Toilet Boys
cover photo


The Toilet Boys:

Guy: vocals
Sean: guitar
Rocket: guitar
Adam: bass
Eddie: drums
NY Rock Advertiser
 Toilet Boys
Guy and Sean of the Toilet Boys performing at Life
December 8, 1999, photo © 1999 NY Rock

The Toilet Boys Set the House on Fire, by Alice Hammond
Before they headed on stage to perform one of their trademark eye-catching fire-filled shows, NY Rock caught up with the New York City-based band the Toilet Boys at the club Life in December 1999. The show was the band’s last appearance before heading into the studio to record their Roadrunner record-label debut due out this spring.

    NYROCK:

How are sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll treating you in 1999?

          SEAN:

Excellent. Heart-shaped waterbeds in 1999 geared for the year 2000. That's what I'm into. And hickeys. I think hickeys are going to make a huge fashion statement in the year 2000.

    NYROCK:

To give everyone a little background, how long has the band been together?

         EDDIE:

We've been together three years, with the same line up.

          SEAN:

Our first gig was New Year's Eve of 1997 with the Lunachicks and that was the start of something magical....

    NYROCK:

You've recently signed with Roadrunner. Congratulations. What was the process like? Did you approach them?

         EDDIE:

They approached us, actually. We had been talking to them since late last year and then we finally put pen to paper in the spring.

          SEAN:

There was no contest. They're the standout premiere label of rock and roll right now. They understand live, touring rock bands like no other label out there. So for us it made sense. It was like the record deal of the millennium for us. It was the best one we could have asked for so we didn't even have to look around.

    ROCKET:

A lot of different people have come at us with their own ideas of what they think we are, or what they heard we are, or what they think we are based on what we look like on a poster. But Roadrunner has been really open and supportive of our vision, however ridiculous it is. They get it. It's really cool.

          ADAM:

When I first heard that Roadrunner was interested in us I freaked out because all my favorite bands are on Roadrunner: Misfits, Type O Negative, Sepultura.

    NYROCK:

Yeah, you guys have some good company on that label: Fear Factory, Coal Chamber...
          SEAN: Slipknot, just saw them last night. They were fucking crazy.   Sean of the Toilet Boys
Sean with flaming guitar, Adam in background
photo © 1999 NY Rock

    NYROCK:

It must feel pretty good to be among that crowd.

          SEAN:

Oh, yeah.

         EDDIE:

It feels great to be around people that understand rock.

    NYROCK:

And how's the album coming along? Guy, you seem very comfortable on stage, but how about in the studio?
            GUY: Oh God, that's my biggest fear. The first Toilet Boys show was in front of a packed house. We were born in front of a big crowd and we grew in front of a big crowd. And nothing is better than the experience of performing in front of a live crowd. So I think that's helped. Early on I had to learn.

As far as in the studio goes, the first time I was terrified. It was really probably one of the worst experiences of my life. I was so insecure about my voice that I wouldn't let anyone be around. It got better each time. Now, I get into it. I put myself in a certain frame of mind. I don't enjoy it. It's kind of boring to me, but it's interesting. The best part of being in a band is performing obviously. I guess the money would be nice but I don't know anything about that yet.


    NYROCK:

And how's it going for the rest of you?

          SEAN:

We've been working with Andy Shernoff of the Dictators on songs and production which has been an excellent experience.

         EDDIE:

We're doing all the fine tuning now before we go into recording because we want to make sure it's right.

          SEAN:

You know, everyone is going to want to pick us apart from the beginning so we want to make sure the record kicks their ass. We can't afford to sell what we have already created short. Everybody is going to be looking at this record like here's the band that's supposed to bring rock and roll back and it can't suck.

    NYROCK:

Yeah, about that, there isn't a lot of real gutsy type of rock and roll these days, like what you guys are doing, compared with ten years ago.

          SEAN:

Yeah, it cracks me up. There is this big whole movement in the industry, like "the return of rock" on MTV. But it's a bunch of rap bands. And you know, that's great. It's a legitimate new fusion form of music or whatever. But we're gonna give them the real thing and let all the hype come to fruition.

    NYROCK:

It seems that bands today rely merely on the music. They don't personify the whole image. They don't put on the whole stage show.

          SEAN:

It's happening more and more. I think people pay a lot for tickets. They don't want to see dudes standing around looking like gas-station attendants. They want to see a real rock 'n' roll show.

          ADAM:

We want it to be fun. We are all performance oriented. I'm from theater school, [Rocket] is an artist.

