Heavy Pettin Guitarist
FIB MUSIC: What's new? What's in the future?
Punky: Every day is new. Inevitable death is in the future.
FIB MUSIC: Can you give us a brief summary of how Heavy Pettin formed?
Punky: Five guys from Glasgow met over drinks and noise and created a small
business. Our aim was to shift it from local to international status. We somehow got lost in our journey.
FIB MUSIC: Describe a typical Day in the life of Punky Mendoza during your club days, before the band got signed.
Punky: Practice, work, and rehearse. Practice, work, and rehearse. Sex.
Sex. Sex. Sex. Practice, work,
FIB MUSIC: How long was the band together before signing with Polygram? Any cool memories from
those days stand out?
Punky: HEAVY PETTIN was virtually signed after months of being a functioning
business proposition. Perhaps just under a year. Interest in the band was first noted by Warner Brothers
Publishing. Then Peter Mensch (Def Leppard manager at the time) got involved. Showcased the band in front
of all the majors in London. The band decided to choose POLYDOR/POLYGRAM. Coolest memory was meeting
Peter Mensch. A highly articulate and astute business man. Only spoke the truth.
FIB MUSIC: Was the Heavy Pettin ever considered by any other labels? If so, why did you choose Polygram?
Punky: Just about every major record label wanted to sign the band
at the time. Our decision to go with Polydor / Polygram was based on the best deal offered.
FIB MUSIC: Any memories stand out from the day you signed your record contract?
Punky: It was the first time I tried champagne. Stinkin' rotten it was too.
FIB MUSIC: What was the average age for the band at that time?
Punky: 20 years.
FIB MUSIC: You guys got signed in the days of large recording budgets and
signing bonuses. Do you mind sharing the terms of your deal?
HEAVY PETTIN was offered a very large sum of money as our first advance. Usual
terms and conditions applied; half of it up front and the rest of it on completion of the album.
FIB MUSIC: Did you purchase anything after getting the record deal?
Punky: All money went into the business. Nothing
extravagant was bought by the individuals in the band.
FIB MUSIC: Brian May produced your first record. What was it like
working with him? What kind of person is he?
Punky: Brian May is a gentleman. A unique individual and
highly intelligent. It was an honour to
work with him and to learn from him.
FIB MUSIC: Any cool moments stand out while working with Brian May?
Punky: Every moment was very cool. The thing that stands out most, and
probably the coolest of all, was the fact that Brian never played the guitar once during the recording of Lettin Loose; he
said his job was to produce the band? not perform for the band. Very cool.
FIB MUSIC: Did he ever share any cool Queen stories?
Punky: Yes. But they were for my ears only. Can't share unfortunately.
FIB MUSIC: Any cool, brilliant, sucked moments stand out from the "Lettin Loose" recording sessions?
Punky: Singing backing vocals with Brian May was cool. Meeting the other
guys in Queen was cool. Letting Genesis use our studio to listen back to their new album was cool. Learning
about recording techniques was very cool. Listening to
Phil Collins play the drums was cool. Nothing sucked. All very good memories.
FIB MUSIC: Where did you record, "Lettin Loose"?
Punky: Townhouse in London. Union Studios in Munich.
FIB MUSIC: Do you remember what the budget was for that record?
Punky: Yep. Not telling though.
FIB MUSIC: What were your thoughts then about the mix / sound of "Lettin Loose"? How do
you view it in retrospect?
Punky: It sounded absolutely stunning on the Westlakes in the studio. Even on the
Auratones and Yamaha NS10s. In Mack's 4x4, which was
kitted out with an amazing sound system, the album sounded magic. Yet after the mastering some things went wrong.
FIB MUSIC: How did the band feel about it?
Punky: One of us were not very happy with the mastering. I just wanted to get out on tour.
FIB MUSIC: Any good KISS stories?
FIB MUSIC: Was the first album originally
Heavy Pettin' "self-titled" and then later changed to "Lettin' Loose"?
Punky: No. Originally called "LETTIN LOOSE". I'd have preferred a self-titled platter.
FIB MUSIC: After you finish recording the album, how long is it, before it's released? What was that time like for you and the band? Did you guys do shows? Rehearse?
Punky: It was straight into rehearsals to tour with the album. We toured Europe and the
UK. We also opened for WHITESNAKE,
KISS, OZZY, and did our spot
at Reading Festival.
FIB MUSIC: What was life like at this time? Were there any drug / drinking problems in the band? Did
you guys get along?
Punky: Life was extremely good in a number of ways. No drugs were involved. The occasional drink. But no drugs. Who needs that shit? We got
along enough to keep the wheels rolling. That's all that mattered.
FIB MUSIC: Any good Ozzy stories to share?
Punky: One leaving the Hilton Hotel after a meal and some cocktails, Ozzy
put his arm around my shoulder and said "the last time I walked up these stairs was with
Randy Rhoads." That meant something
very profound to me.
Gene Simmons of KISS
& Punky Mendoza
Punky: Gene called down the telephone "Hello mum" when I was calling my mother from
backstage. He then told me to not have a girlfriend when being in the band. He told me there are millions of girls out
there waiting to be my girlfriend for the night. He then introduced
me to two beautiful Japanese girls and taught me how to say 'anata wa kirei desu' to impress the Japanese girls.
FIB MUSIC: How did you come in contact with Gene Simmons?
Punky: Arranged by our manager.
FIB MUSIC: Can you tell us a little about the demo he submitted to you? How many songs?
Punky: Gene loved HEAVY PETTIN
(the band.... we know he loves heavy petting all the time) and
wanted to help us in anyway he thought possible. Thus, he gave us the first opportunity to use a song of his on our album.
FIB MUSIC: Didn't a couple of the songs, from his demo, later end up on KISS records?
FIB MUSIC: How soon after you guys finish
touring for "Lettin Loose" do you enter the studio to begin recording your second album, "Rock ain't Dead"?
Punky: Almost immediately. Pre-production demos
were recorded to decide on the songs. From there it was into the studio once we found a producer.
FIB MUSIC: I read in some interview with you where you said the
descent into a normal way of life was not easy. Can you tell us more about that? What was it like for you to make that transition?
Punky: Confused. Unsure of what to do next. Resilient enough, however, just to move on.
FIB MUSIC: Punky Mendoza is transported back to the year 1983? Is there
anything you would do differently?
Punky: No. Can't mess around with fate.
THE FAST 5
FIB MUSIC: What is your most disgusting habit?
FIB MUSIC: What is the most feminine thing you do?
FIB MUSIC: If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?
Punky: Do I have a room to myself?
FIB MUSIC: Greatest Rock band of all time?
Punky: The Criminal Minds
FIB MUSIC: What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?
Punky: Reading Noam Chomsky's 'The Architecture of Language'.
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