'The Freaks of Rock Are Back!'
Three men from the UK had no world changing plans, Billy Morrison, Billy Duffy and Ricky Warwick, just got together in Morrison’s garage and just kicked it out. Straight rock, no bullsh*t, no frills, no samples, no break beats, and no plans, except to make some noise and grind out a few good rock songs.
Three straight days and a bunch of songs later, a band walked out into a bright Los Angeles morning. And in a birth-like experience, somewhere between the dark of a garage, and an unforgiving light, CIRCUS DIABLO was born. Ricky’s rhythms, Duffy’s hooks, and Morrison’s far too many cigarettes and Red Bull vocals all fit together, and they were pulled forward by fate.
The next step was a logical one; record some of the tracks with Matt on drums, in his studio. With a resume that reads The Cult, Guns N’ Roses and now Velvet Revolver, Matt Sorum is quite possibly the world’s best rock drummer. He also happens to be a mate of Duffy and Morrison. Of course, the band still needed a bass player.
Enter Brett Scallions of Fuel. Although noted for his vocals, Brett is a truly accomplished musician, and his amazing stage presence and backing vocals completed the package. Take two parts Cult, a pound of Almighty, and a drop of high octane Fuel and beat it together with a slice of Velvet Revolver tossed in for good measure. The end result was nothing less than CIRCUS DIABLO.
With drummer, Charles Ruggiero (Slunt) completing the bands line-up, and a personal invitation from The Prince Of Darkness himself to appear on this years groundbreaking OZZFEST (now known as “The Freefest”), the band is ready to drop their self titled debut disc July 3, 2007 on KOCH Records, and dance like mother-f**kers across that thin tightrope out on the road.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? [Singer/Guitarist - Billy Morrison] "Growing up, I listened to anything that seemed like it would piss my parents off!! The Sex Pistols changed my life, but I also listened to David Bowie, Adam And The Ants, Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop. By the time Hanoi Rocks and early Guns N Roses were happening I was a fully fledged 'f**k up'!! EVERYTHING that I listened to then, I still listen to today. It’s all relevant."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "The Pistols meet AC/DC, get f**ked up in an alleyway somewhere, and invite Oasis to join them. They then have a bastard child that they call Circus Diablo!"
Your new album is self-titled - was this due to a lack of imagination (!) or just too many choices one simply couldn't be chosen above the others?! "Eponymous albums are the stuff of classics. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Tenacious D...oh f**k it. I lack imagination - Google it for yourself!"
And just where does the bands name originate? "The bands name comes from going round and round in circles for months with every name under the sun...and then realizing that the first name we had (Circus Diablo) meant the Devils Circus (artistic license enables us to have our spelling - we KNOW it should be 'el circo de los diablos') meant the freak show. The place for the misfits and weirdos. Perfect!"
Knowing the musical heritage behind this band and its members, who's turned out to be the biggest prima donna thus far ... and in what major way?! "What’s a prima donna? Isn't that some kind of rash caused by a nettle or something? The musical heritage of this band actually prevents the whole 'look at me' sh*t - no one has time for any of that rubbish. Yeah, RIGHT!!!"
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Great question. I truly believe that the artist has to remove any preconceptions of success or failure, and also forget about that 'wanted-by-the-public' stigma. If anyone enters a creative process and thinks of the end result, they are doomed to regurgitate something already done, or find an end result that is frigid and devoid of emotion. The only way to be vibrant is to be true to yourself and to REALLY enjoy the journey, the process, the music itself. If anyone else likes it when its finished, then that is nothing but a bonus."
Please tell us more about your own personal favorite two (2) songs from this new album and what they mean to you to play each time? "SHINE – it’s a song about my wife. The only song I have ever written about one particular girl. And every time I sing it, it means the same as when I wrote it. That I am the luckiest guy on the planet. And MAD PARADE - I have taken to calling that song 'Listerine for the soul' because I had a bad taste in my mouth when I was let down by a good friend, and this song helped me realize just how f**ked up the whole thing was, and how I am way better off now."
Who's the girl on the front over of the album sleeve wearing the red pants ... and does anyone have her number?! "Ask Billy Duffy - I believe he has her digits!"
As everyone in the band has a reputation for being a bad-ass rocker, please tell me the most bad-ass (rock) thing you've ever undertaken, did you have to go to hospital, and would you ever do it again?! "Riding my motorcycle into the back of a car at 90mph on the M1 motorway in the U.K. involved hospital for a few weeks!! But I wouldn't call that bad-ass... I'd call it stupid! Most of the so-called bad-ass sh*t got me in nothing but trouble every time. And throwing TVs out the window gets f**king expensive!"
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today ... and why?! "I'd do a death metal version of Tiffany's ‘I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW’ and donate the proceeds to the Human Fund. Anyone not understanding should brush up on their 'Seinfeld'!”
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Just remember kids......a Penguin is for life, and NOT just for Christmas!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
Photo by: Dara Blumenhein
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