We've been around since 1986. I think basically Taime and I got together with a couple of other guys in the beginning and we've just been going. A lot of the other guys that we played with either were kicked out or quit. We've gone through a few different member changes over the years and actually we broke up in I think '93. That's like one of our last shows we played and we had about a seven or eight year haitus period. Actually in '93 we hadn't officially broke up. Everybody went their separate ways. It was sort of an unspoken thing.
Like a permanent vacation?
Yeah, but for eight years. I didn't want the band to break up but we all kind of knew around '93 it was heading that way and we didn't officially break up but we just stopped playing together. Over the years, probably '97 or '98, I had approached Taime a few times about putting the band back together and he wasn't really ready to do it. I guess with just enough people bothering him and then bugging me, we finally agreed that the time was right and we put the band back together. I think 2001 we put the band back together and then we toured that summer and then we also toured this last summer with Poison. When the band actually got back together I was pretty surprised. I never expected that. I really thought it was history. Then when we did get it back together in 2001, I thought "oh, well this is just a one time deal and enjoy it while I can do it. I'm still young enough to go out and tour and have fun. We could go out and make a little bit of money and see all of our fans." It was almost like fan service. A lot of people were just trying to persuade us to play for a long time. I just felt like well, 2001 we'll go out and give the fans what they want. I really thought that would be kind of it. The guys in Poison I guess called and found out we were back together and started calling our agency and saying "we want Faster Pussycat". We weren't really sure we wanted to do it. We wanted to make sure the money was all right. There was a lot of decision before to make sure that we can go out and afford to have a big tour bus because there's certain things, not that I'm saying we're old, but we've been around the block a few times and we don't want to go out without a certain level of comfort. We knew we wanted to have a bus, have a bus driver, and have certain guitar techs. When Poison made the offer, we thought wow. We said okay, let's do it. It'll be fun. It turned out to be really a blast. We started in spring and played through the end of summer into fall and we probably played about 110 shows or something crazy like that. In that four-month period it's quite a bit of shows.
I can imagine. Who are the new guys in the band?
We've got a guy named Chad Stewart on drums and Danny Nordhal on bass guitar and Xristian Simon on rhythm guitar and then of course me and Taime. It's good to have some new fresh blood in the band. Those other guys play with Taime in one of Taime's projects so Taime already knew them. It sort of brought a little bit of a spark back into the band and made so it wasn't just like trying to beat a dead horse. It almost felt like a new band. We have songs we can go out and play, we have some stuff people know, and we have some fans out there already. Going out with Poison, we got to play in front of a lot of people that never got to see us before. It's kind of cool because it sounds like a new band as well because we got new, fresh guys in the band and most of them at least were pretty new to touring. That was their first big tour and it's fun to watch these guys. Me and Taime like I said have been doing it since 1986 and we've been on quite a few big tours so we're sort of like I guess you'd say seasoned old road dogs and then to have some of the new guys out there, it's just kind of fun.
It's like an adventure for them.
Yeah, it's like being on a pirate ship. Once you set sail you're out there stuck on this ship with crazy guys and you can't really go anywhere. That's how I always say it. It's like one day I think people will be writing about our kind of musicians that still go out there and actually really play their songs and write their songs and go out and manage themselves. It's quite interesting I think. I think one day they'll be writing about us sort of like they do now about the old West or pirates. You go out there and there's a lot of crazy stuff that goes on. There's partying, there's drinking, and groupies. I mean all that stuff still happens maybe not as much as it was back in the '80s but it's still pretty crazy out there. At least on our bus it was. Everybody on the Poison tour and all the guys from Cinderella, when they wanted to come party, they'd always come to the Faster Pussycat bus. We had a big pirate flag in the front windshield and our bus was black. It was the only black bus out there. There are no rules on our bus and basically it was like a club atmosphere every night after the show on our bus. Loud music going. I couldn't even sleep sometimes. I was tired and I'd be in my bunk trying to sleep and there was music in the back lounge and music in the front lounge. It was nuts and you get to a point where you can't sleep so the only thing you can do is go join it. You crack open a beer and you just sit up there and you watch these people go crazy. A lot of these people, I'm talking about the fans too, get up on the bus and it could be a Wednesday night in Toledo, Ohio and I'm telling you these people go nuts. It's a little hard sometimes. If you can imagine having a party in your house every night when you're tired and you want to sleep and they're not even your friends. They're just strangers.
I was in the Air Force for four years and that's kind of what Air Force life is like.
Right, yeah. That's what I said too. Going out on tour, it's almost like being in a submarine as well. You're in a confined space with a group of guys or a crew of people that you're working with and it's crowded. You're just like "wow." You're stuck there and you can't really go anywhere. You've kind of got a job to do and it's not just like a job that you can go to and then go home and kind of rest and wake up the next morning. It's a 24-hour job. You get on that bus and you're living it. If you want to sleep and it's two in the morning and all the other band guys are up and the music's playing, you really can't do nothing. It's a four-month job. It's like a tour of duty. You compared it like being in the service.
What do you need to sleep for anyway?
