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20 Questions with Matthew Nelson, 8/27/02



Matthew Nelson
(he’s the blond one wearing jeans)

Before we get to Matthew’s 20 Questions, you first need to know the backstory!

Back in March, Matthew sent an email to Donna saying:
Hello Donna. Hope this email finds you well. I do enjoy your column here…
I’d love to chat with you sometime to give you the real story on myself, "NELSON", and escapades past…as you can imagine it can be a frightening thing to read some of the "real information" some of these mutants post about you…after you get done laughing your ass off, of course.
Life’s been good to me and I’ve always tried to be a gentleman and as down to earth and cool to people as possible (assholes and psychos excluded)- that’s why I’ve never "kissed and told"- and I’ve been with the same lady happily (bucking the Hollywood odds) for 10 years now (married for 7) and she’s about as beautiful (The Frederick’s Of Hollywood girl) and cool as anyone could imagine- so it’s like revisiting ancient history digging that old shite up again and perhaps completely pointless…but…maybe it’s best that I state my own case before I move on forever. I try to live with class and grace but it’s kinda tough standing back and watching as human pond scum spreads fabrications about me and my family. People who REALLY know me are very aware that I’ve never had a problem being honest and straightforward- you need only ask. That’s probably why they’re afraid of me- you know- "people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones" and all that.
Please understand if it takes me a little time to get back to you- we still go out and play shows alot and are in the middle of recording a new album.
If not- take care, live well, and keep up the buzz…a producer friend of mine turned me on to this site years ago and it’s always good for a laugh.

Soon after that, we sent Matthew 20 Questions. We waited, and waited, and waited, and Matthew kept saying they are on the way. Then on June 4th, Donna got this email from Matthew:
Hey Donna- back in LA from the road. Major computer crash- lost everything. Please re-email me the questions and I’ll get right on them.

So we had to send them again! Then we waited, and waited, and waited, blah blah blah, and Matthew said they were coming.
Guess what?

On August 16th, we got this email from Matthew:

Howdy Sludgemeister. Matthew Nelson here. Picture the scene…my laptop fired up…a legal pad for notes… a couple of hours of peace and quiet and nothing ahead but a gig later this evening with a late soundcheck…fire up my AOL to get to my "20 Questions"…


I’m trying to decide weather or not this is someone’s way of telling me to not get involved… but I am comitted. And I really want to get them back to you as I know you need them…fucking AOL. I know this is the 3rd time I’ll be requesting 20 questions being resent but I will answer them as soon as I get them this time…to be honest it feels like I’m doing an overdue term paper for a teacher that I irritate. well, that’s actually pretty cool I guess. And I kind of expext a completely different set of questions- since the second set of questions you sent varied from the first ones and were more antagonistic. Well- let’s try and get this done. As you know from my last email I’ve really been working hard and lots of travel so my free time to get to stuff like this is really rare. Now it’s become a kind of sick masochisticly twisted quest.
I’ll check my email periodically today.
Matthew Nelson

So for the 3rd time we had to send him his questions, and by that point we were ready to start doing some bitch slapping. Luckily, this time he had them back to us in a few days. It took us 5 months to get these questions in!! That might be a Metal Sludge record. Was it worth the wait? Eh, who knows, but these are pretty good and there are some good stories here. You should be entertained. Enjoy!

1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to promote your shit.
All I ever wanted to do was make a good living writing and playing music I believed in- and I’ve been able to do that so far- thank God. As far as new stuff goes we’re finishing up a killer new release on Transcontinental Records for the fall or early spring ’03 and are now managed by, believe it or not sportsfans, Lou Pearlman (n Sync/ Backstreet). He is indeed a marketing genius and we’ve learned that this business is ALL about marketing so we think it’s a good way to go. But we’ve also learned to "hope for the best- plan for the worst" so we retained our rights to sell our independent releases on our self-owned Stone Canyon label (7 titles and counting). We still play gigs to enthusiastic audiences when we want to- our fans are great and stay connected with us via our website (TheNelsonBrothers.com) where our touring schedule is constantly updated, our catalog is available, and anything regarding NELSON or Matt and Gunnar can be found. We still take the time after every show to stay and meet anyone that wants to meet us- keeps things real. CBS is in production on a 4 hour miniseries documenting the last 100 years of our family in show business and life.

2. How did you find out about Metal Sludge and how often do you visit?
My friend Jack Ponti (producer/writer) turned me onto Sludge…I rarely visit though…usually to laugh at some erroneous bullshit that someone who’s never met me writes about me- professing their intimate, first-hand knowledge. The usual..

3. What’s your take on all the 80s hairbands getting back together and any chance of Nelson going out on a Summer tour with Poison someday?
I guess it makes sound business sense for some of those bands to team up but I can’t really see myself onstage with most of those guys. Alot of those bands had songs that were crap back then…let alone with a decade of fermentation. The rockumentary Spinal Tap said it best…"treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry". Nelson was never a "spill beer on your girlfriends" type of band- we were the rock band that top 40 radio embraced and rock radio despised…a song oriented "chick" band …(why was it that the bands that had audiences comprised of nothing but teenage and pre-pubescent boys called us "fags" when we played and still play to audiences comprised mosly of women…I’ll never understand that one) so I find it ironic that alot of those bands that loved to hate us ten years ago and wouldn’t let us in their little club are now coming to us wanting to throw a tour together and hit the road. I don’t think so- but if it ever does happen I’m sure you’ll find me involved somehow as producer or owner of the event. Besides- think about it- the fucking egos involved would make for a truly miserable experience. Can you imagine the backstage "who opens for who" type of pathetic hissy fits?!! I think we’ll continue to go it alone, thanks.

