“I did a Ramones tune because I love the Ramones. I did a Johnny Cash song because he is gone. Those were songs that I wanted to do for a long time. The other stuff is my stuff, and I just needed to let it out. I normally write about whatever is going on around me,” confessed Nick Oliveri, the devilish bassist who raged onstage in Kyuss and Queens Of The Stone Age. His solo endeavor named after a Kyuss song, Mondo Generator, in which Nick also screams with equal parts demon and blue collar handiness, is no less explosive. In actuality, Nick’s flair for the dramatic is amplified, as demonstrated by the fact that none other than Motorhead did a romp with the bald madman overseas.
Dead Planet, on Suburban Noize Recordings, is not technically the first Mondo Generator release, a record that charts territories all over the rock musical map, from punk to rockabilly, to metal at its dirtiest. However, Dead Planet is the record on which Nick has turned his part-time passion into a full-on, life-consuming bloodlust.
Before heading out on a tour with Turbonegro, Nick divulged the reason why he had to pull off Ozzfest as well as his yen for bringing what he does in the studio out to the stage with the firepower of a weapon of mass destruction.
The record is so fierce and unpredictable. Was that a steadfast goal for you while making it?
Nick Oliveri: I was trying to fill in the gaps as far as different styles of rock music that I am capable of pulling off. I was trying to make sure that everything was there and to the point. Some songs I wrote on acoustic guitar and some I did with the electric turned up really loud, so they kind of reflect that. Some of the songs I wrote with Hoss [Wright, drums] and some of the styles came through that way.
How did you get the band together?
Well Hoss was a friend and he was in a band called JUD, and in the late ’90s we played a few shows with them with Queens. He came and played on the record, and then he decided that he wanted to do the live shows as well. It’s been hard. He’s off in another band called The Exies, so unfortunately Hoss isn’t with us anymore. It’s hard to keep people in the band unfortunately; it’s been a side project up until now. Everybody that I know has like two or three bands, and they can come and fill in for a bit, but they have another band going on. So it’s kind of hard to keep people focused in it.
Is that the reason why Ozzfest didn’t pan out for you this year?
Well, the truth is that all the guys that play in the band, they are very expensive and Ozzfest is free, including the bands. Even the bands are all playing for free, but for me, it wasn’t for me. So it’s tough for me. I still owe the guys for the tour and they never even played on it. It’s sucks that it has to come down to money, but we are not kids anymore and everybody has their mortgages or their rent that they have to make. Which isn’t that cool of a story for the reason that we had to pull off, but ultimately, it is the reason why we had to. It’s tough, I mean, it’s great for the fans to be able to go to a show for free, but it’s definitely tough for a small independent band.
You said that it has been a side project up until now, so then would you view this release as your first official release?
Yeah, definitely. I demoed some stuff and did an acoustic record [Demolition Day] that I kind of put out myself a couple years ago, but this is really the first full band attack record. Now it’s a year later, and there have been some ups and downs, but yeah, this is the first official release.