Scott “Deluxe” Drake

THE SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH THE ONE & ONLY SOUL SURGEON, SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE OF THE SUICIDE KINGS, HUMPERS, VICE PRINCIPALS, AND LOVESORES!!! (-By Geordie “The Real Santa Claus” Pleathur and the rock’n’ roll people…)

“You and I used to run around like some crazy eights, but now, I–I’ve had enough, enough of your sour grapes!” (-The Humpers “Apocalypse Girl”)

“In the earlier March hearing, U.S. government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.”(- Tangerine Bolen)

You can only retain freedoms if you act to preserve them.”(-Karl Tricamo)

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people.” (- Eugene V. Debs)

“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.” (-Khalil Gibran)

“It’s just a ride, and we can change it any time we want, it’s only a choice, no effort, no work no job, job, no savings of money, a choice right now between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, and buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world right now to a better ride; take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and instead spend it on feeding clothing and educating the poor of the world which it would many times over, not one human being excluded and we can explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” (-Bill Hicks)

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” (-Edward L. Bernays, “Propaganda”)

“If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our  own people right here in this country.” (-Malcolm X)

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” (-Anatole France)

“I think it’s garbage. I mean, I hate to say it, but I listen to Journey and think, ‘Jesus Christ, that is just wrong.’ That’s why there will never be a Bad English reunion…It’s for super white people listening to super white music. Fuck that. I’d rather shoot myself.” (-John Waite)

“Real Charisma, you’ll never see on TV…”(-Falling James)

“The American press exists for one purpose only, and that is to convince Americans that they are living in the greatest and most envied country in the history of the world. The Press tells the American people how awful every other country is and how wonderful the United States is and how evil communism is and how happy they should be to have freedom to buy seven different sorts of detergent.” (-Gore Vidal)

“If journalism is good, it is controversial, by its nature…It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers, and when powerful abusers are taken on, there’s always a bad reaction. So we see that controversy, and we believe that is a good thing to engage in” (-Julian Assange)

“The American people should see that the corporations abandoned them long ago. That people will have to build their own economies and rebuild democracy as a living democracy. The corporations belong to no land, no country, no people. They have no loyalty to anything apart from… their profits. And the profits today are on an unimaginable scale; it has become illegitimate, criminal profit—profits extracted at the cost of life.” (-Vandana Shiva)

“Contrast this crucial debate in a federal court with the empty campaign rhetoric and chatter that saturate the airwaves. The cant of our political theater, the ridiculous obsessions over vice presidential picks or celebrity gossip that dominate the news industry, effectively masks the march toward corporate totalitarianism. The corporate state has convinced the masses, in essence, to clamor for their own enslavement. There is, in reality, no daylight between Mitt Romney and Obama about the inner workings of the corporate state. They each support this section within the NDAA and the widespread extinguishing of civil liberties. They each will continue to funnel hundreds of billions of wasted dollars to defense contractors, intelligence agencies and the military. They each intend to let Wall Street loot the U.S. Treasury with impunity. Neither will lift a finger to help the long-term unemployed and underemployed, those losing their homes to foreclosures or bank repossessions, those filing for bankruptcy because of medical bills or college students burdened by crippling debt. Listen to the anguished cries of partisans on either side of the election divide and you would think this was a battle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. You would think voting in the rigged political theater of the corporate state actually makes a difference. The charade of junk politics is there not to offer a choice but to divert the crowd while our corporate masters move relentlessly forward, unimpeded by either party, to turn all dissent into a crime.” (-Chris Hedges)

“Ecuador has officially communicated to the Swedish authorities our willingness to provide an interview with Assange [at the Ecuadoran embassy] with the intention not to interfere with or impede the legal process in Sweden. This measure is legally possible. Sweden did not accept…We don’t think it is reasonable that, after a sovereign government has made the decision of granting political asylum, a citizen is forced to live in an embassy for a long period” (-Ecuadoran Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino)

“As tragic as it is that the band Pussy Riot has been sentenced to two years in prison by the Russian government let us not forget our own country’s imprisonment and torture of Bradley Manning over the past two years despite the fact that he has yet to be convicted of a crime. As we condemn Vladimir Putin, let us not forget Pres. Obama’s own unconstitutional actions regarding not only Bradley Manning but the sanctioning of U.S. citizen killing drone strikes as well. Let us not be hypocrites today.” (-Gov. Jesse Ventura)

