All posts by Alternative Nation

Interview: Rage Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford Calls Kanye West ‘Badass’ For Interrupting Beck At Grammys

Former Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford’s new band Future User released their debut album #SteroidsOrHeroin last month. Alternative Nation recently had the chance to conduct an interview with Commerford, where he discussed Kanye West taking the stage when Beck won Album of the Year at the Grammys, his past issues with Fred Durst, American surveillance, and modern media. You can check out quotes from the interview below:

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On Fred Durst after Rage Against The Machine lost at the VMA’s to Limp Bizkit:

“[Fred] was staying at the same hotel as us, so the next day everyone was telling me that Fred Durst was eating breakfast in a room. And I went in there, and I was fully gonna confront him. They show me the table and he’s nowhere to be seen. He just bolted and got out of there so he did not have to endure the wrath.”

 

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On Kanye West going on stage when Beck won Album of the Year at the Grammys:

“I love that kind of stuff. I don’t know that Beyonce record so I can’t say if she deserves it. But I do like how Kanye is not afraid and I think it’s badass. I wonder how old he was when I was on the VMA’s and if he saw me. I’d like to think that I had something to do with it.”

 

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On Future User’s reception and another project:

“For every hater, there’s gonna be someone who digs it. And oddly enough, I have another musical outlet that fell in my lap recently. I’m not gonna get into detail, but I have plans. I have Future User and that’s one end of the spectrum and I want to see it through. We’re going to continue to make videos and put songs out. And like I said, I have something else coming soon that’s on the other side of the spectrum.”

 

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On Future User influences:

“For me, it’s really embracing an influence that was so pivotal in my musical career which was the whole prog-rock genre with Rush, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Genesis, that I really dug when I was a kid in high school. When I was with Rage Against the Machine, people would ask what my influences and I knew they were prog-rock but I didn’t express that in Rage’s music as much as I could have.”

 

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On American surveillance:

“We’re not free and we’re discovering that through platforms like Wikileaks. There were 800 people put in Guantanamo Bay right after 9/11 and only 7 people had any charges against them. And that’s America for you. The country we live in is torturing, imprisoning, and surveillance watching. We’re in the era of the drone where we are all under surveillance and our rights are being taken away everyday.”

 

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On media and technology:

“We’re now in this era of instant news media. It wasn’t that long ago that we had to wait over night for the newspaper or the evening news. But now it’s one click away on your computer. And some of it’s bullshit and some of it’s real. We all have cameras on our phone and instant access to download videos or report things that are happening. We live in a high technology world so that allows people to see the injustice. At the same time, it makes it easier for the powers that be to get information out there that distracts you.”

 

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On athletes doping:

“I’d be surprised if any players in the NFL aren’t doping. Maybe the field kickers don’t dope, but I’d still question that. Football is my favorite sport and I collected football cars and being surprised that were 300 lbs. Nowadays, 300 lbs. is actually small. In the past twenty years, those positions have went from 280 lbs. to 420 lbs. I know it’s a huge part of sports. And cycling is the sport that has taken the heat. You look at the history of Tour de France and people have been drinking and doing cocaine since the 1920’s. And they’re still doing it today. These athletes are just one step ahead of the testing. Something like the UFC, I don’t care if someone dopes. I want to see a freak of nature get in there and destroy everyone. I loved it when Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were blasting homeruns every game. The message that I’m trying to put out there is that it’s not a drug we should be concerned and angry about. We shouldn’t be crucifying Lance Armstrong. We should be crucifying the president for the drugs that they’re bringing into this country and people are getting imprisoned from using it. And now we’ve privatized our prisons. So you can buy a prison and have the prisoners create clothes for a big company. And in a sense, slavery is still happening in this company.”

 

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

quotes transcribed by Riley Rowe

Rashad Evans Talks Jones/Cormier, His Injury & WWE

I recently conducted an exclusive interview with Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. We spoke about his injury that’s kept him out of action for over a year, potential WWE rumors, his Blackzilian teammate Anthony Johnson vs. Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones.

The first question I have for you is I know you have been injured, what’s your health status, how are you feeling right now?

I’m actually feeling pretty good kind of started off slow, getting my body back into shape again and recapping my knee keep it going for relax complete and keep that going up and down movement. That was really kind of hard for me and I don’t know, it’s a lot more mentally than it was physically just know that it was going to be alright because in MMA you have so many transitional physicians and you don’t think about how much you got to trust your legs and until you need it too, you know you have one of them injured and then you realize ok you can now this movement now, all over again.

Absolutely and definitely with all your movement in the cage, it’s definitely helps to have everything going on all cylinders.

All I have really is my size I mean my movement I don’t have much size or anything like that so, my movement is key if I can’t move the way I used to move then I’m not gonna fight the same.

I caught your last fight with Chael Sonnen and you absolutely destroyed him what’s your mindset going into a fight, like where do you need to get before you get into the cage?

You know it’s at a medium and for the longest time I had hard time really trying to figure out what was my I can’t of learned a little bit more a mix between being afraid and being super confident and it got to be like right in the middle, if I am too relax and I’m nervous enough then I’m not going to respond the right way, but then if I’m not confident enough and I’m going to have all these red lights in my mind it’s going to hold me off my performance is that my mind will freezes before. When I’m in that zone, I’m enjoying myself and having fun but the fear of what could happen keeps me sharp and that is what I need to feel.

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You obviously were doing something right, you’re one of the longest ten years fighter at the UFC. How did you get involved with mix martial arts, I know you are a standout wrestler, but how did you make the transition into mix martial arts?

You know it kind of just something that happened, kind of found it you know there was a lot of time in my life where I was in a transition, I just graduated from college and I was coaching preschool wrestling in our city. I discovered that I was competing from a different place when I was a coach and I still had that burning that fire inside me that I could distinguish but just being a coach. So, I met a guy coincidentally long after that, that was doing he called NHB, because that’s what it was called, No Holds Barred I went to the gym in Lansing, Michigan and it wasn’t like a typical gym like the one you see now it was more like a fight pro gym. It was really like that movie in a warehouse under a bridge next were railroad in Lansing of Michigan in the bad part of town. And it was six of us and we will go there and we would train and we will just beat the hell out of each other and it was something fun for me to do and I didn’t think that I could become a professional, you know like what you see in Frye or in the UFC it was just something fun for me to do to pass the time until I got into my career, which I wanted to be in law enforcement. I wanted to be a police officer, so it was just something fun for me to do and it end up I just land into something else to became something that I thought about obsessively I couldn’t do anything, everything it was just all about the fights, I watch fights constantly and it was just something that consume my being and when I knew that what I had to do for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite season for the ultimate fighters is the second season that’s actually the first season I watched all the way through, you were on there you won the whole thing. Can you explain what it’s like to live in that house and to be a part of that show?

You know it is a difficult process because, from the outside looking in, I saw in season two I’ve seen the first season, so I kind of start to have that feel of what it was really like because when you there is something totally different and at that point I really didn’t have that much exposure to be on camera at all and just that part alone was shocking. But then just, for me the show kind of showing, going into the show even to get on as the underdog and when I was on the show it seems like everything was going against me but after a while it kind of change to you know what I’m just going to do my best and try as hard as I can and no matter what if I loose I will just go back to my life and do whatever. But no matter what I’m telling you these guys are going to feel me and that was my main goal everything that time, just to make the guy feel me, just to make sure that if I lost I was going to make sure he was never going to fight me again and that was my goal and I kept on winning. But there was something strange that happened on the show, when you’re on the show and you’re in there for weeks and weeks on end, it’s really kind of like it puts away from you a little bit, you kind of forget like, what is life, what is reality? Because you start to get really comfortable when you’re TV life change around and you’re getting comfortable with conversation and things because every time on the show like don’t say that now hold it and wait for the cameras around for you to talk about that. So you can do learn how to be in front of the camera life and learn the whole TV side of it so. It was weird and see how some people every year they go on the show and they seem to forget why they are there. They seem to forget why they are there and they want to go home, because it is easy to do, it’s one of the easiest thing to do in the world is forget why you’re actually on the show and that’s the key to one of the show even to being successful that’s don’t forget, don’t forget why your actually there.

From there you have gone on to have an amazing career so far I mean you’re one of the many people that I know of will have beaten Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, and Chuck Liddell and you know it seems like the light heavyweight division is getting very stacked again with a lot of great competition, we have Daniel Cormier fighting John Jones coming up and we have Alexander Gustafson taking on Anthony Johnson. What are your thoughts on those two big fights coming up in your division?

Ah man it’s going to be a terrific fight of course, first let’s talk about Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, it’s an interesting matchup because John has never really stayed so long with the rushing ability and so roughly he is going to need rushing ability that Cormier have he’s a guy who’s going to be in your face the whole time he wants to know, really just make it an ugly fight keep the pressure in your face make you work harder than him because that’s the key to be defeat make his guy were harder than him and the same philosophy is Cain Velasquez had. it’s just you know just keep the pressure on him eventually they’re going to break where one mistake leads to another bigger mistake pretty soon the flood gates are opening and the door that’s what you want to do that’s just the mindset. But then you know you go and get to Jon Jones, who is arguably one of the best UFC light heavyweight fighters ever when it comes to your technique, mindset and you know Sean have a heart to even dig himself out of holes when he gets himself in a hole in a fight it’s a unique situation for both of them you know John Jones has never work so hard as he sees and he’s definitely going to want to bring the skills that he has it’s a tough one to call because it really is because I can see it going both ways but it’s really hard to say that you know to look away and not knowledge to Jon Jones has done to say what he’s in really big trouble with GC because Jon is safe with us already.

As far as Alexander Gustafson and AJ, I think it’s a very big fight I favor AJ on this one is not because he’s my teammate but because the standpoint of who’s got more to gain in a situation and I do have a problem with Alexander Gustafson, but actually I commend him on how much he’s a lot better since the Jon Jones fight just his evolution over the last year and a half I just been tremendous I don’t think he could close the gap and become the fighter that he has become. One thing that I has picked him upon he’s kind of acting like he’s a champion, like he’s an on-call championed and know disses with John and having one of the best fights in light heavyweight history he really Jon, he has really but Jon in a position that no one has ever put John in before, he did the can of feeling but the truth of the matter is he is not the champion and I wonder if he’s going to be able to go out there with the mindset and go out there and fight like he’s a challenger like he’s hungry enough and meet the hunger of AJ and that’s where I don’t think he’s going to be able to do. He’s going to be defeated and you know what I fought John and I got knock down I think is going to be really taking it lightly and I don’t think that his own plan and he’s not going to know how to deal with AJ because AJ has a lot of heart.

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He definitely he really needs to what’s watch out because Anthony Johnson is a very tough fighter and if he sees his opening he’s going to finish Gustafson.

I tell you right now man I share with a lot of guys in my days and you know share field with a lot of great strikers with a lot of power and I tell you right now, Anthony Johnson is right up there when it comes to just that power where if he hits you probably might be waking up on the ground or he will put you on your feet pretty fast. He has fast and explosive powers in his hand and feet and his movement makes him really hard to predict on what’s really coming next so. I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge for Gustafson being able to stand up with AJ and be able to strike him.

Speaking of, Anthony Johnson’s been your teammate, what’s it like for you transitioning to being on your team in Florida now, what do you think of the dynamic with your whole team?

