Thursday, September 20, 2007

2005 - Kiss Expo III Nottingham Interview: Jazan Wild





I also met Jazan Wild. Jazan´s CD "Carnival of Souls" is a stunner and by right should be signed by a big and supportive record company. Curt Cuomo is credited as co-producer on Jazan´s album and is known by KISS fans for co-writing songs on KISS´"Carnival of souls" album. (Yes, 2 albums - same title, different artists!) as well as co-writing the KISS stunner "Psycho Circus". Main producer of the album is Grammy(TM) award winner Bob Kulick, who is associated with KISS right from the start. His younger brother Bruce was in KISS from 1984 to their amazing reunion in 1996.

Jazan Wild currently tries to convey his comics and music to as many people as possible.

Jazan turned out to be a very nice and spiritual person and it was a pleasure talking to him. We even exchanged our CDs and Jazan also gave me a free comic. Thanks again, Jazan

TJ:
Do you have any advise for people who are interested in drawing and who want to get into the business? I noticed on your website that people could approach you about that. My girlfriend’s sister is 15 now and she wants to do Anime and all that …

Jazan:
Actually, this is the gentlemen right here: Rich is our editor and he does a ton of submissions and stuff. She is 15? I think, the best thing is to do what you wanna do, you follow your heart. If you believe in what you do it will be a million times better than working in some job you don’t love to do. If she finds people that she really likes, like, say she finds a great artist like Kevin Conrad or so, develop their style, learn what it is that she likes about it and just keep practising and believe in herself. I met a lot of those people and they are just people. As soon as you realise that she has every much as right to be successful as they do just keep at it. The worst thing is a lot of people like to tell people that they can’t do something. They just like to tell them that because they stopped.

TJ:
It is conditioning

Jazan:
Yes, it is conditioning. They stopped doing what they want to do but she shouldn’t stop no matter what. If she wants to do it – go do it.

TJ:
How do you get out of the lows?

Jazan:
The lows? Well, surround yourself with people that are positive. I got very lucky that the people I am with are very positive people. There are gonna be lows everyday and on every level there is ups and downs. Even if you get to your biggest success, like this, this is a Kiss convention and Kiss is notorious for having ups and downs. Even Kiss, they had so many ups and downs and even on their level they still have that. You have to keep an in-go. I have to keep an in-go to keep going. Right now my new goal is to get this comic book and this CD to as many people as I can. I really don’t care about the money. I think the money comes with what you love. I am gonna find a way to get it out to as many people as I can but I have ups and downs and setbacks every day. But as long as I stay focused on my final goal I should be able to keep going. If you wanna make a CD. Just go and make one.

TJ:
I made nine!

Jazan:
You made nine?! Well, you see what I am saying. Can I get one?

TJ:
Yeah, we can swap.

Jazan:
Yeah, let’s switch out.

(TJ asks his girlfriend to take a picture while the lads exchange their CDs.)

TJ:
This is historical!

Jazan:
I really appreciate it

TJ:
So do I. Our idea as well was to come over (to the expo, that is) to give support to “really” played music and I actually like the idea that it is not only about music. With regards to Kiss, it has always been about the package as well.

Jazan:
It is true, I mean, when I started to do this I then just see the music, I then just see the comic book. I had this whole vision. I love Alice Cooper, I love Kiss …

TJ:
We just saw Alice live last week in Glasgow.

Jazan:
How was it?

TJ:
Great. It was absolutely fantastic. And Twisted Sister opened up.

Jazan:
Dee Snyder rocks! And Eric Singer was playing drums.

TJ:
Yeah, and Alice Cooper: “I have him, the best drummer in all rock and roll: The mighty, mighty Eric Singer!”

Jazan:
And you know what, he is right!

TJ:
I also was a big, big fan of Eric Carr

Jazan:
Me too.

TJ:
When I started drumming I wanted to drum like him.

Jazan:
Yeah, “Creatures of the night” …

TJ:
I only had an electronic drum kit back then but I still played heavy metal as I simply couldn’t afford another kit. And I remember when he died I was really sad. I felt really close to him.

Jazan:
Eric was so personal with the fans, he really build up this whole reputation. I mean, he was just loved by anybody who met the guy.

TJ:
Did you see “The story of the fox” DVD?

Jazan:
The DVD, yes, they have Bill Aucoin and all, which was so cool.

