Slash, Sasha Grey, Staind, Devildriver, Five Finger Death Punch, Bobby V, VersaEmerge and More Share Favorite Christmas Memories
Thu, 23 Dec 2010 09:35:02
Christmas is different for everybody.
Some people spend it with family. Some people spend it on the road. Some people spend it at the movies. Some people spend it setting up toys that are impossible to set up—that's more than likely the case if you have kids.
However, the Christmas spirit tends to filter through no matter where you are or what you're doing on December 25th. That's the most magical thing about it. There are always lights on houses, Christmas songs on the radio, presents under the tree, and holiday cheer in the air. That said, we assembled a group of our rock stars and celebrities in order to find out what their most memorable Christmas was.
We spoke to a bunch of our favorite artists—Slash [Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver], Sasha Grey [Entourage, atelecine, The Girlfriend Experience, Aaron Lewis of Staind, Dez Fafara and Jeff Kendrick of Devildriver, Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch, Bobby V, Sierra Kusterbeck of VersaEmerge, Drew Seeley, Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge, Jessica Carvo and Miriam Pultro of Bell'Aria and Jake Scherer of New Medicine—about their favorite Christmas memories in this exclusive feature.
What's your favorite Christmas memory?
"I'm sure I have a lot of holiday memories; I just can't remember all of them [Laughs]. My favorite Christmas memory comes from when I was a kid in England. I used to love Christmas in Stoke-on-Trent and London. There's something about the spirit of Christmas in the UK, which is way different than it is here in America. It's a very Charles Dickens sort of thing [Laughs]. I have really fond memories of Christmas in England. As far as New Year's Eve goes, I always seem to make New Year's Eve pretty memorable."
Sasha Grey [Entourage, The Girlfriend Experience]
"This is a funny one. I was never really a big fan of Christmas. I love the idea of the materialistic holiday though [Laughs]. I love the smell of the trees and the lights, but I always leave feeling a bit disappointed. My best memories were when my family and I would go see a movie after we ate Christmas dinner. That happened a few years in a row. It was usually our immediate family and one of my friends. I was really the only kid. This particular year, I was fourteen, and the choice was between seeing Ali or The Lord of the Rings (Film Series). I wanted to see Ali and everybody else wanted to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. We went to see The Lord of the Rings, and it was crowded as hell because it was Christmas night so we all got separated. My friend and I were in the front row, sitting with our heads cramped all the way back. We were pissed, and we sat there saying, 'This is going to be the worst movie ever. It's going to be horrible.' Within the first 20 minutes, Bilbo goes, 'The finest weed in Southfarthing.' We started busting up laughing, and we were the only people in the theater cracking up that these little guys were smoking weed. You could feel the entire theater turn and look at us like, 'That's not really funny.' It's the weird shit like that makes the holidays."
Aaron Lewis of Staind
"They're always good…I eat too much, and I never get what I want [Laughs]. It's the same story with everybody."
Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch
"My most memorable Christmas was when I was 12-years-old. My mom and dad were really broke that year and we kids knew it. However, somehow, some way, my father found a way to get us each one new bike. I remember walking into the living room and seeing it. I still smile when I think about it. The hours he put in to assure my siblings and I that our Christmas would be merry were amazing—even if it cost him a few extra hours of slavery. I think that was also one of the biggest turning points in my life as well. I realized that a little extra "Oomph" goes a long way [Laughs]!"
Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge & Creed
"My favorite holiday memory would have to be Christmases at my grandparents' house in Gross Point, MI growing up. When my family were all on the planet, Santa was more real, and things were a lot simpler."
Drew Seeley [Glory Daze]
"For Christmas in Florida, we always fire up the hot tub, drink a ton of rum and eggnog, and listen to The Percy Faith Orchestra Christmas album. It's awesome and gets you in the holiday spirit."
Dez Fafara of Devildriver
"Still to this day, my memory of Christmas that stays with me happened when I was five-years-old. I went to bed early waiting for Santa and my big wheel that I ordered from the North Pole via letter [Laughs]. I heard a noise at about midnight and got out of my bed. There, in front of the Christmas tree was Santa laying out gifts! He said nothing and took a bite out of a cookie we left for him. Then, he told me to go back to bed, which I did [Laughs].