I think the dynamic on the team is great, we’ve had our rough spot, we were built up to be the Blackzilians then we had our little hype train derailed to say the least and we made it through that and we put together some consistency and some great fights and we have great fighters from out of this camp. What I’m excited about is these up and coming guys that we got coming up, you know we’ve got a lot of young talents on our team, the guys that just dedicated their lives to just living in a gym and just training in the gym. If it’s they are smart about it they can even strive to become better and it’s really inspiring for guys like myself and Vitor Belfort when we go to the gym and these young guys are just there and they’re pushing out and making us want to go out there and train, train harder because when you see these young guys, these up and coming guys pushing themselves to the limit, you’re like you know what I got to deal with myself because you’re looking up to me for that.

Something else I wanted to touch on because you’ve actually been the Light Heavyweight Champion. I talked to Aaron Rodgers from the Packers a couple a weeks ago and it always interests me to find out, what’s going through your mind when you win a championship is it validation for you, what was going through your mind when you won the title?

You know when I won the title it was, it was a moment where I was like because I was always a guy who was never was supposed to do you know. I was one of the guys who was supposed to do hours of work in, I had talent but there was always a reason why I probably wouldn’t do it I was supposed to fall, until I did all of a sudden wow I really did it I did it and it was unbelievable feeling, but the whole thing happened so fast and just happened from the you know me having the Chuck Liddell fight and then just rolled right into the Forrest (Griffin) fight, at that time in my life it was very busy I just had my daughter it was a crazy time my (14:56) wow this is an unbelievable accomplishment and that’s why you know I’m working back to get there again because I know this time around will be that much different. I guess it’s like the road you have to take and the harder the road is the more time the more secure you might not make it but when you arrive at that destination it just make it that much sweeter. I think that way right now the feeling that I have been having just not been in the sport fighting for over a year now and it won’t be until like another year and a half before I fight again. Just been out just being able to sit back and just watch you know people saying he’s done he’s washed up and people forget say things about you and it’s hard because you know what you can do, you know what you’re capable of but you hear what people say and you see people looking at you a certain way, and you read articles about you. It’s difficult sometimes not to get caught up with that and not get too upset about it just making my road to be champion even better and if they can just effort to get back there it’s that much better because when I get there is going to be you well worth it.

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Absolutely and I mean for those people who say all that stuff they have never step foot in the octagon and for someone like you who has been around, going on 10 years now in the UFC at least, I mean you have a record of 19-3-1 and I like them to show me somebody else who has post those kind of numbers.

I know have put in the work, I know I have put the work in and I know what I have the credentials and everything else like that but I feel like I’m very disrespected sometimes know I’m saying, maybe I’m been paranoid but I feel disrespected by everybody sometimes I even feel the suspected by the UFC oh yeah that’s how you feel about me but it’s just the way of the game, the entertainment industry it’s just life in general I guess, people have a short memory and is what you have done for me lately if you haven’t done for me nothing so whatever you have done before you haven’t done anything it doesn’t mean anything that’s the mindset that people have and it’s like if you’re not doing that right now is like you never done it if he can do that for me now forget about it.

I know exactly what you mean. I have one more question for you, there was a lot of rumors on the Internet and I just want to clear this up. There were rumors that you were talking to WWE about possibly jumping there to work. How does something like that get started?

You know, I’ve see some professional wrestlers, oh yeah maybe one day I definitely give that a try and then after that it’s kind of snowball into that. But you know I mean what if I want to be a professional wrestler maybe there is a situation where I would want to do professional wrestling but for the most part after I’m done with fighting because I just want to be able to live a normal life where I’m able to maybe dedicate my time to my kids, I love my kids and I miss a lot them growing up just because what I do now. so maybe I’ll just sit back and follow them around just to be a normal dad and support them in the things they want in life and that’s what I rather do for the rest of my life than maybe do something that wrestling, feeling just like something for I want to my dad or couple of times I don’t know how they do it but, for the most part when I’m done fighting I’m just going to maybe do some analysis work but for the most part just take care my kids and just family dreams.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Interview: Jim Ross Talks UFC, Brock Lesnar, Muhammad Ali & AJ Styles In WWE

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross will be making his return to pro wrestling announcing on January 4, 2015, as he will be calling Global Force Wrestling’s presentation of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 live on PPV. JR has kept busy since his 2013 WWE departure, launching his ‘Ross Report’ podcast, taking a one man show on tour, and announcing MMA and boxing fights. Ross told AlternativeNation.net’s Sports section that he is in good health after facing some tough challenges, as he is now working out with a personal trainer 3 times a week and quit smoking a year ago. JR used Ambien for 10 years, unaware of the damage it was doing to him or knowing that it was a short term solution for sleep problems. The Ambien use led to Ross suffering memory loss and being placed in the stroke unit of a hospital. JR also suffered from diverticulitis during his time in WWE, but after all of these issues, Good Ol’ JR is doing just fine now. Ross said, “I haven’t felt this good probably in 20 years.”

JR is excited to call Wrestle Kingdom 9 at the Tokyo Dome, “The presentation of New Japan is kind of a throwback in ways, but with a modern influence. They do a lot of things fundamentally more sound than their American counterparts are doing. I’m looking forward to doing that, and calling matches for a whole new set of guys. But the fundamental things of what they do are the things I cut my teeth on, and really missed doing my last couple of years in WWE.”

AJ Styles is one prominent talent well known by American ans who will be wrestling at the event, and JR thinks WWE are missing the boat by now signing him. “AJ Styles would fit into any structure, it’s just a matter of decision makers having an open mind and be willing to utilize him to his skills, and not stereotype him because he isn’t the biggest guy in the locker room. He’s as good a performer as anybody WWE has right now from bell to bell. He’s an amazing athlete, and he’s perfected his craft, he’s a lifelong fan, he doesn’t drink or have a drug problem, he’s a good family man, he’s everything you would want.”

“Even if he didn’t get the top push, he’s going to earn his way to near the top of the card, and everybody that he works with, especially the young guys, are going to be better performers having been able to work with the guy with his experience and abilities. He’s having a blast in New Japan, the first night he came in they put their top title on him, so that automatically established him as a star. Now he’s got this Bullet Club thing around him, like the nWo kind of.”

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Ross also wants to do more MMA broadcasting, but there aren’t many options available outside of UFC and Bellator. Ross may do a boxing event coming up, as there are more openings available in boxing. “A lot of the fighters are old wrestling fans. When they were kids, they were watching wrestling. So if they’re not long in the tooth, and they were watching wrestling, they were likely listening to me. So it breaks the ice when you go have fighters meetings, they’re more giving of their information, and their time, and they help you out. That’s why we had so much fun at that MMA fight we did. I told Chael, ‘You will tell the people about the man, the fighter. I will tell the people about the man, the every day guy. Kids, wife, and their previous career.’”

While Ross has been a longtime UFC fan, he enjoyed Bellator’s latest special featuring Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar, “Primarily, I’ve always been a UFC guy. I’ve been with them since 1993 or 1994, so I’m a UFC guy at heart, but I enjoy sampling new MMA. So for me, Bellator’s most recent show was new, because they were doing something live, they were doing something for the first time with Scott Coker as their head guy on a big live extravaganza that was on the level of a PPV. The main event was just okay, it had a lot more sizzle than it did steak, but they built it up very nicely, much like a wrestling angle, so it captured my curiosity, but it wasn’t a great fight. It was an entertaining fight to get ready for, but by the end of the third round, you pretty well knew that both guys tanks are just about empty.

He added, “Because Bonnar’s pace was so sporadic in the 2nd, and especially the 3rd round, it allowed Tito to settle in at a very deliberate pace, and essentially just counter punch. But we don’t know how Tito would have fared if the fight had been at a faster pace, and Bonnar had more jet fuel in his tank, it just didn’t work out that way. But the bottom line is I enjoyed the build up to the fight, I enjoyed the rhetoric, I enjoyed the sizzle around the cage, I thought that Spike did a nice job.”

JR also gave his predictions on Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz, “Diaz is going to have a cult following, a lot of people like the bad boys, a lot of people like the villain wrestlers. A lot of people are just defiant, and like to go against tradition, or what is perceived to be good. Anderson Silva is a living legend in that game that is overcoming a very serious injury in his late 30’s to come back and try to regain his past glory. It’s just too good a story, and too easy a story to tell, so I think it’s going to be a real interesting dynamic. It should be a hell of a fight, I think depending on how much rust Silva has, and how healthy he’s become, it remains to be seen how the fight will go, although obviously Anderson is going to be a heavy favorite. But Diaz will make the fight interesting, entertaining, and compelling. I think if the announcers, which I’m sure they will, will tell the story of the legendary Anderson Silva and his career threatening injury, and he’s fighting a very unorthodox, unique, complex fighter in Nick Diaz. It’s an easy show to sell, but I do think Anderson will win it, but it should be really interesting.”

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Conor McGregor has recently made waves in the MMA world for his charismatic personality, and Jim Ross told an interesting story about Brock Lesnar and Muhammad Ali when it comes to fighters taking on the role of the perceived villain. “In the early days of Brock Lesnar in UFC, I would suggest that more people paid to see Brock get his ass whooped than paid to see him win. But once he won, and everybody saw what kind of beast he was, he was a legit beast, he wasn’t a fake wrestler, he was a former NCAA champion and All American, that’s the part of Brock Lesnar that they gravitated to.”

“But there’s always going to be a segment of the MMA community that is going to cheer for Lesnar to lose, if and when he comes back for another run after his diverticulitis issues, but that’s the beauty of it. Muhammad Ali told me one time, back in the 80’s, that he realized early in his career that he could make more money as a boxer, as a black man in a white man’s business as far as management and TV contracts, and distribution of PPV dollars, he said, ‘I realized my place as a fighter would be enhanced if I put myself in a position where the fans pay more money to see me lose than they would to see me win.’ It was at that point in his career where he became a Muslim, he refused to go into the military, etc., it was like a wrestling writer was writing his script because everything he did was going to guarantee him to be a villain. When he came back he was vilified for a long time until people started understanding him, and seeing his religion was legitimate, and he wasn’t anti-American, and he become this universally loved hero in the latter part of his career, when he was getting his brain scrambled.”

Ross added, “If [Connor McGregor] can fight as well he he can talk, he’s going to make himself a fortune.”

JR also predicted that Daniel Cormier will beat Jon Jones, and raved about Ronda Rousey. “She’s my favorite MMA fighter. She has legit star power and a great personality. She’s every promoter’s dream, whether it be pro wrestling, or Hollywood, or MMA, or whatever. She has looks, she has skill, she has intelligence. If I were WWE, if I could make this happen, she would definitely have a role at WrestleMania 31 to do something.”

Check out Jim Ross’ official website , Twitter, and WWEShop to buy his BBQ sauce.

Other recent interviews:

Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland, Kurt Angle, Kane, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, Eric Bischoff, and Hornswoggle.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Article written by Brett Buchanan

Jim Ross, DDP & Lilian Garcia Preview WWE Survivor Series

In the last few days I conducted exclusive interviews with legendary former WWE announcer Jim Ross, former WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page, and WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia that will go up in AlternativeNation.net’s Sports section in the next week or so. During these interviews, AlternativeNation.net was able to get predictions for WWE Survivor Series, which airs tomorrow night on the WWE Network at 8PM EST/5PM PST. DDP also gave his thoughts on the possibility of a major former WCW star debuting at the event.

