Monthly Archives: October 2010

STILL WORKING ON REBUILDING GRUNGEREPORT.NET

Short update to those of you just coming back on the site after it’s been down for a few days.  We have successfully moved to a new non shitty server/host.  I have just about all of the sections back up, outside of photos in the Bands section and the Podcasts section.  I also installed the theme and put the banner up.

I still need to figure out configuring the Headlines and Features so I can post new stories, that should be figured out in the next few hours then I’ll post some new stories.

melissa

AlternativeNation.net Interview With Melissa Auf Der Maur, Former Hole And Smashing Pumpkins Bassist

Interview from May 10, 2010, reposting it since we moved to a new host and lost everything.

Melissa auf der Maur recently released her second solo album, Out of Our Minds, you can check out xmadmx.com for more information on the unique ways you can buy it.  auf der Maur is most well known for being the former bassist for Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins.  She was the longest reigning bassist for Hole, playing with the band from 1994 to 1999.  After quitting Hole she joined the Smashing Pumpkins from 1999 to 2000 and was part of the Pumpkins during their first farewell tour.  In this very revealing interview auf der Maur talks about why she turned down taking part in Hole’s 2010 resurrection, whether she was asked or not to participate in the Smashing Pumpkins’ 2007 reunion, and the truth behind the making of Hole’s Celebrity Skin.

In the mid 2000’s you transitioned from being a bassist in bands like Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins to a solo career.  Many instrumentalists like Dave Navarro who have toured solo have said they didn’t really like becoming frontmen.  Do you prefer being part of a band or being a frontwoman in the live setting?

In a live setting good question.  For me going solo meant freedom to collaborate and do whatever I feel I’m good at doing.  For me it was really not ever expanding as an artist, developing everything from my songwriting to my singing to my mission statement to my vision.  I’ve been so inspired by all the creative freedom that it brings that I have no complaints.  To me to be a solo artist means I can do so many new and exciting things and I feel very strongly that one must evolve and grow.  I love being a bass player and I feel really good that I was able to spend a focused chapter defining that role, but I’m not someone that likes being in the same role forever.  With that being said in the live capacity, I guess because I was so motivated to grow and expand that’s why I loved it, but were there challenges?  Absolutely.  Luckily for my first record I toured 180 shows worldwide, so I think I think I learned everything I needed to learn in those 180 shows.  In the case of someone like Dave Navarro, I don’t think that he toured for a solid year being a solo person, so I think that ultimately I put myself out there and I learned my weaknesses and my strengths in that year of touring.  So by the time I dove in to my second record I really feel like I had crossed that uncomfortable line you have to cross to become a frontperson.

Your new solo album Out of Our Minds took you years to make, do you think your experiences with it will make your next record easier and quicker to make?

Yes, absolutely holy moley.  I just want to mention though of course that all of the years that I was making Out of Our Minds was certainly wasn’t laboring over music.  There was a year or two where I didn’t even touch the music; it was about the whole concept.  It was like a year of the fantasy film, a year of developing this sort of artist production how it’s labeled concept where I decided I wanted to be an independent distributor of my music.  So believe me it wasn’t laboring over music for years, it was being patient putting the music on hold to develop these other elements that I wanted to bring around the music.

Basically it wasn’t Chinese Democracy.

Definitely not oh my god, I looked forward to sharing those [songs] with people over the cycle of the project.  It was really a great lesson in patience, but what happened with the music that was cool is I would put it aside like in one case it was because everyone in Capital Records was fired in one day.  Then there was this amazing detangling of a record contract, so for 6 months I didn’t know if I’d even be able to play the songs I had been writing and recording.  So that’s one example of it being put on hold.  The other one was diving into the fantasy film which took a whole year to produce, shoot, edit, and all the other elements.  What’s great is that those breaks meant when I went back to the record, I had a really refreshed outlook and a new take on the record.  I don’t recommend it, because believe me now my fantasy is just to go into a studio and record a record in a month and move on.  It would be great, but it definitely made for a more layered experience and record.  It was worth the creative experiment.

With Out of Our Minds you adapted to the new musical climate with your innovative concept of releasing an album, film, and comic book revolving around the project.  With the record business further deteriorating and many of your musical peers like Billy Corgan and Trent Reznor releasing all of their music for free online, where do you see yourself going with your next release when it comes to marketing strategies and selling the album?

I think that this is definitely the way I am doing it right now which is basically like, the majority of it is artist direction and it’s so liberating and so exciting and obviously Trent was the total pioneer and visionary behind this new forum because I think it makes total sense.  Really affordable or free digital version, and then if you really want to have and hold something in your hand, I think myself as a music lover I really like something with depth so I still don’t buy on iTunes per say, but I will go to the store to buy the CD or if a book came out with the album I would be excited about actual items, which is why with this project that’s what I’m offering which is more of a tactile world, I think that’s definitely the way of the future for people like me and the types of artists that I like and therefore probably the types of people that follow my work is people who will actually want something special or just the cheap free version.  I think that’s the ultimate business model in that it reflects what people want.

This is kind of a two part question.  I’ve read you mention that you wouldn’t have taken part in the Hole resurrection because of your commitment to your Out of Our Minds solo project, but did Courtney ever outright ask you to be part of the new Hole lineup?  Also what are your thoughts on all of the new Hole members being men?

