(Guitars - Animal / W.A.S.P.)
Randy Piper (ANIMAL) formerly of W.A.S.P. gives RockEyez the scoop on what’s going on with ANIMAL.
I first met Randy years ago during his time with WASP. 2004 Randy and I had a business venture together and remained friends. I gave Randy a call last week to find out what’s going on with his band ANIMAL and see if they are recording anything new. I must tell you Randy is a guy who will put all the cards on the table and tell it like it is.
Were you in a band before CIRCUS CIRCUS?
Yeah I was in some garage bands. Nothing to mention really.
Then you went to SISTER?
Actually, it was SISTER first and evolved into CIRCUS CIRCUS. Which kind of evolved into WASP.
What was Randy Piper’s Magnum Opus rehearsal studio?
Oh God. I had a studio in Orange County, Calif. I met Blackie at the Starwood and we hooked up. I got a big industrial Studio a huge f*cker. 18 ft ceilings 20 feet long it was huge. I wanted it for myself but I had to pay the rent so I got some other bands. I got George Lynch in there. Before Dokken he had a band called Exciter they were there for like two and a half years.
So you met Blackie at the Starwood?
Yeah a mutual friend from Yonkers, NY named Mike hooked us up. He introduced me to Blackie. So we hooked up and started playing together and I guess the rest is history.
So what was the first song you recorded?
We always did a lot of recording. I remember when I first hooked up with Blackie we did some old sound on sound, real to real and started recording. Basically, a lot of those songs ended up with CIRCUS CIRCUS and keeled over into “Mr. Cool” which ended up into “Screamin’ in the Night”. Another song called “Doctor Rockter” a lot of songs.
What was the first venue you played?
Well, there were a lot of clubs in LA. We played the Whiskey, Starwood some in Orange County and South Bay. We did some road trips and went up to San Francisco.
So the name W.A.S.P. did Rik Fox come up with that name?
He did. He actually did, Blackie was building a fog machine or something one day and saw a wasp flying around Rik’s hand or something. I forget what it was. I was not there but he did come up with the name and I would never take that away from the guy. I know that is a true story.
I heard W.A.S.P. stood for We’re All Side Players?
It was not that originally. But that is what it turned to be (laugh).
What ever happen to your custom guitars?
Yeah I have some. I have something new. Which has been in the works for a while a 61’ Cadillac, which is cool, has a headlight on it and everything. Pretty cool!
Man that’s cool! The two albums you worked on in W.A.S.P. were the 1st “W.A.S.P.” album and “Last Command”.
After that you went to Alice Cooper?
Yeah I played with Alice for a while. I didn’t end up touring but I worked on the “Constrictor” album. But I really don’t think I had my shit together, it’s a long story. Blackie… Oh well I did not have any gear or my guitars. They have not come back from Japan and when they did Blackie kept all my shit, my amps and everything and made it really hard on me to do that thing with Alice. I was struggling borrowing f*ck’n piece of junk from people you know what I mean. I really did not have my shit together. Kane Roberts and I did not gel together. We really didn’t get along. He’s a nice guy but I got along really good with Alice but I just did not have my shit together enough to go out on a tour. I just got back from Japan and went over to Germany for a month. I came back and said it’s time I start my own band.
So was that King’s Horses?
No, no that was actually ANIMAL.
So what happen to King’s Horses?
Well hold on… ANIMAL kind of with a lot of band changes, drummers, bass player’s singers. I played with David Wayne from Metal Church for a while. David is a great guy we got along really well. Then I met this guy from Cincinnati, Ohio named Rich Lewis. Wait till you hear the new album dude.
Tell me about the last LP first. “900LB steam”?
Originally, it was basically a demo and we were going to re-do it. I finally got a hold of Tom from Perris records. He liked it and said let’s re-record it. I got a hold of Tony Richards. We rehearsed a couple of weeks. I said you want to do it. Yeah it’s cool. Then Tony Richards had to get back home because he had a bunch of things he had to take care of in Phoenix. He wasn’t about to move out here. We toured. We came to New Jersey. We played Connections. We went to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, and Detroit. It was pretty much a mini tour we gotta a good response. Chris Holmes had some legal battles back in LA he had to take care of so he took off. Rich and I said I don’t want to wait any longer. Let’s put it out I don’t want to re-record the thing. So we got a hold of Tom at Perris records. It did ok. So instead of re-doing it, let’s put it out and move on.
We meet this guy from Sweden on the internet. He kept on e-mailing us and his credits were just unbelievable. The guy was in a WASP tribute, Kiss Tribute band and is super talented. When Chris Holmes went back home, this guy contacted us and said I would like to produce your next record. The more Rich and I talked to him, the more we liked him. He is a multi-platinum songwriter. His name is Chris Laney. He has a band called Zan Clan they just got signed to Sony/Universal. He also worked for them writing songs for other bands. This guy really got his shit together. So we started working back and forth sending wave files over the internet. So this is how we wrote this new album.
So tell me about the new album?
Um I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.
Everybody tells me that.
Well were getting really close dude. I’m telling you. I really think it is a killer album. No title. I don’t wanna give that.
Yeah I know (laugh).
Dude you know with that f*ck’n internet. We gotta watch everything with demos. It will be on the internet before we even release it. I want to, I’m really excited but I think it’s better just to hold off. But I think the record is really, really good.
When do you think it will come out?
I don’t know .We have a lot of interest already. We might try to release it first overseas. We have a lot of labels looking. Rich and I, in May are going over to Sweden and we have a bunch of shows lined up to play and hope to play the Sweden festival.
How many songs on the new album?
There’s ten right now. But I hope to have twelve.
So you would never play with Blackie again?
NO, dude that would be like taking a step backwards, we tried it with Chris Holmes and it was a lot of fun. But I just want to move on.
When you were younger what was the first concert you saw?
The Beatles (laugh) unbelievable. Screaming chicks crying and screaming and I was looking around and I said man I want to do this (laugh).
Is it true you have been playing in a cover band in Ohio?
No, no, no. Well, I though about it for a while... kind of a blues thing because I was really into the blues, my Texas roots. Every time I go to do something else. Something happens in metal. I did an album with this black chick real blues but I kept on going back to the ANIMAL thing. Then Chris Laney and we have new blood.
So he is your new guitar player?
Yeah. He is so f*ck’n talented. He’s actually a bass player. But he is a good guitar player too. I said f*ck it dude I want you to play guitar. He said I don’t wanna be the other lead guitar player. I like two guitar players in the band maybe three.
You wrote the entire new album?
No, no, no. Not at all Chris Laney, myself and Rich Lewis. The new album is pretty WASP-ish. Check some of the songs that we have sound bytes on our site.
So what’s in the future for ya?
Like I said we are going to Sweden in seven weeks and who knows I might not want to come home (laugh).
If you went out as a support act to a big band who would that be?
To tell you the truth I think we are right in there with Velvet Revolver. I would like to play the Swedish Rock festival. A lot of good bands are playing there. Motley, BLS, Nazareth , UFO, Schenker I think it is swedish.com
So where did you record the album?
Like I said we did it over the internet on wave files. Chris has a studio in Stockholm. He came over here about a month ago. He just called me up and said you mind if I come over. Ok I will be there Friday. We did like eight songs. He brought his hard drive, hardware, software and his underwear (laugh). We locked ourselves in and did some songs. You could not do something like this five years ago. He would come up with a song send it to us we would work on it send it back to him. It’s pretty wild like a virtual band. We did some photos here and sent it to him and he added his picture and it looks like we were all just standing there. Chris wants to tour over here really bad.
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