An Interview with 'Criss6'
Bassist of 'Pretty Boy Floyd' & Motley Crue Tribute Band, 'True2Crue' that took place at Corporation, Sheffield on Dec. 4th, 2009.
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Hi Criss
Criss6: Hey Metalliville Fans, How ya doin’ man, what’s goin' on? Whats’s goin' on?
Glenn: Doing Good. How did you become a member of Pretty Boy Floyd?
Criss: Well it’s actually a strange story. I was always a huge, huge fan of Pretty Boy Floyd and my base of my career has all been based in tribute bands. Everything from an Aerosmith tribute to a Motley (Crue) tribute, I did a Poison tribute for a long time and I just right away out of the blue e-mailed Steve (Summers), saying if a bass player position ever comes open give me a holler and a year later like to the day, I got a call back saying, “Hey man, are you still the guy who’s interested in the position”, I said, “Yeah”, I came down, did the audition and I nailed it.
Glenn: Cool. Did you rehearse much for the band before you did the audition?
Criss6: Oh yeah, you see that’s one thing I’ve always been known for. I always do my research. I always do a hell of a lot of rehearsal and practice, practise, practise because it was a major thing for me – going from the minor league to the major league in 1 big jump. Yeah I definately sat down and ‘til my fingers bled basically. It’s kinda cool just going from a working class, well I’m still working class but being just the normal joe, doing the weekend thing and look I am here on tour in Europe having a great time doing it.
Glenn: Is it a full-time thing now with ‘Floyd?
Criss6: No it’s not. If I relied on this as my primary income I’d be living under a bridge. (we laugh) Yeah.
Glenn: The money’s in tribute bands.
Criss6: Absolutely yeah. I’m definately keeping the day job on this gig.
Glenn: What made you start to get a tribute band together originally?
Criss6: I’ve always been a huge Motley Crue fan – an enourmous Motley Crue fan and I don’t think there’s any other band that I’d love to tribute. I mean Motley Crue just screams ‘America’, just screams ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll, just screams a party vibe and Nikki Sixx has always been my favourite out of the group so what better character to play tribute to than my childhood idol and play the songs that I just love to play over the years and it’s great. You know the tribute band thing is so huge over here in the states and its all over the world. We get to play nice places and get paid a decent amount of dough and it’s just an awesome sort of thing.
Glenn: While you’ve been playing with Pretty Boy Floyd, what have been your favourite venues that you have played and why?
Criss6: My favourite venues, you know what I would have to put Tokyo on the top of the list because I was absolutely blown away by the love and respect by the fans we got at the lpast few shows. I’ve never seen any of that before and they were so greatful, so thankful just to get my dumb signature on their tickets. I mean, who the f*ck wants my signature so much. They apparently did and they all waited in line for it and it made me feel really cool. It was absolutely surreal and a dream come true – yeah.
Glenn: I guess it’s because they view you as a rock star and it’s a big deal to them.
Criss6: Yeah. With the tribute bands, people dig to go there, they see the show, they’re not buying merch, they’re not here sitting waiting for my autograph. But this is really cool and I get a feeling of this side of it and I’m not taking it for granted one bit.
Glenn: How was last nights gig (at The Underworld, London)?
Criss6: Last nights gig was great at the Underworld. The English are just people are maniacs in general and the energy they put off is just absolutely just phenominal and I see all that energy and you know you got the kids in the front row just f*ck*n’ headbanging their *ss*s off. Our 1st show that we played in Australia in Sydney I broke my bass on the last note, I was just so fired up. I threw it on the ground and it busted in half so I had to use the loner bass for the rest of that tour. Yeah that was just a result of the kids going absolutely beserk and me feed ing off that energy.
Glenn: Did you get your bass fixed?
Criss6: Yeah I brought it. We got to go back home for two days so sent it to the guitar tech and got a swapped replacement.
Glenn: That was all the money you’d earnt on the tour?
Criss6: Yeah right, yeah, yeah. It was on the last flight and I broke it off.
Glenn: What ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ songs have you enjoyed playing most and why?
Criss6: ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaws’ – My number 1 favourite Pretty Boy Floyd song of all time. Always has been since I was a kid and the fact that I get to play it live now is so f*ck*n’ kick *ss man. I mean it’s a dream come true. Yeah that one – it’s got an up-beat tempo, it’s got a great chorus and it’s got great back-up vocals and I just get to rock out on it.
Glenn: What’s it feel like to go from being a fan watching the band to being the guy in the band?
Criss6: It’s absolutely without a doubt and most of my fanbase, even in the tribute band world – it still has fans and everybody just goes, “Wow man, what’s it like?”, “It’s indescribable”, especially being on a tour like this in a world where people just wanna meet you and tell you, you are great. A kid in Australia actually came up to me and he was in tears and goes, “Man, I’ve been a fan for 20 years”, and this kid was older than me, he was like 46 years old and he was such a fan from back in the day and all he ever wanted was to see ‘Floyd live and we were able to give that to him and yeah, it was the coolest feeling ever man. It’s just really great, undescriabable and I’m so very fortunate.
Glenn: How do you go on with jet-lag?
Criss6: Oh not so bad, not so bad. I’m the youngest pup in the band. It affects those clowns a little before than me (he jokes) Yeah the older guys. All they see is four walls of a hotel. They’ve never been to Tokyo. I’m an explorer, I like to go out. So the first night in Tokyo I got into a f*ck*n’ fight.
