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20 Questions with Tricky Lane, 3/22/05


Tricky Lane
ex-SWEET F.A. drummer TRICKY LANE!

Ever since the inception of Metal Sludge back in 1998, we’ve steadily gotten e-mails from fans requesting us to do a 20 Questions interview with someone from Sweet F.A. Yes, we know there’s a glam band currently playing around the U.K. called "Sweet F.A.," but that’s not the same. We have no idea who those hacks are, but the Sweet F.A. we’re talking about was the real deal!

The Sweet F.A. that we’re referring to was actually a late 80’s hair band from Indiana. They got signed to MCA records back when hard rock was still en vogue, putting out 2 albums total before calling it quits in late 1992. Since then, just about everyone that was in that band has laid low and pretty much has never been heard from again, but through a lot of stalking research and perseverance, we were able to track down former Sweet F.A. drummer Tricky Lane.

After much goading and pleading, we were finally able to convince Tricky to do our silly 20 Questions interview. So once again, Metal Sludge’s quest to do 20 Questions with someone from every hair band that ever walked the Strip continues, and this time we got Tricky from Sweet F.A.! Here he is!

Tricky Lane1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug whatever it is you want to plug.

I currenty play in Los Angeles with a few bands.

My first band that I have been with for about a little over 8 years is Tuscaurora. It?s w/ my best friend Gary Finneran and a great long time friend as well, Anne Johnson.

You can check out MySpace.com for a few of these bands.

My second project is Star No Star; you can reach us at starnostar.com.

3rd in the line up is a tribute 80’s band called the m-80?s.

The 4th project is one w/ no name.

Ok. I like to play the drums.

I can be reached on MySpace / Nick Lane if anybody gives a rat?s ass.

Sweet F.A.
A back-in-the-day pic of Sweet F.A. (circa 1989)

2. Where the hell have you been all these years? We last heard you were out in L.A. playing with a band called Tuscaurora. What was that project all about, and are you still involved with that?

I have been in several projects over the years.

There has been a few in Austin and San Antonio Texas.

Then I have been in LA since 1996. (I love LA)

Tuscaurora is still as strong as ever.

It’s all original. Nirvana meets the Pixies meets Tom Waits.

We?re all influenced by a lot of artists.

Tuscaurora at the House of Blues in L.A., November 2004. (Tricky’s the guy playing the drums.)

3. Rank the following drummers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being someone who can barely twirl sticks, and 10 being a skin-banging demigod:

Frankie Banali =
Sweet F.A. Bobby Blotzer =
Tommy Lee =
Carmine Appice =
Rikki Rockett =
Steve Riley =
?Wild? Mick Brown =
Peter Criss =
Tico Torres =
Steven Sweet =

I hate this question so I’m going to take the easy way out.

I don?t always like the music some of these drummers play in. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that there not good drummers or even great drummers.

I’ll just say there are a few I was influenced by.

4. You share the same last name as Warrant?s Jani Lane. Are you guys related? Perhaps distant cousins or maybe fraternal twins separated at birth? We just wanted to check to make sure.

No Relation. I have heard or have been asked that countless of times.

No so much anymore. Just from Rockers.

5. Speaking of names, what in the fuck was up with the stage names of some of your Sweet F.A. band mates? Dual guitarists named ?James Thunder? and ?Jon Lightning?? Bassist ?Jim Quick?? Even your own stage name of ?Tricky Lane?? Didn?t anybody bother to tell you how cheesy those sounded?

Tricky was just a nick name. I never said it was my God given name.

As far as the others you may have to ask our lead singer of the time Mr. Steven DeLong.

We may of had funny names but i can say we were all very good muscians. NO HACKS.

We were just having fun and playing rock n roll. That?s it.

6. What are those other former members of Sweet F.A. up to these days and when was the last time you talked to any of them?

Sweet F.A.I have run into all of them in the years since the band.

I’d like to say in our hearts were all really close. I don?t speak to them on a day to day basis, but from time to time, one of us always seems to connect with the other.

