Backstage News, Front Row Pics

FlashWounds Interview: [Re] Meet SLEEZE

SLEEZE header

Now if ever there were a band who took us at our word and didn’t alter their personalities at all, it’s SLEEZE.  FlashWounds introduced you to the guys a while back, so take a look our article before or after you check out the interview below…it’ll give you an idea of the two very different sides to this band…



Which group or artist would you personally like to induct into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame?  And if you were to earn the honor of being inducted next year, whom would you want to induct you? Nirvana, The President

Which do you find more difficult/intimidating ~ performing for a comparatively small audience (especially one that you know includes family and/or friends) in a more intimate venue or for a huge [faceless/anonymous] crowd at an enormous stadium? Small crowds 

Sleeze UseDoes anyone still have a collection of vinyl or cassettes?  If you have vinyl, which is your most cherished album? Micah: My favorite vinyl in my collection would be MC5’s Kick out the Jams

Worst injury any of you has ever suffered onstage? Josh (our drummer) kicked his drum set over and his high tom got stuck into his leg ~ there was a blood trail from off the stage to the back, and we had to get him stitches. 

If you ever decided to do an entire album of covers, which songs would make the cut?   We are actually working on that, but we haven’t chosen yet. 

Any musically inclined siblings?  No

Nicknames for each other within the band? Isaac is called “Cephids,” Josh is called “Jersh,” Bruce is called “Barbie Sue,” and Micah is called any name we can think of. 

Are there any causes/organizations that are particularly close to your hearts and that you would encourage the public to support?  All of them

Is your music “for the moment” and for as long as you keep putting it out, or do you think at it more (or equally as much) as your legacy-in-the-making…an accumulated body of work of which your children/grandchildren can be proud, that the general public can simply enjoy, that future generations of music lovers/musicians will count amongst those “Must Have Albums,” etc.?  It is timeless, unlike most modern music that is solely based around trends! 



Do you [pardon the phrase] have the balls to do what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did and perform wearing just tube socks?  And if your answer is yes, are you willing to have your photo taken in those “outfits” and shown to FlashWounds’ readers? WE WOULDN’T EVEN WEAR THE SOCKS!  (Okay, then where are the pics?  Isaac, make it happen!  You have my email address…start sending!)

Anyone in the band a true foodie? What the fuck is a foodie? 

What’s the one local place ~ restaurant, dive, pool hall, tattoo parlor, etc. ~ that you HAVE to visit ever time you’re back home?  Popeye’s Chicken and Potato Shack

Are there any younger bands out there that you’ve sort of taken under your wing?  NO, you have to take care of yourself, son.

How difficult is it to come up with album names?  Extremely difficult 

When you see a band that was huge in, say, the 80s, and that you really loved, make a bid for a comeback today, doyou hope they’ll have kept their original style/playlist or do you want to see more mature band with new material?  Original style but new material 

Not sure if you can answer this question objectively, but are bands, especially those that fall under the umbrella of “mega” and those that are well on their way to reaching that status, spoiled and pampered, or is that a misconception you wish the public would stop perpetuating ~ or an accurate assessment but only of a very few bands?  Well, they worked hard for it so they deserve it, most people don’t know what bands have to go through.

Personal pet peeve ~ aspiring rock (and other genres, too, but I’m around mostly rock and metal bands) musicians who can play their instruments really well and know how to break down/assemble their own drums, replace their own strings, etc., but always seem to rely on the one tech whiz in the band to deal with all the rest of the technical elements…any advice on the importance of everyone in a fledgling band knowing how to use/fix/read every piece of equipment the band uses? Someone’s gotta do it.

Most important lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry?  It’s a scum bag business  

Most difficult lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry?  It’s a scum bag business 

For the vocalists ~ or really for any of the band members ~ ever any urge to try your hand at hosting a radio show like Dee Snider does?  Later in life, that would be cool. 

