Sleaze Roxx recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW/SAIGON KICK drummer Phil Varone. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Sleaze Roxx: You had left SKID ROW in 2004 to take care of personal issues that were documented in "Waking Up Dead" but later returned, what lead to your return to the band and your re-departure?
Phil Varone: Well, I left the band to get cleaned up and healthy. They got a new drummer to do some touring and the guy sucked so bad they called me to come back and finish the tour they started. Because they were my friends I wasn't going to leave them hanging. The problem was I just got out of rehab and touring was very tough. I agreed to do the following tour in Europe, but that was all I could take. I really needed to get my shit together.
Sleaze Roxx: It's been well documented that there is/was a rift between Rachel Bolan [SKID ROW bassist] and yourself due to some unkind things Rachel said of you after the last time you left SKID ROW. Have amends been made? If not, if they ever were would you ever consider rejoining the band if the drum spot came open again?
Phil Varone: Rachel and I have been friends for 17 years. I love him like a brother and just like any relationship you deal with road bumps. I look forward to having our friendship repaired and being back to the way it was. Time heals all. I would love to do some gigs with the Skids. I miss those guys a lot.
Sleaze Roxx: Your movie, "Waking Up Dead", will be released on DVD on June 26th, for those who are curious about this release, give them the history behind it and what can they expect from it?
Phil Varone: The movie covers my life before, during and after music. It was filmed over four years while I was playing with SKID ROW. Along with that footage, I have my personal footage and pictures to document what I went through to achieve my goal of being a rock star.
Sleaze Roxx: Over the last year you've begun a highly praised comedy career in Hollywood. Do you still do any session or band work? If so, any projects you would care to plug?
Phil Varone: The only project I did was for a good friend of mine named Cody Marks. She is a great artist and asked me to play on her new record. I had so much fun just playing with no pressure of a band. We recorded at the Village in Santa Monica. That place is where legends recorded. Very cool.
Sleaze Roxx: As evidenced by your appearance in the SKID ROW DVD or by anyone who has ever been around you, comedy seems to be a natural for you. When and how did you decide to move to L.A. to pursue standup?
Phil Varone: I have always loved comedy and my friends said I should be a comedian. Then again, that's like people telling their friends to try out for "American Idol" because they sing good in the shower. I have to say, it's tough. A lot tougher than I ever thought. I have so much respect for comics. I've been doing comedy for a year now and I'm a baby at it. Just imagine starting to play an instrument. After a year, how much could you really know? I'm having a blast trying to figure it all out.
Sleaze Roxx: What could someone who is not familiar with you expect when they see your show, "Sex Stand Up and Rock n' Roll"?
Phil Varone: We do a lot of cool things. For one, I have a band open the show. I also have porn stars there that hand out raffle bags of sex toys, dildos, music, porn, DVDs etc. I wanted to make a show that was different and combined all the elements of entertainment that I love the most.
Read the entire interview at www.sleazeroxx.com.