blast off

peter blast

 

by chris rockson

 

 


 

Peter Blast is a living rock ‘n roll legend. He has pure rock n roll running through his veins and delivers a brand of trashy rock n roll that seriously puts him in the same league as the likes of the Dolls....In fact, there's a Doll playing on his forthcoming release...I've had the pleasure already, and can honestly say it's one of the best records I've ever heard...and trust me, I don't make a claim like that every day!!! Each and every track is a gem!!

Peter was in the original US Punk band ‘Degeneration', having started early, this rocker was already out there at the age of 14, kicking it in the bars and clubs in Chicago. By 1977, with the crest of the punk wave at its peak, Peter was out there fronting Degeneration, who were the first ever band to play the strip in Las Vegas.

Peter has performed, recorded, or been associated with such accomplished artists as: The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, Steve Conte, Ricky Parent of Alice Cooper, Kenny Harck of Bad Finger & The James Young Group (Styx), Tracii (L.A.) Guns, Willie Schwartz of Tom Waits and John Foggerty, Desi Rexx of the David Lee Roth Group and D'Molls, Bob Lizik of The Brian Wilson Group, Clyde Davis of the Staple Singers, Peaches Stanton, Chip ZNuff, Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites and Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds, The St. Joseph Choir, Ian "Mac" McLagan of the Small Faces, The Bump Band, Faces and the New Barbarians (Mac's also toured and recorded with The Rolling Stones). In addition, Peter's been associated with ex-members of Guns-N-Roses, Hanoi Rocks, the Dead Boys, Canned Heat, Stevie Nicks, Spirit, Buddy Miles (Band of Gypsies), Earth Wind and Fire, The KoKo Taylor Band and "Wicked" Wilson Pickett...

His style is unique...his voice, hard playing guitar style all blend together beautifully, and a natural talent for melody, this guy knows how to put a song together.

 

PG : Hey Peter Blast's in the house! How’s things?

 

BLAST : Things are great!  Just finishing up a new CD for next year, `08.  My current release, “Pure Organic Junk” is doing really well and I’m getting a lot of radio airplay over here.  We’re rehearsing some of the new material to take out on the second leg of the tour, it’s a pretty smooth road at the moment.            

 

PG : For the readers that are new to your music, can you tell a bit about yourself and your  career?

 

BLAST : Well I started out playing guitar as a kid doing the corner taverns.  You know, just playing covers of what was coming out of my transistor radio.  Later I had the original punk group “Degeneration” and we were performing like Vegas and California.  Later to find that we were documented “the first punk rock group to perform the fabulous Las Vegas Strip.”  I was also in the group “junebug” with RED distribution and had some of my music in films such as the acclaimed cult film “Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer.”  I’ve got a few solo CD’s under my belt.  My newest being “Pure Organic Junk”.  So there I am at the momento.  

 

PG : You have a Brand New CD on the horizon ‘A Plush Horse...with a Monkey on a String", which features guest appearances by some well known friends of yours. Wanna share that with us?


BLAST : Sure.  Let’s let the cat out of the bag.  Yeah, the new CD is titled: “A Plush Horse…with a Monkey on a String” and I got to tell ya, I’ve had a few people look at me strange when I tell them the title.  The truth is everybody’s a plush horse and every body’s  somebody’s  monkey on a string.  Everybody answers to somebody. 

As far as guest performances on the CD, I did have a few friends come down to do some recording.  Ya know, these songs that I write are like my kids, each one needs special attention so it’s different Cats with different Vibes, from track to track.  As an example, for certain Rockers I call in my bro, Chip ZNuff of Enuff Z’Nuff and for some other songs that are a little more off the beat-n-track. I had Bob Lizik of Brian Wilson’s Group come down to play some five string Bass. 

I was also talkin' to Steve Conte of the New York Dolls about getting together to do some recording and he said he’d like to hear the songs.  So I sent him a few to listen to and he decided he’d like to play on all of them that I sent, and he did.  Steve is such a huge talent and great friend, we just really clicked.  I find it really cool cause it was kinda like when Johnny Thunders and I first met, we just clicked.              

 

PG : A real treat for any Johnny Thunders fan is going to be the amazing version of 'Dead Or Alive' you guys did. What a way to tribute a friend and great guitarist by having Steve Conte play on the track. What were those sessions like in the studio?

 

BLAST : Really, you think it’s amazing? Thanks. Coming from you that means a lot.  It was weird, I had recorded fifteen basic tracks and out of no where, for no reason whatsoever I decided that I wanted to play “Dead or Alive”.  The engineer recorded it! We tracked the basics in one take.  I had a need to just fuckin Rock Out!  Something or someone was like calling out.  Thanks Johnny, this one’s for you.  Of course what could be a better tribute to Johnny, the late New York Punk Rock Legend, than to have another friend of mine that is now the new New York Dolls guitarist, Steve Conte.  I hope the fans Love it as much as you. I Hail Johnny and I do this in total homage to him and his vibe. 

As far as what the sessions were like, it isn’t like the old days.  It’s a new era, very few CD’s today are recorded to tape.  It’s all computers and hard drives.  So that’s exactly what we did.  We talked about the tracks, what would be cool parts per track then I took the roughs of the basic band recordings, put ‘em on a hard drive and shipped them off to another studio that Steve was working out of.  He laid tons of color tracks to each song so I could pick and choose, you know like produce the tracks, so then Steve shipped the hard drive with the track files back to me.  It worked out fantastic! 
We also came up with some really cool stuff for a song called “Butterflies and Damsels in Distress,” and another track titled “HURT” but as far as “Dead or Alive” I truly hope the fans dig it as much as we loved recording it; this one’s for my man, Johnny Thunders, LAMF. The first single off the new CD is “Dead or Alive” and when the time comes you’ll be able to down load it, put it to disc and then go to my website and print off a front cover for yourself. I’m gonna do the same thing for the second single “Butterflies and Damsels in distress”.           

