The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

MARK TALKS TO DEMONS ALLEY

ABOUT THE STATE OF SLEAZE AND WHY THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ROCKS SO GOOD

...FASTEN YOUR SLEAZEBELTS

 

 

Sleaze rock band DEMONS ALLEY came to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and they're all outta gum! Fans have described them as “Guns N Roses meets the Ramones”, as well as “Bowie singing for Mötley Crüe”. DEMONS ALLEY hails from Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, even though they sound more like a New York City band. It makes sense; a few of their biggest influences are bands like Kiss and The New York Dolls. The boys have attitude and swagger that recall vintage Stones and Aerosmith, while also giving the nod to 80's metal gods like Hanoi Rocks and L.A. Guns. Their sound is heavy with hooks and raw “too-much-eyeliner” riffs. The band has just released their first full-length CD, entitled “Dead End Tricks” recorded at Side Two Studio in Boston, as well as consistently performing concerts throughout the region. DEMONS ALLEY plays rock n’ roll like they don't care if they live or die, and it makes for an explosive and exciting live show that must be seen! Check out demonsalley.com for latest band details, and be sure to get your copy of “Dead End Tricks”, available at CDBaby.com, iTunes, and of course at the merch table at Demons live shows. They’re keeping busy touring, recording, and breaking hearts; get down or get outta the way!

 

 

MARK: For those who haven’t heard of you before tell us a little about the history of the band. How did you get together? What got you to where you are today?

 

 

Right around Christmas 2005, a mutual friend of Pink’s and I got us in touch with each other. He was looking to start a new band, and I wasn’t playing anywhere. I dodged his calls at first, since I wasn’t sure I wanted to start a brand-new group, and also I was in a bad relationship where the chick discouraged me from playing in a band. He persisted, and finally we agreed to get together, we played some songs in his girlfriend’s (now his wife) living room and it sounded great! Eventually we decided to move ahead, and he brought in a drummer he knew (Joe Gigolo, original Demons drummer), and I brought in a bassist I knew (Nico Youngblood, who was in both NY glam-rock band Temptress, and Motley Crue tribute band Red Hot with me). We played all the songs we knew, and before you know it, we were a band. We did a few warm-up shows at the Lucky Dog in Worcester, MA, USA (Formerly known as Sir Morgan’s Cove, where the Rolling Stones played a surprise show in the early 80’s), before we had our band name. We were calling ourselves “Crack Baby”! Our first official show was the 4th of July Metal Sludge show in 2006, held at O’Briens pub in Allston, MA, USA. We opened for Vains Of Jenna & Teenage Casket Company. From there we played shows and put out a 3-song EP, then our original drummer Joe Gigolo left the band in 2008, to move out to Hollywood. He’s doing great, and was in VH1 Classic’s Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. Months later after searching for a new drummer, we found Matti Mayhem just a few doors down in our rehearsal building, beating the hell out of his drums! We liked the same kind of music, and he joined up with us in 2009. We’ve been rocking harder than ever, and here we are!

 

 

 
MARK: And how would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard you?

 

 

A ’57 Cadillac on fire driving off a cliff! Guns N’ Roses meets the Ramones. David Bowie singing for Motley Crue.

 

 

MARK: What is the local scene like in MA for rock at the moment?

 

 

The local rock scene in New England is pretty weak. There’s lots of heavy-duty metal bands, seems like lots of artsy-hipster type bands, but not much real rock! We play every show we can with cool bands we know like Bottlefight, The Erotics , The Evil Streaks, The Raw, Musclecah, & Vagora. We keep looking for other cool bands to do shows with too!

 

 

 

MARK: The New album ‘Dead End Tricks’ has some great songs on there were you happy with how it ended up overall?

 

 

Thanks! We are really proud of it. There was a lot of work involved, over the span of 2 years. When we started recording, we didn’t have a definite game-plan of what we were going to do – if we were doing an entire album, another EP, or whatever. As we kept working, we decided to do a full-length CD.

 

 

MARK: We saw that you had some other material on your Facebook page too that was equally strong. Are we listening to a mixture of old and new material on the album or did you write everything new?

 

 

It ranges. There are a few songs on there that we’ve been playing for a long time, like “Teenage Tragedy” and “Dirty Girl”, some that were written shortly before we started recording, and a few more that were completed while we were almost done with the CD, like “NYC” and “GirlGang”.

 

 

MARK: We loved’ Teenage Tragedy’ and ‘GirlGang’ most of all I think after the first few listens, but it’s a helluva consistent album and songs like: ‘Better off Blonde’; ‘Boulevard Red’ and ‘Porn Star’ all deliver. Were you happy with how it came out?

 

 

Cool, we’re happy if people like hearing it, we’re psyched to play it! There’s always little things any artist would like to go back and tweak in their work, but you could mess with things forever and nobody might notice the difference between version 1 and version 100! We’re definitely happy with how it came out.

 

 

MARK: ‘Beatin’s’ a great song too is there a story behind that one?

 

 

That’s mostly Pink, the band wrote some of the music, but those lyrics are his. You’d have to ask him, half the time I can’t hear what he’s singing over the loud guitars!

 

 

MARK: Tell us about the Metal of “Loaded Gun’; we loved it but it kind of has a different flavor to the rest of the album?

 

 

Yup, that’s Nico, our bassist. I contributed some of the riffs, but the lyrics are all his. He definitely is into the heaviest music out of all of us. We all have slightly different musical tastes, and I think it translates well into the music, that way there’s not one guy writing the same song over and over making people fall asleep in the crowd. We get a little variety, but it still all sounds like Demons Alley.

 

 

 

 

MARK: We can hear a number of influences on the album, but as a band who would you say your main influences are at the moment?