Check out DDPYoga.com, DDP’s Twitter, Jim Ross’ official website , Twitter, and WWEShop to buy his BBQ sauce, and Lilian Garcia’s Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram.  Also go to WWE.com for more information on watching Survivor Series for free on the WWE Network.

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DDP’s Predictions:

You know, hearing about Sting potentially appearing at the pay-per-view tomorrow/tonight, I think that he is going to be a God there. I think Sting is going to be really well respected; everyone there grew up watching him. Sting is 55 years old, the reason you don’t really play that in is because he covers his body and stays in shape. He’s in really good shape and he paints his face. I mean, KISS is going out there and playing into their sixties and young kids are going: “Ah, I love this!” No one did it better then Sting, nobody and knowing that he could of held out and been worth so much more? I wish I could of done that! (laughs)

No one put themselves in a better spot but Sting would have never been able to make that crossover during the Attitude Era. It just would never happen because he is a Christian who [sticks to his beliefs]. He has a huge relationship with Christ and isn’t going to soil that for money. I’m sure had has stupid money anyway and I’m happy for him, God bless him. If Sting decides he is going to wrestle one last match then I think no matter what he can get there mentally and have one hell of a match. Do I think he could do it every night? Not so much, but to have one big night, going out there and popping the people? I think he’ll just tear it down.

All the new WWE fans know who Sting is now, they might not of seven months ago, but they know now!

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Jim Ross’ Predictions:

Well It’s basically a one match pay-per-view and they really waited until the last week to give more information and add to the intrigue. Especially on Monday when they added new members to Team Cena who were somewhat unusual. I’ll say that it’s a one match pay-per-view or a two match pay-per-view if you count Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt.

By the way, I’m all for those guys, I like the both of them, they were both down in developmental when I was still with the company and I was working down there so I have a special place for both of those guys and I hope they do well. However, the match, in all honesty, is a one match show. It’s the elimination tag with Team Cena against Team Authority and you know the stipulation, if Team Authority loses, they’re no longer in power, and I think the stipulation they’re going to add is if Cena’s team loses then they’re all fired so it’s one of those real straight forward stipulations and you hope it’s going to be a good show. I think they’ve done a nice job in building that one match, I feel they are rushing the Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt match but be that as it may I think those two kids will have a great match nonetheless.

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The rest of the card is what it is, but sometimes, in my experience, cards that you don’t have the greatest expectations for, as far as the undercard, that will pleasantly surprise and deliver and you gotta hope that will be the case for this show in Philly. The great thing about Philly is that they have a very vocal audience, they’re very uninhibited, they’re gonna say what they feel , the event sold out almost immediately, which is good. So, you have a major city, big arena, outspoken and defiant fans by and large, so it should be a colorful audience. However, without a doubt, the ten man elimination tag must deliver. It must deliver big time and close that pay-per-view with something that makes me want to see various members in a TLC match next pay-per-view in December. The key thing is how Survivor Series going to be executed, how will the presentation be and how will it get me to the December mega event?

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I also think that people that have tried to follow Mr. McMahon in the authority figure, I don’t think a lot of it has done well. I don’t think Hunter and Stephanie have done badly but I think the role needs to be “tweaked” and it needs to be refreshed and maybe by going away for a while it will refresh it. It’s hard to say if this show is going to be good or not because I don’t know what the creative is. I wrote on my blog this week that there should be some defections, some run-ins, some surprises and all sorts of “wild west stuff” because of the high stakes.

If you lose and you get fired, you’d think you would have something special up of your sleeve. If you lose and you lose all of your power, you think you would have something special up your sleeve. So it stands to reason that this match should be creatively booked, with a lot of twists and turns in the road and then go from there. However, I try not to think too much about what the creative is going to be because I don’t care what the creative is, I just want to watch the show. I don’t want to know the outcome, I want to see how it resonates with me when I watch it live. There are a lot of guys on the card that I signed back in the day and they are still my recruits in my mind but do I need to overthink the finish? No, because I don’t know the direction they’re going.

I got a feeling that the babyfaces are going to win but I might be wrong.

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Lilian Garcia’s Predictions:

I am really enjoying the build up to the Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt feud. You have two extremely talented superstars and I think they’re gonna give it their all. It’s exciting too because you get to see it for free on the WWE Network.

I also can’t wait for the Team Cena/Team Authority match. It’s crazy how it’s already changed, Sheamus got hurt, so there is so many surprises that have happened already that it’s making me go: “I can only imagine what’s going to happen!” Again, this is the dreams for these superstars, their livelihoods, their passion and when you have people working their passion I know they are living and breathing this and always putting their best out there. It’s going to be really exciting, and I think they totally shifted the dynamic by putting the now former members of the Wyatt family against each other. Nobody was really expecting that to happen so it’s like, “Whoa, what can happen here?!”

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Again, it’s going to be interesting to watch. I really love the build-up between AJ and Nikki Bella, especially the secondary storyline with the twins. For the longest time the Bella Twins wanted to work against each other, and now they get that opportunity. The two of them are really good wrestlers. Watch AJ, watch all of the divas, they are really strong and their work ethic is amazing. I remember when you used to get one divas match a show, a RAW or a pay-per-view and now you are getting more then what you are expecting, you are getting two divas matches a show, you’re getting the divas that are involved in other storylines, it’s just really cool to see how these divas are being used. The two stories in one is just a perfect example. It’s just awesome!

Check out our recent interviews with Kurt Angle, Kane, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, Eric Bischoff, Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland, and Hornswoggle.

Interview: Keegan-Michael Key Talks Key & Peele, Horrible Bosses 2 & Epic Rap Battles of History

In this exclusive interview for Alternative Nation, I recently had the opportunity to interview Keegan-Michael Key. He can currently be seen on his Comedy Central show Key & Peele with Jordan Peele. We talk about that and his role in the new Horrible Bosses 2 movie, as well as Key & Peele appearing in the Epic Rap Battles of History web series.

A lot of people that come to the site might not know a lot about your background or about the show, can you talk about how you got into comedy?

Well, I got my bachelors degree at the university of Detroit and my masters degree in Classical and Formal theater at Penn State. I went back to Detroit to make an independent film and a bunch of the people that were making the independent film were all members of the Second City Comedy Troop, at the time there was a Second City Theater in Detroit and they asked me to go audition, which I did and that’s basically how I got into it. However, when I was a kid, I was the class clown and when I would do plays in school I would be typically be casted in the comedies, sometimes dramas but mostly comedies. I was mostly the “comedic character” in a drama anyway, so it’s safe to say that I’m a comedic guy.

So I’ve been doing it for some time, but I didn’t have any idea or plan for this to be my life’s work. However, they said “you should audition”, which I did, I got into the troop and then worked for the Second City Detroit for about four years and then I got transferred over to the Second City Chicago – which is the more famous one where John Balushi, Steve Carrell, Steve Colbert, Tina Fey and all of those guys came from. That’s how I “officially” got into comedy but I’ve been a comedy fan for most of my life.

What motivated you to try out for MAD TV?

I had no intention of trying out for MAD TV actually! I was in the Second City in Chicago and they were scouting me and I was told “would you like to come audition?” and I thought “Why would I? That would be a blast?” It wasn’t really that much of a shift in format because I was doing sketch comedy already, the only different being that this would be on television. To give you the simplest answer possible, I thought it would be fun! *laughs* I flew out to Hollywood, auditioned for the show, got cast and had five glorious years there. It was a blast.

You did a lot of celebrity impersonations on the show, which were really good. Is that something that you or the writers of MAD TV came up with? How did that collaboration come together?

What would typically happen is that the writers of the show would write a sketch with the celebrity in it. We would have a research team at the show, what they would do is get me a DVD of that celebrity so I could study their behavior and that’s how I learned to do most of the impressions. That’s kind of how I learned how to do the Snoop Dogg impression and others as well. In fact, the only impression I remember coming to MAD TV with was Bill Cosby and that was an impression that I already had under my belt. Of course I watched President Obama because I played him the first season and a half but it was a lot of really great work done by the research department. They were really terrific.

Is that where you met Jordan [Peele]?

I met Jordan in Chicago, one year before we both got on MAD TV actually. A mutual friend introduced us and it was actually a coincidence that he got MAD TV and then six months later I was cast on the show. Complete coincidence, but they we wrote tons and tons of scenes together and that’s how our relationship started.

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Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele

And now you have your own sketch comedy show on Comedy Central, which is finishing up its fourth season, what is it like transitioning from something like MAD TV to your own show?

It’s really terrific and the biggest reason why is because you are in charge. I remember, we finished a table read at MAD TV on any given day and as soon as you’re finished you would just go home and there are a bunch of people that would lock themselves in a room for a couple of hours and they decide which sketches are going to be on the show or not as well as who is or who isn’t going to be in the sketches. On Key and Peele, we make all of those decisions, we’re the ones that talk to the network, we’re the ones that get to say “we think the show should go in this sort of direction artistically” or “I don’t think the tone of this sketch worked here” so the big thing is having more control, more power in regards to what the final product is going to be.

There really isn’t anything like it and once you have that you’re spoiled. Once I work on other shows, I have t train myself to keep my mouth shut. It’s not my job to tell them that a certain thing is going the wrong way whereas on Key and Peele I’m involved with all of those aspects. I’m involved with every aspect of the program.

I interviewed Aaron Rodgers , the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers a couple of weeks ago and he said he’s a fan of the show. You also have other celebrities like President Obama who watch the show, what does it mean to you to have all of these famous people embrace Key and Peele like they’ve been?

It’s a really wonderful feeling. I actually met Aaron Rodgers, we had dinner together and that was awesome, it was really terrific to talk to him, especially as a huge NFL football fan. However, it’s hard to really answer the question. I think it’s a satisfying feeling, an exciting one but at the end of the day, all of that is secondary. The primary thing is that you work as hard as you can, you make the product that makes you happy, that you’re passionate about and people will either come to it or they won’t. If you write to try and make everyone happy you’ll end up with a watered down, washed up, general product but if you write a very specific product you’ll get more fans that will go “oh my gosh they are speaking directly to me.” In some cases, it’s different then sketch because we write a variety of different kinds of sketches so because we write a variety of different sketches, different sketches appeal to different people and that has worked to our advantage.

It is fulfilling to know because you need that variety, that very often we are firing on all cylenders with that variety, which makes me very happy. We are achieving goals that we set out to achieve. My seventy yea r old mother will like one sketch whereas my fifteen year old niece will like another sketch and that’s part of how sketch works so that makes us very happy.

I’m a big fan of the show and it really appeals to me because I like comedy a lot more so then any other genre. I saw the Family Matters sketch that you guys did, where do you come up with ideas like that?

A lot of those parody sketches that you watch, they are generated primarily by our writing staff and by Jordan. I’ll be completely honest with you, when Family Matters was on the air I was in college trying to have sex with girls and Jordan was eleven. So although the show was in his orbit, it was by no means his favorite show but that show was in psyche of everyone his age at the time. It’s interesting because we are eight years apart from one another but those shows did not hold as much weight to me as they did to him, only because of where we were in our lives at the time. The writers are more Jordan’s age then my age and so those sketches such as Family Matters were important to those guys because they were kids and in a way geared to them, Urkel was certainly geared to them.