Yeah, I'm glad I'm still young. Faster Pussycat ended and I was like 25 or something when it ended. I was like "well, what am I going to do with my life?" I was young enough that I could go out and I got jobs and played with other bands. I got to tour with L. A. Guns in 2000 right before Faster Pussycat got back together. I've been able to do okay. Back when I did do well with Faster I was able to purchase a house. A modest house and do okay for myself. Now that I'm back doing the music again, it's actually pretty much full time. I don't have to work on a 9 to 5 job. I'm doing music again pretty much full time. It's pretty nice and it's surprising. If somebody would have told me this six or seven years ago, I would have said no way.
You were pretty young when you first joined the band anyway.
Yeah, they came to my high school graduation. Yeah, I was in the band before I even graduated high school. I can remember I have pictures of Taime and a couple of the other band members at my high graduation. Yeah, I was pretty lucky. I graduated high school and moved out to Hollywood. When I say moved out, I lived in the suburbs of L. A., probably 45 minutes outside of L. A. Not that far but when you're a kid it seems a lot farther when you don't have a car. 45 minutes is like another world away. So I moved out to Hollywood and basically starved for about four or five months and then we got signed.
Hollywood is an interesting place. I've been there.
Oh, yeah. Luckily Iím about 45 minutes outside of L. A. I'm basically an L. A. native so I was lucky to have at least family if times got really tough. There were times when I was out in Hollywood and I had to sleep on a bus bench because I didn't have a place to sleep or hooking up with some girl in a club or something. "Hey can you buy me a hamburger" or "can I crash at your house tonight?"
"Can I sleep on your couch?"
Oh yeah. Actually I had one friend that was this girl and she had rich parents and she lived in Century City. I slept in her closet. Her closet was so huge I slept in her closet. She had a big pent house at the top of this building in Century City so it was like her own apartment and yeah, I remember sleeping in her closet.
Hey, better than sleeping outside. So what did all you guys do while you were split up?
Yeah. Gosh, I worked at Starbucks for about three months and the guys from Warrant came in. I was like "well do I go make their cafť lattes or do I hide in the back?" Because I was a little embarrassed. Kind of like Warrant was still together and Faster was broken up and we were both L. A. bands in the same kind of thing, basically the same kind of scene, from that late '80s L. A. big rock scene. Iím sitting there working at Starbucks and I cut my hair off. These guys come in and I'm thinking "do I hide in the back or do I go make their cafť lattes?" So I said "screw it. These guys are going to be probably working here or somewhere like this within a year or so." I went out and just made their cafť lattes and when they saw me they looked a little shocked but I thought to myself hey, I have a house. I have a car. I need to make money and there's no shame in going out and doing what you have to do to take care of yourself. When I was in Faster Pussycat I bought my house and that was the one thing I did with my money and I wasn't about to lose it. It was sort of my trophy. The one thing I had to show for all those years in Faster Pussycat was my house so I did a lot of stuff. I worked construction and I did the Starbucks thing until I couldn't bear that anymore. Then I was a production assistant on movies.
That sounds cool.
Yeah, that was really good and for once I was like "wow, I can get out of the Starbucks thing." I liked it for a while but after three months of that Starbucks I was dying to get out of there. Yeah, being in the movie business, it was great because I got to see how the movies were being made and I got be around a lot of creative people and it also paid pretty well. For me at least. I was like "wow, this pays. I can make $200 a week working part time at Starbucks or I can make $500 a week and get fed free lunch and look at movie stars. So yeah, I started working on different movies and then I went to a production company actually and started working full time at a production company. I was like an in house basically production assistant or even a runner. I'd use my car a lot and I'd just go do errands all day. I really loved that actually because I didn't have a boss looking over my shoulder. I could be out in my vehicle listening to tapes and at that time I was studying Japanese so I listened to Japanese tapes all day long and learned Japanese in three years. So that was nice. While I was working there I started working on commercial shoots and when I'd go on the commercial shoots I'd take a couple of days off. The commercials would come and they would set up inside the company. Preproduction and getting ready to shoot the commercials. They'd do all this stuff inside our company and they'd go out on location to go shoot the commercials. If it was on the weekend, I'd go out and just work extra days. Go out on the weekend and make a little extra money. If I worked on weekdays, the people at that company were so cool. They were really supportive. I said "hey I want to go out and work on this Honda commercial that you guys got going" or "I want to work on this Coca-Cola commercial" and they're like "cool, yeah go for it." I started doing that and then I started hanging out with the camera crews and I learned how to do all the camera stuff. I actually started working on the camera crews which was really cool because it's like "wow, that's what I want to do. I want to start working on the camera crews." I started reading books and I started going to the camera houses and when I'd work on the commercials, I started driving the trucks and picking up all the camera equipment. When I'd go to the camera rental houses, I'd start working on these cameras and learning how to put the film in and doing all the stuff. One time some people needed a film loader and I said I can do it. I knew how to do it because I practiced only a couple times but I'd done it at a camera house and I practiced like maybe 10 different times. They go "have you ever done it before?" I go "oh yeah, I've done it. I've done it 10 times." It wasn't really exactly a lie but when I said 10 times they thought I'd actually worked on 10 commercials doing it. I only actually put the film in the camera maybe 10 times. A lot of times most people, especially in the music industry or in the entertainment industry, a lot of times you only have one or two chances and when somebody says "can you do it?" I usually say yeah and if I have to, I go take a quick lesson somewhere. But yeah, I really think if you want to do something, no matter what, I always believe now that if you really want to do something you can do it because so far in my life I've been really lucky. When everybody said "you can't be a rock star" or "you can't make it in the music business", I went out and proved them wrong. When people said "oh Japanese is the hardest language to learn", I went out and learned that in three years. In that time I also learned how to do camera and did all kinds of stuff. I even learned how to fix a cappuccino machine. How to make the best cafť lattes in the world. I was proud of it too. I mean when I did work at Starbucks I took pride in my work and I think that's the most important thing. Any type of position you find yourself in, in life, you can learn something. I've been really lucky and from doing the camera stuff I fell back into music, met Phil Lewis from L. A. Guns, and since then I've been just doing music. Since like 1999 or '98 it's been pretty much music. So many things have happened. I've learned so many things and do stuff online with the website. Life is fairly good to me. I've been really lucky and I've had really lots of ups and downs but things have been really good.