Well I mean there were a few reasons as to why I was not ready to do anything Hole this year, it was definitely my creative pursuit with my project but it wasn’t only that it was also the way that Courtney was making it basically a new project versus a real reunion or retrospective of the work that didn’t make sense for me to step in.  And to answer your question, she did call me last year and was very honest with me about her plans of releasing a new record, which originally started as a solo record and then towards the end she decided to release it as a Hole record.  That didn’t make much sense as far as a reunion to me, I basically told her that if she was interested in doing a revision and a best of and review all of this incredible material that mainly Eric is sitting on top of, Eric is the co-owner of the band.  He has access to these incredible archives that are phenomenal, we recorded and filmed a lot of our tours we have an incredible amount of outtakes.  Basically I just said that if her and Eric were ever ready to do a real revision, I would be there in a heartbeat to support the legacy and putting out the, you know a reflection of the amazing creative journey that Hole was in for 3 albums.  Even as a fan I find that really exciting.  But she was looking more to the future, she was more about this new record of hers and that just didn’t make sense to me, which is also why I guess I didn’t end up participating on the new record.  She invited me, she was also working with Michael Beinhorn, who was the producer of Celebrity Skin who I had a very particular good creative relationship with during the making of Celebrity Skin.  So I was really excited about working with him again but that’s when I thought it was a solo record.  It’s obviously complicated but she’s going to do what she wants to do, I think it’s very important for her to be releasing records and playing shows, she’s such a force.  But she just decided to do it this way which didn’t make sense to me as far as me participating.  As far as her lineup of backing musicians, no offense to them but I don’t consider them members of Hole.  I just consider them really great players that are supporting her and what she calls her band but I don’t know I mean she doesn’t have to get girls to play with her.  But the thing is about Hole which is confusing of course, is the legacy of Hole is a female dominated band in rock music, which is also why I thought it might be confusing if she were to start Hole without the original lineup.  She’s going to do what she’s going to do, no one can tell that woman and that’s part of also what I learned from her from being in her band.  She plows forward with what she believes in and you’ve got to let her do it.

How was the process of recording Celebrity Skin?  I know Billy Corgan helped out on the album.  I interviewed Eric Erlandson last month and he said that Billy only helped out on the album for a few weeks.  How was the process of making Celebrity Skin with all of those powerful personalities like Eric, Billy, and Courtney?

Billy really was only there for 2 weeks, but Billy can take some credit in co-writing.  He did co-write a couple of the big hits and amazing songs on that record but he was not there for the 2 year process which me, Eric, Courtney, and Patty were the only ones there laboring and writing and spending months and months at a time writing.  I was there for the creation of every song and I contributed, I feel, a lot.  In fact, what’s interesting about Billy is he came in basically to sort of fix up some songs and help Courtney with some final sort of visions of a few songs and he was a great great help, but Michael Beinhorn was ultimately more part of the big packaging and finishing of the songs and the vision of the sonic direction.  It was a laborious few years that is for sure, but it was great.  Once Michael Beinhorn stepped in that to me is when all the vision came together.  Prior to that, including even when Billy was there, it was just a bunch of demos, rough rough sketches, of songs.  Once Michael came in that’s when we really got down to what I really think makes that record so great.

Courtney has hinted a couple of times on Facebook and Twitter about possibly doing a summer tour with you as the opening act, were there ever any talks of this?

We definitely did have conversations, not so much about us touring together.  At the time when we were talking I don’t think it was Hole it was her solo thing.  She had a cool idea which who knows if it will ever happen; she is right in that we did talk about this idea of maybe curating a festival together.  So we’ll see what happens with that, but we did have an interesting talk about how fun it would be to create a touring rock circus all together who knows.

Were there any talks in 2007 about you touring with the Smashing Pumpkins on bass?  I remember you mentioning that you’d be happy to play some songs on stage with them, but nothing ever happened.

At that time I did go to Chicago to record a song with Billy for my record that ended up being musically not fitting for this record but I do have a really beautiful outtake of a song that we wrote and recorded together.  It was right at that time that he was playing with the idea of bringing it back together, we did have a brief conversation in Chicago about him maybe reaching out to James [Iha] and would I be interested and having a very light conversation about it where I said I’d consider it of course.  Then I guess he sort of went to a more of a focused him and Jimmy [Chamberlin] direction, which was his decision.  But there was a very brief moment while I was in the studio recording my song with him where we did discuss it, but we never talked about it again.

What do you think about Billy firing Jimmy last year and now continuing to use the Pumpkins name without any former members?

Again, similar to Courtney, I mean there’s a reason why people are fascinated by me having worked with these two very dominant personalities.  If there were ever bands with real dominant frontpeople, it’s those two people right, there’s no question.  A band like Led Zeppelin or even Nirvana for that matter, there’s some bands that are just more bands and then there’s other bands where the frontpeople are so strong and so massive in personality, obviously I guess they seem to have the final say.  So in some ways I’m not surprised that Courtney and Billy would go in this direction.  I have always been essentially, even though my identity and my love and my journey in music is entirely wrapped around the legacy of Hole and the Pumpkins, but in many ways remember I was an outsider that came in to replace two very said departures.  When Kristen died and when D’arcy left, those were very very sad moments for those bands and I came in in such an extreme replacement position that in some ways I think my participation was very emotional because of what it represented.  In other ways it was so intense that quite often I felt as if I was an outsider.  So in many ways, I feel like I can’t voice an opinion in terms of as a member of the band.  I mean I’ve obviously been a sort of honorary visiting member in those bands, so I’m very careful about making vague statements about the bandleader’s decisions.  For example with Hole I am the longest standing band member of Hole other than Eric and Courtney, so in that case I do feel a little more involved in its history, but on a legal level Courtney and Eric are the co-founders.  In the case of the Pumpkins I was basically a Pumpkins fan that got to live my dream for a moment so I have no right to make any judgment.  I will point out though that I think from what I remember legally Billy was the owner of the name.  I hope I’m not saying the wrong thing but I think it’s true, so if you’re just looking on a legal standpoint, not that music should be anything about law, believe me I’m not saying that should be the reason, but I believe that Billy is the founder, and ultimately that’s probably why he made his own decisions.  I don’t know the details about Jimmy leaving last year, I mean I was curious because Jimmy and Billy are such an intertwined musical force and it did surprise me.  I don’t know the details so I don’t know what happened and whether it was a bad thing good thing, I have no idea.  But I’m not surprised that Billy would continue with the vision.