DRUNK TANK…

When me and my shaggy crew of unreformed boot-boy drop-outs and arty hoodlums were young, there were no Hot-Topics in the mall. The older kids at our suburban high-school who liked the Cars and Go-Go’s, or whatever, the “Square Pegs” types, mighta sent away for some kooky new wave sunglasses from that Commander Salamander mail order catalog, but we stenciled and spray painted our own punk rock t-shirts. Shopped at the Salvation Army, and yard sales. We had to. There was no internet. No hand-held, cancer-emitting gadgets. We were small-town outcasts, who all the ignorant classic rock fans, hillbillies, and jocks all wanted to kill for merely being weirdo non-conformists. Everywhere we rolled, some dumb fuckhead yelled “Devo!” at us, out of their passing pick-up truck window. Every few months, we’d pile into somebody’s brother’s car, and make our solemn pilgrimage to some far-off city where we could spend hours, sitting indian-style on the floor of used record stores, reading old “Creems” and “Rock-Scenes”, “Zig-Zag” and “Trouser Press”, and come home with big bags full of holy relics like “Life’s So Cool”, “Keepin’ Up With Joneses”, the “Hell Comes To Your House” compilations, “GBH” and “The Exploited” patches, Circle Jerks and Fear and Dead Kennedys t-shirts, “RE/SEARCH” and “Forced Exposure” magazines, VHS tapes of “Another State Of Mind”, “D.O.A.’, “Surburbia” and “Decline Of Western Civilization”, and we’d all faithfully gather there, at our rodent-infested, basement H.Q., absorbing all the latest swag and entertaining ourselves with not much more than a 12 pack of Old Milwaukee, some toy drum machines, cheap art supplies, cassette players, and the library copy-machine, until we’d all saved our pennies for another infrequent road trip. Since most of us were still too young to get past the State College hammer-head bouncers at the mostly 21+ bars, unless we were somehow able to sleaze our way in the back door, with the out of town bands, during sound check, we spent seemingly infinite hours congregating in parking lots, cemeteries, roof-tops, railroad tracks, and filthy alleyways, where we exchanged forbidden knowledge, pills, and bodily fluids with depressed suburban girls who liked Christian Death and the Cure. Record stores were our churches, because there were no hand-held hypno-gizmos, no internet, no Warped festivals, no Pro-Tools, no access. Our Days were not Green. We were isolated “River’s Edge” punks.

WAR IS HELL…

Man, it was painful for us old die-hards to watch the stopless media-consolidation, tightened-screw radio play-lists, and on-line digital surveillance-grid, steadily kill off the last Great American record shops, and landmark music venues. The remaining few cd stores are invariably ran by rich dickhead capitalists, who think employing young people and exploiting their labor while constantly berating them for never adequately fleecing the public enough as buyers, is some kind of charity-work, and who mostly hire twenty-nothing Suicide Girls, who are usually, only hip to a handful of come-lately, interchangeable, generic, American Idol emobots, or whichever millionaire show-biz relatives are currently being pimped by the Big Five major-labels in “Spin” and “Rolling Stone”, in spite of the green hair-dye, and hand-me-down Minor Threat t-shirt.

Last time I had a record store gig was working for one of those slimy weasels, who constantly and aggressively hit on all his underage employees, back in the grunge years, when almost everything was being marketed as “indie/alternative”, but most of it was either those cutesy Hello Kitty girl bands, or miserable, buzzkillin’, corporate, downer-rawk. Back then, we still had a vibrant American underground print-media led most notably by “Flipside’, “Maximum Rocknroll”, “Ugly Things”, “BB Gun”, and “Gearhead”, that all vigorously promoted fast, fucked, and furious rock trash like the Humpers, Electric Frankenstein, Lazy Cowgirls, Celebrity Skin, NY Loose, Throw Rag, Clawhammer, Lunachicks, Candy Snatchers,Teengenerate, Motorcycle Boy, Hello Disaster, Bellrays, and later on, all those Estrus and Crypt influenced hot-rod bands, who played all those high-priced garage rock festivals in shmoozey hotels.

