FIB MUSIC: What about the white make-up? Didn't Sister wear the white make-up?
I didn't at that time, or even previous to that. But as far as Nikki lighting himself on fire; I've got videos of Blackie doing it
way before Nikki ever did it. But the pentagram was part of Sister's logo....that was kind of Blackie's thing, that was way before
Motley Crue. Blackie gave him a lot of that stuff I think....Nikki said, "hey, can I use some of this" and Blackie was like, "Sure, I'm not
doing it anymore". I mean, Blackie used to eat worms....I don't know if Nikki ever ate worms. I don't think he did.
FIB MUSIC: So the initial line-up of W.A.S.P. was you, Blackie Lawless, Tony Richards and Rik Fox?
Randy: Ummm. Yeah, that was pretty much it. Actually, we flew Rik out from, I think, New Jersey. We
played with him for awhile and did some recording and stuff and then Rik was out. We actually had another drummer in the beginning who was
in a local, Orange County band or something. And we switched drummers with them, their band took our drummer and we took Tony.
FIB MUSIC: Right. Wasn't Tony in Dante Fox, which later became Great White?
Randy: Yeah, I think that was it. It was like everyone was just fucking everyone. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: Do you remember why Rik Fox was kicked out of the band?
Randy: I don't know...you know, I really just don't know, I guess it just wasn't working or something; we
went into the studio or something....I don't know, it wasn't working out. I guess we kept looking for a bass player and we
tried out a shitload of people. And it ended up that Blackie, who was playing guitar at the time, switched to bass and we recruited
FIB MUSIC: So, right after Rik leaves the band, Chris Holmes joins?
Randy: Yeah pretty much.
FIB MUSIC: Do you remember how you guys found Chris Holmes?
Randy: Blackie had done a couple of songs with him in a studio at one time. I think that
was after Sister was over with......Chris was never in Sister, even though Blackie claims it. But there is no record to prove it.
I don't really know. But I do know he played with Chris and that's how he knew how to get a hold of him. So we brought Chris in
and we started from there.
Rik Fox, Blackie Lawless, Tony Richards & Randy Piper
FIB MUSIC: Who came up with the name W.A.S.P.?
Randy: Well, actually that was Rik Fox. Him and Blackie are outside building a fog machine, or
something and a wasp landed on his hand and Rik said "fuck, that would be a killer name for a band" and Blackie stole it from him. (laughs)
Well, I think Blackie put the periods in there, but it definitely was Rik's idea. He claimed that for years and I have to back him
up on that, you know what I mean.....I know it to be true.
FIB MUSIC: So have you been talking to Tony Richards at all?
Randy: Yeah, actually I have talked to him. W.A.S.P. had played in Cincinnati and I got a
hold of Chris and got Tony's number through him. But yeah, I talk to Tony all the time now. Yeah, I love that guy; I always did.
Tony had a lot of flair man...No one could play his drums, he's got his pedals all switched. (laughs) People would ask to sit
in and we'd be like, no you don't, there's no way you are going to be able to do that. I think he thinks with the other side of
his brain or something....I don't know what it is. He used to have those cymbals behind him and he would just rear back and hit those things.
I mean Tony had a lot of flair you know. He's a fun guy and a lot of fun to play with.
FIB MUSIC: So why didn't it work out when Tony and Chris joined Animal?
Randy: Well, like I said Tony had to come back to Arizona and Chris had some messes he had
to clean up in LA. So he went back to LA, then came back out and then went back to LA and came back out. It just started to become
a pain in the ass after awhile. And like I said, we went out and kind of tested the waters and stuff. Then I said, you know, fuck
recording this album again, let's just go on, then Chris wasn't going to come back out. So Rich and I just kind of pushed on and we
found Chris Laney. It worked out really well for us and we're really happy about that. Hey, life is just another band, you know?
Everybody in bands knows that. It's good while it's happening and it's easy and when it gets real stressful and all fucked up, it's
time to do something else.
FIB MUSIC: How long was Tony in the band after you get signed? Did he do the complete tour supporting
the self-titled record?
Randy: Well, we toured a lot before the album came out. Before the first single,
"Fuck Like a Beast" and the album came out...we did a lot of tours. We'd take road trips to Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego...
FIB MUSIC: Were you guys signed at that time?
