Warrior Soul / Love/Hate guitarist Stevie R Pearce heads out on tour with his solo ban the Hooligans tonight, so we asked him a few searching questions about life on the road...
Greetings Mr Pearce – congratulations on the great new album, and welcome to Sentinel Daily! Looking forward to getting back out on the road? “Can’t wait to get back out on the road! It’s hard in the beginning… I try to avoid being just a weekend warrior, playing other people’s shows all the time… Although that’s a necessary evil I guess. The headline slot allows a longer show that I need to showcase how truly amazing my songs are… even the tear jerkingly simple ones!”
Despite your fear of weekend warrior status, you are already are already pretty seasoned road dog – can you remember much about your first ‘proper’? tour? “I remember who it was opening for, and which band I was in but the course of the fifteen days is a little blurry- that’s because I did it right! I probably shouldn’t divulge too much information because I still have people in my life that seem to like me (band excluded) – we shall call it selective amnesia- and it was great. I watched everything implode around me.. on the sixteenth day things weren’t so great and I hadn’t changed my jeans for over 2 weeks… and I was still in Ipswich. It was from here that I learnt singing fourteen shows in a row was really hard, and that I’m not Mötley Crüe“.
Mysterious stuff! What are the key ingredients for a top-drawer Stevie R Pearce show? “The fewer ingredients the better.There are bands that can make a fucking amazing Curry… They bring lights, smoke machines, make up, backing tracks, nice hair cuts and a strong Internet following with perfect resolution pictures… they seem to be able to mix it all together and boom everyone loves them and Alice Cooper is left cowering in the corner. I tend to just hack a piece of steak straight off the bone and see what happens – sometimes it’s flambéed to an inch of its life, sometimes it’s just prodded a bit and told to go and sit in the car and think about what it’s done… but always with one hundred per cent conviction because I think that is a more believable way of rock n roll. Its honest. Not that I’m calling Alice Cooper or Curry a liar… I just know what I’m capable of”.
That being the case, do you approach solo shows differently to shows with your other bands? “I have to! Absolutely, the guys I play for – Jizzy Pearl and Kory Clarke – are essentially founding fathers of a scene and industry that spawned pretty much every rock band we have today- yes, Guns n’Roses etc – but these guys didn’t get the multi million dollar record deals and set up for life, rock star dreams and limos. Perhaps yes they did for a time… it’s what bands think they are going to achieve today… but Love/Hate and Warrior Soul scrapped it out beyond the hey days… that’s insanely commendable, and a testament to that is twenty five years on they are still as relevant as ever, if not more so. I get to go to most major cities in Europe and play sold out shows… it’s a legacy, and you can’t fuck with that. Its a privilege to play those songs, it’s an honour to do it. There aren’t many of these guys left. I’m there to do it as much justice as I can for the fans who pay to see Jizzy or Kory”.
What about the riders? Does a band get looked after on the road these days? “If I’m honest, and here’s a brutal plug… Christian Kimmett at Bannermans in Edinburgh always takes care of us.. Wine, food, beer, punch in the face… as does Ian Fletcher at the Waterloo, Blackpool. Alec the Crazy Cowboy. Molotov Guys. But getting anything is a dream. You can’t go anywhere and expect anything unless you are bringing in hundreds of bods- I see bands charging hundreds but playing to an empty room. Sometimes its better to take the food money, especially if you are on a diet – like I have been for 24 years – as you don’t want them sneaking a salad or something in. That’s not to say I don’t get shitty, I’m a man that likes a drink… I still don’t understand how asking for one beer for the band often results in the promoter/venue owner/barmaid looking at me like I’ve just stolen all his kids christmas presents and burnt them. Recently I played up north, I had some people in, I sold some merch..I did my job! The ‘owner’ gave me a shot and then asked me to pay the sound guy… because it was in the small print that suddenly appeared….. that kind of shit happens all the time. Give us a free drink – It’s likely some of the fee you are paying me to be there is going to end up back behind your bar!”.
Highly likely! What’s the best thing about touring? “The music”.
And the worst? “There isn’t. Although when you get back and people ask “how was your holiday?” That’s annoying, Yeah- I’d book a holiday that involved five other men, sat in a van, freezing and sometimes crying, for six hours a day.”Oh we went to the Bahamas!” Yeah? Great.. I watched my bass player dribble for an hour”.
You paint a picture of gritty yet undeniable realism! Aside from your tools of the trade, what other one item do you find essential for tour purposes? “An Alibi”.
Of course! And what about a luxury – something you shouldn’t take but always seem to find in your kit once you’re on the road? “Hand grenade”.
Seems reasonable. Especially with regard to promoters and riders… Talking about tools of the trade – how many guitars will you take with you on the upcoming tour? And do you have a fave? “I will take three. I have Number One- A twenty Year old Epiphone Honey Burst, Goldie- a broken, unlaquered gold Gibson standard, And Snake Eyes- a Peavey Wolfgang. Favouritism changes daily depending on which one pissed me off the most the night before”.
Like children! Now, here’s your one chance to spruik the upcoming tour to the readers of Sentinel Daily – what’s in store for them if they decide to come and say hello? “If it’s in the street then: No I havent got any money, and are those brand new Nikes? If it’s at a venue I will talk at them, a lot. Not necessarily about the band”.
Thanks for taking part! “Thanks so much, just to have someone interested is us is amazing”.
Catch Stevie R Pearce and the Hooligans on the road in the UK this month at the following venues:
08/03/18 – Coventry, ENG – Arches
09/03/18 – Reading, ENG – Facebar
10/03/18 – Newcastle, ENG -Trillians
22/03/18 – Edinburgh, SCO – Bannermans
23/03/18 – Blackpool, ENG – Blackpool
24/03/18 – Huddersfield, ENG -The Parish