Glam-Metal.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with former W.A.S.P. and current ANIMAL guitarist Randy Piper. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Glam-Metal.com: What was it like touring with Chris Holmes?
Randy Piper: "With Chris Holmes? Just like fucking old times man! Getting back together with Chris was like it never changed, you know? Same old shit, we just didn’t get in as much trouble, and we didn’t have Blackie, you know, sucking all the air out of the room. (Laughs)"
Glam-Metal.com: Why did Chris Holmes leave ANIMAL, and do you still work or talk with him at all?
Randy Piper: "It was a blast working with him again, playing some live shows and stuff. We had a lot of good times."
Glam-Metal.com: How would you compare ANIMAL to W.A.S.P. musically?
Randy Piper: "I don't know, you know, there are some similarities, maybe because some of the guitar sounds, and that's just because it's me. It's like saying why does VELVET REVOLVER sound a little like GUNS N' ROSES, you know? It's because it's Slash, he's got a signature sound man. So, hopefully that's what I bring to ANIMAL. On the other hand, Chris Laney is kinda in touch with a lot of, you know, younger type styles, and they're definitely big on production in Sweden, and so he's like bringing all that in to it. I think the production on this record is gonna be really really good."
Glam-Metal.com: What was it like working and touring with Blackie Lawless, and do you still talk with him at all?
Randy Piper: "Well, Blackie was more of a business man than part of the band really. He always had basically an ulterior motive, and we weren't really aware of it. I mean, we're out there on the road man. It's kinda hard to handle the business end of things when you're out on the road playing every night. Dude, we were on the road for three years! We did two world tours, we did two U.S. tours with KISS, two U.S. tours with IRON MAIDEN...um, as far as talking with him, yes. I don't talk with him very often. I've talked with him a couple of times over the years...I mean he's doing his thing, I'm doing mine, you know?"
Glam-Metal.com: How much of the writing were you involved in with the first two W.A.S.P. records?
Randy Piper: "Of course, I wrote all my guitar parts, but other than that, Blackie wouldn't let anybody write any lyrics. I think he wanted all of the songwriting credits. And then! (Laughs) And then, he wanted all of the producer credits, and then he wanted all of the engineering credits, and then, he wanted to play all the instruments. (Laughs)"
Glam-Metal.com: Seriously, with all due respect to Blackie, and not to slag on him or anything, rumor has it that he could be a bit difficult to work with at times. Is that true?
Randy Piper: "He really wasn't in the early days when we were really good friends. I mean, we were buds then, and he was cool. I don't know, the first year we went on tour with KISS, he wanted to be Gene Simmons, and the second year he wanted to be Paul Stanley. (Laughs) I think he was having an identity crisis, I'm not sure. (Laughs) He started doing Paul's little dance out there and stuff, and wearing the gym socks and the moccasins, I didn't get it, I don't know. (Laughs)"
Glam-Metal.com: May I ask why you left W.A.S.P.?
Randy Piper: "Well, I think I knew it was time to leave when Blackie said, 'I've got an idea for the third album!' And I said, 'Cool!' So he goes, 'It's me on the front like this, and it's me on the back like this, and when you open it up, it's me in the middle like this!' (Laughs) It's the truth though, and I remember exactly when he told me that, and I was like, 'Fuck man, are there going to be any fucking pictures of me in there?' (Laughs) 'Are there going to be little pictures of us on the in-sleeve or something?' 'What happened to us?'"
Glam-Metal.com: Have you ever been asked to rejoin W.A.S.P., and would you ever consider it?
Randy Piper: "Ah, no, I've never been asked. I thought maybe at one time there might be a reunion tour or something. I mentioned to someone once that it would be cool to have Budweiser sponsor us, and tour in Budweiser trucks! (Laughs) Ah, it didn't happen! (Laughs) But, you know what, I don't really wanna get out there and sing those songs anymore, 'I Wanna Be Somebody' or 'School Days'. I don't wanna go backwards. I mean, I'm into a lot of different kinds of music and stuff. Even after ANIMAL runs its course, or whatever, I'm really into the blues. I figure I could be sixty years old, sitting on a stool on a stage signing the fucking blues man. The blues are just timeless. All of my Texas roots and stuff come from blues."
Glam-Metal.com: After W.A.S.P. you played with ALICE COOPER for a while, how long were you with Alice, and how was he to work with?
Randy Piper: "Alice was great man! I didn't play with him that long, it was right after W.A.S.P., and he had already recorded the 'Constrictor' album, and he was just putting a band together to tour. I think the first show was like in Detroit on Halloween night man. I really wanted to do that with Alice. I only played with him a month or two rehearsing and stuff."
Read Randy Piper's entire interview with Glam-Metal.com at this location.