Tour website: www.lostangels.com.au
Lost Angels is a touring band that brings together some of the most talented players from the LA rock scene, playing the classic songs that made hair metal huge in the last half of the 1980s. Featuring John Corabi, Eric Dover, Eric Brittingham and Troy Patrick Farrell who have between them played in massively well known groups like Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, White Lion, Cinderella, Slash’s Snakepit and Pretty Boy Floyd, Lost Angels are heading to Australia next week for shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Loud fired some questions over the water to drummer Farrell and he shot back in record time:
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us.
Thanx for the great questions!
First of all, for those who may not know, what transpired to bring you together as Lost Angels?
Our pleasure! As for how we got together, we all know each other from living and playing in LA. Muddy and I were in a band called UpTheDose, Corabi used to be my roommate and I also was his drummer one summer. Dover and the rest of us have at one time or another have been a part of the Starfuckers, a great jam band founded by Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) who played at the notorious Cat Club on the Sunset Strip.
When I got a call to bring a band to India, I started making phone calls, rounded up the three best guys I could find and we travelled 30 hours to do our very first shows as a band. From there, it got legs and we have cut some time out to go back out again.
Muddy, due to prior obligations will sit this one out and the timing was right for Eric Brittingham (Cinderella) to fill in. Totally looking forward to this run!
The name of your band is a perfect one. Who came up with it and how long did it take to settle on?
Thanks! When I was asked about putting a band together for India, all the guys were on board. Muddy and I were tossing names around. Because we were visiting schools and hospitals as part of our trip to India, I thought of Los Angels, or The Angels. Sort of a superhero name, thinking and hoping that for a moment we could share music with kids that have cleft palate, or other deformities, perhaps taking their minds off of their situation and just enjoying something everyone can love: music.
After asking others what they thought of the name, Muddy’s mother said we should call it Lost Angels and we all agreed. You should listen to your mother anyway, so Lost Angels was born.
With so many songs and so many catalogues to pick from, was it difficult to decide which ones you would perform?
There are some “obvious” choices for sure, but yeah, it’s not easy! We could have worse problems I suppose. The list is set but after a couple of rehearsals, it may change. Many were asking what we are doing but we will be finding out just as the fans are as we’ll be tossing in some wild cards as well.
Overall, which songs seem to get the greatest reaction from crowds? Does it depend on the territory you’re playing in?
We have only done the Lost Angels two times before. Once, we did two shows in India. The other time we did a residency at a casino in Green Bay, WI in addition to a handful of club dates and the Milwaukee Summerfest.
The set was a bit more “classic” rock with Muddy being on that run. We did Queen, The Who, Beatles, Mott the Hoople and some GNR, hell, we even did “Billy Jean”.
With Eric involved, we’re going old school, our school… well, the stuff I grew up on while these guys were playing on my MTV! The MC94 (Motley Crue self titled album with Corabi) always gets a great reaction. That album is so huge, that band stepped it up for that one. GNR is still a fan fave and anything Eric Dover sings, always sounds kick ass. Expect some Imperial Drag!
Is there one moment from your career – an album, tour or someone you worked with – that truly stands out as one of the most memorable?
For me, my brief moment playing with Jani Lane was great. Although the tour I did wasn’t great, there was a moment when I was playing during the first show. I said “Man, that’s Jani fucking Lane’s ass right in front of me!” That guy was a mega talent. The other memory: 42,000 people in Shillong, India for White Lion’s 2008 tour. Meeting Ronnie James Dio at the Bang Your Head festival in Germany. Fortunately, I have many great memories travelling the world with White Lion and I have been lucky to play with bands and musicians I’m actually a fan of.
Mike Tramp said in a recent interview that all the music being created these days is for the here and now and that the era of the classic rock album is over – that there will probably never be another true classic rock album. What are your thoughts on that?
I can’t say I disagree with him. And until he is proven wrong, I believe “pop” music is very transparent. I’m watching the Hurricane Sandy Relief 12-12-12 right now, from New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Who, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters. I don’t see Justin Bieber, I don’t see Britney Spears, I don’t see “Gangnam Style”. There is a reason. These are fashions, not ways of life. Those who are faking it won’t survive. When people think “Rock N Roll”, we don’t think of who Ellen or Oprah has on their tv show, we think of those mentioned performing tonight for Sandy relief efforts.
Tramp also suggested that the 80s rock wave was killed off by over-cloning by the industry and not the grunge movement that most seem to blame it on. Do you have an opinion about this?
That’s hard to say. Tramp was in the trenches and saw it first hand. I only saw it from the wrong side of the television. I suppose you could say “What happened if there were no grunge, would ‘the 80s’ still continue”?
One can’t say but I do agree that by the early 90s, the 80s rock was much weaker than in the glory years of the mid 80s. Another observation is that there are many 80s bands out there still quite active. Only a handful of the grunge acts are. That could be a testament to the era.
Given the changes that the music industry has been going through over the last decade, what sort of a future do you see for bands and musicians, particularly rock musicians?
I think many of the bands of “my day”, the stuff I grew up on, still has legs in a touring capacity. They may release a single or something to stay relevant however the record buying aspect of music is certainly much different than it was and many bands survive just on touring.
Rock musicians are like cock roaches, we seem to never go away! As long as people will come to the shows, buy a tee shirt and relive the glory days, our heroes will still perform. It’s in the blood.
Do you have any advice for those who might be thinking about getting into playing rock and roll?
Keep your wits about you. You can’t be a one trick pony. I not only play drums, but I answer emails, I book shows, I book flights, I advance shows, I do artwork, I do what it takes to make sure that the guys and myself are taken care of. I do this for any band I’m in if needed. It’s allowed me to play with some acts that maybe I wouldn’t have because not only can I play drums, I can do the business end of things.
Working for an agency in the past (I was a booking agent for 2 ½ years), I see how many of these bands can use a guy that can wear many hats. Sending out ten year old artwork, low res bad looking logos, misspelled tour riders, if they have one at all. It’s unbelievable that some of these guys had a deal, videos on MTV and can hardly tie their fucking shoes.
Stay away from drugs, gossip, respect your mother and have a good time, all of the time.
What are you most looking forward to about Australia?
I was last there in 2009 with Pretty Boy Floyd, I had a blast, met a lot of great people. I’m looking forward to seeing my mates at the after parties. The folks at Back in the Day and Club FVCK are great friends of mine, so I look forward to seeing them, and beating Bozzie at another game of pool!
I’m in sunny LA, so the weather will be like I didn’t leave home, but the fresh air will be nice! Most of all, making new friends and showing those that came to the HiFi Bar (Melbourne) on the 21st or The Metro (Sydney) on the 22nd that we came to have a good time, and we gave them a good time. And for those that didn’t come, they missed out on a great rock show from guys that may not be back in a long time.
Thanks again and all the best. Do you have any final words for us?
Tickets are still available at www.lostangels.com.au and our official site for news on our Aussie run and the tour of Europe in 2013 is: www.lostangelslive.com
troy patrick farrell/Lost Angels
Lost Angels play two dates in Australia:
21/12: HiFi Bar, Melbourne VIC (+ White Widdow + The Scarlets + Sunset Riot)
22/12: Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW (+ White Widdow + Devine Electric + De La Cruz)