Most impressive/worthwhile (from your perspective, not the public’s) music industry event (awards show, NAMM, etc.) you’ve ever attended? The Chicago SexCon 

Sleeze Sexcon2

Where you all come from, musically speaking?  Have you been a musician/in a band since you were a kid?  Did you take lessons or are you self-taught? And is the genre you play now what you started out in/have there been some musical detours along the way?  Micah (lead guitar): I just play guitar. Isaac (Vocals) started his first band in 3rd grade singing about heroin, killing zombies, and brains, and in high school didn’t want to do sports so he started a band called SLEEZE. Josh (drums) has been playing drums with Micah since they were in various death metal bands as kids. Bruce (bass) has been jamming for a long time, too.

When there are line-up changes in the band, for whatever reason and even when the outcome is a complete positive, is there a bit of a mourning period because one incarnation of the band has in essence died?  No, because they sucked for a reason and had to leave.

Is there a code of ethics/conduct amongst professional musicians who are on the same bill…and even in the same band?  Maybe things like always acknowledging the band that played before you and the ones who come later on the bill, making sure to introduce each member of your own band, not touching/moving other bands’ gear, etc.?  The Golden Rule…Follow it.

SLEEZE 3Are you ever surprised when the track on one of your albums that you assumed would be your fans’ favorite turns out not to be, or have you gotten to the point of no longer trying to second guess what the public’s taste will be? We don’t care, we like to play. 

Name you’d absolutely love to give your next tour even if there’s no way in hell you’d be “allowed” to?  Kiss My Monkey’s Ass Tour!

If you could have been involved in the soundtrack to one film, which film would you have chosen?  Pumpkinhead! (Nice choice!)

What’s the strangest gift any fan has given…or tried to give…you? Sex

Thoughts on technical prowess vs stage presence?  They must be balanced 

Can a performer possess such an amazing amount of one that it makes up for the lack of the other? Probably.

Is the music industry what you thought it would be when you were still a young band looking in from the outside? We think the music industry is everything we
thought it would be ~ see “scum bag”

Any friendly sports team allegiance rivalries within the band? No, Josh likes the Bears and that’s it

Is what the band wears a consideration that you discuss as a group or do you all just put on whatever you’re feeling for each gig? Yeah, the second part. 

Which generally comes first in your songwriting process, lyrics or instrumentals?  Or does it vary so much that there is no “generally?” Guitar, drums, bass, then vocals, in that order, is how we make our shit.

Sleeze playing liveYou know good  lighting, sound, set design, etc. ~ So can you go to a show ~ whether small and local or a huge festival ~ and just enjoy, or do find yourself almost subconsciously looking for flaws in all those elements? Yes, looking for flaws only helps you make your own show better.

Do you have, for lack of a better word, understudies who could take over for various members of the band in a truly last minute emergency when it’s already too late to cancel a show?  If your bassist breaks his or her wrist during a set, is the bass tech able to jump in? Yeah, kinda, we’ve got Shawn, and another Sean.

Now this question has resulted in some pretty serious finger-pointing and name calling ~ Is it cool to wear the T-shirt of a band you’re going to see or is it totally lame…thoughts? It doesn’t fucking matter as long as the T-shirt keeps you warm ~ it’s clothes, just clothes.

Did any of you start out as roadies/techies for other bands before your musical careers took off? Nope.

Sleeze playing

Does any of you teach music in one form or another? Kinda, Bruce helps out with lessons for people who want to know how to play our songs.

If you had to write a song that was an ode to an inanimate object, what would that object be? Cages

Do you travel with any sort of entourage? No!

Things go wrong when you play live, that’s just a fact of life.  Have you ever played one of those shows when the “wrong” wasn’t something that only members of the band or other musicians in the audience noticed, but that everyone noticed? Isaac pissed his pants on stage.

Can you remember that very first moment (Is that what Oprah would call an “Aha!” moment?) when you realized that yes, you really could make it in the music industry? That first time you hear that groovy jam and you just know… yeaah…

Doyle, photo courtesy FW

Doyle, photo courtesy FW

Which major band(s) gave you your first big break by taking  you on tour with them? Doyle, The
Misfits, Murder Junkies


Any good dirty jokes to share? We shared your mom last night

How important is the choice of producer for your albums? One day it will be affordable to choose, but right now we take what we can get like vultures. 

