Home / Interviews / 20 Questions / 20?s w/ x-Pariah/Meat Puppets drummer Shandon Sahm.

20?s w/ x-Pariah/Meat Puppets drummer Shandon Sahm.

20?s wx-Pariah/Meat Puppets drummer Shandon Sahm.


Shandon Sahm goes underwater for a photo shoot!

Not a lot of people know Shandon Sahm, or remember Pariah but that’s okay because there is more to the hard rock world than KISS & Metallica. Pariah was and still is in many peoples mind, part of that rock n’ roll world.

Based in Austin Texas they played all over the Lone Star state and built a huge regional following. Eventually they landed the mother load record deal with Geffen Records. But delays and industry bullshit left them floating forever and their release was pushed back to 1993. The story tragically ends when their bassist Sims Ellison took his own life in 1995. This happened shortly after losing their record deal.

Please read on to find out more about Shandon Sahm, Pariah, his other projects including playing drums with the Meat Puppets and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.

1. Here is your chance to plug your releases, websites, tours and more? 
my name is shandon sahm son of tx legend doug sahm of sir douglas quintet and tx tornados fame i have played with pariah ,gibby haynes and his problem, curt kirkwood of meat puppets and my dads sdq record. day dreamin at midnight. i have a new cd called KNOCK YOURSELF OUT in march 2006 .im fronting my own band using my own family name. i have played drums almost all my life..then one day i noticed that all or almost all your fave frontmen started on the drums. first, joey ramone and iggy pop are just 2 examples ,that ,and the sad state of rock n roll made me put on some eyeliner and a boa, and give people an arena rock show inside a club.i do a throw back to the 1973 iggy raw power trip. go to www.shandonsahm.com and check out the video for the song rock n roll demon. to purchase my 2 solo cd stuff log onto www.cd-fuse.com i just like to mess with peoples heads. i will even fuck my guitar on stage!! no holds barred!! never forget to have fun its only rock n roll and shandon likes it!! www.myspace.com/shandonsahm rock, rock, till ya drop, is my motto…  
2. Tell us about the band Pariah. When did the band form, how old were you guys and how did the Geffen deal happen? 
the geffen thang came around 1990 at the back room during sxsw tom zutaut saw us and said he waz too busy, but by being back stage with us other offers will come, he was right. we should have signed with john sykes of chrisalyss records he loved us. instead we went with the guy with the big ego! tom!!we were 19yrs old young dumb and freakin full to the brimm of cum!! we started in 1987 w me singing and playing the drums ,then we got dave derrick, 1year later, then followed by jared tuten from broken teeth.  


Pariah left to right is… Kyle Ellison (guitar), Sims Ellison (bass), Dave Derrick (vocals), Shandon Sahm (drums) & Jared Syn (guitars).

3. Now tell us how the Meat Puppets gig came about? 
kyle was playing in the original line up as a live 2nd guitarist on the no joke tour.. then curts bro chris had a horrible smack problem sooo curt moved down to austin tx to get away from drug seedy crap and start anew. kyle got me the gig in a nut shell. we released GOLDEN LIES on atlantic on hooties label.that wuz a tripp meeting dariuss from hootie.got to play the late late night with craig kilborn. that wuz a blast!!we opened for willie nelson and elastica.. remember them??  
4. You’ve went from drummer to singer in your new solo project, how come the change? Cause you wanted to get more chicks? 
as i explained in question one, it wuz the sad state of rock . its too safe and not because of the chicks. i have never had a problem in that department!! so it wasnt because of girls . im not gene simmons!! again ,iggy and joey, were drummers first, so i took a cue from them!! they are gods in my book ,along with my dad and ace frehley..   
5. Rate a drummer and rate a singer 1-10. 1 being a hack and 10 being a God!

Tommy Lee = i would rate a 8 for drumming and a 2 for selling out hard and fast ,that tommy goes to college was the worst piece of freakin crap, zero credibility in my book!  

Vinnie Paul = i dont like his triggerd drum sound but he is bad ass and more real than tommy i guess an 9  

Ken Wealty =  would be an 8 i would give him a 10 but he’s to busy sometimes going skiing and not always playing music he doesnt know his own talent or potential .  

Steven Adler =  fuckin loved his playing on appetite but lost his timing to smack gnr actually waited for a year for him to get his shit together he would rather do drugs what a waste old vintage adler i would give him a 10 but today’s adler i would not even rate him!! what a fuckin hack or wanker as john lennon used to say!  

Derrick Bostrom =  derrick is great in the old meat puppet context i would give him an 8 he’s creative but very minimal drumming i would take derrick over tommy lee any freakin day listen to up on the sun!great record!i have alot of respect for bostrom  



Shandon Sahm plays rock n’ roll singer  / Iggy Pop style!

