An Interview with
Frontman of Famed LA Rockers
that took place in July & August 2014.
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: What originally made you want to become a lead vocalist?
Nadir: I was a drummer originally
for many years in Pasadena CA. I was in a band called 'ASSASSIN' which
rehearsed a block away from Van Halen’s home on Las Lunas down
the street from Pasadena High School. I was a young kid having fun playing
backyard parties had a great time doing it. I recorded my first real
album as a drummer for a band called 'EXUDE' who were more new wave
and which got some good airtime on KROQ back in the glory days of Pasadena.
From there, I left drumming which was not enough for me and moved on
to the Microphone - so the rest is history. I went from band to band
and I believed I was fired 3 times from 3 different bands - LOL!! Yeah!!
I had my own plans and I knew I loved Heavy Metal. I was READY!!! GO
Nadir: Black Sabbath, Led
Zeppelin, Yes, James Brown, Judas Priest, Elvis, Deep Purple -the list
is Loooong! My brother Ramses is the main reason I am in the music world.
My bro introduced me to my first album - BLACK SABBATH by BLACK SABBATH
and the world changed around me after I heard Sweet Leaf - WOW!!! I've
been a Metal MAN for a Long time! I was a dreamer as a kid and I would
imagine myself on stage or a SpaceShip! Which I have now been flying
for 30 years…..
Nadir: I was also in a band called THUNDERBOLT! Older guys than me which helped me to focus and learn serious and not fucked up yet. Then I got fired I believe cause I was too dark and they had a different interest in style not as heavy as I was into. Then I moved on and Joined an established band called VERTIGO then from there I quit and joined LONDON.
Glenn: What led to the forming of London?
Nadir: That is a question for NIKKI SIXX and LIZZIE GREY. LONDON is the Original MOTLEY CRUE without a doubt and LONDON had a lot going on prior to many others on the Sunset Strip. This new movie by Bob Nalbandian "INSIDE METAL-THE PIONEERS OF LA HARD ROCK & METAL" will explain how much of a large influence LONDON has had in the LA HOLLYWOOD METAL and GLAM SCENE. It's time for the world to know that LONDON is a very special machine that has developed many multiplatinum artist which names have already been mentioned in the trades. Lots of Great Metal groups came out of that era and they will always be the ones that took it to the next level. LA has been good to many many artists and it’s doing so now FINALLY!!!!!
Glenn: What were highlights for you personally in the 80’s heyday of the band and why?
Nadir: Highlights would be playing getting to record our first album LONDON "Non Stop Rock" and filming our first LONDON music video called "Radio Stars" which was I sang on and written by Nikki Sixx and Lizzie Grey. The song is very similar to a Motley Crue song I won't mention the name of. I enjoyed singing and producing the music video for it. We also have the FUN times with our Co-Producer KIM FOWLEY on LONDON's "Don't Cry Wolf" album which was a fun experience we will never forget. Brian Lizzie Wailin and I had a special time while recording our second album. There were lots happening with our own personal demons which was causing a lot of delays of the recordings with Fowley.
Glenn: What do you personally think that London never got to the major level like the Motley Crue’s, Skid Row’s or Bon Jovi’s etc?
Nadir: I have No Idea! that
is the million dollar question!. Who Cares! I am here now and LONDON
is ALIVE and WELL!!!! Still STRONG!!!
Nadir: I love the album. It was a special time. I was very young and discovering myself as we all were. Always looking for the Big Sound! It was a struggle but at the same time you felt great. I just re mastered it from original tapes at CAPITOL Records Studios and re-packaged it with the original photo shoot slides that I found at my mamas house. It’s available on Vinyl collectors LIMITED and on CD @ www.LONDONTHEBAND.NET
Glenn: How did you become associated with Kim Fowley and what memorable moments took place in and out of the studio environment?
Nadir: Kim was a blast to
work with and had tons of stories. We spent a good time with Kim in
the studio going trough all the usual studio work. I believe I met Kim
Fowley in West Hollywood when he came to our LONDON show. The rest is
Nadir: Jimmy I knew through the DIO camp and SOUND CITY STUDIOS. LONDON was recording in studio A and B when available. We had our friend House Engineer, Bret Newman hooking us up and working on our recording tracks. I believe Jimmy Bain sang on our album “Non Stop Rock’ and spent time with us during session at Sound City Studios. At the same time, Ronnie James Dio was recording his first album in the next room. I had the pleasure to be invited by Ronnie to come in and take a listen and proceeded to smoke an extremely strong joint right before tracking the song “The Last in Line”. It was f*ck*ng amazing listening to Ronnie belt it out right there in front of me. Angelo Arcuri was there with Claude Snell doing keyboards on a Yamaha sampler -I believe it was the root Keyboard line. It was f*cking cool! I have a lot of respect for Ronnie Dio and everyone involved on those records - Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain,Claude Snell,Vivian Campbell and Engineer, Angelo Arcuri.