What kind of pedals did you use during the recording sessions for Out Of Our Minds? Are those the same you use when you play live shows?

I don’t use many pedals with bass, I actually do not believe in pedals.  Basically the number one priority for bass is to sonically hold down the low end, and most pedals filter the low end and even if you just lose a couple of shades of the low end you lose out.  I don’t use any pedals live, there’s one Tech 21 flanger chorus pedal that I occasionally use for more instrumental or outro or more isolated parts when there isn’t a full band playing and there is a really great sansamp bass distortion pedal which if I have to use distortion on a moment of a song I would use that.  I basically rely on my ampeg bass gain knob to create all of the texture that I need, so ampeg is really what my sound is made of other than my Fender precision.  So on the record I used a bunch of pedals for my guitar parts because I do write a lot of the songs on guitar and I do most of the rhythm guitars on the whole record.  That’s a lot of chorus flangers and obviously distortion, pretty straightforward, but then it’s always the additional sort of keyboards and additional guitars where we really start tweaking out on pedals.

You’ve mentioned how thrilled you were to collaborate with Danzig, any other dream collaborations?

I mean it’s pretty insane at this point, since I fell in love with music and started my own band in the early 90’s I really have played with all of my heroes with the exception of Morrissey of the Smiths, but that’s the only sort of last standing dream but that one seems so out of this world, and so hard to reach that I might let that one just stay in the in theroial dream escape, but II mean having Danzig on my record really did sort of represent the final frontier of someone that made a lot of impact in my youth that I hoped to collaborate with.  I don’t know I’m actually looking to the future now, what I’m really looking for now in collaborations is new people that I’m not as familiar with and that are contemporaries of mine right now, so I’m looking for new blood.

The interview was conducted by AlternativeNation.net owner Brett Buchanan, who can be reached at grungereport @yahoo.com.  After the interview Melissa said she had seen part of my interview with Eric Erlandson and thanked me for giving him a place to give his perspective on Hole.

You can read AlternativeNation.net’s exclusive interviews with former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson, Scott Weiland’s ex-wife Mary Weiland, former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, and more in the Interviews section. Also make sure to go to xmadmx.com.

ericerlandson

AlternativeNation.net Interview With Eric Erlandson, Former Hole Guitarist

Interview from April 14, 2010, reposting it since we moved to a new host and lost everything.

With Courtney Love’s resurrection of the Hole name and the upcoming release of Nobody’s Daughter, many fans have criticized Courtney’s use of the Hole name without founding member and former lead guitarist Eric Erlandson.  Erlandson was an integral member of Hole, he wrote the majority of the music on Hole’s albums in the 90’s.  In this interview Erlandson gives his in-depth thoughts on Courtney Love’s new Hole for the very first time.  Enjoy this interview with one of the most underrated guitarists of the 90’s!

What led to Hole’s 2002 break up? It seemed like with only three records there was so much more to accomplish.

Eric Erlandson:
Top Ten Reasons Why Bands Break Up:
1. Lead Singer Disease
2. Drugs
3. Lawsuits with the Record Company, and the band’s Fans
4. Unreasonable Foot-shooting
5. Boyfriend/Girlfriend Enablers
6. Bass player quits and joins the Smashing Pumpkins
7. Good ol’ fashioned Greed
8. Guitar Player wakes up, then falls back to sleep
9. Karpman Drama Triangle/victim abuser savior roles
10. Music industry bottom-feeders, Howard Stern, all of the above. Oh, and did I mention drugs?

No, but seriously…Courtney, with her boyfriend at the time, (who happened to be our A&R rep), decided to take on the evils of the corporate record industry and sued Geffen/Interscope. Geffen counter-sued for reneging on our contract. This all began in 1999 when Courtney called it quits in the middle of our Celebrity Skin tour, just when we began to have some success at radio and were finding our stride as a headlining live act. My name was on the Geffen contract, so I was drawn into the case. I helped negotiate a settlement in 2002. About the same time Courtney and I signed an agreement putting Hole to rest. In the agreement, she agreed that she would not use the name Hole commercially without my approval. She was intent on using her name at that point, figuring it had more value than the name Hole. To be fair, we had grown apart and chosen different paths. I had put so much energy into the band for over 10 years and I needed to spend time on myself. When Melissa left, I couldn’t put humpty dumpty back together again, no matter how hard I tried. All signs were pointing toward a split. It’s fitting now that the last song we released was a cover of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” I wish we could’ve done more together. But I’m happy we went out on a high.

How difficult was it to go on with Hole in 1994 after Kristen Pfaff and Kurt Cobain’s tragic deaths? Did you ever consider calling it quits?

