Black Pistol Fire Add Madness To The Good Vibes


BLACK PISTOL FIRE play The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18, The Casbah Nov. 19; photo Charles Regan

Deadbeat Graffiti is the latest release by the wild and stimulating rock duo Black Pistol Fire who will be playing The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18 and The Casbah Nov. 19. Melodic, and at times soulful, and at times frantic, Black Pistol Fire should be on your radar if they aren’t already.

Concert Guide Live talked to drummer Eric Owen about the California music scene, the new album, the story behind the name and more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: I imagine you must have played in Southern California before –
ERIC OWEN: We played recently at a semi-private show in Mission Viejo, but it’s been about 2 ½ years since we played a proper show in Southern California. We’re pretty excited to get back.

CGL: What do you look forward to when coming out here to play?
EO: Some of the best music coming out now is happening there – the whole kind of garage, psychedelic scene is pretty amazing. What Burger Records is doing, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall. A lot of good vibes out there and great music.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing, which songs from the new album?
EO: You know that changes night to night. But the couple that are seemingly getting played every single night would be “Lost Cause” which is the new single, a song called “Bully” and a song called “Speak Of the Devil”. Those three are getting played every single night. And we’ve been rotating a bunch of other ones sort of in and out like “Blue Dream”, “Yet Again”, “Fever Breaks”, and “Eastside Racket”.

CGL: What’s one of your favorite songs to play live?
EO: I like playing “Bully” because it’s got that soft chorus then sort of soft verse then that chorus hits so, so hard. If someone hasn’t heard it before, it might take them by surprise. I like that aspect.

CGL: When did you realize you wanted to be in a band and play in front of people?
EO: I think it was watching music videos as a pre-teen. Seeing bands like Nirvana and Weezer. And then the music station we had in Canada growing up used to play a lot of concerts. Seeing those crowds, the way they reacted to a band was something appealing that I didn’t know if it could ever be possible necessarily, but it was something very attractive and looked like a lot of fun and emotional.

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage; do you get a little nervous?
EO: It depends. If everything is sounding good in soundcheck and if everything’s going well on the technical side of things, that definitely takes away some of the nervousness.

There’s a different feeling, of course, when you’re about to go on as opposed to just practicing. It’s kind of a feeling of excitement. Both Kevin and myself stretch and try to loosen up a bit. It’s a pretty physical show so we try to just be quiet and warm up for the madness that’s about to happen.

CGL: How did the band end up being a duo?
EO: Just over the course of several years, it ended up being a lot of trial and error with different people and us just clicking and working and here we are.

CGL: What’s the story behind the band name?
EO: Years ago, we were trying to figure out a name and Kevin read it somewhere that in firefighting there’s a term called a black fire which means it’s something that can’t be put out. No matter how much water or anything you do, the fire can’t be contained, and you have to let it run its course. It’s kind of a powerful word and image. And then going through a bunch of other words and so on and so forth we eventually went from black fire to black pistol fire. You got a color or shade, a weapon and element. A powerful image there.

CGL: Do the two of you write the songs together or is Kevin (McKeown-guitar/vocals) the primary songwriter?
EO: No, Kevin does the primary, for sure. He is the pilot, the captain, the creative genius behind the whole operation.

CGL: How did you gravitate to playing the drums?
EO: I think it was watching Dave Grohl of Nirvana. And then two of my friends in elementary school – one was playing guitar and the other was playing bass and they didn’t have a drummer. I heard they were jamming and I thought that would be my in. I could try to learn to play the drums and I eventually did. I think we learned three or four songs over the course of a couple of years – they were mostly Nirvana songs and one Stone Temple Pilot song – and probably not done very well. But we learned them any way and that’s how it came to be.

CGL: What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while touring?
EO: The one that sticks out most to me is last October in Monterrey, Mexico, there was a pretty big festival and we knew there was going to be a good amount of people there, we thought we had some fans in Mexico.