WAKE UP AND LOSE…

The Humpers and Electric Frankenstein were our generation’s punk’n'roll godfathers–the loudest, rowdiest, most fun, important, energetic bands to come out of that whole scene: smart, angry, ace songwriters, and hard partying, unrelenting, dynamo performers, who knew how to entertain a crowd. Flamboyant, freedom-finding, mischief makers. Unsafe at any speed. One reason, in addition to possessing the seemingly limitless talent to compose loads of great songs, that these two bands stood-out, much like the Jim Jones Revue, of today, is that they are all absolutely unforgiving Godzilla conquistadors onstage, but completely reachable and kind and ceaselessly gracious to the rocknroll kids and always available to the underground-press, off-stage, while legions of lamebrain bands from that very same old, dying college-radio circuit got the formula completely backwards. Another impressive thing about both the Humpers and Electric Frankenstein is how they both displayed an uncanny knack for resourcefulness, in that they were both, consistently, able to overcome every obstacle that waylaid lesser spirits, always managing to shake some D.I.Y. action, with limited economic powers, backing them. I loved both of these groups immediately, and even when I fell upon hard times, and was unable to continue steadily amassing and maintaining a vast collection of their reliably worthy products, I always had an abiding respect and gratitude for these valiant individuals, who staved off the banal forces of musical mediocrity, setting a proud example, and courageously resisting the undeniable influence of the Anti-Rock Conspiracy, all through the dreary, bummer 90′s, and deep into the lightless, authoritarian decades that have sadly followed. These bands were the ones on the front-lines of what Col. Gray from Australia’s “Vicious Kitten” fanzine used to refer to as, “the War Against The Jive”. The Great bands always connect genuinely with the fans, whereas, all those pompous, formulaic, punk-by-numbers, corporate-rock pests, still preen about affecting some pretentious, Led Zeppelin rock star remove. The nation is still brimming over with tiresome satellite Green Days, baffled cos they ain’t goin nowhere, no matter how often they get their picture taken with dinosaur celebs from the seventies. I thought Henry Rollins already spelled that out for everybody, like, 100 years ago. I can think of two or three groups right off the top of my head that may have had some promising songs, but who mainly concentrated all their efforts on cutting the right profile and sucking up to all the right people, assertively pyramid-climbing, while mostly ignoring the young folks who pay to see their shows and purchase their merchandise, and right this minute, they are still wondering why their mediocre bands aren’t the ones still being celebrated, decades later, but I’ll let somebody else be the scolder of suckshit bands. We’re here today to underscore the noble legacy of the timeless Humpers. Some people get it, some don’t.

Greg Kuehn from THE JONESES doesn’t just get it, he has it.: “I was blown away when I first heard the Humpers. I only knew Scott as Jeff Drake’s little brother, having done my time with The Joneses, and I had no idea what was going on inside that head of his. The Humpers were an original kick ass rock band, and Scott continues to do fiercely original and uncompromising music. I’m definitely a fan. ”

Sal Canzonieri, the Capo di tutti capi of American underground music, the mastermind behind the World’s Greatest High Energy Punk Rocknroll Band, Electric Frankenstein, testifies!: “Back in the day when Punk and Rock came back together at the end of the last century and was stolen back from Blink 182 and crap like that, two of the stealers were The Humpers on the West Coast and Electric Frankenstein on the East Coast. The Humpers were fronted by one Scott Drake, a singer of impeccable taste who impressed you, along with the rest of the band, by not only his stage antics and vocals but that obviously there was deep knowledge of the history of Rock n Roll in every one of their originals and choice of cover songs. Scott’s surly albeit a bit inebriated singing was the California Punk Rock N Roll scene’s antidote to MTV pop punk putridness. It was real, man!”

BUZZIN’ AT THE BUGHOUSE…

The HUMPERS are what untamed rock’n'roll sounds like. They precariously tread that fine line between frivolity and fucking up. Show-people, at heart, they didn’t come to hurt nobody. They may have given off an air of menace, a dangerous Stones/Deadboys/Stooges vibe, but that was mostly the result of a sharp wit, a wicked sense of humor, and ya know, it ain’t a party, until something gets broke. Unlike so many of those annoying So-Cal jokey, zany, goof-punk bands who went on to win all those lucrative skateboard endorsements and got their shitty, twee, plastic, Orange County, Ramones rip-offs played for years all over ESPN, our genuine article, The Humpers were a lot more than heavily tattooed frat-boy behaviors, and a tedious “1,2,3,4″ regurgitation of 1977. They took old school Chuck Berry style punknroll and shot it up with Black Flag energy, plus, they had all these really, really high quality, catchy songs, by the dozens. This was a serious and formidable punk band to be reckoned with, but esp., if you were in the mood for some serious fun. The Humpers turned all their working class rage, frustration, and madness into steel-toed music and scoffed, if you called it art. They may have inspired hundreds of cheap, dumb imitators, but none came close to the unleashed, full-contact, experience of the Humpers live, because they all lacked their artistry. They were the beer-soaked, wet, stinky, primal essence of Hunter S. Thompson’s “weird turned pro”.