Eric: Everything felt gray. There was a moment when I entered that tunnel of despair and barely got out myself. Continuing with Hole was the last thing on my mind after so much tragedy. But “Live Through This”, which had just been released, had a life of its own, and propelled me onward. A subconscious mantra and presence. It really lived up to its name. And my relationship with Drew put much needed brightness back in my life.

How was it working with Billy Corgan on Celebrity Skin?  How much credit do you think he deserves for it?

Eric: I’ve never heard him say anything about it. I appreciate all his help and learned a lot from working those few days with him. His involvement was about 12 days total and the record took about a year and a half to complete. He didn’t produce it or executive produce it. He played bass on one song and helped write a few others. The amazing part was the fact that he, Courtney and I were able to work together at all. Courtney and I were in a personal relationship up until mid 1991. She immediately began dating Billy during the breakup. And then she jumped to Kurt a few months later. Somehow we were able to let go of the drama of the past and sit in a room together and create. A miracle.

What was your reaction to Courtney deciding to resurrect the Hole name? Also thoughts on her saying, “Hole is my band” and her rants about you on Twitter.

Eric: John Cage once said, “Ideas are one thing and what happens is another.” Well, what happened is that I was a co-founder and principal of the band Hole, end of story. I was disappointed when I first heard about her decision to use the name. But her management convinced me that it was all hot air and that she would never be able to finish her album. Now I’m left in an uncomfortable position. Bands have become nothing more than brands and the music suffers. Enjoy your Cheese Whiz kids. As for social networking rants: I really don’t take anything on Twitter or Facebook seriously. I’m so grateful to Courtney for all her slander. I’ve expiated boatloads of negative karma due to her loving influence in my life. But I’ll tellya, I must’ve been a bad, bad boy in previous existences.

How did you end up settling the issue over the name? Courtney mentioned there was a financial settlement of some sort.

Eric: We haven’t settled the issue. There’s been no financial settlement. I’m sure what she meant to say is that she hoped for a settlement in the future. But nothing’s happened yet. Courtney and her management continue to roll along with their plans to, in my opinion, ruin the Hole legacy, just for some cheap thrills. I wish they would learn from Billy and Axl and Aerosmith and the hundreds of other bands who’ve made the same mistake. But a paycheck is a paycheck. I know this will all pass.

How is your personal relationship with Courtney today?

Eric: I have no idea what it’s like to live a single day in her shoes. I try to focus on the beautiful, strong, courageous soul inside her and not get caught up in the debris of the outer shell. I hope someday she’ll be in a good place and be able to see our time together in a new light.

Have you seen any video footage of Courtney’s new Hole lineup? Do you think that they are doing the name justice? Also have you heard the new single Skinny Little Bitch?

Eric: I’m really disappointed with the musical direction she’s chosen since Celebrity Skin. If I was involved in her first solo project I would’ve had her doing a raw garage-rock rave up type album. To me, her new solo album sounds like a Celebrity Skin knockoff with the same style production, 10 years after the fact. What’s with so-called rock music these days? I’m sorry, but if your parents can stand it, it’s not rock. How many stale rock riffs played by ambiguous hacks can there be? Any magic that was a part of the Hole sound is gone. True, a lot of younger fans won’t be able to tell the difference. Compared to Disney rock this fake Hole stuff looks like the real deal. I had a fan telling me that it’s way better than Celebrity Skin. I beg to differ. Don’t be fooled by the high fructose corn syrup! And about those lyrics. I know Courtney can write good lyrics. It’s one of her strong points. But it’s 2010. Do we really need to hear a 45 year old woman screaming “Skinny Little Bitch?” Is that where we’re at now? I’m sad that after all her feminist posturing she’s reduced herself to a cartoon fronting an all male sycophant leather-clad backing band with top hats and Les Pauls. This is not what the real Hole was about. She’s turning more and more into an Axl like character. You become what you rebel against, I suppose. Or maybe it was always there and I was too blind to see it.

Do you see a real Hole reunion with you, Courtney, and Melissa ever happening after Courtney’s recent actions?

Eric: Courtney’s adamant about never doing a reunion. It won’t happen until she changes her mind and a few other things. Now that her album is being released as Hole, in my opinion, the legacy is ruined. I’m moving on.

What is your favorite Hole song?

Eric: I still enjoy playing Violet after all these years. 20 years in the Dakota brings back memories. I’m still a fan of our Pretty on the Inside album.

Any new bands you are currently digging, what have you been listening to a lot lately?

Eric: I like the energy of some new underground bands like Death Sentence Panda, Lucky Dragons, Abe Vigoda. Not listening to any one thing these days. A little new, a little old. Seeking out the gems that transcend this age of mediocrity.

A few years ago you were in a band called RRIICCEE with controversial writer/director Vincent Gallo, what led to your split with him and how did you enjoy being in RRIICCEE? Also, what’s with the name?

Eric: Rich Radical Illuminati Infidels Cryptically Controlling Eric Erlandson
I had a good time playing with Vincent. It was improvised music, no genre, no jamming, no old riffs, like composing live in front of an audience naked or wearing a dress. We fell apart at times, but when it all came together it was beautiful. I had to move on and learn to be my own leader, so to speak.

Any thoughts on Melissa auf der Maur’s new solo record? Would you consider playing a few shows with her?

Eric: I love Melissa’s new album and film. She’s a rare bird. And she has a top notch backing band live.

Are you working on any musical projects? I noticed recently that you were working on EricErlandson.com. I’d love to hear you do a solo album.

Eric: Yes, new musical projects in the works. My main focus now is a book I’ve written that will be released this year.

