Acey Slade & The Dark Party Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 20:59






If the mere mention of the name Acey Slade doesn't get your fingers twitching into classic horns position then you really don't deserve to be reading this! With a crookedly colourful career behind him and with a new Acey Slade & The Dark Party album set to be released on the Über Röck approved Trash Pit records in January 2010, now seemed like the right time to catch up with Acey for yet another ass-kicking interview exclusive.......


Hi Acey, thanks for talking to Über Röck - how's the UK treating you?


No problem.  It is grey and great, ha ha.  Now that I have my coffee I'm a bit more sociable and human.


Take us right back to the beginning and tell us how this all started for you in music?


Um..well...right back to when I first did any music was in a church back home you know, 1aceylivesinging and stuff but then when I was a bit older I went to see Alice Cooper live and that kinda led me to the dark side and I've never really looked back since then really! I love the drums but was never too good at that (and I'm still not) but that's kinda where I got here from.


You've had a fair amount of success in projects with other people who are constantly as busy as yourself; what's your take on your previous bands and where you wanted to take this new record - will it be "another project" or is it a long term band?


Well, Trashlight Vision was more of a band than Murderdolls; by that I mean less horror and more dealing with life and the usual rock n roll subject matter, but I listen to a lot of different types of music so initially this was going to be a side project, but now that I have the band together who share a similar vision then this has kinda taken over as where I want to go. And possibly the success from Murderdolls, Dope and TLV has afforded me the chance of doing a solo album in a slightly different style to my previous work. Take a band like Motorhead; they have a sound all of their own and when you pick up one of their records you kinda know what you're going to get but I was thinking that every time you pick up one of my cd's you didn't know where it was going to take you, so there is kind of a goal behind it.


cd_trashlight_alibisHaving heard the tracks on Myspace I'd say The Dark Party was different to TLV and Murderdolls and Dope yet there is still an element of them in this so, whilst being a departure musically, fans won't scratch their heads. Would you agree that this record has taken a more Bauhaus and Placebo route with the electronica as well?


Hey thanks - I love Bauhaus and take that as a compliment, thanks. Yeah, there is definitely a part of that in there. Bauhaus were a very experimental band - though people say they were a goth band - but they did a great cover of 'Ziggy Stardust' (which was glam rock) as was 'Telegram Sam' by T. Rex so maybe their intention wasn't to be a goth band when they started, maybe more experimental, but people like to have a tag to hang a band on. I'd say this record has a lot of that in it but maybe it's influenced by a lot of the dark electronic stuff I like and British bands like The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy or, yeah, even Placebo and some pop stuff I like as well.


The band that plays on the record, are they the touring band?


Yeah they are. I wrote most of the album myself and some with the producer Shaun Morris and it was pretty much written together. Then when it was like three quarters done I knew I was going to have to put a band together so I got guitarist Andy first, then Percy, then drummer Chris.  Once that was done we played the album live as a band and after that I went back to the producer and told him we need these guys to contribute and have their input on it because it sounded much better that way.
Do the band come from a similar musical  background as you?


Yeah, it's sort of similar in different ways; Andy and I have a weird connection that we grew up a few miles from each other but never met and musically he really really enjoys some bands I just kinda just like. For example, he's a huge Prince fan but I like some Prince but I can't listen to him as much as Andy does. So it's cool because there is a lot of stuff there to draw from. Percy is steeped in electronica and again I like bits of it so when it comes to that style I can draw from him. So yeah, there is a core of music we all listen too but pulling from all different directions which makes the end sound unique.


Did the band have a say in the songs, in how they were recorded?


Uh, nah not really because, like I said, it was pretty much done and we didn't have time to go1aceyamp back but when it came to the mix and things like that I'd earned their trust so on that, yeah they had a say. We've almost got the second Dark Party album finished because as we'd practice for the live shows we'd end up working on new material and in those instances they were definitely more of a collaborative effort.


For the live shows you're doing now is it going to be just Dark Party stuff or will it feature all of your previous bands as well?


Yeah, we'll do stuff from the back catalogue. We'll also be doing some of the new stuff I mentioned that isn't on the Dark Party album that is written for the second album. So I figured we'd come over and just hit people with our best songs.


You say there is going to be a second album already before the first hits the shops - how much of that is done? Have you already planned that far ahead? Will it be album release, tour, more touring then straight back in to record the next one then promo, release, tour?


