DON’T CALL ME A HAIRBAND!
“We weren’t Poison or Warrant; we were this street band called the Bulletboys” Marq Torien
BigMusicGeek — In a recent interview with Todd Newton at Big Music Geek.com BULLETBOYS frontman Marq Torien goes into detail about how he feels about the term hairband.
The East Los Angeles born singer says “We weren’t Poison or Warrant” then adds “I think it just really disrespects the band for their hard work from that time.”
BulletBoys are currently touring in support of their most recent release “Elefante'” (Cleopatra Records).
Check out part of Marq’s interview with Big Music Geek below.
Big Geek Music: How do you feel Elefanté compares to the group’s previous efforts? Do you feel the material on Elefanté is on par with what the group released during the height of the group’s period of commercial successes?
Marq Torien: “Each volume of work is a different animal, Todd. I don’t like to compare it to anything previously that we’ve done. It stands on its own and we’ve named each of our records accordingly, so I would say Elefanté stands as probably one of the highest regarded records we’ve ever put out. We’ve been getting a lot of acclaims for it, and I’ve gotta tell you Todd, you never know these days. We’re sitting in a
studio and we’re listening to this stuff back and it’s not like when we did the first record. It’s not magical, it’s not like something was gearing us ahead for all of our families and for our fans to do something really special. At the end of the day, you have to, as an artist, be happy with what you’re going to be putting out and I wanted to make sure that I was happy with it. I hear a lot of records out there from our supposed genre and to be quite honest, and no disrespect to those artists at all whatsoever, but I just don’t think they’re really well-crafted. With this record, I’m all about that. I was signed with Motown (Records), one of the biggest labels in history and Warner Brothers. I’ve been blessed to have worked with some amazing musicians and Producers like Ted Templeman and the late, great Andy Johns, may God rest his soul. Gosh, the list goes on and on. …I listened to them and became a sponge, so in the future, when I was writing, that I could take all that advice that they’d given me and try to learn from it. I think that as a song writer, you really have to try to do that. I’m all about the song, the message and what we’re trying to convey in our music. I guess we were known as a Hair Metal or Hair Rock band, but I don’t think we ever were. We were always just trying to write great music…but there’s also some other aspects of our music that ended up on all of our records that were different. We stood apart from other bands. We weren’t Poison or Warrant; we were this street band called the Bulletboys. That’s what we were. We weren’t about a lot of make up, hairspray or anything like that. …We were just trying to play great Rock ‘n’ Roll music for the masses, man.”
Big Music Geek: I didn’t realize you had such a serious dislike of the term ‘Hair Metal’. Do you find it to be dissrespectful?
Marq Torien: “Yes. I think it just really disrespects the band for their hard work from that time. It didn’t matter what band it was. …It’s like ‘you’re going to call that a hair band?’ The biggest hair band that I would think would be Guns N’ Roses. I mean, that’s more than enough hairspray there that if you had lit that guy’s hair on fire, it would have blown up the stadium. Then they changed and everyone’s like ‘Let’s not use that stigma. Can we just say they’re great Rock ‘n’ Roll band?’ They were a straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll band and I absolutely loved them. All those guys worked really hard. I was talking to (Devil City Angels/ex-L.A. Guns guitarist) Tracii (Guns) about that on the Dean Delray podcast. We were talking about it and he was saying ‘I’ve kind of gotten used to it’ and I said ‘No, it has just always rubbed me the wrong way like nails on a chalkboard’. It just does, ya know?”
Big Music Geek: You don’t consider the Bulletboys to be an ’80’s Band’? I’ve always considered them as such, to be honest.
Marq Torien: “To be quite honest with you, I did most of my touring in the ’90’s. That’s the time we came from. We came out with our first record in the late ’80s. We weren’t even about that, so we were just this different band. People always try to lump us into this one thing, but if you look at our videos, they’re not like the videos that were being done back then. We had a great artistic idea of what we wanted to have the band be and look like and it to be this different thing. If anything, we wanted to be like the Punk Rock Van Halen, ya know? We were breaking real equipment on stage, pissing everybody off. We were creating this thing where people were going ‘Wow, what is going on with these guys? We really need to be a part of this craze’. Our reputation superseded us, but we’re in a different time and a different age. It’s about the same type of products, but putting it out there like we did in Elefanté. We have a lot of energy and do not phone it in. We never have and I never will. I don’t know how to do it any other way. We just go up there and sweat from head to toe every night and go nuts, man”
Big Music Geek: On both Elefanté and within the context of a live performance, your voice sounds as if it has aged extremely well. To what do you attribute the longevity of everything? Are there pre-show processes you utilize?
Marq Torien: “Not drink and not use drugs. I was very fortunate back in the day to want to get sober, and to want to be able to have a voice right now. I’m so blessed by God by to still being able to sing like I sing from all of the things that I’ve gone through. I just try to take care of my voice. I was blessed with some powerful pipes, so it’s not something I learned; it’s something that’s God-given. I’m just very, very fortunate that I haven’t gone and abused it. There’s a lot of cats that do that, man. I just don’t understand. They’re still drinking hard, which is like razor blades on the vocal cords. …I’m just very fortunate that I can still sing like the first record and still have my pipes. …When you get a little bit older, it strengthens. Most guys, if you them out for ten or twelve shows in a row, they’re exhausted. With me, it’s like a muscle, so it really strengthens it. By the tenth, eleventh and twelfth show, I’m like ‘Let’s keep on going’. People trip out on that and will say ‘I don’t know how you do it’. I still have some off nights. I think everybody does. But you learn how to work it all out so you don’t phone it in.”
To read Todd’s full interview with Marq from BulletBoys go HERE