Grand Opening Of The Pearl Concert Theater At The Palms

AlternativeNation.net Interview With Mary Weiland

Interview from November 23, 2009, reposting it since we moved to a new host and lost everything.

AlternativeNation.net’s third interview is finally here, and it is the most candid interview I have done yet on the site.  Mary Forsberg Weiland, the estranged wife (soon to be ex-wife) of Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, has just released her brand new book Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness.  The book is by far the best Scott Weiland/Stone Temple Pilots related book I have ever read, it also tells Mary’s great story of how she went from growing up in a poor family to becoming a model and marrying Weiland.  Mary is very honest when it comes to describing her battles with drug addiction and mental illness; this book is not at all a Scott hatchet job like many fans originally assumed when the book was announced.  Mary is very critical of herself and admits many of her mistakes.  There are also some sadistically entertaining stories about Scott including his drug induced adventures with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and an incident where Mary punched Scott in the face and dragged him home.  I recommend this book not only to every Stone Temple Pilots fan, but to anybody who wants to read an intriguing and inspirational story.  Here is my interview with Mary where she discusses the future of Stone Temple Pilots, her current relationship with Scott, her reaction to the fan backlash regarding her book, and some of her future projects.

Why the title Fall to Pieces.  Did you consider any other Stone Temple Pilots or Velvet Revolver songs for the title?

Mary Weiland: At first I resisted using anything Scott related for the title.  I looked for something simple and to the point.  I did like the song title of the old song by the Guess Who, Undun.  But there was another book with a similar title.  My publisher suggested “Fall to Pieces.”  I ran it by Scott and he liked it. I reached out to the guys in Velvet Revolver and they all thought it fit my story. What was most important to me was the subtitle.  The words “mental illness” had to be there. The reason for writing the book was not just to help other people, but to lighten the heaviness and the jarring stigma that those words carry.  When I saw the whole title, it all fit together.

How are you progressing with your desire to assist those with addiction struggles?

Mary: My focus is spreading a positive message.  To bring a little hope to those who think their situation is hopeless. My life is beautiful now and the darkness and depression have lifted.  Once I’m finished promoting Fall to Pieces, then its back to school. I want to resume my studies and get certified as a drug and alcohol counselor with a focus on co-occurring disorders. If you suffer from addiction, your chances of also having a mental illness or personality disorder run very high. I have some opportunities to intern at treatment centers in the LA area as well.  I’d like to try that out too.

Anymore book signings coming up?

Mary: I don’t think so. I just finished the last one here in LA. I was overwhelmed by how much support and love was in the room.  I’m so grateful that it wasn’t me, my mom and the sound of crickets.

How have fans been so far at those?

Mary: They’ve been amazing at the signings.  On the internet — not so much. Most people have chilled out after reading the book.  It’s not some jet-set memoir, or a diatribe by somebody with a big score to settle.  My score is settled.  This is my story, and if it reaches people at all, it’s probably because it feels true.  It is true.  I tried to write the kind of book that I would have liked to find when I needed some truth, and felt so alone in the world.

Any crazy people asking for locks of Scott’s hair?

Mary: No. If I did have locks of his hair I would share them. Scott’s fans are extremely loyal to him.

Why release the book now, were you aware of the previous October 27th release date (Scott’s birthday)?

Mary: As I got closer to my deadline I read that October 27th would be the on sale date and I nearly had a heart attack! I called my editor and had a mini freak-out. She had no idea it was his birthday and we were able to change it. It would have been a tacky move to take away from his day.   Birthdays are a big deal to me.  Most of all, though, I think Scott’s generosity with the title, and his support for the book that’s all I could have ever hoped for.  His birthday is for his own book!  Or he can put his book out on my birthday.  I’d be honored.

What are the telltale signs of bipolar disorder?

Mary: Everyone has different symptoms.  That’s part of the reason it’s so difficult to diagnose. My symptoms were high-highs and extreme lows. The depression was crippling. At first the highs made me productive, energized and creative. Until my meltdown in 2007, I thought my problem was just depression.

You mention in Fall to Pieces that bipolar medication has made you less funny and a bit mellower; do you feel that medication is necessary for people who are Bipolar?

Mary: I’m not a doctor so I don’t want to suggest a remedy and there is no cure, but medication will be a part of my life forever. It does slow me down, sometimes it affects my creativity and it’s a pain in the ass taking it twice a day. The worst part was my mother suggesting that I’d lost some of my natural sense of humor. I was always kind of proud of it!  I’m just grateful that it worked right away. That’s not always the case for other people searching out the right cocktail of meds. It can be frustrating and many give up. Sometimes the side effects can be devastating.

How did you react to the initial backlash from STP and Scott fans online after the book was announced?

Mary: I hate to sound like a baby, but it did hurt my feelings and on more than one occasion I cried. I’ve always been a fan of Scott’s fans and followed the message boards so that I could give him feedback. I started Fall to Pieces while we were still together so accusations that I was trying to be destructive or just cash in were painful.  It’s not the most lucrative job, and frankly I’m still in the hole. It’s worth it to me; I didn’t do it for money.  Scott’s fans are very loyal so it’s somewhat understandable, but assuming I’d disrespect him without reading the book was something I wasn’t prepared for. I was shocked when I heard fans thought I’d changed my name to Weiland just to sell books. My legal name has been Weiland for over nine years.  I have a Facebook page where I use Forsberg so that I can connect with old friends. Until Noah and Lucy are college age, I plan on sticking with Weiland and even then I may never change it. Not everyone will like the book or connect with my story and that’s okay. I hope it’s obvious how much love went into this process.  I really appreciate the chance to clear the air on that one.