Then playing the set and seeing the crowd of several thousand people just growing and swelling and having it be crazy by the end. Then to not really be able to go out in the crowd because you’re getting your picture taken. It was just surreal and strange but interesting. Something we hadn’t really felt before or since for that matter. It was a whole different world down there which is cool. It’s pandemonium.

Meat Beat Manifesto Celebrates 30 Year Catalog


MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO play Cold Waves Festival at Regent Theater Nov. 11; promo pic

Industrial music legend Meat Beat Manifesto will be performing on Day 2 of the first Cold Waves Festival in L.A. along with Revolting Cocks, MC 900 Ft Jesus, Crash Course In Science, Boy Harsher and Not Breathing on Nov. 11 at The Regent Theater.

Original mainstay Jack Dangers has continued to create and evolve musically over the years, but for this performance, he will primarily play a lot of the older stuff.

“Some of the songs I haven’t played live, I’m not gonna say which ones, I’ll let that be a surprise, but some of them we haven’t played on stage for 25 years,” Dangers teased. “I had to get all new video for that. We use a lot of video and samplers live.”

Sampling has always been a part of the music since the beginning, often using spoken word samples from films. So, Dangers went back to the original source films where he got the samples in the first place.

“Like when the technology came up to speed about 12 years ago, you could miniaturize these bits of video into computers and have them to play live – project them,” Dangers explained.

“It’s even more fun being able to go back and get the film and turn that into a video sample and mess with it. You can speed it up, put it in reverse, you can chop through the sample itself. Originally, I would use tape machines and then when samplers became available I would be using those.

“We use the audio as well as the image. That always makes a difference as well rather than just spinning out images.”
For example, in “Helter Skelter” there’s a scream that goes off and on all the way through the song which is from the film “A Clockwork Orange”. It’s from the scene where the main character is experiencing the Ludovico Technique.

“I used that as just an audio sample,” Dangers said. “The Helter Skelter sample is Lydia Lunch. She’s saying that on one of her spoken word records she did back in the 80s.”

Another memorable sample from that song is “it’s in my brain now” which comes from “T.V. Mind” off Big Sexy Land by Revolting Cocks who coincidentally will be performing the album at Cold Waves.

“Maybe I’ll run on stage and have a mic,” Dangers chuckled. “You know Luc Van Acker was the guy who originally did that, so I’d have to run on stage and grab the mic off of him.”

As the song came together it included a bit of Lydia Lunch, a bit of Revolting Cocks and the famous beat from “Hot Pants” by Bobby Bird (produced by James Brown).

“I actually spent a day messing around with that beat making it sound different,” Dangers said. “If you played it next to the original you’d see that I changed it quite a lot.

“At that point, 1989, we didn’t really have the technology like a few years later what you could do with drum and bass and jungle. We’d cut the rhythm track up. So back then I was using different chunks and playing them back a different way and using effects.”

Considering the current political climate, one would think there would be a virtual treasure trove of samples to draw from, but Dangers thinks it’s almost too much and too obvious.

“It’s like this nightmare has happened,” Dangers stated. “I’m more interested in the way that Twitter and Facebook were used to make this all happen. Rather than the usual right-wing talking points and misinformation.

“It’s obvious all the misinformation and fake news that’s put out there by the Russians so Trump would benefit. It wasn’t the other way around. These things always take time to come to the surface.

“This is such a surreal level that I think you could address it in a surreal way more than an obvious in-your-face political stance.”

Impossible Star is a new album ready to be released in 2018 which Dangers has been working on for a couple of years but don’t expect to hear too much of the new stuff played this time around.

“We’re looking to do that next year,” Dangers promised. “We’ll be doing some live shows next year – me and Ben Stokes – that’s the lineup when we play live. The two of us. We use a lot of multi-media, a lot of video.”

Cold Waves Festival has been running in Chicago for a few years, bringing together classic industrial-type artists. It’s unique and thrilling for both fans and musicians alike.

“I’m excited to be playing with the other acts,” Dangers noted. “I’ve always liked Crashed Course In Science and I’m good friends with Not Breathing – worked with them on and off through the years.