No, not really. I look at this band as a marathon and not a sprint. I mean that by most musicians who achieve a certain level of success when they start a new project if it doesn't take off the ground the minute it's released they retreat back to what they did before and I'm not interested in that. I love the guys I'm playing with at the minute and it's all really exciting but I'm going to have to take time and foster this project and let it grow and nurture it and I'm prepared to do that. In a perfect world I'd like to have the album finished and written by February, then recorded and ready to go out by summer next year.


That's a quick turn around!


Yup, but this is what I like to do.


Do you think having the success you've already experienced has afforded you that attitude, that you will be able to give it time and grow it?


Yes, kind of. I was saying earlier that I got very fortunate when I was in Dope as they had a DopeLifeEramulti million pound deal with Sony and those deals don't even exist anymore, they just don't. So yeah, I'm really lucky to have had that luxury and I also think that this is a really hard time for musicians. But this is what I do and I'm not going to go to school for accounting at this point you know, ha ha.

Do you enjoy being on the road?


Love it. I'm a Sagittarius and I love to travel so, fortunately, I love it. No grass grows under my feet. Honestly, I love it and I think I'm great at it. To not be touring sometimes kills me. It's where I'm most comfortable and where I'm at my best.


1aceylive2You recently had a UK tour booked to support this album but obviously it never happened?

It was funny you should say that because we were booking the tour and we told everybody on the business end of things to not release any dates because it all hinges on the release of the album. I'm lucky I have fans who are really into it and check for everything I do and so there were a few venues who put dates up.....I hate to cancel a show but from my perspective the tour was never really booked. So nothing was cancelled because it was never agreed and I was a bit disappointed with that but, hey, this happens. So yeah, what I wanted was to wait and get the album out there first then tour smart. It's kinda strange because I love touring and I'm good at it and I've done it for years now and in ways that haven't been successful and ways that have and, with the economy as poor as it is, you have to be a bit cautious and see where things are going.  I don't feel the need to have to go to far off places but the places I do visit, it's successful.


The album is coming out on Trashpit, when and where?


Yes, that's the plan. It's amazing because I have had lots of offers from people to pick it up and release it and one of the good things about being a musician these days in a way is you tend to have a bit more control over the commerce of what goes on with the band and I'm just weighing up whether or not to give away those rights or not.


You've always been very visual as an artist; do you still like to get involved with the packaging?  What are your thoughts to the current trends in music where people download stuff illegally or legally without the package and the physical side of listening to music? There's nothing tactile about downloading although it's sometime the only way to hear something....


Absolutely, you know I went to get the new Placebo album and I live in New York City and there was no place to buy the album and that made me so sad. So I downloaded it off iTunes and then I didn't get the book so I feel like I didn't get the whole story and it's missing something from the middle - it's not the same, is it?!


A lot of the indie shops in the UK are gone as well as some of the big Virgin 1aceyhornsmegastores - is it the same in NYC now?


There is just one independent store there now which is really sad that that's the way it has gone. I was really really sad the day the Virgin megastore closed in Times Square - it's all going.


It's all this internet's fault! You can go on Amazon and check something out today order it and it'll arrive by the middle of next week - that's how a lot of people are getting their music today... either that or just stealing it off torrent sites.


Yes. absolutely but it's kinda not the point. I used to love the fact that I could go and get lost in some record stores for a few hours where I wasn't thinking about my problems or the girlfriend or work when I was in there and 100% submitted to the music I'd love going from one side of the store to the next and that was like therapy to me. It kinda feels like my therapist has just got shot in the head, ha ha.


I don't think you're alone there! Is there such a thing as a release date for the album anymore?


Not as such but I believe were aiming for the second week in January.


Cool - what about tour dates off the back of the release? How soon can we see you live?


Hopefully - this is not a commitment, mind ha ha -  but maybe end of February, early March.


Going back to your previous bands. Firstly the Murderdolls; there were some pretty prolific people in that band who were all successful outside of that - do you keep in touch? Unfinished business maybe?


1murderdollsNot spoken to Wednesday and Joey in a while but Joey is a real busy guy as well. We're all very busy and it's not because there was any bad blood there, because that wasn't the case. It's just we've all gotta work ha ha.


You've mentioned previously that there was going to be a follow up album - was anything written or recorded?