The backlash was intense, especially with the combination of the book and Scott accusing you of having an affair, which you deny in Fall to Pieces.

Mary: Scott wasn’t in top form when he made those comments. It hurt because regardless of our separation, our marriage was sweet and filled with love and those words tainted something beautiful. He posted a message acknowledging that it wasn’t true. I cried when I read it. It put the light back in our time together.

You mention in the book that you made a pledge to stay clean when your son Noah was born in 2000. With the drama you have been through the last few years have you ever been close to relapsing?

Mary: Drugs are so far behind me that I almost can’t remember what they felt like. Alcohol took me a bit longer to quit. I never assumed it was that big an issue until 2007. Sobriety feels amazing. No regrets, but many lessons learned.

What are your thoughts on Scott’s upcoming book, has he told you anything about it?

Mary: I’m excited for Scott and I look forward to reading his book. He’s given me a handful of pages and I loved them.  I guess my dream, as fan of his, is that his book reads like his music feels.  Like his lyrics, they can be real and true and also transport you to another place. I’m sure his book will be powerful.  What I read sure was.

You mention in the book living with Scott and the rest of STP when they were recording Shangri LA DEE DA. Do you remember the documentary that was being shot and did you participate in it?

Mary: Noah was a new baby and I was so sleep deprived. My memory isn’t that great regarding what the band was actually working on. I do remember them filming something.  I haven’t seen it.  Maybe someday.

Do you know why it wasn’t released?

Mary: I haven’t a clue, sorry.

Scott has mentioned in interviews that he has been there in the past for you when you have had troubles, but whenever he does you shun him. How do you respond to this?

Mary: You can’t believe everything in an interview, including this one. (Just kidding.) I’m not sure how well he was doing when he made those comments. There have been times when we haven’t been there for each other. When I became a mother my priorities changed. I’m pretty sure the countless times I helped Scott into rehab or attended meetings and therapy sessions with him have to count for something.  In a long-time marriage, you switch roles quite a bit.  You also have to give each other room to grow or change or rage.  I think we both know each other well enough to give each room to get things wrong before we figure out how to get things right again.

You mention in the book that Robert and Dean DeLeo are quite the characters; do you have a specific funny story about them you’d like to tell?

Mary: I can’t think of one story in particular, but everything that comes out of their mouths is comedy. They always have me laughing.  The DeLeos are classic guys, and I think a lot of the chemistry of that band is anchored in their very particular and hilarious perspective on life and love and of course Rock.

According to Fall to Pieces you got the ball rolling on the Stone Temple Pilots reunion. Knowing the band like you do, how long do you see them lasting?

Mary: I’m not sure. If they ever part ways, I’m sure it will be for very different reasons that it might have been in the past.  They’ve all grown and have different interests. If I were in a band, regardless of how successful it was I would want new experiences. I would hate the idea of never attacking a new opportunity.  I know they are really passionate about new challenges, and hitting new peaks with the next album. And they will do it.

How is your relationship with Scott right now?

Mary: It is so much better than I ever imagined it could be. I’m not sure that we’d be this close if it weren’t for the kids. It took a lot of work to get here, but it feels great.

Does he seem to be happy?

Mary: He does.  He’s on the road a lot so I can’t measure his mood on a daily basis, but I’m proud of him.

In Fall to Pieces you discuss your many break ups and reconciliations with Scott, with your history do you envision yourself ever getting back together with him?

Mary: I’m surprised how many times I’ve been asked this question. It’s sweet that people are keeping their fingers crossed. Right now I think we are exactly where we’re meant to be.  How I feel about Scott, and our powerful time together, is a big part of the book.  That’s probably where the question comes from.

Are you worried about your children Noah and Lucy growing up and finding out about your and Scott’s past problems?

Mary: This question can be answered with one word –Google

Do you ever want them to read this book?

Mary: I’m sure they will read it before I think they’re ready.  I’ve thought a lot about how old they should be before they read the book.  I’ve decided on 40.

Do you have any upcoming projects following this book? You mention in the book running a business with Velvet Revolver guitarist Dave Kushner’s wife Christine.

Mary: I’d love to write another book one day, but I’m going to focus on finishing school first. Writing is not an amateur endeavor. Like making music, it takes time and dedication and a real desire to lock the world out and focus on what you need to say. It’s always best when it comes from way down deep, as this book did. I love David Sedaris, and the way he captures everyday life in his work.  I’d love to get close to that kind of truth when I write another book.  Christine and I are on break from Double Platinum. I was writing and she had a baby. Christine is pregnant again so it may take awhile to relaunch. Go Christine!

Thank you for doing the interview. I was quite skeptical before reading the book being a big fan of Scott and Stone Temple Pilots, but after reading it I can honestly say it’s one of the most honest memoirs I’ve read in a long time and it has no agenda.  With all of the bullshit that is out there about you and Scott it was nice to finally hear the truth. You honestly talk about your struggles along with Scott’s and it’s a very inspirational story about overcoming addiction and mental illness.

Mary: I’m so happy you were able to connect with Fall to Pieces.  I wanted to write a personal and helpful account of what it was like to live through such a dark period. I feel like we grew up in public. The tabloidy reports had only a kernel of truth, but that’s the world we live in.  I think most people know that about the tabloids they read, it’s the flashy and largely untrue side of celebrity.  It has nothing to do with the things that are truly important, which is what makes you a fan of the music or art or people that you love.  Google anyone and you’ll just see the glare of celebrity.  I wrote from a place of love. For Scott, Noah, Lucy, my family and for all those people who live under a dark cloud and dream about sunlight again. Thanks for these great questions.  Very Best, Mary.

