Last year I talked to Athena (ex wife of James Kottak and sister of Tommy Lee) and Bobbie Brown (ex-wife of Jani Lane a.k.a Ms. Cherry Pie) when they were both gearing up for their new reality TV series Ex-Wives Of Rock. We spoke about the highs, lows and overall goings on in their lives. In 2012, that TV show premiered in Canada to raves and it’s now set to take over the United States on the FUSE Network, airing every Friday night before “Warped Roadies”. Their interviews were a huge hit here at LRI and we anxiously awaited the chance to actually see their TV show. No big shock, the show is AWESOME, so we had to conference call to catch up on their current hijinks and get their reaction to the the reaction their show is stirring up. Read on….
Legendary Rock Interviews: Long time no speak ladies. You guys’ interviews sort of put us on the radar last year and we’ve looked forward to talking to you again. How are things?
Athena: Good, good, how are you? Bobbie got me a new puppy for my birthday and we’re just sitting here playing with puppies right now. She’s tiny but she’s a total spaz and super clumsy.
LRI: Bobbie, there has been so much leading up to the show airing here in the states. Since its started airing, are things going pretty much how you’d expected?
Bobbie: Yeah, yeah, actually. I always thought it would do great and I think it still will continue to do so. It’s getting a great reaction so I’m totally thrilled. I’d like some more publicity but I think that’s going to come as the episodes keep airing every Friday.
LRI: Athena, you were telling me a year ago that people were going to trip on this show because it was far more realistic than most reality shows. Based on the first few shows I’ve seen on Fuse I would say you were being totally honest.
Athena: (laughs) Keep watching! Basically the way I put it is that it is different from most reality shows because it’s not scripted. A lot of the shows people think of as reality shows are actually just as scripted as any other show but ours isn’t because first of all we didn’t want to do one and besides that our day to day lives are crazier than what anyone could write. When it aired in Canada it aired two episodes back to back.
Bobbie: We basically had an hour long time slot.
Athena: So now that it’s airing here in the States on Fuse it is a longer run because they are only airing one half hour episode per week. The first episode is really just a background of who we are and who we were married to and all that but after the first few episodes establish that, the show just really kicks into gear.
LRI: You guys told us such personal stuff in your interviews last year, Bobbie about her family and Jani and you about your struggles and your family and all the shit with James. Some of it pissed some people off. I think what really blows my mind is that the show is every bit as revealing as those interviews, you guys are just you regardless of what life throws at you. Are there any people in your life that you are shielding from this show or anyone you hope DOESN’T watch it? (laughs)
Bobbie: Oh God!!!!!!! You know, I wish I could have shielded my mom, somehow, you know. There was an episode a couple weeks ago where I basically broke her heart. That was filmed before you and I did our interview and since then I’ve kind of learned my lesson about how sensitive my mom can be about things so when I saw that episode I had kind of forgotten and just went “Oh Shit!!!, Oh Shit!!!!”
LRI: I’ll never forget talking to Bobbie Brown’s mom, she’s awesome. I like on the episode the other day where she was convincing you how hot you were and she said “I’d do you”.
Bobbie: That’s my mom. She is awesome and she’s crazy and she’s a good mother. That episode was edited because I went on to talk about how all that stuff we went through was what made my mom a stronger woman and I don’t really feel that I had an unhappy childhood and everything made me who I am. That’s the whole point of the show is that we are four really strong, supportive women who love each other and have each other’s backs. We obviously got that from something or someone and I got that from my mom. The thing is, that was kind of a long speech for me to go into so they cut it and my mom was just like “What! The! ” and I was like “No, mom, no, no, no, no” and I had to explain it all to her. I tried to kind of forewarn her about certain things that were in the show but she still got her feelings hurt so I apologized and had a lot of explanations to make like “That’s how shows do things mom”, ya know? Seriously, I have a tendency to run my mouth and joke around but my mom is one of the most amazing people and a big part of who I am and what I have made of myself. The fact is that she is a great mom and a great grandma and she has always, always been there for me.
LRI: Athena, I knew you told me that your kids were gonna be a part of the show but your daughter Tobi is just a natural on screen and is so gorgeous, she’s the biggest and best surprise of the show. How is your family reacting now that they’re finally seeing themselves on T.V. and their friends are seein it?
