20 QUESTIONS WITH…
DOKKEN bassist BARRY SPARKS!
Just who in the fuck is Barry Sparks?
A lot of us on the Metal Sludge staff asked that very same question when he e-mailed us a few weeks back and said he wanted to do 20 Questions.
It turns out that Barry Sparks is the bass player in Dokken this week, currently touring with Don and the gang, as well as having played on Dokken’s recent Hell To Pay CD. But that’s not all! Barry’s also got quite the lengthy resum?, having recorded and performed with Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Michael Schenker Group, Yngwie Malmsteen, UFO, and a shitload of others we’re probably ignoring. He seems to be a well-respected and highly-sought after musician, so we could think of nothing better than to insult him with a bunch of ridiculous 5th-grade questions.
Yeah, we know… the Crüe is reuniting and going on tour, and you get a 20 Questions with Barry Sparks this week. We’re timely like that. Anyway, here they are.
1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
I am on tour playing bass with U.F.O, Pete Way cant get into the USA because of a visa problem, so I am helping them out. I love those guys and I am very proud to be a part of it. Also I am finishing up a long Dokken tour for the "Hell to pay" album and getting ready to do some stuff with my good bud Ted Nugent. In between all of this I play gigs with my own band, heres my plug! my new album is called "Can’t Look Back" buy it from my website today www.barrysparks.com
2. At what time did you wake up today, and can you describe the first 3 hours of your day for us?
I woke up at 11:00 am. The first thing I do is soak in a boiling hot tub for about an hour, I contemplate life and think about girls private parts then after all of that its time for a bite to eat, since I live in tucson (and play with Ted Nugent), a snake or a coyote is pretty easy to hunt down in the middle of the afternoon, or a gopher, those are pretty good too! all in all thats about three hours.
3. Rank the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a total hack, and 10 being a god among bassists.
Duff McKagan = 7- I like Duff , He always has a cool growling klanky bass tone.
Gene Simmons = 7- I have always thought Gene was underrated, listen to some early Kiss you will hear some great rock bass playing.
Jerry Dixon = 7- Jerry Dixon is way cool and a great dude to hang out with
Jeff Pilson = 8- Jeff also has always had a cool tone, the times I have met him he has been a very nice friendly guy.
Pete Way = 10- Pete Way is the definition of Rock N Roll
Todd Jensen = sorry I cant think who that is?
Eddie Jackson = 8 – great tones, yeah he’s got it
Dana Strum = 7 – I met him once, he seemed like a nice guy
Nikki Sixx = 7 – good rock star qualities
Chip Z?Nuff = dont know enuff about him to say
4. When you were recording tracks for Dokken?s ?Hell to Pay? CD, did you ever hear Don exclaim anything like, ?John Kalodner?s going to work this album the way he did Aerosmith!!? If so, did you honestly believe him at the time?
of course I did! Don had been on the phone with him quite a bit so why not? stranger things have happened? and why wouldnt John work this album? its great.
5. Also, when you were in the studio with Don and songs like ?Escape? and ?Prozac Nation? were presented for recording, did you ever say to yourself, ?Wait a minute? I thought Dokken was supposed to be a rock band!?
No, I love those tunes!, especially "Prozac Nation" listen to it again, and hear my tribute to John Entwhistle! if we made an album that sounded just like the 80’s Dokken, people would say we were dated. Don worked very hard on that album and we are very happy with it. Go clean the wax outta your ears!
6. Is Dokken a band you?d like to be involved with for several years, or are you just hanging out until something ?good? comes along?
Dokken is something good! I am here until I marry Brooke Burke and she pays for my solo career.
7. In your opinion, who?s the most overrated band today?
Almost all of the new "so called rock bands" they all sound exactly the same, I cant tell any of them apart and they seem to be faceless rockstars. But whatever clear channel shoves down our throats we eat up dont we?
8. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?
Fenders or Gibsons = both, some songs I use my strat, some songs gotta have my les paul
Michael Schenker or Rudy Schenker = toss up, I like Michaels playing but Rudy is the perfect rockstar
Ohio or Arizona = Arizona, are you joking?
The Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family = Brady Bunch by far, Marcia was hot
Tony MacAlpine or Vinnie Moore = Vinnie is more bluesy which I like, Tony is more unreal chops guy.
Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster = Bigfoot could kick the lochness monsters ass anyday
Blow jobs or rim jobs = giving or recieving? I would have to go with blow jobs.
King Diamond or Alice Cooper = Alice Cooper, cmon your joking? you gotta be?
Popeye?s or KFC = neither, I dont really like fried chicken. I like Quiznos.
Warrant or Poison = Warrant, they are good guys, I dont know Poison, but I bet C.C is a blast to hang out with.
9. Your new solo album ?Can?t Look Back? is mellow as hell. Do you think you?re letting down the Dokken and Nugent fans who buy your CD thinking it?s something that rocks, only to discover it?s more like a Hanson or a Hootie and the Blowfish record?
It does rock you moron! why would I want to do a solo album that sounded like Dokken? I also happen think Hanson is pretty damn good! I dont have to prove to people that I can play Heavy Metal, been there done that, check my discography. my album to me is a represention of what I like to listen to, besides I am not a metal singer and have always secretly wanted to be Tom Petty.