Nadir: The girls love the song and at that time they would line up right up front and start getting dirty and just DIRTY NASTY! We kept the song cause I fight for it until this day. My band think it’s a bit corny until they see the girls LOL!! I am still in shock!! LOL!!
Glenn: What cool road stories can you tell us about?
Nadir: Too many to tell!
Nadir: It has changed a lot and it started long time ago. The game and players have changed and the favors and ass kissers are now gone! Meaning that it is a whole new world that keeps moving faster and faster and you must stay on top of it or your ass will be toast and left behind. The change was in the cards and it is faster, more efficient and it's not going to slow down and it's moving ahead with the technology. It is sad to see how the Sunset Strip has now been stripped from its #1 Ranking. Now, interacting is what is in the reach of your phone. Handing out a flyers or walking up to a complete stranger is almost non-existent. People think you are crazy or want something….. Fear! To Interact with others in person has left the building!
Glenn: What would the Nadir Dpriest of 2014 like to say to the Nadir Priest of 1986 as advice if you had the chance and why?
Nadir: DONT TRUST ANYONE & DON’T DO DRUGS!!!
Glenn: What songs are you most pleased of being a major part and for what reasons?
Nadir: I would say all my songs and anything I have had the opportunity to be a part of something special. I had the chance thelast year to share the microphone with Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper Band), Jim Dandy (Black Oak Arkansas) & Lee Sklar (Phil Collins). It was a song for St Jude Children’s Hospital which helps children dealing with that f*ck*d up disease!….I am trying to do what I can while on this earth not just sucking air and having fun doing it.
Glenn: Over the years, what would you say the coolest tours/shows have been and why?
Nadir: The coolest had to
be 'The Los Angeles Street Scene' in downtown LA. A Looooong time ago.
It was 14 stages and LONDON was on one and G’N’R on the
other. There were tens of thousands of people in downtown Los Angeles.
A riot broke out and it was ON!!!!!!! We were escorted from the stage
by the LAPD.
Nadir: That’s easy! HOLLYWOOD BROOOOO!!!!! It’s the HARDEST to conquer and nobody gives a f*ck about your band because Hollywood has it ALL. You think you have what it takes Hollywood will decide what is cool or not! Straight UP!!!!
Glenn: Will there ever be a ‘Don’t Cry Wolf’ line-up reformation or not and what is your reasoning for your answer?
Nadir: Probably not since
Wailin is missing and Lizzie is busy with his band and we have tried
with no success.
Glenn: What kind of things were you up to when the band disbanded from 1991 to 2010 before a new line-up of London emerged onto the scene?
Nadir: I ended up in Phoenix AZ around 1992 and met up with a great bunch of players like Guitarist Freddie Robinson, Kevin Ichrist, Bob Milan, (Bob Welch, Nadir D’Priest’s Temple of Silence) Guitarist Jim Keeler (Surgical Steel, Halford) which had a hook up on all the best musicians in AZ. Great times in AZ. In 1993 I put together a Funk band called WORD! We used to play at La Ve Lee on Ventura blvd Studio City Ca and basically spent a year and a half doing the funk thing.
Then after that I ended up working for a company called Second Vision New Media which was hired to produced the new ROLLING STONES CD Rom from 1993 to 1995. The biggest music title in the history of MultiMedia. It was a F*ck*ng Amazing time working with 'The Rolling Stones' and filming them behind the scenes for the Green screen shoots, recording sound bites for the Virtual tour of 'The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge CD Rom”. I was project director and was on the cover of MultiMedia Producer Magazine which was mind blowing.
In 1999 I put together a Rock band for my first solo album in both English and Spanish. It was produced by myself and Co-Produced by Matt Sorum (G ‘N’ R & Velvet Revolver) recorded most of it at Vicking Studios which was Sorums big ass house in the Hollywood Hills… I have been a busy boy even in my darkest time were I had no resources to keep my music going. Dues have been paid my friends and it is time to get busy….
Glenn: What led to the current line-up of London and how did you meet each member of the band?
Nadir: Well it was not easy I was already working with the guitar player in our album “Playa Del Rock” so I needed Brian West and Krigger who I toured with during Playa Del Rock for NOISE Records/BMG . Eventually in 2011 it all came together naturally like we had never stopped. NOW we were all clean! WELL - drug free!! My new axe man, Chris Sanders I met at the JOINT in West Los Angeles around 2007 while in a cover band. I walked up to him and told him he kicked ass and I need new guitar player and here we are now years later all great cats!.