Randy: Actually no, but that is what got us signed. We were just playing our asses off. We
were playing the Troubador every two weeks, The Whiskey....we were constantly playing and recording even then. Until we signed with
Rod Smallwood, you know Iron Maiden's manager, after that we got our deal with Capitol.
Chris Holmes, Blackie Lawless, Tony Richards, Randy Piper
FIB MUSIC: Does Tony tour at all, after the album comes out?
Randy: He did after the single came out for sure, but by the time the album comes out
he was pretty much gone.
FIB MUSIC: Wow. I didn't know that; I thought he toured for awhile. What happened?
Randy: I don't know, maybe just personality differences between Blackie and him...I'm really
not sure. I don't really want to comment on it. Like I said, Tony and I are still really good friends....I love him as a friend and
as a musician. I tell you what bro, I don't want to slam anybody. That whole thing with that one slag site. Those guys had been trying
to get an interview with me for over three years, or so....I kept saying, I'm not going to play into that and I know who these guys
are, it's the guy from Tuff, or something like that, from LA....the guy couldn't make it in a band, so he does nothing
but slag or get people to slag on other people. All the questions were wanting me to slag on Blackie and made derogatory statements about
me wanting to say shit about Alice Cooper and all these other guitar players. And I said NO, so they put me on their Pussy List, right? So
I had enough of that. Then they beg Chris Laney to get me to do it and I finally agreed. It is supposed to be like
twenty questions and of course those twenty questions turn into sixty, because there were like three parts to every question. They
basically wanted me to write a fucking book. I'm thinking man, I don't want to do this....this is stupid. They asked me shit like, if
I had ever seen Blackie naked and how big his dick was and I'm thinking, you know you sound like a bunch of fags to me....I don't know what
you got going, but I don't want any part of it.
FIB MUSIC: No, I am not trying to get you to talk shit. That is not the point of our site; we just want to know the history.
Randy: No, no, I know. But you know, me and Blackie were like best friends for 8 years.
Blackie Lawless, Randy Piper, Chris Holmes, Stephen Riley
FIB MUSIC: Sure. I just thought Tony really added something cool to W.A.S.P. and I remember thinking it was
a bad decision to part ways with him. I got to see you guys, in Dallas, on tour for that album. I can't really remember if Tony was in the band,
at that time, but I guess he was gone.
Randy: Yeah, it was Stephen Riley by that time.
FIB MUSIC: Any cool moments stand out from the recording sessions of the first W.A.S.P. album? Any
cool, brilliant, sucked moments come to mind?
Randy: Ummmmm. I don't know. I haven't ever given it too much thought.
FIB MUSIC: Where did you guys record it?
Randy: Well, like I said we were recording the whole time, so we probably recorded in every
studio in LA.
FIB MUSIC: So the whole record was done in LA?
Randy: Yeah.....well, actually a couple of songs were done in San Francisco, because
Mike Varney and Steve Montana, his engineer, were from the Bay area.
FIB MUSIC: How does Mike Varney end up producing that record?
Randy: I don't know, I guess we were looking for producers and Mike's name came up and he
ended up getting the gig.
FIB MUSIC: Any idea what the budget for that record was?
Randy: (laughs) It was a lot. I know we spent a lot. It was about time....I mean we probably
got one of the biggest deals that any of those bands had gotten. Everybody had gotten signed in LA. We were the last ones with like
Motley Crue, Ratt, Dokken, Black n Blue, Great White....all of us got signed pretty much at the same time and we got one of the biggest deals.
Our deal was like a two plus four option, so it was two guaranteed and our deal was for three million dollars. It was a huge deal, of course, they
don't do that anymore, it's a lot tougher now. Kind of miss the old days...The digital revolution has changed everything....I
don't think it will ever be the same again.
FIB MUSIC: So you guys got a nice-fat-signing bonus?
Randy: Oh Yeah...big time...I remember Tony and I got new cars and we are driving down the
freeway and we're just slamming beers, looking at each other, with our feet hanging out the window. I mean, it couldn't have gotten any
better than that, you know what I mean?
FIB MUSIC: What was it like working with Mike Varney?
Randy: You know, he's an awesome guitar player. He finds all the good guitar players. Actually,
a couple of years ago, I found an album by Leslie West that Mike Varney produced. Yeah, Leslie is talking about him he goes, "Mike Varney, that
fat bastard" (laughs). It's called "Blues to Die For" and it's Leslie West playing all blues. I'm a big Leslie West fan.
