INTERVIEW WITH MADHOUSE BAND MEMBERS FREDDIE HEART, MIKKY STIXX, TOMMY LOVELACE AND RICKEY DEE
Date: December 31, 2019
IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH AUSTRIAN SLEAZE ROCKERS MADHOUSE, YOU KNOW THAT THEY RELEASED ONE SCORCHER OF AN ALBUM IN ‘MONEY TALKS BULLSHIT WALKS’ WHICH LANDED THE #3 SPOT ON THE SLEAZE ROXX’S TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2019. IF YOU’RE NOT FAMILIAR WITH MADHOUSE, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ONE OF THE HOTTEST NEW “SLEAZE ROCK” BANDS. SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH FOUR OF THE FIVE BAND MEMBERS — GUITARISTS FREDDIE HEART AND MIKKY STIXX, LEAD VOCALIST TOMMY LOVELACE AND BASSIST RICKEY DEE — JUST BEFORE THE START OF THIS NEW DECADE.
Sleaze Roxx: So I got to say that I have been blown away with your album ‘Money Talks Bullshit Walks’ and what a great album title by the way. How did you guys come up with the record title?
Freddie Heart: Well, I wrote the lyrics for the song and very often I have the song title first and then create the story around it. Money talks, bullshit walks ….it just resonates. It became the title track and album title because it is a strong catchy song, Mikky came up with the badass guitar riff and the lyrics matched perfectly.
Sleaze Roxx: How did the band form in the first place and what, if any, were some of your past groups?
Freddie Heart: We had a very unconventional band inception. There was an ’80s tribute show in 2017 with 18 or more musicians. It was a blast, and after the show, it was clear that some of us wanted to keep rocking together. We wrote our first song “Hard ’n’ Heavy” and the project morphed more and more into a band. It took a few months to figure out who wanted to be in the band, or not. Some left and some joined, but now we have the perfect mix. Past groups? That is a story for another time.
Madhouse‘s “Hard ‘n’ Heavy” video:
MADHOUSE – Hard´n´Heavy Lonewoolf – Vocals Mikky Stixx – Guitars, Vocals Freddie Heart – Guitars Rudy Roxx – Guitars Ben “The Butcher” Walker – Bass, Vocals Snake Michaels – Drums Freebird – Backvocals Music written by Mikky Stixx Lyrics written by Freddie Heart Produced, mixed and mastered by Mikky Stixx at Metalforgestudio Follow MADHOUSE on…
Sleaze Roxx: Alright. One peculiar thing about Madhouse is that you had two lead singers for the album in Tommy Lovelace and Lonewoolf. However, your website and Facebook page only lists Tommy as the lead vocalist. So what’s going on with Lonewoolf? Is he still in the band or has he gone off to be a lone wolf [laughs]?
Freddie Heart: Well, like I just said, our first album was a mish mash of musicians. Lonewoolf was one of them who decided to go his own way and he is howling at the moon by himself now. We wish him all the best, but then again, this motherfucker is dead to us. Nah, he is cool and a little beef is good for publicity. But we are so glad that Tommy is our frontman now. He is just a helluva singer and showman.
Sleaze Roxx: What made you decide to have two singers in the band and how did it work in terms of splitting the vocals?
Freddie Heart: We didn’t have a master plan in the beginning and we were experimenting a lot, in all respects. Ultimately, we know what sound we’re after and go for what works best with each song.
Sleaze Roxx: How did you guys come up with the band name Madhouse? But let me guess first. Did it have to do with Anthrax’s killer song “Madhouse”?
Freddie Heart: It didn’t have anything to do with Anthrax, but damn, that would have been so much easier! Picking a band name was a pain in the neck. But Madhouse seemed appropriate after a few former band members threw some insane tantrums. What we didn’t take into consideration was the fact that there a five gazillion bands out there with the same name. But then we thought, “Fuck it, we’re the best one.”
Sleaze Roxx: A lot of band members don’t use their real names these days and Madhouse are no exception. How did each of you come up with your band names?
Rickey Dee: I think that’s part of it. Many bands have done this forever. In my case, it’s really nothing special. At some point, I just got fed-up ’cause most non-German speaking people just can’t say my name correctly, so I chose something idiot proof.
Mikky Stixx: For Austrians, the meaning of the name is “nasty motherfucker who loves the smell of ladybugs.” Any questions?
[Band disclaimer: We love Mikky, but something is clearly not right there.]
Tommy Lovelace: Lovelace is the name of one of my favorite characters and is sensual and kinky at the same time… exactly how I am.
[Band disclaimer: WTF?]
Freddie Heart: Just look at me. I am the pretty boy and a heartbreaker! In terms of [drummer] Ken’s [Shuri] name, we can’t reach him. He is missing in action again. But we can assure you that the answer includes him hating something. He hates everything.
Sleaze Roxx: What was the idea behind the album cover?
Freddie Heart: It’s super deep, just like us. If you don’t get it, we can’t explain it. Seriously, we can’t explain it.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Mikky seems to have had a huge hand in ‘Money Talks Bullshit Walks’ as he produced, mixed and mastered the album plus wrote most of the music to the songs and seemingly half of the lyrics. What’s Mikky’s role in the band? Is he the band leader or are you just working him to death [laughs]?
Freddie Heart: That’s debatable. He could just be a selfish, credit hoarder.
