Fleur the Kiwi
Eddy Vega is lead vocalist for Bay Area hard rock act Bad Boy Eddy. Eddy loves to play in-your-face and kickin’ your ass rock & roll that appeals to a wide range of listeners. When the writing team of Vega and [Dave] Saker reformed a few years ago, “a magical spark was ignited that has wound up turning into an out of control blaze that is set to engulf the world of music.” Bad Boy Eddy’s Over the Top placed at #9 on Hair Metal Mansion’s list of top 20 best rock albums released in 2012 and shot to the #1 position on the local ReverbNation chart. Asked what’s in store for 2013, Eddy says, “We’ve already begun working on material for the next album and are planning some local tour dates as well as out of state ones, and, if all goes as planned, conquering the world.”
DGT&G: In the Heart of Rock interview, you mentioned that Bad Boy Eddy’s guitarist, Dave Saker, does some of C.C. DeVille’s movements. Those kinds of moves — the hair flips, the synchronized guitar moves — are such a big part of the fun of rock ‘n’ roll.
Eddy Vega: Wouldn’t it be great if everybody up front was doing that at the same time? Hair flying. I’m from the ’80s, man. You know what I mean? We were better looking than most of the chicks in the crowd. [Laughs]
DGT&G: Do you wear guyliner?
EV: Yes, I wear all kinds of stuff. I paint my fingernails [He shows us his black nail polish]. I’m weird. [Laughs]
Hazelzworld: I’ve got a couple of really good hair flips. [Referring to photos of the band].
EV: You do, really?
DGT&G: So you were 10 when you first picked up a microphone and—
EV: I was a teenager.
DGT&G: How old were you when you first performed in front of an audience?
EV: I was, I’d have to say maybe 11 years old. And I performed for the entire school. I played my acoustic guitar. I used to get so many girls, because I could sing like this when I was that age. I had a voice from the very get-go. I would bring my acoustic guitar to school, and I would sit back there in the field and I’d be [singing]. And the girls would just melt. I’d be all, I got this down. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. [Interruption] And then here is the famous Dave Saker. I’m doing an interview.
Dave Saker: [Sarcasm] Asshole, me. Thank you very much. I hate everything and everybody. [Laughs]
EV: Did you hear that our album placed at number 9?
DGT&G: What chart was it?
EV: I don’t know.
DS: It’s called Heavy Metal Mansion. Go to Facebook. Look who is the first. It’s Great White. [Actually, Great White is #2. LA Guns is #1 – Ed.]
Hazelzworld: I saw that they were at number 1.
DS: We just played with him up at Boardwalk. Jack Russell’s Great White. Not the XYZ one. We’re number 9. We actually placed above Don Dokken. [Laughs]
DS: Anyway, just wanted to let you know, thank you very much for showing up.
DGT&G: Well, we loved it. It was great.
DGT&G: So, since you were 10 years old, you’ve known that you’ve wanted to be in rock and roll. Have you been in other bands?
EV: Have I been in other bands? Yeah.
DGT&G: Of all the bands you’ve been in, which is your favorite?
EV: This one, of course. This one is my favorite. The one that I was in before was actually a version of this band. But the songs we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing for quite a long time, for 25–30 years. They were written that long ago. Me and Dave were in a band together called Ace Diamond. Ace Diamond was together for six or seven years, and that was the original band when I first met Dave [Saker]. They approached me, I was in band called Desire. We were the third-place winners of the Battle of the Bands that year.
DGT&G: Bay Area Battle of the Bands?
DGT&G: What year was that?
EV: It was 1984. When we won that little title, we did a show with the other two bands that were the first- and second-place winners—we all three did a show in a place called the Omni.
DGT&G: That’s where our friend Ronnette used to work.
EV: Oh, I love Ronnette. She’s so cool. So, when we played there, that’s when Dave and the other members of Ace Diamond approached me.
Hazelzworld: That name sounds familiar, because I was at the Omni almost every other weekend. And if not the Omni, the Stone.
EV: Oh, the Stone or One Step Beyond.
Hazelzworld: One Step Beyond, yep.
EV: One Step Beyond, we played all those in those days!
Hazelzworld: Did you have flyers?
