Interview with Ace Finchum
Ace Finchum is currently the drummer for the very cool Gypsy Pistoleros. He also of course played with Tigertailz for a number of years as well. I recently got to talk to him about both of those bands and more.
MM-First congratulations on joining Gypsy Pistoleros, they are a great band. How did you come to get this gig?
AF-Cheerz bro, yea I have been looking for another band since I left the Steevi band last year. A friend of mine on MySpace “Donna Rockbabe” actually knew I was looking for a band and the Gypsies asked her if she knew of any drummers, so they wrote to me and we met for a hour at a service station, that was the Sunday and by that Monday I had joined and without an audition, which was excellent lol.
MM-Were you very familiar with them and their music before you joined? How’s it going at this point?
AF-I had heard of them and saw they had supported quite a few bands, but never ever heard their music; the spanish/english mix thing didn’t make sense to me at the time lol. I thought for the last two or three years they were from Spain!!Yea everything’s cool so far, we have shot a video, photo session and rehearsed and it’s all firing on full cylinders.
MM-So far how does being in Gypsy Pistoleros compare to other bands that you have been in?AF-Hmmmm, they are different to anything I have done in the past. I have always been a straight rock drummer, 2/4 and 4/4 you know. These guys have different timings, full on punk, lots of starts and stops and the whole thing with the songs, I don’t know what song I’m doing ‘till they hum it to me at rehearsal because they have Spanish titles lol, but I am starting to learn the song titles now. Image wise it’s all the same as with every band except Angelwitch that I have been in.
MM-How old were you when you started playing the drums? What inspired you to start playing?
AF-I was 18 and it was the day after seeing KISS in 1980, I went back to school and I just didn’t give a shit about school, homework any of that shit. I just wanted to play drums and knew that school was a waste of time from that day on lol. I was into drummers like Clive Burr, Alex Van Halen, John Bonham and later Tommy Lee. But besides seeing Eric Carr it was Clive Burr that really was a major influence.
MM-Was Crash K.O. the first real band that you were in? What do you remember about being in that band?
AF-No, the first band I was in was a band called “Treason” and the night I was auditioning for them they were also auditioning a singer by the name of Steevi Jaimz! And out of Treason came Crash KO with guitarist Phil Wrathchild. The thing about KO was that we were doing stuff before we had even heard of Motley Crue that was similar and we thought we were onto a new thing with the glam image but heavy riffing music. Crash K.O. was fun while it lasted and I have some great demos from that period! It was a band that was ahead of its time…..
MM-Then you were in Idol Threat and you brought Steevi Jaimz in as well. That was in Colorado, how do you come to be in that band? What are some of your memories of that band?AF-Well after Crash K.O. finished I had joined a band called Tranzam who I had been a fan of as they were doing the same clubs as we had done in treason. But we never got anything done, just partied all the time!! So I decided to leave this country and go to LA, I was really into Motley and Ratt, Black n Blue and the whole LA scene so I thought if I was to get anywhere I need to go to California. I had a old school friend living in Colorado and his family put me up and I stayed there for a year playing in covers bands, getting tight, my chops down and the whole experience thing I needed for la as I heard how good the music were in la. Idol threat was a band I first joined in Colorado Springs and had one of the best times in my life playing with those guys. After the band fell apart I put it back together and talked Steevi into joining us and make some money and both go to la, Steevi was just as driven as I was. So Steevi came over we rehearsed, tanned, partied, shagged, smoked and drank everything lol. After one gig we split up hahahah. But we set off to LA as planned and that’s another story for another time lol. I’m actually finishing my book “a drummerz talez” which I have been writing for two years now.
MM-What are some of favorite memories about being in Tigertailz?
AF-So many, uhhh well first off was getting to release our first EP, I had wanted to at least put out one record before I died and for all the effort I had put into music, sacrificing ect.. So that was first, then the very first Kerrang interview, selling out the old Marquee two nights in a row was awesome too! Getting out recording deal, I guess the best memory will be when we headlined the Cardiff St. Davids Hall and my parents flew over to watch the show, and they were proud and had supported me since I first started playing in my bedroom in 1980, all the work had finally paid off.
MM-You also had some rough times with line-up changes, album delays and such. Is there anything that you wish you had done differently while in Tigertailz? Do you think that you could have been more popular if you had done a few things differently?
