FIB MUSIC: How old is your son now?
FIB MUSIC: Is he a vocalist?
Brad: Yeah, he sings and he's actually a guitar player.....he's a guitar player, but he's totally in
the punk thing. What I like about it is that I spent my years being influenced by Iggy Pop. It's a good place to get your
#$###$, but I urge him not to dwell there forever.
FIB MUSIC: Do you want to plug his band, or would he kill you?
Brad: I would probably be the kiss of death. (laughs) I just
actually took a bunch of cameras into a local teen club and video taped their first show..........it was painful......
it was painful (laughs) What I like about it is he just LOVES the music and you can see that passion. I had to struggle with him, with
the whole Anarchy issue, all these geopolitical kind of statements.....Ok, so let me get this right, if Anarchy is the way,.....well let's say
somebody likes your guitar and they just take it, is that ok? He's like nooo. (laughs) So we spend a lot of time arguing about political stuff.
The older I get, the more conservative I get.
In our interviews with Scott Earl and Adam Bomb, they both stated that no one could get you to come out to LA. But eventually, you decided to
make the move. Why did it take so long? How long did you stay?
Brad: I stayed a little over a year. And what I found, at that time, was it
was a dumping ground
for a bunch of wannabe's. No real talent that I could see. I couldn't find anything that was working for me. I was in a creative
desert state, where nothing was really clicking for me. I had a newborn son, which I don't think Scott could relate to.....but
I guess it doesn't have anything to do with him...I don't know. (laughs)..... There were
factors, you know, I was more of the mindset that.....if I'm going to move from Seattle to LA, let's start organizing. Scott was down there and
he had all his........nothing was really gelling.....so I get to LA and Scott is all into the GLAM scene, which is something I had done
during the New York Dolls era, with the Whiz Kids and I didn't want to take steps backwards into that land. I had kind of developed
into this kind of mainstream bluesy, rock thing. It was great for him, because he hadn't done that before, but I just didn't want to take steps
backward. What was funny, I finally packed up and drove out of LA and got approached by Richard Stuverud, he says, "just come and
listen to my band" and I listened to his band and they were ok. Then he says, "why don't you do some gig's with us" and I went, you know,
I feel like retiring anyhow, but I could have a bar band that I played with on weekends. Maybe play the Central. But I'm already easing into
retirement here and next thing I know, we get a record deal and it's War Babies and there I am out on the road again and I'm like "Fuck, how
did that happen?"
FIB MUSIC: No Kidding, right when you leave LA?
Brad: Yeah. It happened within six weeks after I left LA.....So I went to LA to find
a record deal, which was waiting for me the whole time in Seattle......And I had talked to a lot of the record weasels and they were
actually saying how much they hated when they got the call to take a look at one of the LA bands, because usually its just shit. My favorite thing
is you'd walk down Sunset Strip and there would be all these guys dolled up like Madonna, with flyers.....like "HERE." (laughs) That and seeing those
poor bastards with the soft shell guitar cases, hoofing it down Sunset on their way to Guitar Institute.....to learn how to be
a rock star..........that's a great scam. Only to bested by the BIT, the Bass Institute. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: Anything stand out from the "Below the Belt" recording sessions?
Brad: Heavy drinking.....a lot of partying....a lot of fun.
FIB MUSIC: Did you tour for that record?
Brad: UUUUMMMM. No. What caused that to be recorded is, we were in Detroit supporting "In Your Face" when I
got word, right before we went on to do a simulcast, that no salaries were coming. It was Barry's idea to get us out on the road and then
we would live off our earnings from touring, he just hadn't bothered to tell us that. We basically were stranded. So, I did the right
thing and didn't tell the band until the show was over. We all got very, very drunk and I called Rick Keefer and he says let's do this as soon as
you get home, I'll book the flights and let's start recording the next album. Because COMBAT has to advance the money for a new record. We ended up
going to Hawaii and recording that "Below the Belt". The guys, Scott, Kjartan and Ken Mary were really happy.
FIB MUSIC: Ken Mary recorded the drum tracks on "Below the Belt"? He just left before the release?
Brad: Yeah. There was just too much downtime between the end of recording and the release. But the
three of them having to had toured on "In Your Face" in support of everyone else's work, they were really eager to do the recording and show
their own stuff. So, everyone was excited to record that record.
FIB MUSIC: And COMBAT started making payments again, or did you guys just take from the budget?
Brad: Oh, we got some money, but not a whole lot. But it eventually killed the
whole band and that's when the big move to Los Angeles happened.
FIB MUSIC: That's when Scott moves to LA, right? Then he forms the band Bang Gang?
Brad: Yeah. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: Was Scott in Bang Gang before "Below the Belt" came out?