Athena: You know, the boys haven’t seen it yet but they know about it and they know they’re in it and my older son has some girls hitting on him now so (laughs)…..that’s totally cool and hilarious. Tobi has seen it and watched with us all a bunch of times and it’s cool. I really try my hardest not to embarrass them by bringing up anything I know they don’t want me talking about. If anything, I am just constantly embarrassing myself like crazy. There are more than a few “Uh Oh” moments on the show with me that to be honest, are really embarrassing but it’s real and it was what was going on at the time. There are a few moments, a few episodes that are pretty shocking, pretty gnarly and I was actually a little more worried about their friends seeing it like you said but that’s what I agreed to let them see so it is what it is. I was worried that their friends would see it and go “Oh my god your mom is just out of her mind”. I was never embarrassed of what their friends might say about them being on it, the kids loved being a part of filming it and the boys will have seen it by the time you run this interview. Tobi loves the show for sure.
LRI: A very famous rock star wife, Miss Shannon Tweed-Simmons, does the narration for the show which was something I didn’t know but is pretty funny. She lends a real smartass, sarcastic element to it all.
Athena: I think she really adds a lot to the show, it’s so much different with her that it’s almost a different show. She burns on us, like we will say something and she’s not afraid to go “That was really stupid”. I think she calls us idiots among other things. She’s really funny and she gets worse as we get worse which you’ll see as the show progresses.
Bobbie: She definitely adds something to the overall show, she’s hilarious.
LRI: Bobbie, since we have yet to line up interviews with Blue or Sharise can you tell us a little about what Sharise Neil (ex-wife of Vince Neil) is like?
Bobbie: I’ve lived with Sharise before and she and I get along great and we laugh all the time. We would wake up and dance to music in the mornings and just be silly. We’d share a bed and she’d be like “Don’t touch my feet” and I’d wake up and ask her “Why am I naked?” and she’d be like “I don’t know, don’t ask me!!”. It was always a series of really funny, weird shit happening but we always got along and she was someone I could always talk to and relate to as far as our pasts.
LRI: What about Blue (Susan “Blue” Dixon, ex- wife of Warrant bassist Jerry Dixon) ?
Bobbie: Blue is just someone I have always fucked with for as long as I can remember.
Bobbie: She is just super easy to prank and annoy and I take total pride and enjoyment in doing so. It’s our entertainment.
LRI: I’m trying to find a nice way to put this because her son seems really nice and Jerry is totally cool so I’m sure she’s a nice person but Blue strikes me as slightly annoying.
Athena: (laughs hard) Keep watching John.
Bobbie: It gets worse (laughing).
Athena: Let’s just say that for as long as I have known her, Blue is Blue.
Bobbie: Is Blue, is Blue. We can’t really say much more because we’re still trying to figure her out, at least I am. I think you will end up liking her, keep watching, she’s funny.
Athena: She is on her own trip and she is definitely funny.
LRI: She lives a pretty posh existence with her new husband compared to you guys. Does that ever become a source of frustration in your friendship?
Athena: Only when she tries to give us advice.
Bobbie: Yeah, exactly. I think you can tell that when you see my responses to her when she tries to be that way. I do believe that she means well and I think she knows that we all love her and anything that seems to the contrary isn’t so but definitely makes for good TV as this stuff happens. We all annoy each other and are all weirdos in our own way but we still, at the end of the day, love each other and have each others backs.
Athena: No offense to other reality shows but they’re not what we’re about. A lot of them have really put together people spending ridiculous amounts of money on ridiculous things and fighting constantly. If that’s the kind of thing you like to watch, that’s great, but that’s not us. We have nothing and we stick together maybe because of it, I don’t know. Blue might be set but the rest of us have to make our own way.
LRI: Is it safe to assume that Athena is still the most actively involved in the rock and roll scene and lifestyle as compared to the other three of you?
Bobbie: Well, yes I suppose, because she’s a drummer and her son’s in music and on and on but on the other hand we’re all still big fans of rock music even though we’re not married to it anymore. Sharise’s boyfriend is in a band.
Athena: Sharise likes her hip hop though. She loves her some hip hop.
Bobbie: I like it too.
LRI: Athena, one of the previous episodes dealt with Bobbie’s frustration with her book she’s working on and I know when I talked to you that was something you were working on as well. Is that still to come?
Athena: I’m still gonna do it. Its just that a lot of other things just got in the way. I started working on that before I was even doing the show so it has taken a little longer than I wanted it to. It’s weird because so much has happened since starting the show that I’m probably going to have to change a little of it. The book will be called “Girls Don’t Play Drums”. I changed the title last year after my Mom died, it was something she said to me all the time! (laughs)
LRI: What about reaction to “Ex-Wives Of Rock” from outsiders who’ve seen it, internet fans and the public?
Bobbie: It’s been mostly real positive. Like Athena said, I was more worried about what the reaction would be with family or friends of family and Taylar.
Athena: We get a super amount of love and understanding mostly from people BUT you know, man, there’s a few people out there that just don’t get it.
Bobbie: They wanna declare it a trainwreck and not actually follow it.
Athena: They feel the need to go on the internet and call us washed up whores and golddiggers and blah, blah, blah. If you really wanna talk straight on that, I will. If we were really whores, they wouldn’t have married us because they can have plenty of whores on the road, those are the people they were boning behind our backs. They married us. As far as golddigging, I can tell you right now, I’m not living any kind of extravagant life. I can promise you dude, there was no gold to dig.
Bobbie: (laughing) Nope. People who want to accuse us of being golddiggers really need to watch the show and see how things really are and how we’re living, trust me (laughs).
Athena: I am not putting these bands down, but look at the bands we’re talking about here with Bobbie and I. Warrant? It’s not like these guys are making money like they used to and it’s not like that money left us with all kinds of a windfall. When these guys were making money it was a long time ago. Also, this is no offense to James but the Scorpions were around for 25 years before James even joined so all those huge hits and songs that they play and earn money from, that money belongs to them not James. So really, all this “gold digging whore” shit can just suck it, it’s really not like that and I can’t help it if they don’t get that. We’re not fighting over millions, there’s no millions to fight over, I just want the process to be over.
LRI: I was kind of taken aback by just how long you and James were married Athena. In regular people years, ten years is a while but in rock and roll, ten years is like a lifetime.
Athena: We were probably only married that long because he was always on the road (laughs). I mean, I am proud of it but I credit myself to be honest. There was so much shit that I had to deal with that I was just constantly swearing “This is it….ok, now THIS is it”. Our kids were pretty young so I figured okay, I’m gonna stick it out for the kids sake. In retrospect, I’ve kind of realized maybe I shouldn’t have. I kind of have that regret, I should have left earlier on, before things got so messed up but, oh well. My bad. Live and learn.
LRI: The show was taped as the divorce turmoil was spilling over the top. Are things in your life a little more settled now?
Athena: It’s wayyyy more peaceful, I can tell you that but the thing is, we’re still married, we still haven’t gotten divorced. I filed two years ago and it’s still just dragging on and on. the only holdup is James not showing up to court. Other than that, it’s not like there’s any kind of big war or disagreements going on, it’s all good.
LRI: We have an interview coming up with Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatale vocalist). She and Lisa Brucker are behind the production of this show. How much of an impact was it having these two strong, sexy women behind the show?
Bobbie: I think it shaped it completely, we are like one big happy family and we get each other and love and trust each other completely and I think that shows in the finished product. We don’t deny the audience anything that is true, we are real in every aspect so we do set ourselves up for ridicule or being spoken about badly sometimes. I have had to learn to keep my mouth shut because I’m the type of person who always fights back.
LRI: No, way (laughs). I have kind of gathered that about you!
Bobbie: It’s true, I do and it can be bad but we have so many people that will come to our rescue. We have so many more fans as opposed to people who hate on us. Generally, the people who hate on us haven’t even watched the show, they will comment on something and it’s like “Ok, clearly this person hasn’t even watched the show and they just wanna hate on us” (laughs).
LRI: At the end of the day this is a great show because it’s about a group of people who might have recognizable names or faces but whom the public has never really gotten a chance to get to know, even, or especially you Bobbie.
Bobbie: That’s 100% true. Again, there is so much that happens in this show that you couldn’t write if you had to, emotional things, personal things, embarrassing things. It’s real and raw and you’re either gonna laugh your ass off or cry your eyes out depending on which episode you see. You’ll get to know the raw and true side to each one of us and our lives and it’s amazing. When we’re crying, you see that. When we’re fucked up, when we’re broke, you see that. You will run the gamut of emotions with this show and it will leave you wanting more by the end of the series, I promise you. You will either love us or hate us but most people want to see more. I think it’s because unlike all the other shows that only show you the good stuff like “We’re rich, we’re hot, we’re happy” we show you our real lives and and I think that is why people are relating to it. It’s raw and you will get to know each one of us to our core.
LRI: Thanks for talking to me again guys, I will not miss an episode. One last question, Athena, you kick ass on drums, I saw you in the Scott Carey music video and I want to know, what do you have coming up musically??
Athena: Oh man….I DO but I can’t tell you. Not yet at least, but keep watching and follow us on Twitter and Facebook and all that, I will definitely be playing drums soon!