THE LION INTERVIEW
Featuring MIKE SPENT +
LOREN MOLINARE and TONY MATTEUCCI of the DOGS
Article and Interview by Angel Spent
August 31, 2016.
"I had a blast with Richard, we got to play the middle solo in section just like Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner with Alice Cooper... I guess we live in a time warp of when music could change the world and move people. " - Loren
|From Left to Right: Loren Molinare, Mike Spent, Richard Duguay, Tony Matteucci, and Diane Nile, August 2016.|
Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mike Spent Black Belt is the new project by Carlsbad punk icon, and original Spent Idols’ founder Mike Spent. This time, he has been produced by the Dark Lord Richard Duguay of Personality Crisis and the Hellhounds. Spent City Unlimited has just released the band’s debut single, I Am A Lion, which is available on Bandcamp. Everyboby can't help liking these songs!
Mike Spent Black Belt is composed of Mike on vocals, Richard on guitar, Loren Molinare on guitar, Diane Nile on bass, and Tony Matteucci on drums. Loren and Tony come from legendary Detroit’s punkers the Dogs, who have given the band a compact killer sound, perfected and polished by the natural talents of Richard Duguay. Recently, I interviewed some members of the band on the making of the I Am A Lion single. Enjoy!
What inspired you to write such a great songs as “I Am A Lion” and “Sun Goes Grey”?
MIKE SPENT: Well, it's a team effort between us, all over 200 years of experience in Punk and Rock n roll. I got to collaborate with musical Black Belts! This took months to complete and I'm very pleased with its outcome.
What can you tell me about the Into The Black recording session for "I Am A Lion" and “Sun Goes Grey”?
MIKE SPENT: Ok Angel, “I Am A Lion" was written by myself and Rich [Duguay]. Richard is a well known Canadian musician who started in the band Personality Crisis, and he owns a platinum record from Guns and Roses for his work on the Spaghetti Incident album. It is developed, actually completely rewritten from a song by the same title that I played on tour in 2015 written by Jay Kipling, and I tweaked the lyrics to fit the Spent Idols.
As for “Sun Goes Grey,” it is a guitar riff by Loren from Detroit’s the Dogs. He wrote it over 30 years ago, and he brought it to me, and he, myself, and Diana Nile came up with the song! Loren has been playing since 1968 and is a well known Detroit rocker who moved the band finally to LA.
The lyrics to “Sun Goes Grey” came out of the ether, they came too me. It's a twisted version of a 1960s garage song.
LOREN MOLINARE: Hi Angel! Great hearing from you! Well I have known Mike for awhile from gigging with his band the Spent Idols and the Dogs down in San Diego. We became friends and shared a lot of the same musical influences. We talked about writing some songs and the whole thing was very organic how it happened.
I introduced him to my good friend Richard Duguay from Canada, who is guitarist, writer, and producer. Mike and Richard did a re-write of Mike’s tune “I'm A Lion,” which Mike had done years ago. Richard gave it a cool refresh to the music. I was asked to add the 2nd guitar part in it. I had a blast with Richard, we got to play the middle solo in section just like Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner with Alice Cooper.
The song "Sun Goes Grey," Mike and myself wrote this one. I had an idea to write a song in the fashion of the great short moody songs that were written in the 60's by the Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, or the Yardbirds. So I showed Mike the riff and he came up with the moody lyrics and title, which I thought were perfect. I guess we live in a time warp of when music could change the world and move people. In the studio, Richard came up the great counterpart guitar line against the vocal melody, and we also wanted a real Ann Arbor Stooges cloudy day distortion sound on my guitars to make it very late 60's garage rock sound.
TONY MATTEUCCI: With both songs I attempt to "feel" the song without analyzing what I'm playing.... to what degree I'm successful is determined by the listener.
Who's the author of the Mike Spent Black Belt logo?
MIKE SPENT: Jed Bridges! He is a graphic artist from Carlsbad. I gave him my idea, and he developed the orange fist for me. I then gave it to my friend Skank who owns Scallywag Printing, and we further tweaked it for stickers and tshirts. I wanted it to have 1969s stooges/psyche vibe of black lights and bong water and stripped it down as I do to the basic elements. I made it lousy! In my lousy Rock n roll tradition!
MIKE SPENT: Yes it's a departure of my musical style! Finally after 35 years, I allowed myself to be produced, I want the songs to be anthems sing alongs at your local watering hole.