            GUY:

 Guy of the Toilet Boys
Guy, photo © 1999 NY Rock
I have always been into dressing up and wearing make-up. Anything that's sort of over the top I have loved since a child. At Halloween I always wanted to be an Indian or pirate or witch – anything that involved make-up. I loved Cher, Elton John, David Bowie, KISS. KISS was the first record I ever bought. They totally changed my life. I've always been fascinated by bands or artists who put on a show. With any band it has to be natural. You can tell when it's forced. Not anyone can put on what I wear and pull it off. And I couldn't put on what other people wear and pull it off either. It has to come from within.

I have always loved anything visual. I'm influenced by beautiful women. I loved Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Harry, Blondie, Nina Haagan.

I knew I was never going to be in a band that wore street clothes. I've always wanted a spectacle.


    ROCKET:

If I am going out to see something, I want my rock stars to be rock stars. I don't want them to be the dude from down the block that works in the coffee shop. It's all part of building your show. It goes back to theater. You're on stage.

And basically, we're just trying to play music that we want to hear. We try to blend the most extreme metal sounds with the most extreme pop sounds so that we get metal heads to like something that's poppier than they would have liked. We're not trying to force people to like the opposite, but to question what they think they're into.


          ADAM:

I listen to classical shit. That's what I go home, crank up and groove out to. There's nothing for me on the radio.

    NYROCK:

What do you think of the recent emergence of the boy bands (Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync)?

         EDDIE:

I think there is a place for all of that. It's totally separate from what we're interested in and what we're doing. I think there is always going to be that. I don't like it or dislike it. It doesn't really come into my vision. It's just kind of there and, to me, it's always been there. Two seconds ago it was Menudo and now it's Ricky Martin. It's fine.

            GUY:

I thought the Spice Girls were hideously tacky and kind of uninteresting but I love the fact that they were so huge for a moment. I think that's hilarious. If we had the Spice Girl fame, hey, better than nothing. You know, I don't drive for that but I have always said, "Better a flash in the pan than never a flash at all." I like entertainment. I have always been very fascinated by it. You know, even if it's short lived (which most things are today), if you're smart and you're not fucked up, you can work it to your advantage and it can lead to other things.

    NYROCK:

How has touring been?

         EDDIE:

We were out with Orgy this summer. We were in England in the spring. We did our debut shows over there.

We're not sure what 2000 holds for us as far as touring. We're going to tour but we don't know with whom.


    NYROCK:

How were the shows in England?

         EDDIE:

They were great. The show we played in London, we set the club on fire, literally. We were in every paper the next day. It was an accident. People were running around saying, "you couldn't pay for this kind of publicity," but we were just glad that nobody got hurt and that everybody had a great time.

    NYROCK:

I'm sure someone got a little pissed.

         EDDIE:

Well, we can't play that club again. But it was a riot. The response over there was really good. We have an album out in Europe on an Indie label called Cargo. It has been doing really well. It's in every Tower [Records store], and that kind of stuff. We get tons of hits on our website about it. It's really exciting how the word spreads. It's been verbal, but I think the website has been integral to that. It's the new wave of communication.

          SEAN:

There's a whole global thing going on out there. It's cool to be part of it.

    NYROCK:

What do you think about the New York City music scene?

          SEAN:

It's incredible. It's like no place else in the world. You can't find bands like the Lunachicks or Karen Black or Candy Ass.... If you go somewhere else, the shit doesn't measure up. You can't do it here and not take it seriously. It's too hard. Living in New York is not easy.

         EDDIE:

New York is such a rough place that in order to shine you have to really do quite a big show – to stand out from everybody else. With bands like us, Karen Black and the Lunachicks, I think that that is the case. You're seeing something like you've never seen before.

            GUY:

I moved here when I turned eighteen. At that point my biggest goal was to be able to get in free to a night club in New York City and to be invited to VIP parties. That happened really quick and then I got bored with that. Then I wanted to have cool parties and DJ at them and we did that with Squeezebox. I guess, like with anything, you have new goals that you want to achieve. My ultimate goal now is to be hugely successful. I never thought there was anything wrong with bands that wanted that the most. Why not? I don't understand that whole "selling out" thing. I think it's bullshit because if you're doing what you love and tons of people know about it, that's great. I don't understand why in music that if you do well, you're selling out. It's fun and it's great but it's a business. If you open a restaurant you want it to be packed every night. You want it to be successful. Any business that you start you want it to be successful, so why shouldn't that apply to rock and roll.

          SEAN:

New York City rules. It's the greatest. No one can deny that. We're happy to be here. We're proud to be from New York.

It's cool when people come up to us and say, "you guys gave us a reason to start this band." It's awesome for us.


January 2000

Check out the cover photo of the Toilet Boys
featured on NY Rock's home page January 2000.

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