That's what life's all about.
Yeah, it's very interesting at least.
Yeah, definitely. You have Japanese and Korean sites I've noticed. It seems like Korea is the next music mecca because a lot of bands going that way. Have you guys gone over there?
Not yet. My wife is Korean. She lives here now but she's from Korea and when she lived in Korea, she worked at MCA record company and I think after the record company she worked at one of the biggest Korean rock magazines and she's a writer for the magazine. She does interviews actually which is funny and she hasn't worked there for that magazine for about maybe I guess six years since she's been here in America and the other day they called her up and now she's working there again. She's doing interviews here now in the States and when they need somebody, they call somebody like whoever it is, Toto or somebody, she gets on the phone and does the interview. So yeah, she helps with the Korean site and she does a lot of the stuff on the fasterpussycat.com. I just got married actually last spring so lots of changes in my life but everything's been really good.
So have you learned Korean yet?
Not yet. That's my next thing though. I learned Japanese and I was really interested in Japan for a long time because Faster Pussycat toured there so much and actually I've been there probably 10 times now to Japan. It's funny because I always thought well, maybe I'll end up marrying a Japanese girl because I had a bunch of Japanese girlfriends and I knew how to speak Japanese and I had Japanese roommates and I'd been to Japan. It wasn't that I preferred them or anything. It was just the fact that I was around Japanese people so much. I was meeting more Japanese girls and it's funny that my wife ended up being Korean. It was really funny. I was just like oh okay, well if I would have known I would have studied Korean probably. Some things about the two languages are similar so actually I can understand a little bit of Korean now and speak a few words.
I think you'll probably get that down pretty good.
Yeah, if I study. The music thing's been so busy. I'd love to go back to school and I'm really into that. Always challenging myself and learning something totally new. I'm sort of obssessive about stuff. If I want to learn something, I get totally into it and then I'm kind of done with it.
That was that. What's the next thing?
I got really into computers for a while because somebody hacked into my computer. I was studying Internet stuff and networking and how to protect myself. I was thinking of going back to school to do some computer stuff but the music thing fortunately has been keeping me very busy. At least this last summer I went out May, June, July, August, and a little bit of September. Even now we've got some shows booked I think back east and stuff and we were just down in Texas maybe a couple of weeks ago.
It was like a few weeks back you guys were in Dallas.
Yeah. I'm always into something new but the music thingÖI've been really fortunate because I love it and I've been able to do it. It's paying the bills so it's been nice.
That's always a good thing. The Poison tour is totally over now.
Yeah, but it was great. It was a really good opportunity for us to basically go out and let people hear the name Faster Pussycat and say "wow, this band's still together. Maybe I remember them, maybe I don't" or "hey, I saw them before. Let's go see them again" or "you know what? I've never seen them. Let's go see them." It was a really good way to just get out band into people's minds again. Especially on a big tour like that, really it just helps the band and if we ever want to do anything in the future it's just a lot easier now that we got that exposure. Even our website, the members on there, while we were on the Poison tour we had buy more space basically from our internet provider because we have so many members and there was so much traffic going that we exceeded the bandwidth and we had to buy it. A couple times we went over and we had to call them up and go "hey, our site's down. What's the deal?" Yeah, it really helped a lot and it's a real good thing. The other project I have coming up, I'm going to play some shows with L. A. Guns. A couple of shows Iím going to fill in one of the guys and I'm going to do a few more Faster Pussycat stuff just before this year ends. A couple of stuff on the East Coast and Iím also working on a book. Just like a biography of my life. Some people say "well are you famous enough to write a book?" It's just basically my story because I've had so many ups and downs. It's a collection basically of stories and there's a lot of fun stories in there.
If you keep it entertaining.
Yeah, it's got a lot of crazy Faster Pussycat stories but it's good too because it's going to be a little bit of a history of Faster Pussycat as well as my life because Faster Pussycat was a large part of my life of course.
What was it like touring with Alice Cooper back in '86 and '87?
