Pretty Boy Floyd frontman Steve Summers Interview

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

Date: May 14, 2018
Interviewer: Olivier


Sleaze Roxx: Your former [Pretty Boy Floyd] bandmate [drummer] Ben Graves recently passed away from cancer from what I understand. Did you know about that and what’s your general reaction to Ben’s passing?

Steve Summers: My general reaction of course is [being] sad because he was a great guy. He was a cool friend. He was an incredible drummer that of course the world will now miss. Me personally, I want to say Ben was very private about the situation.

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

That’s the best that I can really say. I don’t really want to discuss it. I know people know the first initial occurrence did happen while we were playing a show in Colorado [USA]. Thatbwas a year ago or so. That was a terrible — one of the most traumatic situations that I have ever seen — that situation that occurred. But mostly after that, he gave us his word — “Go on. Find somebody else while I get better.” From there, he was very private about it. We kept in contact with him and his fiancé and stuff like that. I guess that I just want to leave it that he was very private about the situation. We didn’t know every step. We just really prayed that he would get better. We didn’t know. We didn’t know anything at first. I am sure that people — someone can pass out at a show from exhaustion or someone can pass out for this or that or whatever. [From] the lifestyle of being on the road — flying, driving, the no sleep and this and that. It’s a sad situation. I know that everybody in the world has sad situations whether it’s a family member or a close friend or what you read every single day but to have someone in your band and for it to occur on your time and stuff like that, it’s just a tragic situation. He will be missed. Everybody knows that he played in a lot of other bands. I don’t need to name the list of stuff but it’s a sad situation. We hope to pay tribute to him in most ways that we can. The number one honour that we give him is that [laughs] we would always tell people after him or even when we got him is that “C’mon man, you got to play like Ben.”

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Fair enough.

Steve Summers: We’re not going to find another. He’s incredible. He was a cool guy. He had a great sense of humour. We all joked about the same — you know — movies and all the stuff on the road. All that kind of stuff. Yes, it’s a tragic shock. We will pay as much tribute to him as we can. He was a great guy.

Sleaze Roxx: Would you have like a “best story” that you could think of regarding Ben?

Steve Summers: [Laughs] Best story? Lots of funny stories with Ben. You would have to know him personally. He was a very interesting guy. His nickname was “Ghoul” — “Ben Ghoul.” Just a tall, funny, kind of sarcastic, dark but funny — lots of stories. Jesus Christ, if you’re in Pretty Boy Floyd for more than three shows, you’re going to have stories of stuff. People ask me that all the time  about even back in the day or ten years ago or when I played with different line-ups. [There are] too many. They occur all the time. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. The stories are all the same man. It’s the same for us, for Guns N’ Roses, for Mötley Crüe. The joke that I always make is that we don’t have the millions of dollars that they do.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Steve Summers: All the same shit occurs. Every single thing from the flying to the driving to the hotels to the backstage to the buses… To the this, to the that. All the personalities, all the joys and the triumphs, and the ups and the downs, we shared a lot of very cool times with him.

Sleaze Roxx: Did Ben end up playing on Pretty Boy Floyd’s new album ‘Public Enemies’ because I understand that he ended up suffering from cancer for nine months or so?

Steve Summers: No. He didn’t play on the record. That, I can’t really say who played on it. You’d have to dig up the credits somewhere. But no, he did not play on it. He did the artwork.

Sleaze Roxx: It’s a pretty cool cover!

Steve Summers: Yeah. Well, he did actually all the artworks.

Sleaze Roxx: I understand that Jimmy Mess is now the [Pretty Boy Floyd] drummer?

Steve Summers: Who?

Sleaze Roxx: I have Jimmy Mess listed as your drummer. Maybe I’m wrong?

Steve Summers: Ohhhh. We have to update that. Jimmy took over after Ben. He played with us… I forget how many shows. He’s in the video [for “Feel The Heat”] and stuff like that. But we made a change. Jimmy’s a great guy and cool drummer. Great guy to be around but we needed to with all the things that we got going on, with the new label [Frontiers Music Srl], the new record, the new video, all the stuff that we have coming up, we needed someone… One, we needed someone local. So that I can say is the main thing. So we have a new guy who played with us all of last week, a week of shows. It’s the original drummer of Sweet FA. His name is Nick. He’s got a couple of nicknames but you can just put down Nick. He used to go by a name or two back in the Sweet FA days and I don’t want to get the name wrong! “Tricky Nick Jam” something something something… As far as I know, it’s Nick. He’s the original drummer of Sweet FA. Really cool guy. Really hard hitter. Live close by to us so we can do our rehearsals or do whatever we need to do. If the label calls us and tells us, “Remember we said we wanted that second video in July? Well, we need it at the end of May.” So we can actually just work better as a business. It was a business move that we just had to… We all had to be here. We used a couple of guys here and there that were not in town. It doesn’t always working out correctly.