Where the idea of those sketches came about was because we’re television writers and we have to put ourselves in the place of those television writers in the 1980s. I mean, Urkele was a phenomenon, a social phenomenon, a juggernaut and if you go online and look at old Family Matters synopses, it will blow your mind. Some of the shows that Jordan is describing in the sketch aren’t as crazy as some of the actually, real life Family Matters shows that aired.

Oh yeah, I’m around Jordan’s age and I lived through the Family Matters era.

Right, well, here’s an example, a perfect example of what we’re talking about. It’s so acutely directed towards you and I believe that, last year, the reason we got an Emmy nomination for best song in the variety category is because that Les Mes sketch we did last year, that sketch appeals to people in their 60s and 70s so they’re going to go “Well those two young men are pretty clever!” You know what I mean? We are really trying to appeal to a lot of people and that goes with the Family Matter sketch. Where that is a 8 on the important scale for me it’s a 10 and a half for Jordan and for people his age so it’s a really fun sketch.

Something else that I wanted to bring up, aside from being a part of your own show, you’re doing movies, you do a lot of stuff online as far as YouTube and I had a chance to check out the Epic Rap Battles of History, when are we going to see another one?

I don’t really know, we’ve been so busy recently that we’ve not talked to Peter or Lloyd about doing another one yet but I would love to do another one but time hasn’t permitted us to do so, that’s all. Once the show goes down and we start editing, we start to gain back a little more time and we can schedule things like that into our lives so I wish I had an answer for you on that one.

They’re just so good!

Yeah, the MLK/Gandhi one I think was really great and I think it turned out really well. I also super duper enjoyed the Michael Jordan/Muhammad Ali one but the Martin Luther King/Gandhi one was by far my favorite. It just made my heart feel good.

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Key as Gandhi & Peele as MLK Jr. (Epic Rap Battles of History)

You’re in the new Horrible Bosses 2 movie that comes out later this month, so tell me a little bit about your character and about the movie.

It’s funny because I’m in the first scene in the movie, we actually shot it on the first day of shooting and the movie opens with the three guys working together on their own business now and they have their own product called the Shower Buddy and they are going to hawk the product on this morning show so the morning is kind of like a Michael Strahan/Kelly Ripa kind of show and it’s me and this amazing young lady, Kelly Stables, who is just so funny, she’s also in the trailer and just terrific. So, we shoot this morning show and these guys come on the morning show and that’s really all I want to say because I want you to have the delight of seeing what comes next.

I do know this though, I know when we were in post production and I had to go through ADR that the director told me that they had to add extra time on front of the scene that happens after our scene because in the test audiences people were laughing so hard they were missing important information that Charlie Day was saying in the next scene. That’s how hard people were laughing. They were hysterical and the scene was so much fun to shoot. Charlie and I are buddies and I’ve done a couple episodes of “It’s Always Sunny” this year and it’s so much fun. Charlie, Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton, those guys are executive producers and creators of their own show too, so we all know how it “works” but they were always gracious and gave me a lot of creative leeway when we taped this episode, it was just terrific.

Back on point, I think Jason Bateman, is like this amazing veteran and I think pound for pound the best comedic straight man out there right now. He does this thing that other straight men out there can’t do and I can’t put my finger on it, and of course [Jason] Sudakis I love him, he just blows my mind and he’s second city! He’s family and we’re both from the comedy mafia!

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You’ve been doing movies, you have the TV show, what kind of schedule do you prefer?

To be honest, I don’t know if I “prefer” it but I’m just going to be honest and say that I’m used to the “old” schedule, which is kind of just sitting around, learning your lines, bringing something to a role, then going about your business and then being sort of a “hired gun” of sorts but I’ve now really been bitten by that bug where I’m the kind of person that can stop a shot after the director says “cut” and I’m the kind of person that’s allowed because it’s our show that’s allowed to say “you know, we really need to get a take where this happens because in the editing bay I would like to do X, Y and Z.” Whereas you are just acting and you don’t get to do that, so the funny thing is that I don’t prefer either one. They’re Fiji apples and Honeycrisp apples. I enjoy them both and they’re both delicious in their own way.

There are some days where I don’t want the trappings of responsibility, I want to show up, communicate with a fellow actor, go home and have dinner with my wife. Other days, I would like to grind out a scene, and Jordan and I have experienced this wonderful thing where a scene starts out in one place in the beginning of the day and we creatively change the scene throughout the day, and then it goes through a third metamorphose where it goes to the editing bay and that’s fantastic. It’s such an amazing experience to have that. Whereas with acting, not that I “prefer” it, but it’s different. It’s sort of like when this, when you are producing and acting you’re sort of like a player coach, it’s sort of like being an offensive coordinator, when you’re acting you are just being the wide receiver and they’re days where I just want to be the wide receiver and other days where I get to be the offensive coordinator. I would have to say that I enjoy them similarly.

Speaking of all the sports analogies, I have a sports question for you. Do you think the Detroit Red Wings are going to make it to the Stanley Cup this year?

I think that the Red Wings will go deep, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I think they are going to make the conference finals but I don’t think they are going to make it to the Stanley Cup. I think they are going to make it deep, deep into the playoffs this year. Datsuyk has to get healthy, I know he has a groin thing right now but I think once he starts getting back on the ice the team will start clicking again.

I love a lot of those guys, I love [Pavel] Datsuyk, I love [Justin] Abdelkader but I miss the guys that were there when I was younger because it was like we were the Yankees of hockey but I think they’ll make a deep run in the playoffs this year. I have a lot of high hopes for my Lions and my Red Wings.

Lastly, I know you have Horrible Bosses coming out this year, Key and Peele is wrapping for its fourth season, what other projects do you have coming up that we need to know about?

Ok let’s see what I can talk about here! *laughs* so it looks like March or April, Jordan and I will be shooting a movie called Keanu, which Jordan wrote with one of our writers, it’s going to be the first official Key and Peele movie and we’re going to be doing that with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. We’re going to begin shooting on that in either March or April of 2015. Then, my guess is, there will be new episodes of Key & Peele in 2015 and they stuff we are wrapping on now will air in the new year.

In May of 2015 I will in both Pitch Perfect 2, which will be a mid-May release as well as this big, upcoming Disney film that I’m really excited about called Tomorrowland. George Clooney will be in that. Both of those you can check in out in May of 2015. Also, I just shot a really fun scene for the new installment of the Vacation universe. You know, the Vacation movies? Well Ed Helms is doing that and will be playing a grown-up Rusty and he’s taking his kids to Wally World and along the way he – oh I can’t tell you the surprises! However, I just got back a couple of weeks ago from Georgia and finished shooting on Vacation. I think it’s going to be a late 2015 release.

There is also going to providing a voice in the upcoming sequel to Hotel Transylvania and if people have Netflix there is a really great, funny animated show on there called Bojack Horseman. It’s a really funny show, the lead voice actor is Will Arnett. Amy Sedaris and Alison Brie are both involved but I play a recurring character on that show and the new season should be out pretty soon. It’s really interesting funny and weird, it’s about the industry and really terrific.

Make sure to check out Key & Peele Wednesday Nights at 10:30/9:30c on Comedy Central and look for Horrible Bosses 2 in theaters November 26th.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Phil Davis Talks Fighting Glover Teixeira; Predicts Jones-Cormier; Silva-Diaz

I recently had the chance to speak with standout UFC Light Heavyweight Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis. We talked about his NCAA Division 1 wrestling background and his recent win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 179 in Brazil where he called out Anderson Silva. Phil also talks predictions on the Anderson Silva-Nick Diaz and Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier fights.

You’re a standout wrestler, talk about how you got involved with wrestling

I come from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which is right in the city and where wrestling isn’t really popular. My friend at the time basically just asked me to accompany him to wrestling practice because he was doing a try out. This was way back when I was in seventh grade. So, I said “sure” and at the time I had no idea about anything regarding the sport and I would go along with him and watch. I went to practice, I sat down and the coach said “you can’t sit and watch, you have to participate”. So, I started wrestling in my street clothes and it was awful! I hated it! When I got home, I told my parents all about it and they thought “OK, well, sounds like a pretty stupid sport but just finish the week and then you can quit the team”.

Only I can tell a story about attempting to quit something and forgetting to do so because come Monday I was still wrestling.

You wrestled all throughout college, how did the progression go from being a NCAA division-1 wrestler to transforming into an MMA fighter?

It’s weird exactly because I just decided one day that I’m going to be a MMA fighter and that was it. I just began training and went from there.

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Phil Davis suplexing Tim Boetsch

Was it a decision you made right after you got out of college?

I was still in college and taking classes when I decided. It was actually right after I won the NCAA title and I had begun to start taking striking classes and ju-jitsu but it was when I was in college and doing my mid-terms and finals.

You are coming off of a great win against Glover Teixeira in Brazil recently and you made some news because you called out Anderson Silva in the post-fight interview. There are a couple of different guys right now like Anderson Silva and Jon Jones who everyone wants to see you face, do you have a preference at this point on who you would go up against?

Absolutely not! As long as it’s a “good guy” then I’m perfectly fine because at this point, where I’m at, I’m perfectly fine taking care of a guy that isn’t “top five” material too. However, I would just prefer it to be a “top five” guy.

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Phil Davis post fight interview with Brian Stann at UFC 179

There was a lot of talk leading up into your fight with Anthony Johnson, with you and Jon Jones, can you talk about why you particularly don’t care for Jon Jones?

*laughs* I mean, I could talk about it all day, if that’s what you want me to do. You know, he’s just a certain kind of guy; it’s hard to explain really. He’s just a certain kind of guy and you either love him or you don’t and I have the pleasure of not.

Now, there are a couple of big fights coming up next year and both with implications of the two people we just talked about. What is your prediction on the Anderson Silva-Nick Diaz fight?

Well, I suppose I would have to say Anderson Silva because he is a bigger guy in the match-up and he’s also more experienced with the better skill-set. Now, having said that, there are so many drawbacks in picking Anderson Silva because he’s older, he’s been on a bad string of fights, which don’t get me wrong, happens to everyone, I just got back in the win column myself. I don’t want to say Anderson is washed up because that’s absolutely not the case but for a guy like him to be on a two fight slide is going to be hard to bounce back from. I don’t think it’s impossible but it’s going to be hard to bounce back from that. Silva is also getting to that certain age where your body is everything and sometimes you feel like you can win a fight even when you aren’t at one hundred percent and he needs to be closer to that one hundred percent the older he gets. There are so many factors that go into it but it should be Anderson Silva but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it wasn’t.

Do you think it’s going to be a good fight?

I think it’s going to be an awesome fight but I couldn’t tell you if it’s going to be a five round fight or a thirty second one. I just can’t gauge it.

The other big fight coming up is going to be against Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, what do you see happening in that fight?

I gotta be honest, I see the champion getting beat there. Daniel Cormier is a beast and I see the champ getting all beat up.

What do you think of getting into a fight with someone like Daniel Cormier?

I don’t think I would want to. Daniel is somebody that I train with and I’m helping him get ready for Jon Jones, so it’s not something that I’m particularly entertaining at this time.

When you train with Daniel do you think that there is no way that Jon Jones can overcome those kind of odds?

Oh I would say no way! I see it as it being that this is the fight that Jon Jones was hoping he did not get, and he did! Jon thought Alex Gustafsson was bad? He was wrong.