Oh, it was great. He's an awesome guy. Alice basically picked us to go out with him. He had heard our record and saw our image at that time. Alice Cooper basically in a lot of ways was similar to Faster Pussycat, basically a rock and roll glam thing and a lot of the same roots. I learned how to play guitar playing to a lot of the Alice Cooper stuff so I was thrilled that he kind of said "this band is cool. Faster Pussycat rocks. They're glam and it's kind of a new thing going on in L. A." He hand picked us and we were thrilled because he was a huge hero of ours and also he's a great role model too because he had got out of drugs and really had his life together where he was really leading a happy life. And able to still do rock and roll, go out on tour, and make some money. Going out on that was just awesome. We went to Alaska and played in Anchorage, Alaska with him and I remember the plane flight back, we were flying into Billings, Montana or somewhere way up north and there was so much fog that we almost crashed into the mountains. I almost died on the plane with Alice Cooper. They overshot the runway and we were heading into the mountains and when the fog lifted, I swear we were 100 yards from the top of the pine trees and we were going into them. This is a big jet and we're totally separated from the pilot because both bands' equipment was in the middle and the bands and a stewardess is on the back of the plane. The whole middle section is closed off so we can't even walk through it. We're separated. The whole middle of the plane just had all of our stage stuff and equipment and everything. The plane is probably over weight which is a major problem. There's ice on the wings. I don't think they deiced it properly and here we are flying into the side of a mountain. I never thought those jets had this much power but the pilot pulled back on that plane and gave it all the power he had and it felt like I was on the space shuttle. Like on a rocket ship. He went back up and we were all screaming. Alice Cooper was screaming. Oh boy, we got back up out of this fog and he looked back down and it looked just like a pillow. You couldn't see anything. You couldn't see, it was so thick and he goes "well, we're going to blah, blah, blah. We're going to circle around a few times and try to go back down through this fog" and we went "the hell you are. You are going to go to a different airport." We were screaming. This poor stewardess was back there with two rock bands. She's trying to serve us our drinks. Stuff's flying around and all the turbulence. Here we almost flew in the side of a mountain. We've already got a bunch of guys in the back there that are drinking because they're too scared to fly in the first place, let alone we just saw the top of the pine trees and the wings almost practically touched them basically. We were on that little intercom with the pilot and we said "we donít' care what you did. We chartered this plane. You fly us to a different airport." After about 15 minutes of yelling through the phone and at this poor stewardess and whatever we could do, we convinced the pilot to reroute the plane to another airport and we ended up flying into farmsville. It wasn't a dirt runway but it almost should have been. It was like a farm filled runway. We flew into that and we were like a day or two outside now of our next gig because we flew into a dirt city and our buses had to drive overtime to come pick us up. It was crazy so there was a lot of crazy memories like that with Alice Cooper. One of our first tours and it's funny because we had a really hard time going over. I guess here we are, these 20 year old guys out there with makeup on, and most of the Alice Cooper fans didn't really get us. I would say at least the more vocal fans because we would get booed every night. We'd get stuff thrown at us. Even Alice would come out and said "hey, I personally picked Faster Pussycat. Give them a break. These guys rock. Give them a chance. I wear makeup too." It didnít matter but at the same time it made us a really strong band. We never left the stage. We stood on the stage and we finished our set every night. People threw stuff at me. One time I got hit in the head with something. I got hit in the forehead and my forehead started bleeding on stage. Towards the end of the tour, we started learning okay, we can be a little tougher. We can play a little harder. We can stay up here and we got better. We started halfway winning over a percentage of the audiences. Some nights it wasn't so bad. We're like "well hey, there's actually a few people out there that like us." After that tour was over, we came back and took a break and then we went back out with David Lee Roth, I think was the next thing. By that time we toured so much and worked so much and did so many in-stores and so many interviews that people said "well, these guys aren't going away and we better take another listen." By the time we went out with David Lee Roth was the next tour, I think people started giving us a chance and we just got better. I think we'd learned to work the audience better and at the same time people started knowing the name Faster Pussycat.
I don't understand that. I've been to so many shows and I see people throwing shit at people on the stage and I'm like "that's what you pay $20 bucks for so that you can throw shit at people? What the hell is that?"
Oh yeah, it's crazy. It's really crazy but it got better though. It really did. Once we came back from all that first year of touring, we came back and we said "well, we've sold 350,000 records. For making a record for $30,000, we definitely made all the record company their money back, we made a little bit of money, and we sold 350,000 records. Let's go ahead and make a second record." We went in and made the second record and by this time we'd been playing a year straight. We were great. We got a lot better. Maybe not great yet but we got a lot better as players. A lot better as songwriters because we were competing with Guns 'N Roses who had I think one of the best albums in the world in history, is Appetite For Destruction. We were competing with that and we said let's go ahead and make a kickass second record. We went in and we had a hit like "House Of Pain". A lot of bands have kind of dumb love song ballads. This was a song about Taime growing up with his dad not being around. This wasn't just a typical you're a million miles away sweet, sappy love song. This a song that's saying "I'm grown up without my dad being around and here's the deal." It was really real so a lot of people could relate with that and we were really lucky. We got the Motley Crue tour that year and we got our video #1 on MTV. By that time we were on top of the world. We really were doing well. We came back off touring that tour with being able to tour with KISS and Whitesnake and Motley Crue. We were doing really good. Probably after that album we probably hit our peak. We came back home to L. A. and it was really weird because we came back home sort of rock stars. We left like popular local musicians and we came back like "wow, you guys are that band on MTV." It was a pretty neat feeling, going into clubs where we walked in and me and the other guitar player at the time, Greg, we'd walk into a rock club when we came back from touring and we were just like oh my God, look at everybody just giving us anything we wanted. Anything. Drinks on the house, guys wanting to talk to us, girls wanting to talk to us. It was a funny feeling. I was always lucky though. I always knew "yeah, this is just because I'm in Faster Pussycat." I never believed the whole fake bullshit about it. At the time I was like "well yeah, I could have any girl inside this club. That's just because they all know who I am and they're all rock fans." It wasn't like I actually believed I'm a better person or somehow better looking than I was a couple of years previous. I always kept a pretty level head and I enjoyed a lot of the famed. Don't get me wrong. I indulged in a lot of the things that were going on at the time but at the same time I always knew who I was. Iím this guy at home. If these people could see me at home in my boxers with my messy hair and my five 'o clock shadow taking out the garbage.