TJ:
I just bought it four weeks ago. I couldn’t find it anywhere in Ireland, so I ordered it via Amazon or something like that. When you look at the DVD I was thinking: “I didn’t know all that …” I didn’t know that he was into drawing.

Jazan:
Oh, really? Oh, the Rockheads™, yeah, I forgot about that. And I remember Bruce Kulick and him released a CD that featured the Rockheads, and they had all that big hair and stuff. I still love the guy, I do.

TJ:
In my “non rock star life” as I call it, I work with kids as a homework support worker and I always come back from my travels with some advise. They are all living in a real disadvantaged area with lots of anti social behaviour and I got great advise out of Adam Bomb as well and I will certainly use what you said about the “positiveness”.

Jazan:
Yeah, and if they are from a small area that’s the thing they got to remember too, I came from a very, very small town and basically nobody ever leaves the town. Well, I left the town and I felt like being up against the world and it will never take off but you just keep going, you keep that in-go. As long as they do that it doesn’t make a difference where they’re from. Paul and Gene came from somewhere, I mean, Gene came …

TJ:
.. from Israel.

Jazan:
..From Israel and he used to, I mean, if he get the book he did: “Kiss and makeup” I think it is, I had the audio book version of it, and he talks about how he used to get fruit and bring it back and sell it, I mean, they were so poor but he found a way, even back then he was finding a way to get out there and do something and be creative. And he did, he dragged the food down and sold it to the people when they came back from the fields and he brought the money home to his mum. He has been my aspiration, Gene Simmons, without a doubt. I don’t care what people say, sometimes people say bad things about him but I love the guy. He has also been in a very tough business for 40 some years now and he had to deal with people who were trying to take stuff from him for a long time and when you look back at some of the other artists like those from “Motown”, those guys never got a dime for any of the work they did. Gene Simmons is one of these guys who says: “Now, I get what I deserve”. I admire that he looks out for himself, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I actually like it.

TJ:
I was surprised when the “Kiss Box Set” was released in 2001, and it comes with this huge booklet, that Gene said they couldn’t get the rights of some of the Van Halen songs, he had originally recorded as demos. I mean, he made Van Halen.

Jazan:
He totally discovered Van Halen.

TJ:
You never know who owns those rights. Maybe it wasn’t any of the actual players in the band that stopped him.

Jazan:
Yeah, you never know who owns what, it is not Eddie and Alex. They could have released “Kiss meets the phantom at the park”, he didn’t even know about his own movie. I think it is finally coming out now. I don’t know if it is through Kiss or through someone else. That’s what I was trying to talk about, he has learned from those mistakes and he is trying from here on out to make right those wrongs. I agree with that.

TJ:
What do you think of his new solo album?

Jazan:
I like the lot of it, I think my favourite track, I mean I love “Carnival of souls” and I actually like the title track a lot and then there is one track that Bob Kulick co-wrote on it and I thought that is really cool too and I am really looking forward to Paul’s.

TJ:
This is highly anticipated everywhere. To many people I spoke to, Paul is what makes Kiss tick.

Jazan:
To me, I think, Gene I always liked more as a personality and more as, I mean I love his songs in Kiss, I do, but Paul’s, who I love, I mean, if you want to listen to a solo album then I think it should be Paul’s. I love a lot of Gene’s but then there is some stuff I didn’t like on Gene’s too. But then, you can’t put Paul Stanley in “Rock School” and make it work either. There is different aspects, Gene can do all these other things I admire but I think Paul Stanley’s album is gonna kick ass, I really do, I think it is going to be great.

TJ:
I wish him well anyway

Jazan:
Yeah, me too. But I still want another Kiss album.

TJ:
Absolutely. I mean, at the moment I don’t really care who plays what on an album as they always managed to create a vibe.

Jazan:
They do. The album I loved was: “Carnival of souls”, and I am not saying it because I did that, and “Revenge”. In “Revenge” and “Carnival of souls” they started to go in this dark turn.

TJ:
What’s the song called that Paul wrote for his son? “I’ll be there”.

Jazan:
Yeah. I co-wrote three songs on my album with Curt Cuomo. Curt Cuomo co-wrote every song that Paul Stanley sang on “Carnival of souls” and he co-wrote “Psycho Circus”. You can hear that Curt is a great songwriter and they really worked well together. I like where Bruce and Eric took the music, I thought these guys are going in this really great direction and then the re-union happened and who can not want that?

