|Hanoi Rocks, New York Dolls...most musicians dream of playing in one successful band in their lifetime..but Sami Yaffa can show on his life resume that he has been a part of two of the most notorious and infamous bands that will go down in musical history as bookmarks for seminal releases, stage shows, member mayhem and changing the face of music one eyeliner at a time. I recently had the opportunity to grab Sami's attention in between NY Dolls shows and asked him a few questions...not one for pontificating, Sami calls it like it is -short and sweet.|
1. Having started playing at 14 is certainly impressive, being a part of two of the most seminal bands since the late 70's/80's is almost all inspiring- Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls...what do you think this means for your legacy in rock and roll?
That I managed to survive some of the most insane people to ever pick up a guitar or a microphone...
2. After you left Hanoi, and formed Chain Gang, word on the street is there was a point where you almost considered quitting music…what changed your mind and who or what can we thank?
|"Without a good roadcrew you are fucked"|
I was pretty burned out after 5 years on the road w Hanoi, 21 years old w a drug habit and a kid on the way...a couple of years of domesticity and changing nappies did some good... after which I realized that I didn't have any skills or ambition to do anything else but play music...hence the comeback if you will...
3. You've obviously tasted extreme fame-what words of wisdom can you offer to other musicians who see that bright shiny object and are reaching for it? Is it luck combined with talent?
Hopefully it's not a train barreling 100 miles an hour straight for ya
4. Many people don't fully appreciate what it takes to live life on the road and literally sing for one's supper. What wisdom, hard and soft, have you gleaned from touring and playing with everyone from Joan Jett to Jesse Malin?
Without a good roadcrew you are fucked.
5. The Dolls today vs. 20 years ago. Tell us about the changes and what fans can expect from a live performance on this tour?
Don't miss the best R'n'R show on earth. Sylvain Sylvain running around like a dog in heat is a spectacle you don't wanna miss. With Syl I don't think much has changed since the old days, like aged wine, only keeps getting better. David Jo was put in a pickle jar a while back, don't know how he does it, time stood still....
6. What inspires you to perform?
Syl, David, Steve, Brian and my wife Karmen....and money....
7. It has been said that there's something more male about the bass, as opposed to the guitar. You've played both... care to set the record straight?
I swing both ways.
8. Tell us about your project with "Mad Juana" with Karmen?
New album "Bruja on the corner" coming out this summer thru Acetate records.check out www.madjuana.com/madjuana for some sounds. It's a labor of love w Karmen and I, music without prejudice or borders.Have a killer 7 piece band with us. Hopefully coming to a bar near you this summer/fall
9. There has been a fair amount of tragedy in the people you have known, Razzle, Johnny Thunders...where do you draw from as a friend, an artist to move past those events and still create?
Their physical beings might have left me but their spirit remains
10. As a trio with Richard Bacchus of DGeneration and drummer Eric Kuby, you released a cd "Two Songs" but you also recorded a live record which remains unreleased to this day – any plans to see that cd hit the racks or go digital?
Theres a full cd available that Rick,I and Frank Ferrer (drummer of G'n'R) recorded last year,you can get it from www.myspace.com/richardbacchus a great album, get it.
11. Most memorable live performance?
Bombay, India w Hanoi Rocks in-83
12. What is currently inspiring you?
My new -82 Mercedes-Benz that runs on waste vegetable oil
13. What advice would you give another 14 yr old Sami today?
Stick to ice-hockey
14. Any last thoughts for our readers?
See you in Dallas motherfuckers!