20 Questions with KEEL guitarist Bryan Jay.
KEEL lead guitarist Bryan Jay.
KEEL will play it’s first show in nearly 2 decades this week. More on the re-union >HERE<Now just in time for the big reunion show we bring you a new 20 Questions with KEEL lead guitarist Bryan Jay. Bryan seems to be a real happy & positive guy. Great to hear, enjoy.
1. What’s been up with you over the last 20 years or so? Please do tell.
I have been in the music library business for the last 6 years. Licensing music for TV, Film, Commercials, Etc…I am in the process of starting a brand new music library called Digital Assassin Music which I will be launching in the next couple of months. I also write and record music for my music library and I have continued teaching guitar through out the years. But my biggest job over the years has been being a Dad.
2. Now we’ve heard about the KEEL reunion. Tell us how that came to be?
It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been talking about it for years but we wanted to make sure it was done right. This year every thing has come together on the business side and in our personal lives so we have decided to move forward with it. Our first show is January 31, 2009 at Club Vodka at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA.
3. Whatever happened to your side project after KEEL called Dogbone and the related members?
Nirvana kind of put a wench in our spokes. The industry was not interested in that style of music in the early 90’s. So Dogbone never had a chance. As for the members of Dogbone the original singer Eddie Saiz is still one of my best friends. We continue to write and record music together for my music library. Bassist Rob Thiessen plays in a band called Kill Rhythm. Vocalist Rhett Forrester was tragically murder in 1994 in an attempted carjacking. And drummer Dwain Miller now plays some band called KEEL.
4. We see that you have been active in giving guitar lessons and writing & recording music as well. Tell us about your “job” today compared to 20 years ago in KEEL?
KEEL was always on the road or in the studio back then with very little time off so life is a lot different for me today. Having my own business allows me to work from home and make my own hours.
Bryan Jay of KEEL in the top background under the word company.
5. Rate a guitarist 1-10-. A 1 sucks donkey balls, and a 10 is a guitar God!
Warren DeMartini = 10
CC DeVille =10
Tommy Thayer = 10
George Lynch =10
Jake E. Lee =10
Tracii Guns =10
Scott Ian =10
Marc Ferarri = 10
Zakk Wylde =10
Kirk Hammett =10
6. What time do you usually wake up and please describe the first 2 hours of your daily routine?
I am usually up by 7:30-8:00 in the morning depending on my schedule that day. I make a pot of very strong coffee and sit and watch the morning news while I drink it. Then I go over my day planner and make a list of tasks I need to accomplish for the day. Take a quick shower and then I get to work.
Marc Ferrari, Ron Keel, Kenny Chaisson & Bryan Jay.
7. Your bio says you got a call to audition for KEEL. Did you ever audition for any other projects that became name bands, if so, tell us a good story about one of these?
Nobody worth mentioning.
8. What band from back in the day deserved more success than they got, and who got beyond lucky with their rise to super stardom?
Gary Moore deserved a lot more success than he got. As for the lucky part we were all very lucky to be apart of it.
9. If you could fight any rock star in a UFC style fight to beat his ass, who would it be and why?
I’m a lover not a fighter. But I did see a Billy Squier video the other day for the song “Rock Me Tonite”. Man, what a pussy. He needs a good ass beating for making that video.
Bryan with his first acoustic guitar under the Christmas tree.
10. What rock band should pack it up, and call it a day for good?
The Rolling Stones! Love Mick Jagger but I think Keith Richards has been dead for about 10 years now. It’s like watching the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”.
11. Memory lane. What happened in your life during these years…
1976 =Lost my virginity
1980 =Broke my hand racing motocross
1983 =Opened for Steeler
1986 =Toured with Bon Jovi
1990 =my daughter was conceived
1994 =Enjoying Fatherhood
1998 =Started back to College
2002 =Recorded music for the movie “Hysteria; The Def Leppard Story”
2005 =Got divorced
2008 =My Dad passed away
12. Name the 3 high points and the 3 low points of your career, life, or tenure on KEEL?
3 high points: signing my first record deal, working with Gene Simmons. Opening for Van Halen at the Texas Jam.
3 low points: losing my record deal, getting left behind on the Bon Jovi tour, getting totally lost in Germany on the Dio tour.
Ron Keel., Joan Jett, Bryan Jay & some creepy guy in the background.
13. Everyone has a crazy KISS story, With Gene producing the band, you sure must have a little funny memory of Mr. Money Bags. Please enlighten the Sludge faithful?
Speaking of Mr. Money Bags. I was in New York City recording the “The Final Frontier” album which Gene Simmons produced. One night Gene took Shannon Tweed and I out to dinner to a very nice Thai restaurant over looking Central Park. Shannon and I had never had Thai food before and didn’t know what we would like. So Gene ordered one of everything on the menu so we could taste it all. We must have looked like complete porkers with all that food in front of us. Sorry it wasn’t X-rated that came later…
14. Of all the bands you shared the stage with, who were the coolest and who were the biggest dicks in the world?
Some of the coolest were Bon Jovi, Dio, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Black N Blue, Loudness, and Accept.
The ones that were the biggest dicks, well, you know who you are.
Bryan Jay age 12 with his accordion and Bryan Jay early 20s with his guitar.
15. Word Association:
Gene Simmons =God of Thunder
Marc Ferrari =Brother
Yngwie Malmsteen =Shred Master
Michael Wagner =The Man
Ozzy Osbourne =Prince of Darkness
Kenny Chaisson =Absent
Axl Rose =Sad
Ron Keel =Brother
16. Ok, here is your Guitar Lesson question. You have been teaching for years now, have you had any students that came back and said: “Hey Dude, I got signed and here is our Platinum record?” Are there any famous “nu-metal” or current young rockers who were your former students?
Three of my students have gotten signed over the years but I have not received my Platinum record yet.
17. Since you’re kind of a guitar connoisseur, we’ll ask a tech type question. Your bio reads deep with your background in music, taking lessons, playing piano, accordion, guitar and music theory. Who is your biggest influence, idol, and who has or had, the greatest sound on recording and during a live performance?
Some of my early influences were Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Ted Nugent, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Schenker, and Randy Rhoads. One of my all time favorite guitarist is a guy named Michael Hedges.
One of my favorite guitar tones on record is still Van Halen’s first album. I also love the production on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Queen’s “A Night at the Opera”, Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” just to name a few.
As for a live performance the first band that comes to mind is Metallica.
KEEL members Marc, Bryan & Ron with Lita Ford.
18. Kill, Fuck, Marry. This is how this works, we give you 3 woman, and you tell who would you Kill, Fuck & Marry. (Jessica Hahn, Pamela Anderson, Gwen Stefani)
I would Kill Jessica Hahn, Fuck the hell out Pamela Anderson, And then Marry Gwen Stefani.
19. What was the biggest ever music related pay check you received from KEEL and what did you buy with it?
$1.50 and I bought $1.50 worth of cocaine.
20. The Last of Bryan Jay…
Last KEEL solo you had to re learn for the reunion =“Raised On Rock”
Last time you played live = 4 years ago
Last fast food you ate =In & Out Burgers
Last song you sang along to on the radio while driving =“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies
The last time you played the accordion =When I was 12 years old
Last famous metal riff you taught a kid during a lesson =“The Trooper” by Iron Maiden
Last famous person you shook hands with =Shaquille O’Neal
Last time you put new strings on your main axe =Yesterday
Last time you cried =2 weeks ago
Last time you visited Metal Sludge =Today
Well it’s great to see a 80s guy who has a good head on his shoulders not screaming poor me. Good for Bryan Jay and kudos to all he stands for.
The Sludge Frontier