How were you feeling in your fight with Glover Teixeira, were you one hundred percent going into that fight?

I was closer to one hundred percent in that fight then I was against Anthony Johnson.

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Glover Teixeira, UFC President Dana White, Phil Davis at UFC 179 Weigh Ins
 

Yeah, that’s something else that I wanted to ask, I saw the fight you had with Anthony Johnson a few times, what was going on there, were you just just not feeling it that night and was it one of those rare off nights?

Well, I don’t like to make a lot of excuses because when guys make excuses, I call them losers. Long story short, anytime I’m in the Octagon, I expect to win. I expected to win that night and I didn’t but having said that, there are some reasons that went into why I didn’t perform as well I was would have liked to.

Definitely, I understand that. Now, you came off that great fight in Brazil and it seems like you decimate any of these Brazilian fighters that you go against, is there anybody aside from Anderson Silva that you would like to face in the future?

That’s Brazilian?

Yeah.

Let me ask you a question. Who is left!

*Laughs* I don’t think there’s many people left. I think you would have to go up to the heavyweight division to fight more Brazilian fighters.

Yeah, that’s right!

What do you do in your downtime when you aren’t fighting and when do you think we’ll know when your next fight is coming up?

You know, I don’t do much man, I play a little golf and I like to read but I’m mostly training. It’s usually eat, sleep, rinse, wash, repeat. In regards to my next fight? Well, my guess would be sometime within the next four months. However, it all kind of depends on how everything shakes up in the division.

Is there anybody that you think you may be taking on before you get that Anderson Silva or Jon Jones fight?

I would take anybody but truthfully who would they give me is the better question.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Interview: Big Hero 6’s Genesis Rodriguez Talks Working With Will Ferrell & Kevin Smith

I recently had the opportunity to interview Genesis Rodriguez. She can currently be heard on the big screen voicing the character Honey Lemon in Disney’s Big Hero 6, which is the number 1 movie in the country at this time. We also talk about her working with Kevin Smith, Will Ferrell and getting to live out a dream with Conan O’Brien on his TBS show.

You’re in Big Hero 6, the NUMBER 1 movie in the country, it’s an animated Disney movie. What did you like about doing this movie? What drew you to this project?

The Disney aspect of course. I’ve been a huge Disney fanatic my whole life. I know the impact it has on kids, I was one of those kids. I literally was brushing my hair with a fork for ages because of Ariel [from The Little Mermaid]. I know how important it is for the new generation. On top of that Big Hero 6 is about superheros, but they’re not born with any abnormalities or superhuman strength, they’re just regular kids who apply themselves in school. I thought it was super special that it had such a beautiful message that anyone can be a superhero if they apply themselves. It’s just very cool, they’ve got science involved, they’ve got that Disney heart. Its got that emotional aspect of it and it’s very funny, it’s just like a perfect Disney flick.

You’ve done a lot of live action movies and this is the first animated film you’ve done, what’s the advantage of doing an animated film over a live action movie?

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Genesis as Honey Lemon in Big Hero 6

I guess the advantage of it is that you can try so many different ways. They actually allow you to just go however you want with it. You get to really weird places, you get to say a line in so many different ways that there’s no limit and when it sparks a little lightbulb in them they said whatever you’re doing with right now, just go with that, that sounds really good. In film, you have to worry about so many things, the tone matching with everyone else’s, you have to think about an overall idea of how it’s going to look rather than how it’s going to sound. My character was so positive and bubbly, that I got to be able to act a fool for 6 hours and have so much fun in the room and I didn’t feel like I was working. I was just acting silly and fun and it didn’t feel like work. It was the easiest job and most fun too.

How does it feel to be in the NUMBER 1 movie in the country?

It feels good. It feels so good [laughs]. I like to be in this spot. I’ve been in a lot of indies that don’t get there and you wish so much that you can get that audience. It really is that Disney factor of how to make a perfect film, its fun for the whole family, so the adults are going to get some of the jokes the kids don’t and vice versa it’s just perfect. The perfect balance of what moviegoing should be and nowadays, you have a big family and want to do something together, it’s best to see a family film, you don’t want to pay a babysitter to watch the kids. It’s a whole experience to be together and have some fun. I think the cutest thing in the world is to see a kid’s face watching a Disney movie because their eyes are so gah gah eyed and their captivated by the whole thing. It’s adorable. I’m sure the families are enjoying it, with the adults enjoying watching the kids having this experience with them as much as the kids are.

You were in Kevin Smith’s film earlier this year, Tusk. There’s a spinoff movie filming right now called Yoga Hosers. What can you tell me about that?

It’s Yoga Hosers ya’ know [Genesis is talking with a Canadian Accent]. I play a totally different character than Allie from Tusk. Tusk was such a special film for me. I feel Kevin is just one of those innovators whose just doing things he wants to see in the movie theatres and is just doing some creative, incredible movies and I’m so happy I’m a part of it. I’m such a fan of Kevin’s and his dialogue or his script itself is so delicious, I get so excited when he says Gen Do you want a part of it? Yes Kevin! Send me the script it going to be so much fun. It’s amazing, it’s delicious material. Yoga Hosers is fun, it’s kinda like these 2 girls are the heroes [played by the daughters of] Kevin [Smith] and Johnny [Depp]. I can’t even begin to describe it to you, but it’s really funny. There’s some really good cameos in this movie and you can expect good acting. From Tusk, you can say whatever you want, but there’s some solid acting and there’s some solid dialogue. In Yoga Hosers, you can expect the same thing centered around these 2 girls. They’re just so wonderful to look at and I think they’re so talented and it’s really cool to be a part of these girls lives and careers too. The people will see they are extremely talented girls.

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Pictured (L-R): Kevin Smith, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment promoting Tusk

I saw Tusk and thought it was really funny. I thought it was something different from Kevin Smith which is good. I’ve seen all his other movies, basically everything else is a comedy. I thought it was really creative and I really liked it. Were you a fan of Kevin Smith’s before you did the movie?

Oh yeah. I can’t choose between Mallrats and Chasing Amy, I really can’t. He’s done some really important movies for our generation. They were innovative and different and I’m glad he’s not limiting himself on what he’s supposed to do and trying to do a certain type of movie. He’s in his own little bubble right now, making some really interesting stuff. Honestly, I’m just so honored cause he really gets me to act. I had a huge monologue scene in Tusk that I’ve never been given before. I play a Canadian in Yoga Hosers with a very thick accent and he wanted me to go for it and I’m like Kevin, I’m Latina are you sure about this? He’s like, you’re a talented actress, just go for it girl. That’s what’s really cool about him, he’s breaking the mold with everything that he does.

I saw a movie you were in called Casa de mi Padre with Will Farrell, I thought that was hilarious. What were your thoughts on doing a movie like that with your Telenovela background and working with Will Ferrell?

Will is the greatest guy you could work with, he’s exactly what you expect him to be. He is just the nicest guy ever, he’s funny and he’s sweet, he’s like a teddy bear, he’s so sweet. I’ve been a huge fan of Will from SNL and all his movies, so for him to treat you like your on his same plane, I was so humbled. I couldn’t believe this guy validated me as an actress, it was so cool. The Telenovela style is funny because it’s so intense and they’re dead serious about what they’re talking about, it’s ridiculous stuff. I remember I had a scene where I was throwing around cocaine in the music video [laughing], while I’m crying, just ridiculous. You have to take it for what it is. That movie was really special to me because I’m saying goodbye to my past with that. Nobody can do Telenovela like I can, I can convince you that I have been blind, and I have regained my vision and I can convince you of things that quite no other actor can. I was really happy I got this job because I knew I was going to do well with it. I had the best time, it was just a beautiful film. It was weird and cool and different. I like doing those weird, cool and different movies if you haven’t noticed [laughing].

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Will Ferrell and Genesis

When I have free time, I love going through youtube and finding clips. I saw a clip of you on Conan on TBS, acting out a Telenovela while eating and crying. It blew my mind how funny it was. So I know what you mean about the weird, cool and different things you talked about.

That was one of my dreams come true, I was dying for a crying and eating scene. The whole idea of it is someone that’s so seriously crying while eating and it was funny to even think of. I said that, I think in an interview, and they asked me: Do you want to try that out today? OH MY GOSH, YES. This is the greatest gift you can give me. So now I’m waiting for my machine gun scene, I need to do one of those where I’m just like spraying out bullets everywhere, that’s the next one. Maybe maniacal laughing while doing it [laughing]. That would be kind of great.

Besides Yoga Hosers, what other upcoming projects do you have on the horizon?

Next year I have Run All Night, it’s a thriller action movie with Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman. It’s a really cool film. Basically, Liam works for Ed Harris and he’s in the mob, and I play Joel Kinnaman’s wife. Joel has nothing to do with the mob and he unfortunately witnesses something that he shouldn’t see, so it involves him and the mob. Liam has to choose between the mob and his friend. It’s literally running all night away from trouble and I was pregnant in the film and I had 2 kids, so that was not the easiest job I’ve ever done. It was very difficult to run around with a 12 pound belly and to have a 3 year old and a 7 year old, I was already stressed out when I started working because of that aspect. I think it turned out pretty great. I’m excited to see it. I got to eat whatever I want and people on set thought I really was pregnant and were asking, how far along are you? Oh I’m like 8 months, while I was chowing down and eating God only knows how many slices of pizza.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Interview: San Jose Sharks Enforcer Mike Brown Talks Stadium Series, Metallica and Pearl Jam

San Jose Sharks forward Mike Brown recently spent some time with Alternative Nation and in this exclusive interview answered questions about his musical taste, bands that he enjoys, who he would form a NHL music supergroup with and playing in the NHL Stadium Series.

Hockey is a very physical sport. What do you do to pump yourself up before you play? Any special rituals? Any special songs or bands you listen to that get you going?

Just listening to some loud metal music, rock, anything that has a lot of energy. I don’t listen to much else before games. Nothing specific either really, I’m more of a self-motivating kind of guy.

What got you into listening to Metallica?

I really liked their sound. I always had a strong draw towards metal music. They’re a pretty original famous band and I took a liking to a lot of their songs back in the day when I was first getting into music. The more I listened to them the more and more songs I liked of theirs.

Have you ever seen them play live?

I actually haven’t—I had a chance to see them in Chicago once and I missed it, just missed the opportunity. I definitely would still like to see them live one day though.MikeBrown

You’re also really into Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine—what other types of music do you listen to?

I listen to a little bit of everything. You know those bands– Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park—those bands are my standard go-to music. I’ll listen to everything though, whether that be rap or country or easy-listening music. Metal, rock, basically everything. The one thing I don’t listen much to is techno, but guys are playing it all the time in the room so that’s something you kind of have to listen to since it’s always there [laughs].

What is the rock scene like in San Jose?

I actually haven’t gone to many shows in San Jose. The most bands and live shows I got into was when I played for the Maple Leafs in Toronto. I actually listened to a lot of Monster Truck, and got to kind of know the guys in the band. When they toured around the states I went and saw them in Chicago. I haven’t seen much in San Jose, the majority of the guys I know in bands and follow intently are from the Canadian areas.

Chicago does have a good music scene don’t they?

They really do, there’s a ton. They have everything, always something going every single night.

How many rock concerts have you been to?

