Australian rockers The Art kick off their U.S. tour in Las Vegas, N.V. with Faster Pussycat, and check in with NAKED to let us know that, yes, they’re still alive, and yes, this shit is about to get crazy.
Ronnie Simmons: Alright, so this is my first time in the United States and just to preface everything from here – I’m from Newtown in Sydney Australia. I’m having a blast and it is true what they say, we are two countries separated by a shit load of water… Oh and a common language. So because my vernacular can confuse, I’ll do my best not to use slang… Day one was a bloody ripper and I’m having heaps of fun hitting the frog and toad.
After spending a few weeks in Hollywood playing shows, recording the new single, enjoying the fact that Americans free pour, battling 2 am curfew and spending most nights befriending hollywoods finest strippers it was time to say goodbye (for now). I’ll miss Hollywood, on one of my first nights I got to share the stage with Richie Ramone at Bar Sinister as he sang one of my all-time favorite Ramones songs “something to do”. We shared his company with Rodney Bingenheimer at Canters deli and he approved of my mismatched one black, one white converse all stars. While Rodney told us tales of the runaways, shooting the rock and roll high school movie with the Ramones and Keith Moon ordering food from Canters dressed in a Gestapo uniform. Such great guys, it was an honor and a privilege.
We packed our bags as I listened to Billy Joel’s ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood and headed to Xristian and Taime’s place to get on the bus to take us to Vegas for the first show of the tour. The night begun like many other nights previously, and definitely to come. With a bottle of whiskey, the Who blasting through the bus’ speakers and the highest of highbrow humor… I made the first mistake of sitting in Taime’s seat, who has been calling me ‘Junior’ (personally I prefer Indiana, but I won’t go shooting anyone over it) and recently ‘String Bean’, and here I was worried that American cuisine was bloating me. All I can say is its definitely NOT the alcohol.
So as well as all the kick ass rock and roll and tales of lovers past, tattoos were definitely a talking point. It turns out Faster Pussycat guitarist Ace and I have lots of similar tattoos, i.e. johnny thunders DTK LAMF, bright and colorful of course. We are both Gibson Les Paul men, have the privilege of the bottom bunks closest to the front of the bus and as I type this he is making fart noises next to me as the bus rides off into the sunset.
So Vegas… After being one of the last men standing, high on life and the experience of my first tour where I can actually stand up and lay down while in transit, I rolled out of my bunk with five hours sleep under my belt and surprisingly no hangover. I exited the bus into the Hard Rock Las Vegas parking lot to see on a giant billboard “Faster Pussycat and The Art at Vinyl March 3′ and thought to myself “fuck yeah, rock and roll”. So I grabbed my bag, headed to our hotel room on the 10th floor, took off all my clothes, opened the doors to our balcony overlooking the Vegas skyline and yelled at the top of my lungs just that. Fuck yeah, rock and roll! Funnily enough, Jordan did the exact same thing, great minds eh? The day was spent playing Kiss mini golf with KJ, Ace and Chad (Faster Pusaycat drummer who seems to be as bigger Kiss and whiskey fan as myself) which ruled! The staff got photos of my Kiss tattoos (Kiss Army logo, Ace Frehley’s portrait and autograph I got while touring Australia with him in my old band L.U.S.T.) put on my favorite Kiss track ‘Room Service’ and gave me and KJ a tour of the place. Very cool. I also got an Ace Frehley golf ball as a souvenir.
The show was great, vibes were high and Pussycat were on fire too. I really enjoy how supportive Americans are of live music, it’s a breath of fresh air not being told to get a haircut and get a real job. Speaking of which, the bus constantly has someone smoking, I’m a non-smoker personally but luckily I’m already used to it. Speaking of smokers – Mattoo if you read this, everyone digs your tattoo work, greetings from the road!
After the show we all partied, signed merch, posed for photos with fans and indulged in the beautiful and intoxicating fruits playing in a rock band has to offer. 3am rolled around and it was time again to get on the bus, crack open another bottle of Whisky and head off on the road. Again, I was one of the last men standing and sat up drinking with Danny, Faster Pussycat’s bass player (who’s sense of humor cracks me up, sarcastic bastard haha) and our tech Drew who’s my age, in fact 2 months younger – October 1988 – I’m not the youngest on the bus! So as Danny and Drew proceeded to argue, Drew insisted on calling Danny ‘Big Bird’ and Danny insisted on calling drew ‘faggot’. I spent the conversation trying to stop jack Daniels coming out my nose I was laughing so hard. At about 6 or 7am, (whenever the sun was coming up, it’s blurry) I crawled into my bunk and crashed out. As I type this I just asked Azaria where we are and he replied with the same expression and shrug I have been giving when asked where I am or how I got that hickey. I always did suck at Geography. Anyway, Ronnie Simmons out!