Interview with Sleazy Way Out frontman Stacey Sleaze

Date: November 1, 2019
Interviewer: Olivier


Sleaze Roxx: I understand that Sleazy Way Out are about to release a new studio album and it’s been a long time in the making. How long did it take for you to write the songs and record the album?

Stacey Sleaze: Yeah. Finally, it’s gonna be released. It’s been a long process. It’s been a nightmare [laughs]. I’m not gonna go in the details but it’s been a year and a half since we started recording. At first, it was supposed to be one producer who asked to work with us and all of a sudden, didn’t wanna do the job. So we had to start all over again from scratch. As for the writing, Cleve and I can write fast. The chemistry between him and I is so there. He comes up with a riff and I come up with the melody almost instantly. By the way, that’s what we did last jam, ’cause yeah, we are already started working on the next album. But that’s what we do. We don’t have a “writing period.” We write whenever we are inspired. When it was time to record the second [upcoming] album, we had 25 songs, and we picked 12 out of them.

Sleaze Roxx: The new record will apparently be released through Latvia’s Sliptrick Records. How did you hook up with them?

Stacey Sleaze: That’s Joey, the “new guy.” He spends so much time on the net looking at vids, reading things, talking to people. And for some reasons, he hooked up with them, and then sent me a message saying, “These guys are interested in us, so contact them.” That’s totally Joey. He starts something then, “Hey Stacey, bla bla bla. Just do it. Close the deal man.” [Laughs] So I did…

Sleaze Roxx: How many songs will the new record have and how does it compare to Sleazy Way Out’s debut album ‘Satisfy Me’?

Stacey Sleaze: There was 11 songs on the album ’til last minute. Now, theres 12. We just decided it’s been almost five years since the last album so let’s put 12 songs on it. At first, we wanted to keep a couple songs as “secret” or “bonus” [tracks] but then, after that long, “Fuck it! Let’s put 12.” This time, we produced the album, so I guess it’s more us. Personally, I like the new album better. Maybe, it’s just the experience of writing together. I dont know but I think it’s more catchy. The songs are way better than the first album.

Sleaze Roxx: Can’t wait to hear it! What will be the name of the new record and how did you guys come up with the title?

Stacey Sleaze: ‘Here Comes Trouble.’ It’s just one really good song on the album so we decided to call the album after that song, ’cause it’s a good title anyway. After that, we decided to change the name of the song to just “Trouble.” I like the songs to have short and catchy titles.

Sleaze Roxx: When can we expect the new album to be released?

Stacey Sleaze: It’s now all done and in the hands of the label. So that’s when we kind of lose control on everything. Then, there’s Christmas coming really fast, so we were wondering, “Do we release it before Christmas or after?” Really not sure about that, but it’s gonna be December or January for sure.

Sleaze Roxx: How was it like working with producer Kevin Jardine? I see his name pop up a lot as producer for Montreal based sleaze type bands. Did you end up working with him at all for the new record as well?

Stacey Sleaze: Personally, I really loved working with the guy. He knows what he’s doing and you better be ready and know your shit when you come to him. As for the last [upcoming] album, we didn’t work with him. It was a question of budget. Yeah, we have to consider it. Plus, we had somebody who offered to help the band for really cheap ’cause he wanted to be part of it, but it ended up not working with the guy. Anyway, everybody knows when it’s cheap, it’s worth what it’s worth and it can only go as far as it goes.

Sleazy Way Out‘s “Born To Booze” video (from Satisfy Me album):

Sleazy Way Out – Born To Booze

click here for more stuff from Sleazy Way Out clip for Born To Boozefootage taken from our opening set april…

Sleaze Roxx: What are your favorite songs off your upcoming new album and why?

Stacey Sleaze: Of course, “Trouble” is one of my favorites. We wrote it a long time ago and I still love doing the song live. I don’t know what else to pick from the new album. There’s so many killer songs. Let’s say I pick three, I would go with the opening song, the video we shot — yeah, we shot a video — and “Trouble” [laughs].

Sleaze Roxx: One change from the debut album is that you have a new drummer Joey Boucher. Well, he’s not that “new” considering that he joined the band more than two years ago. What has Joey brought to the band and why did he end up replacing Dan?

