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20 Questions With Greg Strzempka, 9/25/01



Raging Slab’s Greg Strzempka

We have to thank Long Paul over at KNAC for bringing Greg to our attention. So if you don’t like these 20 Questions, blame Long Paul! It was his idea. If you do like them, then we’ll take credit for that because of our quality questions. And you should like these because they’re good. Warrant gets slapped around a bit, so that’s always enjoyable. Have fun!

1. What are you guys currently up to? This is your only chance to promote your projects, tours, and other shit like that.
We’re about to leave for our "EURO-TRASHED" european tour – which takes care of September and October—Um…. The "bootlegs" we’ve been selling on our website are being RE-Rereleased thru TeePee/Underdogma as Two 2 CD sets -with big fat 20 page booklets full of the requisite fanboy box-set shit….Those should available in November—- We are also working on our 10 volume book;"Raging Slab’s History of Boogie!" , solving the world hunger problem, overseeing peace talks between Israel and Palestine, searching for Chandra Levy, and conducting ongoing experiments using Rap Metal "musicians" and a Wood Chipper….

2. Fans report that your album FreeBurden’ is one of the best you’ve recorded. What was RCA’s reasoning behind not releasing it?
To the best of my recollection – Some jackass in a suit told us "I don’t hear a "Don’t Dog Me" ?!- Which was mainly due to the fact that "Don’t Dog Me" was on our previous record…

3. What’s the story behind Phil Ondich leaving Raging Slab to join Black Label Society, and why is he on four tracks on the new album?
Phil was friends with Zakk before he joined our band—and I’d probably blame his leaving the band on Phil being a little "starstruck" – as in – ‘OZZY’s old guitar player wants me to be in his band!’ -"I quit!" —It was just a little sudden and came completely out of the blue… so we were a little bitter at the time…however I understand his motives- and we’re all friends again-

as far as the tracks on the new record- Phil is an EXCELLENT drummer…and the songs he recorded with us were really good -and when you’ve NAILED it- why do it again? (I think Phil actually plays on 6 songs—-and I just spaced on the credits…sorry Phil!)

4. Other than Raging Slab, what hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
other than us? um….I dunno The LAST thing the world needs is one less Hard Rock Band!

5. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being a vocal god.
Jani Lane = 1
Vince Neil = 3
Brian Johnson = 7 (when he had a throat)
Jesse James Dupree = 4
Zakk Wylde = 7
James Hetfield = 5
Axl Rose = 3
Stephen Pearcy = 3
Sammy Hagar = 5- With MONTROSE=9
Gregg Allman = 10

6. You guys did a club tour with Guns N Roses. Tell us about that and what good Axl stories do you have?
During sound check- Axl would make EVERYBODY leave the venue while he did his "vocal check" – ( and I mean everybody…including the rest of his band! )- Being naturally curious—one time we managed to stow away behind some road cases …..When the great man was assured the coast was clear-he was led onto the stage by a couple of "handlers" and after some yelling at the soundman-and checking the positioning of his telepromters-he proceeded to trot around the room with a cordless mic -JUST a-wailing these phony-baloney blues scats- and then began singing "Live and Let Die" ACCAPELLA-! —We we’re finally discovered because we were laughing so hard we almost pissed ourselves….needless to say Axl’s people were VERY upset with us …….Anyhow- having us open was Slash’s idea…-and He always made damn sure we felt right at home- and thanks to him -It was the only time we didn’t run out of Backstage Booze!

7. Do you have all your fingers?
My left hand pinky got knocked off in a bizarre bass-cabinet accident- it was sewed back on -but It still has little bone spurs sticking out of it-(under the skin…) …..The Doctor was gonna throw it in the trash-can- But Elyse kept running into the emergency room yelling "He’s a guitar player! Save the finger!" Considering I was in a hospital in Bed-Stuy- (a really nasty part of Brooklyn….) and the person next to me had three gunshot wounds – I was pretty dern lucky!

8. Isn’t it a pain in the ass to be in a band with your wife?
You’ve obviously met Elyse!

9. Of all the bands you guys have played with, you treated you the worst?
I’d have to say Warrant- cuz they had no idea what we were doing opening for them (like WE did?) -and strangely enough- even thirteen year old girls can tell the difference between Rock and Schlock- if they’re given the opportunity…The tour was (mercifully) cut short- cuz the poor things just couldn’t go on after us….

10. What do you remember about the following years?
1978 = The Ramones and Motorhead
1983 = coming into a years supply of Mescaline and meeting my wife (not neccesarily in that order)
1986 = Recording our 1st album;"Assmaster" ….doing our first tour
1988 = Getting Signed To RCA
1991 = Getting dropped from RCA- Getting Signed to American
1994 = Trying To get dropped from American
1997 = Getting Dropped from American

11. Can you name all of Raging Slab’s drummers in alphabetical order?
What is this- an interview? or a SOBRIETY TEST?

12. What’s the purpose of having a website if it’s never updated and most of the pages aren’t even up?
Um… I’m not sure? What is the point? Why are we here? Is there life after Boogie? …? Is there a Vocal God?

13. When you guys toured with Alice In Chains, did you ever shoot up with Layne Staley?
We played a lotta gigs with those guys- but never actually toured with them…So I’d have to say YES !

14. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
Rich Robinson- cuz I’ve never heard so much bitchin’ and whining about what it’s like to be a fuckin teenage millionaire…must be rough-dude!

15. Have you and your wife ever had another chick join you in the bedroom?
Um…do motel maids count?

16. This should be funny. How much was your biggest music related check for and what did you do with it?
I don’t remember the amount -but my RCA signing advance went towards a really fine set of power tools—Milwaukee!-Made in The USA! Still got em too!

17. Are you bummed that the Black Crowes basically stole your image and had way more success with it than you guys did?
No- I’m fuckin THRILLED!

18. Just how evil is Rick Rubin?
Being truly evil implies some sort of cunning intelligence – so I’d have to say that Rick isn’t evil at all…

19. Don’t you think if you guys were a little more business savvy you wouldn’t have ended up getting so fucked over by the record companies?
Possibly – However- the only thing we’ve ever given a shit about is being MUSICALLY SAVVY – and -well -there ya go! Careers are for Yuppies !

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Joey Ramone = A real good friend to us- especially when we were starting out – and a Rock and Roller thru and thru…
Kurt Loder = The only person on MTV who actually knows what he’s talikn about…tried to get Metallica’s managment to handle us…They said we weren’t "dumb enuff" – The only time I’ve ever felt stupid for being smart.
Fred Durst = Ripe for The Wood Chipper!
Nikki Sixx = Nice guy – very supportive towards the Slab- and obviously a man of impeccable taste!
Bret Michaels = a Pennsylvania boy! – You didn’t that was a Hollywood accent? didya?
Chris Robinson = Once told me he thought that Ronnie Van Zant was a "Dumb, Fat Hillbilly!" Southern Harmony? -MY ASS!
Rick Rubin = $$$
Warrant = Warrant (that’s the worst thing I could think of callin’ ‘em)
Jackyl = Party Rock!
RCA Records = Getting to quit my day job and a Private Tour of Graceland!

For more info on Raging Slab, you can visit their website at http://www.ragingslab.com/index.html

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