“I’ve done some remixes for MC 900ft Jesus – got to see him [Mark Griffin] actually when we played in Dallas last year. He came to the show. That might have been some inspiration for him to get back on the road because we hadn’t been doing it for a while, like him. Not as long as him, though (laughs).”

“And Revolting Cocks – Big Sexy Land was a big album for me when it came out – getting to see that live. It should be a good night. It’s the hottest show in town!”


GWAR Fight Their Way To California


GWAR to destroy HOB/SD Nov. 21 and Fonda Theatre Nov. 22; promo pic

Obnoxious, loud, funny, frightening rock band GWAR may still be AWOL from the Masters Army but you can catch them if you dare at House of Blues/San Diego Nov. 21 and the Fonda Theatre Nov. 22.

“You can expect to get your fucking head chopped off if you get too close to the front row,” Pustulus (guitarist Brent Purgason) invited. “You can expect to be covered in blood and god knows what other bodily fluids … But you can expect to have your fucking sox rocked off, literally.

“What other band are you gonna go see that would show such appreciation for the fans that we expel a lot of bodily fluids on to them? I don’t think other bands would do that for you. We sacrifice life and limb to bring you entertainment. And I doubt you’re going to get that from Nickelback.”

In fact, a memorable good time at one of their shows involved throwing a fan into a barricade.

“Have you ever seen Uncle Phil throw Jazzy Jeff out the fucking door at Fresh Prince Belair?” Pustulus asked. “Well, I got to do that to a guy in Edmonton, Canada during a show and that was pretty fucking cool. I got to Jazzy Jeff him right into the fucking barricade.”

It is well-known that GWAR are not of this world, and were part of the elite fighting force, The Scumdogs, before arriving here on earth.

“We all got frozen in Antarctica during the ice age, but the problem was I was doing some bong rips in the closet and I was trying to hot box it out,” Pustulus admitted. “Everybody else got thawed out and got whisked away to join a rock band, while I got left in there for another 50 years. It sucked but I’m here now so it’s all good.”

Not being very good at doing military stuff, each member of the Maximus Clan earned a reputation as an intergalactic fuck-up.

“Well you know the raping, the pillaging, the constant imbibing of various substances throughout the galaxy, that kind of put a damper on us doing what we’re told,” Pustulus noted. “Self-gratification is one of the things we tend to revel in. Quite frankly that didn’t fit into anybody else’s work schedule.”

Speaking of work, coming to California to play isn’t really what they look forward to doing while here.

“We look forward to just watching the vagrants walk the streets,” Pustulus said. “You know, everything smells like weed out there. Definitely, don’t look forward to the actual performance other than the after party and the getting paid part.”

October saw the release of Blood Of the Gods, the first album since 2013’s Battle Maximus and without founding member/vocalist Oderus (Dave Brockie).

Battle Maximus was a record put out more or less under duress,” Pustulus explained. “It was important to us that we weren’t viewed as something that could falter. I don’t think it was rushed but I think we could have taken more time.

“As for Blood of the Gods we were absolutely not going to rush this record in particular. A lot of times we’re just fighting and kicking and screaming and biting and fucking each other through the album process. People were involved and included the entire time which is not always how this band has functioned in the past.

“We all work together when we’re not fighting or when we’re not stealing each other’s girlfriends or drugs or pawning each other’s TV’s we’re writing great music together.”

But, don’t forget the killing. That’s something else Pustulus likes to talk about. Killing things that you love.

“You know, if you’re going to kill something, the best way to do it is to have it trust you first. So that way when the life is fully drained from it it gives you that look of ‘why?’.

“And plus, you know, if you care for something and you take its life that’s a way to feel emotion. Because when you’re as emotionally de-void as I am at this point in time, you have to do things that make you feel alive. And you know, stuff like that will do it.

“That’s not too dark, is it?”

