Pretty Boy Floyd: The Public Enemies of Glam Rock Invade The Whisky
Pretty Boy Floyd recently headlined the world famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip, celebrating the imminent release of Public Enemies, their latest and greatest glam rock manifesto. Unleashed worldwide via Frontiers Music Srl, Public Enemies is the first official album the band has presented since 2010’s Kiss Of Death: A Tribute to KISS. Public Enemies is absolutely jammed packed with rock and roll anthems that will party on in your head long after the disc spins to its dizzying conclusion. Highwire Daze Online caught up with Steve Summers, vocalist of Pretty Boy Floyd, backstage at The Whisky right before The Public Enemies Record Release Party. Read on as we discuss the the glorious past, rapturous present, and glamtastic future of this iconic collective…
We’re here with Steve Summers of Pretty Boy Floyd. When was the first time you played at The Whisky and how did that performance go?
It was awesome. It was probably 1988. It was actually our third show. Just for the fun of it, our first show was at The Country Club opening for Keel. And then our second show from there, we did the Roxy, and we headlined all shows from there until we got signed. All in ’88.
You’re back here nearly 30 years later. What can one expect from your live performance tonight here at The Whisky?
PBF: We have been back here many of times since, – but tonight’s going to be like all of our shows. We pride ourselves on totally fucking high energy, fucking sleazy glam rock shows. A lot of bands even back in the day that were bigger than us, we heard from certain agencies that they were like “No, man, we don’t want them to fucking be before us.” Even though they sold, the other bands, like two million or three million records. They were like, “Those fucking guys are all over the stage and they’re this-and-that, whatever, they’re fucking running around, it’s a whole fucking, no. Can you get someone a little tamer?” Just a high energy, big glam show. Just like we always do.
Today is the day that your album Public Enemy is out. How does it compare to the earlier releases?
Well, without naming all the releases – Leather Boyz with Electric Toys, of course, that’s a real release. It will go down in history as one of the coolest glam records, even though it didn’t sell five, ten million records. Everybody knows it is what it is. This is our, I know you’ve heard this other in other interviews, this is our true follow-up. There were a couple EPs out, there were lots of records put together from demos and a few, three new recorded songs, and all that kind of stuff. This is the true follow-up to Leather Boyz, with me and Kristy back together. Even though we’ve been back together for awhile, but we haven’t really put out anything that’s a full record, new recordings, fresh sound like before, going back to our roots. So, to us, in simple terms, as Kristy would say in some of the interviews, this is our follow-up to Leather Boyz. Anything in between was just big glam party debauchery. [laughs]
When you started Pretty Boy Floyd back in 1987, did you think that you’d be doing this well into the new millennium?
To back up a year, I started putting Pretty Boy Floyd together, trying to find guys and all that kind of stuff in 1985-86. Finding the guys, the concept and the whole thing. But yeah, I mean even though we had completely higher expectations for the first record. We know we did our best and we can sit here forever and talk about MCA Records this and MCA Records that. [laughs] Or we can talk about – Pretty Boy Floyd – even the grunge scene and all that. I’m not one to go, oh the grunge took over. We still could have been Motley Crue, KISS or Poison through, if MCA would have done what they were supposed to do. Yeah I knew as long as I’m alive, and it’s in my blood to do, I’m gonna do this forever.
So what do you think has kept you passionate about Pretty Boy Floyd for 30 years and counting?
Chicks. No, [laughs]. For the love of that type of music. I love all types of music but when I was growing up as a kid, and I would see a garage band or even a backyard band that I would go to and they were doing covers of Van Halen or Cheap Trick, Motley or Iron Maiden or whatever. I just knew I loved to do that. I think everyone knows when you create something, whether you’re creating your landscape in business or creating this or that – I knew when I set out to put together a big glam rock band with great songs and great show, great image. It wasn’t going to fade away. It’s faded away from a lot of other people. Let’s cut our hair, let’s try and sound a little more modern. I kept the passion. We’re a glam rock band. We’re glam, we’re sleazy, we’ll continue to put out big huge guitar, big choruses, stretching vocals, and all that kind of stuff. It’s even more exciting to do when you see some of your peers really not doing it anymore. Not just touring off their hits. Not saying that in a band way, but time takes a toll on bands.
Are you more excited about playing the new songs or the old songs at this point?
Both. I love playing the old songs because people love them. I’m ready for people to hear all of the new ones, just like any other band that puts out a record. You don’t want to put too many in the set. Our record came out today [laughs]. Excited for people to hear some of the stuff.
What is your favorite Lemmy memory and did he ever heard your cover of Ace of Spades?
Lemmy was great. I would say just, me personally, I’ve hung around him before at The Rainbow and stuff like that. I wasn’t as close to him, me personally, as a lot of other musicians. I always loved him, Motorhead, how could you not? Always thought he was killer. Never really partied with him or whatever. Maybe we were at The Rainbow, he was over there and I was over here. Maybe we acknowledged each other, hello how are you, I might have said “you’re awesome.” He might have said, “who are you?” But no, we never got a response to the Motorhead thing. I don’t know if he was even aware of it. I mean, how many people have probably covered that song?
Same question for KISS. How did they respond to your cover album? Did they?
I think it was the same thing. We’ve had that interesting bond between bands that we do their songs with. It’s the same with Motley Crue from the Toast Of The Town thing. I think the most response we ever got, was “yeah, that’s cool they can do it.” But we never heard the aftermath…
Do we have to wait another ten years for the next PBF album?
Oh no, no. This is way different this time. And I can say because a couple of things. Me and Kristy are in the best communication as bandmates as we ever were. So that makes things a lot easier with our communication stuff, we’re totally eye to eye. So whatever people have heard, this that or whatever, whatever. So that makes everything much easier. We’re already doing a new video next month. We’re already recorded half of the new record. So no, I would say just long enough for us to get as much as we can out of this. We’re going to do at least 4 videos and tour as much as we can. I would say no longer than two years until we have a new record out.
Pretty Boy Floyd is:
Kristy Majors – Guitars, Background Vocals
Steve Summers – Lead Vocals
JK Famous – Bass, Background Vocals
Jimmy Mess – Drums & Back Ground Vocals
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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