Glenn: What personal qualities did each member also need to have in order to be accepted into London and why?
Nadir: BE YOURSELF!!! I think it should all come naturally from your body soul motion. I think that being part of the LONDON starship is having Respect for the members you work with or GET THE F*CK OUT!!!! DRAMA FREE Environment!
Glenn: What was it like being back for you and what was the reaction of the audience like towards the new band?
Nadir: IT’S F*CK*NG GREAT!!! Response has been Outstanding and fans and friends wondering why we are not playing at more shows. It was a tough time in Hollywood back then people expected you to BLOW their minds. LONDON did so many things that we new we had something special and tip this day we still do. We have just finished headlining at VINYL @ The HARD ROCK CASINO right after Andrew Dice Clay set and right before Guns and Roses next door at THE JOINT. We had the prime spot loved the mix of characters. G 'N' R fans met the mighty LONDON fans which are basically the same LOL!!. We all had a great night I was there READY! Never a dull moment with this band.
I try to get LONDON on great venues since we do not play as much as we would like to. That was quite the scene GIRLS & BOYS STYLING and off course 24/7 drinking and gambling with the best in town. The Hotel was SOLD OUT! You can imagine our night! Our friend Angelo Arcuri was engineering for us he was the engineer on DIO’s first 3 albums. Mr. Robin McAuley and Mr. Paul Shortino from “Raiding The Rock Vault” the biggest show in Las Vegas joined us for a few songs. Some great talent onstage. 3 keyboardist - Michael T.Ross, Eric Ragno, Gregg Fox, bassist Billy The FIST, James D’Arigo, Marco Zavala, Brie, Derick Pontier and the usual suspects.
Glenn: When have been the most memorable moments so far with the new line up so far and why?
Nadir: We all have no issues
except when we run out of food or boose! Boys LIKE to eat drink well
at the same time we work on staying in shape or I should say we try!
Nadir: It’s raw and in YOUR FACE! I had Michael Wagener and Roy Z Ramirez mixing so I love the overall mix of the two gentleman. Its a “No frills” LONDON LIVE album and we are very happy to have recorded with the lineup from 1988 to 1991. There are two New Studio tracks titled “Get Back Home” and our first Rock en Español crossover song titled “Tu Cultura y Tu Nacion” (translated ‘Your Culture and your Nation”. Great song it drives you right into the great anthem chorus with a positive message. We had a great time recording it in Santa Barbara Ca @ PLAYBACK Studios. I wanted the band away from Hollywood so we can take our time and just have no distractions from our Local Hollywood peeps!. I think everyone will enjoy the tracks.
Glenn: What songs do you most enjoy performing in concert these days and why?
Nadir: I enjoy each and everyone of the songs I wrote with the band especially the classic LONDON from 1985 on up. I worked really hard to make it a reality and they are like my science project which I can tend to EXPLODE and INPLODE under the right temperature! I listen to the LONDON albums where you can hear how much higher my vocal register is compared to now. At this point I am more tuned to my voice and have a lot of fun playing with it.
Glenn: What has been your personal key to still being part of the music business or in other words what has been the staying power in this tough way of making a living these days?
Nadir: My children Family
and my love for music and what I believe in. I look ahead and not at
the rear view mirror very much. I have a mission and I don’t know
where I am going and that is the best part of it all! The adventure
is what keeps it all going and having a great team of players makes
it all worth while.
Nadir: A new album and a couple of videos. Tour everywhere that will be interested in booking LONDON. LONDON needs to PLAY LONDON MATE!!!! READY TO SHOW OUR STUFF!!!!! TAKERS WELCOMED!!!!
Glenn: What would you like to talk about that I haven’t covered already in the interview?
Nadir: I would LIKE to THANK
EVERYONE who has supported our LONDON starship throughout the years.
To our NEW fans who are discovering us please pass the word about LONDON
Nadir: I like to Cook for family and friends camping and the outdoors. I grew up with lots of animals around us and I have had a great time with my father exploring, hunting & fishing.
Nadir: 'I was the singer of Hollywood’s Most Underrated ROCK BAND, The Real Sunset Strip Players!'
Glenn: What are you most proud of in your career so far and why?
Nadir: Working as Project Director for The Rolling Stones on Voodoo Lounge CD ROM. Also being able to continue recording and performing with my band LONDON.
Nice Answers Nadir - thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule!