An Interview with Matt Kramer

(ex-vocalist of Saigon Kick, now Solo)

Interviewed via e-mail by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Recieved: 7th August, 2003

What are your best times in Saigon Kick and why?

MK - Quitting the band… No really, you cant let a couple of a**holes ruin all the fun right ?

Let's see Hung out many times with the actor Michael Douglas, who owned our label Third Stone, Marilyn Manson use to be a journalist in Miami, and hang with the band all the time. We let him in early on the band and he was, and still is a great friend of mine. He even painted the daisies on my obligatory combat boots, that I wore for a million shows, and I'm wearing them on the !st Albums pics. Saigon Kick use to be a fucking trip. But when we got our deal certain people turn into 1st class C*nts.

Why did you leave Saigon Kick?

MK - I was getting all of my money stolen, and someone's solo cd style takeover on the 3rd cd sucked my b*lls, and I was told to sing and not write. F*ck that I'm a writer and on the first 2 discs I wrote and gave my all, but that's all over now, so enjoy those albums because that band is HISTORY. And I wanted it too end, because after a great run, why turn something respectable, into a piece of sh*t.

What made you call the new album 'War and Peas'?

MK - I wanted a statement that had a reflection of the times and that was the war part, the peas part was the cynical slap in the face, that the title needed without getting to damn serious and weepy.

What are your favourite parts of it and why?

MK - My favs are having Jonothon Mover on drums, Long time friend Dave Scott kicked ass for me doing most of the guitar work. I enjoyed the freedom to get heavy instead of doing what's expected of a guy that had a big love ballad. It was nice to get my roots back and explore bands that I grew up with and infuse into "War & Peas" like Mott the Hoople, T Rex, Sweet, Bowie, Sisters of Mercy, The doors, The Velvet Underground, and experiment going for that kind of vibe, but a lot louder and meaner overtone. Definitely a dark Album. Try it on a rainy day, or a good day out shooting from a clock tower.

Which vocalists would you say have influenced you most and why?

MK - Man you got the hard drive space for that one ? Way too many and for different reasons.

Robert Plant - for doing the most hellish amazing vocals and at 18 years old people.

Janis Joplin - for introducing me to the vocal jam style.and purely incredible singing. One bad Bitch.

Jim Morrison - Always in character and the lyric man. With Jim he sang like a man not like a cute little boy. Like most other rock guys.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - "The Indian Cat" This was always one of my favs.

Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole - for Smoothness

Johnny Rotten - For sheer F*ck you

Otis Redding - Don't mess with Otis

Bob Marley - For making me realize down to earth is where it's at, although im never there much.

David Bowie - The Mastermind of our trade, and always taught me to endlessly search for a different approach.

John and Paul - Still the one

Freddy Mercury - One fine tuned Nigga

Lou Reed - proved you can completely suck, and with a little creativity turn it into a brilliant style.

Axl Rose - Back in the day you couldn't touch him

Billie Holliday - Billie was the Queen, Introduced me to a lot of jazz horn players that make me musically think, and sing differently now.

Elvis Presley - The Origional Gangsta, sang like honey flows. Had a pretty cool rasp when he wanted to also.

Frank Sinatra - Cause you better listen…. Or he'll KILL YA !

Bono - great voice

Justin Timberlake - For teaching me what NOT too do.

Had enough ?

On some of 'War and Peas' you kinda sound like Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison - was this intended?

MK - Jim and Iggy actually layed down the pilot vocals for me via satellite, and I went in and sang over the top of them and it seems. You can still hear a little of them, through my headphones bleeding into the mic, and we just left it in the mix.

How is it living in Miami?

It's home… and f*cking hot all the time. Pretty girls, with very few cloths, calling me poppi, why go on tour ?

Whereabouts do you socialize there and do you hang with other musicians - who? Any big names etc? - out of personal interest do you know Yngwie Malmsteen?

MK - Really I work a lot, but when I go out, yeah I guess a lot of people come to Miami Beach. I met Dennis Hopper once, shook his hand, that was huge !! David Lee Roth was cool at some bar I met him at on the beach. Lots of models and actresses, Everybodys hangin here on the DL, Just getting down and DIRTY away from the cameras of LA and NEW YORK.

As for Yngwie, I hung with Yngwie at his pad in Miami a couple of times. We have mutual friends from Sweden, and he was always cool with me. He knows how to get the press the old fashion way doesn't he. Love that about old Oy Veeee.

What is the influence behind the song 'Spinning Round'?

MK - The world according to CNN - meets - "The country bear jamboree" that song I was Going for a Dharma - Karma thing.