Brad: You know that's a good question. I can't remember when that came out..........that's
a good question and I'm too old to know the fucking answer; how's that for you? (laughs) I think it came out, but no touring came from
it. He may have left to go down and get stuff started at that point.
FIB MUSIC: Well it sounded like Scott was waiting for you to come down.
Brad: You know, he's always saying that, but what was I coming down to. And he was in
a different place in his career. I had done some major things and being the ego star I am, couldn't see myself on
Sunset Blvd, handing out flyers, begging people to come see my show. LA can be an ugly environment. Great place to visit, but
I hated living there. Great place to record, do business, but I hated it. Other people love it, I just have always been a small town
guy I guess. Who was that godfather guy, the guy with the club......Gazzarri....what a sicko that guy was. You see him in a zoot suit, with a
couple of strippers and the guy was like seventy years old, but his whole schtick was, you had to pay to play. I could no more do that.....
I might do it once, because sometimes you've got to do stuff like that. But I picked up real quick on how things ran down
there and I was just not into it.
FIB MUSIC: What was an average amount that bands had to pay, in order to play a show?
Brad: I don't know. I didn't do a single show the whole time I was down there. I did a lot
of drive-by, get to know, jam sessions with people that I were told were super-players. I would get in there and go, "boy this sucks".
FIB MUSIC: So nothing from "Below the Belt" was ever played live?
Brad: Well, we had been playing songs from "Below the Belt" while supporting
"In Your Face". About half the set was from "In Your Face" and the other half was the new stuff that was going to be
"Below the Belt", so it was well road-tested.
FIB MUSIC: And Ken Mary just leaves because of the time-lapse between things?
Brad: Yeah. You can't hold a band together, with that many high-strung people, with lagging
support from the label and that's when things fall apart and it did.
FIB MUSIC: How was it working with Ken Mary?
Brad: Excellent player. Originally I picked him, because he reminded me of Gary Thompson, kind of
had that Bonham groove, but ummmmmm, he was strickly business and a Christian from what I understand and very religious and
I think he put up with a lot from Scott, Kjartan and I.
FIB MUSIC: He was very religious back then?
Brad: Yeah. Decent guy.
FIB MUSIC: He didn't really partake in the after-show fun?
Brad: Oh, he'd have beer. I remember the show we did after the simulcast, where everyone found out that
salaries had been halted, we made the label rep go out and buy us as much booze as possible. This was kind of a secondary show in a cramped
venue and probably 400 people, or something like that. We get tanked on champagne and I have this memory of Ken being so hammered.....none of us could
even play and that's the only time I think I had seen him hammered. I think he hit himself in the face with a drumstick.....that kind of.....I think
Scott fell down....I remember the label guy looking at me and he was just shaking his head, going whoa fuck, I'm going to get killed.
FIB MUSIC: You were kind of known for your drinking, right?
Brad: If I were what the legend is, I never would have put out what I put out. But I am legendary in the
times that I did choose to have some fun, it was stuff you write home about. I mean, my influences are like Keith Moon...great rock characters
like that. I used to love those stories about Lincoln Continentals and swimming pools and tv's out windows. I grew up on that. But I mean
Rock's a business. So I was usually the guy holding everything down.
FIB MUSIC: Were you ever into drugs?
Brad: No, I haven't ever really been a drug guy.....in the 80's I was a big beer drinker, but
you know, you only have to do something outrageous once and it kind of grows from there. But I never could have gotten as far as I did if
I lived up to the claims I run across. You know, when you first hear it, you think that's not true and then you have to sort through it and go
I can see where they would see that.
FIB MUSIC: It only took me two interviews to figure out, but the band Rail and Company was the band
FIB MUSIC: The same band that won the record contract from the video competition on MTV?
Brad: Yeah. How do you win a record contract, that was always my question. They were a cover band.
FIB MUSIC: All I remember is the lead singer wearing those furry David Lee Roth boots.
Brad: Well you know when EMP (Experience Music Project) opened, the big rock museum in Seattle.
We did the big grand opening and the band that went on right after us was Rail and at the end we did a cover of....with all the metal guitarist from
Seattle.....let's see.....Mike Derosier from Heart and Steve Fossen from Heart played bass and drums respectively. So, you have like
twelve guitarist on there doing a montage of Hendrix songs. So, two of the guys from Rail are in it and I'm thinking how in the fuck did
they get on here. So, we had this meeting the night before to discuss things......so, we are in the catering area and I think it was
the guy from Metal Church comes in and goes up to the "furry boot" guy and says, "Dude, Dude, you're the furry boot dude!" (laughs) And he's like
"Come on, tell me you're going to wear them". And the guy was like, "Well, no, I actually donated them to the museum".
