lisa pikaard interviews the former hollywood undead member…
Sometimes a band breaking up can be career suicide for each of its members; for others, it is a freeing experience that opens up many doors. Deuce has parted ways with Hollywood Undead but took his sound and skills with him. He has combined the attitude and energy that he is known for with a new crew to create an even better sound.
The sound of Deuce is a crazy amalgamation of hard rock, rap, hip hop, and dance. It isn’t often that one can successfully blend all of those sounds together, but Deuce does so seamlessly. The crew also has a great element of theatricalization in its live show featuring masks to represent different songs and attitudes. Attitude is such a huge part of what Deuce is; he is entirely unfiltered and unabashed in his lyrics and interviews in a very politically correct world. He seems to say whatever he wants whenever he wants without regard to repercussions. Deuce is bold and daring and loves to make a splash, but even more so, he loves to party. Seeing Deuce is an experience, but it’s important to be fully prepared for the chaos that you’re going to be walking (or more likely dancing) into. This is not a typical rock show by any means; it’s a full on party.
Pop-Break’s Lisa Pikaard sat down at The Uproar Festival this summer with Deuce to discuss his parting with Hollywood Undead, his new crew, the theatricality of his live performances, the Uproar tour, and how he likes to party.
Pop-Break: So, first question, why the masks?
Deuce: It’s just theatrical, you know what i’m saying? It changes the videos. We want the masks, we want to change the videos, we want to change the look sometimes. We don’t want to just look like every other fucking band, you know?
Deuce: And like the mirrorball mask, it represents party, having fun, being sexual. And then we’ve got the America mask which represents “America,” represents the message of the song which is like political, you know? So each song kind of has its own theme. We don’t always wear the masks. We’re not like Slipknot. I’m not trying to hide my identity. It’s just a fun factor that I added to the show.
PB: Very cool. Alright, so you guys had one hell of a crowd out there.
PB: Do you guys usually have like a really big crowd growing?
Deuce: Honestly it’s as big as this or bigger. On Uproar we have like three hour lines, two hour lines for us after.
PB: That’s crazy.
Deuce: Yeah. We didn’t expect it but there are a lot of fans out here for us. A lot of Deuce fans out there. It’s dope.
PB: For people who aren’t fans, what should they listen to to get into Deuce.
Deuce: First song I would say, “America,” because overall, anybody could relate to it. It has a political message. Everyone kind of feels that way. Nowadays, with all the shit happening, you know. All the bad shit in the world. All the fucking whack shit, it kind of gives them some light, you know, gives them some hope. And it’s just my view of the future and I don’t know if I’m right or wrong but that’s how I feel. So I put that in a song.
Deuce: Yeah, I would say “America” is the first song you should listen to.
PB: Alright good. Now, not necessarily to get into a touchy subject but…
Deuce: I know what you’re going to ask me.
PB: What am I going to ask?
Deuce: Hollywood Undead?
PB: Yeah. What’s the deal there? What happened, and how much better off are you now than you were then?
Deuce: Obviously a lot better off. You could see the crowds out there. You know I definitely don’t need them.
PB: How is this different from that for you?
Deuce: Just better. The music’s better. It’s smoother on stage. Back then, you know I toured with them for years, so you know it’s like we didn’t get this type of reaction with them. This is like, we’ve got mosh pits, we’ve got people jumping around. The music is fresher, it’s newer. Obviously it’s my sound. That’s how I write. That’s how I produce. Everyone can recognize that that’s the Deuce sound. But the difference is, it’s just smoother. It’s better. I’ve got better people around me. I’ve got a better crew. These are my real friends that are with me. These aren’t backstabbers; these are people that have my back.
PB: Talking about how this is your sound and this is your show, what song are you most proud of?
Deuce: It’s hard to say that. I like “I Came to Party,” I like “America.” It’s too hard to say it, honestly. I can’t pinpoint it to one song because they’re all fucking good. And one more comment on the whole Hollywood Undead thing.
PB: Yeah, of course.
Deuce: They wouldn’t even be playing shows if I didn’t make that first CD. They would be nowhere. They can make five CDs without me and they would not have the fan base without me making that CD with them. So the only thing holding them up is that first CD I made. And everybody knows that.
PB: And how many of those fans deserted them to follow you?
Deuce: A lot. Because they don’t have that sound anymore and they’re not going to have it. They’re not going to have a producer or writer or a singer like me. They don’t have the voice. Homeboy can sing but it’s not me, you know? So without that, being as a backbone, I mean I don’t know how good they’re doing but they just wouldn’t be anywhere. I mean they could make 10 CDs. They can kiss my ass.
PB: So what’s it like being on a festival like this, playing in the middle of the afternoon, and all of that?
Deuce: It’s good dude. It’s fucking fun. You know everyone enjoys it. It’s different from the club shows which are at night and shit but I like it because it’s daylight. I can see everybody. It’s a little more party. It has more of a party feel. It’s crazier and I like the crazy shit. I’m crazy myself.
PB: That’s the way to be. There are a lot of smaller bands on the tour, younger bands, since you’ve been through so much, do you have any advice for them?
Deuce: I would say, keep living life. Experience shit, write, be honest to yourself. Obviously the experiences I’ve gone through made me how I am, made me write better. But I’m saying everybody has their own thing. That made me who I am today because I went through my own shit. I went through my own shit when I was in that band, after that band. I don’t give a fuck man. I’m a soldier. I’ll fight through it.
PB: Well you’ve got kind of a bit of a little bit of a different sound from a lot of the bands that are on this tour because you bring together so many different crazy aspects with the hip hop the dance music, the rap, all of it.
Deuce: Yeah we’ve got the dance!
PB: Awesome. How does that fit in with everybody else. Do you find that it does?
Deuce: Everybody loves it because everyone wants to fucking dance. Everyone want to party. They like rap. They like rock. I don’t want it to be, I don’t want to have a whole show that’s depressing. That’s not me. I like having some party shit. I like having some dance shit. I like having some hip hop, some rock shit. And I think it’s dope because it kind of pulls everybody out of the only rock element and it puts them into the ‘oh shit this is fun, we’ve all got to hang out afterwards.’ It kind of joins people up together. You know the girls like it, the guys like it. It’s cool. I’m sure you have fun. You hear “Let’s Get it Crackin,’” it makes you want to drink, party, hang out. Have good time with us!
PB: And that’s what you need in this environment!
PB: Are there any bands here that you’ve kind of connected with or hang out with more than others?
Deuce: We hang out with everybody. We’re friends with everybody. We support everybody on this tour. I like Shinedown. They’re fucking badass dudes. Especially them. No, we’re homies with everybody. And we have our nights that we all get together and drink and have a good time. Party it up. And sometimes, we’re all professionals and we don’t. Sometimes we can’t always party because we have to sing the next day. In a way, we have to be alive so we do it all. We work and we party when everybody wants to get together and have fun. You can come join us.
PB: Thank you!
Deuce: You’re always welcome to hang out with us, and everybody else is welcome as long as they’re not douche bags.
PB: That’s a good qualification.
Deuce: I get along with everybody, everybody on this tour. I support them all. They’re all dope. Adelitas Way, Candlelight Red, they’re all dope.
PB: So what’s the most random thing you’ve ever been asked in an interview?
Deuce: Uh…the most random. I don’t have any. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on this tour. That’s not random, but that’s like the farthest it goes. So I’m like well, what do you think it is. I mean I don’t know if you want to know.
PB: I want to know.
Deuce: You’re a girl. I don’t want to tell you.
Deuce: You want to know?
PB: Sure, why not?
Deuce: Alright I’m going to tell you. You’re a chick but whatever. The first day we were hanging out with Drowning Pool and we just get drunk as fuck and I went in the bathroom with some chick… People were throwing fireworks in the bathroom. I was just like what the fuck is happening.
PB: Well I guess that’s one hell of a way to start a tour.
Deuce: That is. I was a little bit like whoa dude. That shit was crazy.
PB: Has the tour lived up to those standards?
Deuce: Well yeah they have, but not like that. Like my friend was getting fireworks blown in his ass after he fell asleep.
PB: What’s with the pyrotechnics?
Deuce: I don’t know!
PB: Good times?
Deuce: Yeah it was just crazy. It was the first day and I was like dude, this is our first day! Let’s slow down a little bit. We’ve got a whole two months ahead of us.
PB: Awesome. Well at least if you don’t have a random question, you have one hell of a random story.
Deuce: I felt like a general or something! Right in the middle of battle. It was crazy.That’s fun. Obviously we have other fun stories but that’s probably the funnest one. The next day we were just high-fiving each other like oh my god! That was kind of crazy but we’re out here to do music. We’re here to perform. We’re not out here just for groupies. We like performing. We like kickin’ it with the fans. That’s what we like doing.
PB: One last question. If you could say anything to the readers or whomever, what would you say to them?
Deuce: Just that we’re out here for the fans. I come out here for the fans. I come on tour for two months just to kick it with all the fans and I love them and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here. There’d be no point in being here so that’s our number one. So if you’re a fan, get out there, and you want to say what’s up, you want an autograph, don’t be shy.