IN THE STORE!
VIVIAN BLACK Guitarist Nigel Maddox
Submitted By Caroline Walsh on
Q. It's James and Cassie here with Nigel Maddox from an up and coming band Vivian Black. How are you doing today?
My neck is stiff and I'm cranky. It was my turn to sleep on the floor.
Q. First thing's first, tell us a little bit about the band. Where did the name come from and what makes Vivian Black tick?
Vivian Black are four obnoxious blokes with a backline of old Hiwatt's and Ampegs. We believe that Rock and Roll is our sacred duty. Much like the 'Knights Templar' we protect the spirit of the music by honoring its forefathers. Our philosophy as we look back on the true roots of the music, from Elvis, Chuck Berry, The Beatles and The Stones up to the present...is the music has to have fundamental components in order to be Rock and Roll:
1) A 'Blues' sensibility
3) Fun and/or sexy theme
4) Exciting presentation
That's not to say that we discount other kinds or brands of music. We like all music from '50 cent' to 'Frank Sinatra' but not all pop music is "Rock and Roll." There is nothing wrong with labeling or branding an art form for the purpose of describing it's essence to another. But please don't try to tell me that "Creed" and "Nickelback" are Rock and Roll Bands.
"Vivian" is the name of Brian's 1969 Ford Mustang. 'Black' is her color. Like the band, she's a work in progress and currently resides at a Hollywood, California Hot Rod shop where she is undergoing a dramatic restoration to her former glory.
We were thinking of flying our cover model "Miss Tiffany" out from Atlanta, Georgia to pose with the car in its current state...you know..smudge a little grease on her cheek and put a wrench in her hand. Then, when the car's finished, fly her back out for another pose...you know...like a sexy before and after shot...maybe it'll make the Hot Rod mags.
Q. Manchesters not especially known for its metal scene, so its refreshing to see some kick ass rock n roll emerging. How does a group of guys from up north wind up playing Vegas?
Ha..Ha..Ha..oh my...you have no idea what a great question that is! The truth is stranger than fiction so here goes...(you heard it first at "Metal Epicenter!)"
...An American booking agent saw a picture of myself and Brian in a music listing. He thought we were a "Led Zeppelin Tribute Band" and booked us for a performance at the "Hard Rock Hotel and Casino" in Las Vegas, Nevada. We didn't know we were supposed to play music from Led Zeppelin until we saw: "Vivian Black: Tribute to Led Zeppelin" on the Hard Rock's Marquis! Fortunately, Brian can resemble Robert when he has to and we as a band can rip through the mighty "Zep's" catalog with the best of them...so a quick band meeting in the hotel room that afternoon...a couple of bevy's to loosen up...and away we went...the crowd loved it and we had a wonderful time.
Q. Your sound is quite different from what is out there today. One of our major complaints is that new rock bands in the current state of music just don't seen to be having any fun. And, nobody wants to try anything new and boring crap seems to be running rampart. Are you guys a return to the fun and high energy rock 'n' roll band?
When you come to a "Vivian Black" show, I don't care if there are 4 of you or 4 thousand. You will be treated to an evening of tight, rhythmic, dynamic, blues based, bawdy, kick-ass Rock and Roll! We will smile at you because we love you and we're glad you came.
We will not sing about our problems and depress you, we will lift you up and make you want to take your girlfriend home and wrestle around a bit! If you don't, we will take your girlfriend home and wrestle around a bit!!
You will laugh, you will shout, you will sweat. Afterward, we will stick around and let you buy us beverages.
The next day, you will tell your friends that there is a new 'Bitch' in town and her name is "Vivian." It will be time to re-evaluate your collection and throw away all the CD's in your stack that don't make you smile.
Q. Have you guys had occasion to open for any big acts? If so, has anyone of note given you guys a thumbs up or thumbs down for what you do?
Wasp, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Great White. Lemmy saw us in Hollywood and liked us, Ace Frehley saw us at the Troubador but didn't talk to us. But that's alright, we were just thrilled that he came and stayed for the whole set.
Q. By the same token, what band do you want to open for to show the audience, "See, there is kick ass new rock 'n' roll!"
Our dream is to tour Europe with "Whitesnake." Mr. Coverdale consistently stages a kick ass band every year. We'd do twenty minutes in front of them and load out their gear to the airport!
Q. Any road stories you can share?
In Las Vegas, we were all playing 'BlackJack' in a huge Casino. Roger, (our Soccer Hooligan Roadie) announced that he had to use the "little boys room." Turns out, he can't find a men's lavatory in this bloody enormous casino. So, he decides to take his business up to the room. The whole time he's wandering around this casino barely able to contain himself and walking around like some bloody penguin...(if you know what I mean) So he finally climbs the lift ten floors to the room and realizes his plastic card key will not open the hotel room door. He's completely mortified as he can no longer hold his cargo. Just then a maid with a cleaning cart appears in the corridor. Roger explains that his key won't work for the door and he must access the toilet immediately. The housekeeper, sensing the urgency of the situation...uses her pass key and Roger enters the room and heads directly for the toilet without so much as turning on the light. He unleashes a montrosity that would make a circus elephant blush! And the smell penetrated through the hallways of the entire floor. Just then, Roger heard snoring in the darkness of his room. Normally, this would have been of no concern as Pete and Mick are world class snorers. However, Roger left Pete and Mick and the rest of us downstairs at the Black Jack Table. So Roger fastened himself back up and quietly switched on the bathroom light and peaked around the corner. Bloody Hell, there was an old woman snoring away in the bed! Roger was in the wrong room! In his panic, he switched the light back off and creeped out of the room. Of course, he did not flush the toilet as he was sure that would awaken the snoring old lady. So, back down the lift he went to the Black Jack game, leaving this poor old woman a wonderful surprise in the morning when she awoke!
Q. What does the future hold for Nigel and Vivian Black?
Right now we are excited about finishing and releasing this record. We love Hollywood and working with John X. Obviously we're anxious to get on the road. We've had performances (in California) but we haven't had a proper tour.
Q. Word Associations:
You can give a 1 word answer if you have 1 word to sum the person up or you can share a story if one pops in mind.
- Brian Scott Thomas:
- Mick Ronson:
- John Volaitis:
- Mick Liddell:
troublemaker (read latest blog)
- Jeff Beck:
- And, without being a pompous wind bag of an interviewer (thats from James), how about Nigel Maddox yourself:
"I believe Rock and Roll will live forever and is as noble of a pursuit as anything else."
We'd like to thank Nigel for spending this time with us at the Metal Epicenter. Do you have any closing words you'd like to share with your fans, site links, or anything like that?
Thanks to all our fans for the words of encouragment and support. We love you all. We hope to see you soon on tour!
Visit us at www.myspace.com/vivianblack. Everyone is welcome: even and (especially) bands or creative entrepreneurs. We support people who make music!
Nigel Maddox/Guitar: "Vivian Black"
Once again, thank you for doing this.
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