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Three Chords And A Cloud Of Dust

(Interview With Acey Slade Taken From Black Velvet 41 - Aug 2004)

By Shari Black Velvet

.While the mischievous Murderdolls are on temporary hiatus due to key member Joey Jordison heading back to his previous/main dayjob known famously as Slipknot, his fellow members have also been busy on alternative projects to pass a bit of time. A date of Wednesday 13's UK tour was reviewed in issue 40 of Black Velvet. This issue we chat to - and catch in action - Acey Slade with his new rock band, TRASH LIGHT VISION.






Black Velvet: So... Trash Light Vision. when did you first have the vision for this new band?
Acey Slade: I had been thinking about it when I was on tour with the 'dolls. We all knew that there was going to be a time when we would have to return Joey to Slipknot, otherwise eight 250lb guys in masks would come knockin' on our bus door. I've been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people and be in some insane positions. All this makes for good songs, but not necessarily Murderdolls songs. I haven't sang, written, or had the idea for doing my own band in a long time so I've had lots of ideas kicking around in notebooks, on coffee napkins and gum wrappers for a long time.

BV: Who's in the band, where did you find them and why did you choose them?
AS: Steve Haley is the guitarist. We quit doing drugs together and he can hang pictures on his cheekbones. He also has a '69 Les Paul Custom because 'Mick Ronson had one'. Roger 'Rags' Segal was my first roommate. We used to sell clothing to strippers together by day, and sneak into bars at night (we were under 21) to see bands play. Len Thomas is the drummer. He played with Rags in his old band and was part of the package.

BV: I guess Trash Light Vision will be just a side project while nothing's going on in the Murderdolls camp. How do your Trash Light Vision bandmembers see that? Do they have other 'jobs' that they'll go back to when you go back to Murderdolls?
AS: Well... Murderdolls could get together in 2 weeks or 2 years. I know we will do another album. But, this is my priority right now. The guys in TLV are not too worried about it. They were cool when I had to fill in for Rich Jones on the recent Amen tour. Right now we are all just happy eating peanut butter and jelly and playing music all night... haha. Going into this, they knew that I could be 're-activated' for the Dolls anytime. I think that makes it easier. Plus they know this is where my heart is at right now.

BV: Obviously the band is in some way different to Murderdolls and has been quoted as mixing 'diverse musical influences from Refused and Ramones to David Bowie and Guns N' Roses'. But for someone who's not heard you yet, what do you actually sound like - and how did you come up with that sound?
AS: Well… I don't know. I just listen to a lot of different stuff and write whatever pops out. I mean, to me, it's the whole 'originality is boring' thing. I just play rock 'n' roll. But if you need a comparison, it's like this, if the Murderdolls are Mötley Crüe, than TLV is Guns N' Roses.

BV: Would you say you play a different character to that which you are in Murderdolls? Of course you're now on lead vocals, which means that's a change, but personality-wise, looks-wise, is the Acey Slade of Trash Light Vision much different to the Acey Slade of Murderdolls?
AS: Yeah... I'm still kinda working that out. I've been a side-man for so long, I have to say this is a bit of soul searching. In Murderdolls, we take great pride in being a fun band that doesn't take themselves seriously. With TLV, I wanted it to be more real… but still entertaining.

BV: In Murderdolls, Wednesday had his little novelty bit of brushing his teeth. Is there any novelty aspect of Trash Light Vision? So would you say it's more serious or is it still fun too? What do YOU get out of Trash Light Vision?
AS: That's just it. With this, there is no gimic. It's four guys playing rock 'n' roll. It's so cliché but nobody DOES cliché anymore. Whether it's the White Stripes with their one guy and one girl two-piece thing or Staind with their 'problems with life' thing. We are the new cliché. Three chords and a cloud of dust played by guys who look cool. Period.

BV: Did you write all the Trash Light Vision songs by yourself? How and when do you find it easiest to write songs?
AS: Yes, I have written all the lyrics. The music is about 85% mine at this point, but we will see what happens in the future. I play with guys who all like the same music as each other, so why wouldn't I utilise them? I find it best to get the initial idea when I'm in motion of some kind. Whether it's a guitar riff in my head on the subway or meeting some weirdo on tour. I then put the monster together in my apartment in NYC. Mostly at night, for the creative end, but for recording I like to do it during the day when I'm more focused. I think I get less focused and more creative as the day goes on.

BV: Do you have a favourite song that you've written? Which one means the most?
AS: Well, some of my favourite stuff I haven't played for anyone because it's for me. I always write about 'real' stuff and I think there are some things I don't want people do know. And that's why I'm too insecure to play it for anyone.

BV: Can you tell me about the subject matter of some of the songs?
AS: Well the weirdest one I wrote about my ex-girlfriend at my funeral. It was a metaphor to the ending of our relationship. I found out later that she tried to kill herself the day I wrote it. But that's an example of one that will stay put away forever, but you don't want to know about songs that you WON'T HEAR huh, haha... I'll give you examples: 'Black Apples' it's about knowing the seven deadly sins - that they are bad for you - and not giving a fuck. 'Chemical Girl' is about a girl I met whose parents have been feeding her hormones since she was eight. 'You Wanna Be Just Like Me' is about the irony that we (myself, my friends, fans of music) may look weird, but I can assure you that there are more fucked up people that look VERY normal. 'If You Come Home With Me' is about waking up in a tub of ice with your kidneys gone.