Speaking of Gonzo Journalists, look who’s here, now–none other than renowned international music correspondent, Sugarbuzz Magazine’s own, Christopher Duda: “The Humpers. I first discovered them probably around 1994 when I picked up ‘Journey to the Centre of Your Wallet’. They raped and pillaged my wallet and blasted the wax from my ever so loving ear canals. I proudly told everyone I could about my current favourite bands. New Bomb Turks, The Devil Dogs and The Humpers. I even went so far to write the Devil Dogs and beg them to come to Toronto. So, in one of my ever so often vinyl hunts. I happened to mention to a record clerk about my postcard I had received back from Steve Baise of The Devil Dogs. He who remains nameless jumped all over it as he wanted to get into promoting shows and make a name for himself. I gave him Steve’s number and the rest was history. As luck would have it, people would write years later to say what this promoter did at the time, but little did they know who was really feeding him the names of bands to bring to our rock and roll starved city. So, next, I told them he should bring New Bomb Turks. Next thing I know they are coming to Toronto to play Sneaky Dee’s the same place that The Devil Dogs played. Hmmm, this was becoming too easy. I decided now I wanted to see The Humpers. Next thing I know they were playing the revered club. My memory of the show was that in an essence it was ill attended as all good rock and roll shows are. I was drunk as all good people should be for all amazing ill attended shows! I spoke to the guitarist or bassist after the show who was hobbling around on a cane for some reason. I am sure they came back to the city but I only saw them that once. I later went back and explored earlier releases even ordering ‘My Machine’ from Yugoslavia from Full Blast records (RIP). Of course this led me to The Joneses and other stuff that missed my radar when I had immersed myself in hardcore in the eighties.  Now, I can’t say I was as thrilled with The Humpers later releases as I was with ‘My Machine’, ‘Positively Sick on 4th Street’ and ‘Journey to the Centre of Your Wallet’, however, they are nothing to shake your big dripping member at. Just when I thought Grunge was going to kill rock and roll (except for Mudhoney and other obscure bands that fell under that industry stamp). The Humpers saved my faith in Rock and Roll. The Humpers died for your sins!!!”

ROCKET AND THE RETARDS…

Both longtime Drake collaborator, Jeff Fieldhouse, and Scott Drake’s legendary older brother, Jeff Drake of the Joneses/Amanda Jones/Vice Principals, enjoy their own worldwide cult-followings. Fieldhouse is an enormous talent and Jeff Drake is the missing link between Johnny Thunders and Izzy Stradlin, but to many, Humpers guitar-slinger, Billy Burke, was the American Andy McCoy, just heroic. Everything about that cat just screams “rocknroll heart”. He’s got a dance pressed in his stance, now. From his Godfather fedora to his leopardskin creepers, Billy just has this effortless countenance about him, like Joey Pinter, or Johnny Thunders, or Jimmy James. He can’t help it. He was born to rock. The Demon Barber Of Long Beach. Lately, he’s even been seen jammin’ with Cheetah Chrome. When it comes to barn-stormin’ roof-raisers, I know some of you swear by Texas Terri, and she’s undeniably cool, but for my last five bucks, Scott “Deluxe” Drake was the best front-person to disgrace a stage back then-pure chutzpah, comedy, guts, and gutter grace, a consummate entertainer. He had the X factor. A modern day Rob Tyner or Peter Zaremba. Always on fire! He sometimes speaks of having been shy in school, but his sweatty, rowdy, reckless audiences would never know it-he was every bit the embodiment of rocknroll motherfuckery-half unstoppable punk as fuck delinquent rabble-rouser, half old-school show-biz, born entertainer. Nowadays, they seldom allow indomitable personalities like The Humpers anywheres near the Pig-Media. All we get are those acquiescent disco-sluts, Strokesy trustafarians, and aforementioned, obedient emobots. There sure ain’t no more shamelessly rebellious, hell-raisin’, full-time, genuine article CHARACTERS, anymore. To many rock’n'roll people of a certain age-group, the hard-livin’, wise-crackin’, bar-room brawlin’, always stylish, HUMPERS were the last call, our last gasp, the final authentic good-times band, before everything went all corporate police-state, and the fun ran out. They were the last gang in town, defiantly, still out there havin’ fun in the warm California sun, all free drinks, snarly hooks, vintage suit jackets, and cocktail loungin’ shiny shoes galore. Tigers on Vaseline. One of my grumpy old man friends, a grey eminence, always jokes that the last “new bands” I liked were the Humpers and Electric Frankenstein, and while not entirely true, it is pretty funny. “Journey To The Center Of Your Wallet”, “Live Forever Or Die Trying”, “Euphoria, Confusion, Anger, Remorse”, “Contractual Obligation”, “Plastique Valentine”, “The Savage Young Humpers”, “High And Mighty Suicide Kings”, “After School with The Vice Principals”, “World’s Strongest Man”, “Grand Mal”…If you love high-energy, Dollsy gutter-punk in the monumental tradition of the Heartbreakers, Damned, Joneses, and MC5, all these titles are essential. I remember the advertisements for “My Machine”, but I’ve never personally seen, or heard it. I’ve also yet to hear the Lovesores, but have every faith if Scott “Deluxe” Drake is involved, it rocks L.A.M.F. The HUMPERS meant a whole lot to people like me, when everything first started goin’ shite, they were these ferocious and fearless paragons of street soul, and wild abandon, raging against the dying of happy hour.

