Willie PSYCHO Interview
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Psycho. Noun. Short for Psychopath; a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior. When viewed in the context of hatchet wieleding movie patrons, the term is terrifying and too infrequently seen in the headlines these days. But the word possesses the honor of having dual meanings. There are a handful of adjectives that can claim this without being a passing fad. I guess, ‘bad’, still kinda works. Do people still call awesome ‘shit’ (music) ‘dope’, ‘ill’, or ‘sick’?
I was approached with the opportunity to speak with a musical psycho recently. That would be long time Southern California resident, bassist and hard rocker, Willie PSYCHO. He recently signed to a new record label and is currently building his 2015 tour calendar.
CL: So, what have you been up to man?
WP: Just getting’ ready to go to Vegas for a little while. I need to clear my head about some stuff. I have some festivals going on, and filling in for some metal bands.
A band called Faar Beyond Driven.
Pantera cover band?
Yeah. They’re really good friends. We’re at the Las Vegas Beer Fest, and I’ll be filling in for them on bass for a few gigs.
How long have you played bass?
Do you play with a pick or fingers?
A pick usually, fingers sometimes.
Have you checked out the new Dr. Dre album?
Haven’t gotten it yet, but I hear it’s good.
What about the new NWA movie? Are you going to see it?
Hell fuckin’ yeah?! I don’t want to get shot in the theater! I hope no one opens fire in that bitch!
What, in your opinion, is driving these people to snap and go postal?
Bro, I don’t know. It’s a stressful world we live in, If you don’t know how to handle your stress…. that’s what people do. I don’t know what directs that. People aren’t happy with their lives, and they feel like they have to do something extreme. We all have our problems. People just need to figure out how to handle their problems. If your life is that fucked up, then they need to change something.
Willie Psycho rocks the stage.
In your bio, you listed that you did a show with Ice T? Can you elaborate on this.
We did a show with him in Las Vegas some years ago, it was pretty damn kool, Rock/ Rap
half pipe skate ramp next to the venue, that was badass. Were fam with his DJ Evil E so it
was really kool.
Ice T really challenged the status quo with Bodycount. Heavy metal music and hard rock (despite where it’s roots can be traced back too) is largely considered to be a ‘white’ music. What has your experience been playing this as a black male?
My experience, well usually good, I ran into a lot of racism. On the flipside, a lot of people are attracted to what I’m doing because I’m a black man, playing what is “supposed to be white music”. Sometimes people don’t know what to think. Everytime I step on stage I let muthafuckers have it.
Any comments on the current situation of race relations in the USA?
It has it’s moments. Just hope if your black and get pulled over by cop, well you know the rest.
So, now we’re seeing more and more videos online of people being shot by cops. Has this always been going on and with cell phone cameras and the internet are we seeing it more, or this something that is increasing?
My dad was a cop for 20 years, in New Orleans. Lots of my family members are in law enforcement. You should see the Thanksgiving dinner! He told me he saw some shit by other cops, but you can’t tell on that. A snitch is snitch wiether your a cop or a felon. I don’t want to throw the whole race thing in there, but this has been happening to blacks and hispanics for decades! For decades! Like what we saw with the Rodney King shit. That wasn’t the first time that shit happened. But it happens to white guys too. It don’t think its a race thing, it’s a athourity vs. citizens thing. Most cops I think are good, but some are bad. They have a gun and badge and they think they can beat up on people. This ain’t nothing new.
How has the music scene in Southern California changed over the last 15-20 years?
People keep asking about this. I don’t want to be negative, but people keep asking me about it. I have my opinions about it.
The scene is fucking great, when we work at the House Of Blues, or the bigger events. We never have any issues. The only time we run into any problems is when we do these little Mickey Mouse fucking places. Ya’ know. Stuff like that, I just don’t want to deal with that. I used to put on raves when I was like 19. I don’t want to deal with that anymore. The San Diego scene is kinda backwards. We do a lot of hip hop shows.
Do people still go out to shows?
Yeah, we got a lot support. I’ll go to my friends shows, and buy a ticket. I’m not like ,”Hey man, get me in for free.” Hip hop is mainstream now, didn’t used to be…. Punk is just gonna be what it’s gonna be. Whatever that Metalcore, Kung fu, karate chopping shit in the pit the kids are listening to, I don’t know about that lol. But the kids like it.
What were some of the early punk metal and death metal bands you played in?
There was a band named Penalty. Then they changed their name to Death Penalty, then I was in a band named Demagorgon, dude I was like fucking nineteen. Nobody’s going remember any of these bands.
You never know!
I don’t know. Who the fuck else did I play with?… There was a band named Slingshot. Turns out there was like fifty other fucking bands around with the same name. Then, I was like, “I quit”. I just wanted to play rock and roll.
So you are moving to Las Vegas?
Yeah, its a done deal. We have a bigger following there. I’ll come back and play shows here every now and again.
Is music piracy good or bad?
It’s fuckin terrible, basically stealing. It hurts bands. When you can find a record for the band for free…. it’s everyone involved. Like the label we starting, we’re marketing it a new way, because as soon as it hits the internet, well you know. A lot of people have to get paid and when music is pirated those people don’t. It affects more then just musicians.
Could that make live music more viable?
Um, you know I can’t answer that. I’ve always been a fan live music. That’s the point. Thats what I thought everyone did it for, not just to play in a studio and record a record. That was the point, to play live! I seen some real shit, and it was funnier than hell, but they fucked their shit up and it didn’t matter! Dude just did a faceplant right on the stage at the House of Blues! It didn’t matter!
What keeps you busy outside of music?
Animal Rescues, diasabled kids, homeless outreach…
Where can people check you out online, in person, etc…?
Anything else you want to promote?
Any shoutouts you wanna give?
Moosedick from the Mentors. Travis Wheeler, my guitarist. My buddy Chops and my friend Cycle Dave. Those are my bros. They help me keep my music alive. I like to surround myself with people who are successful.
Copyright © 2015. C. Lougeay
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