Share 'n' Bam Ross
After their support slot to Tracie Hunter I met the Bubble's new bass player Tad (Eric Stacy's replacement) as well as the Tour Managers Girlfriend who said that Share 'n' Bam were expecting me.
Around 5 minutes later Share came down to meet me and leads me upstairs to the make do dressing room on the next floor. After sitting down I grab a pen and paper and have a real good gas, which went something like this:
Glenn: Good to see you - the last time I saw you was when you played at the other venue on Bank Street on December 3rd 2000 - what have you been up to?
Share: We've been busy with the new album and touring. There was talk of us doing a support slot to a band like Poison on one of those 80's Tours but that would have been the 'Kiss of Death' for us.
As soon as you get labelled as an 80's band the record companies don't want to know - they assume you sound dated before they've even heard you. There was one label who liked one of our songs but I don't know - it's hard getting noticed properly. As soon as they find out our background, Vixen and Dogs D' Amour that's it.
We are being picked up by website radio stations - one in particular - www.klbg.com - they played one of our songs and liked it. They didn't try and judge us at all on our past. The kids don't know about our past in fact, loads of teenagers have been buying our Cd's at gigs.
Glenn: That's what mad about it - if the kids like the band then you should be signed up. It'd be good f you could get a great support slot with a bigger band like Knickleback or someone like that.
Share: I know, I'd like to open up for Stone Temple Pilots or The Foo Fighters. - that'd really work. I love that band - the kids would like us too. It's that there's no leg up to it. We are the survivors. In fact, I was saying to Bam that we ought to be called 'The Dead Enders' - because are like soldiers fighting to their death.
Glenn: What else do you do as well as having the band 'Bubble'?
Share: We've actually produced other people's albums and also had songs for hire. We are in dept of us to 5 figures - living off Bams credit card. It's really hard to make money from this. We've played many showcases but often they only pay around $175 for the gig. We may have to travel 1500 miles to get to the gig so that doesn't even cover the petrol costs. At such gigs we can sell tons of merchandise and not break even due to the costs. We may have to buy a van to do it and borrow equipment etc. It's hard being totally independent - we have to fund it ourselves. At the moment we are doing our English and Japanese Tour. A company will offer us gigs and tell us we'll get paid.
Glenn: But paid in what way - that's what you need to know. Do they mean cash or do they mean they will sort you out with all your food?
Share: Exactly man. Sometimes you just don't know what they mean by pay. We are getting paid cash for this tour.
Glenn: Going back a few years - what happened to Vixen - why did you break up?
Share: A lot of that was down to our Manager - he was death. He caused a descent of harmony within the group. He actually p*ssed off the Executives at EMI, strolling through their offices. EMI said they couldn't work with him so got rid of him and sadly all the artists who were under him. They wanted no dealings with him whatsoever. He had about 5 different artists - we were one of them - we lost our deal through it. 6-8 months went without a record deal. He was talking about us behind each other's backs spreading rumours that we were meant to have said about each other. What his prerogative there was I don't know.
Glenn: That's mad - it's not gonna do him any favours.
Share: No - it didn't. I said to the rest of the band - "we ought to get rid of this guy - get a new Manager and we should also write our own songs as well".
Glenn: Yeah - because lyricists would have been getting the credit/royalties and he (the Manager) would have been taking all the cash.
Share: And that's what happened. I said enough's enough - then he's trying to spread rumours about me and push me out of the band because I'm opinionated.
Glenn: And he wouldn't like that.
Share: No he didn't. It just kept crumbling away. Roxy crumbled. Jan crumbled and it all fell apart.
Glenn: I suppose the Grunge scene didn't do you many favours either. I mean if Vixen had've gone Grunge - then the original fans would have said you'd sold out and go off you, whereas the grunge fans wouldn't have taken you serious because you were like the female Bon Jovi.
Share: Yeah - I don't have anything against the grunge thing or anything. Hey I love Nirvana - you can't blame him (Kurt Cobain). It was time for a change. We took some time out cause the trend had changed. Jan, Janet, Roxy and myself are still friends and try to keep in touch - in fact after Vixen we were actually doing gigs and playing covers in clubs for a while.
Glenn: So what have you been up to recently?
Share: We've just done an album for Courtney Christian who's in Babylon 5. We offered her an amazing deal. Our studio is actually at an auto-mechanics garage - in fact we recorded the Dogs (D' Amour) album there (Happy Ever After).
Glenn: So that's why it's got that great echoey sound. I really like the sound recording of that.
Share: Yeah - it had it. We are still trying to get that killer drum sound though - still searching for it, which is annoying.