They wouldn't get so excited.
Yeah, picking my nose. These people got a certain image of you. "Oh wow, this guy is so cool. He's perfect." It's like come on. If you've seen me when I haven't brushed my teeth. I always knew there's two different Brent Muscats. There's the Brent Muscat that everybody thinks they know and then there's the real Brent Muscat at home that if they really did see me. I'm not saying that I'm a bad guy. I like the Brent Muscat at home. I like both Brent Muscats but the one who is more real. The one that goes on stage is more of an act. You have to be an actor a bit.
When the show's over with, you have to be all smiles because if you get pissed off about something everybody thinks you're an asshole.
Right. On the Poison tour a funny thing happened. We had parties every night on our bus but some nights on the Poison tour I'd want to get off the bus and I'd just go out and watch Poison. Or some nights I'd just go out in the crowd on the side and I'd hang out sort of incognito. Not too many people would recognize me sometimes. Sometimes I could go out there and nobody would bother me but once one or two people started recognizing me, pretty soon I'd get mobbed. Two or three people would talk to me and I'd talk to them but once three or four came up and people would start going "oh my God, it's Brent" then I'd usually run backstage. I don't want anything to get kind of dangerous but I was talking to a couple of girls in the audience and I was drinking a beer and it was summertime. I'm happy to be out there with Poison and these girls were big fans and I'm talking to them and this guy comes up to me and the first thing he does is he gets into my face. He gets into my personal space and he starts talking to me right into my face. He's not completely drunk.
But he has that horrible breath that people get when they had too much beer.
Right, he's got the beer breath going. He's asking me questions and it's always a bad sign when the first time they come up to you and say "I don't want to sound like a dumbass but can I ask you a dumb question?" or they start this thing, "well, listen, I donít want to piss you off but can I ask you a personal question?" To me that's always a bad sign. If you're going to piss me off or if you're going to ask a dumb question, don't ask it. I didn't mean to be rude. Most of the time I'm really nice but if they find me on the one day of the month, I think guys have a cycle like women do. I really do believe that. Guys get pissy too. They go through cycles and they get emotional and they get irritable. Everybody has mood swings. If they catch me on a bad day, maybe I fought with Taime, but this guy just must have caught me on the wrong day. Usually I'd say "oh go ahead, ask me the question" but I might have said to him this day "well if you're going to ask a dumb question, maybe you shouldn't ask it." Or "can I ask you a question?" "No, you can't." Half of it's joking but I remember talking to this guy and I tried to talk to him. I answered a few of his questions but I was obviously more interested in talking to the girls and I think that's a natural thing. I'm a guy.
Iím heterosexual. I'm out there on the road. It's a long time. I'm not kissing the girls or nothing but Iím enjoying the conversation with the two young ladies and they were interesting and they were laughing. They weren't drunk and they weren't getting into my space. The guy came and they don't think. They don't think hey, I'm talking to someone. They just come in and butt in. It was really funny because I can remember talking to the guy and I can remember at one point, the guy was kind of bugging me because he was in my space, and at one point I just kind of turned around and walked away from him. I don't know the guy so do I have to say "oh, well goodbye now?" At one point I walked away from the guy but I can remember a day or too later he got onto our website and just bashed me. His title was "Fuck You Brent Muscat" or "Fuck You Mr. Muscat" and how much of an asshole I was how and how oh my God, how could I do that to a fan. How could I be more interested in talking to a couple of girls than a true fan.
I've had people tell me that being a female, I'm not really as much of a fan as a guy is.
Yeah, and that's kind of BS. How does this guy know how big of a fan the ladies were? How does he know. I was just like you know what, you can't win or lose so sometimes if somebody catches you at the wrong time you're going to be the bad guy. Especially when there's 365 days out of the year, there's going to be one day you can't always be nice. I can remember in Canada I was sitting on my bus, sitting in the front lounge. I had just got done playing and I'm exhausted. I'm really tired and I really just didn't want to hang out with anybody. People come up onto the bus and you can't really say get out of here. You try to be accommodating, "hey, do you want a beer?" I wasn't really into talking to anybody and here you go again. You got another drunk guy "can I ask you a dumb question?" But it wasn't a southern accent, it was one of the Canadian accents. I was like "nah, you can't." I got to the point where that was kind of my joke. I go "nah, I'm just teasing. Go ahead." You get to a point where it's like "ask me a smart question." I don't know.
I saw you in Dallas talking with a fan at the show and you seemed awfully sweet. People have to be assholes sometimes.
Yeah, it's hard for us also too because we don't have a manager right now. We don't have a major record company. We're really lucky that we have Julie that helps us out with publicity. I'm really lucky I have my wife that does the website stuff. We have people that help us. We're really lucky but we don't have a lot of people that helps us. We don't have the hands on like managers and the big booking agents and the accountants and all the stuff that we used to have. Now we're really kind of disorganized. It's hard when we're just doing it ourselves. We're trying to go out there and play a show every night so a lot of times it's really hard to organize stuff and try to do the meet and greets and all the fan stuff and the radio and sometimes we end up looking like the bad guy. Sometimes we get misunderstood I think. When we had a manager we had a really good professional manager that would schedule stuff and everything was like "yeah, you're going to do it this time and don't be late." If they had to, they'd even come to your hotel and knock on the door. Always hold you by your hand. We're lucky that we can do it so Iím very appreciative that we can even do it.
You guys were dropped from Elektra Records when you were on tour with KISS in '92. How is it possible to drop a band from a label during a tour and what happens when you get dropped like that because it seems like really bad business ethics.
It is bad. That's a good question. I was asking the same question. How can you drop our band when we're out on a major tour? I was young and naÔve. I thought we were going to be Aerosmith or the Rolling Stones. We're going to go on forever. When I thought "wait, we're dropped" it's like "wait, why?" Our first album sold 350,000, our second album sold 550,000, our third album just came out. They're saying that it's supposed to sell 1,000,000. Give us a chance to sell it. Let us finish the tour at least and see what happens. Maybe see if a single takes off or something but from what I understand, some inside sources have told me that Elektra never really liked some of their rock bands like Motley Crue or Faster Pussycat. The guy who owned the record company is basically just into a totally different thing. He was into his Anita Bakers and his Tracy Chapmans and 10,000 Maniacs and The Cure. Those were his pride of Elektra. As far as Motley Crue or Metallica or Faster Pussycat, Metallica and Motley Crue were selling more than some of these other bands and he couldn't stand them because he was a sort of New York kind of savvy upper-class from the nice upper East side of New York. He'd go to these fancy parties, "well I've got this band." From what I understand, from day one we were always really close to be being dropped and we were really lucky and there were people behind us. Luckily we had a good manager. Then we had some people that said "hey listen, these guys are out there working every day of the year. They're touring with these bands and they're doing every record store interview. They're doing everything." At one point when all the guys in my band got sick and the drummer arrested for shipping heroin to himself which is a real smart move, but at that point I was doing everything because all the other guys were stressed out and got sick and Mark was gone. We had to find a new drummer. It's in the middle of winter and we're up in Minneapolis, MN where there's snow everywhere and I'm out by myself doing everything. Oh an in-store? I'll go out and sign autographs. Oh a radio station too? I'll do both of them. I'm going to keep going. I'm going to hold this together. I'm going to hold this band together. It was good because we ended up at a point where we had people behind us saying "most of the guys aren't doing drugs. Most of the guys are hard workers. Give them a chance." By the time the third record came out, there were a lot of things going against us. Number one being the economy at the time and number two the Gulf War, number three Nirvana. When Nirvana came out it was like oh boy. L. A. what? L. A. who? It was all about Seattle and MTV too. MTV was like "this is not cool anymore. This is what's cool. Blue is the new pink." It was like this is not cool anymore. So at that time we were basically a bag of Doritos to the record company. We were nacho cheese Doritos but they weren't interested anymore. They had cool ranch flavor and they're going to market cool ranch. Not only are they going to market cool ranch but they're going to tell MTV. No, actually MTV was calling a lot of the shots. MTV's like "cool ranch is the new flavor. It doesn't matter that everybody likes nacho cheese Doritos. Do we care what you guys want? No, this is what's in." They still do that. They brainwash people half the time. "Oh wow this band is really good. N'Sync." Yeah, well none of them like their own songs and they look like they should be working on my car. The older guy looks like he should be working on my carpeting. This is a band teenage girls are supposed to like. Not just N'Sync but the Backstreet Boys. Look at these guys. Is there one good looking guy in the band? It just goes to show that MTV and VH-1 can brainwash people to actually thinkÖthese guys are older than me. It's sick and they're marketing them to teenage girls.
Well now the style is wearing pants where your crotch hangs down to your knees and shaving your head. I like guys in tight pants with hair.
Right. It's funny. I was real disappointed. Here I am young and we made our best record I thought and we were ready to be out there. All of a sudden we're not a band anymore. We're not humans that have lives. They didn't care. We're a product to them. We're a number. It doesn't matter we still have fans. It doesn't matter that we come back to L. A. and sell out the Hollywood Palladium two nights in a row but we don't have a record label. To me it didn't make sense. It's like "what is it? What's wrong?" We came back home after being dropped and we sold out the Hollywood Palladium and I'm like how can they drop us? It doesn't make sense and I actually had a nervous breakdown. I freaked out because here I am playing a hometown show and we still have fans. Everybody was backstage talking to me and being my friend but at the same time I'm out of it. What am I going to do now? I've spent seven or eight years of my life doing this and I'm thinking it's over because some suit at a record company who's never heard our records decides we're not cool. It was really disappointing. I was really disillusioned and I think everybody in the band was disillusioned.
Did you get to finish the tour with KISS?