FIB MUSIC: What year was that?
Brad: That was in 2000.
FIB MUSIC: So, that's what those pictures are from, the ones with you and Metal Church.
Brad: Yeah. Dave Wayne. He's from Yakima too, or was. I never really got the whole story of
what happened to him. I heard he was hit by a car, or something and died from complications.
FIB MUSIC: I think that's all they really released.
Brad: You know a guy named Jeff Gilbert, writes for Guitar Player Magazine? He had a lot to do
with getting their (Metal Church) career together. It was his job to put the bill together to do the tribute to Hendrix, with twelve fucking
guitar players, of course, he brought in Metal Church and I also looked at the list of who he was bringing in and I thought it looked a guest list
for one of Jeff Gilbert's Keg Parties.
FIB MUSIC: So Rail was really popular in Seattle, but they were playing mostly covers?
Brad: Well, they'd play like proms and shit. Somewhere in the scheme of things, they made friends with
a local promoter, who got them out on the road with Van Halen....they started opening for Van Halen. But the thing about the furry boots is one
night David Lee Roth started wearing furry boots and they sent the tour manager in there and he said to Terry, the singer, "you can't wear the furry boots" and the thing is, nobody had
ever seen him without the furry boots. Rail came from upper middle class, well manicured families....their families were really supportive, like giving them
money for gear, equipment trucks, PA's....you know, our parents were like "Get the Fuck Out". They were just spoiled little, what we used to
call "Bellevue brats", it was kind of a well-to-do section of Seattle, at the time. So, we always hated them, we thought they were
gay. The thing I remember the most is before the record deal, they were always getting these great paying gigs, but nobody wanted us
because we were too hardcore. And they had some sort of radio sponsored thing at some huge baseball stadium, but when they were chopping out
the billing, we got the headline. So they actually had to open for us. We had been out on the road for months and months and months and we came back and
we were cocky. Their road crew were like these preppy kind of muscle guys with an attitude and we had.......one of my favorite guys was the
lighting guy, who strapped a bowie knife on his hip and he would cut you with it if you fucked with him. So, at some point in time, they are taking too
long on their soundcheck.....and our crew were seasoned, you know?. (laughs) We took no shit that day. It was one of the inner-Seattle.....we had
already been out playing things like the Texxas Jam, but to actually headline above somebody who used to be ahead of you. At 23, it was like
"I have arrived".
FIB MUSIC: Three of your most fond memories from your days in TKO.
Brad: The number one thing was the Japan Tour. Once we had everyone from Yakima onboard....and the
songs that came out. We were able to put a couple of those songs that would have gone on that line-ups second TKO album. We were doing that in Japan....they were
just thunderous and that was just a great time. And..............you know............other than that, it's just a blur of really huge shows.
To get comfortable with playing 20,000 seats a night. You don't see that often, but that was a normal part of our life back then and then it got to the
point where I got tired of playing 20,000 seaters and wanted to play clubs and get back to that instant reaction from small venues. We did some of
those in conjunction with the 20,000 seaters and that was just beautiful. Signing, being wide-eyed and thinking I made it, not realizing that
it's not just about getting the deal, it's about hanging on to the deal. But that original signing, that was just huge....that's before I
got jaded and pissed off.....it was a naive, but beautiful time.
FIB MUSIC: Do you remember what the recording budget was for "Let it Roll"?
Brad: I think we spent $150,000 and it took us two years to record it,
so we were on salary during that time. We road that gravy train as long as we could. I think that's where I learned how to take
advantage of Barry Coburn. I had already been playing that game.
FIB MUSIC: So your most found memories are from the first incarnation of TKO?
Brad: Yeah. Absolutely. Because those were guys I had grown up with and you can't beat that.
We all had the same goal, we played together in sixth grade for chrissakes and to be shoved into festivals and huge venues, it was a good
time for everybody.
FIB MUSIC: Any other moments stand out?
Brad: Uhhhhhhh. Each of the incarnations of TKO had some really happy times, but most of those are when
it's new and fresh and everyone's just excited to play, before the economics come in from a record deal gone bad. Then your friendships kind of
dwindle. There were horrible wars between line-ups, for awhile. There was a lot of slagging in the press that went on.
FIB MUSIC: Everybody was just talking shit about each other?
Brad: Oh yeah. Just ugly shit. Most of it took place in the Seattle Rock Mag, the Rocket, which they just
loved. They would call up and say I just got this quote from so and so and he said this about you; what do you think
about it? Being young and pissed off, I would fire something back deeper and more cutting and that would cause them to say more shit. It just got to the
point where we are all just brutal enemies and now I'm on good terms with them. I even love Adam from a distance.