 

 

New York Dolls, Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Hanoi Rocks & Kiss.

 

 

MARK: Who or what was it that started you on the road to becoming musicians in the first place?

 

 

Stupidity?  Ha ha. For me, it was my family. No one was especially musical, but when I was a kid and wanted to jump around and sing, grandpa bought be a little amp, microphone and stand. I still have the amp! My dad played guitar a little when he was younger, so there was an old acoustic lying around the house. He showed me a couple of chords to get me started, and I would jam along with Monkees tapes. The thing that really made we want to take up the guitar though was the scene in “Back To The Future” where Marty McFly freaks out on guitar playing some Chuck Berry!

 

 

MARK: What are you listening to at the moment?

 

 

All kinds of stuff! Spending lots of time listening to Kevin Smith’s (yes, the Clerks guy) Smodcast Podcast network. He’s doing some exciting things with independent art & has some great ideas that artists of all types would be smart to pick up. Plus, dick jokes! Also feeding most of my CD collection into iTunes, so I listen to make sure they rip ok. Big variety of music, old country, some lounge/ exotica, & some classics like Mott the Hoople, T. Rex, Joan Jett, The Ramones, & Kiss.

 

 

 

 

 

MARK: Now that the album is out what is the next step for the band? Getting that CD out there and getting more exposure locally? Or are there bigger plans?

 

 

Getting the CD into people’s hands is the most important step. Promote the f*&k out of it! There’s way too much Simon Cowell auto-tuned bulls*&t on the radio & TV, and we’d like to give the misfits like us out there something new to listen to. We’re hoping to get some magazine and website coverage to help with this. We hear that the CD is being played on the radio in Europe, and is receiving a positive response. Pink and I are also working up “unplugged” versions of some of our material, so we can have some more flexibility to play places where a full-band set up wouldn’t work. In addition to that, we’re working on more new songs with an aim to start recording a new CD in 2013, assuming we make it past the whole “End Of The World” in December 2012!

 

 

MARK: How hard are you finding it in today’s climate to get heard?

 

 

Getting heard is absolutely NOT a problem. In 2012, there’s so many ways to get out there, especially with Facebook, YouTube, etc, that just didn’t exist when we started playing music. The problem is getting people to CARE. Between all the sources of entertainment competing for people’s time and attention, work, family, and all the normal stuff, you have a real decline of nightclub culture due to cost, stricter laws on drinking & driving, and smoking prohibition. Any entertainer has to work much harder to get and keep an audience to come out to a show or to open their wallet for a CD or T-shirt. We’re very thankful for every single person who does so.

 

 

 

 

MARK: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given so far?

 

 

“Don't forget to bring a towel” – Towelie (South Park)

 

 

MARK: Tell us about what we could expect if we come to see ‘Demons Alley’ live?

 

 

Expect a solid rock n’ roll band, no BS, long hair, weird clothes. Expect to take a cab back home, cuz you’ll be too drunk to drive! Expect pretty girls in the crowd.

 

 

MARK: Any funny stories from the road that we could actually print?

 

 

So, no sex, no drugs, no illegal activities? Nope, no stories! Ha ha…once or twice we’ve been scheduled to play in the Philadelphia/ New York City area that we had to cancel because of blizzards, that bummed us out because we don’t like to disappoint. But if we skid off the road into a ditch, there’s no show anyway, so safety comes first! The whole band is addicted to New York pizza, every time we’re in New York City or Albany, it’s very high on the priority list to get some pizza. It’s the best out of anywhere! When we played Philadelphia, our singer Pink hung out with some of the guys from Cinderella. Those guys are one of the few (Kix is the other one) 80’s bands that still has some teeth and kick @ss live! There was also that time we played at the nudie bar in New Hampshire, and I had drank a pint of 100 proof Smirnoff on the way. I don’t remember much of the show, and I’m told I ended up out in the parking lot in a car with a girl! Can’t imagine what happened next!

 

 

MARK: Anyone you would particularly like to mention who have helped you along the way?

 

 

Yeah. Lots of people, numero uno is our girlfriends/ wives! They put up with our dumb musician s*&t, wait for us to come home from band practice, do some driving to shows, and even help us with selling CD’s and T-shirts. We couldn’t do it without their support.

 

 

Joe Gigolo, original Demons Alley drummer. He was with us for the first few years of the band, and helped us get off the ground. He moved out to Hollywood to maximize his music opportunities, and he was on VH1 Classic's Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp show. He’s doing very well, and we’re proud!

 

 

Janee Carroll with Orbit the Well Photography has done most of our pictures for the last several years. She’s the best! Sean Pierce from the Toilet Boys designed our awesome logo for us; Mr. Frank Wood from New York has helped us get a lot of shows there, and provides great advice & old-time rock n roll stories!

 

 

All the true-believer fans that come out to see us, as well as our musician friends in other bands!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARK: Where can people check out your music and keep in touch with the band?

 

 

www.demonsalley.com right now links to our ReverbNation website, from there you can get to any of our stuff. Preview songs, links to Facebook, Twitter, and shopping links - We have a Café Press store where we’re putting some exclusive merch for online-only ordering. I’m also working up a new band website for the future. 

 

“Dead End Tricks” is available at cdbaby.com and iTunes.

 

 

 

MARK: If you could have been involved in the making of any single piece of music at any point in time what would it have been?

 

 

I could name some of my favorite songs or albums, something like the Stones or Alice Cooper, but if I was involved, I’d be afraid that I’d f*&k something up! Maybe “Chinese Democracy” so I could beat some sense into Axl Rose!

 

 

MARK: What is the meaning of life? 

 

 

HAVE A GOOD TIME, ALL THE TIME!

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins

All Photos by Janee Carrol