See evil, hear evil, speak evil.

BANTER WITH: SEAN TIDY OF TIDY INK DESIGNS

Sean Tidy – Sean Tidy – Read all about it!
‘Who is this Sean Tidy you’re banging on about like a 1930s newspaper report?’ Well, turns out you might know more of Sean’s dazzling work than you expect, especially if you’ve been rockin’ some recent band merch. Mr. Tidy himself has been working in the design industry for over 10 years, and currently runs a design company Tidy Ink, as well as a t-shirt company Tidy Shirts, all from his own UK-based studio. More importantly, he’s been designing merch for bands such as Metallica, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Ghost, Green Day, Motorhead and of course, Ugly Kid Joe!

Ghostie!

I Am The Wolf spotted his design work on Ugly Kid Joe’s latest release Stairway To Hell, and realised this chap was a full-blooded Englishman like ourselves. A banter on the cards mayhap? A banter indeed. One stormy November evening we skyped the shit, chatted about tea, bowler hats and red buses, and I forgot to record half of it like a true pro…

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FEATURE: UGLY KID JOE ART – I Am The Wolf Edition

MTS Logo BW

Hear ye! Hear ye! It’s been nigh on a year since I Am The Wolf updated itself with all things Ugly Kid Joe, and it’s not because they haven’t been busy. 2013 is proving to be just as illustrious and fruitful as 2012 with a few dates in the USA, a short jaunt of shows and festivals in Europe just completed, and of course the announcement of a European tour with SKID ROW in the autumn! The cylinders are firing. Whit & co are still demolishing. More music is to come.

Meanwhile, during the last year, I Am The Wolf got to working on some new concept art for Ugly Kid Joe. They didn’t ask for it, but they’re certainly gonna get it.

I had been thinking for a while about a new parody artwork after seeing (and purchasing) their very top notch homage to Motörhead t-shirt, and it hit me…

What about an Iron Maiden Number Of The Beast parody? Sure, UKJ aren’t hugely influenced by them. But as a parody, it would be a classic. Stormtroopers Of Death had done it with their 1999 album Bigger Than The Devil, but why do I give a monkey’s about that. My version would blow that out of the cosmos, and not to mention that my version was gonna lend itself perfectly to Ugly Kid Joe: Wouldn’t it be better knowing that the Ugly Kid Devil from Stairway To Hell was actually being manipulated by the original Ugly Kid all along? The answer is of course, yes. And what better opportunity is there to be able to bring back the original mascot for the Joe’s. ‘Nuff said.

THE PROCESS:

The Ugly Kid Joe mascot was sketched freehand by looking at all the art available from original artist Moish Brenman. I decided not to trace as I hoped to get minor flaws and changes which would fit directly with the overall look.
UKJ geeks: You’ll spot the lighter from the As Ugly As They Wanna Be inlay, and his boots are taken from the censored art from America’s Least Wanted.

Drawing a whole new Devil sketch which was a little harder to do since he’s so dark in his original Goddamn Devil guise by artist Marc Goldstein, so I went for inspiration using the latest art from Stairway To Hell and fellow Brit artist Sean Tidyink. I wanted to give this Devil a more obvious difference from that however, and decided to angle his head around more to reveal his other eye.

Sketches 2012

*** Remember, all artwork on this page is clickable if you want to poke your goggles at a bigger version. ***

I tried to create a vector image from this, but wasn’t happy with my shonky effort. So what better person to go to for help than my long term associate and good friend John Blackshaw former art editor of the UK’s Total Guitar Magazine.
John has done some great art since joining the magazine back in 2004 and also does a lot of work freelance. (Check his site out on my links menu.)

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INTERVIEW: KLAUS EICHSTADT OF UGLY KID JOE

After 15 years of waiting patiently, your self proclaimed UKJ berk I Am The Wolf finally managed to track down and interview the legend that is Klaus Eichstadt, lead guitarist of the one and only Ugly Kid Joe!
I say track down, but really it was pre-arranged with Klaus himself – unlike my 5 minute epic with Whit. Yep, this one you see, was legit. Marvellous.

The setting was a bright and chilly day in the city centre of Ireland’s Dublin. I’d flown in about 4 hours before with nowt but a rucksack and a hankering for some of the local tipple. The reason was entirely to see Ugly Kid Joe play – my  fifth show this year. And being the last date on the tour? Who are we to pass up an opportunity like that. Balls were busted, banks were robbed, children were slain in the streets – and then I finally stumbled across the Dublin Academy, in which I met some fellow accomplices of UKJ-based crime. [Names withheld for fear their identity’s may appear on a segment of This Morning*]

We spot Klaus immediately on entering. A fully fledged greeting takes place. 40 minutes later, history is created!

