Pretty Boy Floyd Interview
When you're talking about outrageous, you're talking Pretty Boy Floyd. These guys are only the latest in a series of bands out of L.A. to land a record deal.
Recording for MCA Records, guitarist Kristy "Krash" Majors tells what it's like to fight your way to the top in the music business.
Q. Kristy, your life pretty much reads like a Hollywood
movie script, at least up 'till this point. Do you ever ask yourself 'why
A. No, I don't ask myself 'why me' 'cause I worked, we all worked, very hard for this. I mean everything's been happening real smooth and everything's been going real easy. We never say why us or why me because we've worked very hard for everything we've gotten. A lot of people work hard and never seem to get anywhere.Before we got everything together we went out and we studied. We went out and we watched all the other bands, watched what they did, watched how they put ads out, watched how they talked to people, watched their shows. And then we said, 'Okay, this is what we've got to do.' We sat down and we thought out a plan. We sat down with our manager and thought out a plan. We followed it exactly the way we were gonna do it. We learned from all the other people's mistakes. So, we had one notch over them. We worked a lot harder than any other band out there. Other bands seem to have given up after three or four months. Or, it's not really a team effort; you see one or two guys do all the pushing for the band. With us, it was like all four of us. Team work. With our manager. Everything.
Q. What were you doing before Pretty Boy Floyd?
A. I was in a band called Jet Black. That never went anywhere. I split that band awhile ago. I was just playing around in a couple of local bands in New York before I split.
Q. When you got to L.A. where did you stay?
A. I had some friends out there. I knew Kelly Nichols from L.A. Guns. I knew a couple of people out there already. So, I kind of like stayed with people I knew. I just hopped around. I didn't like have a definite place to stay. And then I lived in our rehearsal room for a couple of months. Nothing really came easy.
Q. Tell me about this endless self-promotion that Pretty
Boy Floyd did. Every group puts the flyers on the telephone poles.
A. Yeah. We never did that. We always thought of other ways. We made our flyers special and we put little sayings on them that people wouldn't forget. Our pictures that we used are just outrageous. We used a photographer from Playboy magazine. No one had pictures like us. We wouldn't just hand out flyers to people and stuff them in their face. We'd actually give them to them, and talk to them, make friends. Right from the beginning we started taking out full page ads in every magazine. We took out full page ads every time we had a show. We just went full blast with mass promotion.
Q. If you 're gonna get a record deal, eight months
is usually the amount of time it takes, right?
A. In a way it's like you get signed right away or forget about it. If it's gonna take you two or three years, forget about it. We're one of the quickest bands to get signed out of L.A. I think we played eight shows and only five headlining shows to get signed. That's all we played.
Q. How did an unsigned act get letters from people
all over the world?
A. A lot of it had to do with the European magazine, 'Metal Forces.' Everyone knew where we rehearsed, so they would come up to our rehearsal rooms and they would constantly ask for demo tapes and we would say, 'Sure, as long as you bring us the tape. We'll dub one for you.' So, we'd dub tapes and people would send them to their friends. We were constantly sending out promo packages, posters, and demo tapes to people. So, that's how we did it. At first, we didn't get any magazine press at all, except for 'Metal Forces.'
Q. One of the comments made about so many of the groups
coming up today is that more attention is paid to their image than music.
Is that how you see it?
A. Okay. Well, we look at it this way. When you're in a magazine, people are going to judge you by your look first. Of course, they don't hear your music first. They see pictures of you first. I think a lot of people do judge bands by their image first, the way they look. Some people don't give it a chance, if they don't particularly like make-up or they don't like the way the band dresses, they won't give it a chance. But, really we appeal to everybody. We didn't set out to say, 'Well, we want to have an image like this, just because that's what's selling.' We grew up with Alice Cooper and Kiss, and we love Motley Crue. We just love that kind of stuff. We were always influenced by the glam rise of rock 'n roll.
Q. What was your first show at the Roxy like?
A. It was on a Wednesday night, which was weird. It's really hard to get shows when you're first coming out. No one wants to give you a show unless you got a following. Our first show at the Roxy was rather cool. We actually opened up for this band called Sweet Savage, who had sort of a following, but they didn't have a good following. But, we promoted for that show for about two and a half months before we actually played it. So, the place sold out. It was great. We just got great reaction. People loved us. I have to say it was one of our best shows. The crowd actually went crazy.
Q. Let's face it, if you put a photo of Pretty Boy Floyd
next to Poison, or Motley Crue, or Faster Pussycat, it would be hard for
people to name the groups. How are you going to get Pretty Boy Floyd to stand
out from the rest?
A. Basically, with our attitude and the sayings we come out with. Our name. The clothes we wear. We kind of invented new hairstyles. We wear these ponytails in our hair, sticking out all over the place, kind of like geisha girls. Our make-up. No one wears make-up anymore. Even Poison doesn't wear make-up anymore. They took it off after the first record. Motley Crue isn't wearing make-up anymore. No bands wear make-up anymore. To me, everyone now looks the same. I look at bands like Skid Row and Poison and Motley Crue. Everyone looks the same. Everyone's growing their hair the same way. It's kind of lost its glamorous feel to it.