Talk about glam.
In the rough and tumble hip hop hotbed of Detroit, I found a glam thug known in nightclubs across the nation as Vic Wayne. If you’re not familiar with Vic, just imagine a mix of Nikki Sixx and every member of the New York Dolls. Got the image? Now for the history. Vic was the front man for glam outfit Fillmore Slim. The band parted ways and now Vic is starting over with a new group known simply as Vic Wayne.
I chatted with Vic by phone earlier this week. Below are highlights of our very colorful conversation.
BBG: Vic, tell me what you’ve been up to recently.
Vic: Uh, just writing and recording. That’s it.
BBG: Are you still looking for band members?
Vic: No, for the most I have a full backup band and for live, some other guys. I’m recording everything on my own. I’m not, like letting anybody else play anything except live, so, it’s kinda like once I’m done recording and I really start playing then I’m really going to decide on who I need to keep.
BBG: So is the band going to be the Vic Wayne Project then because of this or will you have a different name altogether?
Vic: No! It’s just going to be Vic Wayne.
BBG: Ok then. So it’s you 100%?
BBG: Is this because you were screwed over by your last band?
Vic: With my last band, yeah but I want nothing – I do not want to speak a word about them in any kind of interview because I don’t want to give them any publicity at all.
BBG: That makes sense. I was just wondering why you choose to do that with your back up members, because that’s not a conventional approach for a musician. So you have your own label?
Vic: Oh, yeah. I have my own music company. My merchandise I sell, taxes are paid. I get a company check every week, you know?
BBG: Very cool, so you run your business right out of your home?
Vic: Yeah. I got a home studio. I do it all. That’s how I make a living. (Laughs).
BBG: Do you record for other people?
Vic: No, just me.
BBG: You’ve got some really good songs on your Myspace page right now. Are these all recent recordings?
Vic: No, those are from my last band. They are songs I wrote. That’s mainly me doing all the guitar work. The drums and the bass are the other two guys.
BBG: Ok then. When do you hope to have some new stuff up?
Vic: I’m hoping to have at least one new song up in a few weeks.
BBG: Do you have any names for these new songs?
BBG: Tell me about your new work.
Vic: Uh, I have one I’m working on called “Dirty Livin’” and another called “Eyes are Never Satisfied.” Like I want to put out a CD where everything is two different extremes. There will be really sweet songs and just really dirty f----ng songs and no in between (laughs).
BBG: All on one pressed disc, or a two disc set?
Vic: No, on one CD. So, kind of like a shock to the system. Like, what you hear on my Myspace profile now is a sample of what I’m working on now but I’m going to take it further.
BBG: How do you take it further? You call yourself the “glam thug.” How can you go further than that?
Vic: Yeah. Well, I mean lyric wise, you know, the music is better the songwriting is definitely better you know, it’s just another step ahead. Like raunchiness (laughs).
BBG: Well, then, how has your songwriting progressed? You say it is better than before but the songs on your Myspace are pretty good.
Vic: I don’t know. Just…time, I guess. Looking back on the past stuff and seeing things that I didn’t like and just, you know, making it better. That’s what I’ve always done. You know, I’ll do something and the next time, it’s better. I just constantly progress.
BBG: Talk about some of your influences.
Vic: The Rolling Stones are a huge influence, Guns n’ Roses, you know, I always liked L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat. A lot of punk stuff I like, I love Joan Jett. You know, Sex Pistols, Misfits I can get into that. I even like some country shit and rap, I like a lot of different stuff. Glam to me is just a look. That’s all.
BBG: See, I don’t agree with that. For 80s glam, there’s a certain sound, especially with the guitar solos –
Vic: See, that’s another thing. I’m trying to escape the 80s thing. I want to, definitely, draw on that influence, but not sound like 1983. You know, I want it to still be modern.
BBG: Well, along that same vein, what year did you first start recording music?
Vic: Oh, 1993, 1994 maybe.
BBG: Right, so you’re stuff would never sound 80s dated.
Vic: Yeah, I guess so. I have a major problem with people, they think – let’s take L.A. in general. They think they’re going to go out and it’s going to be 1983, and there’s going to be a bunch of dudes walking around like they’re in Motley Crue, and it’s not. And I’ve been there plenty times and I know, it’s not. And all of these glam people on Myspace allegedly live in L.A.? Every time I’ve been there, I’ve seen none of these glam people. None. Last time I was there, I was the VIP list, upstairs for an L.A. Guns show, and I was like hanging out with everyone: Taime, Pretty Boy Floyd all those guys were there, John Corabi. You know, but, the audience, it looked like I was in...Detroit or Ohio.
BBG: That’s kind of sad.