Give your eyeballs a workout for once and read on for top notch tour banter in which we also lay to rest any rumours you may have heard about Dave Fortman! Rock ‘n Rollers worldwide, I give you – Sir Eichstadt:

Let’s start with taking you back to that first gig played since 1996. What do you remember about the show in London?
“I’m trying to think back to that night. That was a pretty surreal moment being backstage again like that…  and you know being in a foreign country in a packed little club. I guess I was definitely nervous, and very nervous right before the show, but you know once we started playing it was weird it was like going back in time… it felt pretty natural you know like, ‘Oh yeah, duh!’ I’ve done this a million times before – it might have been a while – but I’ve done it before. Then you just get back into that after a few notes and you’re like, ‘Okay, I remember this’”. READ MORE

NEWS: HELP UGLY KID JOE MAKE NEW VIDEO!

Well, I don’t mean literally helping them with a loan of your own video camera, or perhaps posting grainy footage of you miming on youtube. No sir! What’s happening here is that Ugly Kid Joe are utilising a great little website called Kickstarter which in effect is kinda like one of those charity websites  –  the ones where you sponsor your mates to swim the Channel in a clown outfit – but instead, the charity is Ugly Kid Joe themselves and you’re sponsoring them to make a new music video!

Sound rude to you? Well it isn’t, everyone has bills to pay, even the mightily understated UKJ. It’s a fucking brain wave is what it is, and what makes it so great is that when you part with your money you actually receive something in return. And we’re not talking about some leftover official Roadie boogers from the tour bus. The goods on offer are ungodly, unheard of, and some are the kinda things your ol’ mum would say “Money just can’t buy”. Well, now it can.

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INTERVIEW: ROGER LAHR EX-UGLY KID JOE

The Summer of Ugly continues! At this rate it might be the Year of Ugly, and if we’re really lucky the Decade of Ugly. Yes, the reunion of Ugly Kid Joe is still going strong, with a European club & festival tour already in the bag, a jaunt to South America completed and an upcoming tour of the UK as main support to the legend that is Alice Cooper.

I Am The Wolf will keep you updated with the latest news on happenings within the Joe camp, and interviews with members and ex-members. Check out the Ugly Kid Joe section on the menu for pure dedication.

Which of course brings us nicely to today’s bonanza: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Roger Lahr, ex-guitarist for Ugly Kid Joe, and current axe-slinger in Moxie!
Roger was in the band when they hit the big time, from playing unknown clubs and campus’ to playing on MTV’s Spring Break and releasing the multi-platinum EP As Ugly As They Wanna Be. He may have only slung the 6-string with them for just over 2 years, but in that time he managed to help create some of the greatest history of Ugly Kid Joe.

 

Onstage in 1991 with the mighty Joe's.

I’ve spent the last couple of years having informal chats with Roger over the phone, and decided that it was about time to put some pen to paper, or fingers to keys as is the fashion these days. Here is a selection of 8-10 hours worth of chat taken with Rog in October 2011 and June 2012 . There’s plenty more stories ready from Roger, but you’ll just have to wait for the Ugly Kid Joe book to get the full history…

How did you come to join Ugly Kid Joe and when?
“This would’ve been about mid-1989. Well they just kicked Eric Phillips out of the band, or asked him to leave, and I was in the band in the room next door to them. I was always booking the shows for our band [Drive-Thru] and we’d always play together with them when they were called Overdrive. I guess they realized I was up on the business end of things, and they didn’t really like to do that themselves. They didn’t like promoting, or talking to the promoter guys.

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5 MINUTES WITH: WHITFIELD CRANE OF UGLY KID JOE

If you’ve been living under the shade of your own fringe waiting for the abysmal weather to clear up, you may not have realised that our favourite Gods Of Rock Ugly Kid Joe are already over halfway through an epic reunion tour of Europe. Not only that, but I Am The Wolf was there to witness 4 of the shows.

After no deliberation at all we decided to open and abuse the imaginary future-child’s-university-fund and make our way from a rainy Oslo, to a rainy London, to a rainy Amsterdam, to a rainy Cologne, to a blisteringly hot and sunny Vienna. European cities are indeed far from cheap, but when Ugly Kid Joe are in town it’s akin to Monopoly money.