I have fond memories of playing and hanging out with the guys. (Tito, get me a tissue)

7. Yes or No, has Tricky Lane ever done the following:

Milked a cow = No.
Sheared a sheep = No
De-tasseled corn = No, but I did hang tobacco. (not fun)
Jacked off in a grain silo = No
Played chicken with a combine = No
Sucked on a chili dog outside the Tasty Freeze = uuugh. NO.
Been asked for your autograph in the last 5 years = Yes. That?s one yes.
Visited the lovely city of Gary, Indiana = Not since we played.
Fell down the stairs at the Rainbow = Not since I have been in that band.
Signed your name in blood = MCA contract. (AHHHHHH you know that story)

Sweet F.A.8. In one of Sweet F.A.?s early marketing campaigns, the tagline in various print ads read: ?Proving that Indiana Boys really can rock!!? We thought that Indiana natives Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, and even King Kobra singer Mark Free (now Marcie Free) proved that long before you guys hit the scene. Anyhow, being from Indianapolis, what was the scene like in the late 80s/early 90s? Was there a lot of competition from local bands, and how did Sweet F.A. end up getting signed without having to relocate to Hollywood?

We were a complete band living in Indiana, not just single people coming from Indiana.

I didn’t live in Indiana at that time. That would be a question for the other guys.

I came from Kansas to LA then to Indiana.

The condensed version.

Our Manager had a friendship w/ Vicky Hamilton who had a hand in with some gig name bands that were getting picked up. She heard a demo tape that was sent to her, she liked what she heard and came out to see us. We were set up with a showcase in LA. We played our way out there in an RV we purchased with the help of Steve?s boss at the time.

There was a buzz that was coming from the showcase we had set up that turned into a showcase for about 11 different labels and quite a few publishing companies. It was truly amazing.

Then we turned around and got the f*** out of Dodge and went back to Indiana. There were a lot of offers made and then end the end of it all we went with MCA records.

There is a lot I’m leaving out but you get the idea.

9. In various interviews that the members of Sweet F.A. did back in the day, you guys stated that you signed with MCA because you felt that you would remain the priority there since the label didn’t have a lot of metal bands. Looking back, do you ever feel that wasn?t such a wise decision, especially considering that MCA had no proven history on how to market a rock band?

It?s all 20/20. I don?t know. We could have been with Warner Brothers and the same thing could have happened. You never know.

We did the best with what we had, and we went for it.

We were picked up at the end of the Rock wave. Music was changing.

10. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:

Sweet F.A.Paiste or Zildjian = Paiste. I just love the sound. Both are great, but it?s what I like.
Thrustt or Redeye = Neither
Hurricanes or tornadoes = Hurricanes. They don?t come around Kansas or LA.
Long John Silver?s or Arby?s = I guess Arby?s. I cant find Long John Silver?s out here.
The Girls or Something Wicked = ?
Steven Adler or Matt Sorum = Both are good drummers. I prefer early G&R.
?Heart of Gold? or ?Indiana Heart? = Heart of Gold
Fig Newtons or Oreos = I hate sweets.
Stick to Your Guns or Temptation = Stick to your Guns. There was a lot going on with Temptation
Adam Sandler or Weird Al Yankovic = Adam Sadler ?you penguin.?

11. A good number of Sweet F.A.?s songs were about drinking, being drunk and being wasted. Was there nothing going on in your life in 1990-1992 where you didn’t need alcohol to ease the pain?

I don?t think so.

Tricky Lane Exposed!

12. Give us your fondest memory about performing or being in the following cities:

New York City = The Cat Club. I love N.Y. period
Cincinnati = Bogarts. Always fun and the people that came to support were always great.
New Orleans = Too drunk to remember. Good looking girls in Lousiana
Chicago = Chicago always killer. That?s another great city.
Tampa = Rock It club. I think that?s what it was called. Fun fun.
Louisville = The Toy Tiger. Great rock club. Great People
San Antonio = Don?t remember.
Indianapolis = The Old Arlington theater that would later become the Ritz. It was our home. Always amazing and the crowds were always the loudest.
Memphis = New Daisy. Good stage.
Hollywood = we played the Whiskey and sold it out our first time through. That was a good time.

Sweet F.A.13. Does it ever bother you that Sweet F.A. was universally compared to Guns N? Roses, yet enjoyed none of the success that they had?

We were? Wow. That?s cool. I didn’t know that. Tell them thanks.

14. Rank the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a mess, and10 being a hottie:

Carmen Electra =
Lindsay Lohan =
Kylie Minogue =
Britney Spears =
Lita Ford =
Shania Twain =
Jessica Simpson =
Ashlee Simpson =
Courtney Love =
Cher =

Here’s another cop out. I love all women. Women are hot, in all shapes and sizes. I wouldn’t kick any of the women out bed that you mentioned.

