"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> CHEETAH CHROME
Gives Tyler Vile The Real Lowdown
ALL PHOTO'S BY SANDY CARLSON
Punk Globe: Hey Cheetah, thanks for doing this interview. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new band, Batusis
Cheetah Chrome: About myself? I own fifty black shirts and like Fruit Loops, what more is there to know? The Batusis, on the other hand, are a fascinating subject. We have a new EP being released May 4 on Smog Veil records, as well as a shitload of live shows coming up.
Punk Globe: Did you form this band as an ex-Dead Boy and a New York Doll or just two friends who like to play music together?
Cheetah Chrome: Well, it would really be hard to ignore our pasts, even if we wanted to. But the friendship angle for us is very strong, definitely plays a big part in things. We're hoping to be able to indulge in a bit more musical diversity than we can in our other bands; we share a lot of the same musical tastes.
Punk Globe: What did you think of the New York Dolls the first time you saw or played with them?
Cheetah Chrome: Oh, they were fuckin amazing! They played the night before New Years Eve 1973 at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland, and I had third row center seats. It was the best I ever saw them, hell, it was the best I'd seen anybody up until then. They were everything they'd advertised, the perfect mix of music and attitude .
Punk Globe: Did you ever think at the time that more than thirty years later you'd be as well known as you are?
Cheetah Chrome: Actually, at the time I was hoping I'd be better known, but I'll take it!
Punk Globe: The Dead Boys had some major label attention, right? At that point, were you starry-eyed about the concept of fame or just looking to make a bit of money from your music?
Cheetah Chrome: We wanted it all, we were ready for the big ride, or thought we were. We got swallowed whole and shit out by the business end of things; we hadn't a clue about that. It never occurred to us that major labels wanted you to sell records, and we wouldn't have given a shit if it had!
Punk Globe: One of the most popular Dead Boys/Rocket from the Tombs songs is "Sonic Reducer," you've gotten onstage with many younger bands to play that song haven't you? How does that feel?
Cheetah Chrome: Well, that's a song I'm really sick of playing until I count it off, and then I love it and am sorry when it ends. I'm always flattered when someone covers it. It's nice to have it live on.
Punk Globe: I know that Rocket from the Tombs reformed back in 2003, is that incarnation of the group still playing?
Cheetah Chrome: Well, there's talk of it. We plan to convene in June to follow up on some writing we did a couple of years ago, and I hope that leads to a new studio album,
Punk Globe: Does Batusis have any songs written in memory of the late Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, and Peter Laughner?
Cheetah Chrome: No, we haven't got around to that, not sure that we will; they don't really need us to be remembered, they all left a pretty good mark on their own. We might do a song dedicated to them live or something; I can just imagine JT and Stiv making remarks about "corny bullshit" if they were here, they'd never let me get away with it!
Punk Globe: What do you think it'd be like if those three formed a band together?
Cheetah Chrome: I think it would make for a better bender than band; I can't imagine much getting done! If you knew them like I did, I doubt those would be the three personalities you'd think would work well together. Stiv and Peter maybe, or Stiv and Johnny, but all three? No way.
Punk Globe: Since there's a Batusis E.P. out, are there plans for a full length?
Cheetah Chrome: Yea, we plan to do more recording over the summer.
Punk Globe: How were you received by the crowds at South By Southwest?
Cheetah Chrome: I thought very well, from what I can tell onstage which isn't really much. I'm told it was very successful by people who are better judges than I am. I'm kind of on Mars during a show, I don't notice much other than what's being played.
Punk Globe: Are there any plans for a Batusis tour?
Cheetah Chrome: Yep, being booked as we speak. We have a good number of dates in July, with more to follow in the Fall.
Punk Globe: With you and your band members presumably living in different states, does it make it hard to get together and rehearse?
Cheetah Chrome: Not really for Batusis, as Syl and I are fairly close; Nashville and Atlanta aren't that far apart. Thommy and Enzo live in NYC, so it was just a matter of getting them plane tickets. With Lez and Sean, they're both in Vegas, so it's the same thing. Nashville has tons of rehearsal and recording studios, I mean there has to be a hundred or more, which is why we chose it. RFTT is a bit trickier, we're scattered all over the place, but we manage.
Punk Globe: What would you think if it took another thirty or so years for Batusis to reach the status of Dead Boys, The Cult, and The Dolls?
Cheetah Chrome: Well, I'd be around eighty five, so I don't know that I'd give a shit. I barely give one now!
Punk Globe: Thanks for doing this interview, Cheetah. Do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?
Cheetah Chrome : Yea, get political, things are getting very dicey in this country. The only thing that works anymore is overwhelming numbers that can't be ignored. Get your asses out and VOTE in November! Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed it!
Punk Globe would like to thank Cheetah Chrome and Tyler Vile for the great interview. Please VOTE in November