Interview with 'Little Caesar's Frontman
took place on 19th March, 2013.
by Glenn Milligan
influenced you all originally to become musicians and how did the band
originally come to be?
I have always been entranced by the power of music. When I was a kid
I saw people sing and it looked so liberating and expressive. When I
moved to LA I wanted to form a band of musicians that appreciated the
roots of RnR, R&b and Blues....and not have to look like a bunch
of transvestites to do it.
been asked this a million times but what led you to call the band Little
The band was named after the 30's gangster film with Edward G Robinson.
What do you
remember about those 1st shows as a band and how did they go over to
We have always had great enthusiastic crowds. When we first formed,
we had a lot of motorcycle riders come to our shows....and they tend
to be an expressive lot.
you say you were different to many of the other bands at the time that
were also trying to make it?
We were blues based, didn't try to look like women and put less emphasis
on how we looked and more on how we sounded.
have you been most proud of over the years and what influenced them?
Midtown is one of my faves on the first record. It has a lot of different
musical influences going on and some great polyrythms...it was written
in the back of a tour bus on the way to record at Ardent Studios in
Memphis if I remember right.
If you had
the chance to go back to a certain point in the career of Little Caesar,
which point would it be and why?
The day we signed with Geffen. I would have set the building on fire,
blocked the driveway and chained the doors....with no one in it of course
because I called in a bomb threat.
you say the LA scene has changed over the years since the original formation
of Little Caesar?
There is no LA scene anymore. Dance music, weak music, expensive clubs
and parking and a general apathy exists in LA that has killed any nurturing
used to occur here.
you say you guys have changed as people since you originally got together?
I appreciate the value of real friends and family more. I appreciate
the blessing of being able to make music with those people and the fact
that we can still draw enough people to keep playing and making records.
your fave road stories that you can tell?
There is a story about a mother and daughter at the Spectrum in Philly
that sends chills up my spine....all I will say is that the Mom was
p*ss*d off that I wouldn't take her 13yr olds daughter virginity in
a hotel room while she participated in the deflowering.....really creepy
conversation....they wound up becoming a famous duo I hear.
you guys revved up before a show?
Seeing a full room of people....
I first saw
you guys play at The Key Club in November, 2012 - how was that show
for you guys and what stood out?
I was the Production Manager at the Key Club for almost 8 years. I remember
being up there and recounting sooo many shows and crazy events on that
stage....and I was grateful that rather than facilitating some other
artists performance, this time it was my show.
the UK shows for you last December and what were the highlights and
for what reasons?
UK shows were great. The best thing for me is to have a long stream
of fans line up for autographs and finding out that some of them had
never heard of us until that show at HRH. It's always a great compliment
to have that happen after all these years.
your favourite parts of your show and why do they stand out to you?
The best part of any show for me is when I look over and get a smile
from my band mates....it means they are having as much fun as I am.
What do you
both like and dislike about touring and why?
The dislikes: Long drives, sh*tty food, sh*tty hotels, slinging gear,
Crappy PA systems, drinking too much water the night before and having
to have the van pull over and get shit from the driver. The Likes: playing
a long set in front of great crowd who appreciates our music.
stand out to you over the years and why?
The KISS tour was a rolling circus of pomposity and dysfunction with
an old married couple that wears make up as the ring leaders. I learned
a lot on how not to behave as a musician and a human being.
have had the biggest effect on you that you have visited and/or toured
in and what was it about them?
I love them all because of the learning experience of new culture. Japan
was a weird and wonderful place with fans that behave like no other....very
restrained and proper....passionate to the point of knowing every detail
of the band and the music...but very restrained in showing their exuberance.
been the coolest and not so cool artists to gig alongside with and for
I once did a few shows with Stevie Ray Vaughan before he was discovered.
He was one of the nicest, generous unbelievably talented players and
performers I have ever seen in my life.
