Kenny Kweens - Beautiful Creatures

August 31, 2005

Tell me a little bit about Beautiful Creatures.

The band was formed in 2000 and we were quickly signed to Warner Brothers. We opened up for KISS and went on the Ozzfest around 2001. We toured into 2002 and that's when we had the shakeup. We were let go by Warner Brothers and we changed labels and we had a member change. We put back all the pieces and this year we put out a new record.

That was that Ashba guy right?

Yeah, DJ was our first guitar player. DJ Ashba.

So you guys have a new guitar player.

Mark Simpson is the new guitar player. He's been in the band Flotsam & Jetsam for the last 10 years. Now he's in Beautiful Creatures.

How did you guys hook up with him?

We'd been trying to find the right guy. We worked with a few different guitarists when we recorded the record. Joe, our singer, lives in Arizona and came across Mark. He said he found this real hot guitar player and we should check him out. We gave him an audition and the guy is amazing. He plays all the leads off the first record to the tee. To the note. It's the same. It was a no brainer. He's a great guy. He's just a laid back, no ego kind of a guy. We just thought this is perfect.

Of course Flotsam & Jetsam is a little bit heavier than you guys.

Yeah, what I like about Mark is he can play anything. He does the Flotsam stuff and he obviously does our stuff really well too. But he can play country or he can do anything. He's a real well-rounded musician so it's cool to have someone who's not stuck in their ways or they don't have broad horizons.

Very versatile.

Yeah, very. Very cool. He's a cool guy. We call him Soda Pop Simpson.

That's really cool. That must mean he's really well loved.

He is. He's a cool guy. He's a really cool guy to work with and some fun.

I guess having come out in 2000, as a matter of fact I remember seeing you guys open for somebody one time at the Canyon Club in the Bronco Bowl in Dallas.

That must have been the Rolling Rock tour with Oleander and Tantric. We toured a lot. We went for a while. We played Texas a lot.

I remember seeing you guys play and I was impressed with the band. It must be really difficult to play that style of music when everything is really, really heavy or real pop like.

At the time, yeah. It wasn't difficult to us because that's what we do. I know what you mean. Some people sit around and go "okay, what's the trend? Okay, that's what we need to do. Limp Bizkit is big and huge right now. Everybody go buy a baseball hat and put it on sideways and wear big baggy jeans and try to rap and put a little rock with it." That's what a lot of people do but this band's never done that sort of thing. It's always been be who you are and believe in who you are. That's what we do and that's how we are. It's not difficult for us at all. We're being ourselves. I understand what you mean though. The climate wasn't exactly great for a rock band at the time. It's a little better now. Now that we've had Velvet Revolver come out and Jet and The Darkness and bands like that. It makes it a lot easier.

I'm glad to see that kind of music coming back into style so to speak because it's a lot more light hearted and party atmosphere type of stuff. A lot of the hard stuff is real doom and gloom. Not that I don't appreciate that stuff but I like a variety of different styles of music.

Yeah, trust me. There's music that came out when we came out that I like. I still like it today. I like all kinds of music. You're right. There are trends and right now that kind of thing is doing well so it's not like we're jumping on a bandwagon. We put a record out back in 2001 that was exactly what's kind of going on right now. That's cool. I don't think it's as back as I think everybody that likes that sort of music, that genre, would like it to be but it's coming.

It's rearing it's beautiful, glammy head there. You guys put out an album in 2001. Why did you wait so long to release your second one?

It really wasn't like we sat around and didn't do anything. There was a lot to put back together and we didn't want to put out just anything. We started recording the record actually a long time ago and went through different producers and studios. It just wasn't coming out the way we wanted it to. We just kept switching producers and studios until finally the guy we were looking for the whole time was in the band. Anthony Focx was the producer on that other record and he did a great job putting it together and back together and making it sound sonically right. That's what basically took the most time. Then also trying to find the right members to do this with.

Was DJ the only one who left the band or did others leave as well?

DJ left the band first. It wasn't just members that had to be replaced. We lost management. We lost everything and all that had to be put back in place. DJ left the band and Glen Sobel, our drummer, left the band. Glen left the band after DJ though. That was just recently. He actually had a problem with his arm and couldn't play for a while so we were forced to get another drummer. Glen's now fine and he's playing again and he's doing well. We wish him all the best. He's absolutely the best drummer I've ever played with but he's doing fine. His health is fine but we had to move on and so did he.

Tell me a little bit about Deuce.

It's a little heavier than the first one. It only has one if you want to call it ballad. There are a couple of slower tempo songs. Heavier songs. I think it really depicts where the band's been over the last two years. We've been to hell and back. You can definitely hear it on this CD. I'm really proud of it. I think it came out cool. It sounds great and I stand behind it.

If someone who isn't familiar with the band were to pick up this CD, which three songs do you think best represent the band?

