Roadrunner & Artist News
Interview With A Murderdoll (Tripp)
Posted on February 12, 2008Interview With A Murderdoll (Tripp Eisen): Chris Misutka in our US office caught up with Tripp Eisen for a little chat about the Murderdolls... and here is what they had to say for themselves.
Roadrunner Records: Describe Murderdolls in three words or less.
Tripp Eisen: I-Don't-Know. Actually, Murderdolls is something I always wanted to do. That's why Joey and I get along so well. We share a similar vision and we have similar tastes. We might not like the same exact bands, but the whole point is having a heart of metal - like in Slayer and Manowar - heavy bands like that, yet still be a glam guy and puttin' on lipstick. That's the dichotomy of the whole thing. It's like how many people are into Slayer equally as much as Motley Crue.
Roadrunner: That's actually perfect right there. That last line is the best I've ever heard it summed up thus far.
Tripp: Yeah, that's pretty much it. Joey doesn't like so much to compare musical styles, but I mean to really want to know what Murderdolls sounds like…you've heard the stuff (Murderdolls) right?
Roadrunner: Hell yes.
Tripp: How would you describe it? Like people want to know band names. Describe Coal Chamber, they sound like Korn.
Roadrunner: The way you actually put it there was definitely perfect - equal parts Slayer and Motley Crue.
Tripp: Murderdolls I would describe as a mix of Motley Crue, Ramones, Marilyn Manson, Twisted Sister - there's elements of all of those bands that we love. Joey's drumming reminds me of Dave Lombardo - his fast drumming and shit. But he works it into the context of rock 'n' roll where it's tasteful, and it's fuckin' cool as shit. And it's trashy, glam-trashy, type of styles. Wednesday (vocals), you hear little elements of Alice Cooper and Kiss. All those things are all in there because that's what makes up the guys in the band.
Roadrunner: Murderdolls is simply a combined product of what you guys are, the schools of music you come from. Hanoi Rocks, have you heard of Hanoi Rocks?
Tripp: Yeah exactly, that's trashy, there's elements of that shit in there. But unless you're familiar with it, you wouldn't know it.
Roadrunner: You and Joey basically started this band, correct?
Tripp: No, Joey had a band with the original singer Dizzy back in '95, '96. They formed it with just the idea of having a punk-metal, glammy trash type of band in Des Moines. I've seen the tapes - it started off as a cool punkish type project and they played shows - and they were just as legitimate of a band in Des Moines as Slipknot at the time. But Joey put it on hold, put everything into Slipknot. Once you get in a signed band, you put all of your other things (projects) on hold. Everyone has some other bands, similar to what I did in Dope. Around 1999, I met Joey on the Coal Chamber/Slipknot/Dope tour. We got to know each other. Come 2000, he was like, well, he was a rock star. He wanted to start pulling his side project back into the picture, and he wanted to find musicians. He and I saw eye-to-eye, so he invited me - I was the first person he invited into the band, along with the singer. We did a couple of shows and it was a lot of fun, you know, pulled in some different musicians. We just played in January, and that's when we met Wednesday, who became the vocalist because he and Joey clicked so well in the studio. And with Wednesday's songs, The Rejects just became the Murderdolls - which we were going to change the name anyway. It's not like we got rid of the singer and it's a new band. It's just an evolution.
Roadrunner: How does playing in this band compare to playing in the rest of the bands you've experienced (Dope, Static X)?
Tripp: This band is more similar to Dope, but it has more of a glam-trashy, crotch grabbing thing to it. One of the questions we were getting asked was, "Why are you guys doing this?" To be honest, because I feel like I have the best handle on it, because Joey obviously wants to come out and play guitar, guitar was his first instrument even before drums - it's cool to come out and play guitar after you're behind the drums for a while…cause Wednesday always wanted to sing and this is exactly what he wants to do. What's my reason for it? Cause I'm still playing guitar and this thing we're doing with the Murderdolls is something special, it's something that has been lost and is not in the music scene today. Which is something from the '80's, which is a dirty word, '80's, you know?
Roadrunner: Love it, love hearing you talk about it like that...it's true, this is missing…
Tripp: But the thing is, it's back to the Motley Crue. That's the best band to describe it. That Motley Crue, crotch-grabbing, stick your tongue out, point the finger, and say "fuck you". Twister Sister and even Kiss from the '80s, that whole glam, sleaze, fuckin' rock 'n' roll trash shit - that's what Murderdolls is at the heart.
Roadrunner: What do you think the difference will be between the tour you're doing with Static X compared to going out with the Murderdolls in the near future?