Stacey Sleaze: Like I’ve said before, Joey starts things up… He never finishes anything but it’s OK, and it’s not really his fault considering the language problem. His English was so so, but he’s getting better now [laughs]. But he’s really into it, ready to go all the way and he also brought a new energy to the band. We played a gig or two with his old band. Him and I also met at concerts, and I thought he was a cool guy. Then one day, he calls me up saying “Hey dude, if you hear about a band looking for a drummer, I might have time. My band is not really doing good now and I don’t know where it’s going, but I have time anyway.” I think it was a week after that, Dan called me to say he was done with the band, he had other projects and didn’t have time for Sleazy Way Out anymore. He even mentioned that Joey was looking for a band. So I called Joey, asked to meet him for a jam and a couple drinks. Since that day, he is part of the band.

Sleaze Roxx: Alright [laughs]. I feel like I got a good handle on what Joey is like. What about Cleve and Xavier? What are they like?

Stacey Sleaze: Cleve and I are partners since day one. We write everything and do pretty much everything in this band together. He’s also the one who brings us back “business” when things get out of control [laughs]. Xavier is the more “obscure” in the band. He’s a good bass player. He does all the artwork but he’ll never be up front on a picture. That’s just him.

Sleaze Roxx: It’s been more than 4.5 years since the release of your band’s debut album ‘Satisfy Me’. Why has it taken so long for the second album to come out and what have you guys been up to during those 4.5 plus years?

Stacey Sleaze: Like I’ve said before, it’s been a nightmare. Started to work with one guy, then shit happened and had to restart from scratch. Plus, it’s too bad but here comes reality. We all have day or night jobs, so we go with everyone’s schedule and the studio’s schedule. We also went through [a] line-up change, so the new guy has to be comfortable with the songs and putting his touch on the new songs. And, I remember we had a show with Faster Pussycat coming up when Joey joined the band. By the way, it’s a thing in this band. When there’s a new member, it’s just before a gig with Faster Pussycat [laughs]. But four, almost five years, I admit it. It’s been way too long. We’ll do our best to be faster for the third album.

Sleaze Roxx: So let’s go back in history a little bit. How did Sleazy Way Out come to be?

Stacey Sleaze: It all started at the famous Foufounes Électriques. I had been asking Cleve to play with me for a couple of years before, but he didn’t have time for that and had other occupations in his life. But that one night at Foufounes, it was Saxon who was playing there. We got together for a drink before the show and he asked me how it was going with my band, which wasn’t doing really good at the time. That’s when he told me that he might have time to start something new if I was still interested. Then we set up a meeting and a jam and that’s how it started.

Sleaze Roxx: Who came up with and how did you guys come up with the band name Sleazy Way Out?

Stacey Sleaze: Oh man, trust me. I really wish I had a crazy story to tell you. But there’s none [laughs]. I was at a party with some friends. I was outside on the balcony having a drink and a cig, and a friend came out so I asked him “Hey dude, what do you think of Sleazy Way Out as a band name?” He agreed that it was a cool name. It just popped in my mind like that. I was looking for a catchy band name, but something easy. It was there.

Sleaze Roxx: You probably would not know this but Sleazy Way Out’s debut album was going to make the Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2014, which was released kind of late in July 2015, until I realized that your album was actually released in early 2015 [laughs]. It’s been more than 4.5 years since the release of that album. What are your favorite tracks from the debut and are there any songs that you are not as fond of 4.5 years later?

Stacey Sleaze: Oh! No, I didn’t know that. Well, we’ll be in the 2020 Top Ten I guess [laughs]. My favorite tracks are still “Wasted Chance” and “Rock The Groove.” I have to admit I never wanted “Goin’ Wild” on the album. But we’re a band right? So I don’t always have the last word.

Sleazy Way Out‘s “Wasted Chance” song (from Satisfy Me album):

sleazy way out “wasted chance” satisfy me-2015

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Sleaze Roxx: When I listen to your songs and having seen the band live, it seems that you guys would have definitely been signed to a record deal if you would have been around back in the late ’80s / early ’90s when hard rock and heavy metal was at the forefront of the music scene. How frustrating is it to play songs now that would have sold likely millions of records 30 years ago but barely gets noticed in today’s market?