W. Axl Rose =  vintage i would say 11 cause he fuckin used to tear it up pre kilt now in 2006 i would have to give him a 2 the hair braid thang is retarted you cant tell the king it sux know what i mean with axl its the elvis syndrome too much $ and not enough good music  

Dave Derrick =  dave i would give a 10 because i learned what to do and not to do he’s a natural frontman he rocks!!  

Iggy Pop =
  dude what can i say??he’s an 11 still at his age he is still bad ass . a guy i still look up to!  
Jason McMasters = jason would be an 8 i love the classic toys stuff great frontman and a natural. he is a great guy i also learned from him!  

Adam Ant = vintage adam ant gets a 12 in my book the guy freakin rules my world.  

last, but not least is gibby haynes he’s a 13 ,great frontman ,very creative and smart and sharp as a tack .. 
6. What rock star deserves a big smack in the mouth and why? 
gene simmons cause he just wont shut up very ego’d out steven adler for fuckin up big time scott stapp what can ya say about that hack!! he got lucky, he some how slipped through the cracks .fred durst for making backward ball caps cool again…NOT, JUST KIDDING…  


Pariah was one of Austin Texas’ finest in B&W.

7. You mention influences as KISS, Gary Numan, DEVO, Adam Ant, Iron Maiden, and David Lee Roth. That’s pretty all over the board. Okay here is a new one for the Sludge faithful. Give us ‘2’ words that best describe the following bands/artists:
WHAM = horrible just awful but better than creed.  

SLAYER = awesome they havent sold out, still the same dudes.  

U2 =  change the station fast, overrated.

GARTH BROOKS = ok for a guy thats got tons of freakin money but still has to do target commercials. zero credibility.  

RIGHT SAID FRED = better than creed.  

BRITNY FOX = horrible, a poor mans poison . 

DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS = ok i guess dont know too much about them!! nice blue overalls.

H-I-M = nice eyeliner.  

ICE CUBE = sold out a long time ago. 

GG ALLIN = awesome real freakin punk rock he is one of my influences. he didnt give a shit and thats what i liked about him!! .. 

8. Of all the bands you toured with, who were the coolest and who were the biggest dicks to deal with?

elastica was cool .half of jackal were cool,. everyone but the singer. mike monroe was way cool. but steve stevens was an ass. motley crue tommy was way nice very cool to me but nikki sixx wasnt too cool… 
9. Many people have lost a loved one tragically. Tell us about how Sims Ellison came into your life and how did his horrible death affect you, the band and the people who knew him best? 
i met sims in high school they asked me to play drums and i said yes. i miss him alot, he just had a hard time trying to chill. he was always chompin at the bit.. great guy . his passing is still a shock along with my dad and mother. pariah just couldnt go on with out him. it was a bro thang!!..  


Sims Ellison RIP my friend!

10. Your Father Doug Sahm was a pioneer in the Tex-Mex style of music and essentially a Texas music legend. He was first famous in 1960s with the Sir Douglas Quintet, and again many years later with Freddy Fender & the Texas Tornados. Unfortunately he passed away from a heart attack in 1999. How did your Father affect and influence your music career and life? 
he influenced me alot. i grew up in smokey clubs. it was a great education. wouldnt have changed that for the world. my dads passing was a big shock to all of us , it still is!! .. 
11. Texas in general has lost some huge musical names in the recent years. Stevie Ray Vaughn, your Father, Dimebag Darrell Abbott and of course Sims Ellison. Do you think this hardship and heartache has brought more of the Texas local musicians tighter as a group? 
yes, because now we live for the moment and enjoy things instead of taking advantage of everthing. texas has been very supportive of the sahm family.a big thank you goes out to my bro shawn for keeping his biz all together… 


Pariah "Make Believe" (’92) was a self released disc.

12. Pick your Poison.

Listening to DEVO "Freedom of Choice" or Listening to KISS "Dynasty" =  thats a hard one i love both of those albums equally i guess dynasty

Playing the drums or Playing the frontman = frontman, alot more fun!! i dont have to back up people with huge egos anymore. good drummers make the band look and sound great.

The Dallas Cowboys or The Dallas Mavericks = neither i freakin hate jocks and sports stuff. just awful, i just dont care for sports.. it brings out the worst in people.

Sick Kid or Powerless = powerless 

Glam rock or Goth rock = slam for sure 

Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park = i hate limp b. and linkin park they are the reason for the sad state of rock n roll they look like they go to college you could pass any of them on the street, and not know who they are. boring, boring, boring.

Dancing w/ the stars or Skating w/ celebrities = all the skating shows bite the big one!

Ratt w/ Jizzy Pearl or Motley Crue w/ John Corabi = i liked love hate with jizzy but not with ratt. motley w john is ok! i like his voice better than vince although vince is a better frontman or entertainer… 
13. Pariah released "To Mock a Killingbird" (1993) and featured the band wearing pig heads. Then Motley Crue released "Generation Swine" using almost identical pig heads. Coincidence, Nikki borrowing your idea or other? 
yeah that sux , im sure we werent the first! but nikki stole our shit, fuck that ego maniac he’s lame…


Motley Crue "Generation Swine" photo shoot?

