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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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

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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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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YOUNG GUNS FEATURE: BLACK TIDE

Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR in 2008:

Line-up with Alex nunez (at the back)

Guitarist Alex Nunez was to quit the band shortly after this interview took place. Another notch here on the bedposts of I Am The Wolf! Bizarrely enough he was replaced by Austin Diaz of the hardcore band The Panix… and then Nunez ended up joining The Panix. A nifty little switch which did nowt to harm either careers.

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LOST RAMBLINGS PART 1: SKINDRED

As with most interviews undertaken for a freelance article – you always end up with more words than it’s possible to whittle down. But whittle down you must, even if it means excluding what some fans might see as being the cream of the crop. So where do these cuttings end up? Usually at the arse end of the delete button.

But fear not fellow wolfmen! Sometimes things get saved, and today starts us off in a high spirited summer fashion. Fresh from their appearance at this years Download Festival, and the first in our batch of unreleased gems –  the ever-metal, ever-reggae, ever-growing, Skindred:

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ON MY IPOD: JORDAN WHELAN OF STILL REMAINS

Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR magazine in 2007:

Ah! The good old days of Still Remains! What a damn shame that less than a year after this interview with Jordan, they decided to call it quits. Was it something I said? Perhaps… this happens more often than not.

Anyway, as interviews go it was of course short and sweet. Subject matter being pretty minimal and all that. I do recall asking Jordan about working with producer Logan Mader [ex-Machine Head, Soulfly and Medication], and he didn’t have too much to say. In fact he’d never even heard of Medication! It’s understandable and I forgive his ignorance on such a short lived band. I just wanted to chat about Prince Valium. Ah well…

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INTRODUCING: A LIFE ONCE LOST

Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR magazine in 2007:

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: A LIFE ONCE LOST

Genre defying monolithic metal heaviness. All they know is – they’ve come to destroy!

GUITARISTS: Doug ‘Snake Sustaine’ Sabolick, Rob Carpenter

Who are they and what do they sound like?
Take your Rocky montages with your cream cheese spread and stick them where the sun don’t shine, Philadelphia has some new heroes. They go by the name of A Life Once Lost and they’re pioneering the future in DIY metal. Destroying venues across America continuously, there’s been no let up in their steaming efforts. Injecting a punk rock swagger into an intense barrage of pent up polyrhythms and vicious deathcore. Tech metal? Who knows. Guitarist Doug Sabolick ponders: “I guess we’ll always be labelled that, but it’s no problem. I’d classify our shit now as: smoking bong rock metal! Just look for that section in the record store”.

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INTRODUCING: BLACK STONE CHERRY

Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR magazine in 2007:

Guitarist Ben Wells, second on the left.

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: BLACK STONE CHERRY

Southern fried rock n rollers go extra large. Bring out the moonshine!
GUITARISTS:
Ben Wells, Chris Robertson

Who are they and what do they sound like?
Drenching themselves in a tornado of pounding metal, Southern soul and seventies stadium rock – Kentucky’s BSC swing into town brandishing particularly cumbersome balls, scorching guitar tones and impressive support slots with Staind and Black Label Society under their belt.

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