Oct 8, 2007

Alex Kane - Interview

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

I had the opportunity to conduct an in-person interview with Alex Kane, mastermind of Antiproduct before the show & all I can say is, thank you Alex for being so kind & taking the time to talk with me...you don’t read many AP interviews here in the USA & if you ever get the chance to interview Alex, or even talk to him, he’s a very cool, down to earth guy that tells it like it is & he was telling me before we started the interview that the bands had an uphill battle on this tour so far..they had some problems with their transportation & they had to go through alot of shit to get things situated, & no one even knows how much hell they had to endure to just make the tour work...anyways, here’s my interview with Alex!:

Rock N Roll Experience: How has the tour been so far?

Alex: Certainly stressful...we had our tour bus break down on us right after the first show in Virginia...West Virginia & that’s where they made “Deliverance” & we were parked by the side of the road..we broke down in the middle of the night, parked by the side of the road in West Virginia, managed to get it to a service station & we stayed at the service station until the next morning because everything was closed then we had to rent a car and a Budget Rent-A-Car truck for the gear & then we did a couple of shows in that & then Friday after the gig, me & our tour manager drove up to Maine, Bangor, where Stephen King is from & we drove up to Stephen King’s home town, in the fog, from Pennsylvania, picked up this thing (points to their van) & now we are ready to go on tour & we’ve slept 2 nights over the course of 6, so you know, the usual (laughs), but we are still kicking ass & f*ckin, I mean coming back home, because I’ve been in England for 8 or 9 years...a long time, & coming back home for the first time with my very special band Antiproduct & just seeing the kids that we are playing for..you’d think that we were the headliners because they are really like, I totally get where you’re coming from, & I’ve always known that Antiproduct was meant to be for, not only the United States, but I mean I’m from the US, even though we are pretty well established in England & Europe & Japan & places like that, for me, my dream had always been, because we do everything ourselves, so you’re talking plane tickets....I mean how do you pay for that kinda shit? Luckily we’ve got a really active & super, super supportive fan base that I think see’s their own aspirations & stuff reflected in our work ethic which is never say die no matter what happens we still have a job to do & the more these guys are committed to helping us & making us become successful, the harder we have to work to earn that respect & that devotion so there’s never the option of not living up to their expectations for us, but the reactions so far have been utterly, like, we did a show before we went up to Maine, & literally we like loaded the van & drove to Maine & it was f*kin ridiculous, but...I’m a little delirious now..that’s my way of saying that (laughs), but I was onstage & during the second song I was saying, “You guy’s don’t even know who the f*ck we are & you’re going crazy!” & they all go wahhhhhh, 500 kids & I’m like, yeah, awesome... Nice to be home!

Rock N Roll Experience: So why did you leave the USA & go overseas in the first place?

Alex: I had just made an album in the states for this guy named Jesse Camp (former MTV VJ) & so like I played guitar on it & wrote the songs & whatever & did some producing on it & in rock n roll, it’s feast of famine, so you either have nothing, or all of a sudden you get a big chunk of money, & I got a big chunk of money for that & I’m not gonna be shy or whatever about it, because I worked my f*ckin tits off, & consequently, what happened was, I had the illusion that finally I had arrived & it was gonna be like that from here on in, so I thought that I was a jet-setter & then because my name was associated with that project, before it tanked as badly as it did, I got offered to make another album in England, so I went over to do that & I was there for 6 months working on that & touring that album & then I had all the Antiproduct songs that are sorta mine exclusively when I was done with a guy called Ginger who’s the singer in a band called The Wildhearts, & so we did Clam Abuse together & that did pretty well & that rolled into another deal for me with Antiproduct & this was back when I still thought that having a record company was the right way to do things. Now, I think, going directly to the kids is the right way to do it, A., because like if a kid gets a t-shirt from us or buys an album or whatever, there’s not 15 hands in the till, it goes right to me & my band & like I said, plane tickets are $600 a crack, that costs $150 a day, blah, blah, blah, so if you’ve got all these assholes who aren’t out here sweating & not sleeping & whatever & they are taking their commissions & whatever, that’s why bands break up when they lose a deal, whereas we just get stronger & we get more kids into us & we really are a total populist kinda thing, because I don’t see any difference..even though I portray a character on stage & he maybe does certain things that I wouldn’t do in normal life, or it allows me to do certain things that maybe, because I’m actually like a really shy person in real life, & then putting on the make-up & the costume & all of that stuff allows me to sorta express different parts of my personality & even though that aspect of the performance is larger than life because I do believe in entertaining people, I don’t think it’s right to just get up there & not earn people’s respect & affection, so we are up there busting our asses, & it just kinda makes my skin crawl to think that there’s people sitting behind a desk somewhere, taking 20% of the fact that Clare, Milly, Johnny & Me..we are touring across the country & not sleeping & yet they are getting paid..that ain't f*cking right..do you know hat I am saying? So, now, with the internet & kids being much more..aggressively seeking out bands, (at this point Alex had to go in for sound check & we resume the interview about 30 minutes later)

Rock N Roll Experience: Ok, so I’ve gotta ask the question, what happened to Life, Sex, & Death?