I don’t get to many shows, actually. One of my more memorable ones was going to Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field last year, which was incredible. I know I mentioned them before, but I saw Monster Truck a few times and really enjoyed them as well. Not too many big name bands that I’ve been to, but I like when we have a team event and functions where we can meet some of the bands and go backstage to see them.

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Can you play any instruments?

I used to play a lot of guitar in high school, played for about a year or two, but as soon as I put it down for a little bit I lost whatever talent I had with it [laughs].

If you could form a supergroup with any other NHL’ers who would be in it?

[Sharks teammate] John Scott, he’d be a drummer for sure. Or maybe a crowd-surfer. Designated crowd surfer [laughs]. I know Henrik Lundqvist plays guitar, and Joffrey Lupul is actually really good at guitar. I played with Bobby Ryan as well, both of those guys put on a pretty good show. In Anaheim they played in front of a pretty big group.

Who else on the Sharks shares the same taste in music as yourself and have you ever talked to them about it?

Dan Boyle, who left this summer, was a big metal guy. He would always play my type of music in the locker room after games but now it’s a whole lot of DJ and EDM type stuff in the room so I may have to look into that [laughs].One of our trainers Wes Howard is into metal as well. Outside of us though, I don’t think too many other guys are into as much on the team. We don’t listen to it much as a group.

The Sharks will be playing the Kings in the Stadium Series. Talk about that experience.

It’s so exciting to play in an outdoor game. When I was with the Maple Leafs I was going to have an opportunity to play in an outdoor game in 2012-13, but the event got pushed back a year to 2013-14 and I got traded [to Edmonton] right before that. So it’s pretty cool to finally have one coming up on the schedule, especially against the Kings. With how we ended the season last year, the fact that we get to play these guys now, it’s always a little chance at some redemption. A lot of pride on the line. It’ll be good to kill two birds with one stone, get to play an outdoor game and compete against the Kings. Should be a lot of fun.MikeBrown1

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Interview: Sons of Anarchy’s Mo McRae Talks Tyler, Jax, Carmelo Anthony and Season 7’s Message

Mo McRae established himself in the 2006 film Gridiron Gang as Leon Hayes, and has found a new home on television playing Tyler, the leader of the One-Niners, on FX’s hit Sons of Anarchy, which is currently airing its final season Tuesday at 10PM.  In this exclusive interview with AlternativeNation.net’s Film & TV section, McRae discusses Tyler’s relationship with Jax, where the show is going in its final episodes, how he has brought his own personality into Tyler, portraying a different kind of ‘gang leader,’ guest stars like Carmelo Anthony and Courtney Love, and much more.

How did you get involved in acting?

High school actually. I just had it as an elective class that I did not select. I had drama in 4th period, the teacher Mark Swenson, just kept on pressing me after we would do exercises in class, saying he felt like I had something special in me as an actor, and I was totally not interested. I played basketball in high school, so I didn’t want to do it. He told me finally, ‘Look, if you do this Christmas play after school, I’ll give you an A in the class for the rest of the year.’ I didn’t have the best grades at the time, and I really needed to keep playing basketball, so I was like okay fine, I’ll just do this one play and get an A. I got onstage and that was it, I quit basketball, and I didn’t play from then on out.

Do you still like acting as much as you did back then?

I do, I actually do believe it or not. I always tell myself when I lose the excitement, I’ll start doing something else. I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now, and still to this day, literally the night before I shoot anything, I can never sleep just from excitement. I’ll always have that nervous energy the night before.

You’ve been in movies like Gridiron Gang and The Butler, and obviously you have this huge recurring role on Sons of Anarchy. Do you prefer doing movies or TV shows?

I actually don’t have a preference, I enjoy them both for different reasons. It always ends up being more about just the character and the people, and there’s a lot of great characters on TV and film right now.

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What’s the difference between shooting a motion picture and TV show?

I think on a TV series the atmosphere is different, because on a show like Sons of Anarchy, or a movie like The Butler. On Sons so many people have been working together for over 5 years, some have been working together for 7 years. It’s just a different system for me, with TV it’s more of a familiar feel, while as on a movie people have just come together for the first time. So you’re kind of figuring out how everyone works, where as on television the familiarity is already there.

Were you a fan of Sons of Anarchy before you were cast?

Actually I had not really watched it before I got cast, but once I found out that I was going to be doing the show, I just Netflix binge watched. Just to get tone, I wanted to watch a couple of episodes, but I ended up watching everything I could get my hands on, and I became a big fan of the show.

You mentioned some people have been working there for 7 years, some 5. How was it integrating into the cast?

It was a ton of things. There were so many emotions on camera, and off camera. I had watched the show and saw the level of intensity on screen, then I kind of looked on the internet, and you see Kurt Sutter tweeting all this crazy stuff (laughs), so I could kind of know what the energy was going to be like. I was kind of like the new kid at school, that’s how I felt the first couple days, trying to figure out where I fit in at lunch, because everybody else has their pocket, just like the new kid in a high school. But I feel like the guys embraced me pretty fast, it was like a gradual build of kind of finding my rhythm amongst everyone. Once that happened, me and all of the guys are really, really close. So it’s just been an incredible artistic energy to be around. Everybody is supportive, and giving, and we kind of push each other and challenge each other. Kurt Sutter is always about finding the truth in moments and performances, and nobody lets anybody slack on the show, which is great.

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I’ve been a huge fan since the show started. It seems like the critics are coming around and being pretty favorable to the show. But something I did want to bring up, and I totally disagree with this point of view from some people, there’s been some criticism about the amount of sex and violence on the show. I think it’s unjustified with the TV-MA ratings they do the bumper at every break, and it’s on at 10PM, but what do you think about the criticism of the tone of the show?

I’m a father, and there was things that are for me, and there are things that are for my daughter. Sons of Anarcy is for me, Frozen is for my daughter. I don’t think that the show should be toned down to appease anyone in particular. It’s a very adult show, it’s very dark, it sensationalizes a lot of things, and that is part of the appeal. It takes the whole outlaw mentality, not just with the characters on the show, but even in the writing. Kurt Sutter is a bit of a renegade in his writing and his approach, and that works for the show, that’s the message he wants to get across. Especially in this final season, something that’s really interesting that I hope fans and critics and everyone sees, I feel like Kurt has kind of flashed a mirror on society with the school shootings and things of that nature with violence, and the ramifications and repercussions of violence. That’s what we’re starting to see a lot of in this season, is that each violent act, that seemed like it was no big deal and was just part of the storyline just to be violent, now there are serious repercussions happening and affecting the characters that the audience cares so much about. There is actually a message within the violence [this season].

Something that I wanted to ask you about, I saw Carmelo Anthony last week on Sons of Anarchy, what is your opinion of some of the guest stars who have been chosen this season? It seems kind of a plethora of all different sorts of walks of life coming in this season.

I honestly, genuinely, truly, love the guest stars this season. Marilyn Manson has been killing it, Courtney Love, killing it. It’s so interesting because when you bring someone like that on the show who has such a big profile, it’s very difficult I think for the suspension of disbelief, but they’ve been able to do it. The Carmelo thing, I just texted Carmelo, I’m cool with Carmelo. I was at my daughter’s school and some parent walked up to me who I had never spoken to before and said, “Will Carmelo be back?” (Laughs) I think people are into that, all of these little flashes of life that illuminate the show that people gravitate towards. I thought Carmelo had a lot of screen presence, he didn’t try too hard, he’s very natural, I like it, I want to see him do more.

Malcolm Jamal-Warner has been on a few episodes this season as well, and that was something I don’t think people expected either.

You don’t ever expect to see Malcolm Jamal-Warner as a biker gang member. He’s convincing, I think it was a good opportunity for him to show another side.

That first episode this season, he was almost unrecognizable.

Exactly, exactly. I feel like the show has given so many people so many opportunities to showcase themselves. What Walton Goggins has been doing on the show, is just incredible, to be this character, it’s so left field, but he just plays it so modest, he plays it oh so honestly, you just can’t dispute it.

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What do you think of everything that’s transpired leading to where we are right now in the series?

I think that the web is extremely tangled, and has a lot of different ins and outs, so it’s just very interesting to see the way everything is unfolding, and who gets out of the web, and who doesn’t. It was weird, because even reading the scripts, I have to read them so many times to keep track of everything. I’m in awe of how the fans are just able to follow every storyline, and be invested emotionally in the ones that resonate with them. I’m pretty impressed by what Kurt, Paris, and Charles Murray have been able to do with the writing this season. Because it’s a lot of wheeling and dealing, but there’s still a lot of emotional subtext driving the story.

Definitely, I think that’s one of the things that keeps people watching.

Absolutely, you don’t know what the next twist or turn is going to be.

What is your take on the season so far, do you think Jax is going to find his way, or destroy everything he cares about?

I don’t know. I know the answer to that, but I can’t say, so I can’t really answer that question (laughs).

You can’t blame me for trying.

That was very slick, that was very good. That was one of the best.

You play Tyler, you are the leader of the One-Niners. How have you been able to make Tyler your own?

That’s a great question. My biggest thing with making Tyler my own, was bringing as much of myself to the role as possible. Kurt has given me an amazing opportunity to play on paper what is called a ‘gang leader,’ but in a way that I’ve never seen a gang leader played before. He’s not a guy with a ton of bravado, I’m really kind of just trying to figure it out. In a lot of ways I’m looking to the Jax character for guidance. I believe that in order to acquire success you need mentorship, so I’ve been able to bring that element to Tyler. He’s really looking for mentorship, and a big brother relationship with Jax, and that’s something I feel like I do in my life, and I wanted to bring to the character. I feel like that relationship and dynamic is kind of coming across. I think the fans kind of appreciate a character on a show that is a gang leader that is different. I try to play it with a lot more humanity, and heart, and curiosity, than toughness.

It’s definitely a departure from how Laroy was used as the leader. It’s a very good way to show how the One-Niners are going in a different direction. Anyways, outside of Sons of Anarchy and acting, what do you like to do in your down time?

A lot of things. I like spending time with my daughter, I’m into working out, I’m also very interested in visual storytelling in general. I’m into producing, I’ve gotten a couple projects together, on the TV side and film side. One of my secret hobbies is actually photography, I do that whenever I can as well.

Do you have any projects coming up that we should know about?

Yeah. I have Wild, the Reese Witherspoon movie. I did kind of a romantic comedy called November Rule, where I’m the guy who gets the girl at the end, hopefully. I did Vince Gillian’s new show, Battle Creek on CBS. I’ve been keeping pretty busy, I’ve got some cool things in the pipeline, I’m really excited about the Reese Witherspoon film.

Thank you for your time today, I’m a really big fan of the show.

Awesome, thank you so much, I’m happy you’re a fan of the show. I’ll tell you, episode 10, out of everything that’s coming, episode 10 is one of my favorite episodes.

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Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Interview: MMA Star Keith Jardine Talks Wanderlei Silva, John Wick & Retirement

The Dean of Mean Keith Jardine has fought the biggest names in MMA, like Chuck Liddell and Quinton Rampage Jackson, but has now transitioned into a man that has what seems to be 5 full time jobs. He’s still training and could confidently take a fight on a moments notice, however, he’s doing so much more from acting and doing stuntwork, to running Caveman Coffee and his own yoga studio in Albuquerque and I don’t know where he finds the time. I recently had the chance to interview Jardine and we talk about these things and also find out who Keith would want to fight again if he had the opportunity.