TJ:
Yeah, but I felt sorry for Bruce and Eric and I was quite surprised when Tommy Thayer joined. I always felt that Bruce Kulick should have been the one to come back. Maybe that was only wishful thinking. I really was into the off – makeup period.

Jazan:
Yeah, you liked the whole eighties and “Lick it up” and all that.

TJ:
I wasn’t too fond of “Lick it up” but “Animalize” was just great. At that time they played in half an empty hall back then supported by Bon Jovi.

Jazan:
Bon Jovi, I love the guy. I think he is great.

TJ:
Nah, I hate him.

Jazan:
(laughs) You hate him! Do you like him (directs his question to TJs girlfriend, who nods), his new album is great.

TJ:
I think he is a big show-off. I don’t really “not like him” but I think he has rather lost his edge, you know what I mean. Anyway, Kiss played in half an empty hall because it was unmasked and they had only taken Bruce Kulick into the band because St. John had developed the Reiters – Syndrom and couldn’t play and that was the first time I saw them.

Jazan:
They did that with “Creatures of the night” too. The first time I saw them was the “Creatures” tour and there wasn’t as many people at that because there was a lot of things going on in the states. It was down south in the States and it was all this religious stuff going on too and there was protesting and all that but that was one of the best times that I had ever seen Kiss. It was so cool to see that big tank out there and the whole “I love it loud” thing.

TJ:
I saw them three times. In 1984 and twice when the reunion happened. It is not so easy in Europe to see them.

Jazan:
They don’t come over as much and they really should. There is so many fans, I mean, just look at this today. This is a Kiss convention and there are tons of people here.

TJ:
Yeah, and everybody feeds back. I just read that Eric goes to Mexico for another convention with Bruce Kulick. And lots of Japanese are into Heavy Metal as well. It is funny that they are so reserved and at the same time really rock.

Jazan:
Exactly, and we are releasing this CD in Japan and also we are releasing the comic in Japan because it is really huge there. I am looking forward to it

TJ:
We went to see Def Leppard in Dublin a few years ago and there was this fan from Nagoya in Japan who just came over for this. She booked two nights at the hotel next to the venue just to be there. Wow, how cool is that. Having fans like this is what keeps a band going.

Jazan:
Yeah, well, Bon Jovi just broke the records. There are just three bands that ever managed to climb to number one, American bands, maybe not American bands, but rock bands who went straight to number one. I don’t know exactly the wording but they are only three bands that achieved what they’ve just achieved: Beatles, Bay City Rollers and Bon Jovi!

TJ:
Bay City Rollers???

Jazan:
Bay City Rollers of all people, I read that and I was like: “Really?” but it is true. Do you remember them?

TJ:
I sure do

Jazan:
My girlfriend loves them

TJ:
The original singer of the Bay City Rollers is doing this charity gig next months in Glasgow with Alvin Stardust. What is his name again?

Jazan’s grifriend:
McKeown.

TJ:
Yeah, Ian McKeown. Are you going?

Jazan’s girlfriend:
I’d love to but unfortunately we will be back in the States next Wednesday.

TJ:
We read about that when we went over to see Alice Cooper. My son is thirteen now and I invited him to a Whitesnake concert. It was the only rock concert that was on at the time and even though I am not too fond of David Coverdale I thought it is a good idea to bring him to a rock gig. He is still listening to “50 Cent”, what can you do? It is his time now.

Jazan:
That’s a fed that is pushed on people: Rap. I mean its got its place but the thing I don’t like about the American music right now is that you got maybe 5 to 10 companies that control the whole what everybody hears and they push what they want to push and there are so many great bands out there that really never get a fair shake and that’s why I am having my own company. And I love it, I absolutely love it and we put the music that we want out there and we don’t care what those companies say and it is being super. We are received just amazingly by everybody, so be it. That’s what I meant by saying “having the dream and just not quitting”. If I woulda just went by American music I would have given up but I didn’t. I said I will achieve it no matter what and that’s what you gotta do. Kiss does that. Sometimes they were huge, remember “Unmasked”, I mean, they were huge in Australia when they didn’t do that well in the States they find ways to keep the ball rolling and that’s cool, I love it.

Thanks to Jazan for this really cool interview.

See also KISS 1984, 1996, 1999, Kiss Expo III Nottingham 2005 and all related blogs, Alice Cooper & Twisted Sister 2005

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