KISS tossed of their tour
when ticket sales plummeted do to Winger dropping off the bill. To kick
us off they said we weren't going over well with their crowd. All the
reviews of those shows said we were the best band on the bill...but
rather than admit they weren't selling enough tickets, they blamed it
on us...Gene called our Manager Jimmy Iovine and said "they are
going over like pork chops at a Bar Mitzvah"....pretty funny actually...then
Jimmy read the reviews from all the papers and got p*ss*d at him.
Why did you
decide to call the latest album, 'American Dream'?
I saw how this Country is changing and how we as a people are changing
in response...not a pretty sight. The dream is truning into more of
the standout points of recording the album 'American Dream' and why?
Mostly how quickly we recorded and mixed it. We got on a fast roll....the
way a real record should be made. Be prepared, throw up mics, get great
sounds, play like you mean it, mix so you can hear everything, don't
over analyze it, go get lunch.
did it take to record the album, where was it recorded and why was Bruce
Witkin chosen for the job?
22 days....some weren't even full days. Bruce was chosen because he's
an incredible player, writer, engineer, arranger, mixer....and a really
nice guy that likes our music....what more could you ask for?
So was it
total coincidence that you have a song on the album called 'Hard Rock
Hell' and then ended up playing the song in the UK at that exact festival
- how did that go over on the day?
We wrote that song when we were supposed to play it the year before
and Fidel got a really bad flu 2 days before we were to leave. We had
to cancel...the song isn't about the festival...but we always joked
about the title kinda described our career.
How did you
get to know (ex-Goo Goo Doll) Dave Shultz and what made you choose him
to master the album?
It's a different Dave Shultz that mastered the album. "Our"
Dave is an old school Masterer that remembers mastering vinyl...so he
has a bit of a legacy to pull from when he mastered.
on the album are you most proud of writing and why and what influenced
I love them all...they are like your children. I do love the swankiness
of 'Prisoner Of Love' and the tenderness of 'Only A Memory Away'.
Who is their
'Own Worst Enemy' and what and who influenced 'Drama Queen'?
We are all usually our own
worst enemy...and Drama Queen was written for the multitude of women
in LA that don't own any of their sh*t and then complain about everything
in life incessantly.
What is the
story behind 'Only A Memory Away'?
I was just feeling melancholy and Joey wrote this great chord progression.
I had many people in my life losing people and animals that they cherished
and wanted to find a way to comfort them...so I put the concept to paper
that everyone and thing you have ever experienced is always with you.
you decide to put the mono sound and the crackles on 'Dirty Water' and
what influenced the song?
Fidel had written a great old school blues riff and it got me to thinking
about all the great drinking songs from the Honky Tonk genre. We all
thought the crackles and mono would harken back to the original recordings
of the blues and country blues genre.
be the perfect 'American Dream' for you and how could this be incorporated
in your opinion?
That everyone has a truly good shot to find a job that provides for
them. For everyone to live there lives without worrying about how they
could pay for their care if they got sick.
you say are the main ingredients to the longevity of a band?
Everyone that creatively collaborates needs to be able to respect each
others ideas and who they are as individuals. Everyone needs to care
for each other as the paramount reason...way before fame or spotlight.
Everyone needs to know what to sweat and what to let go of.
the bands plans for the rest of 2013?
We have a tour of Europe coming up at the end of May culminating with
an appearance at a very large festival.
If you could
feature any particular artist on a forthcoming song or during a concert
who would you want it to be and why?
We just had Chris Buck get up and play guitar with us at the Hard Rock
Hell Festival. He was GREAT and would love to do it again.
What do you
enjoy doing when away from music?
I build custom cars and motorcycles and I have a lot of animals that
I take care of at my house. 2 Horse, 2 Mini Donkeys, 2 Pot Belly Pigs,
4 Dogs and 60 Koi.
would you like to talk about that I haven't mentioned?
Nothing I can think of...besides...it hurts my head to think.
you like to say to fans who have read the Interview?
Just how much we appreciate taking time out to read about us, listen
to our music, share it with their friends, play it in their car, drive
out to see a show. Music is nothing if it falls on no ones ears....so
Thanks to you also, Mr. Young