No, KISS wasn't cool either. You'd think that there's camaraderie in rock and roll. KISS is going to keep us on tour. As soon as they heard that we were dropped, they were like "see ya." I was really disappointed. KISS? They try to be all rock and "we're from rock." Bullshit. There were times really where I didn't feel like killing myself. I felt like going up to Elektra and killing someone but that passed. I'm a pretty sane person and luckily I didn't turn into a sniper that's out there now. Other people in higher positions just have this control over your life. It's pretty amazing and to realize that you're just like "wow." We tried to keep the band together but eventually I think that the morale was down so much that everybody basically came back home and we did a little touring on our own, made decent money, and could have kept going. Everybody's heads were in different places and everybody wanted to do something different. We've been through a lot. You fall into that thing where you start getting brainwashed yourself. Well, we're not Nirvana and how can we compete against that band? It was pretty hard. After it was over I'm like "well what do I do now? Damn I could have went to college. I didn't have to be in a band. I could have done this. I could have done that." I was thinking of joining the Air Force when I was in high school. I could have been a pilot. I could have worked with animals. I could have done something else but I did this and now it's over. Well, all right. So I did construction for a while. They said you have three weeks in the type of construction I was doing to prove yourself. I ended up doing it for three months. That was crazy. Manual labor and get paid more money. I was getting sunburned because I was working outdoors on houses. I was even beginning to pound nails. I was just picking up piles of wood all day long and I'd come and I'd have splinters of wood inside my arms. Even a couple of months after I quit there was still wood coming out of my arms.
Brent's a wood man. They started calling you Pinnochio.
Yeah, coming out of my body. Wood and stuff. Pretty interesting stuff happened to me.
You seemed to have fared well.
Yeah, I can say I'm pretty happy. I've had my ups and downs. It's been like a roller coaster but I've enjoyed it too.
Your last album was Between The Valley Of The Ultra Pussy.
If you can say that. That's really Taime. I don't know even what you'd call that.
People say it's techno.
It's techno but it's really not a Faster Pussycat record. First of all, there's no new songs really on there. It's all the old songs remixed.
To be techno.
Yeah, to be techno which is kind of dumb. If it's fine rock and roll, why do you want to change it? I always tell people when they ask me, I say save your money. That's just my opinion. I'm allowed to have my opinion. I don't think it's totally awful but it's not something that I think is going to go down in history as being The Beatle's White Album or anything. I tell people, I say "listen, if you're going to say you don't like it, don't tell me about it because I had nothing to do with it." I was kind of angry about it. At first it was going to be made without me knowing and then I got all mad about that and I said "well, you guys can make it but if it's going to be a Faster Pussycat record I want to get my share of the money of course." Because I've been in Faster Pussycat from the beginning to the end and I still think it's like a company and I'm a partner. If you're going to make money, give me a little bit. I wanted to be involved in the record. I think it would have been better if I was involved actually but one thing about Taime is that he likes to take control of everything. He wanted to deal with that and I was like "you know what? Pay me my money. If you want me to work on it, I'm here. I'd love to work on it." I called him a few times but it was like he was just into doing it himself so I was like fine. You do it then. I don't have to do any work, fine. It was great because at the same time, if somebody doesn't like it now, I can say "hey, go tell him about it because I wouldn't have made that record myself." I'm hoping now that we make a new Faster Pussycat record that's actually a rock record where there's real guitars and there's a real drummer playing. There's actual real songs that have choruses.
When can we expect something like that?
I'm hoping by next year before we go out in the summertime. Then again I go back to the point where we don't have a manager or a major label that are giving us the money so it's harder now to organize it and actually do it. I'm still hopeful and faithful that it will come out but the main thing I'm trying to do is finish my book. Whether the Faster Pussycat record comes out or not, I'm going to do a solo CD and my book. I hope the Faster thing comes out. We're going to have to see. Last time I was kind of fine without me being involved but I don't know if I'm going to let that happen again. Don't call it Faster Pussycat unless it's Faster Pussycat. It's like going to McDonald's and they try to give you Taco Bell. You go to a fancy restaurant and they're using a fancy name and they give you something totally different. I don't think it's fair to the fans or fair to anybody. But it's fun for me to go on tour and they come up to me and complain about that record and I say "listen, I wish you would have talked to me before you bought it. I would have told you to save your money on that one." I would tell them what's good. There's a lot of good stuff that we have. We had a greatest hits album that was actually pretty good that had everything that anybody needed. We were selling that pretty cheap on tour. That was actually a good bargain and I even said buy some shirts. You're way better off buying this one CD that has everything that you need and a shirt. You're way better off. I even told people to go to fasterpussycat.com and check out something we got on that.
You guys got to hang out with the guitarist from the New York Dolls, Sylvain Sylvain.
Yeah, that was great. We got to do that while we were out with Poison. Sylvain Sylvain actually signed my guitar I had since high school so when I came back through L. A. on that tour I retired that guitar. I said that's it. This guitar is going away. I've got his signature and that's it. I'm keeping that now. It's one of my treasures. I'm hoping in the next year or two to save my money and buy another house. Get one that's bigger so where I can have a little bit of almost like a music rock museum in there. A miniature like when you go into the Hard Rock or one of those types of places where you see guitars on the wall. I'm going to hang up a lot of my stuff.
