Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: April 25th, 2005
New Sensation - Hollywood Vampires Lead Vocalist Matt Tennent
Matt we would like to thank you for taking time out to answer some questions for our site. I have not taken your demo out of my player since I received it.
That‘s cool Brian! I’m so proud of it. This is the first CD we ever sent to USA, the last one “Luv Criminals” was too awful to promote. But with “4 Jacks & 1 coke” it was cool enough to be sent so we decided to send all over the world.
When did the band start and did it go by the same band name?
The band started in 2002 with the same name, but a different vocalist with a power-metal style not right for a hard rock band. Then they picked me up, and I became the lead singer.
Were you in any other bands that recorded any material?
I was in a rock/blues band called Tatanka, I used to sing in Italian, but the project failed. We recorded an EP, but I guess you’ll find it strange because the Italian language isn’t a good fit for rock!
Did you sing in school choir?
No, I started by myself, I used to be a guitarist but I found singing was best suited for me.
Did you collect anything as a child?
I collected CDs and I still do that. Music is my favorite passion since I was a child.
What was the first concert you attended?
Probably the Monsters of Rock in my town (Reggio Emilia) in 1992, with Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Pantera and other metal bands.
What was the first record you bought?
“Appetite for Destruction” by GNR. Now it is completely destroyed by playing it too much!!!
What song do you remember playing over and over as a young boy?
My parent’s records were the first kind of music I listened to like The Beatles and Rolling Stones. I remember my favorite songs were “Gimme Shelter” and “Helter Skelter.”
Did the band ever make a video?
No, and we don’t want to make any at the moment. I think with a low budget, a video clip may seem ridiculous. We don’t have any label or producer now, so maybe in the future if we get one, we’ll make a video.
When you first started singing, what was your dream?
Of course it was to become a star, like many young guys, I guess J . Now I realize that music is passion and fun. The rest is just something more you can reach… a chance to be someone.
Who was your favorite vocalist when growing up?
Bon Scott (my fav) and Tom Kiefer, but I love Jesse James Dupree from Jackyl too. He’s a real front man with a lot of charisma. I also like Josh Todd former singer of Buckcherry too.
How did you come up with the name for the band?
It comes from the Rainbow Bar & Grill in L.A. There’s a place inside the club called The Lair of Hollywood Vampires. The bass player Stazio (a.k.a Stacii) goes there every year and he decided to create a band with this name.
Who came up with the logo of the wolf?
Well, it should be a Vampire :) , but anyway it’s made by a friend of ours who is an artist.
Why did you name the CD “4 Jacks and 1 Coke?”
Because we are 4 and we like Jack Daniels. But Chris, the drummer, is completely teetotaller. Strange fact for a rocker, isn’t it?
The first track “Loaded Soul” is fantastic. Can you tell us about the lyrics and music on that song?
The song came out from a cool Marcus riff, and lyrics tell about an Italian musician that we had the chance to meet, Pino Scotto who tried to get it in the USA in the 80’s with Vanadium, his band. He’s a master for us “young-uns” so I dedicated this song to him.
There are really no weak songs on the CD. But tracks one (“Loaded Soul”) and five (“Fly There”) are my favorites. Can you tell us any stories about recording them?
How long did the five tracks take to record?
Almost 2 months, in a good studio in Milano, but we were working at it since September with many handicraft-recordings. Only when we were sure of the arrangements did we begin the real recording sessions. A great help came from the sound engineer, a genius in his field.
“Fly There” sounds a lot like AC/DC, Guns & Roses and Spread Eagle. The guitar even sounds like Slash. Was that your intention to bring on a sound similar to those bands?
Actually “Fly There” came out after listening to the Velvet Revolver CD, so in some way the Guns n’ Roses influence is there. But our work is mostly influenced by Jackyl, the only famous band we thank in the credits for this reason.
When can fans expect a full length CD?
When we find an investor, hoping not too late in the future.
When you play live, how long do you play and what is your set list?
It depends on the kind of place; some are more commercial, other more underground. Usually we play 1 hour 30 minutes or 2 hours, but once we played for 3 hours consecutively!!!! We play our songs as well as covers (i.e. AC/DC, Cinderella etc...)
Tell us what a day is like when you have a show that night?
Nothin’ special, just start drinkin’ in the afternoon and smoke a lot of cigarettes.
What are the plans for Hollywood Vampires for the rest of 2005?
Keep playin’ around and promoting our EP.
Do you have any plans to visit America?
We have many projects, and also a journey to the United States. We know people in L.A. and by what I know it’s not so difficult to play there. On the contrary, here in Italy, there is too much legal stuff to fulfill and there are too many places for tribute bands, but for hard rock bands it is very hard to play.
What was the wildest thing that happened on stage?
Stacii is a champion for wild stuff…girls that assault him on stage and he usually plays with his knife... JACKNIFE is dedicated to him...He’s a real poser!!!
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
- Play in the USA
- Find a producer for HV
- Rule the world.
Your CD received four out of five stars on our site, which is outstanding. Do you read reviews?
Yes. And as a “première” in the States it really made us happy. We invested so much time creating our CD, and to see it appreciated from you that are “in the business” made us proud.
What was the most famous band that you supported?
We haven’t played yet for a famous band, in part because our previous CD was not so good. Maybe with “4 J & 1 C” things will get better.
I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind?
Hollywood Vampires - 5 jackasses that love playin’ music
Touring - The most gorgeous thing after sex.
Backstage - The Kingdom of Bullshits. The most funny things happen there.
Internet - The best way to promote ourselves and get to know people.
Favorite - Probably HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES!!!
Fans - The backbone of every band
Management - A must that we miss, and we are working for it.
In conclusion, would you like to say anything?
Don’t look at the Italian music market with “suspicious minds” because we are more than pop music and opera, as there are so many hard rock bands playin’ high quality stuff and not only that. To all the Americans: come to Italy for its beauty, but also for listening to our bands.
Matt, thank you for your time and we hope to see you in the near future.
Thanks to you Brian, and to all Rock Eyez readers!!!