Interview conducted by AlternativeNation.net owner Brett Buchanan, e-mail AlternativeNation.net at grungereport @yahoo.com, if you’re reading this Scott Weiland you are welcome to do an interview anytime on the site!  More AlternativeNation.net exclusive interview are available in the Interviews section, which includes an interview with former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing

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AlternativeNation.net Interview With Chad Channing, Former Nirvana Drummer

Interview from August 19, 2009, reposting it since we moved to a new host and lost everything.

GrungeReport.net’s second exclusive interview is here, and it is with former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing! Chad played with Nirvana from 1988 to 1990 and drummed on their legendary debut album Bleach in 1989 (which will be re-released soon), he also played the cymbal crash on “Polly” on Nevermind and his drumming was also heard on Incesticide.  He then left the band due to creative differences in 1990 and since then has played in several bands including Fire Ants (which included Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood’s brothers Brian and Kevin), The Methodists, and most recently Before Cars, in which he is the main songwriter.  Before Cars debut album Walk Back is available for purchase on FloatationRecords.com.  You can check out some songs for free on the Before Cars MySpace page. Here is the interview, questions from me (Brett) are in bold, and the answers from Chad are regular.

Talk about Before Cars , your new band which originally started as a solo project before you brought in the other members to the band. Did you ever see yourself becoming a songwriter in the early days of your career with Nirvana? Who are some of your songwriting influences?

Chad Channing: Well I’ve always been a song writer. And I wrote songs for every band I’ve ever played in with exception of Nirvana. I always wanted to write with Nirvana and see if it might have worked or not. Just never got the opportunity. I spent a lot of time in other bands.  But things never seemed to work out.  I guess that’s what finally lead me to start my own project.

One day I took a bunch of songs to my friends Andy Miller and Paul Burback and we 4-tracked 11-12 songs than chose 5 of them to make a demo. We hit the studio along with Paul’s wife Justine Jeanotte who plays violin and recorded the demo. During that time I came up with the name “Before Cars”. A lot of my influences are early 70’s-80’s stuff like David Bowie & Elvis Costello, just to name a few.

I was listening to some tracks off of Walk Back and I love how it really sounds like it could come out of any decade, the production and music has the type of sound that most overproduced bands today lack, it has a classic sound to it. “That’s My Guess” and “Juniper” both have a very alternative vibe to them, they would have definitely fit in the Nirvana catalog if you had a chance to write to write with Nirvana. “Bunnies” has a classic 70s rock vibe to it, while “Doll in Time” has a timeless ballad feel. The vocals add a pop sensibility to the songs. Do you see yourself continuing with writing songs like this on your next record or do you want to experiment with some different genres?

Chad: This record has allot of pop/rock stuff going on with some exceptions like “Doll In Time” and “Old Chair”. These for-mentioned songs are more in line to where Before Cars is headed far as the next record goes. It will have allot more acoustic stuff going on. And probably some experimentation with some keyboard stuff as well as more stuff for the violin. I may even mess around with some electronic beats and stuff. Not really sure at this point. And who knows what a 3rd record might end up like at this point, heheh.

If a major band asked you to become their new drummer, would you join? I’m talking good bands here, not Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance.

Chad: If I had nothing going on at all I might consider it. But since I’ve got Before Cars. I wouldn’t drop it for anything :)

As everybody knows Nirvana’s first album Bleach, featuring you as the drummer, is being re-released. What are your thoughts on the rerelease and the popularity Bleach has gained in recent years?

Chad: I must admit it’s kinda cool that record still holds interest to some people. Back in 89, I wouldn’t have guessed that record would still be selling today. And I’m actually very curious about the re-release. I’m guessing there will be extra tracks. Not sure what they might be though.

When you were making Bleach did you ever think Nirvana would become the huge band it became?

Chad: I thought that we would garner some decent underground attention or whatever with that record. And I always knew Nirvana had the potential.  But didn’t expect things to get as big as they did.

What is your favorite song on Bleach?

Chad: For me “Swap Meet” has always been one of my favorites of that record.

Who are some of your favorite modern bands out there today?

Chad: Favorite bands today are Portishead, GO!GO!7188, Amon Amarth & M.I.A…just to name a few :)

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I love to golf!  Though I’m not very good.  Never shot better than a 99.  And have no idea what my handicap is, heh.  Big fan of anime as well.  Though it’s been a slow process converting my favorites from VHS to DVD :)

Do you keep in touch with Krist Novoselic?

Chad: Not on a regular basis but we do see each other once in awhile.  Mostly when he’s in town playing.

You played in a couple of bands with Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd in the 80s, how was it playing with Ben?

Chad: Playing with Ben was cool.  Always a crazy time :) Our first band was Mind Circus.  Pretty heavy stuff.  Then he later sang for The Magnet Men which then became know as Tic-Dolly-Row when he joined.

What are some of your goals to accomplish in the music industry before you retire?

Chad: I will always be a song writer.  And I’d like to see how far Before Cars can go. Know idea what will happen, but it’s sure fun to try!  It would also be nice to eventually just be a song writer and see other groups playing stuff I wrote.  I think I’d get a kick outta that!

When Nirvana get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday would you consider going up on stage and playing one of the songs from Bleach with Krist and somebody else, or do you think that it would be disrespectful to Kurt?