Vic: It is sad. You go to the Rainbow and it’s the same thing. Baseball caps, you’ve got your occasional long haired dude, un-styled. You know, wearing a Metallica T-shirt. I don’t know where the hell as these glam people are because I’ve never seen them.
BBG: Fair enough. The scene is completely different, so is the music business. How hard is it for you to get your music out there?
Vic: Yeah. Well, everything is Myspace, as sad as that sounds. If you don’t have a Myspace profile, you have nothing. Like every thing it seems I’ve gotten…I have a song in a porno movie. That came from Myspace. You know I did a tour with L.A. Guns last year. That came from Myspace. I did an interview for a major Italian magazine. That came from Myspace. I’m talking to you because of Myspace.
BBG: Very true.
Vic: It’s so sad. Every day, I’m on there and I’m like “What’s wrong with me?” The days of going out and passing out flyers, that’s done. You know. Now it’s just send out invites. The days of packing up, moving to the happening spot, over. No need to. Now, with the click of a mouse, anyone can hear you and know who you are.
BBG: You said you have a song in a porn movie, what film is that?
Vic: It’s called If It Ain’t Black, Take It Back 3.
BBG: (Laughs) Which song is featured?
Vic: Laughs. “Dirty Dog Blues.”
Vic: Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing is, the kick I get out of showing it to people. I thought they were just going to use a clip of the song. They send me copies of the DVD. I put it in and it comes on and there’s features, right? Play, Special Features, and there’s a loop of the song and I think “Oh, that’s it.” No! I hit play and the song comes on and there’s all these big black dudes banging little white chicks and, you know, it’s saying “Starring Sledgehammer” and the whole song plays!
BBG: Laughs. So are you going to Rocklahoma in July?
BBG: Really? That seems like something you would enjoy.
Vic: Yeah, but I’m so caught up in my own thing. I haven’t been to a concert in so long. I mean, the last concert I was at was Joan Jett in New York and that was like a year ago.
BBG: When you do go to shows, who is your favorite act to see?
Vic: Oh, definitely Joan Jett. Most definitely. I mean, I’ve hung out with Steven Adler, and it’s like cool. But when I met her, she was like the only person that I was star struck by. I almost cried. (Laughs).
BBG: Because of her talent?
Vic: Oh yeah and I love all of her stuff and I just have so much respect for her because, you know, every day all I get is “Hey Hot Thing!” “Blah, Blah, Blah!” I’m like “Why don’t you download my songs?” “No, how about I download you.” I get that. What about my music? I can’t imagine what she has went through, being a woman doing that, you know?
BBG: Other future plans?
Vic: Like I said, I’m working on something that is completely two different extremes. It’s definitely so far better than the last stuff I put out. I hope to have the stuff done by the end of the summer. Hopefully, be able to tour by the end of the summer.
BBG: I’m assuming a club tour?
Vic: Hopefully I can get on something like LA Guns again. Otherwise, I’ll just do dates here and there in different cities. I’m not going to just go on a balls out tour by myself.
BBG: Do you have a name for the CD yet?
Vic: No, I was thinking about calling it Suck It! Volume 1 but I don’t know. (Laughs!) Also, did you know I spent 10 months in jail?
BBG: Yes. Why did you go to jail exactly?
Vic: I was accused of burning down my kitchen and dining room.
BBG: For the insurance money?
BBG: Did you do it?
Vic: No, I did not do it. My ex-wife did it! A week later took off to L.A. and collected the insurance money. Then I took the wrap for it.
BBG: Oh dear.
Vic: So I signed up for the ten months in the county jail, which was cool! I mean, I wound up in like the celebrity jail. I was in there with a famous rapper! Royce Da 5’9” and I’m this guy is like down with Eminem! There was a boxer in there [jail] and he’s like the only guy to go 12 rounds with Oscar De La Hoya. So I mean, really, it was a nice little vacation and a break from everything.
BBG: I don’t know. I couldn’t take jail.
Vic: That’s where I got all my song writing done. Obviously I had time to go over and over and over lyrics. To rewrite them. So, it kind of was a good experience. I had time to think about the people around me, who my real friends were.
BBG: You feel like that experience straightened you out in some way?
Vic: In some ways, yeah. It made me more appreciative of what I have. When you go there, you’re stripped of everything. You’re not even allowed to have headphones to listen to the radio- nothing. You have nothing but your friends around you. That’s it. If I could take it back, I don’t know if I would. That may sound crazy.
BBG: And you’re innocent?
Vic: Completely, yeah. Completely. Yeah.
Vic: It completely changed my way of thinking. I feel like before I went in there, I was blind. I came out being able to see. I see things completely different than before.