|Eric Dover - Sextus|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:00|
My introduction to Eric Dover was in a rest room at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, UK. Jellyfish were, somehow, playing a corporate event for the (now defunct) British music chain Our Price. ÜBER RÖCK's very own Johnny H was trying his best to sing for the support band, The Wild Family, and I had tagged along. The events of that great day will, no doubt, show up in a future installment of our Retro Rock section...until then, I'll just let you know that we ended up handing out complimentary copies of 'Spilt Milk' - mysteriously, everyone that we knew with a stereo seemed to have a copy in the coming weeks.....
With the end of Jellyfish still stinging our green Crayola eyes, Eric Dover teamed up with one of the biggest rock stars on the planet to front Slash's Snakepit and would later become, arguably, the most entertaining guitarist to share the stage with Alice Cooper in many a year. Eric, now fronting Sextus, was good enough to agree to answer a multitude of trashy questions from ÜBER RÖCK Central.......
What bands influenced you into first picking up a guitar?
Elton John (Even though he's a pianist),The Beatles, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Nazareth, Alice Cooper & AC/DC
What can you tell us about your first real band The Extras? They kinda passed us by, here in the UK.....
Well, The Extras was never my band. Someone has misinformed you, I'm afraid! I only played with them for two weeks, I think! Love Bang was my first try at being in a real original band. This was about 1991-92. We were signed to a small production deal with Ardent Productions in Memphis by Jody Stephens, the drummer in Big Star. A BIT OF TRIVIA: Led Zeppelin's 'Hats Off To Roy Harper' was recorded at Ardent. He was a very supportive ally of our music and tried to get us a record deal but to no avail. The Love Bang stuff has been finally released on Not Lame records under the moniker 'The Rule of 72's'. Look for it!
What were the circumstances behind you joining Jellyfish?
Tim Smith used to play in a band called The Producers from Atlanta, Georgia. Love Bang
had opened a few shows for them about the time that Jellyfish were looking for a bassist and guitarist. I got wind of the audition through Tim and decided to go for it. I sent them two original compositions - one was a Beach Boys type thing called 'Video Girl' and the other a kind of Elvis Costello type ditty entitled 'King Of Fools'. Oh, and I covered the Badfinger song as well - 'No Matter What'. I didn't know enough about Jellyfish at the time to know that they actually used to cover it! Roger called me a few days later and asked me to come to L.A. for an audition. That's about it!
Me and Johnny here at ÜBER RÖCK were massive Jellyfish fans - how was your time in the band?
It was my first real "trial by fire" as I had never played with such blindingly talented people like that before so I was usually very nervous right before a show.
Disappearing after just two (great!) albums, Jellyfish have left behind a supercool legacy that you must be proud at being a part of?
Just how did you and Roger Manning Jr bag cameo roles in The Brady Bunch Movie?
A mutual friend of ours was in the movie already and he called us and said "Show up at Taft high @ 6am - they need music types." Of course, there was no way Roger and I could pass this up being huge Brady fanatics growing up. So we wound up being the backup band for Davey Jones from The Monkees during the prom scene. They even gave yours truly a few close ups as well!
You turned a few 'meat and potato' rocker heads when you joined Slash's Snakepit - just how did your recruitment into the band happen?
Funny these two questions are in sequence for it's the same friend that helped Roger and I get in the Brady Bunch movie - Marc Danziesen. A remarkable musician in his own right. Roger and I were playing - with Marc - the demos and songs for what was to become Imperial Drag. Marc knew Adam, Slash's tech. Roger suggested I go for it, even though we were in the early stages of shopping the idea to labels. I got in touch with Adam, we went over to Slash's studio and that was it basically.
You entered the studio to record that Snakepit album with some heavyweights of the rock world at the time.....
Yes, great lineup, great rock-n-roll production. All cake.
How was touring with Slash's Snakepit? How did the die-hard GNR fans in the audience react to you?
I think they reacted generally well to it. Both Slash and I made it clear publicly that it was for fun and that he was going to make a G'N'R record after Snakepit, and I had signed with Sony for the Imperial Drag record right after we started our summer festival tour in Europe.
Just how did that original touring line-up kinda dissolve post-tour?
Well, the juggernaut that is G'N'R was set to go. Geffen was insisting they start back up.
I had my head in Imperial Drag-land with Roger so I really didn't keep up with the Guns camp until I found out Slash and Axl had split.
Talking of you and Roger Manning Jr teaming up again for Imperial Drag - was this a return to your retro roots after your Snakepit experience?
It wasn't an intentional "Hey, let's be retro" mindset. We just happened to be into tones of those eras and went with them. Imperial Drag was it's own mischievous experiment. I was going all Robert Smith and using alternate tunings; Roger went B3 and Moog.
Imperial Drag made one great album and then disappeared almost as quickly as Jellyfish - why?!
Sometimes bands only make one record. The timing was right but only for a snapshot in time.
Hooking up with Alice Cooper must have been something of a dream come true?
I am still very much a fan of the Coop. I learned a lot from him and yes, a dream come true indeed!
I saw every tour that you did here with Alice Cooper and you certainly were incredibly entertaining to watch - just how were those years touring with the Coop?
Those years were a joy. The incessant touring schedule though led me to exhaustion and a divorce!
You co-wrote all but one of the songs on 'The Eyes Of Alice Cooper', Alice's re-entry into garage rock territory - it must be cool to be a part of that great recording legacy?
I am very moved to have been a part of it. I grew up on his music so it felt natural.
Tell us about Sextus and your first album...
Sextus is something I envisioned starting in 1999. It stars me as Sextus, an alter ego that lifts skirts and flirts a lot. He is enamored with breasts and the pursuit of mirth. He is foolish in love and perverse to some degree. I considered the name absurd and overwhelmingly compelling at the same time. The music has elements of some of my favorite idioms; darkwave electro, Minneapolis sound, and classic rock.
How did you feel about recording a song with Sextus for the Jellyfish tribute album?
Very happy to be asked actually. I was over the moon when Roger said he enjoyed the Sextus version as well!
Sextus bandmate Todd Kerns was one of the names in the frame to originally front Velvet Revolver......
Well If he does, he needs to call me. Sextus is playing a show in August and I need him there!
Finally, the ÜBER RÖCK 'N' RÖLL Test!!! A series of ten either/or questions to prove just how cool you are!!
Izzy Stradlin or Gilby Clarke?
Gilby Clarke, though mucho points to Izzy Stradlin for hooking up with hot Swedish models.
Bellybutton or Spilt Milk?
Spilt Milk in a bellybutton.
Noose or Guillotine?
Guillotine. Let me eat cake first.
Eric Singer or Peter Criss?
Eric Singer, who has officially been in Kiss longer than Peter.
Prince Of Darkness or Monster Dog?
Monster Dog because I'm a huge fan of 80's video clichés and this has ALL of them.
Supertramp or Supersuckers?
Supertramp. No comparison.
Kane Roberts or Jon Mikl Thor?
Munsters or Addams Family?
Munsters! It's superior in every way to The Addams Family.
New Wave or New Wave Of British Heavy Metal?
Can haz both please k? thnx.
Ziggy Stardust or Alvin Stardust?
I'm feeling Alvin here.
Eric Dover scores 666% on the test and is forever a friend of ÜBER RÖCK!!!! Check out Eric's hellish gig experience in the Hell's Gigs section.