Stacey Sleaze: Well, we are signed to a label. It’s just really different today. I know back then, it would have been different. And to answer your question, yep, I am frustrated knowing I could tour the world right now but here I am just trying to do the best I can, and right now we are trying to tour Europe. I’m in touch with a booking agency and some bookers over there. Back then, I wouldn’t have to do it. It would be there. My goal is not to be millionaire, but if I had the money right now, it wouldn’t be a problem for the band to tour the world.

Sleaze Roxx: I had the chance to catch Sleazy Way Out during your Toronto tour stop last year. I thought that the double bill was a bit odd in that Shades of Sorrow would not normally be covered by Sleaze Roxx while Sleazy Way Out would be the prototype band that Sleaze Roxx would cover. How did you guys end up touring with Shades of Sorrow?

Stacey Sleaze: Shades of Sorrow are our buddies. Every time they played Montreal, they would ask us to play with them, which we did. So when we played together in 2017, in the backstage, they started asking if we wanted to do the whole tour with them in 2018. I know it’s two very different bands and different genres, but we’re still friends [laughs]. That whole tour wasn’t that great after all though. we had cancelled gigs and a lack of publicity. You know shit happens, but at least we got to meet the guy from Sleaze Roxx and have a real chat [laughs].

Sleaze Roxx: Yes, that’s true [laughs]. If it wasn’t for my Facebook feed a day prior to your Toronto show, I wouldn’t have known that Sleazy Way Out were even playing in Toronto and other nearby cities. I’ve noticed that a lot of bands simply rely on social media to advertise shows but sometimes, the turnouts can be disappointing by only relying on social media. How hard is it these days to reach your audience with hard rock / heavy metal really relegated to underground status unless you’re one of the bigger ’80s era bands or one of the newer bands like Steel Panther that have somehow broken through?

Stacey Sleaze: It’s tough, It’s a really tough gig because not only the bands, but also the clubs / venues and the promotors rely on social medias only for the most part. We don’t really see flyers or posters everywhere in town like we used to. That was the good old days. So you just make an event page and invite the people you know and hope to make the best out of it. And the other thing is, people don’t go out anymore. You know like just going out to see what band is playing at this bar or that bar. To discover something new. No. They just don’t do that. Seems like everybody’s fine in the comfort of their home and you have to get them out of the house, so you have to give them a reason not to stay home.

Sleaze Roxx: When we spoke after Sleazy Way Out’s gig in Toronto last summer, you were mentioning some of the cool trips that you took to LA. Has there been any thought about the band members moving to another city to increase the group’s opportunities?

Stacey Sleaze: Yes and no. I know moving to LA might not be the best move since the scene is not there anymore. I mean there’s still a scene in LA and I love going there. But after the first album, we know the sales were more in Europe so I think the market is there. Plus most all the bands in the genre are from all over Europe now.

Sleaze Roxx: What are Sleazy Way Out’s plans once you release your sophomore album?

Stacey Sleaze: I’m trying to book an European tour for next year. Any help is welcome by the way [laughs]. I think the scene is pretty much there now. I’m not alone in this. We have some bookers involved too, but it’s not a done deal yet. It’s a bit hard because it’s gonna be our first time there. Beside that, we’re always looking for gigs here and there, bands to play with because Sleazy Way Out is a live band. We don’t wanna just put out records like that and do nothing with it.

Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything else that you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered?

Stacey Sleaze: You can always check for everything about the band and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. There’s no reason not to find us as we’re everywhere!

Sleaze Roxx: Last question for you — what are your top three favorite albums of all-time and why?

Stacey Sleaze: Can I say fuck it [laughs]? That’s the hardest one. At least a top three by genre! You know, I go from ’70s classic rock to hard / glam rock to metal to thrash metal to some black metal. Not all of it. I’m not a real fan. Well, I guess I have to start with Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ just because it’s the album that got me into rock / metal even though it’s not a metal album. After it came everything, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Testament, etc. Then of course, there’s got to be a Crüe album since it’s my favorite band ever but which one? Really hard to choose. Maybe I could go with ‘Dr. Feelgood’. the production on it is awesome. Songs are amazing. But ‘Too Fast For Love’ is really sleazy and raw, and that’s the Crüe. And I’d probably go with Hardcore Superstar’s self-titled album from 2005 — not to confuse it with ‘HCSS’. I’ve been following Hardcore Superstar from the beginning and that’s when they really found their sound. All the songs on the album are kick ass and catchy. They have the heavy sound. Everything is just perfect.