Aside from a tragic reason like the death or illness of someone you love, is there anything that can happen before a show that will distract you from playing your best? A bad acid trip, loss of limbs…

Do you ever wear any of your band’s own merch? Yes, because when you are on the road or living out of your car those are sometimes the only clean clothes around and because they are WARM!!

Sleeze shirt

Not to get political, but ~ thoughts on music classes being offered in every school? YES…DUHHH!

First time you ever crowdsurfed as a performer…Scary? Exhilarating? Too many hands in places you didn’t want them? IT FELT LIKE I WAS GOD!!!

The zombie apocalypse is upon us, and civilization is coming to an end. You have the opportunity to put one album in a time capsule to survive the coming Dark Ages. Which one do you choose? Chinese Democracy (That’s been released already??!!  Who knew!)

Add SLEEZE to that list of TV 1st exposures... the band is playing the "RockStar Rockstar Babes & Body Parts Art & Music Show," shooting Saturday night, July 19th!! Invite only party! Congrats, guys!

Add SLEEZE to that list of TV 1st exposures… the band is playing the “RockStar Rockstar Babes & Body Parts Art & Music Show,” shooting Saturday night, July 19th!! Invite only party! Congrats, guys!

Do you attend concerts anonymously like most people to ~ order tix, wait in line, head into the venue with the masses, or is there always an element of celebrity involved ~ comped tickets, early, secured arrival and entrance into the venue, always winding up backstage, dealing with your own fans who recognize you, etc.? Anonymously, because we are not that big yet  (YET…take a look at the announcement on the left.)

How did the band come together?  Was there an audition process?  Did you all already know each other or each other’s work in previous bands?  Were there some early line-up changes before everything finally clicked?  SLEEZE made itself, we are but the Messengers of a higher power that allowed us to find ourselves on planet Earth

Is there any non-music industry person who’d render you completely starstruck if you met him or her? Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell

Anyone get their start performing with roles in high school musical theatre? Micah took band in high school, and the rest of us were in Drama class.

Any pattern to whether your favorite tracks on an album wind up being the most popular with the public as well?  Everyone has different favorites  


Who chooses the order the tracks are in on an album? All of us

When the band tours, should audiences expect slightly different versions of the songs from what’s on the album or do you try to duplicate the sound of the album as closely as possible? What’s on the album is what we want you to hear, but we can’t tell you what the fuck is going to happen on stage because we don’t even know.

Bassists, guitarists, drummers…many have endorsement deals with big companies for their respective instruments (There’s an Ernie Ball endorsement rumor going ’round…just sayin’…).  As a singer, have you ever been approached to endorse a mic?  I don’t think I’ve heard of an instance of “mic” endorsement, but you would know better than I! Nope, not yet.

Do you listen to your albums once they’re done and been released to the world and completely out of your hands/unchangeable? Yup.

Did youkeep the first bass/guitar/kit/mic you ever had, even if it was from childhood, and have you kept all subsequent instruments from over the years? Micah smashed his guitars.

Does the concept of doing a vocal duet appeal to you at all, and if so, which artist does do you think could hold his/her own with you on the mic? Isaac doesn’t mind having josh do some back ups on songs. 

Sleeze 2013Do you havea go-to band, current or past, thatyou listen to for musical inspiration?  One that always gets your creative juices flowing? Too many to list!! The classics, baby!!

Any major international festivals that you’re dying to play but haven’t yet had the chance to? ALL OF ‘EM!!!! (Guys, apply to play Amnesia Rockfest next year ~ we got to catch your friends Misfits and Doyle there this year and I think the festival might be a good fit for you.)

Band with the best gimmick(s) of all time? KISS

Any parting words for our readers? Jessica says HI to all the FlashWounds readers, yes. Now go check out the band you dirty, nasty motherfuckers! We love ya!!!! Thanks for reading!  Xoxo


SLEEZE is Isaac Hare ~ vocals, Micah Watz  ~ lead guitar, Bruce Eklove ~ bass guitar, Josh Huston ~ percussion





New Album (out now!) :   For Gypsys

Sleeze For Gypsys

Next chance to see the guys play live:

Sleeze Show