MUTATE WITH ME…

Adam Turkel from the Beatings, and also a remarkably inspired pop-artist from www.altamontrecords.com remembers: “The Humpers are one of my favorite RnR bands. I think their albums are as good as the 1st 5 Ramones albums, straight up classics. Their albums are crammed with pure nuggets of 3 chord genius. This may be a controversial statement, but I also think each album got better and better….I still play them all the time and I still find them inspiring. As a kid who grew up loving the Heartbreakers, Ramones, Hanoi Rocks, The Damned, the Saints, MC5, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed…for me the Humpers were a dream band at a time when Grunge Rock was being beaten dead by the major and indie record labels. They really helped change the punk rock landscape at the time in my opinion. They cranked up the speed and cut the bullshit. When bands like the Devil Dogs, the Dwarves, and the Humpers started getting press and records in the shops, it was like everyone who bought those singles and albums started a band…just like 1976/7 all over again. But unlike the Devil Dogs who were a glorified cover band and the Dwarves who were hokey jokey, the Humpers seemed totally for real, plus they had lineage to the Joneses who were the coolest. Their lyrics were fierce, ironic, and funny without being stupid….Jeff Fieldhouse and Billy Burks became instant guitar gods on par with Thunders and Lure. For me, just starting to write songs for The Beatings when The Humpers records were coming out, they really inspired me to cut the Bowie posturing and all that bullshit and play it fast and real…just like 1976/7. They were a reminder of the real punk ethics that I think all bands should stick to and they helped spearhead a great punk rock n’ roll revival their influence can be traced through boxes worth of classic singles from the mid to late 90s that were issued all around the world from L.A., to NY, to Sweden.”

The Humpers released a bunch of stuff on boutique labels, like Dionysus, most memorably, “Positively Sick On Fourth Street” for Sympathy, before signing to Epitaph, blowing up big, and opening for enormous MTV punk band, Rancid. All their CD’s are still must-owns. Divo Garcia, from my favorite Hollywood band of all time (except for maybe Love) the immortal, Coma-Tones, adds: ”Love The Humpers! When we’d do shows together at Raji’s it was sure to be a good time, exciting! Shit those are the years I wish I could be stuck in. Still listen to them. In my opinion probably one of the best bands in So Cal in that era, Their songs dont sound dated at all, thats why to this day I am a Soul Surgeon, a Rocket with a bunch retards, etc….” The always entertaining Johnny Witmer, from the Crazy Squeeze, sez: “Scott was eyeballing my skills after Jeff Fieldhouse quit. I was on their top 2 guitar players they wanted in the band. He’s settled for Mark Lee, and later for his brother Jeff (Vice Principals). I like Scott a lot now these days, since I don’t see him. I pretty much lived with Billy Burks for two years (I dated his roommate). Mark, and I are tight. Mitch is bad ass, and we get together often. I have no Idea about the drummer…

Scott Drake: ‘When are you gonna join a real band like The Humpers?’ Johnny Witmer: ‘As soon as you quit!’ ”

…”The Humpers are a fantastikk rokk punk band Who I feel are legendary and an integral part ov the development ov the L.A. sound. Scott is a beautiful nutjob , a must be for any frontman ov any worth., along with TOP Shelf musicians and catchy rokkin ‘try to keep from shakin and rattlin’ Songs. If You never caught ‘em live, You’re missing out. If You’re lukky enuff to see ‘em next time They play, I guarantee They will prove all I have said ov Them Correct.”  (-Rev. Rikk Agnew, Universal punkgoth rokk n roll superstar God ov guitar-Legend…)

Temporal Rob, from the Temporal Sluts remarks: “Do you believe in the love at the first sight? Well, that’s what happened to me when I saw them for the first time. It was in Los Angeles and I was there in tour with my band and the Al’s bar it was the perfect place. For the first time I saw them on stage and, as rarely before, I felt the ‘fire’, the R’n'R magma burn all around me, I still feel that electric thrill run down on my back… I realized the importance and historical significance that the band would have had over the years to come, they gave a fundamental turning point in the music scene, I always thought and still think that the Humpers is one of the most underrated bands but nevertheless one of the most exciting and seminal. They are my friends, real friends, I shared with them a split record, stages and awesome moments together, I still remember that I could get my hands on ‘Journey to the Center of Your Wallet’ exchanged with a pack of cigarettes with Billy Burks after the show or the first six pack shared with Scott Drake during an interview I did for a musical magazine talking about the Heartbreakers and Mott The Hoople exactly seventeen years ago…… Is not love?”

Our hero, the great Scott “Deluxe” Drake went on to record an LP for Bomp! co-starring both Billy and his brother Jeff, “After School With The Vice Principals”, another excruciatingly under-rated classic, before tirelessly releasing a couple of much heralded solo LP’s. Now, he is back with THE LOVESORES. We, your humble servants of real rock’n'roll, Sugarbuzz Magazine, understood innately that it was time to talk to the man, the myth, the Lovesore, SCOTT DELUXE DRAKE about his storied life and times. Enjoy Yourself!

WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN…

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What were your folks like, were you poor as a kid, or middle-class? Weren’t there three kids? What did you like best about school? What were your earliest introductions to rocknroll? I know J.D. liked Elton on the radio. Did either of your folk’s listen to Elvis, or anything?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: My dad was a mechanic and my mom was a housewife. My dad worked VERY hard to give us a middle-class upbringing. There were 3 kids (my sister is the middle child). The earliest memories of rock and roll I have is listening to records with my family, mostly 50’s (my dad was a big Chuck Berry and Little Richard fan) and early Beatles and 60’s AM radio. Then later, Rolling Stones, T. Rex, Elton John…and I liked Alice Cooper a lot. No one in my family liked Elvis Presley (at least when I was a kid).

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Some childhood influences, landmark albums? Tv shows? Mad Magazine? Did you guys take music lessons? Did you pal around with your brutha, as teens? Tell us all about NAUGHTY WOMEN. Who was in it, where did you perform?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Probably the first LPs I REALLY got into when I was a kid were Through the Past Darkly, a Rolling Stones comp…and Electric Warrior by T.Rex…Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper…..and then after punk rock started, Ramones Leave Home was the first one to make a big impression on me. My brother is 3 years older than I am, so we didn’t pal around a lot…we saw the occasional gig together, the one I remember the most was The Clash in 1979 or 1980.
I joined the Naughty Women in 1983, so they had already been around for several years. I came in after the glory years!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: When did punk enter your life? How were you affected by English punk VS. NY? Please talk about Thirsty Brats and Fabulous Prizes. What were you doing at the peak of the JONESES popularity? Were you already in bands?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I was lucky enough to have an older brother who was into music AND we were lucky enough to have a local radio station, KSAN (we were living in Central California at the time) that played a lot of punk rock. They did a live broadcast when The Sex Pistols did their last show in SF, for example. I liked NYC punk, West Coast punk and British punk…at the time I didn’t see any conflict between them. And then when I moved back to Southern California in 1979, I started favoring the LA punk stuff more…it just seemed more young and aggressive.
I guess the peak of popularity for The Joneses was around 1984…I was in The Naughty Women then…and we opened for The Joneses a few times…and I roadied for them a few times. It was a pretty wild time…sex and drugs and rock and roll, etc. The Thirsty Brats were guys from Erie, PA who moved out to California to get famous (hahaha)…Jeff Spring (Suicide Kings drummer RIP) and I helped them get going…I think I only wrote 1 song for that band.
Fabulous Prizes was me, Billy Burks, Matt Spizer and Steve the bass player…it didn’t last long, we didn’t record anything and Steve punched me onstage one night which didn’t help hahaha some of those songs ended-up on my first solo record.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Living in L.A., you must have been privy to summa the West Coast punk scene pioneers. Most memorable encounters/shows/fanzines/radio?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Seeing Black Flag for the first time was pretty mindblowing…the guys from Middle Class had a house a few blocks from my high school, so my buddy and I used to ditch school and go hang-out there and get tips from “the older guys” hahaha…I saw Social Distortion play for about 10 people at the Cuckoo’s Nest (when they were a 3-piece and still good hahaha) and I later sold Mike Ness my Vespa (he still owes me $20! Hahaha)…Johnny Thunders fell down the stairs and landed on my sister at The Whiskey…Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols played me a demo in his car (he was very drunk and the demo was horrible)…I used to listen to Rodney on the ROQ, like a lot of punk kids at the time….I liked Slash Magazine a lot…

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Were you ever hardcore? You always seem more rock punk than jock punk? Ever have a mohawk or slamdance at the Germs? Do you like Keith Morris’ OFF? Some h/c bands you liked?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I liked early hardcore: Middle Class, The Germs, Black Flag…never got a chance to see The Germs live, though. By 1981, though, the scene was full of thugs and people who were just interested in violence. I never had a Mohawk hahaha…OFF! Is pretty good…I was a pretty big fan of early Redd Kross….

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How were you impacted by the Clash and MC5?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: The Clash was my favorite band when I was 16 or 17 years old…I started to lose interest around Sandinista! though….it started getting pretty self-indulgent. I’ve always loved the MC5, but back when I was a teenager it was almost impossible to find their records. I got Kick Out The Jams when I was 18 or 19 and it changed my approach to music a lot….I’m always interested in how you can combine traditional rock and roll with a high energy feel and they did it as well (or better) than anyone.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Is there anything on “MY MACHINE” that devoted Drake fans are really missing out on?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Hmmm…I dunno. It’s a good LP, but it was recorded very cheaply ( no overdubs, etc) there’s some rock and roll on there…and most people are missing out on that hahaha