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Perform Iconic Wax Trax! Albums

Thrill Kill Kult play Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4 and The Casbah Nov. 5; promo pic

Celebrate 30 years of high energy craziness with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (TKK) at 80’s Bar Nov. 3, Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4, and The Casbah Nov. 5. They’ll be performing their first two iconic Wax Trax! albums I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits and Confessions Of A Knife.

Forming in the late 80’s, TKK was one of the early Wax Trax! Label bands alongside Ministry, Front 242, KMFDM, Frontline Assembly and others who were part of the early industrial music scene. However, TKK was also known for their tongue-in-cheek, sometimes hilarious, lyrics and samples and nods to B horror films. Not to mention outrageous live sets and props.

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits album cover

Songs such as “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan,” “Sex on Wheelz,” “The Devil Does Drugs,” among several others became alternative radio hits.

Concert Guide Live caught up with founders Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy on a recent tour and this is what they had to say.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: What do you remember about the first TKK live show?
THRILL KILL KULT: Our first show was a Halloween show at the Riviera in Chicago. Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger was there to introduce us! We had no idea what we were doing. We put the band together literally within a week or so of the performance and practiced in our drummer’s parent’s basement! The show itself is kind of a blur.

Confessions Of A Knife album cover

CGL: We take the computer for granted now but in the early days, touring must have been quite different. Any particular mishaps or surprises come to mind?
TKK: Our set up remains basically the same. We’ve just replaced the old drum machines and sequencers with a laptop now. A bit less to set up and a lot less midi cables to deal with. Actually, we had more mishaps when we first started using a computer on stage because it would freeze up sometimes. Luckily those days have passed and laptops and associated software are much more reliable now.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing? Do you have a particular song you look forward to playing live?
TKK: It will be a very dance oriented set list, with some remixes thrown in. Our favorite song to play changes nightly, depending upon our mood. Some nights they’re all our favorite, other nights we’re sick of them all!

CGL: Lyrically, do you consciously set out to push the limits, or is it more of a natural process, writing what comes to mind and what you like?
TKK: We don’t consciously set out to push buttons or be provocative. It’s just the way we write.

CGL: Do you have any new favorite B movies from the last few years?
TKK: There was a film called “Sexy Evil Genius” which wrote TKK into the story line and used a couple of our songs. That was cool, and a bit flattering.

CGL: As a final question, do you have any pre-show routines/rituals?
TKK: Besides alcohol? Haha. No. No séance or prayer circles for us.

Sun Worship With Allah-Las


ALLAH-LAS play Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21; photo James Christopher

Local scenesters Allah-Las play their unique, psychedelic, dream pop at Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21. The group is known for playing their interpretation of retro 60s rock a la The Troggs, The Standells and The Grass Roots, full of catchy choruses and guitar hooks.

Now with three albums under their belt, the songwriting continues to evolve while hinting at previous influences. Songs such as “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind” and “Don’t You Forget It” are crowd favorites from their self-titled 2012 debut, while newer tracks “Could Be You” and “Famous Phone Figure” are quickly catching on.

Although notoriously a band of few words, Concert Guide Live managed to get a few words out of them in a previous interview prior to the release of Worship The Sun and this is what they had to say:

CGL: It looks like you have a handful of dates lined up so far this year. What else is in the works?
A-L: We’re working on finishing our second record, new songs etc.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How did everyone in the band meet, did some of you meet while working at Amoeba Records?
A-L: Matt (Correia, drums) Miles (Michaud, vocals/guitar), and Spencer (Dunham, bass) went to high school together in Los Angeles. Later on Matt, Spencer and Pedrum (Siadatian, guitar) all worked together at Amoeba. We had a lot of interest in various types of music back then, working at Amoeba allowed us to spend time digging for more.

CGL: What is everyone listening to these days?
A-L: Aww lots of stuff. The search never ends.

CGL: Working with Nick Waterhouse sure seems to be a good fit for your sound. Do you record your songs then give them to him to produce, or do you all collaborate on the production?
A-L: We always work together. I’m sure it’s annoying for Nick to have to listen to us argue our points on the mix but he’s patient. He’s an amazing producer and a great friend.

