20 Questions w/ Tigertailz bassist Pepsi Tate!
Tigertailz bassist Pepsi Tate when he was young & crazy!
We are proud to bring you an interview that the glam diehard and super hardcore Sludgeaholics have been waiting to read forever. We’re always trying to keep it real, as in real glam this week. Sludge will always do our best to bring you cool stuff from the past, the present and into the future. And of course, back into the hey day of the glam era as often as we can.
This 20?s will take you on an English journey into the past & bring you up to speed on the future of Pepsi Tate & his band Tigertailz. Enjoy!
1. Here is your chance. Plug your tours, new releases, website & more?
It’s great to be talking to you all again. Thanks to Stevie and Metal Sludge for having us aboard. Meanwhile – what’s going on in ‘Tailzville: First, we’ve had 2 albums re-packaged and re-released (Bezerk and Banzai) with bonus tracks last year, which has helped get people all over the world back aboard the Tigertailz rollercoaster.
Second, a whole new album – Bezerk 2.0 (picking up exactly where Bezerk left off) – is released next month, featuring all the ‘Tailz ingredients you know and love: Big choruses – check. Stupid sound effects – check. Massive riffage – check.
Look out for ‘Do It Up’ – a massive glam anthem, ‘ Falling Down’ – tribal, experimental, groovy, ‘One Beat of Your Heart’ – Total Tigertailz, and ‘Get Real’ – mad glam pop.
Also, we’re recording a video for our massive power ballad ‘I Believe’ next month. metal Sludge will get to see it first.
Plus, our website – tigertailz.co.uk – has been up and running and getting major hittage for a coupla years now. It’s been updated recently with downloads, merchandise etc, plus the messageboard is civilsed, creative, and populated by 100% Tigertailz maniacz. Check it out now information, entertainment and good vibes.
We’ve also started playing selected gigs, and so far travelled around the UK and Europe. There’s a lot more to come, and we’re trying to line up US dates for the end of this year, but as with everything, it takes time to set this stuff up. Check the web site for updates.
2. Let’s cut to the chase here. There are 2 different Tigertailz bands playing the UK right now. The other being Steevi James & Ace Finchum’s version, they were essentially original members during the bands first official hey day and success run. How do you feel about this?
The fact that there’s another band out there using our name is confusing for everyone, and frankly, doesn’t help them or us. As far as who has the right to the name goes, let me put it like this: Jay and I formed the band (Steevi and Ace weren’t original members, as most people already know). I thought of the name. Kim, Jay and I are the longest standing, and best known band members. The current line up is a continuation of where we left off.
Obviously Steevi and Ace don’t see it this way, and that’s something which we’re all trying to sort out once and for all. A lot of people with vested interests have got a lot to say about this, but ultimately, until there’s a legal ruling on this it’s a pain in the arse for everyone involved – band members, fans, promoters, and the industry in general. I’m sick of talking about this shit. Yeah, it’s fun for people to talk about and post opinions on messageboards, but ultimately, it’s just a stupid situation.
Tigertailz during the Steevi James era 1987!
Do you think they ever heard of Poison before this?
3. Do you think that the Steevi or the Kim era of Tailz could have made a bigger impact if you had moved to the states? It seems that a lot of people thought Hanoi Rocks would’ve beat Gn’R and others to the punch if they had done so, but they stayed. Why didn’t you make that move?
Stevie, you know how hard it is to make an impact in this business. Anyone who joins a rock band just for the money or success is a fuckwit, and I think 99% of rock musicians in the world would agree with me.
I bet a lot of Metal Sludge readers’ favourite bands from aver the years aren’t millionaires by a long way. It’s about the music. It’s more than most people have got.
Tigertailz had more success than I ever dreamt of when I stood in front of the mirror with a tennis racquet miming to the Sweet when I was a kid, so I’ve got no gripes. A lot of shit happened which made our progress in the US difficult, but we’re talking about the Music Industry right? No one said it’s got to be fair, and contrary to what they tell you at school hard work doesn’t always get results. The US is the home of rock n roll, and we’ve spent a lot of time there, but Tigertailz is a Welsh band, and we like where we live.
Sure, if we’d moved to the states we may have been in more industry people’s faces, but, you know what? Fuck it. Lotsa people love G n’ R, lots dig Hanoi. Rock n’ roll isn’t a competition, it’s an attitude. It’s about _expression, music, and thrills. As long as that remains the case kids are going to pick up guitars, whether they expect to get platinum discs for it or not.
Tigertailz during the Kim Hooker early years.
Still glam as fuck, just one less head of bleach!
4. You’re the guy behind the great art for Tigertailz and it seems as if though you’re pretty into it. What’s up with you and art. Do you paint? Draw? Build with clay? Have you ever pumped paint up your ass, stood on a ladder and let it fly? How creative are you, please do tell?