Tripp: The biggest difference is gonna be the audience. There's so many crossovers now, it's gonna be very different. What I'm hoping is that we're going to cross boundaries. Murderdolls is gonna have more of the kids who want to dress up. There's going to be older people from the '80's and they're going to catch on to what we're doing - kinda like Static X, we get some older people who are like, "Wow, Ministry"…they can hear the influences in Static X. Murderdolls people are going to hear those influences. Some older people might hear the Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie, there are different spooky influences that turn people on. There's going to be the Marilyn Manson type of gothic kids that are going to catch on to what we're doing. Slipknot fans, there's still a theatrical thing going on - Slipknot with the masks and pyro. So there's still shock-rock to a degree. And that's what the Murderdolls is also. Hopefully Slipknot fans will be into it. Marilyn Manson fans, Static X fans - the whole gamut. Type O Negative pulls in a lot of strange people - metal fans, goth fans.
Roadrunner: You get a lot of hot chicks at Type O concerts, too:
Tripp: Yeah. Murderdolls is poised to do what Poison did in the '80's, where there's a female contingency in the crowd…we're going to throw that percentage way up. Hopefully Murderdolls will attract up to half or more...
Roadrunner: Personally, if I go to a show and see a lot of hot chicks, the band is doing something right.
Tripp: We want this thing to blow up, but if it doesn't blow up we can still say we're doing this because we love to do it. And if a bunch of people want to give us the finger and say "Fuck you, you're wearing lipstick", we're taking a Motley Crue/Twisted Sister attitude like "Fuck you, we'll kick your ass". Though, we're not really wearing that much makeup, but it's more glammy than what people are used to.
Roadrunner: OK, so we're already talking a bit about chicks…I have to ask, because I've seen it in so many features - What was the porn situation in Dope?
Tripp: It's really just friends of Matt Zane, the director. Just through Matt Zane we'd do different things like backstage sluts videos.
Roadrunner: Were you in any of them?
Tripp: Well, I was there when they filmed it, but I didn't partake in anything. It was just a series of videos he did with different bands - Korn, Limp Bizkit, Orgy, Papa Roach - a bunch of bands were all in Matt Zane videos. It's cool to be involved with a guy who's into porn and around porn chicks, but c'mon, lets be honest, it's not like you're fuckin' Vivid girls or anything. Matt Zane is a cool guy, he's super cool and everything, but it's not cream of the crop. If you're going to be involved in porn, why not go to Vivid or something?
Roadrunner: Or Germany, if ya know what I mean…
Tripp: Well, if I was going to do some porno thing, I would channel it myself and contact Vivid or Club magazine. I got a connection with a photographer at Club that I want hook up with the Murderdolls and do a real fuckin' cool thing - like what Motley Crue did Oui magazine way back when…
Roadrunner: Oh really?…
Tripp: Yeah, do something fucking COOL, you know? A photo shoot with fuckin' naked porn stars, you know? HOT ones, not fuckin' D grade or C+. HOT porn stars like Jenna Jameson, Brianna Banks, the cream of the crop.
Roadrunner: Speaking of which, how did the inaugural Murderdolls photo shoot go?
Tripp: The photo shoot was awesome…I think this band is ready to rip up the country and make it a party.
Roadrunner: Eric and Ben, bass and drums. Tell us about them.
Tripp: Eric I've known for a year or two just on the LA scene and he's really cool. He's just a good guy that I got to know. He was on a Static-X video shoot and that's when I exchanged numbers with him - not for any real reason, I just thought he was a cool guy. Later it just so happened that we needed a bass player. I was like, well, he plays guitar, I'm sure he can play bass. I contacted him, and he said he played bass in several bands, and I said. "Well, we're also looking for a drummer." At first he was hesitant, then he goes, "well, my drummer's pretty damn good and he's a friend of mine from back east" (they're both from the Boston area). They just came as a package, it was really cool. I met them, I jammed with them and videotaped it because we were under the gun. I sent Joey the videotapes and he reviewed it, and Joey is very pick with drummers, obviously, and it just worked out. It worked out perfectly, like it was meant to be.
Roadrunner: What's in your CD player right now?
Tripp: Murderdolls mixes…other than that, the new Manowar that came out a couple of weeks ago.
Roadrunner: What was the first CD you bought?
Tripp: Kiss got me into music. It went from Kiss to Motley Crue to Metallica. AC/DC was a big influence. There weren't CD's back then.
Roadrunner: I know, I know. BUT when CD's were FIRST made, back in 1990, 1991, what was the first CD you ever purchased?
Tripp: I think it was RUSH actually…Yeah. It might have been RUSH, but that doesn't fall to well into my influences. RUSH is a spiritual influence, like Manowar. RUSH, U2, bands that influenced me emotionally and spiritually. But my playing influences are more along the lines of Kiss, Slayer, Overkill, Metallica, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Judas Priest. That's where I cut my teeth as far as playing guitar and learning styles.
