INTERVIEW WITH PRETTY BOY FLOYD SINGER STEVE SUMMERS
Date: July 20, 2018
Interviewer: Christopher Carroll
Photos: Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography (third and fifth photos)
WITH PRETTY BOY FLOYD ABOUT TO SHOOT A SECOND VIDEO AT THEIR WHISKY A GO-GO SHOW IN WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA ON JULY 27TH IN SUPPORT OF THE BAND’S NEW ALBUM ‘PUBLIC ENEMIES‘, SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH STEVE SUMMERS TO FIND OUT MORE AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BAND.
Sleaze Roxx: Hey Steve! What’s this I hear about Pretty Boy Floyd recording a new video?
Steve Summers: Well, this is our second video off the ‘Public Enemies’ record on Frontiers Records. Of course “Feel The Heat” was our first video and single and even with no MTV, no this and no that, it still got a great response. It did head up some rock charts in the UK, in Japan. The label was happy, the fans were happy. It got something like 140,000 views on YouTube. It did pretty good and the reviews have been great!
Since then, we’ve done some cool shows. We’ve done M3, we just finished Wolf Fest and the Frontiers Rock Festival. We did a little east coast run so now it’s time to shoot the second video and release the second single. That will be “We Got The Power” which seems to be one of the favorite songs of the fans and even the critics. Actually myself too…. It’s one of favorite three or four off the record. I mean, I love it all but it’s got really cool melodies, a big chorus. It’s just a real uplifting power rocker. It’s the perfect time for it. A ‘feel good’ great anthem style song.
We’re going to be filming it at the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood on Friday, July 27th at a headline show of ours. The coolest part is — which we wanted to do a long time ago for “Set The Night On Fire” on the first record — that we are going to have our fans in the video. That’s why we wanted to do it live and we figured the perfect spot would be at the Whisky.
Pretty Boy Floyd‘s “We Got The Power” song:
Sleaze Roxx: You are right, The Whisky is perfect for something like that! Especially with the history there… Van Halen, the Doors…. Everyone’s been through that club!
Steve Summers: There will be lots of great stuff in the video, the backstage stuff, all the great people that come out, the meet & greets. We’ll have the fans backstage. We’ll have the fans coming through the door, all the crowd participation… We’re filming the whole show! We’ll get so much great stuff. It will basically be Pretty Boy Floyd at its best, our live show. We finally get to capture that at one of world’s most legendary rock clubs. A couple of us always end up at the Rainbow or the Sunset Strip so we are going to have someone filming our every move. The people of the world will pretty much get to see Pretty Boy Floyd in action! Everything from us arriving, doing sound check, putting our make up on — everything. We also had some guys shooting while we were recording the record. We had someone shooting the last couple of rehearsals and we even shot some footage at Wolf Fest last week so it will be a nice mix of stuff.
Sleaze Roxx: Wow, that’s a lot of cool stuff for one video!
Steve Summers: It is and for us, it’s an honor to do it in Hollywood, in front of our home crowd and people from all over the world fly in for the shows too so it’ll be a bit of everything, not just our home crowd. But this is going to be a chance for us to capture the best of Pretty Boy Floyd and the best of our fans, etc.
Sleaze Roxx: The album has songs on it that really run the gamut. Some seem so different from others but they are all done in that distinctive Pretty Boy Floyd style so there’s a beautiful cohesion throughout the record. My friend, Kristen, whose a big Pretty Boy Floyd fan), was discussing the album with me one day. She said the biggest shock to her is that this album is classic ’80s glam metal and that it’s being so well received! What made you decide to do the record in this style?
Steve Summers: Well, once Kris and I got back together, however many years ago that was…. I don’t remember what one of the first offers was …. Hair Nation or the Cathouse. We had put out the KISS tribute record while we were working on music and finding labels and that kind of stuff but we said that for our next one, we’re doing it. Everyone else had kind of changed. No one was really doing it. We had some stuff that we didn’t use in the past and worked up some new stuff, as well. We just wanted to make what would have been our second record. Even with this one, there was stuff that we still left off of it. We wanted that late ’80s sound and who’s one of the best at that? We felt we wanted to capture that, what we do best and it was received well. We don’t ask the critics or reviewers to love it… I know it sounds cliché but we just care if the fans love it. First of all, I care if I love it! I like to crank my record in my car. If I crank it and I love it, that’s awesome but then, when fans hear it and feel the same way, that’s incredible! And yeah, even the critics seem to love it. Overall, everyone thought it was a great follow up to ‘Leather Boys’ that had some catchy, glam rock anthems on there.
Sleaze Roxx: There were a lot of groups from that genre that released albums last year and on Sleaze Roxx, your album was voted #6 for the year, by the fans. People love it.
Steve Summers: Some bands have come out and tried to recapture their previous sound because that’s what made them famous, but they just aren’t able to cut it anymore. It was impressive that you guys were able to come out and lock into it again with a great album.
Sleaze Roxx: You guys released a cover of “Toast Of The Town” before most people ever heard the Mötley Crüe version. Now you did a cover of another Mötley song — “Run For Your Life.” These songs really fit your style. How did they come about?
