I don’t understand how you’re going to be able to fit all your stuff.
That’s why it’s going to be so funny. The tighter that we are the funnier that it gets. The more people that we have to jam on a 4-foot-by-4-foot stage, the funnier it is. I got one of those bands where nothing really backfires.
Well, it can’t.
Yeah, exactly. The last tour, the drummer started getting a little bit of an ego because it’s like, ‘Oh, you need me, blah, blah.’ And there’s a couple rules, when you’re on the bus, you’re not allowed to poop on the bus, and he’s crapping on the bus and he’s doing all these defiant things, you know. Just because there was nothing we could do about it.
So one day, we’re having a little barbeque and he bites into his bratwurst and it squirts on him, and he has a fucking hissyfit. Starts throwing stuff and screaming. And I go, ‘You know what? You’re fired.’ And we left him on the fucking curb in Oklahoma, with his luggage. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, you’ll see, your tour is over because you don’t have a drummer. You fucked up.’ I had five drummers the next day. Five. And each one learned three songs, and [during the show] after their third song they would get up and go ‘Fuck this shit, I quit!’ And we did this little gag, ‘Anybody here play drums?’ And the next token guy would wave his hand and he’d come up.
Nothing stops us you know. Bad news? Whatever man. Like this one: We’re leaving on Monday, and on Saturday, the guitar player that we’ve been practicing with decides he doesn’t want to quit his job. So we got nothing. So we find some guy on Tuesday, and we leave a day later. We rehearse on the bus on the way to the Arizona Wal-Mart. And when we get to Wal-Mart, we pull out all the band equipment and we start practicing in the parking lot. And there’s all these RVs—cause you’re allowed to park at Wal-Mart—and we’ve got the RV crowd watching our band at the parking lot playing at nighttime.
It was so hilarious. We got the costumes on, we’re in the parking lot, RV people with their children are watching the show, all of a sudden the Wal-Mart police roll up, and there’s three of them (laughs). And they’ve got the little sirens on their car. And they come out with their flashlights and their pepper spray and they’re like ‘Alright, it’s time for you guys to pack up these puppets and get the hell out of here!’ We got kicked out by the Wal-Mart police. The escorted us off their parking lot.
(laughs). Yup. That’s my life. And it’s cool, I got my son with me, I got my wife with me.
(Bill talks to someone aside).
That’s our new bass player we got today (laughs). Like I said, I acquire them as we go along. Some join up, some drop off, it’s good man. I got 253 more to go. Just make a few phone calls, I got a drummer, a bass player, a guitar player, what do you need?
That’s some fucking twisted American Dream you got going on there.
Oh it’s so funny. The guy from Nashville Pussy, their manager, he goes ‘Bill, I don’t know how the hell you do this man, you don’t worry for one second do you?’ I’m like, ‘Hell no man, there ain’t no worries in the world. There’s always a solution.’ Cause he sees us. This guy comes, that guy goes. Today he’s like, ‘Where’d you get the three new musician guys?’ And we’re like, ‘Oh, we picked ‘em up today!’
So hilarious. My son’s mom went to school the day before we left and said, ‘Oh, Damien’s got to go on tour, Friday will be his last day.’ They’re like, ‘Okay, no problem.’ When the tour’s over, he goes back to school, nobody cares. All of his friends are like ‘Oh my god.’ Some little girl was crying because she likes him, you know, and she went and baked him cookies so he could have him on the tour bus. He’s 15-years-old he’s got girls baking him cookies (laughs).
I remember being 15 and just loving KISS, and I couldn’t imagine Mom pulling me out of school so I could go on tour with my dad. Would have been the friggin coolest thing in the world. My boy has a smile from ear to ear you know?
It sounds like a great way to spend your summer vacation.
Yeah. Nice bonding time with dad, you know? He dresses up in the costumes, he sings songs. He autographs boobs.
I have girls wait at the bus for him and he signs his name, and his name is Damien Hellion, and he signs it on their boobs (laughs).
What a life.
Yeah, it’s funny. It’s something that I started as a kid. I made this band in 12th grade, in high school, and here’s my kid in 10th grade, joining the band. It’s the most awesome thing in the world. I can’t even tell you. I secretly cry every day, I find someplace to cry, because I’m so happy. The joy on my kid’s face every day. Skipping school, seeing the world, meeting people, signing autographs. And Green Jellÿ. Of all godforsaken things. Something that I made up in high school as a joke and did it because it was fun. I had no idea that 29 years later I’d still be doing it. It’s a good living. I enjoy it with my friends and my family.
We kind of have the Addams Family-Partridge Family bus. I find my life parallels the Flintstones, the Partridge Family, and the Munsters very well. I don’t know if that’s because as a little child that’s all I did, 24 hours a day, watched those things over and over again, and I just burned them into my head and I’m just recreating them through life (laughs).
There was this episode of the Flintstones on the other day, and we all started laughing—because one of the songs is ‘Anarchy In The U.K.’ and I play Fred Flintstone—and Fred had made some sort of band and the record company guy told him, ‘You know, you don’t have a lot of talent, so you’re going to need some sort of gimmick to cover this up.’ Everybody in the bus started laughing their asses off. ‘Bill, is that where you got that from?’ I said, ‘You’re goddamn right it is.’ That episode of the Flintstones, 1968. I remember it well. Fred Flintstone sang that song ‘Yabba-Dabba-Die, Yie-Yie-Yie!’
Despite all these lineup changes, you got the same guys from Cereal Killer to do the record (Musick To Insult Your Intelligence By) you put out last year, right?
Actually, that was a record that we did way back then, but as soon as we had finished it, the record company went under. And then—this is going to make you laugh, cause nobody really knows about this part—Michael Jackson was going to pick it up. He was a fan of our band for some reason, and he was signing us to MJJ Records. I’m still really good friends with the head of A&R from there, his name was John O’Cohen. Literally, I’m about to go to Neverneverland Ranch and go meet Michael and sign the contracts and that fucking Santa Barbara DA guy raids his house and arrests him. And Michael goes into remorse, and he closes the record company down.
So we had that release recorded a long time ago, so I just have been sitting on it. And when we started touring I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll just put it out. See if anybody buys it.’ That’s been around a while.
You must have had it remastered though.
No (laughs). Nothing. Every one of those songs, they’re just the demos that we recorded. We didn’t even actually re-record them yet. They were just the first rough drafts of all the songs. And all I had was a cassette of it that’s been sitting around for the last 15 years.
You didn’t use the master, you used a cassette?
No I lost it! (laughs) All I had was some rickety old cassette that was sitting in some box for the last 15 years. When I went out on tour in 2008, instead of having to worry about your house and the expenses and blah blah blah, I just moved, because I learned from last time, I took everything that I owned and I just put it into storage. So when I came back I pulled everything out and I found the cassette. And I was like ‘Oh, I forgot about this album.’ From the cassette to CD. Isn’t that hilarious? Only we can get away with stuff like that.
You’ve got to be the luckiest guy in the world.
That’s what people tell me. I just have fun. I’m serious about it, because it’s what I do, but I’m not a serious person. I don’t take my music to heart. It’s something I do, but I understand the fact that people enjoy it, but I’m not all gung-ho about it.
Today we picked up three musicians. And they’re all terrified that they’re not getting the parts right, and I’m like, ‘You know what? We’ve got 60 more times to play this song, you’re gonna figure it out. Eventually you’ll get it.’ Until then, who cares man? ‘There’s drunk people laughing at puppets. Nobody’s gonna know that you missed a note.’
Some other band, Alice In Chains or whatever band it might be, could you imagine picking up musicians the day of the show and rehearsing songs that no one’s ever heard? It’d be pretty disasterous. For us, it adds a little bit of the comedy element to it.
And you don’t use any backing loops or anything like that.
Oh, hell no! We’re raw! (laughs). The guy the other day asked me if we want to do soundcheck and I just laughed at him. I said ‘Soundcheck? What the hell is that? Isn’t that the thing that you do during the first song?’ We’re the doofuses of rock and roll.