Sleaze Roxx: ‘Public Enemies’ is really a true return to form for Pretty Boy Floyd. You described it as the follow up to ‘Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz.’ Are you happy with the overall reaction to the album? 

Steve Summers: Oh yeah! I would say that I couldn’t be happier. I mean, I don’t sit here and look at all the reviews and all that kind of stuff but it has been getting great reviews. Let’s see, it’s selling really well. If the proper charts were going and stuff like that, and everything was followed correctly or so, we’d be on the Billboard charts right now. I can’t tell you the numbers but it’s selling very well. From our label, we saw the numbers of the first few months or so. “Feel The Heat”  – you know, the first video and single — it’s been on some very cool charts over in Japan, in the UK, and stuff like that. Some metal / rock stations or so… Same as bands like Five Finger Death Punch. Real modern heavy bands. Stuff like that. So it’s been accepted really well. It’s just a really cool , a really great glam rock record. [It’s] something that I can listen to all the time. It’s good time, fun rock n’ roll, back to when Poison was doing “Nothin’ But A Good Time” and Mötley [Crüe] was doing “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

Pretty Boy Floyd‘s “Feel the Heat” video:

Pretty Boy Floyd – “Feel The Heat” (Official Music Video)

Subscribe: Buy/Stream PUBLIC ENEMIES: the “Newest From Frontiers” playlist on Spotify to…

Sleaze Roxx: Obviously it took a long time for you guys to let’s say release that follow up to the debut. Do you feel that time is lost or do you have any regrets in that regard?

Steve Summers: Nah! No. no, no. No regrets at all. Pretty Boy Floyd has been around for so long. Sure, there have been a few line-up changes here and there. There’s been some stuff, this and that. it was mostly me and [guitarist] Kris [Majors] coming eye to eye and you know, putting some of our differences and stuff aside and saying, “Let’s get the fans and do what we do best, which is killer glam rock. Big guitar. Big anthems. Big choruses. Fun stuff and all that which not a lot of bands, or very few bands, or maybe just you know, I am sure that we can name some overseas. Some of the UK bands or so, the younger bands or so that have been putting out stuff the past few years. A lot of those bands — which is great because it makes glam rock cool — but you know, a lot of those bands are influenced by us and Skid Row and Mötley Crüe and KISS and all those bands. It’s been awhile since a Hollywood band or even an US band has just put out a glam rock record that you can enjoy like a Poison or a KISS or a Mötley Crüe or an early L.A. Guns or something like that. Yeah. It was mostly just me and Kris seeing eye to eye, what we wanted to do.

Sleaze Roxx: What are your favorite tracks off ‘Public Enemies’?

Steve Summers: I actually… I like the whole record. Once again, it has the feel of or the concept of ‘Leather Boyz [With Electric Toyz’] meaning you get the heavy stuff. I’ll talk about ‘Leather Boyz’ for a second. With ‘Leather Boyz’, you get “Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz.” You get party anthems like “Forty-Eight Hours.” You still got poppier ones like “The Last Kiss,” “I Wanna Be With You,” stuff like that. So even with this new record, with “Feel The Heat” — even some people will be, “That’s Pretty Boy Floyd? What the fuck?” But then they’ll hear “High School Queen” [laughs]. They’ll hear “We Got The Power.” So I have lots of favorites. Our next video and single will be the ballad. It will be “We Can’t Bring Back Yesterday.” I really love “We Got The Power” which will be our third single. I like every track on there for different reasons. There’s so many different moods on there. I love listening to you know, “Star Chaser,” “Paint It On,” and stuff like that. But then I dig listening to “American Dream” and all that stuff. So I would say, a lot of favorites! I love the whole thing. You know, I am not fast forwarding it in any way. There’s a certain mood that I’m in sometimes when I want to hear something heavier and I’ll pop up “Feel the Heat” or something else, or “Run For Your Life,” the old Crüe song, or even “Do Ya Wanna Rock.”

Pretty Boy Floyd‘s “We Got The Power” song:

Pretty Boy Floyd – “We Got The Power” (Official Audio)

Subscribe To Be Alerted When We Add New Videos – / From the album “Public Enemies”. Get your copy NOW:…

Sleaze Roxx: You guys do play quite a few Mötley Crüe songs. Why did you guys decide to do that and continue to do that throughout your live shows?

Steve Summers: You know, that’s a funny question. I don’t know what the fuck we’re doing actually!