Jesus, never thought I’d be talking about abstract expressionism with metal Sludge, but, in my opinion, the visual side of what Tigertailz does has always been a big part of the package. I’ve always loved to draw stuff, so I used that as part of what we could present as a band. I’ve lost count of the number of Klint tattoos I’ve seen, so I’m happy we made an impression with our tunes AND everything that goes with it.
Also, remember, if you wanna talk about art remember some of those guys were more rock n’ roll than zillions of rock star wannabes. They did their own thing and didn’t give a fuck. You don’t have to like it, but its all about freedom of _expression, whether that’s designing a logo for your rock band, posting your picture on Suicide Girls or pumping paint up your ass and letting it fly.
5. Rate a bassist 1-10. 1 being a joke and 10 being the Love Bomb Baby!
Lemmy Kilmeister = 8 (Born to play that Rick)
Duff McKagan = 7 (The archetypal r n’ r bass player)
Gene Simmons = 8 (musical stuff! With blood!)
Rachel Bolan = 6 (Nothing against Rachel, but he’s in big company)
Nikki Sixx = 7 (He symbolised something more than bass guitar)
Sam Yaffa = 6 (Looked cool back in the day, but again, this is a strong line up)
Chip Z’nuff = 6 (Ditto)
Billy Sheenan = 6 (Fantasic player, not really up my street though)
Bobby Dall = 5 (Poison was always a package to me, so individual members never really grabbed me, but he played a big part in their success, so respect to him)
Pepsi Tate & Jay Pepper w/ swiss cheese axes!
6. What rock star deserves a big smack in the mouth and why?I’d say anybody who isn’t enlightened enough to appreciate that WE DON’T ALL HAVE TO THINK THE FUCKING SAME THING. ABOUT EVERYTHING. A lot of people get off on getting into other people’s shit and telling people what they should and shouldn’t do, should and shouldn’t like. Forget that, that’s for school and the military. When I met my idol, Frank Zappa, he wasn’t taken with my wardrobe and let me know that, which kinda sucked, but you know, smacking people in the mouth isn’t really a creative response you know?
7. Why the fuck does Kim Hooker always have his mouth wide open in every photo? It ain’t just in photos dude. Kim’s got something to say about everything, and is one of the most hilarious people I know. He weirds a lot of people out, but he’s a fascinating creature, and probably the most unique individual I’ve ever met.
8. Of all the bands you’ve ever shared the stage with who were the coolest and who were the biggest dicks? We toured with Lizzy Borden a while back, and had a fucking riot. They took everything we could throw at them and threw it right back. Great guys. When we were supporting we’d often get shafted by the headliners – no room on stage, half of the PA and lights etc etc, but when people try to fuck with you it’s usually ‘cause they feel threatened, so we figured we were doing something right. Sharon Osbourne once got us thrown of an Ozzy tour before it even started. She said something like “Tigertailz will never share a stage with Ozzy”, which makes her a dick, but I think there was some backstory to that, so I’ll reserve judgement ‘til I have a chance to discuss it with her.
Pepsi Tate of Tigertailz live. Who do you think they opened for this gig?
9. Is it true that Tigertailz played the Venice Rock Festival (Aug. ’05) in a football stadium that holds 60,000+ people and only 200 people showed up?Busted! Yeah, basically. It was part of a month long music festival, and they’d built this fucking huge stage, and the site probably could have held about 30,000. There were a few hundred there who went totally mental for the show, but essentially we could’ve taken them all back to the hotel and done the show there. I think the biggest crowd they had for the whole thing was around 800 for Motorhead, so we were in good company. Some you win…
10. Let’s go back the Steevi James era. What was the last straw with him. He was well known to not take shit from anyone, and even though a small chap – would fight a gorilla if he had enough pints. Tell us a crazy Steevi story? Steevi’s his own man. I haven’t spoken to him for years, but back in the day he didn’t hold back. I wouldn’t say there was a final straw with him, so much as me, Ace and Jay agreeing that life would be better for all of us, Steevi included, if we weren’t in a band together. As far as ‘craziest Steevi Jaimz Story’ I think you should ask Kelv Hellraser.
11. Pick your Poison.
London or Cardiff = Both. London’s where it’s at, Cardiff’s where I like being at.
Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso = For the wall: Van Gogh, for the brain: Picasso
Coke or Pepsi = Oops, endorsement endangerment alert… Dr Pepper (Or Pepsi max)
Winger or Warrant = I’ve got to say that ‘Cherry pie’ still sums up a great era for me, so for that alone – Warrant
1986 or 2006 = Right here,Right now
Drawing pictures or Painting pictures = Photoshop, Hi definition Video.
Kid Rock or Eminem = Eminem – a poet.
Lip stick or Eye liner = Eyeliner – mine need the help
Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister = Twisted Sister for one of the greatest shows at Donington I ever saw.
Kerrang Magazine or Classic Rock = I guess Kerrang is still the ultimate rock mag, but I like a bit more in depth coverage nowadays, and I guess Classic Rock are allowed to print slightly longer words.
Pepsi looks nice with his haircut. What a nice boy!
12. What’s your take on those blokes and blokettes in AntiProduct? Are they off their rocker or do they just look like a pack of whackos?I think I saw AntiProduct support Hanoi a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually were as mental as they look, but this is show business, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they all turned out to be brain surgeons.
13. If you could tour with any band in each of these decades who would you choose & why?
the 70s = Zeppelin. You’ve read the book right?
the 80s = Duran Duran. Think of all the girls!
the 90s = NIN. Just to see the show
the new millineum = Goldie Looking Chain. The Hip Hop Darkness.
Pepsi does some modeling with what’s her face (?)
for the UK based Kerrrang magazine!
14. What happened to those other "Original" members of Tigertailz from the 1983/84/85 era?Weird, we met up with an old friend the other night (Kane from Sons of God), and were talking about exactly that. The drummer I formed Tigertailz with – Ian Welch – was spotted in a supermarket recently looking exactly like he did back in 82, complete with Dave lee Roth scarf tied around his leg. (Guitarist) Harling, and (Singer) Jim Dovey we haven’t seen around for ever, and (guitarist) Keith Stewart is now our guitar tech.
15. Name the 3 high points and the 3 low points of your music career to date?
3 high points: Top 40 album (Bezerk), massive queues outside venues on the Bezerk tour, a long conversation about everything with Trent Reznor about ten years ago.
3 low points: I got chronic pancreatitis in 1986 and nearly died. Our record company folding in the early nineties after recording the follow up to Bezerk. Jay leaving the band shortly afterwards.
16. Have you ever…
Saw Jay Pepper with a hard on = of course! You know what the 80s/90s were like. We were all very welcoming to the ladies after our gigs, and not always very discreet
Shot heroin in your own arm = No. Or anybody else’s. My attitude towards drugs has changed a lot since I was a kid. It takes too long to get straight now, so fuck ‘em.
Jacked off in traffic = No, but I know someone who has. He said he had a problem disposing of the evidence
Drove drunk = I guess I must’ve at some point, but I can’t remember an exact occasion. I remember waking up in my car covered in blood one morning
Been jailed in the last ten years = Never been to jail, but recording the Wazbonez album took forever, so it felt like it sometimes
Cried over the band = I love my band, and our humble contribution to music, and sometimes I get a little emotional, but I can’t say I ever cried. Maybe I shed a tear when Bezerk went top 40
Paid for an abortion = Weird question, but the answer’s’ no’. Do I lose points for that?
Met anyone from Def Leppard = I remember meeting them at Colston Hall in Bristol on the Pyromania tour. I was a kid so it’s hazy. By the way, Def Leppard still has the best tunes in rock history
Wanted to choke Steevi James = Steevi stayed at my Mum’s house for a while when he lived in Cardiff. After a few weeks I think we permanently wanted to choke each other.
Been with a transexual = Not knowingly (Oh shit, there goes my rock n’ roll street cred)
Tigertailz all grown up looking like Avenged Sevenfold’s uncles!
17. Any new bands you like. Who is gonna make the next big impression for hard rock or sleaze rock style music in your opinion? Vietnamm. Like Tigertailz but more samples and scarier
18. What was your biggest ever music related check for and what did you buy with it? Probably a few grand, and I bought a load of hi-fi equipment and a patio for my ex-wife.
19. Word Association:
Kim Hooker = legend
Billy Idol = Image
Jay Pepper = Riffage
Kelv Hellrazor = St Moritz
Sebastian Bach = Voice
Steevi James = Capricious
Andy McCoy = Threads
Ginger Wildheart = Dario Argento
Ace Finchum = Snickers
Michael Monroe = icon
Glam level critical! Tigertailz in the tub with suds!
20. The Last of Pepsi tate…
Last time you heard a Tailz song on the radio = Two weeks ago – ‘I Believe’ from the new album, Bezerk 2.0, on Stuart Cable’s rock show.
Last time you broke a bass string live = Years ago. Stopped happening when I started using a pick
Last time you cried = Some movie, probably – A.I.
Last time you spoke to Steevi James = At least fifteen years ago
Last rock star you shook hands with = Jay Pepper
Last fast food you ate = Tomato soup?
Last time you bleached your hair = One month ago (Roots need fixing)
Last time you went to Shades Records = 1987
Last concert you watched from the crowd = slipknot, Cardiff International Arena
Last time you visited Metal Sludge = Today!!!
Find out more about Pepsi’s Tigertailz @ www.tigertailz.co.uk