Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2007
Brian Rademacher: Hello Lee and welcome to Rockeyez.com! Let’s go way back to your days as a youth, what kind of kid were you growing up?
Lee J. Pistolero: Pretty normal, good soccer player, not really wild!
Brian Rademacher: How were you in school?
Lee J. Pistolero: The same, A stream student! I changed though when my sister died in a horse riding accident when I was 14. Nothing scared me from then & I became a little wild & mad. And Punk Rock hit the U.K and a lot of us changed forever.
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first concert you ever attended?
Lee J. Pistolero: Country & Western & Rockabilly, Rock n Roll gigs when I was about 7 with my Nan, then my first big concert was STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ( U.K legendary punk band ) when I was 14.
Brian Rademacher: How about the first album/cassette you ever owned?
Lee J. Pistolero: My Nan’s early ELVIS & BEATLES Records.
Brian Rademacher: Did you play sports in school or member of any club?
Lee J. Pistolero: I was in the district & county soccer team, district 100 Meters Champion, eventually played semi-professional for Kidderminster Harriers F.C
Brian Rademacher: What were some of the things on the walls in your room at home when you were a kid?
Lee J. Pistolero: Debbie Harry, Kate Bush & SHOWADDYWADDY posters! Then all the Punk bands!
Brian Rademacher: What was the name of your very first garage band that played in the basement or garage?
Lee J. Pistolero: I was 14; we were a Punk band called THE REGULAR WRETCHES. We went straight out supporting bands like THE DAMNED, THE LURKERS. God knows how, but we wrote original songs straight off.
Brian Rademacher: You were a member of WHITE TRASH was that the same WHITE TRASH that release the CD “Si O Si, Que”?
Lee J. Pistolero: No, we were the U.K WHITE TRASH. Very much the London L.A GUNS rip off. We supported LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH a lot, same scene with ‘DOGS D’AMOUR, QUIREBOYS, etc.
Brian Rademacher: Were you in any other bands beside WHITE TRASH?
Lee J. Pistolero: CRY OF THE INNOCENT when I was 17 supported THE ALARM, U2, BIG COUNTRY. Then THE ICE BABIES, then WHITE TRASH U.K. I left for L.A in ‘85, then ended up in Zaragoza (Spain). I lived there for 3 years. Formed a half English, half Spanish band called THE LAST GANG. We supported MOTORHEAD, SEPULTURA, U.F.O, MAGNUM, DIO, and THE RAMONES in 1996 (One of their last big tours, it was a fukkin joy to do that. Joey was in a bad way though. While in Spain I lived amongst the real Gitano, discovered Flamenco & Rumba and thought why has no-one ever rocked it up??
Brian Rademacher: What was the worst things you parents punished you for?
Lee J. Pistolero: Smashing a stained glass window in school when I had a flip out!
Brian Rademacher: What was the thing your parents are most proud of you for?
Lee J. Pistolero: Staying alive, chasing dreams, singing in a band and giving them three beautiful grandchildren.
Brian Rademacher: When you started work on your debut CD how many songs were written for “Wild, Beautiful, Damned”?
Lee J. Pistolero: All of them, I gave up music in ‘97 for 10 years, Then I thought fukk it there was unfinished business, I fukked so many chances up in music when I was younger by being a drunk and a speed freak, a cliché rock ‘n’ roll tragedy. So I planned it all and decided to try and put together the flamenco rock version of ‘Appetite for Destruction’! No way was I gonna start another plain rock ‘n’ roll, punky, rock group. This was going to be different & special.
Brian Rademacher: What songs were offered up as a demo to Evil Boy Records?
Lee J. Pistolero: “Shotgun Kiss is ay que Dolor”, “The crazy Loco Loquito” and “Switchblade Kiss comes close”.
Brian Rademacher: Great logo, who came up with the GP logo?