 

PG : You recently played some live shows under the heading ‘The Live Dive Bar Tour', tell me about these shows?


BLAST :  Well the “Live Dive Bar Tour” in term was a bit of joke.  Kind of like the Led Zeppelin story, you know, falling on your ass.  A lot of the cool clubs per say in New York have closed down.  Oh sure, there’s a few but not like before so I had said “Do you think we’ll make a million playin Dive Bars?”  Funny thing is I’ve made more dollars and cents on the Live Dive Bar Tour than some other tour dates I’ve done in the past and had a lot of good times, Rock N Roll Baby!  I hail the east coast! I’m ready to roll.     
 


 

PG : Are there plans for any more gigs? And where?


BLAST : Oh yeah.  I’ve got to finish the CD and then we’re on to the second leg of the “Live Dive Bar Tour”.  I’m starting Live performances in the spring, a few dates in the Midwest, then on to Detroit and back to New York.  I’m trying to cover a lot of ground in the spring so if I pick up any Euro dates, I’m wide open to fill that bill.

 

PG : Your style of playing ranges from blues, slide, rock and even has a psychedelic twist - are you self-taught and also what turned you on to guitar in the first place.


BLAST : First of all, I think you give me too much credit, but thanks, most of the slide stuff is yes produced by me but my Bro Tony “Top Cat” Christiano has performed a lot of slide, lap and steel pedal over the years and now I’m lucky enough to have two cats that play great slide.  Steve Conte plays slide on my new stuff as well as Tony.  I love the Blues, I’m from fuckin Chicago.  I hail Rock, it doesn’t much matter to me what title you put it under, Punk, Glam, Traditional, whatever, it’s all Rock N Roll. 

By the time I was like fifteen or sixteen years old I was already in California, the year, 1969.  You had to be influenced by a lot of psychedelic music that was being created at the time as well.  Cool stuff, Yeah, I’m pretty much self-taught.  When I was a kid I’d hear it and learn it.  I loved that turn table, still do. 

What turned me on to playin guitar and writing songs is an easy answer:  In Chicago the “Meet the Beatles” album and The Stones first single fell off the back of truck and into my hands.  My world was never the same again. I got a guitar and was on a mission.   


PG : You're a Gibson man aren't ya? Why?


BLAST : Sure am. Well it’s about the tones I guess. Gibson is like meat and potatoes!  Heavier tones. I like solid bodies but a big hollow body Gibson for those nice warm tones is a beautiful thing.  But most of the time I’m using a Gibson to rip heads off.  I just love the way a Gibson screams.     

 

PG : Stage set-up?


BLAST : Well this is an easy one.  Bare Bones, Gibson guitars, Fender tube Amps, as long as it’s got reverb I’m a happy guy. Two twelves as well and I don’t use pedals – Raw!

 

PG : When you started playing back in the 1970's, did you ever think for one minute that you'd be here, now, still rockin' out?


BLAST : Absolutely not. My dad said I’d be dead by twenty one and I believed he could be right.  I knew all I had to do was quit some bad habits, deal with my demons, and wake up in the morning.  The truth is music does me, I don’t do it.  It’s all a dream or a nightmare that becomes my musical backdrop.  After you have two or three songs written that you like you just know you have to do ten more.  My train doesn’t stop running.  I sometimes wonder if it’s a blessing or a curse.  I think it’s a blessing.  Yeah, I’m sure of it.

 

PG : Who plays in your band when you're out on the road?


BLAST : Well I always use my Chicago drummer, Dan Curry.  He’s the ex-drummer of the group HiFi and the Roadburners that were signed to Victory Records.  I also use New York Bassist Spyder Darling from the Detox Darlings and another New Yorker Charles Liss on Guitar along side myself.  Charles has played with some amazing artists.  When Charles is unavailable, my old bro, Tony “Top Cat” Christiano steps in.  Tony does more of my Midwest dates.  

 

PG : Do you have a favourite venue? Favourite City? 

BLAST : I dig all venues, from the dive bars to Park Avenue, Huge Arenas to the Festivals. And as far as a favorite city I Hail New York the Best, maybe because it’s the crossroads of the world, every country is there; a world within itself and you’ll never go without pizza, Thank God.

PG : Any plans to play in Europe? 

BLAST : I’m looking at a few agencies to work with  this summer. I’m really looking forward to performing all summer no matter how near or far away it may be, because this papa’s like a rolling stone…anywhere I play my guitar is home and that’s the way I dig it Baby.

 

PG : Ok, I'm done, any words for the readers of Punk Globe? 

BLAST : Yeah, break all the rules and when ya do, you can blame me, or tell ‘em it’s OK because Peter Blast said so.  Be the Driver not only a passenger.  Hope to See y'all real soon out on the lost Highway. Cheers to you all!

 

PG : Thanks Peter, have a wonderful and peaceful Holiday, see you in 2008 when we review your new CD. Chris 

BLAST : Same to you Chris and to all your readers here at Punk Globe.

 

You can find out more about Peter Blast at the following :

 

http://www.peterblast.com

http://www.myspace.com/peterblast 

Bookings: blast-o-matic-music@comcast.net

 

 

 


 

 

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