Always wanted to do a song that meant something to me, that said something about the world like Bob Dylan would do. And "Spinning Round" was my chance to reflect about my views.

It's about the never ending treadmill of stupidity and collective blindness too our planet, us, religion, turning our head on justified ? Atrocities, in the name of what suits us best.

I don't know man, keep them sweat shops in Malaysia rolling, keep castrating women in Africa, keep them smoke stacks burning, let me hear you holler, if your a killer for Allah ! ! Cop killers for every child. C4 Brownies in the school lunches. Oh yeah I don't think we have enough bio labs making viruses tougher to kill. Yardley soap by the way is best for ethnic cleansing. Folks. !

I guess I was really sick of learning, that we really never learn, that no one does take responsibility.

and I just happened to be writing a song that day.

What influenced the songs -

'So long'?

MK - Fare well I hate to say goodbye, adjure, adjure, adjure, adjure, adjurer.

'Goodbye to all tomorrow's'?

MK - My serenade too "Our Last sweet kiss goodbye" It's a song about my fantasy with a glamorous death. Instead of a dull boring one. It's going to happen anyway. So do it right.

Caught up on the inside'?

MK - It's about being so committed to something, that it becomes you.

'I'm Getting Closer'?

MK - About the never ending search for my destined road.

'If god could hear me now'

MK - The Soldier of misfortune, This lyric is pretty much a soldier in battle, at the end of his short fighting life. And coming too the realization that he's going to die. An expendable number. For reasons he doesn't know if he believes in anymore, Him and God talking was my Idea for the verse, and the chorus was the sum of the not so very pleasant conversation, with God on his fate. I was just thinking of what must go through a soldiers mind when that moment hits. Most of the guys in my family were in the service. That's always been a heavy thought to me.

I guess I didn't see that one going so lightly. Plus I just wanted to use Gods name in VEIN. As many times as I could in one song.


MK - This one is about quieting the thought of any form of life, other than what's on our planet. Ya know there are a lot of suns and moons, circling around a lot of other planets, in this universe. We find out something new every time we send a telescope further out into space.

Anything could be out there. Its one of them Fancy, High Fallootin outer space songs, cat.

So I wrote a song about it. Der it go.

How was it working alongside George Lynch and how did it come about?

MK - George is cool man, talented guy, good hands. What can you say he's a legend. It was a different kind of project than you might expect from George Lynch, and myself. We had met by my former manager and friend, Jim Lewis, and he was handling George at the time and I bumped into Jim on South Beach and he told me George had a different project that I might be into. It was called Stonehouse, and the material was machine oriented with driving guitar, pretty cool stuff. I actually put a few songs from our project, on "War & Peas" and replaced the machines with Jonothon Mover, playing live drums, and we rocked them out.

How did you meet Jonothon Mover?

MK - Jonothon was into the first Saigon Kick cd early, became friends with Phil Varone, and we met at a club gig Saigon Kick played in New York, where he lives, and has a studio called Skyline, ( it's where we did the mix with Ron Allaire, and recorded the drum tracks,) and I was so lucky to get Mover to play drums on the entire album as well. He's the most flexible drummer. And the coolest, thing was, we went for these really raw, live drums, a big 26 inch bass drum Bonham kit, and mover hit them as hard as he could to get the edge we wanted for the session. That was something he doesn't get to do all the time, in the world of being a big studio drummer like he is. It was kind of funny getting a drummer as amazing and technical as him, and ask him to play like Mott the Hoople met 1000 more horsepower, as if he was in a live rehearsal. Sweaty heavy hitting. I always liked the raw feel of those early Cult records, Heavy almost ass shakin, raw rock n roll, and also wanted that early brit thing. We had a lot of amazing moments on that one.

What is the 24/7 of Matt Kramer?

MK - Working on getting "War & Peas" out there and to your ears. I released this on my indy label Lascivious Records. Produced, and Engineered it as well. So it takes a lot of my time to build this up the right way. I did this so I could work the way I wanted, and it's the hard way believe me, but I realized I could make a lot more happen the way I wanted.

Do you ever see any of them members of Saigon Kick?

MK - I saw Phil Varone at the Skid Row show a few nights ago. Were great friends still, He's the only one I hang with these days. Good to see those guys coming out with a new kick ass album.

Are there any tour plans?

MK - Check my tour schedule on my website I'm doing New York shows, and some Florida shows in late September. That's the beginning of the live dates. If you can make it come on out and see a heavy band. Even got Mover playing live on the September dates. Can't wait.

Thanks, if anyone wants to check out my song samples, and order the disc, "War & Peas" it's available at my site only.

Cheers oh angry ones…

Thanks to for setting up this Interview