10. As well, Ted Nugent and ZZ Top?s Billy Gibbons both make appearances on your solo album. Who had to blow these guys to get them to agree to something like that?
11. Rank the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of rotten fish entrails, and 10 being a modern-day Aphrodite:
Britney Spears = 10 – god bless her, love her, there is nothing wrong with Britney.
Christina Aguilera = 7 – ok, thats all
Angelina Jolie = 10 – love her, maybe its because she is so insane, she looks like she would kill you after you had sex with her, like a black widow, how hot is that?
Jessica Simpson = 8 – there is nothing wrong with her either, not sure why she gets an 8?
Ashlee Simpson = 6 – not really my type, I like a girl who can wear a schoolgirl outfit.
Shania Twain = 9 – she is real hot, but looks like she would be a bit of work though, like make you do chores and stuff.
Paris Hilton = 2 – I dont get her at all,, she bugs me.
Kylie Minogue = 9 – she is too skinny for me but she is way hot! she needs to gain some weight, I like girls with baby fat and a big butt.
Catherine Zeta-Jones = 15- she is my all time fave chick, there is none hotter than her in Zorro, when Michael Douglas is out of the picture she will be with me. I know she loves me, she does really.
Aria Giovanni = 9- she is super way way hot, but gets a 7 because she has been with too many totally gross dudes. ya know, a shower cant get rid of that!
12. You are not known to be a notorious partier or drug addict. So how is it that you got the offer to play bass in UFO?
good my secret is safe. I am playing with U.F.O because they are smart guys and know the right guy for the job.
Barry on tour with UFO, or on some kind of heavy acid trip. We’re not sure which.
13. What ?rock star? deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
Axl Rose. I dont think an explanation is needed.
14. Yes or No, has Barry Sparks ever done the following:
Boiled bass strings = of course
Pissed in a beer stein = of course, only to drink it later
Shit in a coffee pot = only for my own morning coffee
Jacked off in a rowboat = no I think it was a rubber raft and there was a goat with me.
Prank called Jon Levin = yes.
Gone bow hunting with Uncle Ted = yes. I like to hunt alongside Ted but I prefer to tackle my prey with my bare hands and strangle the life out of the poor creature and eat it raw.
Done blow with ?Wild? Mick Brown = havent we all?
Seen Don Dokken without his wig = what wig? and why are you guys so damn obssesed with Don, without him you would have nothing to talk about.
Vomited on stage = no I waited til I walked off stage and puked on an innocent bystander.
Drove drunk = yes, but I was drunk and naked with a loaded gun in my hand, is that wrong?
15. How was it to work with Michael Schenker? Many people seem to think that he?s a bit unstable and unreliable. Was that your impression of him as well, or in reality, is he nothing like the reputation that precedes him?
First off, I love michael, he is my all time fave guitarist, sure he has been known to be a bit "out there" but he is actually a very friendly likeable guy most of the time!
16. Would you ever consider starting a band with Kerri Kelli?
sure why not?
17. Come to think of it, is there any washed up band that you wouldn’t play bass for?
No absolutley not. But I dont consider any of the bands I have played for "washed up" If you call bands with 30 year histories behind them that still make good music "washed up" then I guess they all are.
18. For what amount was your largest music-related check, and what did you do with the funds?
3 million dollars, I spent most of it on hookers and blow.
19. The Last of Barry Sparks:
Last book you read = The mouse and the motorcycle.
Last song you recorded = "Already Dead" its for my next "wimp rock" solo cd.
Last movie you watched in the theatre = "The forgotten" Me and Vinnie Moore almost jumped out of our seats.
Last concert you watched from the audience = I cant remember, most shows I see I am playing at.
Last bassist gig you turned down = I dont turn down gigs, can’t you tell?
Last time you got a speeding ticket = its been a few years, I went to traffic school and I finally have a clean record.
Last time you appeared on live television = 1999 craig kilborne show with Billie Myers.
Last time someone called you ?Sparky? = today
Last time you played hopscotch = this morning.
Last time you got drunk = also this morning
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.
Vince Neil = an older version of me
Alex Del Rosso = one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet
Phil Mogg = one of my all time fave vocalists and great guy to hang out and party with.
Marco Mendoza = bass god, latin love god
Don Dokken = a very talented writer and singer and source of 90% of all metal sludge material (get a life you guys!)
Uli John Roth = unreal out of this world guitarist, one of the best
Shane Gaalaas = the absolute best drummer on this planet.
Yngwie Malmsteen = amazing guitarist, not as bad as people think, just needs a little love thats all.
Klaus Meine = vocal god, legend, I cant believe I am on a scorpions album!
Ted Nugent = my hero. there is nothing bad to say about Ted, he rules, get out of his way or he will kick your ass! I dare metal sludge to bag on Ted!
Theres my 20 questions! now go buy my album!
So there you are! This week’s 20 Questions.
Did Barry seem confrontational to you? We asked ourselves the same question, and we came to the conclusion that Barry was just throwing back what we threw at him. Well, that shows he’s able to hang and he seemed like he had fun with the questions. Though we’re surprised he didn’t know who Todd Jensen was in our Rate-a-Bassist question. After all, the only bassist-for-hire we could think of more obscure than Todd is Barry Sparks. Well, live and learn.
For the latest on whatever it is Barry has going on in his world, check out his official Web site at www.barrysparks.com