WILDSIDE SET FOR COMEBACK CONCERT
Metal Sludge exclusive: Singer Drew Hannah and drummer Jimmy Darby weigh in
LOS ANGELES — Once considered pop-metal’s brightest prospect to chase down the success of fellow Sunset Strip grads Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Poison before eventually fizzling out, WildSide is back for the first time since 2010 and only the second time in more than a decade.
The Hollywood band performs on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Golden Colorado at Wolf Fest with Lynch Mob at Buffalo Rose.
“We are sounding great, I think,” WildSide drummer Jimmy Darby said. “It’s going to be a blast.”
Darby is joined by fellow originals Drew Hannah (vocals), Brent Woods (guitar) and Marc Simon (bass).
“I am pretty excited about it,” Hannah said. “It’s going to he nice to play for some real die-hard fans of this genre and, of course, especially the WildSide fans. Things sound pretty good. We have added a second guitarist, a secret announcement.”
But in the end, the group fell short, as grunge music set in and the players moved on, with Woods the only one who remains in the music biz as the guitarist for Sebastian Bach.
“When it was over for us, it was kind of a natural progression because it ended when that style of music ended,” Darby said. “It was either have a career (doing something else) and make some money or stay on a sinking ship, but I never quit making music.
“I just had to do something else to make the kind of money I wanted to make in my life. If I had my choice to do nothing but drumming? Fuck yeah. but that ain’t buying houses in Hawaii.”
WildSide’s story has been well-documented in Metal Sludge, including an interview with Hannah HERE, a recent piece with Woods HERE and a somewhat overdone series of essays by former guitarist Benny Rhynedance HERE.
“This whole Benny page is bananas,” Darby said. “There are bits and pieces of the truth, but I was there. It’s just false versions of the story. He is a bad guy, at least he was.”
Darby has mostly fond memories, specifically hanging out at Eddie Van Halen’s house and also recording at A & M Records with legendary producer Andy Johns.
“At Eddie’s, I went up there, rang the buzzer, pulled out my brick phone and called my friends, ‘Dude, I am going in to Eddie Van Halen’s house,'” Darby said.
Eventually, WildSide recorded there after the zany Johns pulled out from A & M — probably because the Dom Perignon champagne wasn’t chilled properly or something like that.
“Eddie was fresh out of rehab, Wolfgang just born,” Darby said. “Eddie would have his term, a ‘bev.’ Is that a bev? He would just down it, go to next guy, anyone had anything out, any drugs, that was done, too. He was sneaking. It’s real, he can be mad at me, I don’t care.”
Darby said Eddie would try to hide his alcohol and drug use from wife Valerie.
“Eddie would take one of Drew’s throat lozengers and play it off with Valerie like he wasn’t doing anything,” Darby said. “As for Andy Johns, any drink or drug in the room was going into Andy’s body. Hookers showing up at A & M, it was out of control.”
Darby said he did not like Eddie when he drank.
“His personality would change. There was the really cool Eddie and the rock-star jackass Eddie,” Darby said.
Gerry Gittelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org