Nope it’s Pariah "To Mock a Killingbird" on their Geffen debut (’93).

14.  What rock band should call it a day and hang it up for good? 
kiss, scott stapp, limp bizkit, the stokes,linkin park,vallejo,dave navorro,lifehouse etc….  
15. This article @ http://www.popsmear.com/popculture/features/20/meat.html  refers to Pariah as a "Heavy Metal" band. And then goes on to say that the band (Meat Puppets) sounded much heavier in recent years. How do you feel about being called a "Heavy Metal" band and do you think your influence with Kyle added to the harder sounds? 
 i dont care. its just a word .most heavy metal kids are dumb and wear mullets, the record GOLDEN LIES is heavyer but its good and the music speaks for its self ..
16. Name the 3 high points and the 3 low points of your music career to date? 
the passing of my mom and dad and other friends. high?to many too mention meeting kiss with out make up in 1979 dynasty tour getting a hand written letter the next week by gene. meeting jim carey was cool he said"your shandon? " i have heard alot about you" from renee zellwegger she used to date sims .. 


Austin style black & white.

17. Tell us about Pariah’s trip to LA and how the band ends up hanging with Madonna and appearing in her video. How did that all unfold? 
that was awesome recording in LA we were there for 3 months at 3,600.00 dollars a day thats about 400 thousand dollars we spent for a record that maybe sold 10 thousand. those were the days . the ellison boys just really groupied out and kept bugging her!! thats how they got in her video .. 
18. What was your biggest musical related pay check for and what did you buy with it? 
 6 or 7 thousand dollars spent it on drugs and chicks!!!ha ha just kidding!! .. 
19. Word Association: 

Tom Werman = he took expensive two thousand dollar naps while we were recording. overrated.  

Kyle Ellison = great guy very talented, i hope he gets help with his depression. 

Jason McMasters = great guy learned alot from him. 

Curt Kirkwood = a genius, very talented he’s up there with gibby totally old school.  

Dave Derrick = also learned alot, talented dude. 
Kid Rock =  overrated and he stole dave derricks trip with the derby hat thang,also he likes to hunt and thats not cool. i would like to hunt kid rock! also he is a conservitive right wing nazi… 
David Geffen = never met him!

Cris Kirkwood = great bass player very creative but has a horrible drug problem, cris and steven adler should hang out!!ha ha ha

Tom Zuataut = his ears have turned to stone ego is too big to see past anything thats good, he used to sit in the studio parking lot eatin fucking chocolate cookies for an hour, before he would sit and listen to the days mixes

Sims Ellison = what can i say, i loved the dude ..he would give you the shirt off his back. all around nice guy.
20. The last of Shandon Sahm… 

Last gig you ever did with Pariah =  was at back room in 95. we didnt know it would be our last.  
Last fast food you ate = can’t remember last fast food i had!! read the book fast food nation and you’ll naver eat that crap again. 

Last time you cried =  was the passing of my mom and dad , i stiil cry now and then. 
Last concert you watched from the crowd = was black sabbath reunion tour in 2000, it was awesome  
Last rock star you shook hands with = other than gibby haynes would have to be jim carey.  

Last time jacked a knuckle on the rim of a snare drum =  cant remember the last time i took a chunk out of my knuckle .  

Last CD you paid full price for = was a bill hicks cd, he is another one of my idols.  

Last time you barfed from drinking too much = was also the last time i ever drank about 3 yrs ago. 
Last time you rode in a tour bus = never been on a tour bus on tour!! can ya believe it??i cant??  

Last time you visited Metal Sludg
e =  i always visit metal sludge its a guilty pleasure for sure!! me and my bro shawn love metal sludge!

keep rockin and remember to keep rock n roll dangerous! love ya , shandon

We’d like to thank Shandon for a great interview.

I’d also like to take second to say that I was an aquaintance of Sims, but even though we only talked a few times we shared something special. We both wanted to play rock n’ roll and worked hard to achieve our dreams in music.

Sometime in or around 1987 or 1988, Sims wrote to our Tuff PO Box and we struck up a small long distance friendship. I still to this day have postcards from him. We talked about our demos, playing with other ‘signed’ bands and basic stuff. When we played Texas Pariah played with us, and if they didn’t Sims would come to sound check & hang out. We were friends.

I recall when he first told me his name I thought it was cool as I was a skateboarder since a young age, and Sims was a skate company headed by Tom Sims. Not sure why I saved those postcards for all those years, but I’m glad I did. Sims was a very genuine guy and I am proud to have known him.

Stevie Rachelle

Please check out http://www.simsfoundation.org/home/ 

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