FIB MUSIC: Any memories come to mind from the day you signed with Capitol?
Randy: Not really. It was a lot of paperwork. I remember going to the top of the Capitol
building to sign the papers. We were going to do a video at the top of the Capitol building, but they wouldn't let us because of
insurance purposes. I always thought that would have been cool.
FIB MUSIC: How has it been, over the years, working with Chris Holmes? Have you heard from him lately?
Randy: I don't know what he's up to. I haven't heard from him in the last year and a half since he
went back to LA. So I don't know what he's doing. I liked him better when he drank. (laughs) He was more fun when he drank.
You know, it's like that country song, "You ain't much fun since I stopped drinkin'". That pretty much sums up Holmes, you know?
FIB MUSIC: So how was it working with him? Was he serious when it came to work?
Randy: Absolutely. When it's business, Chris has always been serious....always there at
rehearsal. He was never fucked up at rehearsals, contrary to what some people would think....No, Chris was always business.
FIB MUSIC: Once the band officially becomes W.A.S.P., how soon after did you guys sign your record contract?
Randy: I don't think it was that long, things were really rolling at that time, but like I
said, Blackie and I were together five years previous to that.
FIB MUSIC: Right. So maybe a year after you guys named the band.
Randy: I think less than that. We already had been recording, we just started going to
better studios....we were in A&M and then in Capitol, we were all over the place. Baby-O, I think at the time....Then we
were going to release the first single and Capitol said NO.
FIB MUSIC: Which was Fuck Like a Beast?
Randy: Yeah, they said no you can't release that on Capitol Records, so then I guess they got
us a deal with Restless Records overseas. They were going to print it in London, then the Queen's Council got a hold of it and said
you can't do it here either. So I think they ended up pressing it in Belgium and importing it into England. Once it got into
England it was on the charts for like 110 weeks, which I think was a record at that time.
FIB MUSIC: Any memories from that tour stand out?
Randy: I don't know.....we went out and toured the first album and then we'd come back two weeks
and then leave again for a couple of months, then come back for a couple of weeks and then leave again for three months....it was
pretty crazy then and when we did come back, we immediately went into rehearsals for the second album, wrote the album and we
are halfway in the middle of recording it and we had to go out and support Maiden. So we went out in the middle of recording
"The Last Command" and had to put the first show back together....even though the second show had already been put together, we're out
doing the first show again. So we had to forget everything we had just learned and start playing the first show again. We did a bunch
of festivals and shit like that and then we went back and finished the second album and then we were out on tour for that one.
FIB MUSIC: Whose idea was it to drink blood and chop meat on stage?
Randy: That was Blackie's gig. I didn't want to drink blood.
FIB MUSIC: Blackie would even put the raw meat in his mouth.
Randy: Oh yeah, wherever we could find it. We'd send the roadies to the store for meat. They
would come back with some pretty bad cuts too. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: Any idea how many copies of the first album were sold?
Randy: It went gold in the US, both of them. I don't know, I know I've got a shitload of
albums coming to me from all over the world. I won't know until I get back out there and start playing all these places again. But
Blackie wasn't going to send them to me. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: Like the Gold records from all the different countries?
Randy: Yeah, well I mean, I already have them from all over the world. But I think I have
a lot more coming, since he has repackaged everything.
FIB MUSIC: Well Blackie somehow gained the rights back to his music, didn't he?
Randy: Yeah, he bought back the masters or something.
FIB MUSIC: Do you still recieve royalty payments from the first two albums.
Randy: Yeah, but that's another story
FIB MUSIC: You guys sold enough records to not always be recouping, right?
Randy: Right. Yeah, we sold a lot of records man.
FIB MUSIC: The first and second albums went gold?
Randy: Yeah and I don't know if they ever received another gold record since then. Chris told me they
hadn't. I haven't really kept up with W.A.S.P. Someone asked me the other day, what do you think of the last few albums
from W.A.S.P. and to tell you the truth, I haven't really heard the last five albums. I mean, I like Blackie's music and stuff, but
I haven't kept up with it, I'm busy doing what I'm doing.
FIB MUSIC: But you own a copy of "Inside the Electric Circus" right?
Randy: Oh yeah, I heard it when it came out, actually there were some good songs on it.
And the "Headless Children"? That was my favorite W.A.S.P. release and I wasn't even on it. (laughs)