Glam Skanks

Glam Skanks
Interview by Lucky
Photography by Alex Kinnan

I first caught glimpse of the members of Glam Skanks whilst hanging out on the Sunset Strip in front of the Viper Room. The band was waiting to take the stage and I was instantly smitten with their look, style and attitude. Curiosity ran amok causing me to linger longer than planned in order to check out their set. What I witnessed was nothing short of amazing. Right then and there I knew I just had to get an interview for SugarBuzz and thankfully they complied. So without further adieu, here are Glam Skanks.

Please state your name, rank and favorite cereal?

AliCat: Lead Vocals- Reeses puffs, reeses puffs peanut butter chocolate flava

Flyin’ V: Lead Guitar- Coco Puffs

Breanna Blue: Bass- Life cereal

Linzy Jewlz: Drums- Honeycomb

What is your earliest rock and roll memory?

V: When Adam Ant brought me up onstage at the Greek Theater when I was 2

Ali: When i was like super young listening to Judas Priest and Ozzy Osborne with my dad, banging our heads.

Bre: The earliest memory that I have is going to rock shows in the basement of Jerry’s Pizza in Bakersfield, CA. We were all just kids wearing black and moshing to our favorite bands that came to town.

Linzy: my first rock concert seeing Bon Jovi

At what age did you discover you had a penchant to rock? What was your first endeavor on a stage?

V:I had always wanted to be a musician like my dad but when I was 12 I realized that I wanted to be a professional guitarist. That was around the time I played onstage for the first time at DayJams rock music day camp.

Ali: I’ve always been preforming on a stage. I started with vocal recitals and dance recitals then onto plays, musicals, and show choir. Though i have always been into rock and roll, i wasn’t in a band until my early years of high school. That was the time when i wanted to rebel against the bubblegum pop stuff.

Bre: I knew that the only thing that I wanted to do was be a musician by the time I was 13. It was the summer before I started high school when I picked up the guitar. There was a local band called Russians with Rayguns that use to play all of these local shows in Bakersfield; they were the “rock stars” to us when we were younger since I grew up in a small town without much of a music scene.

Linz: I was around 7… I wanted to listen to new music and discover some cool stuff… then my dad played Zeppelin AC/DC Sabbath…BAM. I was in love and stole all his rock cds after that:) first stage endeavor… going to snare drum lessons in the 5th grade!

Who was your first kiss?

We don’t kiss and tell ;)

Please tell us about the formation of Glam Skanks. How did the band hookup as it were and was the band’s direction predesigned or did it just materialize? Did you just start off doing cover tunes or were you also writing originals right out of the gate? Who actually came up with the bands name?

Ali Cat: V and I both responded to each other’s craigslist ads in the same day. We definitely knew that we wanted an all girl band and we knew that we wanted more of an old school 70s vibe. V had jammed with linzy and bre before an eventually introduced everyone, thus forming the Glam Skanks. Although we had a vision for the band, it definitely evolved over time with the theatrics and image. We started playing covers then slowly began to write our own originals. And actually G, a good friend of the band, came up with the name while joking around with V.. some other names that were tossed around were, Tom Hanks and Lamb Shanks.

Hey Breanna, I saw some early shots of Glam Skanks and it appears there was another bass player before you, what happened to her and how did you land the gig? What is your “go to” bass guitar for stage and in the studio? What bass amps would you love to be endorsed by?

Bre: There were a few friends that filled in on bass before I joined the band. I had jammed on guitar with Veronica a couple of years ago and then after moving to LA we reconnected through Craigslist when I saw that she was looking for a bassist. I auditioned and we seemed to have a similar vision and things worked out. My “go to” bass is the Mikey Way signature Mustang bass. The glitter finish lends to the aesthetic of the band and I’m a huge fan of My Chemical Romance. I play out of an Ashdown bass amp, so that would be my ideal endorsement!

Do you each design your own stage attire? Or if store bought, where do you shop?

V: As a band we try to have a certain look and feel and coordinate but most of our wardrobe comes from second hand stores and we share pretty much everything.

Linz: We love vintage stores and we also bring our own style!

