Interview: Hollywood Undead
Mon, 07 Dec 2009 10:46:47
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Hollywood Undead continue to conquer the world.
However, they just recently played their first real headline show in their hometown of sunny Los Angeles at the Wiltern on the Vatos Locos tour. Even though it all began in LA, it took a little while for the band to properly decimate their home. Once given the stage though, they deimated….
Their debut, Swan Songs, is well past Gold status, the Desperate Measures CD/DVD is out now and Hollywood Undead have an army of fans that chant along to every word at sold out shows worldwide. Why? Because they create badass music with an edge that no one else has. We're watching a revolution with Hollywood Undead, and it's forged in the embers of classic rock n' roll bands, hip hop and industrial. However, on the next album, things are only going to get darker, as Hollywood Undead will rise beyond their peers even farther.
Hollywood Undead's J-Dog, Funny Man and Johnny 3 Tears sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about why they connect with the kids, the next album, coming home and reading Rick's Dolor…
So the Wiltern is the first proper headline show in Los Angeles…scary thought, huh?
Johnny 3 Tears: [Laughs] Nah, it's not scary. We've played L.A. before in other bands. It's not a new thing for us—although we've never played the Wiltern, that's exciting.
J-Dog: I've been to shows here a lot, but I never thought I'd actually play it, let alone sell it out. No one's nervous. We were just talking about it downstairs while all three of us were taking dumps in separate stalls.
Johnny 3 Tears: Same stall…[Laughs]
J-Dog: It's just more annoying because this is where we're from, so everyone that we know is trying to get on the list [Laughs]. We're like, "Just buy a ticket!" They don't buy tickets, and they're like, "Oh, it's sold out" [Laughs].
It's a big moment for you guys…
Johnny 3 Tears: Is it? [Laughs]
You've sold out venues across the country, but to come home and have the Wiltern sold out must feel great.
Johnny 3 Tears: It's fun! I walked across the street to look at the marquis because it is kind of a surreal moment, especially growing up and coming to shows here.
Funny Man: I saw all of those little kids chilling outside this morning. I thought they were waiting for the bus, but it turns out they were already in line for the show [Laughs].
Why has this band resonated so much with kids?
J-Dog: Because we still act like kids….
Johnny 3 Tears: It's the honesty in the music. I think we're an original band, but bands have done what we've done before. However, a lot of bands are very abstract and it's hard to understand what the fuck they're talking about half the time. We're just really direct. If you appeal to kids and the situations they're going through—because we're going through them too—there's a camaraderie between the audience and the band itself. Kids don't simply say, "Oh, I like this band because they have a catchy hook." They say, "I like them because I can relate to them. They're going through what I'm going through." The honesty is what resonates with the kids.
There's a certain poetry in the lyrics to songs like "Paradise Lost" and "Pain." The songs are angry, alive and real. These kids aren't getting that anywhere else, and they need it.
Johnny 3 Tears: We're capable of writing songs like "Everywhere I Go" that are fun and for partying because we like to have a good time. But, no one just likes to party. Everybody has his or her own emotions and issues. Songs like "Paradise Lost" and "Pain" appeal to a side of people that maybe they're not comfortable revealing to other people. Everybody's fucked up to one degree or another, and a lot of people feel uncomfortable revealing that. If you reveal it for them, I think a little piece of them gets to go into the song as well.
J-Dog: People have a common misconception. They think we're a bunch of hooligans running around and lighting shit on fire. We're actually all smart guys. The sentiment is, "I didn't expect that from you guys. I thought you were just some crazy dudes running around breaking shit all over the place." Well, sometimes—not all the time.
Funny Man: It's everyday destructible…
Well, someone is finally being real with these kids, and it's you guys. There's a shared catharsis.
Johnny 3 Tears: Yeah, they're fed a lot of bullshit their whole lives. I know I was. Once you find out what reality is and what humanity is really like the hard way, it's different. I think they feel that way. I think it helps them solely because of the fact that we say something for them almost. They may feel the same way, but they don't have an avenue to go, "Hey, this is how I feel. This is what's going on." If we can do that, we help them to a degree. I think I'm a humanitarian [Laughs].
Funny Man: It feels good!
Where's the next record going to go?
Johnny 3 Tears: I think it's going to be a darker more serious record. A lot of people think of us as a party-type band, but this is going to be steered more towards the other side. That's my thought on it. The songs that I've personally been writing for the band—and what they're doing too—are darker.
J-Dog: You've got to evolve. Every band has to grow. You can't keep writing the same record. If you write the same record twice, people will be like, "I've already heard this." Every band that's been around for years gets better and better. They keep progressing and they never stay the same.
Funny Man: Beating your ass…
Johnny 3 Tears: [Laughs] Well, we're going to Europe. I'm going to do a lot of reading. As a matter of fact, my good friend Rick just wrote one of ten illustrated novels, entitled Dolor: Lila, go and pick it up. I haven't read it yet, but if I know him, it's going to be good. I'm very stoked for you, bro!
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…
Dolor was also featured at Hollywood Undead's merch booth at the Vatos Locos stop in L.A.!