Alex: Oh god...I think we just...the funny answer is that we decided cannibalism wasn’t for us & we went our separate ways, but the real answer is probably, I think, as we were still pretty young at the time, I think everyone started believing in their circle of friends, thinking, Oh, it IS all about me, It’s ALL about me, because I certainly thought it was all about me, I knew that Stanley thought it was all about him & like we didn’t realize at that point in our lives that it was actually the symbiotic relationship that we had that made that band special...the 4 players as well obviously, but, so we just believed it, we’d worked a long, long time & I think we were kinda sick of each other & like when you’re not as experience, you kinda take certain things for granted maybe, that you know, even at the time, it was foolish to do that, & so we just imploded based on our egos, but I do think it was one of those bands that was meant to only exist for a short period of time & I think anything beyond that would have turned it into something less special, it’s like a girlfriend that you had for one summer & then the chick that you were married to for 20 years

Rock N Roll Experience: It really sucks though, because I always wondered what the 2nd LSD record would have been like.

www.rocknrollexperience.com

Alex: Well, we had the tunes...I mean we definitely had enough material...it probably would have been a little bit heavier maybe, which is sorta the cliche thing to do, but back then it wasn’t where maybe we would have relied more on our metal roots, but still incorporating all the key melodies & stuff....it may have been a little more challenging than based on the songs that I vaguely remember from then...we had this one called “Umbrella” that was great & I remember all the songs being long too, like we had a bunch of 6 & 7 minute songs, like “Train”, in that vain & at that point we had realized that we were not gonna be like a mainstream band, because I actually thought Life Sex & Death was my big sell out move, I know, that shows you what I know, I thought it was like my big sell out move where it was courting the masses & whatever, & I think we realized too late that we were actually not mainstream dudes, we were just out here on the fringe & anyone that wants to join us & of course, what’s happened with the passage of time is that time has been very kind to Life Sex & Death & I’m very proud of that fact, because I do know that we always kinda felt we would be appreciated at some point in the future, because now it is much more common place, & every asshole says this when their album didn’t go platinum, but now it is much more common to hear big f*ck off metal riffs with nice melodies & 3 part harmonies & stuff, but at the time that we were doing it, I remember people were really off put by taking Metallica & Slayer & metal riffs & combining them with Queen-ish or Beatle-esque or Beach Boy’s harmonies , it wasn’t really the to do thing at the time which is why we created the sound that way, because rock music, rock n roll, actually IS like an art form, no matter how much people take advantage of it or malign it, or just use it as a way to foster their own agenda of misery, or self importance, or whatever, I mean it’s an art form that needs to be expanded on beyond just follow the leader, which is what too many people do now, they just look to try to fit in with a genre & I don’t think there’s any glamour or mystique in that, I think it’s about leaving more information that you found for future generations, players, & I mean like, the amount of people who have came up to me in the ensuing years & I’m talking about super f*cking successful, famous people, “dude, f*ckin Life Sex & Death was my favorite album..that’s what got me through high school” & I’m talking about Marilyn Manson, Joey Jordison, all of these kinda people that were profoundly effected by Life Sex & Death, which I take alot of pride in, although I’d like to have 1/2 of their bank accounts (laughs)

Rock N Roll Experience: I hope Antiproduct can tour the USA again after this tour

Alex: It’s hard, you’ve gotta get work permits, plane tickets, you’ve gotta get places to stay, & we are doing it all ourselves & I don’t even know how, I couldn’t even tell you how much money we are losing on this, it’s a credit card (mimics using a credit card), but on the other hand, you’ve only got one life so it’s all or nothing anyways, so fuck it, right?

Rock N Roll Experience: Is the music scene better in England than in the USA?

Alex: Well, as ironic as it sounds, I’m only newly acquainted with the music scene here (USA), I know that we do respectable well in the UK & I do know that Antiproduct definitely does have a certain Anglo kinda reflection , it was created in the UK, it’s got a UK sense of humor which is the other thing, so many bands are actually afraid of fun & I think that is one of the things that totally separates us from all but what I think are the most special bands, & I’m talking about Mindless Self Indulgence, they are so good I f*cking hate them! I love Mindless dude, that band rocks my world, they are funny & they are totally unique & they are great & that singer guy is such a star dude, fu*k, I’ve seen them twice..we supported them once & I saw them play in LA & I just really had fun & Antiproduct has always been about having fun & when we first came out right after the millennium, everybody was nu-metal & I was like, that’s great for selling copies of Kerrang & that’s great for selling albums for like 2 years, but it’s just another bull shit trend that’s gonna come & go & everyone’s gonna go & sell their turntables & you’re not gonna hear about Limp Bizkit 5 years from now & everybody was doing that shit, doing the move, like they all just looked like they were part of a club, an epileptic club, it was like, be individual, be unique, think for yourself, & so we were one of the first bands in the UK flying the flag for rock n roll when everyone else was all, wooka wooka wooka, get the f*ck up, & I know that for a fact, because for about a year & 1/2 every single band that supported us, all of them were English kids with the baseball f*ckin caps & the turntables, & the Mesa Boogie..f*ckin Mesa Boogie’s cost a shit load of dough, those are expensive f*ckin amps, & the turntables & the monitors & all that shit you gotta lug with you, these are not like struggling kids, these are, & god bless everyone, if you’re parents got money or whatever the f*ck, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, BUT, if you’re onstage bitching about how shitty your life is & you drive up in a Mercedes Benz & you’ve got 4 Mesa Boogies in the back with $50,000 worth of gear, dude, you are lying, you are NOT miserable, you’ve got a brand new f*cking Mercedes Benz & the best gear money can buy, you are just following the leader, you are not doing anything with this opportunity you’ve been given, you are just trying to buy your way into a club & it was just nu-metal band after nu-metal band