“The Godz are rock and roll machines”. Literally. Like a rebuilt muscle car with some new guts but all original leather, the legendary band The Godz continues to chug on and is currently planning shows and releasing a new album, “Last of the Outlaws”. This group toured with KISS, Priest, and basically any band that mattered over the years. They were part of the rock and roll arm of Casablanca records and are not only still alive to tell the tale but still aggressively interested in creating new music. We spoke to longtime Godz singer/guitarist Eric Moore and bassist/guitarist Vinnie Salvatore about the old, the new and what rock and roll’s DNA really is….read on
LRI: Hey….good to talk to you guys….I will be honest with you, I have just recently found out about the band but can’t believe I hadn’t heard you before. To be fair, I was 2 when you released your debut album…
Eric Moore: Well, it should have fucked up your entire childhood. If you’re really diggin it now I should suggest that you are a really sick individual. I would think you should at least seek therapy, maybe deeper help if you can afford it.
LRI: What do you remember about recording that self-titled, debut album?
EM: I love it when I DON’T remember shit. Sometimes my mind won’t let me recall horrible images so my memory cuts off in different places. The OLD stuff explodes into the NEW stuff and works out to be pretty cool. I think the people who’ve grown up on the band can honestly better see where I’ve been and what I’ve become. And it’s cool.
LRI: Is it interesting to see different age demographics, faces in the crowd when you play nowadays?
EM: I’m glad I’m not a teenager these days….I feel bad for a lot of the younger crowd. It’s really hard to find a real rock and roll band to get into and follow and stuff. As far as like, good , old, dirty rock and roll. Things are different. There are bands that rock but as far as that sweaty, in the swamp, covered in after-birth original rock and roll grime…..I don’t know. I don’t think a lot of the newer bands dwell with the skunks, the slime and the warlords.
LRI: And all the new technologies, social medias?
EM: I don’t partake of them. (laughs). I don’t speak computer. I don’t “TWEET”. True story. I got a computer, I found the band on Wikipedia, I said “That’s cool.” and I haven’t turned it on since.
LRI: Well, I do like thegodz.net webpage, especially the fact that you guys seem to gloat about your bad reviews over the years. I take it that you’ve never given a flying fuck what the critics have said over the years?
EM: No. They’ve been wrong more often than not anyway. I will continue to be an outlaw to both sides of the fence if necessary. It’s your basic, dance around the campfire rock and roll. I like hanging out with guys who stand around the campfire and look cool carrying big knives and spears and swords and shit. That, in essence, is what this band IS.
LRI: That first album is still so important to your fans, your live set….who came up with that classic album cover of the golden chariot of rock and roll?
EM: That was Casablanca’s actual art department. It was the first time in my career that I was able to actually work with a true art department which was a good thing to be associated with to be honest. I do like the cover….it’s really in tune with us, as a band. They really did have a great art department, it wasn’t just one guy, in a room, cutting and pasting shit. Later on, of course, the company died and collapsed and everyone had heart attacks, strokes and overdoses and all that shit. I was glad that it died when it died because it was becoming an incredibly sick monster. They truly tried to cover every base, from black leather to white satin to glitter gold dust. Christ, they had KISS, Donna Summer, Village People, the whole entire spectrum of music was COVERED but they were ALL WHACKED OUT. We were very cost effective and conservative as a band compared to all of those acts. Casablanca Records was the kind of place where you go into their office and they pull a joint out of the drawer and proceed to smoke it……THEMSELVES. They don’t pass it around the room or anything, they were those kind of people! They were an interesting label to say the least but maybe we were a little left of center to them as “people”, we were a little more “conservative” and less crazy, top of the “Hollywood” sign like they were as people. Or maybe that was our role, the part we were to play, so to speak, as artists on the label. Our management and we as a band were in a different head space than those guys were.
LRI: Where did that swampy, bluesy, boogie rock sound come from? What led you there?
EM: I will tell you. When you live the life of the old blues guys…..you end up being like the old blues guys and you like the old blues guys and all that. Keith Richards BECAME what he liked. Look at him, listen to him. He really dug those black, swanky Chicago guitar players and dammit he got good and became one himself. I’m not on that exact path, but you know???
LRI: Vinnie, the new album you guys are releasing…..does it sound like a “new” Godz album or does it have a sound more like the “older” material?
Vinnie Salvatore: It sounds like a NEW album. If you go back and listen to the various albums dating all the way back each one kind of has it’s own sound. There’s a change or a progression. This is the next step in that. It definitely sounds like a “new” album but of course Eric’s writing so it’s still got some of that classic Godz sound. It’s the “slice of time”, it’s where his head is at right now, at this moment. It’s a really organic album and a lot of those rock and roll themes do still come out but also a lot of other things. It’s about life. Life in general. It doesn’t sound contrived, like we’re “trying” to be something. It just comes out. We don’t wanna ever fall into a strictly nostalgia kind of thing cause we’re still moving, we’re still running and creating.
LRI: It’s hard for lots of bands, even with a catalog and fan base, to justify the expense involved with touring. Is that something you’re hoping to do regardless?
VS: Yeah, we do. Check out the band’s Facebook page for updates as they happen. That’s the plan, but you’re right it is hard. The ones I really feel bad for are the “baby” bands. If they try and go it alone, diesel’s like 4 bucks a gallon. It’s financially, very, very difficult. The other thing with a lot of young bands is that they’re having to buy onto tours. Literally, paying to go and play with a bigger band. That can help them get some exposure possibly but you really have to justify the expense. I saw a band open up for Tesla a while back and they did that, they had to pay a certain amount of money per month to be on that tour and I don’t know if it ever translated into sales for them or not, you know, maybe it did. Still, it’s a BOLD risk to take.
LRI: There’s so pretty cool photo evidence of the female segment of your fan base hanging out with you guys back in the old touring days.
Eric Moore: We turned down more pussy than a lot of bands got (laughs). It got to the point where….you actually don’t WANT 2 or 3 blow-jobs before a show. It makes it to where you just wanna stand up there with a dumb grin and smile, you’re not ready to rock, you’re done……We actually started lightening up on that….
LRI: Last question….does it light a new fire under your ass or inspire you to work with new guys and have new collaborative partners after all these years in rock and roll?
EM: You’re gonna have to speak up next time we talk…..I’ve had a Marshall stack in my ear for the last 30 years!!! I’ll tell you this John…..I come to work EVERY day now excited. I get things done that I only dreamed about getting done back in the day. I can come up with an idea, record it, get a mix of it, listen to it and goddammit realize that I was right and it was cool and take it from there. It is great to have this band on my side, these are professional, studio musicians, rock and rollers all of them, but real pros. We translate live too, it sounds like a damn good studio band is playing live. If people like the album they’re gonna love it live. The people who don’t like us ain’t gonna like us anyway (laughs).