Lee J. Pistolero: Jo (Candy Abortion Machine Art) Burgon, a great artist. She also does the L.A GUNS stuff (Tracii’s)
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel mixing influences of Spanish language with English will draw a wider audience or do you think it could hurt with all the racism in the world?
Lee J. Pistolero: It’s the heart of the songs, the rock n roll works in English, the flamenco parts run better in Spanish. We began in Spain supporting ADLER’S APPETITE & THE DOGS D’AMOUR. We’re Spanglish. Fukk Racism !!! Plus I think it’s cool to go translate parts of the songs to catch the full meaning.
Brian Rademacher: “Un Hombre Sin Rostro, Pistolero” is a fantastic Anthem song and some of the other tunes on the CD are killer that’s why the CD had a 5 star rating on our review. Is it easy for the band to write catchy hooks?
Lee J. Pistolero: I’m glad you like it Brian! The reviews have been incredible from the U.K, Spain, and Italy. But yours meant a lot to us, the first U.S review. We love your Country & we see our future over in the States! As for writing hooks, I’ve always gone for the classic if ya can’t whistle it, if the hook doesn’t burrow into your brain, then it doesn’t work. Never could see the point in fillers. It helped supporting legendary bands, with classic songs and soaking up all the killer elements they have and not settling for average.
Brian Rademacher: When you’re writing a song, do you write it all in English or Spanish then change the language later, making it a bilingual song?
Lee J. Pistolero: I write them as separate parts, the English Rocks & the Spanish runs with the flamenco/rumba parts. But if one language works better to a certain part of the song I use that.
Brian Rademacher: Do you have a favorite song on the CD that you like to sing the most?
Lee J. Pistolero: “Pistolero”!!! Has to be a hit!! Also a great pub song when you’re drunk!
Brian Rademacher: Since you’ve been touring in GP or other bands, what band treated you the best and tell us one of the wildest tour stories that happened?
Lee J. Pistolero: MOTORHEAD were great, Lemmy is a true gent and should be knighted! The last tours though with BANG TANGO, (Joe Leste- love the legend , Michael Thomas our bro) LOVE/HATE Jizzy a gent ; ENUFF ZNUFF, (Chipz our guru ); BULLET BOYS, FASTER (Marc Torien -showman supreme ); PUSSYCAT (Eric our special bro ), and last but not least L.A GUNS. ( We absolutely had a blast with them on the Euro Tour, Tracci is a lovely , lovely guy, Chad-my hellfire club bro, Jeremy- our little Dark Elf Lord ) brother & Paul Black -a lovely soul. We had a blast; we became a real dysfunctional family!!
Wild stories, Too many!!! Here’s only one- On a Berlin gig with L.A GUNS, we had been drinking all day on the Tour bus (Splitter van) & decided to visit the Berlin Wall. I was wasted and we have a picture of me with my trousers round my ankles against the Berlin Wall, then we ran, after throwing bottles over the wall, had a mass yogurt, beer & orange fight in the van, Tracii was hiding under the backseat. Then when we got to the gig I walked in with my knob & arse out, only to meet a group of German O.A.P’s who didn’t bat an eyelid and asked for autographs?? I signed autographs as Phil Lewis that tour for a laughs! We had a scream, loads more stories which I can’t tell! Sounds twattish when you’re writing it, but you had to be there. Tracii actually slept under the backseat on an overnight, he’s a real punk at heart, no airs at all! Hell, we’re a classic, clichéd rock group, we don’t pretend. We just go a little crazed!! Life’s too short, do it, to the max!
Brian Rademacher: What are some of the things GP ask for (rider) on tour?
Lee J. Pistolero: We ask for Jager, lager (strong), Absinthe, cigarettes & Walkers crisps. We normally get lager!!
Brian Rademacher: What was it like playing Rocklahoma?
Lee J. Pistolero: A fukkin dream!!! We fell in love with the U.S there!!! Everywhere we went the people were amazing, it was a rock n roll Fantasy Island for Four days. To open it as the only U.K group there was a special honor!