My mom had a friend dress up like Santa and make noise so I would wake up and see him! Even though, I know that it wasn't Santa, like an eternal kid, in my heart I still want to believe it was Santa. By the way, I got my big wheel!"
Jake Scherer of New Medicine
"One year, my parents got us a trip to Disneyworld for Christmas. That was really cool! I was probably 10-years-old, but I remember it very well. I always dreamed of going to Disneyworld, and my parents gave us the vacation for Christmas. Then, one Christmas morning, when I was very young, my parents gave me my first real drum set. I had a Mickey Mouse kit before that. I got up and saw the drum set by the tree, and I couldn't have been happier! I think they regretted it because I never stopped playing the drums for months. It was very loud in the house ever since then, but I think they can see the investment paid off now [Laughs]. Last year, we played a show in Minneapolis the day after Christmas, and it sold out. There were about 1,000 people there. That was a great holiday memory. We came back from tour, spent a couple days at home, had Christmas, and went to play a hometown show December 26th and all of those people showed up. Everybody came down and was supportive. That was very fun!"
Jeff Kendrick of DevilDriver
"Out of all my favorite Christmas memories that come to mind, there is one that truly stands out. On Christmas of 1985 (I was 5 by the way), my parents decided that it would be a good idea to get my sister and I some guinea pigs. Originally, my parents thought that they had purchased two male guinea pigs from the local pet store and after doing all the Christmas preparations they went to bed at 5 am. At about 5:30 am my sister and I ran into their room saying, "We wanted two baby guinea pigs and Santa brought us four." Perplexed, my parents awoke and found out that they had purchased a male and a female and they had conceived two babies. One was brown and one was black, and they were about two-inches long!!! I immediately ran in and said "I want to name mine Rambo!" Needless to say ,several weeks later the two young whippersnappers were given away to friends. That would be my favorite Christmas memory!"
"My favorite Christmas memory was when I wanted a motorized Yamaha dirt bike for two Christmases straight. My parents finally got it for me the second year! [Laughs] However, they acted like I didn't get it. I was very surprised because they waited to show me until I opened all of my other gifts and I was a little sad [Laughs]."
Randy Stine of Straight No Chaser
"The first thing that always comes into my mind is getting up on Christmas morning. My parents were usually up before me, unless it was one of those Christmases where I was really hoping for a certain gift. As soon as my eyes popped open, I wanted to run downstairs and see what Santa had left. Usually, I'd go downstairs and smell breakfast cooking and coffee brewing. The first time you walk into the room and you see the tree with presents underneath, there's all of that excitement and anticipation that comes with opening the gifts. That feeling of complete comfort you got from being home with family combined with the thrill of opening toys and things. Christmas morning itself is always what stands out to me."
Hyro Da Hero
"My favorite Christmas memory was recorded on camera when we were younger. It's me and my little brother getting super excited over gifts and dancing to Soca music. It was hilarious."
Miriam Pultro of Bell'Aria
"I'm one of four children so my parents' small living room is always so covered in wrapping paper you can't walk. I always went for my stocking first because it's full of candy. We're not Jewish so we get gelt for Christmas instead of Hanukkah!"
Jessica Carvo of Bell'Aria
"Every Christmas Eve growing up, my family and I would go on the annual 'Christmas Ride.' After dessert I'd hop into my favorite holiday PJs and about nine of us would crowd into the big old minivan to drive around Long Island and search for the most decorated homes while singing along to our favorite Christmas albums. With all of the new additions to our family, I think it's about time to revive the tradition; I still have my onesie!"
Sierra Kusterbeck of VersaEmerge
"Some of my best memories of Christmas are when we went to visit my family in Kansas. Yes, my family lives in Kansas. They are pretty traditional and get all the cousins, uncles, aunts, great aunts, grandmas and grandpa's—including all the weirdos who were married in. We all decorated cookies and even took a trip on a horse and buggy ride thru the snowy forest."
What's your favorite Christmas memory?