4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
Spinal Tap. It was all downhill after "Intravenus Di Milo"

5. Rate the following guitar players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being a virtuoso.
Ted Nugent = 8
Bruce Kulick = 8
Joe Perry = 10
Warren DeMartini = 7
C.C. DeVille = 1
Mick Mars = 4
George Lynch = 11
Tom Kiefer = 8
Tracii Guns = 2
Dave "The Snake" Sabo = 4

6. Of all the bands that you guys played with, who gave you the least amount of respect?
Cinderella. Actually- it was their tour manager Charlie Hernandez that was the real prick. They were headlining but we were outselling them in merch 3 to 1…so in retaliation our staging, lighting, sound, and set length kept getting reduced to where it was near impossible. Our crew was so disgusted by their treatment that they began counting down the days on their laminates til the day we were leaving the tour. Members of their entourage began to drink very heavily when ticket sales for their big tour dwindled…it was sad to see a big ship sink first-hand. I played in every night’s 3 band "jam session" and didn’t find out until the last night that they’d been muting my bass in the house the entire time! We couldn’t wait to leave and get back to headlining the theatres we came from. We never recovered our momentum and in hindsight it was a bad career move prompted by our then manager who thought we’d help with his other band’s bottom line whilst trying to convince us that we need to play with Cinderella because "nobody took us seriously". Who the fuck cares when you’re selling out 50 theatres headlining on your own and have a #1 record?! What was really sad is that I was a real Cinderella fan and still think that Tom Keifer is a true talent. But his employees were true assholes.

7. Do you have a problem with Donnie Vie and his driving?
To set the record straight I love Donnie Vie like a brother. I will ALWAYS be there for him if he needs me. We fought the wars together and I will never say anything bad about him. Understand this. But here’s the straight deal on the "car" incident. I restored a 1965 Mustang GT convertible and had a picture of it in my bus bunk. Through conversation, Donnie asked if he could drive my ‘stang if he ever made it out to LA….I said yes and sure enough after the tour Donnie came over and borrowed my car for the day. Five days later- still no word from Donnie and no Mustang. Now I’m freaking. I hear a noise in my driveway and get to the door just in time to see Donnie jump into a waiting car in the street with 2 other very large guys and haul ass out of there. The car looked a little dirty, but fine…FROM THAT ANGLE. I went to the other side and HOLYFUCKINGSHITWHATTHEHELLDIDHEDOTOMYBEAUTIFULCAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The whole front-right quarter was torn off- headlight shattered and hanging…you get the picture. When I finally did get ahold of Donnie (now at a safe distance) I told him that he’d done about 12 thousand dollars in damage and I’d like him to fix my car. He suggested I took part in one of his songs as a co-writer (I indeed actually co-wrote a new set of lyrics for MY album only)o he actually didn’t GIVE me anything. And he’s told many folks- me included- that I "stole" one of his songs.But I have a deal for Donnie. Since I have not earned a single PENNY from that song- I am offering it back to him now and forever. Keep it. But I would like my $12,000 please.
To re-itterate: I love Donnie Vie and have never had a problem with him personally. As a matter of fact I’d like to congratulate him on his recent marriage.
But Donnie- you can’t drive my car anymore.

8. You dated Erin Everly after her Axl bout. Tell us one really whacked thing about Axl that she revealed to you?
She said Axl was obsessed with his premature balding. She also expressed to anyone who’d listen that he had large testicles and a tiny penis…I found that kinda amusing…nice girl, that Erin Everly.


Matthew and Gunnar, or Gunnar and Matthew.
Who the hell knows?

9. What was your biggest music related check for and what did you buy with it?
1,000,000 for a publishing advance. It paid for overages on my first tour and the first four videos. Oh yeah- and repairs for my Mustang. If I could do it all over again I woulda bought real-estate.

10. The last of Matthew Nelson:
Last famous person you ate with = my sister Tracy
Last Playmate you kissed = my old girlfriend, Feb ’91 Playmate Peggy McIntaggart- in ’91
Last time you visited a Guitar Center = 3 weeks ago
Last 80s hairband CD you listened = Def Leppard ‘Hysteria’- still brilliant
Last time you saw Warrant live = NEVER. Thank God.
Last drug you used = I’ve never even smoked a joint in my life. Just not my thing.
Last gig you played = last night
Last book you read = Steven King ‘On Writing’
Last CD you purchased = Robbie Williams ‘Sing When You’re Winning’
Last time you were drunk = My friend Todd’s wedding 3 months ago.