Glenn: How did that happen?
Criss6: Jaegermiester man. No I didn’t get arrested. I still don;t know who did it or what happened. I know the culprit was Jaegermiester yeah. A little bit of shineness going on (points to his eyes), you can’t see much – much less of it but yeah.
Glenn: Well when you put make-up on it doesn’t matter.
Criss6: Yeah , yeah. But it showed in Tokyo and I had to wear sunglasses. It was bad man. It was wild and f*ck*n’ swollen. I’m supposed to be in a glam band and half my face is f*ck*n’ swollen up.
Glenn: Where did you get your singer from, from True2Crue?
Criss6: Oh Timmy.
Glenn: Did you you do a lot of auditioning of singers to find him?
Criss6: No we actually auditioned... he was actually an original member before me. He called me. It was an ad in Recycler which is a local paper in Southern California – that all the musicians use – like a community forum. I kept combing an ad for a guitar player looking for a Motley Crue tribute band and they gave me a holler and it all kinda fell into place. Yeah, not so many people can hit those notes but that m*th*rf*ck*r can.
Glenn: What’s your thoughts of promotion on the Internet? I notice you are not a fan of Twitter.
Criss6: I think ‘MySpace’ is invaluable. Myspace is absolutely invaluable when it comes to band promotion. I let it know I’m not too big into Twitter.
Glenn: I heard you’re a fan of Steel Panther though.
Criss6: Yeah for some reasons these clowns don’t like ‘Panther. I’m a huge Steel Panther fan and they’re one of the most talented bands out there.
Glenn: Yeah. I bought the album and loved it.
Criss6: It’s a great album isn’t it.
Glenn: Yeah I saw them in LA at The Key Club and Interviewed them.
Criss6: Did you?
Criss6: Did you not laugh your ass off?
Criss6: Is the album not phenomenal?
Glenn: Yeah it’s awesome.
Criss6: F*ck*n’ A. All I wanted in life. All I wanted in life was to laugh and to rock. They don’t like ‘em but if we were talking about Thin Lizzy they’d love it. They write emotionally silly lyrics. Some people take them seriously but I see the sense of humour and they are good in the community. Not only that, before they did that they were a cover band, playing cover tunes and that was kinda my forte and the lead singer Ralph was in a tribute band for years and years and years called ‘The Atomic Punks’ and they were the best band and they pulled numbers like no other tribute band could. I mean they would sell out ‘The House Of Blues’ and they were just a phenomenal band and they deserve every f*ck*n’... all the success absolutely – they deserve every fan of it.
Glenn: What influenced you to play Bass – was it Nikki Sixx?
Criss6: Ahh yes. Nikki was the one who transferred me over to Bass. But like most bass players I am still a guitar player. You know, big fat stubby sausage fingers, you know you can’t go (sings a Malmsteen like riff) so I went ding, ding a ding, ding a ding, ding, ding. So yeah – not much to it and I just fell in love with it once I started playing.
Glenn: Cool. Who is your favourite bassist now?
Criss6: My favourite bassist now? Oh lord I am gonna have to go with the obvious but I am an influnenced playful fan. Mike Butler (Exodus) is just absolutely outta control – he’s one of my f*ck*n’ all-time heros. There’s a few others that if had less beers I’d probably remember right now but I can’t.
Glenn: What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the touring with Pretty Boy Floyd?
Criss6: You know what, I think one of the most important things is that you actually get along with your bandmates and just travelling around with these guys, whether it be in a band or whether it be in an aeroplane I always find myself laughing with them. We have similar tastes in movies and comedy and I think that’s they key you know? If you don’t get along with your band mates then everything’s f*ck*ng miserable. With these guys it’s a non-stop f*ck*ng party – it’s great. We all make fun of each other and all just have a great time doing it.
Glenn: Is this your 1st time in the Britain?
Criss6: This is not my 1st time but it is my 1st time playing in Britain.
Glenn: What places have been your favourite places to play so far?
Criss6: Australia was awesome man, Australia was awesome. Like I said, I’m a newbie – I don’t have any experience like those clowns do. Well I would say all my chicks are based in the United States and I gotta say European chicks... I been over here for a few weeks in Europe and Europe f*ck*n’ kicks the States *ss by far, by far.
Glenn: How was Australia...?
Glenn: ...and how does it differ from the U.S.?
Criss6: I don’t know – California – the rock scene isn’t that big anymore and it’s a lot more than the mid-west but er Australia is awesome man, the energy was outta control. It really was – it was through the f*ck*n’ roof and I haven’t felt enery like that in a long, long time. It was great. That was my favourite bit.
Glenn: What are you looking forward to in the future?
Criss6: New album – I am really excited about that because being in a tribute band and doing tribute bands, I’ve never really... I mean, yeah I’ve written my own songs but never ever seen the light of day, now (there’s) something I can actually be a part of. When Floyd picks up with a new album next year (2010) I’d love to be a part of it and see my name on the inside cover and know that I’ve contributed to something that is making people happy.
A Big Thankyou to Criss6 & all the guys in Pretty Boy Floyd, Stuart & Jon Hardcastle, Stephen Oxley (Great Photo's Dude!), Mark Hobson & the Staff @ Corporation, Sheffield