 

Congratulations on John Wick, it had a really successful opening. You’ve been in TV shows and movies, what do you like about acting compared to training for fighting?

Actually it’s a really easy transition, you hear about special athletes and when they quit, what do you do now? There’s like a real void there preparing for something, and a big buildup and release at the actual event. Acting is the same feeling for me, like actually in 2 hours I’m going back for a callback for an audition, it’s the same feeling as warming up and getting ready for a fight. You step into the scene in the audition room, now you have to perform and then you’re done, either you did good or you did bad. I love it man.

Do you feel the same way about the stunt work you do as well?

Yeah, I try to put it all together the same. Stunt work is a lot more physical as far as you have a lot depending on you to do whatever gag and do it the right way and also the stunt coordinator took a big risk bringing you in to be able to do this gag and not waste a bunch of time, and film time and money and everything in case you mess it up. So there’s a lot of pressure. My first time on film set was for Gamer with Darrin Prescott, the same guy that did John Wick. I was on Gamer, and my first time ever on set and I got a big ol’ saw in my hand and there’s probably 100 extras getting blown up all over around me, and it all is depending on me walking down this strip and shooting this dual and getting squibbed and getting shot, falling down and there’s so much pressure all this stuff, all these pyrotechnics, all these things blowing up all over the place and it just depending on you doing it right. I didn’t want to mess up and do it all over again and set everything else up, that’s a lot of money. That’s more of what stunt stuff is for me.

Would you classify yourself as semi-retired or a fully retired fighter from MMA?

I never really officially retired, I’m semi-retired I guess, I’m training a lot more. I was in there training yesterday, I’m boxing all the time and I’m having fun. It starts with just having fun, getting in shape. I’m good at something I just don’t want to give it up. So I’ve been doing this new diet, my body feels different, I look better, I’m healthier and I start just training for fun and now I’m starting to catch if the opportunity came up maybe I’d want to pick something up quick, but I’m definitely not going to peruse a career again. My passion, my love, my art right now is in acting and you talk about the transition from fighting to acting and mentally I look at it talking to someone recently, a coach up in Victoria, Canada, I always approach fighting as an art and a form of self expression. What better way to really go express yourself on a grand stage and in a fight? I was going through a little existential crisis at one time, not a lot of acting deals were coming on and I was just like man, I’m working, I’m doing my Caveman Coffee which I’m so passionate about. I’m trying to move this on and doing this 9-5 kind of thing and it’s just kind of like I’m missing the art in my life and that’s why I really started to double, triple down on the acting.

You mentioned Caveman Coffee, I’ve seen some YouTube videos on it. Can you go into detail and explain exactly what it is?

Caveman Coffee is a whole lifestyle. My buddy Tait Fletcher got me on this thing taking off mixing MCTs in your coffee, Medium Chain Triglycerides and small fat, a very rare small fat. Mix it in your coffee with butter, coconut oil, a lot of things you can mix it in your coffee with. It enhances the effect, it gives you a state of euphoria, like a well being, an energy and it lasts for like 5 hours and releases a hormone called lectin that tells you you’re not hungry and you don’t have to eat, part of the paleo diet. The first time I did it, I felt like such euphoria and I was kind of depressed and down at the time and it completely changed my life. I got obsessed with it. Like when Tait got me on it, I was just spreading the word, trying to tell everybody I knew and cared about, you gotta try this MCT oil, by the way it’s good for the brain and been shown to reverse the early stages of Alzheimer’s and I’m worried about head damage and trauma. I’m sharing this to everybody, it is kind of grueling to do a business from there, and now a year later and we’ve been in business for exactly a year we’re just growing incredibly. We’re co-branding coffee, We just got a new warehouse and we’re moving into that warehouse right now. It’s craziness going on right now, I have to go into a callback for an audition here in a couple hours.

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Are you still based in New Mexico?

Albuquerque, New Mexico

How are things going with your yoga studio?

Hey, you got that too huh. (laughs) So much, I’ve got the coffee, the acting and stunt work, fighting still and I got a yoga studio where I teach classes. I love that, that’s almost like a hobby for me. It’s like hanging out with regular people, not fighters, just regular moms and dads and school teachers. It’s really cool to spread knowledge with them and watch them grow as athletes and people and getting healthy. That’s something I do for fun.

You’ve had a couple losses over your career, if you could have a rematch with anybody that you’ve fought, who would it be and why?

Yeah, I’ve had some spectacular wins and some spectacular losses. I always say the same one, I don’t really care about wins or losses. Again we talk about the art of fighting and the self expression, going out there and being who you are and putting your training and everything to the test and overcoming whatever adversity. The 1 fight that I’ve always regretted was the Wanderlei Silva fight. He very smartly baited me into leg kicking him right away and hit me with a huge overhand right behind the ear and that was the end of the fight. It’s not about winning or losing that fight, but with a legend like Wanderlei I just wish that I could’ve fought 3 rounds and scrapped it out with him for that kind of fight. I feel like that fight never even happened and it’s such a let down for me, I would definitely say that one.

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With all the stuff coming out recently with Wanderlei do you think that would change the outcome?

How do you mean?

He had an issue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, not willing to take a drug test. Do you think that at this point in his career he would be a different fighter?

I don’t really know. Yeah he’s a little bit older, of course he’s going to be a different fighter. I think it was 4 or 5 years ago that we fought. I’ll be honest, I don’t care about that stuff. A lot of people are doing performing enhancing drugs and I’m sure a lot of people that I fought were, I never did while I was fighting. I just don’t really concern myself with that, sorry.

Is there anything you would go back and change about your fighting career aside from the Wanderlei Silva fight?

I wouldn’t change a damn thing about my career because everything that happened in your past is part of who you are today. Who knows what’s good and what’s bad? Bad things happen, maybe it’s for a good reason. If I was to go back in time to myself and give myself great advice, at certain points in my career I’d be like geez man what are you doing taking a year off? I lost a couple fights or a fight and I would get insane. I would just train harder and work harder and just grind metal and it was actually counterproductive. I was getting sicker and more unhealthy and over-trained. Now I haven’t taken years off and I can go in the gym right now and spar, kickbox with world champions or grappling world champions and I’ll do better now than any point my last 3 years of fighting. It’s amazing. I never thought you could actually take time off and go on and be better, even if I was away for a movie I was on the treadmill every day just killing myself. So that would be my advice. Maybe take a year away from the sport altogether and you’ll appreciate it more, do something else, be somebody else for a while, be a real person for a while.

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What projects do you have coming up?

John Wick, I’m very proud of that. I’m just thankful for David [Leitch] and Chad [Stahelski] for getting me on that show. I was really surprised, not that I was expecting it to be bad, but I was surprised by how good it is, how good the action is. You got stunt coordinators doing a movie, you know their friends a stunt coordinator and watched the stunts in that movie to see if their too overdone, everything is spot on in this movie. You got that one that I’m very proud of. I did Stretch recently and I’m very proud of that. The biggest one coming out is Inherent Vice with Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s an acting spot I did and I’m holding my breath for that one.

Where can Caveman Coffee be found?

http://www.cavemancoffeeco.com/

Filming John Wick, we went live just maybe a couple weeks before that, there’s a crossfit joint in New York called Brick that started selling our coffee. When Tait and I first got there we were doing night shifts for John Wick and every morning we were up at 4:30 going over to the Brick and start making and selling coffee, we’d go home and sleep for maybe 1 or 2 hrs and go back to work on John Wick and that was during the whole scene we were in. We were so high working on a movie like that, seeing how hard Keanu [Reeves] works and coffee was so new, we were like kids the whole time. We had thermoses of our coffee the whole time, shows how well it works keeping you alert.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

Jack Bruce, Cream Vocalist and Bassist, Dead at 71

Jack Bruce was born on 14 May 1943 in Glasgow, Scotland, to musician parents. He started touring with them at a young age, traveling through Canada and the United States. Jack went to 14 different schools. In 1962, Bruce left Scotland at the age of 16. In London, he joined Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc. Charlie Watts, the bands drummer, later joined the Rolling Stones. In his prime as the bassist and vocalist of the band Cream that also featured guitarist Eric Clapton, they combined American Blues with Psychedelia which helped shape the music sound at the time.

Although more attention was paid to Clapton, Bruce wrote many of the bands songs and was the lead vocalist. Unfortunately for Cream, egos got in the way and the band eventually broke up. The Animals, Rolling Stones and Jack Bruce were all very important members of the British blues movement. The movement saw British musicians imitate and then expand on the American blues tradition. Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, reunited in 2005 for a concerts in London and NYC. 5 years after that Bruce announced Cream was done for good. Jack Bruce enjoyed a lengthy and successful solo career. He passed away at the age of 71 Saturday from liver disease. He is survived by his wife, Margrit, four children and a granddaughter.

Eric Clapton’s Facebook page posted: It is with great sadness that we learned that Jack Bruce had passed away this morning at his home in England. “He was a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me” ec

AlternativeNation.net sends its condolences to Jack Bruce’s family.

Article written by Mike Nagel

Interview: Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Talks Pearl Jam, 90’s Rock & Super Bowl

While Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the NFL’s most popular quarterbacks, he is also a passionate fan of rock music. Rodgers met Eddie Vedder at Pearl Jam’s show in Milwaukee last week, and is also a big fan of Anberlin, Foo Fighters, and many other bands. In this exclusive AlternativeNation.net interview, Rodgers discusses bands he listens to, his favorite Pearl Jam songs, meeting pro wrestlers, playing in the Super Bowl, and his day to day life in the NFL. You can listen to audio of the interview at the bottom of the article.

I know a few of your favorite bands are Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Anberlin, and Acceptance. Is that some of the stuff you listen to to pump you up before a game?

Some of those bands can pump you up a little bit, but I’ve always been more on the mellow side as far as my pregame music. There’s definitely songs from those bands that can get you pumped. But I tend to pick maybe the quieter, more ballad type songs, less hardcore songs, for pregame. I always need to be pretty even keeled.  Some of the guys can thrive off of passion and energy, where I feel like I thrive when I’m able to find a place of relaxation on the field, so I like to listen to some quieter stuff before the game.

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

Well I grew up in the 90’s, so I love all 90’s alternative. Then also 90’s rap, so I definitely listen to both of those. I got into country in high school a little bit, then I had some friends who were in alternative rock bands. Anberlin is actually on their farewell tour as we speak, and we’ve gotten to know them over the years, and I have always enjoyed their music. Actually, one of the guitarists that is now in Anberlin played in Acceptance, I loved that one CD they put out.

Got to see Pearl Jam last Monday, and meet Eddie, that was a big highlight. I got to meet Taylor Hawkins and a couple other guys from Foo Fighters at the Superbowl, which was an absolute highlight. Then Adam Duritz from Counting Crows used to sing in our locker room after wins at Cal, so it’s been great to get to know some of those guys, who I just have the utmost amount of respect for, what they do. It is true in a lot of cases, that athletes often dream about being rock stars, and I know meeting some of these guys, how much they love sports, and it really does cross over.

What are some of your favorite Pearl Jam songs?

Well Eddie played “Just Breathe” the other night, which has always been one of my favorites. Playing the guitar, any song that involves finger-picking has always been really interesting to me, because it takes talent to move your fingers that quickly, so I have a big appreciation for the musicians especially. I really enjoyed the Into the Wild soundtrack that Eddie put together, “Society” is a track on that record that I really love. Obviously “Better Man,” “Alive,” and “Daughter” are some of my favorites, the classics that people like. He was unbelievable the other night, I mean [the fact that] him and his band could play 36 songs, there’s no other place I’d rather be than a live music concert. It was a special moment.