BV: Those songs sound interesting - especially the one about the girl who's been fed hormones since the age of eight... and the one about waking up in a tub of ice with your kidneys gone. The last one sounds like it could be a Murderdolls song - a kind of gory horror thing.
AS: Haha, yeah, kinda. I mean, it's still in me. I'm a Murderdoll through and through. But last night someone said one of our songs sounded very Manics. Yeah! I think it may have been our cover of 'Me And My Shadow' but I'm not sure.

BV: Do you think your music and live show has the power to attract new fans other than the Murderdolls fans that you already have?
AS: It's different. This is more punky and rock, less metal. I wanted to make sure that it was different. I would rather lose fans for TLV because it's different from the Murderdolls than because it's a second rate Murderdolls and that would have been the easiest thing to do. To me The Murderdolls were special because we helped people laugh at their crappy life. I think TLV is something people can relate to on a personal level. And THAT can help get them though their crappy day too!

BV: You're touring the UK with AntiProduct. I know AntiProduct supported Murderdolls before. Did you become good friends then and keep in touch? How did you set this tour up?
AS: Oh yeah, Alex and the whole band are just good people. I like to keep relationships. The agent for the tour is a guy I met on the Hanoi Rocks tour. AntiProduct are old friends and that's good enough for me. I prefer to work with people that I think have good hearts.

BV: You did some Philadelphia shows before the UK tour. Were those the first ever shows for Trash Light Vision? You were born outside of Philadelphia. Do you have a lot of friends and relatives that come to the local shows?
AS: I am staying in Philly at the moment, sleeping in our rehearsal place. This is where Rags, Len and Steve live and yeah, where I became friends with them when I was younger. We wanted to do a bunch of shows out side of New York City before we hit the Big Apple. Philly audiences are very, very tough. So where better a place to cut your

BV: What ambitions do you have for Trash Light Vision? Is there anything you want to achieve that you've not yet achieved with Murderdolls or any of your previous projects?
AS: I'm back at square one in some ways. Four guys starving to play music for a living. At this point all I care about is having the privilege to play music for a living. I don't care about gold albums or owning a Starbucks (we'll wait. haha). Every time I have ever put my ass on a tour bus, I am always grateful to the universe for putting it there. I hope it happens again with TLV.

BV: So you're a big Manic Street Preachers fan. Metal Edge once asked you 'If you could have the answer to any one question, what would it be? You replied 'Richey James Edwards - where are you, and why?' You were also asked by Roo Music, 'who would you love to jam with most in the whole world?' and your reply was 'Richey James Edwards'. How did you get into the Manics originally?
AS: When 'Generation Terrorists' came out it was what I was looking for but didn't know it. It was glam that had a reason and made a statement. It was intelligent sleazy rock 'n' roll. That's what I hope TLV would be preceived as... only more sleazy... haha.

BV: Did you ever see them?
AS: At the HMV instore they did about a year ago. It was like watching your dad play with his work buddies unfortunately... haha But the songs still mean the world to me.

BV: Why do you want to jam with Richey more than anyone else? What has he got that no other musician has?
AS: I can very much relate to the fact that he just felt lost in this world. I never feel like I fit in, unless I'm playing. I know that I'm not an amazing guitarist, but I won't let that stop me from being a rock star. It didn't stop him, so I can REALLY relate to that.

BV: Have you ever felt like running away and disappearing like Richey?
AS: I have to give two answers to that. 1. I don't think he is dead, and it wouldn't surprise me if people knew his whereabouts. 2. I wouldn't want to disappear because no matter where you go, you're still stuck with yourself. But I do think about dying every day.

BV: What if you were running away from a situation - not necessarily yourself? Maybe if you're in a bad situation at home then running away to a completely different place or getting out of the limelight like Richey did (if he did run away) would make things a lot better. Not that I'm condoning running away, but you know what I mean...
AS: That's true in those cases. I'm talking more about depression or drug addiction. Lots of alcoholics or abused women move to a new State just to end up in a new bar or a new abusive relationship. As for Richey, I believe that in theory, he had 'cleaned up and was doing well' right before he disappeared. I would like to think that he was just over being a star, but was smart enough to know that the best way to be the biggest star is to have a tragic ending.

BV: What are your three favourite Manics songs?
AS: 'Motorcycle Emptiness', 'Ain't Goin' Down' (off the Slash N' Burn single) 'Little Baby Nothing'.... and... the entire 'Holy Bible' album. I know, it's more than three... but can you blame me?

BV: Finally describe yourself in five words, then describe Trash Light Vision in five DIFFERENT words, then describe Murderdolls in five more DIFFERENT words.
AS: Me - Misunderstood, Confused, Entertaining, Mischievous, Honest. TLV - Greatest Rock Band Never Heard. Haha. Murderdolls - Missed, Disastrous, Fun, Dangerous, Inconsiderate. Haha.

Visit www.trashlightvision.com for more information on Acey's band and www.aceyslade.com for info on the man himself.




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