CGL: What is the status of a new album?
A-L: Should be coming out on a Tuesday sometime.

CGL: it seems like you play quite a bit and all over the place, any good road
stories you can share?
A-L: Nothing to mention really.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How would you describe Allah-Las to someone who isn’t familiar with your music?
A-L: Aww well. I try my best to avoid it and let people decide. We get some pretty funny comparisons though.

Featured Video – Messer Chups “Magneto” (The Open Stage Berlin)


The Cribs And Rock Star Shit


THE CRIBS play Teragram Ballroom Oct. 6; promo photo

English indie rock band The Cribs return to SoCal with a stop at Teragram Ballroom Oct.6. in support of their recent release 24-7 Rock Star Shit.

Growing up in a small town in the UK, bassist Gary Jarman and his brothers eventually started to make music as a way of finding something to do.

“There really wasn’t a great deal going on,” Gary explained.

“Me and my twin brother, Ryan, being the same age, we just thought it would be fun to try to be in a band. Originally it was more fantasy than reality. It was kind of just planning the ideas of what you were going to do without actually doing anything.

“And then we pretty much harassed my younger brother in to learning how to play drums. So we had a band by default, actually. But me, and Ryan were catalysts for Ross playing drums.

“He was a little kid, he’s four years younger than we are, so he was pretty young when we wanted him to start. We built him a little drum kit. It was pretty rustic but that’s how he learned.”

With seven studio albums under their belt, they have a ton of songs to choose from for their setlist.

“When you’re playing songs that you’ve had for so long, it’s cool that people still want to hear them, but for me personally I much prefer playing the new stuff,” Gary said.

“We’re not like Bruce Springsteen who will play forever but we’re the sort of band that we like the people that come to see us to be satisfied and we want to make sure everyone has a good time.

“But by that same token, I think playing too long can actually be detrimental to the gig experience.”

The brothers grew up listening to garage bands including all of the Nuggets bands so they thought it would be funny to come up with a similar type of name for their band.

“The original story was we were studying at a music college and they had a studio,” Gary began. “Then we got kicked out of the class but we still wanted to use the studio so we had to book it under an assumed name so they wouldn’t know it was us.

“We just tried to think of a garage band name off the top of our head and that’s what it was. The first demo we ever made was under this assumed name, “The Cribs”, so we just ended up keeping it. It was just a little joke between the brothers, you know?”

The Woggles Celebrate Music And Get Wild


THE WOGGLES play Wine Bar Oct. 4, The Echo Oct. 6, The Casbah Oct. 7; photo James Christopher

The Woggles bring it back to the people by performing their rock-n-roll antics at Wine Bar Oct. 4, The Echo Oct. 6 and The Casbah Oct. 7. Following is an excerpt from an earlier interview with frontman Mighty Manfred and his tales of audience participation.

“If we’re out doing a show, and playing live, you want to engage the people that are there,” claims lead singer Mighty Manfred.

“I mean otherwise there’s no reason to be up on a stage, at least from my point of view.”

The Woggles put on quite a show with Manfred stepping into the crowd while singing catchy, hip-shaking tunes. The audience can’t seem to resist dancing around him while grinning from ear to ear.

“Feeding off the audience, the audience feeds off you and it just makes everything that much more exciting, that much more exhilarating, that much more thrilling, with everything building on itself,” Manfred said.

Somehow while singing and shaking a tambourine, Manfred finds a way to get down off the stage, over any barriers, across any trenches, and onto the club floor to celebrate music amongst the audience.

“When you’re right there in front of people they’re no longer watching a spectacle, they’re a part of it,” Manfred explained.

Of course, mishaps have been known to happen. Take a show in Pensacola, Florida.

“You know, before doing anything stupid, I check things out ahead of time,” Manfred unconvincingly stated.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t still do stupid things.”

During sound check that particular evening, Manfred tried his weight on a curtain next to the stage and thought, “Oh, this will be great. I can swing out from this.