Chad: I don’t think we could do a Nirvana song with out Kurt.  Just wouldn’t feel the same.  Not all that sure they’d invite me for the stage presentation anyways, lol.

Thank you to Chad Channing for taking part in this exclusive interview with GrungeReport.net!  Check out Chad’s band Before Cars’ debut album today and watch them perform at the Kurt Cobain Memorial Show in Aberdeen, Washington on October 17th with Candlebox!

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AlternativeNation.net Interview With Greg Prato, Author Of “Grunge Is Dead”

Interview from August 7, 2009, reposting it since we moved to a new host and lost everything.

It’s finally time for GrungeReport.net’s first ever exclusive interview since I launched the site back in May!  I couldn’t be happier that GrungeReport.net’s first interview is with the author of the great new book Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music Greg Prato!  Prato has also written the books A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story, and No Schlock…Just Rock.   You can read sample chapters and get ordering information for the books on http://www.myspace.com/gregpratopage.  Greg also writes for RollingStone.com, Billboard.com, and AllMusic.com.

Who was your favorite person to interview for Grunge is Dead?

Greg Prato: Probably a 2-way tie between Eddie Vedder and Kim Thayil. I interviewed Mr. Vedder 1x during a mammoth 2-hour phone interview, and Mr. Thayil over a series of mammoth phone interviews. Susan Silver was another cool interview, as was Mark Arm, Duff McKagan, and Blag Dahlia – all had great stories to tell and didn’t hold back!

Who was the most difficult person to get to do an interview for Grunge is Dead?

Greg: Probably Mr. Vedder, as I had to go through a lot of red tape to finally get him on the phone. But when I did, he couldn’t have been nicer and more forthcoming w/ great stories/memories (many of which I never read anywhere else before). And I appreciated how much he was willing to discuss Pearl Jam’s early years, which is something he often avoids in interviews nowadays.

Do you think its right for Alice in Chains to continue using the AIC name without Layne Staley?

Greg: Many bands have soldiered on after losing integral members (AC/DC, Kiss, the Who, Faith No More, etc.), so it’s certainly not the first time a well-known rock band has opted to carry on. That said, Layne was a HUGE part of AIC for me. But I totally understand and respect AIC’s decision to carry on – it must had been like torture for the other band members not to have continued doing what they love and worked so hard for.

When did the Grunge era officially die in your opinion, when Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994 or when Soundgarden broke up in 1997?

Greg: It hasn’t really truly ever died, as bands like Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and the Melvins are still rocking n’ rolling to this day (and now AIC is returning). But as a fan, after the 1-2-3 punch of Kurt’s death, Soundgarden’s split, and Layne’s death, it hasn’t truly been the same. But thankfully, we still have all that great music to listen to ’til the end of time.

What are you thoughts on Chris Cornells solo album that came out this year Scream?

Greg: I didn’t care for it at all. Mr. Cornell will always be one of my favorite rock singers of all-time, but on ‘Scream,’ the style just wasn’t a good fit for him – it came off sounding like he was trying too hard. I’ve said before in other interviews – if you want to hear a GOOD version of what Mr. Cornell was trying to do on ‘Scream,’ check out Peeping Tom’s self-titled debut from a few years ago (which features Faith No More/Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton). That album hit the mark.

I saw you talking about a possible Soundgarden reunion in a recent interview you did with explodingwithsound.com, do you actually think Soundgarden will realistically reunite anytime soon?  I think its stupid that they broke up in the first place after reading about why they broke up in Grunge is Dead.

Greg: It wasn’t me who was talking about the reunion, it was Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil (who I interviewed for Rolling Stone.com). As long as all of Soundgarden’s 4 members are alive, there is always a possibility for a reunion. If Van Halen and the Police can reunite, that proves that just about any other band can as well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

What Grunge bands did you see live back in the 90s?

Greg: Soundgarden (5x), Chris Cornell solo (2x), Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Tad, Brad, Satchel, the Melvins – most of them. But sadly, not Nirvana :(

What are your three favorite Grunge albums?

Greg: My favorite Soundgarden album fluctuates between ‘Badmotorfinger’ and ‘Superunknown,’ so 1 of those, as well as the obvious ones, Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind,’ and Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten.’ And hovering just outside this 3-pick list would be Mudhoney’s ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff,’ Alice in Chains’ ‘Dirt,’ the Melvins’ ‘Houdini,’ Truly’s ‘Fast Stories from Kid Coma,’ and quite a few others.

What do you think about Pearl Jams new song The Fixer and Alice in Chains A Looking In View?

Greg: I enjoy hearing new music from any of the first wave grunge bands, so I’d say I enjoy them both. I’m not saying they pack the same wallop as “Evenflow” or “God Smack” did way back when, but still, they are both pleasing to the ear, and makes your toes tap.

Who are some of your favorite modern rock bands out there today?

Greg: Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, whatever project Mike Patton is involved in at moment, and I recently heard the solo debut from Faith No More’s original singer, Chuck Mosley, titled ‘Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food,’ which I found rather intriguing.

Any lesser known rock bands out there right now that are impressing you?

Greg: I always get a kick out of Eagles of Death Metal – they’re an old fashioned rocking good time. Their latest album came out last year, titled ‘Heart On.’

Scott Stapp.  Great singer, or greatest singer?

Greg: Greatest stinker.

Thank you to Greg Prato for taking his time to do an interview with GrungeReport.net, definitely pick up his new book Grunge is Dead.  I only read a few books per year and this is one of them, so I’m not bullshitting you.  It’s definitely a must read for any Grunge fan out there.