BLACK N’ BLUE singer Jamie St. James talks Tommy Thayer, Gene Simmons and the great new album from BNB
Jamie St. James has toured with Aerosmith and been produced by Gene Simmons as the frontman for 80s metallers Black ‘N Blue. He has seen co-founder Tommy Thayer go from joining him in a KISS tribute band to actually joining KISS. He has replaced Jani Lane in Warrant only to come full circle and come back to his pride and joy, Black ‘N Blue which just released their toughest and arguably best record yet….”Hell Yeah!”.
We talked to Jamie about all this and more, read on…..
Q: What the hell is up Jamie? The new album smokes…
Well………… “Hell Yeah!” is finally out and it kicks ass!
We have been playing some of the festivals and doing gigs here and there and just trying to get BNB back in your faces!
Q: To be blunt….a band like Black N Blue is not supposed to be releasing the best album of their career at this stage in the game….let alone without Tommy Thayer….It is a shockingly heavy album but yet has all the hooks of your old catalog. I know it was years in the making….How did “Hell Yeah” finally come together?
The key was signing with Frontiers Records. They came up with the cash to get this thing finished and we couldn’t be happier with them.
It is a bit wierd doing a BNB record without Tommy but we aint getting any younger so we went for it. At this point, Shawn has been in the band for 8 years now on guitar so it was all good.
Q: I have no reason to kiss ass to you since there’s no payday on the line for me but I am truly appreciative of this album….it is so strong start to finish….Be honest..while you were recording was there ever a thought of securing your legacy after all these years away?? Has Tommy Thayer heard it yet???
Thanks John, thats great to hear…I DO think the CD is very strong.
Tommy has it and he told me he thinks its great. All I can say is that we really put a lot of hard work
into it! Glad people are digging it.
Q: There seems to be a prevailing opinion that the first album and the live stuff are the crucial BNB.
Do you agree with that or are you of the opinion that Without Love, In Heat and the entire catalogare just as strong? Are there things you’d change?
I love the first 2 records and Nasty Nasty and In Heat are solid with only a few tunes I really dont need to hear again. The Live “One Night Only” CD is awesome as well.
Q: I know you played drums in the early incarnation of the band and also in the KISS tribute Cold Gin.
If someone had told a young, long haired Saint that he would one day become a Hit Parader pinup frontman, tour the earth and work side by side with Gene Simmons would you have believed them? Is it still as awesome as it sounds?
I would believe them because I believed it! I wanted rock n roll so badly as a kid and still do…its my lifes blood!
Q: You guys had a nice run with Geffen before they perfected the art of breaking a hard rock band (in my opinion). Now that you can basically do stuff that sounds as good or better than what you did on a major how do you feel about the whole record company ERA?
Everything has changed but I’m still glad we released new music…Everyone says if we released ” Hell Yeah!” in Nineteen Eighty somthing it would be huge…Who Knows???!!!!
Q: One of the best things about that label era was the tour support it provided for you guys and other bands. Is it more difficult now to try and put together something that won’t compromise you or the fans as far as a live tour for new material? Is it true in your eyes that you have to do some kind of touring/merch to offset the downloading?
Yes…totally accurate. All the free downloading is killing new music.
Q: What was the idea behind you guys putting out the Rarities album a while back? Whose idea was it and how do you feel about the end result?
I put it out just to see what would happen honestly. It’s OK for die hard fans.
Q: You recently played the M3 Festival…..was it like riding a bicycle or a little strange performing again after all these years out of BNB? How did the setlist go over and how wild was the afterparty?
That show went F’ing great!!! We killed ’em!!!! The crowd was way into it and it had been a long time since we were in that area live!!! It was really a great day for BNB.
Oh, and I always have a good time after the show!
Q: It is astonishing to me that all you guys are winding up on Frontiers. Did they give you total control? It seems like a lot of bands are putting out some of the best stuff of their career and reaching both the old and new audiences worldwide.
For the most part they did give us alot of control. We did what we wanted on the record and thats why this thing is so good.
Q: What do you think was more exciting as an artist, building the band up in Portland or perfecting the art in L.A.?
I love that period where we were young in Portland building our dream. Those were some of the best times by far!
Q: You’re off the hook… for now…… any final words to the faithful, the patient, the HARDCORE Black ‘N Blue fans??
I Love you all and thanks for giving a shit after all these years…HELL YEAH! come get some!