After having an explicitly honest chat with Share, her husband, Bubble drummer 'Bam' walks in and has a good rant as well.
He begins by tells me about having the ear for good bands.
Bam: We see a lot of bands around that we'd like to produce and get signed up. The ones that we really like turn out to be signed to the majors already - it's like "Oh we signed to V2 (Virgin subsidiary) a few months ago". We really should be doing A and R because we appear to have the ear for the best bands.
Glenn: Yeah, I'm very similar myself - one of my mate's bands has had some interest from Noel Gallagher. I said that a certain song had something and he said the same.
Bam: Yeah - we're in the wrong business.
Glenn: I recently read an interview with Tyla in Classic Rock and there was a wacky picture of you guys (Dogs D' Amour) sat drunk round a table. Have you seen it?
Bam: No. Actually, me and Share stopped drinking on Sept 12th 2001. You just can't communicate properly when you're not sober. We were drunk all the time in The Dogs D'Amour and we signed all sorts of stupid contracts. When you're in that state everyone appears to be your friend. Then you sober up and realise you've bee f*cked.
I don't know if it's really changed the creative process because we were p*ssed all the time - but now we have a close objective point of view. The new album, 'Total Harmonic Distortion' is a more cohesive record. It was produced, engineered and recorded by me. It's hard to see what's happening sometimes because I'm a t both sides of the desk. You know, many of these so-called big-name producers haven't got a clue really - they don't know a sharp from a flat. We've put together a Japanese version of 'How 'bout this' as well.
We had a dodgy promoter who we couldn't work with because we found out he wasn't licensed - he said he was gonna book us all these gigs and he didn't do sh*t. We then got another promoter who's sorted out the current tour for us.
the Japanese Tour we've been working alongside people who turned out to be the
accuza - the Japanese mafia who've been getting us the gigs.
Glenn: Share was telling me that you produce other artists as well. Who are you producing next?
Bam: Nobody at the moment, so if you know anybody who wants an album recording, let us know. I've recently done Jo Dogs new album, Sonic Boom. It's similar in style to the Dogs D' Amour - very easy to listen to stuff. Some will say it's same as the Dogs D' Amour but that's a matter of opinion. It's amazing - buy it !!
Glenn: Yeah - sounds like good stuff - I'll check that out.
Bam: You know something, Bubble are like Srcissyphus. Do you know what Srcissyphus is?
Glenn: Actually, I don't.
Bam: Well Srcissyphus is an old Greek legend about this guy who pushes this large rock up a cliff. As soon as he gets to the top it rolls back down and he has to do it all over again - a bit like us - we keep going.
Glenn: What would say influences the songs you write?
Bam: I use experiences as an influence. Sometimes, I'll not write for ages all of a sudden I'll have all these ideas and I can't stop writing. For the 'THD' album I was totally sober.
Hey check out Robert Stoddard's new album - he was the original singer for the Dogs D' Amour. It's very different - very American - very Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
Glenn: What have been your favourite tours with 'The Dogs D'Amour?
Bam: When we did an English tour (around '89) and we had 'The Black Crowes' open up for us. Simply because I loved the band. I was like '"These guys are brilliant - they are like the Faces and The Rolling Stones. We didn't even let them pay us any money. Our Management said, "Are you sure" and we said 'Yeah'. The next thing we know, 'The Black Crowes' are massive. Then I got thinking that we should have charged them after all.
Another Tour that I really enjoyed was the Hunter/Ronson Tour (Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson from 'Mott the Hoople'). Ian Hunter would come in and see us at every gig and bring us bottles of Scotch. That was legendary - I was really pleased that we got to tour with Mick Ronson.
There was also a show the band did in Holland at the end of a tour when the bus seized up - they had to get the AA to see to the bus. They said it was too expensive to send the equipment over for the gig so they provided new gear for them.
Glenn: Is Eric Stacy still part of Bubble?
Bam: No he's not - we've got Tad now on Bass (nods and points to Tad).
Glenn: How come? What happened with Eric?
Bam: Basically he couldn't keep it up.
Glenn: What about Brent Muscat - or is he still with Taime Down in Faster Pussycat?
Bam: No, he's no longer in the band either.
And so onto the next part of the tour - Cheers Share and Bam for an interesting insight into a fickle creation called the music business.
Special thanks also go to their Tour Manager, Chris and his Girlfriend (who's name escapes me), Bubble bass-player Tad, members of Tracie Hunters band, the drummer from 'The Vibrators' and of course, DJ Mutley and Stu at the Corporation Night-club.