I was noticing your outfits on your website. Everybody's making a big deal out of that so what's that all about?
Well, that was the whole point I guess for people to talk. We were kind of like well, we're going to go out on a tour with Poison, Cinderella, and actually Winger was on the first half of it. How are we going to be different. How are we going to go out. We're going to be the first band on in the daytime and we got no lights. We have half of the fans that the other bands have and half of the space. What can we do. We're not allowed to use any smoke machines. We can't use any lights. We can't have any pyrotechnics. We're really limited and we're going on at six or seven every night so what are we going to do. Well, Taime had the bright idea. Let's do an outfit that's very dark and that looks offensive without being offensive. Well, that's going to be hard to do. I go "I'm not going to wear a swastika. I won't do it." He goes "no, I would never make you wear a swastika." He goes "but what if we had suits made that were very ominous, that looked like SS uniforms a bit?" I go "well, it wouldn't be that bad I guess. There's not going to be a swastika right?" He goes "no. There's not going to be a swastika. We'll make them black and we'll make them theatrical too. Yours will be leather and mine will be patent leather." I go "oh, okay, sounds like you're on to something." So we all agreed let's have Taime in a shiny suit. If somebody gives us stuff for looking like a Nazi, well we don't have any swastikas, we're not racist, and what Nazi did you ever see wearing patent leather. Like plastic, vinyl, and wearing makeup. So okay, let's do this and we'll have a laugh. We're not on a major label so we don't really have any managers or major labels that are going to say "you guys can't do that because you'll be kicked off Elektra." So we thought we'll be a little offensive and if somebody is going to overreact and not really take the time to ask us about it and just to react, that's great. People are going to talk about it and actually it worked. We came out with those things on the Poison tour and the guys in Poison's jaws dropped. It was funny because it was like okay, a lot of the people out there were Jewish and most of the Jewish people that we were working with liked it the best. They got the humor. C. C. Deville for instance is Jewish in Poison and he loved it. "Oh my God, you guys are so brilliant. Oh my God, the dark feathered wings that Taime wears." Taime wears these dark angel feather black wings during "House Of Pain" and C. C. would come out "oh you guys are brilliant. I love it. I get it you guys." A couple of guys in Winger were actually really offended. They were really pissed off. One of the guys was really hurt and took it bad. I just said "our bus driver is black. My wife is Korean. We're not racist. The guy that is co-writing my book with me is Jewish. Our publicist is Jewish. Come on. This is just theatrical. If you ever saw Star Wars, you're going to get mad at George Lucas because Darth Vader's costume was patterned after the SS?" They basically did. The helmet and everything is like a German helmet. I just said "look, if you see a swastika anywhere, okay maybe." I admit. It was close enough to be offensive looking but it was a little borderline. I think it was okay because it was after 9/11 and maybe people needed to think about what it really meant to be really racist and what it meant to still have our basic freedom of speech in America. I think it was a culmination of everything. At first I was really skeptical of it and I think it ended up working out really well because it caused a lot of talk. Everybody in Poison eventually got it right away. Some of the crew people didn't like it but sometimes you can't convince people all the time with stuff like that. The only thing we did in some interviews is we tried to say to people "hey, you know what, this is the reason why, this is the reason why. It's theatrical. It's shock value." It's pretty easy. So many other people like Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson have done the same type of thing. At the same time, if Hitler could see us he'd probably roll over in his grave. We'd be the first people he would shoot. We're Americans. We're just expressing our freedom of speech and we're not really saying much. It's not like we have any message really. We're just saying we have the freedom to look weird.
People should have the right to express their weirdness.
Right and they might not agree with it but I was trying to make sure to let people know that nobody is condoning anything and we're not bigots. We donít hate anybody and if anybody thinks that this is some sort of message that we're white supremacists or anything like that, come on. It was good. It really I think helped and we were definitely the real black sheep on that tour and that was a good thing. I think that was the main thing from the beginning that Taime wanted to do. Other people probably take credit for it we know but other people have done it. Other bands have done similar things. I think Marilyn Manson came out and had some girl actually dressed in some type of SS uniform.
The first time I saw him, I almost fell asleep at his show because he bored me.
Right, sometimes when it's too offensive or too shocking you get to a point where you do get bored. It worked out pretty good.
Tell me about the band Sinthetics.
That was a project I was working on actually before the tour and I haven't been doing much with that lately. They're still going. Lonny the singer is still doing his thing and there is still the Sinthetics out there. They've got a website. They probably have to update it. As of right now I'm not doing that right now. I'm really trying to finish my book. I'm doing a few shows with L. A. Guns just to help them out and then Faster. As of now, they're the only things that I've really got on my plate right now.
Any other ideas or comments?
The only other thing I might try to do is either a solo CD or an accompanied CD for the book. Basically maybe some of the stories in the book, maybe write them into songs and just have something there. I'm thinking about having that and some old video footage and compilation stuff. That's basically it. I'm doing the book. I'll probably do the solo CD and some video stuff. We'll probably keep touring with Faster. When I go back out with Faster, I'm definitely going to have two or three things for fans and Iím hoping there will be a Faster Pussycat record coming out. I have more control I think over some of the stuff I've got planned already. That's basically it. I'm looking to trying to finish this book before Christmas and then hoping to get that out.