EV: Yeah, we had flyers. We did shows with Kidd Blue, quite a few with Kidd Blue. The good ol’ days. A guy from the band that Dave was in approached me. I tried out for them, but you know what, I really wasn’t prepared for it. As a result, none of the band members liked me, but Dave liked me. Dave looked at me and I was like, this guy is gay. [Laughs] He goes, “We’re gonna talk.” [Laughs] So then at practice, he goes, “Hang out for a minute,” and he talked to me. He said, “No one in my band likes you, but I don’t like any of my band. I’m gonna disband it, I’m gonna re-form and I’ll call you in two months. I want you to move out here and be in my band.” And I said, “OK.” And sure as shit, two months later, he re-formed the band. Kicked everybody out, put it back together again, minus me. And then he called me, I went out there. I stayed there and we jammed together for 6–7 years. It’s was an experience. It was.
DGT&G: When was that?
EV: This was back in 1984/85 in Vallejo. And during that time that we were together, we played a lot of shows for a lot of nationals. Tora Tora. We opened for the Black Crowes. We opened up for Danger Danger. [Laughs] What’s the name of—[sings] “Bye bye, baby, bye bye”—what’s the name of that one? Firehouse! We opened for Firehouse. The biggest show we did back then was, we opened for McAuley Schenker.
EV: Yes. Oh my God! There was like 2,200 people in the Omni. It was jam packed. They wouldn’t even let us go on stage. We had maybe from about here, to maybe that car right there worth of the stage. [Indicates a distance of about 10 feet] We had to walk through the crowd to get to the stage. Can you imagine walking through all those people? Oh my God, what are we gonna do? Get on that stage—it was crazy, man. It was fun. And then I was in another band called Evasive Action during that same time. Evasive Action were kind of an Iron Maiden-ish type band. We opened up for a band called Dream Theater. You ever heard of them?
DGT&G: I’m from New Zealand—we never got any of those bands. [Laughs] So what is your songwriting process? Is it just you and Dave?
EV: It’s me and Dave, generally. Well, actually, Dave usually comes up with the musical idea, and if I feel it, I’ll write something to it. If I don’t feel it, I won’t write anything to it. Usually, I’ll try to write to everything he does. And I decide on whether or not the ideas come or they don’t. If it really gets me off, then I’m gonna come up with something great. So that’s why I’ve always believed this—and I know it’s true because I’ve seen other guitar players. For instance, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Aerosmith. It’s always been a guitar player and singer getting together. So, I’ve always believed that somewhere out there—like you would believe that you’ve got a lost love that you’re waiting to find—I believe the same thing for a musician. There is a guy out there who writes songs that are gonna set me free, and I’m gonna come up with hit songs. The two chemistries put together is what creates magic. Me and Dave are really the basic magic for this band.
DGT&G: Who are your influences?
EV: OK, let’s see. My first influence is probably Ronnie James Dio. He’s a big one for me. And then after Ronnie James Dio, I got pretty heavily into Geoff Tate. And then, after Geoff Tate, I went through my Stryper phase. [Laughs]
DGT&G: We interviewed Oz Fox.
EV: You did? Was he pretty cool or what?
DGT&G: He was pretty cool. Yeah, we ran into him in Vegas.
EV: Oh my God. Was he playing out there?
DGT&G: No, it was at the Bourbon Room at the Venetian. He was there. There were a bunch of people there.
EV: So, yeah, Michael Sweet was a big one for me. And then Bruce Dickenson [Iron Maiden]. And then of course, the one singer that I probably look up to probably more than anything—I idolize him the most. He’s passed away now. His name is Carl Albert.
Hazelzworld: Vicious Rumors.
EV: I knew the guy. I was lucky enough to know my idol.
Hazelzworld: The first time I saw you guys play, the first thing I thought of was, “Holy crap, he reminds me of Carl.”
EV: Carl is my hero. There will never be another singer like him. But you know what, have you heard about his son? His son can sing like him, but not quite that good. But good enough to where he’s gotten on stage. It’s on YouTube. So yeah, I’ve always wanted to be in a Vicious Rumors type of band. And somehow or another, this music, though, I finally got to a point where I embraced it. I fought this music a lot, that I play with Dave. Because Dave’s always been a little too much on the cheesy end of things. He wants me to sing it exactly the way he wants me to sing it. And that’s all cheese. It’s really cheesy. So, when we got back together, this time, I gave it a different spin. I told him, “Dude, let me do what I want to do to it. It will be better, trust me.” He let me run with it, and I gave it my style.
DGT&G: You bring in the heavier style.
EV: Yeah, and he’s letting me do that. Before he didn’t. He wanted everything to be so pretty—He definitely puts the wine in the cheese, or the cheese in the wine. [Laughs]
Coming tomorrow … part 2 of the interview with Eddy Vega … living the dream … Eddy’s Spınal Tap moment … Bad Boy Eddy‘s new video