A lot of the Glam bands glorified on this website still tour today, albeit with a slew of member changes. Sometimes, the new versions of a band are just as good - if not better - than their original counterparts. Pretty Boy Floyd is back on the touring circuit, with lead singer Steve Summers as the only remaining original member. The rest of the band is comprised of The Dropoutz, fronted by Mikki Twist. Twist (real name classified information) picked up the bass specifically for PBF, and now considers himself a leather boy...with plenty of electric toys. Twist is optimistic about the band's future. During out conversation, Mikki Twist talked about working with Steve Summers, a possible PBF reunion, and playing Motley Crue covers. Transcription follows:
Bring Back Glam!: Tell me how you got hooked up with Pretty Boy Floyd initially.
Mikki Twist: Steve basically was looking to do some East Coast dates. At the time he didn’t have a band. Well, the original members were still all over the place and were not ready to tour. So, basically our drummer (Scotti D from The Dropoutz, now Pretty Boy Floyd) got a hold of him and said, “We’ve got a band, if you want to come out here and tour.” So that’s how it happened. We hooked up, it sounded good, and we became members. So it’s cool.
BBG: When did this happen?
MT: This year.
BBG: It seems like you guys have been on tour a lot.
MT: We started touring in July, and doing East Coast dates and then Midwest shows. That’s pretty much all we’ve been doing. Now, we’re starting to branch out more toward the South and West.
BBG: Why are you focusing on the east coast?
MT: I guess because Steve wants to make sure we’re the “band” and that we all get along before we venture to his neck of the woods (the West Coast). We know pretty much all of the club owners up and down the East Coast, so it was easy to book shows.
BBG: So Steve lives on the West Coast, do you live on the East Coast?
MT: Yes, all of us – me, Scotti, Davey (Lister, guitar) live on the East Coast. Steve lives out in Hollywood.
BBG: So you knew Scotti and Davey before talking with Steve.
MT: Yes, we were all in a band called The Dropoutz, so we, you know, we’re tight as musicians. So, we just learned Pretty Boy Floyd songs and we had Steve come in for one rehearsal.
BBG: Tell me about your time with The Dropoutz.
MT: The Dropoutz…we formed back in 1995. Basically, you know, we went out and did a couple shows in Ohio, a couple shows in Detroit, played a couple shows around here (New Jersey). It wasn’t really…well, what we were doing was trashy glam. I know you’re pretty familiar with Cherry Bang –
MT: We were kind of like them. But it just wasn’t happening. So basically, [I] broke up the band and got it back together in 2006 with Scotti D. on drums. Before Davey came in, we had a guitar player named Ray Ray and a bass player named Shawn (Mohr). We went out touring for a little bit. We didn’t see eye to eye, so Davey Lister came in and another bass player, Dee Dee – who is no longer with us. I sang and played guitar. We were together, then Pretty Boy Floyd came so we just put The Dropoutz on the back shelf.
BBG: Do you regret that?
MT: No. There are all different fields of making music. I can write music for Pretty Boy Floyd that has my feelings and my thoughts – my inspirations, my influences. Pretty Boy Floyd, when I was coming up, were a huge influence on me. It’s kind of an honor to be in Pretty Boy Floyd.
BBG: And how long have you been a professional musician?
MT: Probably about 18 years. I was playing the club scene, the local scene…and finally realized there is money involved. So I started getting paid, and that was cool.
BBG: You’ve spent most of your professional time with The Dropoutz. Have you been in many other bands?
MT: Yes. When I first started playing music, I was a drummer. I got hooked up with a band from New York City that sort of got me into glam. Of course, being from New Jersey, the big thing in the 80s was to be like Bon Jovi. We had to look like Bon Jovi. So I hooked up with this band from New York City called Champagne Suicide. I played drums for them. These guys looked sleazy and punk. That’s when I dyed my hair black and got into that mode. Then our guitar player died so the band broke up.
BBG: So eventually you find yourself running your own band. How many songs have you written for Pretty Boy Floyd?
MT: I have ideas. None have been presented to the public yet. All of us have put our hands in the cookie jar to write for Pretty Boy Floyd. I’ll say it’s a collaboration of all four of us. We definitely will have a new album out by 2008.