We here at SugarBuzz are super excited to hear Glam Skanks were in the studio recording an EP. Will this be the first proper release from the band? Will it be self-titled or perhaps given a name of sorts? Will the tracks be all originals, or will you include any of your dynamite covers tunes? When can fans expect to get a copy? What formats will be available to purchase? (i.e.: CD, Digital Download, and Vinyl)

V: Yes this is gonna be our first release. We’re actually going to release 3 vinyl 45″ singles leading up to the official release of the E.P. Each vinyl single is going to have its own look and vibe. The E.P. will have 4 originals and 2 covers and we’re still coming up with a title.

At what studio did you record the EP? Did the band self-produce or was someone else at the helm?

V: We’ve been recording at Unison Music Studios in North Hollywood. We’re working with my dad Bruce Witkin who’s a Grammy nominated producer and label owner.

I saw the post on Facebook about your new manager. Who is she and what expertise can she bring to the table? Did she approach you or vice versa?

V: She’s our good friend Lily O’Brien. Our producer had the idea that she could help us since she’s heavily involved in the indie music scene and has knowledge in the industry.

Hey Linzy, what would you say was the catalyst that resulted with you becoming a drummer? Do you play other instruments as well? Are you self-taught or must you pay homage to an instructor? Do you have a preferred percussion manufacturer?

Linz: When my dad played Led Zeppelin … that’s when I had my “moment” and realized i wanted to be a drummer. i loved how big, boomy, intense, and sound of the drums. i was mesmerized when i watched Bonham play as well. it stood out to me that no other instrument had. i was sold completely on it… and have been worshiping Bonham ever since!

-I also play piano and DJ:) i’ve been taking drum lessons for 11 years too!

-I prefer Vater Sticks, Sabian Cymbals, SuperDrum Snare Drum(endorsed by them) DW Drums.

Care to mention any up and coming rock and roll bands that have caught your attention?

Linz: Foxy Shazam

Bre: Black Veil Brides

Ali Cat: Foxy Shazam- best live performance I’ve ever seen!

V: I’m not hip to much new stuff

Is there camaraderie between bands in Hollywood these days or is the dynamic of a competitive nature?

V: There’s definitely a camaraderie we’ve met so many great bands since we started playing and we’ve continued to play with them. We play Loaded with this band The Drama for their residency and we play a lot with my boyfriends band Banshee Bones.

Linz: I don’t think they’re competitive… we all play gigs with each other and everyone’s super friendly

Read any good rock memoirs or biographies lately? Do you have any favorite rock and roll flix?

Ali Cat: Fav book: Cherie Curry; Neon Angel - Fav rock n’ roll flix: Velvet Goldmine, Almost Famous, Queen: live in Montreal, Rocky Horror

V: Book: Neon Angel - Flix: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Rocky Horror, Velvet Goldmine, Ziggy Stardust Live

Linz: Books: The Heroin Diaries & The Dirt (Motley Crue)  - Flix: School of Rock , Song Remains the Same

Bre: Book: Slash’s autobiography - Flix: Def Leppard VH1 Special, Spinal Tap and My Chemical Romance’s Life on the Murder Scene

Hey Ali, so we have seen you rock the microphone, do you rock any instruments as well? What has been the most satisfying moment to date as the front woman of Glam Skanks? Have any dangerous encounters while performing? What pisses you off the most about LA audiences? What turns you in the most about LA audiences?

Ali Cat: I actually do not play any other instruments on stage. I think that the role of the front man, or front “woman” has been lost. I would love for that to come back. I like to preform for people and give them all that i have without the restrictions of holding an instrument.. but i am slowly learning how to play harmonica:) Someday ill incorporate that into our songs and live performance. The most satisfying moment of being the front woman of Glam Skank’s was playing at The Viper Room with Hammered Satin! i had never seen this band before and seeing them play was electrifying to me! They are a typical 70′s “glam” band made up of all dudes. But just everything about them was everything i had been waiting to see and hear! And on top of that we got to play next. This was my favorite part…They had a runway attached to the stage that lit up and i tore that runway up. The more stage, the crazier i can get! So i was on a rock and roll high that night. So Rad! i haven’t had any dangerous encounters while preforming. The only thing that kinda hurt was when i knocked my microphone on my two front teeth and top lip. I laughed. The thing that pisses me off about LA audiences is the lack of movement. When i am preforming, or even when I’m seeing a band) i like to see people moving! I want people to feel the energy and jump around or like spit on me or something. i need a reaction! The higher the energy is in the audience, the farther i will go with my performance !