“So, during this instrumental song the band is playing I scampered up there and jumped off of some amps to reach this thing. As I committed myself to this forward swing, you know with the idea I would let go and go sailing, the rod came out before I had swung far enough. I couldn’t get my arms behind me so I landed with my full weight on my back.

“People have asked, ‘Did it feel like it was happening in slow motion?’ And my answer to that is, ‘Man, the ground moves really fast!’

“The guys in the band, though, didn’t know that was going on. So, I’m rolling around, and I stand up and I’m in immense pain.

“I slowly get back on the stage and I remember the drummer, Dan Eletxro looking at me and I could see him mouthing, ‘Shake it off! Shake it off!’

“He knew something had happened but you know, ‘Get with it man. Get back into it.’ Yea, that was terrible.”

After the show, Manfred went to the emergency room to get stitched up and somehow escaped bodily damage.

“I had cut my face on the nails coming out of the rod, as it came down and hit me in the face.

“But people loved the blood, though. They loved the blood.”

Music may hold a different meaning for different people, but to Manfred, it’s a celebration of life.

“You’ve got to bring it to the people!” he said in anticipation of the next live shows.

Front 242 Bring The Beats Back To L.A.


FRONT 242 play the Regent Sep 27; photo James Christopher

Front 242 return to SoCal as part of the Cold Waves Festival, appearing at The Regent Theatre with Severed Heads, Romy, and Das Bunker DJs Sep.27.

This is a must-see for longtime fans of industrial music. Front 242 always put on a great, energetic, show and Severed Heads is also a rarity in Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles is a particular place which has always had a strong ‘dark’ community,” said long-time member, Patrick Codenys. “To me, it is such a contradiction to the image most people have of the city: cinema, plastic body culture, glam and fake, etc.

“As a matter of fact, there is a real creative underground scene far from those stereotypes. You just need to know where to look to enjoy it.”

Although the band no longer tours, they enjoy working with people who are willing to bring them to the U.S. under good conditions.
“This allows us a more relaxing time and even a chance to meet fans and friends,” Codenys said.

Their live performance will consist of playing a sort of “best of” set with the classics. While some versions of the songs have been changed and modernized, each will be represented graphically.

“Sound-wise we are back to analogue sounds, close to our early albums,” Codenys said. “The new technology allows us to be more sharp and precise with our sound without betraying the spirit of the time. The show remains purely physical with projections and clips for each song. Bringing back the aesthetic of the 242 album covers and imaginary world. We worked close with people to design the graphics and stage costumes.”

Front 242 began creating their brand of pre-computer electronic music in Belgium in the mid-80’s. This meant finding creative ways to recreate music live that sometimes lead to unexpected mishaps while performing.

“In the very early 80’s, sequencers were not stable and any variation in the electric stream could make you lose your programming,” Codenys said.

“Also, clubs in the U.S. have a tradition of rock/jazz/country/blues bands and were not ready for electronic music. People working in a club would say, ‘Place your drum on the riser.’ We would answer, ‘We have no drums.’ Then they would show us where we could place our guitar stack and we would say, ‘We have no guitar.’ Finally they would say, ‘You are not a band.’ It was very difficult to change the mentalities at the time.”

When Front 242 first started to use samples, soundtracks, speeches, etc. they weren’t copyright-protected like they are now. They would use tape recorders to align the voices onto a track.

“Around the 90’s we needed to ‘mask’ the origin of our vocal samples by using effects, cuts, plugs, etc.,” Codenys said. “As for the sound samples, we always designed our own sounds – sometimes sampling synth sounds to restructure, filter and reshape into a sampler.”
For example, the track “Welcome To Paradise” includes lines of sampled lyrics such as, “Hey poor, you don’t need to be poor anymore. Jesus is here (don’t tell the devil).”

