this question -- and get me on the wrong day -- and I'll start
ranting and raving about Poison. And I don't mean to rant and
rave about Poison. Poison was a very good thing. It was a very
necessary thing. The thing with the Samantha 7 band is not like
a solo record. My whole heart and soul, and I can speak for the
other two, are in this. Moreso than any Poison record.
With Poison, you couldn't even get that far into it! Someone
else would be changing it. There would be four people
constantly changing it. It'd be a nightmare. With this
record, it was like a labor of love. It's very frustrating.
I think it's also more telling, it's more revealing, and
there's a little bit more depth. I tried to strip off the myth
of the rock star in a lot of the lyrics because I thought that was
just more refreshing. How many times can you sing about the
same party? The party is fine, but things happen . . . Then
again, I've always liked Woody Allen better than George Clooney, and
I feel like the Samantha 7 record is a Woody Allen movie than a
George Clooney movie. Poison was George Clooney. Samantha 7 is
a little more cerebral.
it ever get frustrating that the group is viewed simply as your
"solo project" away from Poison?
Yeah, that's been an infinite source of frustration. It's been
the one thing that is painful. Sometimes people will ask
tried to resist singing
tour . . . But he was persueded
Krys, Francis, do you ever feel completely in the shadow?
No. People have asked that before. I think they get that
impression because CeCe was in Poison, and they did what?
20-some million records or something? So you would think
it would be like that, but it's not at all. Of course he's
going to get more of the "center of attention." He's
the lead singer. He's the writer. And he was in the
spotlight for all those years.
But when you see the show, you see how strong everyone is.
Everyone in the band is really strong.
We're doing this because we really love the band. Irregardless
of how certain parts of the industry try to perceive us as a solo
project or a side project, something that's just a little project on
the side, we don't think it like that. No musician
[wants] to be in a band that's just a side-project, none of us want
to do that. We all put our entire hearts in this. That's
what's kept the band going, and will continue to regardless of what
radio stations or anybody else wants to think. The fans love
it, and we love it. As long as that stays intact, it can
You know, I think [Samantha 7 is] just more viable at this
juncture than Poison is. Without a doubt. The band sounds
really refreshing, and I'm not sure how refreshing the Poison stuff
sounds. It's hard to sound refreshing when . . . there are a
lot of variables in that situation. With this stuff, it's coming back
to the roots and doing what I really love. It's bashing it out
and not being so political. There's less thinking involved --
and I mean behind the scenes thinking and posturing as opposed to
just doing the songs and stuff. There's always got to be a
committee meeting to do a photo session with Poison. Everything
has to be thought out and go through this "How should we do
this?" thing. It's just a nightmare sometimes.
it's so political, how did you end up back on tour with them?
. . . It comes down to that so often, doesn't it?
You have to understand, when Samantha 7 goes out on the road,
there's no label support. We have to foot that bill.
Until the album breaks . . . In other words, as if we're on the road,
we don't have day jobs. I would love to be able to pull into a
town, work in the daytime -- I mean sell shoes or be a checkout guy
-- and then do the show at night and have some money to do it.
But that's not how it is. There's got to be money coming in
until the label says "Here this is how it's going to
go." So it's a necessary evil to fund that.
going to be on the road this spring with Great White. How did
It's actually just going to be in Europe. We're on the same
record label, and a lot of the different people we deal with are the
same. It's kind of a communion that happened by knowing family,
basically. It was convenient and everybody was just happy to do
it. It's going to work out nicely.
And it's a good opportunity for us to get over to Europe and get the
record out over there.
And the other thing is that Great White can go to Europe and
play. And Samantha 7 can go to Europe and play. But if we
go together, then we can play in front of more people and in bigger
venues, so it just works out for everyone all the way around.
listening to the record, the influence from CeCe is very
obvious. It gave me flashbacks to some of the stuff I jammed to
in high school. How intentional was that 80s rock 'n' roll sound?
Personally I think we tried very hard not to be 80s! I
tried not to have a chorus/guitar tune and not to solo.
There was no singing over High C, there was no posturing and
posing. Everything that was bloated in the 80s, I took
out. So I'm totally devestated when you say you heard that 80s
thing. I'm saying to myself, "Why? Where the hell
did that come from?"
I think it's kind of the opposite. I think CeCe . . .
When I think of 80s, I think of Slaughter -- and there is no way
this sounds like friggin' Slaughter. Or any of that.
I say . . .
Which is fine, but to me this album sounds like The Ramones meets
The Police meets The Offspring meets The Marvelous Three more than it
sounds like Def Leppard or The Scorpions.
no way did I mean you sounded like Def Leppard or The
Scorpions. When I think of you from the 80s, the one
line I think of is "CeCe, pick up that guitar and talk to
me!" and then the solo from "Talk Dirty to
Me." There were a couple of times when I heard that.
Well, there's my guitar style. But my guitar style is
not an "80s style." I sound more like a country
guitarist. There isn't even a whammy bar anywhere on this
album, is there?
No. There's not one "Weeeoowww" <mimmicking
guitar> on the thing. My style is like . . . I'm more like a
Chuck Berry than any other thing. If you hear my style, that's
me. I can't help that. It's me. My style in the 80s
didn't really fit the 80s. When we had our cross-over hit with
"Talk Dirty to Me," that was a retro song. "Talk
Dirty to Me" sounds more like Samantha 7 than it does Poison.
That's really the breakout thing, and that's what defined
Poison. As it went on, it got darker and less fun and less light.
I think that was actually the problem. It got less fun and
Yeah, me too -- that's what I think, too.
depressed all the time. I think this record gives music...
we liked you better with make-up.
what the hell happened to your nipples?
said in an interview on your site that one of the reasons Samantha 7
was formed was to bring fun back to rock 'n' roll.
Yeah, that was more reflecting on some of the things that came out
-- and it was a lot of great stuff -- in the grunge movement where
everybody seemed just so
It's a light-hearted record.
Yeah, it gives it a shot in the ass.
We normally are funny people. I've always been a little . . . funny.
It's hard not to have a sense of humor in this business.
Very few people get critically acclaimed, so you don't understand
why. If you don't develop a sense of humor and some thick skin,
you're gonna definitely be on the Prozac Plan in no time. It's
that type of thing. I'm glad to see that there's some funny --
not as in wreckless, but fun -- in some stuff. Like when you
see Blink 182. Even the new Offspring in that
"Prankster" song. There's a certain freshness that I
like. As opposed to the whole bloated situation of rock 'n'
roll in the 80s. That's why I say Kurt Cobain was a musical
enema. People don't realize it was so refreshing to go,
"Wow! Fuck! You can just go and sing the fucking
song! Who'd have thunk it?" I think the Nirvana
influence on this band is amazing. Especially in "Hanging
On to Jane" and the whole approach to my singing. Without
Kurt Cobain, there would have never even been a second part to my
life. That was a turning point. There was "Before
Kurt" and "After Kurt."
funny you say that. Nirvana is attributed with killing
"glam rock", which is where you were making your living at
Yeah, but you have to understand I bailed out of Poison in '92.
Nirvana came out at the end of '92. If Poison was still doing
what they were doing in '86, it would not have been the death of
anything. It might have been the death of "glam," but
it would not be the "death" of bands that were good.
What happened was everything got on that "just find the band
that puts make-up on" [philosophy]. Every time there's a
trend there's a million bands that come after. There are the
Nirvanas, and then you have your 50-million bands that come
after. Well, there's only one Nirvana. You have your
Poisons. Then you have your Warrants, and your Firehouses and
your . . . Then you throw the baby out with the bathwater. The
fact is, the music scene was stagnant. In '86, '87, '88, that
scene was pretty refreshing. After that, it was just a
different dog doing the same tricks. The Nirvana thing . . . I
just couldn't believe it. I was led to believe that you
couldn't even do it without the bombs and lights and lasers. It
was like, "Wow!" I was told people aren't going to get
it. You've got to have your three-ring circus. When Kurt
Cobain came out, it was like, "Fuck! I'm going to do
this!" That's why I started the Samantha 7 thing --
<said very quickly> when I got sober a couple years later!
really into reintroducing fun and wit into rock music. The
recent "Billboard" review of your "Framed" single
is crazy about the fun lyrics. There's the same wit and humor
throughout the album.
It's a self-effacing thing. I realized once you stop telling
people how great you are, they think you're great. For the
longest time, I felt like nobody was getting me. Nobody's
getting it. I would be doing these things that would be really,
really funny -- and it would be over people's heads. I stopped
saying to people, "HEY! This is good!" There
used to be a joke in town: "Is CeCe Good?"
"Yeah, just ask him." It's that type of thing.
You just have to let people find it on their own. The sense of
humor helps me. I was on the butt-end of some awful, scathing
reviews . . . Which hasn't happened at all with Samantha 7. I
think we've had one review where the guy had a hard-on for 80s bands
in the first place. But where they listened to the band
open-minded, I haven't seen a bad review yet. There was that
one in Vegas, where they just took me to task -- they lambasted
me. They put an apple in my mouth!
I thought's the one you were talking about.
Yeah. They put me on the rotisserie. But you could see
that it was so venomous that there was an underlying thing
there. Probably someone in my old band had fucked his
girlfriend or something because it was just too much hate for someone
simply not liking the record.
guys say you're all pranksters and like to have fun. On your
website it says that Krys and Francis, the first time you played
together you were onstage wearing nothing but women's G-strings!
Yeah . . . That was with John Christ from Danzig. We did a
show with him and the Legendary Cheese Boy. They were getting a
little bit too serious, so as the curtain came up, the clothes came off.
I have to tell you, had I been in the audience that night, I would
have gone back there and said, "PLEASE let me in your
band!" It would have been the type of thing, I'd have
said, "Oh, my God! I get it. I'm not leaving until I
get in the band. I'm going to follow you home."
Yeah, we all played basically in the raw -- except we couldn't find
John anywhere. When the curtain went up, he was the only one
wearing clothes -- and it was, you know, the Danzig attire.
Now you have to explain Cheese Boy so people get it. He's very
big, a heavy fella.
A very heavy, pale-looking guy. He went out there wearing
He's very flattering in a G-string!
He could barely get them over his thighs. It was a sight right
from the get-go.
They didn't want to raise the curtain, actually, because there's
obviously no pouch in a women's G-string.
Mmm-hmm . . . Oh man, that must have been fucking hilarious.
He put 'em in as best he could, but obviously as the curtain went up
the sack came out, too.
Samantha 7 have stories like that? It seems natural for a
group fronted by a man that made his living for years wearing lots of
women's make-up on stage and two men that wore women's G-strings to perform.
This band . . . No, we haven't done that yet -- at least on purpose.
The underlying humor is there. The fact is, none of us are
taking ourselves that seriously. That's the other thing
that's great about the wit and humor of the record. I think a
lot of people are expecting that CeCe will want to prove to the world
that he's a guitar hero or whatever. But it's just him being
himself. That's what's great about it. It's not
like Jim Carrey being a great comedian all of a sudden wants to do a
drama to prove he's a great actor. It's not like that.
Can anybody say "The Cable Guy"? If it's not broken,
don't fix it.
Yeah. That's what's great. [This record is] not trying
to be anything. It is what it is. That's why I think the
fans are really into it -- the ones that have gotten it. They
really like it because it says, "It's OK to like this.
We're not trying to do anything. Just enjoy it."
Exactly! "It's not a conspiracy! By you liking
this, believe me, you're not validating me. I'm still an
asshole. I still don't get respect. And I've got two guys
in the band that, even though you they're wonderful, just because
they're associated with me, are damned to hell. So don't
worry! Publicly you can still say we suck! That's
fine. By you buying the record, it does not, in any way,
validate me." I go out of my way to put that message
across. "I'm still an asshole. I still suck. I
just got lucky again." They're like, "Oh, that
bastard! That lucky bastard!" Not that I'm cynical.
your site it says you participated in a "Skeet Shooting with
Clay Pigeons" interview. What the hell is that?
Well, before I got sober . . . I took a sabbatical from
reality for a couple years, and I was notorious for shooting my
house. So I had an SP-89, which is an automatic machine gun, so
the cops were up there at my house on Sunset all the time. I'd
be shooting the TV and shooting the walls and stuff. So
somebody got the idea, "Wow! CeCe's familiar with guns, so
let's do this thing." Now, I don't really shoot the... Then
I was shooting at things I thought were there. Now I'm
. . . After the tour with Great White, what are the band's plans?
After Great White I would like to go in and, depending on what's
going on, start a new record. In other words, the process is already
going on and the main thing is to just keep going forward. It's
the type of thing that, if people need a second chance to understand
it, that's fine. Yes, I would love this album to sell millions
and millions of copies. But I also know that this band is very
lucky about writing songs. They just happen. So if not
this [album], then the next one. I don't want to stagnate and
keep saying "Why? Why? Why?" I know that,
if it's not on this album, there's got to be a couple development
albums so people realize that the guitar player from Poison is
actually a viable artist. That it's actually a good thing. That
might take a couple records to do. I don't think the band has
any problem with touring and doing another record.
As long as I stay out of the street!
We're going to get Francis some curb-feelers or something.
guys for taking time out for us. Since you just released
"Framed" as the new single, hopefully this will give you a boost.
Thank you, guy! We'll look forward to reading it.
more information on Samantha 7, visit their