D2 w/ Mike Pont?
Head bands or Cowboy Hats = It depends which sunglasses I’m wearing.
Eye Liner or Lip Gloss = Eye Liner… Lip Gloss irritates my cock.
Big fake boobs or Small firm titties = Love’em both… they pay the bills.
Getting head or Giving face = Love’em both… they pay the bills… ha-ha
Skid Row or Cinderella = Gotta go with the Skids.
Strip clubs or Massage parlors = What’s the difference?
Boy bands or Rap bands = Why would you call them bands?
16.Whats the connection between Hotshot and James Brown?
Ha-ha… I’m assuming you don’t mean the Godfather of Soul. You’re probably referring to The Hardest Working Man… at the Nassau County Free Health Clinic, Dr. James Brown.
It was during the early Hotshot days (Steve, Bruno, Kelly, Corky, Me, the whole crew). It was total insanity. Lotsa Booze, Lotsa Blow, Lotsa Sex, and in most cases, Very Little Judgment. The booze led to blow, the blow led to sex, and the sex, ultimately, led to the clinic. Which brings us back to the good doctor.
He was about 60 years old, very bald, and very white. Not what we were expecting. Imagine Blofeld, the villain from one of those Bond movies, only the doctors’ weapon of choice was a Q-tip. We were in and out of that place so often that we came to dread the Q-tip more than the disease itself. That fuckin Q-tip started taking its toll on all of us. It got to the point where I could even stick one in my ear anymore. Something had to be done. By chance, we discovered that the penicillin we were getting for free at the clinic was the same penicillin you could buy at the pet store to cure tail rot in tropical fish.
It was Bye-Bye Dr. Brown… Hello Petland Discount…
Hotshot looking very dime a dozen late 80s early 90s.
17.Tell us in great detail what is the sickest thing you’ve ever done with a Hotshot groupie back in the day?
Believe it or not, I think the first version of Hotshot was the wildest. It was the early 80’s and sex was like a contest to us. Trust me, there are some sick stories, but not to be told here.
18. What was your biggest ever music related pay check for and what did you buy with it?
One check… I think it was 15,000 and I blew most of it on studio gear and weed.
19. Word Association:
Bruno Ravel = “There goes the neighborhood.” One of my closest friends, he bought a house 2 blocks from me a few years back, now he won’t stop coming over and smoking my weed.
Leslie West = “Sweet Little Lucy” We were recording at Milbrook Studios, NY and Leslie stormed into the studio armed with a bottle of Vodka, a big fat joint, and just wanted to rock. We graciously let him play on the track “Sweet Little Lucy”.
Al Greenwood = “Cold As Ice” Not him the song. Great guy. It was an honor to have him play on a few songs.
Tommy Lee = “Krell” Back on Motleys Shout At The Devil tour, way before
Kelly Nickels = “Moto GP” My LA brother. I don’t get to see him enough. Every year we ride the Harleys’ from LA up the coast to
George Cintron = “Underrated” Guitarist from NY… do you know him?
Phil Lewis = “Sex Action” The lady’s man… I think it’s the English accent.
Corky Gunn = “The Legend… Calig-alig-alig” Part of the original Hotshot crew (Corky was our part time road manager). I think he’s finally gonna release the Sweet Pain CD.
Steve West = “Westy!!!” ha-ha. What can I say? My partner in crime…
Steve West, Kelly Nickels, & Mike Pont. Hairspray anyone?
20. The Last of….
Last time you played a gig with Danger Danger = Seems whenever I’m at a D2 show I always end up on stage during their encore. Last time it was Ryan Roxie and me with D2 doing Cheap Trick “I Want You To Want me’
Last time you ate cap n’ crunch = That dude scares me.
Last 80s hair metal CD you cranked up = Electric Angels.
Last concert you watched from the crowd = Velvet Revolver.
Last time you had diarrhea = Not sure where your going with this.
Last time you signed an autograph = Last night at a D2 show. Signed the Hotshot CD.
Last time Hotshot played live = I did a short acoustic set at the release party for the Hotshot CD. Before that, the original Hotshot with Steve and Bruno did a 20-year reunion show in 2004. I’m looking forward to doing some shows later this year.
Last time you talked to
Last rock star you shook hands with = Joe X Dube, drummer for Starz.
Last time you visited Metal Sludge = Always.
Well even if Mike didn’t get signed, he was hanging in the coolest of crowds for sure. It reads like Pont said he was doing "krell" with Tommy Lee on the Shout at the Devil tour, and if that’s the case, fuck - that’s like being signed in itself.
Sludge Don’t Come Easy