Mikky Stixx: I’m no bandleader… Wait, hey Freddie! On your knees and lick my shoes! Sorry, I’m a fucking dictator [laughs]! Kidding, it’s work. Sometimes hard work but mostly fun! So if that kills me, it’s exactly the way I wanna die!
[Band disclaimer: We love Mikky, but something is clearly not right there.]
Sleaze Roxx: What are your favourite songs off ‘Money Talks Bullshit Walks’ and why?
Freddie Heart: “Boom Boob Shaker,” “Money Talks…”, “First Time Lover” and “Tears Like Rain” are definitely the songs with the best feedback, but we love all the songs. Actually, we each have a different favorite for different reasons. I think we wrote and recorded 16 songs and only the 12 strongest tracks made the cut on the album.
Sleaze Roxx: I have only seen very positive reviews for your album. Are you surprised by how well it seems to resonate with people?
Freddie Heart: You never know how an album will be received and you can only hope for the best. We had a good gut feeling about it. The songs weren’t ever forced, and that’s always a good thing. But we are surprised that it’s found its way to awesome fans from all over the world now, and I think we are only scratching the surface.
Sleaze Roxx: Are you pissed that if you had released your album back in the ’80s, you might have sold a million or more copies?
Freddie Heart: We weren’t really thinking about that, but now that you rubbed it in our faces…. We are fuckin’ pissed!
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Oops. Sorry about that. You recently announced that you have two videos in the works. Can you let us in on at least one of the tracks that will be the feature of a video?
Freddie Heart: Keep in mind that we are pathological liars, but that statement is true. “Push Push Rip And Tear” is one of the songs. The video features scenes from our album release show in Vienna.
Sleaze Roxx: Cool! That’s a great song! By the way, I can’t recall ever seeing a quality group such as Madhouse originate from Austria. What’s the rock scene like in Austria?
Freddie Heart: Austria is a lovely place to be, unless you play rock music. You’re basically up shit creek. When you turn on the radio and still hear Billy Ocean on heavy rotation, you know you don’t stand a chance to make it in Austria as a rock musician. Nevertheless, we do have a tight and legit rock / metal scene and we all do it for the love of music. The internet helps to get exposure. In the ’80s and ’90s, bands were bound by geography. Now you can get your stuff out there and hopefully find your audience. We are a great example.
Sleaze Roxx: What are the band’s plans for the future including when will we get the follow up to ‘Money Talks Bullshit Walks’?
Freddie Heart: We are already in the process of recording new songs. At the moment, creativity is flowing, we’re having fun, and churning out a lot of new music. We plan to release another album in 2020. Another top priority is to find a good booking agent and get out there and play live.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
Freddie Heart: It is important to us to include our fans. They will make or break us and they deserve our love.
Sleaze Roxx: Last question for each of you. What are your top three favorite albums of all-time and why?
Freddie Heart: Judas Priest’s ‘British Steel’, AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’ and Whitesnake’s ‘1987.’ No explanation needed.
Rickey Dee: Guns ‘N Roses’ ‘Appetite For Destruction‘ — I don’t think I need to say a lot why this is in my Top 3. I grew up with it. It made me pick up the guitar and make music. This is the record that started it all for me. Skid Row’s ‘Slave To The Grind‘ — Man, let’s be honest, it’s one of the greatest albums that an ’80s band threw out in the ’90s. The musical composition, the sound, the voice… everything is there. It’s just perfect. Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria‘ — I think I’m one of those guys who like their “poppy” sound more than the early records. This is Def Leppard to me, and the last time we could hear Steve [Clark] on guitar.
Tommy Lovelace: Number one, David Bowie’s ‘The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.’ For me, that is the definition of ’70s glam rock. Those melodies, the concept, production combined with Bowie’s androgyny was a huge inspiration for me in my teenage years. Number two, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’ This album contains all what I love in music and entertainment. An outstanding visual concept, the combination of soundtrack — one of the best music film of all times — and studio album, the perfect symbiosis of funk, rock and some punk attitude was electrifying. Number three, Queen’s ‘A Night At The Opera.’ This masterpiece of album from cover art to the very last note, reminds me why I became a singer. This is what singing is all about. I’d never heard a voice like Freddie Mercury’s before, which touched me so deeply. From that moment on, the way I listened to music was never the same.
Mikky Stixx: That’s a hard one… too hard.
Freddie Heart: [Drummer] Ken [Shuri] is still missing in action but we assume his top three include Wham!, Rick Astley and anything by Boy George. He may hate us for that!
Madhouse‘s “Boom Boob Shaker” single:
taken from the Album “Money talks Bullshit walks” Music written by Mikky Stixx Lyrics written by Freddy Heart, Mikky Stixx, Ben Walker Produced, mixed and mastered by Mikky Stixx at Metal Forge Studio, Vienna https://www.facebook.com/madhousekickass/ https://www.instagram.com/mikkystixx_madhouse https://www.facebook.com/metalforgestudio/ Graphics by Andreas Graf https://www.facebook.com/grafandreascom/ Album Pre-Order Start: September 6, 2019 Album Release: September 27, 2019 (C) +(P) Mars Music Productions, 2019 MMP027/EAN:9008798303847 http://www.marsmusic.at Distributed by Rebeat Digital ► iTunes https://music.apple.com/…/money-talks-bullshit-w…/1476297250 ► Amazon https://www.amazon.de/Money-Talks-Bullshit-Walks-Explicit/…/ ► Google Play https://play.google.com/…/Madhouse_Money_Talks_Bullshit_Wal…