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Is it weird seeing military on the streets of Anaheim, where you were born? Ever drink some anarchy juice and go to Disneyland?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Anaheim sucks and always has. Anaheim has a horrible history, they used to have KKK rallies in the parks, etc…it’s a VERY conservative city. I took mushrooms at Disneyland one time…it was a nightmare!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Do you receive royalties, do you have a publishing deal, do you own your masters? Have you ever made money at this? If you wanted to compile and release your entire discography to date as a box set, are you free to do so, from a legal standpoint?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I get some publishing money from radio play and TV and The Humpers had a song in a movie that I still get some $$$ for…but it’s not much. I own most of my masters. My entire discography would be a big box! I’ve been making records consistently for almost 30 years! The only stuff there might be legal issues about would be The Humpers’ stuff on Epitaph, because we only owned 50 % of the publishing. Maybe when I’m dead someone can do a “retrospective” hahaha. At the peak of The Humpers we were doing well enough that the band could’ve supported us…but we would have had to stay on the road nonstop….and 3 of us were married, 2 had kids, so that was impossible.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Origins and highlights of SUICIDE KINGS? Where did you first meet Jeff Fieldhouse? How did you discover Billy Burke?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: The Naughty Women were sort of fading away, so Mike Crescione (the guitar player) and I decided to start a new band. First it was called Sister Morphine (for 1 gig) and then we changed it to Suicide Kings. Probably our biggest highlight (besides making records) was that we had a pretty successful run of shows at a place called Radio City in Anaheim…our singer, Pinky, used to light himself on fire onstage…that was the big draw! Guns and Roses opened for us at one of those gigs….I thought they sucked.
Jon Wahl (from Clawhammer) played guitar for us for a while and then went on to The Pontiac Brothers….Jeff Fieldhouse replaced Jon….I knew Jeff because he was dating a friend of mine and his band Partners in Crime had done some gigs with us.
I met Billy Burks because I put an ad in the local music paper asking for someone who was into “Johnny Thunders, The Damned and The MC5”…so he called and said he didn’t know The MC5, he liked The Damned OK…and that Johnny Thunders was worshipped in his home….so I said “Close enough!”