“‘Welcome to Paradise’ is an ambiguous track as some people took it first degree and others found it cynical,” Codenys said. “Of course, it is more of a joke if you listen to the message; but what is the real interest of that song is the way words are singing. We started from that preacher’s speech/singing and built the track around it. Generally, it goes the other way around, first music then lyrics.”

Today, as in times past, a live Front 242 performance is a way for them to experiment with all the facets of their music through mixing different technologies.

“But what remains the most important is the emotional communion that we experience with our audience during the show,” Codenys said.

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band Rock SoCal Twice


IAN HUNTER & THE RANT BAND play Teragram Ballroom Sep 12 and The Coach House Sep 13; press photo

Ian Hunter, the once glam rocker of Mott the Hoople who evolved into a phenomenal solo artist penning radio hits such as “Cleveland Rocks” and “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, continues to tour and write interesting albums such as last years’ Fingers Crossed.

He will be performing with The Rant Band at Teragram Ballroom Sep. 12 and The Coach House Sep. 13, a venue he has played a few times including when he and Mick Ronson played after a week-long stint recording 1979’s live album Welcome To the Club at The Roxy.
The group has put together an amalgamation of songs covering 48 years of music to perform.

“You’ve got to please the casuals that means you’ve got to do a bit of the old stuff,” Hunter explained. “Then you’ve got to please the other half that means you’ve got to do a bit of the stuff no one’s heard, then you’ve got to do some solo stuff. And it all sort of melds in somehow.”

Naturally there should be a couple of songs from Fingers Crossed such as the recently released single, “Ghost” that has a delightfully soulful chorus complimenting Hunter’s rough around the edges vocals. As well as “Dandy” which is a nod to David Bowie who passed while Hunter was having difficulty writing a completely different song called “Lady” that he turned into “Dandy”.

“I only knew him for about a year that was around the Hunky Dory, Ziggy period,” Hunter recalled. “I kind of wrote the song from a fan’s point of view from that period.

“Because when he came in, everything was kind of drab, it was kind of like watching a black and white movie. Then, all of a sudden, David came in and everything went technicolor.”

One of the lyrics, “the last bus home” shows up throughout the song and refers to the end of a good night out.

“We used to go and see gigs and they were magic then you would come out and you really didn’t like your own existence,” Hunter chuckled. “It’s the same as when you came out of a movie and it’s ‘oh Jesus, here I am again’. That’s the whole idea of it.”

Not one to write and tour at the same time, Hunter prefers to focus on one or the other. He’s been touring since last year on the recent record and will most likely begin writing the next one in January.

“I just write when I want to make a new record,” Hunter noted. “I’m not one of those people, I can’t really work on the next one when I’m on the road. If I started on it now, it would be a bit dated by the time I did it.”

Being a rhythm guitarist and not a lead guitarist, Hunter prefers Martins, but also uses Gibsons and RainSongs.

“I have two other guitar players in the band so I stay acoustic,” Hunter said. “RainSongs is kind of a unique guitar because it’s not wood so it has a little edge to it. It’s kind of like halfway between an acoustic and an electric. I use it for open tuning.”

He keeps some of his guitars in Europe and some in the States so he doesn’t have to deal with transporting them as often.

“When we depart here, we go to Germany, then England and you don’t want to be carting stuff all over the place so we generally leave stuff in different countries,” Hunter explained. “You can pick them up when you’re there and it saves a lot of aggravation on the plane.
“It’s something you learn over the years. I never would have thought of it years ago.”

Something else he has learned over the years is that you have quite an advantage if you are passionate about what you choose to do in life.

“And if music’s your passion, more luck to you, but get a lawyer,” Hunter laughed. “If you haven’t got one in the family, get one.

“Usually with musicians, one side of the brain’s not working. They need somebody to compensate for the side of the brain that’s not working.

“I mean, I could never understand at school why you had to be good at arts and sciences. Usually you find arts people aren’t very good at math and vice versa.”

One other thing he laughingly mentioned he’s picked up over the years is that he likes to have a drink prior to going on stage.

“It’s a ritual that starts about 30 minutes before we go on. It gets you in the mood.”