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Steve Summers: No [laughs]. I don’t know. I guess it’s just a little bit of a tribute to Crüe but also you know, we find these kind of  obscure kind of songs or so like “Run For Your Life.” People haven’t… I know that we haven’t out out a lot of rec0rds so people might be “Oh. Another Mötley song?” Some people, it’s honestly really strange. We can play “Run For Your Life” live or seething lie that and 80% of people have no idea. They just think it’s a Pretty Boy Floyd song. Even Nikki Sixx, I think he said something months ago about demos that he found. “Run For Your Life” was one of them. So I don’t know. We like to find some obscure kind of — you know, don’t get me wrong. We did the KISS tribute record. I’ve been on a million other tribute records. and stuff like that. I guess that it just fits us good. I guess that it’s just a tribute to the Crüe. They’ve kind of disbanded now or taking a vacation now or whatever they are doing. We’ve always been kind of a Mötley kind of thing. Even when we came off the Strip, it was those guys influenced the way they sound, the attitude, the sleaze. There are not many bands like that from that generation.

Sleaze Roxx: I’ve seen you guys a couple of times live and you’ve always really brought it live. Is it something that you guys rehearse or does it come naturally?

Steve Summers: Nah. That just comes naturally with us. We’re just a — what’s the word? We love KISS. We love Alice Cooper. We love all those bands. It just comes naturally. We don’t rehearse any of that kind of stuff. We get to the stage and we like to come out like a fucking bullet. I like to run around. Excuse me. See, now you’re making me get in the mode of Steve Summers.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Steve Summers: I like to get everybody involved. I like to see everybody up close. Yeah. We’re just a dirty bunch of sleaze balls that like to get out there and kick ass. Once again, nothing against a lot of the other bands — nothing personal — but a lot of them are really toned down, stuff like that. But yeah, we’re just a very high energetic show. I wish — if we had the budget, and we got to the level that we wanted to, it would be way extreme. I know that there is only so much that you can do. How many fireworks you can do. How many ramps that you can do. It’s all been done before but you know, I would love to be shot out of fucking cannons and all that stuff going on! That’s one thing for us. We’re very pleased with that. If a band goes on after us, they better be ready. They had better got a good night’s sleep.

Sleaze Roxx: So you have to tell me… Christopher Carroll had obtained a story from an insider about a flight that Pretty Boy Floyd was on heading to the Frontiers Rock Festival that turned a little bit sideways. So can you tell me what happened from your perspective?

Steve Summers: I can tell you that it was mayhem. [Laughs] Ever been in a supermarket and you have those people that leave their carts in the middle and you can’t even get through? And you’re like, “Can’t you just move your cart to the side?” So I don’t now if we bumped into a couple of people that had a few too many drinks. It just started with some words and then it escalated into some more words and some fisticuffs. I can’t talk about… It’s still kind of going on with a couple of the people that it occurred with. It just started with words man. People were saying the wrong things. I don’t want to sound kind of lame but they were rude, this, that and whatever. Someone said something wrong to the wrong person. We do live in the world of like, “Hey! Take it easy.” I could be driving to work and someone behind me, just because they’re running late, are fucking riding up my ass and honking. Fuck, just because you’re late, just get off my back. So you know, we were kindly being Pretty Boy Floyd. We did have a lot of stuff. Once in a while, someone will bring their bass on, their guitar, this, that and whatever. They had a few too many drinks. Somebody else. Not us. Saying a few of the wrong things and it just escalated. It just started with “Hey bro, take it easy.”  “You take it easy!” And it escalated from there. It was pretty crazy though. I’ve never been about to fly somewhere and then have to get off the flight. I thought that they just made that up in ‘Bridesmaid’ and stuff like that.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] It was very rock n’ roll.

Steve Summers: Actually, sorry. That’s not right. That plane was actually going and they had to stop.

Sleaze Roxx: Really?

Steve Summers: Ours was about to take off and they had to get off and handle all the situation. It was shocking. Our biggest concern was that we weren’t going to get to the festival. I’m sure that everybody has had some issues before, some problems before, but our biggest issue was after it was all said and done, was “Holy shit! There’s only one flight left and it’s the following day! Are they going to let us fly? Is everything going to be calmed down by then? Is the flight booked? Is it sold out?” And all that stuff. What does our label think and all that kind of stuff? It was a slight miracle that it all worked out. It wasn’t one of those things where, “Well, there’s six more flights the next day.” It was, “OK. The hospital has to say this. They’ve got to give you a release form. That one flight has to have enough room for you guys and everything.” I must say that the airline did help us out a whole lot. There were a couple of people there that were really sweet and helped us out.

Sleaze Roxx: Cool! Well, I don’t think that we could end off on a better story!