Steve Summers: It was kind of accidental. I don’t want to say that we looked for obscure songs but with my voice and the kinds of songs we play, it just felt good. People don’t even know. We can do that song live and if we don’t say it was an old Mötley song, people are just like, “Cool! Is that one off the new record?” I’m like, “…. Dude, that was like an old Crüe song.” You know, lots of bands do songs by a band that influenced them. We’ve done a lot of stuff. I’ve been on a million tribute records from Guns N’ Roses to Poison, etc. It’s just one of those things… It’s a cool song. Why not?
Sleaze Roxx: The first time I listened to the new CD, I didn’t realize that was a Mötley Crüe song because it fit so well on the album!
Steve Summers: Don’t get me wrong, like in any other band, there were four or five that were tossed around and we chose that one.
Sleaze Roxx: What’s the coolest part of being Steve Summers?
Steve Summers: [In an overly calm voice] Hey listen…. Uh look…. I’m just like anybody else.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Steve Summers: No…. That we have incredible fans and we’ve been able to do this for so long and we are able to continue to do it. For only having one record on a major label, as well as some EPs and some ‘best of’s on indie labels, sure, ‘Leather Boys With Electric Toys’ is a legendary glam rock record but not having a million selling album, it really is a privilege and an honor to still be rockin! I mean, Kris and I started Pretty Boy Floyd in 1984. We did our first show in ’87… There were two, three, four years of finding guys, finding the direction and all that kind of stuff. To be doing this in 2018 after starting in 1984, that’s pretty cool. We are going strong and we’re going to go stronger! Right now, we are working on the next record. In the meantime, we are doing this video and maybe two more. We might have four singles and tour with it through 2019, at least halfway through, through the summer, and then somewhere in there, the beginning of next year, record the new album. [Laughs] That was a funny question, though. I’m just a normal dude, I appreciate the fans, and I appreciate rock and roll and all that kind of stuff.
Sleaze Roxx: Well, then what’s the worst part of being Steve Summers?
Steve Summers: Nothing! Nothing…. I’m healthy. I have a beautiful wife. I have other things that I work on in addition to Pretty Boy Floyd. My family is great. Sure, I have the every day ups and downs as anybody else but I have no complaints at all.
Sleaze Roxx: In your touring experience, who have you come across that was the biggest asshole?
Steve Summers: No one’s been an asshole to me. As you probably know, on tours, many bands even stick to themselves. Three bands, three buses. Everyone I’ve met has been great to me, maybe that’s because we are cool as well. I’ve seen other bands get out of line, or seen them like that…. But I won’t go into all of that. You asked about MY experience with them!
Sleaze Roxx: You’ve mentioned that you have met a lot of your influences. Have you ever had a ‘fan girl’ moment where you were nervous and giddy meeting them?
Steve Summers: Uhhh…. No. I’ve never been a ‘fanboy’ or ‘fangirl’, as you put it, toward someone! I mean, it’s always cool on tour when you get to meet your influences but, no.
Sleaze Roxx: I know it’s tough to put a tour together these days. Many bands don’t get a bus and hit the road. They fly in for shows over the weekend and even then, you have to book two or three shows to make it work out financially. What is your approach going to be as far as booking upcoming shows?
Steve Summers: Pretty much as you described it! We take the shows that work for us… and, of course, that can always change in the future if we got the right offer. Offers come in but we need to pick what works for us. Tours aren’t really there. There are only so many Whitesnake’s or Journey’s that are on tour. We do have a run booked overseas in September. If the opportunity to do a week or two came up, we’d do it.
Sleaze Roxx: I heard about the passing of Ben Graves. That was terrible news.
Steve Summers: Very. We are actually doing something really cool for him in August. A benefit for Ben. We should be putting those details out soon.
Sleaze Roxx: So who is your new drummer?
Steve Summers: His name is Nik! He’s actually the original drummer of Sweet FA. He is a solid, hard hitting local guy. He plays in the pocket and he fits in perfect.
Sleaze Roxx: One last thing… I noticed, you occasionally offer your customized jacket, hat, even boots, up to fans! That’s pretty cool, allowing fans to be able to access memorabilia like that.
Steve Summers: Yeah, I only have so much room in my closet, especially with all of my wife’s clothes! I just figure, if some of my influences were selling something they wore at the US Festival or something for only a couple hundred bucks, I’d jump right on that! I’d wear it or put it on the wall or something. They aren’t always cheap either…. Especially after you have them customized. It’s funny, fans even leave messaged like, “The NEXT time you are selling a jacket, please let me know first!” They’re great.
PRETTY BOY FLOYD’S NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
Oct. 26 — Persies, Illinois — Rock N Skull.
Oct. 27 — Fridley Min — Route 47 Pub
Nov. 10 — Cincinnati Ohio — The Venue
Nov. 17 — Mexico City, Mexico — The KISS Lounge
Pretty Boy Floyd‘s “Feel The Heat” video: