KENNY MCGEE INTERVIEW:
May 2, 2004
Kenny McGee is the vocalist for one of rocks great but forgotten bands, Julliet. Recording as a solo artist and becoming a professional wrestler, Kenny has reformed Julliet and is about to release their comeback album Psycho Boyfriend.
SR: A new Julliet album entitled Psycho Boyfriend is about to be released. Has the entire original band reunited, and will the sound be similar to the excellent debut?
KM: Yes it has, the band consists of originals members, Ty Westerhoff, Jimmi Delisi, and myself. It is very exciting to be working with my brothers again!
SR: What are the plans for promoting Psycho Boyfriend? Any chance Julliet could grab a slot on one of the hard rock tours that seem to go cross-country every summer?
KM: We plan on getting it out there. Ryan at Metal Mayhem Records has been great to us. He has always done a great job promoting my past releases and we’re gonna do all we can do. We hope to grab any slots that get this music out there. And back to your first question, the sound is different but it is Julliet so it is unique.
SR: How did Julliet hook up with Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali in the late 80s, and what were they like to work with?
KM: Kevin and I met at an after hours club both of us winding down from shows. We clicked, and the next thing I knew he was producing our first record which was not released until last year. That is the “Passion” album, also on Metal Mayhem. It was Kevin’s idea to bring in Franki and what a great idea it was. Franki was super in every aspect of the word. I am very thankful for everything that Kevin did for my career. He is an intense individual, sometimes misunderstood, but a very big talent and I think he has proven that.
SR: What led to the decision to relocate from Florida to L.A.?
KM: It was the place to be.
SR: Do you think we will ever see a metal scene like that of L.A. in the late80s/early 90s again, and what are some of your best memories of being involved in that scene?
KM: I don’t think we will ever see times like that again. I mean come on, The Sunset Strip, Hollywood California, the Roxy and the Whiskey. How could it get any better than that? I think my fondest memory was our first show at the Palace right after the self-titled album “S-T” was released, that was a special night.
SR: Was the band upset that when your label wanted to scrap the original recordings in favor of new material?
KM: Well, we were just excited about recording in general so we were up for anything.
SR: Who were some of the bands Julliet toured with, and any good/bad stories about those bands?
KM: Cheap Trick, Y&T, Foreigner, Great White, ALL GOOD!
SR: Why did Julliet break up?
KM: Well I don’t really look at it as breaking up, grunge hit us hard and I pursued a solo career so we just took some time off.
SR: After Julliet you hooked up with Heartless/Dying Breed, how did that come together and what led to the break-up?
KM: I came back to Florida thru a management company and they handled putting the band together and they also had an independent label. It was a very good situation, great musicians really good times. Break up? Time for a change.
SR: Kenny McGee & Lefty was another hard rocking release, what was the history behind that band and album?
KM: That album was actually stuff I recorded with the Heartless boys. It was never released Worldwide and since the band did no longer exist management decided to release under my name. It’s all good!
SR: In 2002 you released a solo album. Did you find more freedom when being the one making all the decisions, as opposed to a band setting?
KM: I love doing solo stuff but I also love working with Jimmi and Ty. I think that is where heart is. Freedom? I have always had freedom when it comes to my music.
SR: When did you become a professional wrestler and have you ever thought of giving up music to pursue it full time?
KM: I attended the Florida Professional Wrestling Academy for two years. My partner and I were called, “The Trouble Tribe”. We actually became tag team champions of BTW (Big Time Wrestling). I would never give up music, but it was something I wanted to do it was a challenge and I met some very special people.
SR: Who would win in a cage match between you and Kane Roberts in his weightlifting days?
KM: Well to be honest when I first saw Kane in videos he did look massive, but I do remember walking into the Rainbow directly behind him, isn’t he about 5 ft tall???????? Hate to say Kane, you wouldn’t stand a chance……..
SR: During the L.A. days, was there a band that you thought was incredible but who just seemed to disappear?
KM: Yes there is, I always thought that the band Taz was incredible. I loved to watch them. They had a great frontman, I wish I could remember his name? I just couldn’t ever understand why nothing ever happened for them?
SR: What were your musical influences growing up?
KM: I grew up in a Pentecostal Holy Roller church. The music was rockin! That is where it all began. Of course I love my Zeppelin, AC/DC, Jackal, Elvis, Bocephus.
SR: Your music has always reminded me of good time rock’n’roll similar to bands like Kix. Do you see this type of music becoming a commercial force again in the future?
KM: I love to rock and I loved Kix. I think I see that music moving now with bands like Jet, The Vines, The Strokes, Von Bondies. Yes, I could see it becoming a commercial force again.
SR: What can we expect from Kenny McGee in the next few years?
Thanks to Kenny McGee