Did you talk to Eddie about the Steve Gleason story?

Yeah I did actually, that was one of the first things I talked to him about. I told him what an impression it left on me watching it. I don’t know how you can watch that clip and not get choked up, because that was very powerful. What Steve’s going through, and Eddie and his stuff through that whole piece, that was unbelievable. Eddie does a lot with charity, and I shared some of my passions, with pediatric cancer, and some of the foundations we work with out here, so that was actually the first thing I said after we got through the pleasantries, was just how much that meant to me.

A few months back it was Hulk Hogan’s birthday celebration, and you were on Monday Night Raw, are you a big wrestling fan?

I was as a kid yeah. I remember a big PPV match, I think 9 of us put together like 5 bucks each and rented the PPV. Hulk Hogan and the nWo, with Dennis Rodman, had a tag team match against DDP and Karl Malone. At the time I was a big Chicago Bulls fan, loved the Jordan Bulls. I was a big Pippen, MJ, and Dennis Rodman fan. We really liked the WWF as well, Hogan was always one of our favorites, so we pulled hard for Hogan and Rodman, and they came out on top. So to get the opportunity to get to wish Hogan a happy birthday, that was something we really looked forward to.

Now when you win the Super Bowl this year, do you want Hulk Hogan to present you with that new WWE belt they have?

Just maybe a message from him or Ric Flair maybe. I got to meet Ric Flair 3 or 4 years ago, I was a big fan, but Graham Harrell, who was my backup quarterback at the time, is the biggest wrestling fan, and he was freaking out. He is a big talker, but he went dead silent when we met Ric, so that was a good moment for him. I’ve always followed wrestling, not as closely the last few years, but we’ve got some people who enjoy it, so I stay up to date on John Cena, and who is dominating.

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Can you describe what it was like winning the Super Bowl?

It’s hard to, it’s such a high. It’s almost a blur as I look back on it, that’s why I want to get back, because the second time I would guess, you can really enjoy it even more. But the first time you’re just so focused, and excited about the opportunity, you probably miss out on some of the festivities during the week, and really embracing how big the moment is, which probably actually helped us. We had a lot of guys who hadn’t had a ton of success up until that point, a lot of young guys who were hungry, and we just didn’t know how good we were. Now the path to success, I think that’s what the greatest challenge is, is to build a path to success, and continue to do it. I like where our team’s at right now, but there’s nothing that can take the place of that feeling of being on the field in the Super Bowl.

There’s been the Bart Starr era, there’s been the Brett Favre era, and now the Aaron Rodgers era. Is there a lot of pressure on you to succeed?

I think so, when you play in a town like Green Bay, the expectations are so high every year, that you’re going to win, and achieve greatness in a similar fashion that this history has been built on. Guys like Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, and Brett Favre. It’s been a lot of big names who have coached and played here over the years, and they expect greatness every time you take the field.

How does it feel to be the starting quarterback at Lambeau Field, and how much did you dream about being an NFL player growing up?

It’s a dream come true. I’ve dreamt of being a quarterback since I was a kid watching Joe Montana and Steve Young on TV on Sundays after church, watching the 49’ers, and then going to the backyard and playing catch with my Dad and brothers. We’d take turns being quarterback, or John Taylor, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, or Brett Jones. I just dreamed about being a pro athlete, and more specifically a pro quarterback. Every day I get to do the job, you’ve got to be thankful for fulfilling dreams.

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Can you take me through a typical week during the NFL season? What do you typically have to do before your game?

Every Wednesday and Thursday we have a long practice, Friday has turned into kind of a body maintenance day, where we have more of a half day, and a lot of meetings and walk throughs. Saturday is much of the same, with a short one hour practice. Then we travel if we’re on the road, or if we’re off, we’re home. Then we have to stay at the hotel Saturday night, home or away. Sunday is game day, usually. Then Monday is film review and workout, Tuesday is the NFL off day for most teams. The quarterback doesn’t really have any off days. You still go in there, and do any body maintenance you need to do, the ability to watch film on your own, have conversations with the coaches and the players you need to, and you get ready for Wednesday to do it all over again.

Does anything change during a bi-week? I know you have a bi-week coming up next week.

It does yeah, we’re off, which is great. We’re in Monday, and hopefully we’re 6-2 at that point, halfway through our season, then we’re off, and everybody is off to their own desires, and you just make sure you’re back by Sunday, because we start back up on Monday with practice, meetings, and film review.

What do you do during your down time?

I love to play golf when the weather’s nice, mostly off season. I enjoy some TV programs, Jeopardy is usually on most nights. It’s not the mindless TV that sometimes I need after a long day, it’s actually very stimulating, and I enjoy it. But I enjoy Jeopardy, I’ve always been a big Game of Thrones fan, I got into South Park years ago, and if I need a good laugh, I enjoy that. Key and Peele is a newer show I enjoy watching. Not a lot of free time, get to play the guitar every now and then. But it’s a lot of watching film, studying it during the week, then when I don’t have to, find the time for mindless activities, and your body and mind can just rest.

I just saw that State Farm commercial with Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey as Hans and Frans, do you think you’ll ever transition into acting in the future?

No, not really, I’ll leave that to the professionals (laughs). I enjoy being around football, football is what I know best, it’s what I’ve enjoyed doing for the last 10 years. I’d love to still be involved in some capacity with it, and look at some other options in business and what not. Maybe kind of disappear for awhile.

Interview conducted by Mike Nagel

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Like Creed, But Much Better, Nirvana ‘Shreds’ In New Video

If you’re not aware, there’s been a practice going on for a number of years now called SHREDDING. Basically, all instrument and lip movements are synched up with new audio to make funny remixes.

Bands such as Van Halen, Kiss, most infamously Creed, and now Nirvana have been subjected to this practice.

According to KnowYourMeme.com: “The first videos seemed to have surfaced around 2007 when YouTube user StSanders (real name – Santeri Ojala) from Finland used a few live performances from notable musical acts and after stripping the original audio from the footage, he re-dubbed the audio with his own instruments.”

The ‘Nirvana Shred’ from the Paramount where the song “About a Girl” is used is kind of nonsensical and incoherent, and in my opinion, parodied “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” where Kurt Cobain’s words were hard to understand at least in the realm of pop culture like Weird Al’s parody.

I can appreciate the time and effort spent by people like Ojala, but it’s just not for me. Maybe I’m just too old to appreciate it in the context it’s meant for. But if this is your type of thing, you can watch below:

In other recent Nirvana news, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl discussed why he didn’t heavily contribute to Nirvana’s songwriting process in a recent interview with with KROQ

“I started playing guitar when I was about 9 or 10 years old, so that’s my first instrument. I played guitar in bands when I was young, but the drummers were always kind of, um, crappy. I don’t know how to say it. So I finally said to one of the drummers, “Hey give me those things. Let me try this.” I started playing the drums and had a knack for doing it, so I was the drummer from then on. But I always had a guitar with me on tour wherever I was and always wrote songs, and I would record them by myself, but I never let anyone hear them because I didn’t think they were any good and I didn’t think anybody would want to hear them.”

“Being in Nirvana it’s like, you don’t want to confuse the songwriting process when you’re in a band like that with the greatest songwriter in the world and all I had to do was beat the hell out of the drums and have Nirvana. That was great, but then after the band was over it was the one thing that I realized was going to help me get on with life, to try something new and to challenge myself rather than just become a drummer of another band.”

Grohl did write “Marigold” and wrote the riff to “Scentless Apprentice,” along with receiving a co-writing credit on “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Article written by Mike Nagel

Interview: UFC Champion Cain Velasquez Talks Brock Lesnar, Werdum, Cormier & Jon Jones

UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez is set to defend his title against Fabricio Werdum on November 15th at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico at UFC 180.  Velasquez holds a 13-1 record, with victories over Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos.  In this exclusive interview with AlternativeNation.net’s Sports section, Velasquez discusses his upcoming fight with Werdum, if he would fight Brock Lesnar again, his thoughts on Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, and more.

How has doing The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America affected your training schedule with your normal training partners?

It hasn’t, just because we started filming in I would say around the end of June, maybe early July or so, and we did that in August. This was right before my training camp, so I wasn’t affected at all. But it was good that I had all my coaches and training partners there in Vegas, so that I could also get a workout in when I wanted to, so it didn’t affect it at all.

Did you like doing the show?

I did, I liked it. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but as soon as I got into it, the attitudes of the guys they had, they all wanted to learn, train, fight, and win. That to me just made it great.

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You practice both Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu, and you are a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How do you think you’re going to stack up against Werdum, who is considered one of the best Jiu Jitsu artists in the UFC?

I think good. Yeah, he is one of the best out there for sure. This fight is not going to be easy anywhere, on my feet, the ground, I think it’s going to be tough everywhere. It’s going to be a tough fight no matter what, but I’m ready. I’ve practiced a lot of stuff as far as if we get on the ground with him, what are we doing, if we’re on our feet, what are we doing. I think I’ve got all my bases covered.

Do you think he’s doing to do the same thing he did with Travis Brown, playing it safe in the last round?

Maybe, we don’t know what he’s going to try to do, but we know what his stand up is like. We know he is always better with his hands, he has good Muay Thai, he throws a lot of kicks before his punches. So as far as standup, it’s fine, he’ll go for takedowns. We think he definitely brings a lot to the table, also closing the clinch, he likes to throw a lot of knees. He’s tough everywhere, he does everything, he throws everything.

What does it mean to you to headline the first UFC card in Mexico?

For me it’s just good. It’s just a dream come true that I get to fight there, that was one of the places I wanted to fight at, so I’m just excited for the opportunity.

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You were the first guy to really take it to Brock Lesnar, and knock him out, when you beat him for the World Heavyweight Title. Paul Heyman was recently on MMA Hour, and he said Brock Lesnar watches how you fight, and he says he can beat you, and he knows exactly how he would do it. How would you feel about fight Brock Lesnar again somewhere down the line?

Definitely, yeah. If he came back in, worked his way up, and got a title shot, I would definitely accept that.

Besides yourself, who is someone you watch who really impressed you in UFC?

I just try and watch as many fights as I can. As far as teammates, I always try and watch when they fight, like Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier.  Just watching fights in general, you see where the sport is going, and evolving.

You brought up Daniel Cormier, he has a big fight coming up with Jon Jones, how do you see that fight going?

That’s a tough fight definitely, but I think that’s a fight that he can win.  He has to just get through that long range that Jon Jones has.  He’s athletic, and he has that long range of his hands.  He’s able to keep off, and stay at a safe distance where he can throw elbows and be effective there.  So you’ve got to work hard, and get past all of that, and take the fight to him.

Can he stop Daniel Cormier’s wrestling?

I don’t think he can, maybe some shots here and there, but Daniel can get some takedowns on him definitely.

Do you think the weight gap in the heavyweight division from 206 to 265 is too big of a gap, and it puts you at any sort of disadvantage?

No, with college wrestling, the weight limit is 190 something, then it goes all the way up to 285.  I think I’m just used to it.  I’m a little undersized, but I bring some speed, so it’s fine.

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Interview conducted by Mike Nagel