On the day of UKJ’s show at Amsterdam’s renowned Melkweg we ‘chanced’ upon their tour bus outside the venue, and by pure coincidence found ourselves in the brief company of members Whit Crane, Cordell Crockett and Klaus Eichstadt. While Mountain Klaus busied himself with the tourbus garbage bags, and Cordell smoked a cigarette, we had a 5-minute chat with the demon eyed singer extraordinaire!

The whole thing was caught on video, but my heart was in my mouth, my lips blubbering together uncontrollably, and the questions stumbling from my mouth were ill-prepared and appeared from within the ether of my meeting-alltime-hero-addled bonce. Alas, here instead is an edited transcript of the highlights, from the man, the legend, the best damn singer in rock ‘n roll – Sir Whitfield Crane:

I’ve been waiting 15 years to meet and see Ugly Kid Joe. It’s great to be here! How’s the tour going Whit?
Whitfield Crane: “What’s up! Well, this’ll be our fourth show. We just played Download a couple of days ago, and Sweden Rock before that, where I jammed with Motorhead…”

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NEWS: SUMMER OF UGLY

Ugly Kid Joe are BACK! Not just sneaky appearances, rumours and the odd leaked photo either. No, no, no – we mean back with new goodies. Now it’s tangible, now it’s listenable, now it’s watchable.
In what seemed like a mysterious opening gambit from the mighty ‘Joe in the last months, has turned into an all-out assault on our senses. The last week has seen the release of their first single in over 15 years Devil’s Paradise (and of course the accompanying video) and there’s also a 7 minute long EPK video regarding the band’s reunion and making of the new EP. All in HD. All top notch.
But it doesn’t end there! May 24th also saw the downloadable release of the EP Stairway To Hell. Their first EP since their debut As Ugly As They Wanna Be in 1991, and their first release of new material since 1996’s Motel California.

So if you haven’t heard the EP yet, you might wonder what you’re missing out on. Well, frankly, you’re missing out on the release of 2012. And for us, this is enough said. Will a review turn up on these pages? It’s a conundrum, since of course it would be entirely bias and honorably receive 10 out of 5.

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NEWS: RETURN OF THE UGLIES!

‘Tis true indeed! UGLY KID JOE really are back, and although to many aficionados this may be reasonably old news, the real nugget here is that in just over a month’s time they’ll be touring Europe. I Am The Wolf is elated at the prospect of seeing the band live after over a decade’s wait, and thus the word must be spread of this wondrous event.

It’s like the years after 1996 never happened.

It’s been almost 15 years since Ugly Kid Joe last played a show together, and now -finally – they are back with the same line-up and ready to kick out the jams and welcome in the marmalade.

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LOST RAMBLINGS PART 2: AIRBOURNE

Back with another edition of our Lost Ramblings, and delving 3 years back to 2008 where I Am The Wolf got to meet Airbourne for the first time, in the crumbling interior walls of London’s Astoria. This was probably the last time I set foot in there before the thing was demolished. Which adds to my list of bizarre occurrences – either a band I interview splits up, goes on hiatus, a member quits or the place of interview gets demolished…

BUT, luckily for us and thank fuck, AIRBOURNE are still going and stronger than ever! With their second album No Guts No Glory still riding high worldwide after being released over a year ago, these well-versed-in-the-art-of-all-that-is-AC/DC antipodeans are currently blasting their frantic rhythms into the atmosphere of festivals all over Europe, and even managed to support Iron Maiden on a couple of dates this summer. Ahoy-hoy monsieur.

Joel gets stuck in. Literally.

So without further ado, I give you the unreleased charms and important wisdom of what it takes to be a genuine, hard-hitting, balls-out, chin-up, rock n’ roll band. Your hosts in time – guitarists Joel O’ Keeffe and David Roads:

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ALBUM REVIEW: CROWN OF THORNS – ‘FAITH’

Album review previously published on ANTENNA magazine website in 2008:

CROWN OF THORNS – FAITH (FRONTIERS)

It’s no surprise that this album is stuck firmly in the eighties, in fact if someone were to quiz you on the year of release you’d almost certainly say 1989.

It’s almost as if Crown Of Thorns live a life within a cliché bubble that consistently floats around the late eighties (the band actually formed in the 90’s, which just beggars belief!)
Previous outings for the band have been much better however – in the mid-nineties when this kind of music was dying out faster than red socks in a white wash, they managed to support Van Halen and Bon Jovi on a stadium tour. So times were good. Very good. Times have changed however, but somebody forgot to inform Jean Beauvoir and his fellow cohorts.

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