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.
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...
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
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!
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
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.
: 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
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
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,
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 :