JJ Lee chats to Flash Bastard’s vocalist, Donal Finn about their “divine” history, once upon a time inking a record deal with Nikki Sixx’s Americoma/BMG label, nicking picks from KISS and confusing sick children in hospitals. As you do. Or rather, as apparently what Flash Bastard do.
So give us a brief run through of how you see the band’s history
I see the history of Flash Bastard as being very similar to the biblical story of Jesus: We were both on holy missions for the hearts and minds of the masses. We both met tragic untimely ends. We both rose from the dead to continue our divinely inspired work. So there you go, were just like Jesus. Only there’s four of us and we look better in gold lamé!
What was it like signing a deal with Americoma/BMG? Did you have an idea of what you wanted? Or did you leap in regardless?
In retrospect I’m surprised we got the deal at all. I remember Nikki Sixx coming to our space to hear us play and after a few songs he was like: “Awesome! I love it! You guys are signed!” We were so touched by his enthusiasm that we decided to play “Live wire” as a tribute to him. Problem was, we didn’t actually know how to PLAY “Live wire” It was horrible, we butchered the song completely. We kept stopping to ask for pointers. He was like: “NO! NO! B flat THEN G!” After a while he just said: “Fuck this, lets go get Sushi” .
You’ve obviously toured with Motley Crue, Scorpions etc but who do love to play/tour with? And who would you like to?
Well, at one point we were booked to open for KISS on New Year’s eve. Word got back to their management that we were hard to do business with so we were bumped. As a consolation we were given backstage passes for the show. I remember wandering into KISS’s dressing room where Paul Stanley took one look at us and motioned for his large beefy body guard to throw us out. As revenge we stole a bunch of his guitar picks. So here’s the deal Paul: You ever want to see those picks alive again, Flash Bastard needs to be on the next KISS tour!
When the album was shelved how did you feel? What were the band dynamics like?
It was AMAZING! I’m not kidding! It was like a huge weight had been lifted from us. We were all keenly aware that the time was not right to unleash ourselves upon the world. There was a definite negative aura surrounding the band at the time, which wasn’t the kind of energy we wanted share. Flash Bastard was meant to inspire and energize and we are finally in a position to do just that.
Rock N Roll Must Be Destroyed is fast, furious and raw; was that the idea? Or did you go with the flow and develop as you went?
Fast, furious and raw? Sounds like the Korean BBQ we went to last week. And just like a Korean BBQ our new record is a mix of ingredients that may taste horrible on their own but when mixed together with just the right seasonings, create an experience like no other! Unfortunately, they may also cause serious digestive problems, so listeners beware!
What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
Personally, I’m partial to to the title track “Rock n’ roll must be destroyed” I bore easily, so that fact that it’s less than 2 minutes really suites me!
Share a memory or two with us from your history as a band – funny, serious, scary or crazy – anything!
Well, a couple of years ago Pete and I were volunteering at the children’s hospital in LA. We would go in and play music for the sick kids to raise their spirits. We decided to play a Flash Bastard song but we couldn’t remember how it went. It was “Live wire” all over agin! Pete and I ended up arguing about what the chords were. This poor sick kid with a terrible disease was just sitting there watching us, probably thinking: “What the fuck is wrong with you guys?”
Who are your influences? From when you started and who do you listen to today?
We consider ourselves the torch bearers for Glitter punk, so our early influences were the greats from that genre: The New York Dolls, Bowie, The Dead boys, Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, The Sex pistols ect. ect. we are also heavily influenced by musicals such as The Rocky horror picture show, Le mis and Phantom of the opera. We have something VERY special planned for our next record that is going to reflect all this and more!
The album will be out within the month but what are your next plans for touring/recording? What do you hope to do in the future?
Flash Bastard will be touring in the U.K very soon. Look for new dates in the weeks to come. As far as what comes next, we have a very special project planned for the New Year.