Have you had any press coverage lately or do publications generally ignore rock and roll these days? What impact have music publications had on you as a music fan or consumer? Does rock journalism even matter anymore?

Bre: There have been a couple of publications that have interviewed the band. I think that rock journalism is still thriving in major cities. I have more respect for smaller publications with journalists that invest their time in these bands; the writers that know what the bands are about and publish features where the readers walk away with something. I think that music publications play a valuable role in the music industry. It’s sad to see that it’s so restricted to the internet these days because I’m a fan of the old school rock rags, but it’s understandable because of the cost of printing. Rock journalism is still relevant in today’s music scene. It’s a great way for fans to discover new bands and it’s a platform for the budding Cameron Crowe or Lester Bangs to emerge!

Ever meet Rodney Bingenheimer? Do you listen to his radio show? Do you think KROQ should give him more airtime? Wouldn’t it be cool if he played your new recordings? Ever eat at Canter’s or Rock and Roll Denny’s? Rodney does. And speaking of Rodney, how cool would it be if he brought back Rodney Bingenheimer’s Disco? Would be packed or passé?

Ali Cat: Yes i have met Rodney, i went to dinner with him at Canter’s. Unfortunately at the time i didn’t have any recording to give him because we are still working on our EP. But we will definitely be giving him our music when it is ready.. Rodney we are comin’ for ya! Ya, i do think they should give him more airtime and i also think they should give him a better time. Most of the people i know that would listen to him are out at midnight on a sunday night. Oh my god, my dream is that he opened up the English Disco again! i actually brought it up when i met him and they said they brought it back for a night a few years ago. Yes it would be packed! Bring the English Disco back!!!

Let’s talk live performance. Is it better to be painfully precise, or is sloppy supreme?

V: I think there’s a middle ground you don’t want to be too precise because you lose the feel and energy but we definitely try to play the best we can.

Ali Cat: In a lead singers perspective: Sloppy Supreme!! People wanna see a show, they don’t care if you are perfect. That’s boring. But i do try to make sure that no matter how crazy i get i still try to sing at the best of my ability.

Bre: We do our best to put in 110% at each show. We want to play the songs to the best of our ability, but we definitely take a different approach onstage than we do in the studio. In a live setting it’s about precision, but also about the energy and interaction with the crowd.

Linz: I think you should play a mix of both perfection and sloppy. You wanna have a killer rock n roll show with fun and energy… but at the same time you wanna perform and play your best. Giving it 110%.

Hey V, what make guitars do you play? Are they assembled and painted custom just for you or is the entire run just bitchen? (Yeah, I am bringing back “bitchen”) Fill us in on some specs. Did you use the same guitars to record the upcoming EP as you use live? How about amps, what you got going there?

V: My good friend Matty Baratto designs and builds custom guitars as well as cigfiddles and wine box amps and basses. He has a run of guitars called Red Rockets so him and I designed a custom version of those. The body is semi-hollow with Seymour Duncan hum buckers that switch to single coil and a lipstick pickup. The neck was inspired by my tattoo and it has a boost. I mainly use it for stage and recording as well as some Les Pauls. I play Mahalo amps and Blackstar amps and in the studio I’ve been using a vintage Marshall 100watt.

At your Viper Room show, there were cosmetics being sold that your band seemed to have an interest in. What can you tell us about the line and your involvement?

Bre: Glam Skanks is sponsored by Foxes Cosmetics, a vegan cosmetic line! It’s the glitter that we wear onstage at all of our shows and in our photoshoots. Foxes Cosmetics is currently offering a limited edition Glam Skanks package on their website with some of the signature glitters and colors that we wear onstage.

Has Glam Skanks played outside of the Los Angeles area yet and if so where? What about future tour plans, any in the works?

V: We’ve played in Hermosa Beach and Simi Valley but other than that we haven’t really played out of LA. We hope to hit the road in the near future but right now we’re focused on building a following out here.

If you could bed one iconic rock star, any era, name the name please.

Ali: Freddie Mercury