11. Do you think you were really fooling anybody with those hair extensions?
You mean I didn’t fool anybody???
Yes, I wore extensions for my videos…not on tour…back then. I considered it wardrobe- they hurt like hell- and were REALLY expensive- but for those times it was still a smart move, all in all, I guess. Image was important. Well the ladies seemed to dig our look back then and that’s all I cared about…the dudes could rot for all I cared.

12. Give us a touring memory about the following cities:
Philadelphia = Our guitarist Joey Cathcart had his first grand mall seizure in front of me backstage before our show at the Tower theatre thanks to an undiscovered brain tumor. We had to go on without him- trul a traumatic experience.
Detroit = a sea of Beavis and Buttheads
Tampa = great looking sun-kissed girls
Dallas = 13,000 fans there on our first tour…awesome!
Salt Lake City = Mormon girls are very twisted. Gunnar had 6 girls in his hot tub at the same time- 3 of them were sisters.
Milwaukee = a sea of very drunk Beavis and Buttheads
Atlanta = The Gold Club. The promoter’s wife was a stripper there. A little weird (but strangely erotic) when he commanded his wife (in street clothes) to strip for us.
New York = Got into a fight with merchandise bootleggers in front of the Beacon Theatre. Also got kicked out of my hotel room for my then girlfriend being a little…um…too loud. Gunnar announced my room number on Z100.
Las Vegas = Played the Hilton Ballroom last year- same venue Elvis played for the last years of his life.
Denver = Went to war with a radio station that was ripping us up from the stage. The crowd went nuts…but I admit now it wasn’t my finest moment.

13. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth?
Sebastian Bach. At least he did 10 years ago.

14. Since you grew up in the entertainment industry, how dysfunctional do you think you and your brother are?
BLISSFULLY DYSFUNCTIONAL. Anyone who decides to do this crap for a living and be subjected to inquisitions like this has got to be deliciously dysfunctional.

15. Yes or no, has Matthew Nelson ever:
Tag teamed a chick with Gunnar = no
Had sex with Debbie Gibson = no.
Let a girl use a strap on you = L.O.L.!!! um…no.
Slapped Erin Everly = no. (But she really really really desrved it.)
Gone to a therapist = yes. When my mom was divorcing my dad she sent me to one to try to get me to turn on my dad for use against him in court. Ain’t that a peach!
Purchased a Britney Spears CD = yes.
Told a chick you were Gunnar = yes
Rented a porn video within the last 3 months = actually…within the last 3 hours.
Had dinner with Shania Twain = no
Played a senior citizens center = Not a big enough guarantee…

16. Your wife Yvette is the Fredrick’s Of Hollywood model. How do you feel about her posing nude at PlanetYvette.net and guys touching their private parts while they look at her site?
I feel we have something in common! Look- my wife is PERFECT. We’ve been together for 10 years (which is like 80 in Hollywood years) and I am indeed a lucky man and proud to be her husband. She is total class and her site is classy. I would be a complete moron to think that thousands of guys haven’t been playing with themselves thinking of bedding my wife for years already. Only now- she’s getting paid directly for it so I hope they whack themselves silly. Become a member of her site and chafe away. Remember- it’s PlantYvette.net for all you cheesecake pervs out there.

17. How does it feel to be in a band that tours so much for nothing?
L.O.L.! Well as long as you consider the fact that I make more money now than I did when I had the #1 record in the country and I’m still playing for thousands of people per gig and haven’t had to team up with Pretty Boy Floyd to do it…I guess I feel pretty lousy about it.

18. Besides the hair transplants, nose jobs and liposuction, have you had any other plastic surgery?
Let me be straight with you. I’ve had a little work done. More than some and less than many. If you can afford it I highly recommend it. But it’s my job. As long as I chose to be an entertainer it’s important to take care of myself. My nightmare would be to look like some of the "rock stars" that have quit and let themselves go. It’s just that I still care. And, in the words of Cher- the patron saint of cosmetic enhancement- "if I want to have a pair of tits stapled to my back that’s my own fucking business."

19. Do you make your own money or are you living off of your dad’s name and royalties?
I make my own money. I also, along with my siblings, enjoy a small income from the lifetime of work my father put in before his death. But since I’m sure you couldn’t name 5 of my dad’s songs and probably have no idea who he was or what he meant to people and he’s dead and can’t speak for himself- kindly fuck off. He was my best friend.

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We give you a name and you give us your thoughts.
Dana Strum = Tammi Monroe’s Ex
Cinderella = Aerosmith Lite
Donnie Vie = Creative Driving World Champion
Jewel = Snaggletoothed but cute
Ron Keel = Do you mean Ronnie LEE Keel?!?
Kid Rock = White Trash Messiah
Geffen = Bielzebub
Micheal Raphael = Great Father
Bobby Rock = The Legend
Jani Lane = He MARRIED Bobbie Brown!!!! HAHAHAHAH!!!!

We think the Donnie Vie story alone was worth the wait! The Axl story wasn’t bad either. And we give Matthew props for admitting he wore extensions and had plastic surgery. Most guys always deny that shit, so that’s cool. We need more quality answers like that!

For more info on Nelson you can go to www.TheNelsonBrothers.com.

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