AF-Well we could have ditched the makeup and maybe have sold more records? Who knows? But then we wouldn’t have been Tigertailz you know. But one thing people don’t know much about is the show case we did for capitol records. One of the PR woman from Capitol flew over to England to watch us perform three songs live in a private showcase. We were awesome that day too!! Afterwards she met us all at a restaurant with our manager martin hooker and she laid it down, I will never forget her first words to us at the dinner table. And you have to remember that we didn’t know what she had thought of the show we did for her earlier. She said “you guys are going to be huge over in the states” and she wanted to sign us!! It was a dream come true for all of us. After weeks of waiting for the contracts Martin had set up a meeting with us and informs us that Capitol had a big change of staff and that the woman who was to sign us had been one of the people let go. To this day we have no idea what went wrong?? But we learned to never have your record company manager manage your band as well!!
MM-I believe Bezerk was recorded in early 1989, but wasn’t actually released until early 1990. Why was that?
AF-The record company! They wanted us to tour as soon as we had finished recording the Bezerk album. And to test the water with a new album and a new singer was to first release love bomb baby as a single and tour in support of that. When the single sold well, going top 40 even! They finally released Bezerk to rave reviews and kicking things to the next level,the company had put a lot of money into Bezerk so they waited for the right time to release it basicly.
MM-Tell us three of you favorite Tigertailz songs and why you picked them.
AF-"Sick Sex", because it is!! It is the best dirty rock n roll driven song to open with as well. The intro that Don Airey did for us was just awesome as a prelude into sick sex. "Living without you" (the first single we released with Kim) just a great catchy song and the production is top notch.Heaven, just holds so many memories for me and even now if I hear it I get the hairs on my neck go up, with loosing Pepsi recently it holds another special place in my heart.
MM-Have you heard either Bezerk 2.0 or Thrill Pistol? If so then what do you think of them?AF-Bezerk 2.0 didn’t really do it for me but I had heard a few of the songs from when I was still in the band and it wasn’t fresh I guess, having said that there are a couple great songs on it. Thrill Pistol is a more rounded better album in my opinion, Jay and Kim are still friends of mine and I always will take an interest in anything they record together or apart.
MM-What do you think about the music scene these days compared to say twenty years ago? Is it any better or any worse now?
AF-Worse!!! I hate today’s music barr a few bands of course, Foo Fighters a great band!! I just love 70’s and 80’s music the best.
MM-What kind of music are you listening to these days?
AF-The Beatles, Thin Lizzy KISS, Van Halen, Elton John new found glory Foo fighters, Oasis, 2Pac ,NWA, Dr.Dre everything really…
MM-What have you not accomplished in your music career that you still hope to do?
AF-Tour in America, which I will be doing in July!! Going to Japan is my other big dream. At one time back in the day my biggest ambition was to play the old Marquee in London. So I did that in the end.
MM-Pick the band from each of the following pairs that you prefer and tell why you chose them.
Alice Cooper or KISS
KISS!! you wanted the best!!
Deep Purple or UFO
UFO, my first ever gig was UFO in oxford in 1979 and UFO-Obsessions is in my top ten albums of all time. Major influence and great song writers. Pete Way is still a fuckin star!
Motley Crue or Poison
Motley!!! Too fast for love is in my top ten albums and Crue were another influence on me, poison never really did it for me? Motley were raw in your face and Mick Mars was the riff master. Poison were more like the Bay City Rollers, though Talk Dirty is a great song!
Aerosmith or Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy, but Aerosmith were a major influence and picking between the two is hard, but for me Aerosmith haven’t released anything great since pump. They need to stop bringing in outside writers in my opinion. in the 70’s, when they were on drugs and out of control and wrote together they were unfuckin’ stoppable!! Rocks, Toys, Draw the line, Get your wings are absolute gems!! Thin Lizzy have always been one of my favorite bands, great front man and songwriter. Songs are still fresh today.
MM-Is there anything else that you would like to say about yourself or your music?
AF-Check out the Pistoleros and give them a chance, I did and I’m so glad I did. Also I hate Love Bomb Baby lol, that’s all Tigertailz will ever be remembered for, the band that did Love Bomb Baby!! We had better songs than Love Bomb Baby, but we will always be known for that song, shame really…
***Thanks to Ace for doing the interview.