No, nothing is written or recorded, but I'd love to do it. It would have to be me, Joey and Wednesday and a lot of people have suggested that maybe we should do it but without me or without Joey or Wednesday but nah, that's not what it was about.


Do you get many offers to go back to that?


Yes, Roadrunner were very happy with the album and how that worked so it's something that's always there, you know.


You toured with Amen - How did you find touring with Casey Chaos?


I only did the US dates, never toured Europe but I made some great friends out of Amen. Matt - Piggy D - I probably talk to him at least once a week so yeah, he's one of my best friends. Even Scott and Luke who plays in Beat Union; they were all good guys. Rich Jones who I replaced in the band is a great guy and they all came through that band.  I also became great friends with Nikki Sixx from when we toured with Brides Of Destruction.


I now have my tabloid journo hat on - any crazy stories you'd care to mention from the Amen tour?


Uh yeah (pause and laughter) oh God, um yeah, a lot of craziness went on on that tour, an incredible amount of deviance and, I think I'll leave it at that as I wouldn't want to get sued ha ha.


Is that it, nada, nothing? Not even one backstage story?


Oh man, I'm in a happy place right now! Like I said, it was all pretty crazy and in that context is where it should stay ha ha ha - how diplomatic.


Did you find Casey easy to work with?


I know a lot of people have gone on record as having problems with him but I personally didn't, but for sure I can see where the problems might have come from...if you know what I mean. And sometimes you could say that some of those stories are possibly true, but me personally I got on fine. To be honest, I only played with him for a month and a half even though a lot of things happened in that time. I guess it's not as long as others who probably are more qualified to tell stories.


Ok moving on, what kind of music is next for you? Are there any other projects you've got boiling in your mind? I know you're a big fan of The Clash and Manic Street Preachers and more UK punk styles - is that somewhere you'd go?


Well yeah, this second record we're working on right now as a band has an electronic bassaceylive176 sound and more rocking on the guitar - maybe more anthemic and reminds me certainly of a Clash-type quality or even the Manics, yeah.  Additionally, funny you should mention The Clash because I decided to challenge myself and there were two things I wasn't going to write about and one of them was love and the other is anything pertaining to decadence, you know? So I thought there wasn't many out there saying anything important and I want to take that on .  Anyone can write a love song or about being decadent but I'm going to challenge myself and it's hard but it's something I feel I want to do.


Tonight, after the show, you are DJ - what can people expect in your set? A bit of Jive Bunny or Hannah Montana? Are you aware of Alan Partridge? He always included Bachman Turner Overdrive in his DJ set - he swore by it.


Well, I'll get a feel for the room and possibly leave out the Abba and Beyonce but I might play Elton and Kiki Dee. I gotta set the vibe and whatever the kids want to hear, if it is Jive Bunny, then so be it. \m/


Going back to the album, are there any singles planned?


We kinda released 'Brings Down The Moon' but we talked about it yesterday and there are a few songs on there that would lend themselves to that form, maybe 'Reptile House' or 'Sugarcum.'


A few bands release their album with a DVD or bonus disc with some making of or alternate mix - is this something you have thought of?


Yeah, but it's a bit late now to do it with a DVD...but it was considered.


Finally, on the album there is a cover of 'She Sells Sanctuary'; why that song?


Well, as a guitar player I love that lick and I always thought I'd love to record that and then I AceySladeGoogle searched it to see if anyone had done a version but I couldn't find anyone who'd done it or at least done it well. It's a great song, besides I like putting a cover song on an album. With '....Sanctuary' I thought I'd be the man to do it justice. Also recording this album there was a vibe of that era so it fitted in nicely with that. But ultimately it is such a great song and it inspired me.


Any other songs considered that would fit in? If there were, might I suggest for a b-side you do 'Open Your Eyes' by Lords Of The New Church or 'Wasteland' by The Mission UK?!?


Yeah, yeah absolutely great songs. Yeah, well there was a Lords song I thought of but I can't remember now, huh so interesting but yeah, I can totally see those fitting in. Hey, you never know what's next, maybe some covers as b-sides.


All that was left was to thank Acey for his time and wish him all the best for when the album is released and a tour off the back of that release when we can go catch him live. He came across as a guy who was very passionate about his craft and took it seriously. I wish him all the very best and hope he succeeds with the Dark Party.