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you expect THE HUMPERS to become so hugely popular in the early 90′s? Some favorite moments and proudest achievements from that era? Whatever became of Martin McMartin? I really liked those compilations he use to release. What are the other Humpers guys doing right now?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Absolutely not. The Humpers started out as a recording project, we hadn’t even intended on doing any gigs….it just kind of took on a life of its own. I remember when Plastique Valentine came out someone from the record company said it was the number 1 record on college radio that week…I was like “Really?” I thought it was bizarre that college kids would be into The Humpers. I haven’t seen Martin for years…he thinks we ripped him off, which is ridiculous. He was our “manager” at one point…but he really didn’t do any managing…
Billy is still playing (see below), Mitch is still doing The Hitchhikers…Jimi and Mark only play when we do Humpers reunion shows, as far as I know.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How well did you know Shane Williams from Flipside magazine?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Pretty well….he was a big supporter of The Humpers. But he lived in Hollywood and we lived in Long Beach so I only really ever got to see him at gigs. He was a good guy. Very intelligent and he had a big heart.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What was Jeff’s wedding like, I couldn’t go-I heard it was attended by Motorcycle Boy…in a strip-mall?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I couldn’t make it to Jeff’s wedding…it was 1000 miles away and I’m taking care of my 6-year-old and they had the wedding in a bar! So…it didn’t work out logistically. I have a great Motorcycle Boy story….once I saw them at Al’s Bar, and the singer said something to the drummer and the drummer jumped over his kit and started punching the singer and it just turned into a brawl. I think they had only played 2 songs! It was great! I always thought they were a fun band.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you ever like the Coma-Tones?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: We did several shows with them…they were nice enough guys but I wasn’t particularly into them musically.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you see all those metal bands in the clubs, like when Paul Black was in L.A. Guns? Which ones didn’t suck?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I don’t like metal. They all sucked.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How about the whole new-wave/gothic/KROQ/MTV new wave era-any guilty pleasures from back then? Did you ever enjoy, say, the Replacements, or Wall Of Voodoo, or Redd Kross, or Dramarama?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Early Replacements, yes….early Wall of Voodoo, yes…early-to-mid Redd Kross, yes…Dramarama, no.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you brush with Guns N Roses during the Lame Flames/Amanda Jones experience? What are the challenges and advantages of writing and recording with a similarly creative sibling? How do you feel about the mighty VICE PRINCIPALS cd, now?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: We played with Guns and Roses, but I was never a fan.
It’s difficult for my brother and me to write together because we’re both so stubborn! You can’t have 2 leaders in a band unless 1 is only doing lyrics and 1 is only doing music (that’s how Fieldhouse and I work usually)….we’ve talked about doing other things together but it rarely gets past the talking stage. And now we live so far apart that it would be difficult to coordinate. Who knows, though…I’d be open to it if he is.
I thought The Vice Principals LP was pretty good…but I think we rushed into the studio too fast. It would have been better if we’d have taken more time, rehearsed more, maybe written a couple more songs…but my brother and I were already starting to argue so maybe it’s best that we did it fast before the band split up!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Talk a bit about “Grand Mal” and “World’s Strongest Man”. Do you play ANY guitar? Who are your primary collaborators in recent years, how do you co-write, long-distance? What exactly is your writing process? Do you carry a notebook around? do you still rent rehearsal spaces? Do you sing into a cassette-player? Have you mastered Pro-tools? Have you ever experienced economic barriers to recording?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I played some guitar on “World’s Strongest Man”. I didn’t play any on “Grand Mal”. I didn’t have any writing collaborators on those LPs…I wrote everything myself. I don’t have any particular writing strategy, things just pop into my head and I try to remember them…it’s not very efficient, but it’s always worked! I figure if I can’t remember the idea, it must not have been very good. An interesting thing about “World’s Strongest Man” vs. “Grand Mal” is that they couldn’t have been more different types of recording. “WSM” was recorded in bits and pieces and then assembled…some of the musicians never even met each other! “Grand Mal” was the opposite…almost completely live recording with almost no overdubs.
In Portland, almost no one that I know of uses rehearsal spaces because there are a lot of basements, sheds, garages, etc. to play in. We currently rehearse in a tiny shed in our bass player’s backyard.
For song writing, I’m a big fan of the Mac GarageBand program…I do demos on there and then present them to the band. Much easier than the old days of yelling into a cassette recorder!
I have ALWAYS experienced economic barriers to recording (except when The Humpers were on Epitaph)…the budget always dictates how much time you can spend on something. But that’s life.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What’s your secret to keeping your sense of humor in the long decayed, underground punknroll trenches and to maintaining a healthy balance between crazy rocknroll singer and mature, care-providing family man? Favorite things about Portland?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Voodoo. Hahahaa….actually, what people don’t seem to realize is that the music world used to be MUCH worse. When I was a teenager, the radio was CRAP, TV was CRAP and there was no internet, no alternative. So people had to create an alternative.
I remember having to drive 50 or 60 miles because the local record store refused to carry “punk rock”. I can’t imagine kids now doing that…they’re outraged if they have to pay 99 cents for a download…pussies!
The main reason I’m able to maintain any sort of balance now is that I have a VERY supportive wife…she goes to almost all my gigs and she understands that being in a band isn’t just fun and games, it’s a lot of hard work (if you want to achieve anything).
Portland is great…the music scene is a little more laid-back than I’m used to…but it’s a good base to work from. Nice people, good food, and it helps that I like rain.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Relationship with the Nomads, Spent Idols, Lazy Cowgirls and Pleasure Fuckers?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: The Nomads, The Lazy Cowgirls and The Pleasure Fuckers are 3 of the greatest bands I’ve ever had the honor to share a stage with and they’re all great people, as well. I can’t say enough good things about them.
I think we only played once or twice with Spent Idols…and I don’t know them well as people…so…..?

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What stands out the most about touring with Leaving Trains?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: They were always late!! And they watch a lot of figure skating on TV.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Do you let Billy cut your hair?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: He cut my hair once…he did a good job. I highly recommend him.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Do you know Steve Miller from Electric Frankenstein, Sal? What are those guys like in real life?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I don’t really know Steve….but Sal and I talk on line quite a bit….he’s a good egg. I’d let him babysit my kids hahaha

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What is Mike Marrtt from the Horseheads up to nowadays?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Mike and Billy Burks are playing together…they have a thing called “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”…dunno if it’s a permanent project or not. Should be good!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Tell us all about Lovesores…..

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: I’m VERY excited about The Lovesores. Our debut 7” came out really well and we’re going into the studio to record an LP in a couple weeks (for Devil’s Jukebox Records, UK). I really haven’t felt this positive about making a full-length record since Positively Sick in 1992. I think the main reason is that Jeff Fieldhouse and I are writing together and that’s always been the most productive situation for me. AND the band is solid, serious and committed. It’s me, Jeff Fieldhouse, Boz Bennes and Adam “98%” Kattau from The Fast Takers and Alex Fast from LSD & D. There seems to be a buzz starting so I hope we don’t fuck it up hahaha

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Who will save rocknroll?

SCOTT “DELUXE” DRAKE: Rock and roll can’t be saved. Rock and roll is going straight to hell where it belongs. See ya there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44qS2kjcLfM
http://www.reverbnation.com/scottdeluxedrake
http://www.reverbnation.com/thelovesores
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_DsQxDgAPs
http://www.electricfrankenstein.com/