Roadrunner: So I'm not going to get a straight answer on this one, ya?
Roadrunner: Song from the Murderdolls disc that keeps going through your head?
Tripp: "Love at First Fright". It's kind of a more poppy song, but it's just so good and the subject matter is funny. It's just a great song. That song I put on my stereo and play it for my friends, and am like, "Fuckin' A, listen to this song." It's just so cool.
Roadrunner: Any interesting stories from the recording of the album?
Tripp: No crazy stories. I went in there and cut my leads, and just had a great time with the guys. It was very painless, and it was a lot of fun.
Roadrunner: Longest day in the studio?
Tripp: 8 hours.
Roadrunner: Shortest day?
Tripp: 8 hours.
Roadrunner: One day, one night?
Tripp: No, it was a couple of days. It was a lot of fun. It wasn't some grueling thing. I guess Wednesday's vocals were grueling - he did a 14-hour stretch at one point singing. Joey was amazed at his performance. Wednesday was under the gun because he had to get back to work and Joey flew him out for the sessions and it was kinda intense for him. For me, I came out and, you know, just laid my parts down, I knew the stuff. They were actually changing things in the studio for Wednesday and making up vocals on the spot. It was a crazed thing. It's amazing the fact that 50% - 60% just came to be in the last 6 months. So even though the band has been around since '96, there's not that many songs from the past era of the Rejects. The Murderdolls is such a fresh thing.
Roadrunner: What's the solo situation? Is it enjoyable playing guitar solos for once?
Tripp: I've always played solos in past bands. The band before Dope, solos were going out, so I didn't play that much. And Dope, they weren't that much into solos. But if you look at the first Dope album, there are about 5 guitar solos. I played what I wanted to play, and it was cool. You can hear the consistency of the styles. Static X, I didn't play on the last album, Wayne wanted solos. He was going to have Koichi play solos, but Koichi left the band, and Wayne wasn't much of a soloer. He wanted solos on the last Static-X album, so there will be solos on the next Static-X album.
Roadrunner: What's the first guitar you ever bought?
Tripp: My first guitar was a crappy no-name acoustic, crappy no-name electric, then I got an Ibanez Iceman like Paul Stanley had.
Roadrunner: You're from New Jersey, right?
Roadrunner: Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen?
Tripp: Neither. I hate all that shit. I've kinda come to respect Bon Jovi. Listening to the story of how he made it, and how that album Slippery When Wet came to be, it's just a very interesting story. I share the same kind of heart and soul, coming out of New Jersey, I know where he came from and it's very interesting. But the music, I hate that shit.
Roadrunner: I hated Jovi so much back in the day, but as more time goes on, you gotta respect the guy.
Tripp: I warm up to it and I respect it, the music, Richie Sanbora and all of the other shit. But, it's like, in the '80's, anything gay like that… even Motley Crue after the 3rd album got gay with Girls, Girls, Girls. Dr. Feelgood was a good song, there's just so much gay, stupid crap. Twisted Sister turned really stupid after a few albums. The first couple of albums of a band are usually good. Very few bands stick to their guns.
Roadrunner: Wildwood or Belmar?
Tripp: Belmar? Where's that. Wildwood I'd have to say.
Roadrunner: First tour dates coming up. What can the people expect out there?
Tripp: Murderdolls are here to do it right and do it better than anyone else, and I feel like we're going to stomp all over everybody. There's a lot of cool bands, a lot of bands with energy, but we're gonna take it home and do it right and people are going to be blown away - They're going to be like, "Fuck!" We're going to have the monsters, the horror, the sex, the trash, the violence, everything people need. And we're going to do it better than anyone else is doing anything.
Roadrunner: Famous last words?
Tripp: I'm just excited to hit the world with Wednesday on vocals 'cause he's just such a good guy, he's a great person, a great friend, and I just think that the world needs something like that. In the '80's, there were a lot of Alice Cooper influenced people, like Blackie Lawless, Dee Snyder, then Marilyn Manson was the next Alice Cooper influenced guy. I just think that Wednesday is right in that line of succession. He's going to be the next cool, big, excellent thing that people are going to be like, "Fuck, yes!" Give kids something to get behind. Give kids a movement to get behind. It's just time for some new blood. There hasn't been anything since Manson, really. Motley Crue took over, then Guns 'n' Roses took over, then Marilyn Manson took over. Korn is the nearest thing I can say - Pantera, Korn, and Marilyn Manson in the '90's til right now. There has to be some new band and I feel we're it.