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Samantha Seven:
Returning FUN to 


Does it ever get frustrating that the group is viewed simply as your "solo project" away from Poison?

CC:  Yeah, that's been an infinite source of frustration.  It's been the one thing that is painful.  Sometimes people will ask

CeCe tried to resist singing for Poison's
summer tour . . . But he was persueded

me 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.

So, Krys, Francis, do you ever feel completely in the shadow?

KB:  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.

CC:  But when you see the show, you see how strong everyone is.  Everyone in the band is really strong.

FR:  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 keep going.

CC:  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.

If it's so political, how did you end up back on tour with them?

CC:  <quietly> Financially.

Ahh . . . It comes down to that so often, doesn't it?

CC:  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.

You're going to be on the road this spring with Great White.  How did that happen?

FR:  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.

KB:  And it's a good opportunity for us to get over to Europe and get the record out over there.

FR:  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.

When 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?

CC:  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?"

FR:  I think it's kind of the opposite.  I think CeCe . . . 

CC:  When I think of 80s, I think of Slaughter -- and there is no way this sounds like friggin' Slaughter.  Or any of that.

When I say . . .

CC:  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.

In 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.

CC:  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?

FR/KB:  No.

CC:  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.

<Krys agrees.>

CC:  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. 

Yeah, I think that was actually the problem.  It got less fun and less 'light'.

CC:  Yeah, me too -- that's what I think, too.

Dude, we liked you better with make-up.  And what the hell happened to your nipples?

You 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.

KB:  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

damn depressed all the time.  I think this record gives music...

CC:  It's a light-hearted record.

KB:  Yeah,  it gives it a shot in the ass.

CC:  We normally are funny people.  I've always been a little . . . funny.

<Krys is laughing.>

CC:  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."

It's funny you say that.  Nirvana is attributed with killing "glam rock", which is where you were making your living at the time.

CC:  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!

<Krys is laughing.>

You're 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. 

CC:  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!

KB:  I thought's the one you were talking about.

CC:  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.

You 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!

KB:  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.

CC:  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." 

FR:  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.

CC:  Now you have to explain Cheese Boy so people get it.  He's very big, a heavy fella.

FR:  A very heavy, pale-looking guy.  He went out there wearing women's G-strings. 

CC:  He's very flattering in a G-string!

KB:  He could barely get them over his thighs.  It was a sight right from the get-go.

FR:  They didn't want to raise the curtain, actually, because there's obviously no pouch in a women's G-string.

CC:  Mmm-hmm . . . Oh man, that must have been fucking hilarious.

FR:  He put 'em in as best he could, but obviously as the curtain went up the sack came out, too.

Does 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.

KB:  This band . . . No, we haven't done that yet -- at least on purpose.


FR:  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.

CC:  Can anybody say "The Cable Guy"?  If it's not broken, don't fix it.

FR:  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."

CC:  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.

On your site it says you participated in a "Skeet Shooting with Clay Pigeons" interview.  What the hell is that?

CC:  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 very controlled.

<YourMVP laughing.>

OK . . . After the tour with Great White, what are the band's plans?

CC:  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.

FR:  As long as I stay out of the street!

CC:  We're going to get Francis some curb-feelers or something. 

<All laughing.>

Thanks guys for taking time out for us.  Since you just released "Framed" as the new single, hopefully this will give you a boost.

CC:   Thank you, guy!  We'll look forward to reading it.


For more information on Samantha 7, visit their 
Official web site

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