Great to meet up with all our special bro’s!! Chad Stewart, Tracii Guns, Mike Thomas, Joe Leste, Chipz, Marc Torien and more came to the side of the stage and watched our set, all wishing us to do well ! When we walked off the stage into the audience after the last song and got such a fantastic reaction. Chad turned to Chris Matthews our manager and said, “That’s my boys!” We love those groups & owe them loads!
Brian Rademacher: I am a collector of band guitar picks and drumsticks; does the band have their name on those items?
Lee J. Pistolero: Yep, we’re sending you some amigo!
Brian Rademacher: Does the band actually answer e-mails directly email@example.com ?
Lee J. Pistolero: We all have our own MySpace pages! We answer everyone that gets in touch through them! It’s getting harder now coz of sheer volume, but we do!!! Promise!!
www.myspace.com/leepistolero / www.myspace.com/iggiepistolero /
www.myspace.com/angelpistolero / www.myspace.com/leeroypistolero
Brian Rademacher: What are your feelings about either MySpace or YouTube?
Lee J. Pistolero: Fantastic! Keep in touch with all the great friends we make on tour! Get drunk & keep in touch even on tour in another country!
Brian Rademacher: Are you writing material for the next release yet?
Lee J. Pistolero: We have about 25 songs we're working on! Same formula, better songs! Life's fukkin busy & they have to be great songs, no fillers!!! We have about 8 killers!
Brian Rademacher: You sold 15,000 copies of the CD in the first month of release are more people taking notice of the band now?
Lee J. Pistolero: Totally! It’s gone mad, loads of news that we can’t talk about! But its mega! Rocklahoma brought us all that! And the reaction from the crowd at Rocklahoma! Thank you! We were born at Rocklahoma!!!!
Brian Rademacher: Tell me your feelings about each member of the band:
Lee J. Pistolero: Love em all! We’re a family!
Iggie Pistolero - Lee J. Pistolero: Lead Guitar – My fukked up twin, vodka stick nutter. Love him !
Angel Pistolero - Lee J. Pistolero: Bass –The Gonk, cant drink, dozey fukker! Love him!
Leeroy Pistolero – Lee J. Pistolero: Drums- 18-year-old protégé took it all in his stride. His second big gig was supporting LOVE/HATE, BANG TANGO, ENUFF ZNUFF to 500 people! He’s a lovely kid!
Brian Rademacher: What does Lee look for in a woman?
Lee J. Pistolero: Patience & understanding, ability to deal with a drunken child! No chance! Failing that, a young Raquel Welch!
Brian Rademacher: Tell me what a typical day for you?
Lee J. Pistolero: Fukked up when we’re not touring!!
Brian Rademacher: What are the plans for the rest of the year and do you have anything special coming up?
Lee J. Pistolero: Supposed to go out in October with THE QUIREBOYS , but their album & tour has been pushed back, HANOI ROCKS too, but that tour also hit problems due to capacity of venues bullshit! We record our fukked up version of ‘Livin la vida loca’ October 1st-5th with Joe Gibb (The legend, eccentric genius).
Brian Rademacher: Lee it’s been great, I hope everyone goes out and gets the new CD by Gypsy Pistoleros : “Wild, Beautiful, Damned ” on Evil Boy records. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Lee J. Pistolero: www.code7music.com, if ya wanna get it outside the U.K!! There’s some big news on the way! It’s killing us but we can’t say. All we can say is that we will be touring the U.S (Arena’s on a mega package) from March, right up until & including Rocklahoma 2008!! Then we go out on our own U.S Tour till Sept, the U.S deal will be sorted by then. We are now handled by C.E.U Inc (Main forces behind Rocklahoma). So we may as well become American!! We love the U.S & the people we have met & we want to storm the U.S chart!! And ya know, sometimes the weirdest shit comes true!!! Cheers Brian & thanks for all your support, we fukkin appreciate it!