I think the three songs off of Deuce would be "Anyone", "Freedom", and "Thanks". They're heavy, hard rock. We call it motorcycle rock. It's in your face rock and roll. Lots of attitude.

You guys were doing some radio shows including a Motorcycle Mayhem thing.

Yeah, that was last week. Last Saturday we were up in Fresno and played with the band Lit at the Motorcycle Mayhem. We had a great time. It was very cool. A very fun time. We've done some other motorcycle events before. It's always up our alley. We're the perfect band for that sort of thing.

Who does the majority of the songwriting?

It's all of us. We all contribute to the songwriting. It's not just one person. Whoever has a good idea, whether it be me with a vocal idea or Anthony with a bass line or Joe with a guitar riff or whatever, it comes in from all different ways. It's a group effort.

I was looking at the CD cover. Who designed that?

It was actually me and a guy named Sean Reed did the artwork. Some pretty interesting things throughout. I think one of the most interesting things that people probably don't realize or figure out, if you look underneath the thank yous on the one panel, there's a heartlike design with a dark red spot inside of that. That's actually taken from our first tour. We were on tour I would say maybe a week and we were given this bag of tricks and games and different things. We have some friends in the adult entertainment business and they gave us all kinds of little gadgets and toys and we had a party going on the bus one night. Two girls were being quite adventurous with the road crew and we had this one gadget that would go up inside of a girl and you could look around, kind of like a gyno type thing. Everyone was looking at it and one of the crew grabbed a digital camera and took a picture of what we were seeing and we saved it. We always said that on the second record we were going to put it in the artwork somewhere. Well, that's what that is.

I like that. That's cool. It's definitely different.

It's always a good story to tell. This is a real rock and roll band so every single day there's a party day and night. Girls and crazy stories. We need to write a book. That's what happens everyday.

I'm glad to hear that you guys have fun like that. I was covering the Warped Tour and I was interviewing some of these young kid type of bands and they're all about they don't want girls coming on the bus and getting naked and I actually laughed about that.

That is kind of weird. This thing is true rock and roll to the fullest. When we were on the Ozzfest, our bus driver told us one day that a lot of the other bands were saying to their bus drivers to park next to the Beautiful Creatures bus because they always get all the chicks. Every single day, especially at the Ozzfest, it was an all day event. It started at 10 or 11 in the morning to 11 or 12 at night or sometimes even more after it was all over and we still hung around. It was an all day party and it was just constant people on our bus and we had all the other bands on our bus. The Beautiful Creatures bus was the party.

Well cool, I'll have to remember that. What kind of touring are you guys doing for the CD?

Right now, they're putting together a tour and I'm not sure about the situation on the beginning half of the tour especially seeing that there was a major hurricane in the South this past weekend. The tour is supposed to start for us in Nashville, TN on September 26 and we're going to go out with The Genitorturers. That's going to be pretty wild and it's perfect, isn't it? We're going to go all the way around the States and end up in Florida so it should go for about I'd say five to six weeks. That's if we can do that first leg. That's up in the air right now. We'll see what happens because I know the second date of that tour, the 27th, we were scheduled to be in New Orleans, LA. I don't think that's going to happen which is really sad because I have family and friends. I'm from that area so it's been a wild week for me.

Are they all right?

I know my mother and father are and most of my family are okay. I know some homes, I'd say five or six homes, were lost from my family. I haven't heard from a lot of my friends though. You can't call right now and there's no real communication. I've gotten two cell phones calls when they had a signal and that's it. They were kind of quick so that's all I know right now. It looks really bad down there. My heart goes out to everyone.

It doesn't look like it's going to get any better any time soon.

It's terrible. I love those cities. They're great.

I was there once and I really liked it. I can't imagine not having that place anymore. That sucks.

Hopefully they can rebuild but it's not going to be anything quick.

You can rebuild but you can't bring back what was lost. Some of those buildings have been there for 100 years.

Yeah, New Orleans is an old city and it's always been known that if something like this were to happen, that this would be the result. Luckily, most of the French Quarter was saved but still, you're right. It's going to be a different city. Absolutely. And Biloxi is gone. The beach is gone. There are a few casinos that are still standing. Maybe one or two but not much.

I was stationed at Keesler Air Force base for tech school training when I was in the Air Force and I have no idea if it's still there or not.

I haven't heard much on Keesler. It's two blocks maybe from the beach. It had to have gotten some damage. I don't know how bad though. I've been watching CNN for three days nonstop. I love Biloxi. It's great. A fun city. New Orleans as well. All my memories are from there. I grew up there.

That has to be heartbreaking.

Yeah, it's hard. Especially when you're sitting here and there's nothing you can do.

Any other thoughts or comments?

To be honest I'm a little blown away by what's going on down there and I'm a little under the weather. If we do the first leg, we'll hit Texas.

Beautiful Creatures