Tricky (a.k.a. Nick Lane) today

15. Out of all the bands that Sweet F.A. ever toured or shared the stage with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you?ve ever met?

REO Speedwagon were very cool. shared the stage of this big arena we were playing with them at in their home town. No problems.

Tuff gave a bit of an issue for some reason. I don?t remember. Who cares. It’s silly to get bent about playing.

16. When we asked that same question to Tuff singer Stevie Rachelle a few years ago, he named Sweet F.A. as one of the bands that gave Tuff the ?tuffest? time. He specifically cited an incident at a club in Indiana in which Tuff and Sweet F.A. were slated as openers for Lita Ford. Sweet F.A. was scheduled to go on first, followed by Tuff, and then Lita as the headliner. For some reason, Lita cancelled and went home early, so Tuff finished out the rest of the dates alone. When they arrived at the club in Indiana for soundcheck, Sweet F.A. had all their gear, risers and backdrops set up, and Tuff were told that they?d be the openers for this particular show. Who?s idea was that, and all these years later, do you have anything to say about that incident? Feel free to pass the buck and incriminate anyone you?d like.

I don?t know and I don?t care.

Like I said, who gets bent about who goes on first or last. Just fu****g play.

Sweet F.A.
A rare live photo of Sweet F.A. in 1992!
For more live pics of these guys, check out Beth’s Page, which is where we stole this one from. Thanks Beth!

17. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you end up spending it on?

We made money?

Sweet F.A.18. A tricky question for Tricky Lane: Imagine you are driving a bus. When you start your trip, there are only 2 passengers ? an aging British metal singer named Lemmy Kilmeister, and some punk with a raspy, sexy voice who calls himself DJ Ashba. At the first stop, Lemmy gets off the bus and Black N? Blue?s drummer Pete Holmes (wearing an adult-sized diaper) climbs aboard. At the next stop, former Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist Jeff Scott Soto enters with Michael Vescera, another former Yngwie singer. Then Courtney Love and Hole drummer Samantha Maloney, who have been shopping at the mall all day, get on the bus. After a short trip, that DJ Ashba guy leaves, and former Vixen bassist Share Ross climbs aboard with her husband Bam. Jon Bon Jovi gets on the bus with his dog Scruffy, while Jeff Scott Soto and Michael Vescara get off, and, finally, the bus arrives at the bus station. What is the name of the bus driver?

Why do I have to drive the bus? That?s Fu***d!

19. The Last of Tricky Lane:

Last book you read = a friend?s work in progress
Last CD you purchased = Trail of Dead
Last drum kit you bought = Ludwig sparkle
Last concert you watched from the audience = The Coachella festival. Every year
Last gig you played with Sweet F.A. = something 91.
Last time someone asked you what ?Sweet F.A.? stands for = 2 days ago
Last time you spoke to James Lee Thorpe = 5 months ago..
Last time you threw up from drinking = It?s been awhile, but I was real close.
Last time you shit yourself = That?s funny. If you shart, does that count?
Last time you cried = I said Tito give me a tissue

Star No Star
Tricky and his sparkly Ludwig kit in one of his many musical projects, "Star No Star"

20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association! We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.

Nikki Sixx = Cool Crue bass player
Howard Benson = 2 cd task master. just playing.
Tricky Lane 2005Howard Stern = funny Fu**er
Debbie Gibson = looks good in playboy.
Mark Matthews = good bass player
Sebastian Bach = Good pipes for rock and metal
Pauly Shore = the weasil
Steven David DeLong = good front man
Alice Cooper = still kicking ass rocker
Axl Rose = mmmmmmmmm I liked old G&R.

have at it.


Tricky (ha ha)

Even though he wimped out on our rate-a-drummer and rate-a-chick questions, Tricky still put up with our barrage of ridiculous-assed questions and came out relatively unscathed. And now all of you Sweet F.A. fans can rest easy tonight because we’ve finally got someone from that band to do 20 Questions with us! Hooray!

Tricky Lane doesn’t have his own Web site, but you can visit the site for one of his bands (Star No Star) at starnostar.com.

You can also check out his MySpace page at myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=2459240. Quick, request Tricky to add you so it looks like he’s got some friends!

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