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Tear the House Down

Hericane Alice frontman Bruce Naumann is ready to get back in the music game, thanks to growing kids and some good friends in the business. Bring Back Glam! recently chatted with Bruce about reforming the band, family and that famous name change. Transcription follows.

Bring Back Glam!: Tell me what’s going on right now with Hericane Alice.

alicepic2.jpgBruce Naumann: Basically, I put together another version of the band, with three new members – none of which are original. I live in Minneapolis right now, and I kind of picked some local guys around. The local talent around here is just awesome. We learned some old stuff, and we’re going to write a new album. The first thing is to get the band up and out. I guess stylistically, we’re going to be a hard rock band. We’re still doing the old stuff. I’ll tell you what: it’s a challenge. The guys are really good at it. We’re listening to current stuff, like Chris Cornell or Audioslave. I wish I could sing like him (Cornell) he pisses me off, he’s so good. Directionally, we’re still rocking and still having a good time.

BBG: Tell me about the new members of the band.

Bruce: Chris Lakey is a drummer. Johnny Holiday is a guitar player and Super “J” (Johnny Kytee) is a bass player.

BBG: Have they played with another other bands?

Bruce: Just local bands, no national stuff.

BBG: Are you beginning the recording process?

Bruce: We’re just now having the ProTools system set up in our studio. I’ve always been writing. There’s a lot of material kind of laying around. The first step to bringing this back was to see if I could still sing like that. I had to get the vice grips out…to hit the high notes again. I had a couple of good nights during rehearsal. Get up, get out, do some traveling and some touring. Here in Minnesota when it gets cold out, it’s a perfect time to be inside working on artistic things.

BBG: There’s been a large gap of time since the last album and now…so why now?

Bruce: Basically…if you want to say I retired…well I didn’t really retire. I walked away from things. The music business got very fickle in the early 1990s, and it was kind of like trying out for a heavyweight bout, and trying to get in at the table and being a rocker…and suddenly having all the rules changed on us and what we were doing was out of style. There were a few projects going on for me personally, that didn’t develop all the way. The main thing for me is that I had kids, and I’ve been raising my kids all these years.

BBG: How do you support your kids?

Bruce: I have a little company, it’s a contracting company. I moved back here (Minnesota) in the early 1990s and I worked in the film business. One of the guys who worked on our videos…invited me to a (film) set and I ended up becoming an art director for about ten years, and I ended up working on a lot of nameless television shows and rock videos. The problem with that…you work sometimes 24 hours a day, really intensely for weeks at a time. Then you have down time. It was increasingly hard for me to be a father, because I’d have to leave for three weeks. I thought it was more important for me to be there for them.

BBG: You say you want to get out and gig. Are you hoping to just stay north, or do you want to hit areas all over the country?

Bruce: It’s interesting. One of my friends is John Domagall, and he’s the president of ARM Entertainment. They have about a dozen artists signed exclusively like Bret Michaels, Poison, Dokken…John was actually in Hericane Alice before we made the move to L.A. Anyway, he’s one of my best friends and we run together everyday and talk about stuff. He books tours for L.A. Guns, Warrant, Firehouse…little runs all over the place. He told me that if I put Hericane Alice back together, he could book us as an opening slot. We don’t have name recognition or hits, we were a good up-and-coming band that had some good songs and exposure…and a hit breakout in a few areas. We’re in no misconception about our popularity, but we just to love to do what we do.

BBG: Do you think grunge killed your chances of stardom?

Bruce: That’s the feeling I come away with. Bad timing. We actually had a record in the can a year prior to the release (1990s Tear the House Down. Hurricane Alice released a self-titled debut in 1986). We had some pending litigation from the band Hurricane regarding the name. That delayed our release date by a year.

BBG: Why did you just re-spell your name?

Bruce: You know, Hurricane was probably right because there’s always issues with charting if the names are spelled the same. We just changed the letters because we didn’t want to drop Hurricane Alice. I was in a local band here (in Minnesota) in the 1980s and I had a decent following. With a separate band, when we broke up…I put together a recording project with a few guys. I kind of had a great deal of success and draw in town. We were together for a year. That was the Hurricane Alice with the “U.” After we broke up, I went to L.A. and got some interest…got signed. We were sitting around on our hands, not doing shows or anything. We wanted to go back to the Midwest, where we had a good following and we could make good money. Go on tour and develop our show. So then the debate was about “What should our name be?” We just used the old name. It was kind of my following personally that developed the name Hurricane Alice in the first place.

BBG: Are you looking for a record deal, or do you not really care?

Bruce: At this point, no, we’re not. We are going to record and we are going to have a record that we self produce. We’re not actively shopping or anything like that.

Reader Comments (9)

That was a really good interview. It is great to see bands like this coming back, it just proves that this stuff is still alive and well!
August 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
This is great news. I own Tear The House Down and it is a classic. I am from the Poughkeepsie area in NY. Our local club here is The Chance. Next month Lillian Axe is coming. Hard Rock is back and I hope Hericane Alice the best and hope that they make their way to the east coast.
August 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJason
I got Tear the house down for maybe $2.00 years ago. I remember it being okay, but have not listened to it in years.
August 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMetal Mark
I was shocked to hear that the Alice is making a comeback. My buds and I have been fans from back in the original Minnesota days. I read in the paper today that Hericane Alice is opening for Vince Neil this Wednesday in St. Paul at the Myth. Should be good times.
November 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThrillman
Great to see the lead singer returning but this is of course not Hericane Alice. But who knows? Maybe his new band will also deliver the goods.

However the one thing that I didn't like about this interview is him looking up to Chris Cornell with all the praising going on. Chris Cornell or Grunge is not "modern" or "current stuff" meaning everybody should worship that now. I really hope he'll stick to his guns with his new band instead of trying to fit in the "modern" mainstream like everybody else which I simply call trash. What we need is the original sounds back!

A REAL Rock and Glam fan
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Tuinstra
No question that this band will deliver, and then some. Talent is talent and it just keeps getting better. The new additions to this band will only enhance it and I'm sure they will bring a modern spin to favorite songs, as well as their own new music. Chris Lakey is a top notch drummer that makes every show a real event. Look forward to seeing them!
January 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshley M
He wanna sing like Cornell from audioslave? Bruce, you´re much more, much more better than him. I really love you voice. It´s strange that shortly after Hericane Alice you ended up. Such a shmae. This age should miss voices like this.
March 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoman
Just want to say, Bruce you're pretty cool, I think you picked a good crew & OH MY GOD! That bass players HOT!!!!!
May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEd
This is just solid, great music. It makes me want to dance. I would be happy listening to this music most of the time. I think there they are a lot of people who would like this music if they just got a listen. It just makes a person want to dance and shout "hell yeah"...what else could a person want?? One of the things I like best about this is the upbeat energetic message that is carried in the music. You see, there is so much bad news in the world so it it great to hear a band that is trying to say something happy. I like this music. I can't say it any more strongly than that. Go buy this band's new new record and go see their show because it is really really worth it!
March 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTed Malkethesian

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