BBG: Do you have a label for this album?
MT: I don’t know what Steve – I think he’s still on Cleopatra. The other members have not signed anything with that label. I’m pretty sure Steve is still signed to Cleopatra.
BBG: What is it like working with Steve Summers?
MT: You hear the stories. “You better watch out for him,” or “He’s a jerk.” My experience with Steve is that he’s a very down to earth guy, a lot of fun to be around. He’s great to play with on stage. All the rumors…they have not met up to the man. I think he’s a great guy.
BBG: Ok, well, where do the rumors start?
MT: Oh, you know, people talk. You’ve read on Metal Sludge that him and Kristy (Majors, original PBF guitarist) had a feud. It’s just people taking sides. We’ve been with him since July, and had no problems. To squash all the rumors, Steve Summers is a really nice guy.
BBG: Do you know Kristy Majors?
MT: I’ve never met Kristy. I’ve talked to him on the phone because we did a tour for Artists Worldwide – and he owns Artists Worldwide.
BBG: Do you know the other former members of Pretty Boy Floyd?
MT: I’ve never talked to Vinnie (Chas) and I’ve never met Kari Kane.
BBG: Does Steve ever talk about them, or tell you stories about what it was like at the end of the 1980s?
MT: Oh, he tells us stories of how they formed, how they got signed, which is pretty cool. Basically you got three guys who grew up on Pretty Boy Floyd music, on Motley Crue music and who are influenced by both bands. To hear the stories of how they did it, to hear their struggles, it’s kind of uplifting to know that…an influence of yours is sitting right next to you, telling you things you never knew.
BBG: The original release of Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz is out of print. Is the “special edition” that you sell at shows a CDR copy? Who even owns the rights to the release?
MT: I don’t know. I’m pretty sure Steve owns the rights because he’s still able to sell it. As far as the CD-R thing, I know Steve deals with a guy, but I don’t know how it’s formatted. It’s a special edition because it has three or four extra songs. As far as the merchandise goes, that’s all Steve Summers.
BBG: Will there be a Pretty Boy Floyd reunion?
MT: I heard they are trying to get a reunion together of all the original band members. Which, I think, would be cool. Just have a little reunion…maybe do a couple shows here and there.
BBG: Like a one-off at the Whisky A-Go-Go?
BBG: How would a reunion work if none of the original members get along? Where would this leave you and the rest of the members of the current band?
MT: I’m a fan of Pretty Boy Floyd. For my personal thing, I wouldn’t feel sidelined because I’m a fan. Before we even started this, I said “Listen. If I have the choice to see the original Pretty Boy Floyd or me playing in Pretty Boy Floyd, I’d pick the original.” I’d be happy that I experienced playing in the band. I can walk around and say “Hey, I was once the bass player in Pretty Boy Floyd!” Even if it is a one-off, the shows after are going to be me. I think at our recent shows, I’ve made my mark as being a member of the band.
BBG: Is playing bass in Pretty Boy Floyd your full time job?
MT: Yes, basically.
BBG: Do you find yourself making a good living playing with Pretty Boy Floyd?
MT: I’m gonna plead the fifth on that one! I do stuff on computers too. I designed flyers for different bands, and get paid for doing websites. Do I make a great living? No. Then again, what musicians are? As of right now, my sole concentration is Pretty Boy Floyd. You know, I started playing bass specifically for Pretty Boy Floyd. I was playing guitar for The Dropoutz, so basically the transaction was simple. It took my fingers a lot longer to get used to it…I was walking away with blisters. I’m catching on. I hope.
BBG: Let’s talk about the current Pretty Boy Floyd set list. Why do you play two Motley Crue covers? “Toast of the Town” is on the debut, but why “Live Wire?”
MT: Why “Live Wire?” Motley Crue is a huge influence on Pretty Boy Floyd, so why not? Plus, it’s a heavy hitter song. When the crowd hears “Live Wire,” they go nuts.
BBG: What’s your goal for the next year with Pretty Boy Floyd?
MT: Goal? Just play. Get a great album out and make money. Make my family happy. Make my daughter happy. Make the band happy. Prove to people that Pretty Boy Floyd isn’t dead.