Mutant Renegade Zine

Interviews from Issue #13

Streetwalkin' Cheetahs Interview

By Mite

Formed 1995 in Los Angeles, The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs have built a considerable reputation based on their shows where it's common to see hardcore fans dance in abandon. Often these fans become part of the show as guitarist Frank Meyer hands over his instrument to a random audience member, making participation mandatory. I picked up their new disc, which was recorded during a live in-studio performance on Noyz Pollution, a radio program on the leading Los Angeles college radio station, KXLU. I got it because of the Stooges band name and was just floored by these guys. Frank was cool enough to do an email interview with me for your enjoyment.

MR - I know you're in with Wayne Kramer; how did that come about?

SWC - We met in 1995. He moved to LA and had just recorded "The Hard Stuff." I read in an interview that he wanted to produce other bands, so I called up Epitaph and left a message for him to call about some session work. He called and said he would do it if he liked the music, so I sent him some demos. He dug the tunes, so we recorded together, and that became the Cheetahs first EP, "Heart Full Of Napalm". We stayed friends throughout the years, playing some gigs together and eventually, he started producing us. Now he produces all of our records and we tour together. Lately we have been his backing band as well, and have gotten him to play some really cool MC5 stuff and some Gang War stuff too.

MR - What's your favorite MC5 tune?

SWC - My favorite MC5 song is probably "Sister Ann,", "Black to Comm," or "Human Being Lawnmower."

MR - You guys are in that Mc5 documentary. How did this come about?

SWC - We met the documentary people at Future Now Productions through Wayne and his manager and they filmed us in Austin at SXSW earlier this year.

MR - How are you guys treated by the LA scene?

SWC - For a long time, we were completely ignored by the LA scene. We played locally for four years at every place in town, and couldn't draw flies. Within the last year or so, we have finally built a really strong following. LA is kinda funny that way: they never want to support local bands, until the rest of the world gets hip to them and the buzz starts, then they just jump on the bandwagon. We never had a following in LA until "LIVE ON KXLU" came out and we got a bunch of press and started touring, then everyone wanted to come see us. Whatever! I don't care how people get turned on to us, as long as they do eventually.

MR - I have that "Live on KXLU" record, any plans for another studio album? tour plans?

SWC - We are recording the new album, titled "Waitin' For The Death Of My Generation," in November and December. It should be out in March on Triple X. We are also recording a full record with Cherie Currie from the Runaways in January, also on Triple X. It's gonna be a hard edged glam punk album like her old band or Suzi Quatro. We're very excited about that. Also, we have a new split album with The Bellrays out on Cold Front this month, a 4-way split single with Electric Frankenstein/B Movie Rats, Candy Snatchers out for Halloween, and a shitload of songs on tribute albums and compilations. We also just recorded "Sonic Reducer" with Jimmy Zero from the Deadboys for a Dead Boys tribute album.

MR - How was that thing you played in New York for Joey Ramone?

SWC - The gig in NY for CMJ was killer. We actually had a pie fight with the audience! Some people from POPsmear Magazine actually brought creme pies and threw them at us while we did "Lookin' At You," so we retaliated and it got really messy. The weirdest moment was having Jesse Camp from MTV come up to me and say he was a fan and had been digging our record. I don't watch MTV, but I heard that Sam Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks played in his band, so I was kinda stoked.

MR - You seem to have an incredible selection of covers, any new additions?

SWC - We recorded these ones for recent tribute albums: "Sonic Reducer" with Jimmy Zero by the Dead Boys. "Live Wire" by Motley Crue. "Los Angeles" by X. "Café Ave." with Jeff Dahl by Hanoi Rocks. "Stiff Competition" by Cheap Trick. Plus, on the next record we're gonna either do "Know Your Product" by the Saints, or "God Is A Bullet" by Concrete Blonde.

MR - What do you guys think about all the new stuff coming out of Scandinavia?

SWC - I love Turbo Negro, Glucifer, and the Hellacopters, for sure. What can I say? Good rock will always rule the world. It doesn't matter if you're from the States, Scandinavia, or Japan, if you want to rock, you find a way. You don't have to speak English or live in NY to understand the power of three chords and an attitude! We all grew up on the Dolls, MC5, Kiss, Iggy, and Stiv, so it's no mystery as to why all these bands have a similar sound.

MR - What do you think about the state of rock in America in the late nineties?

SWC - For a long time, I though rock was dead in America, but now I am very excited about a lot of the new bands out there. Here in LA, we have the Bellrays and the B Movie Rats. In Vancouver, you have the Black halos. In Texas, there's a great band called Roller and one called the 45s. Also, there's the Gaza Strippers, Electric Frankenstein, Toilet Boys, the Donnas, Nashville Pussy, Mover, the Cuts, the Catheters, and so on. Right now, there's a real strong movement of high energy, rock and roll band. I feel honored to be a part of it.

MR - Any final thoughts, addresses website addresses?

SWC - Watch out for the Cheetahs on the road, support live music, and drink lots of beer!!!!!!

MRZ #13

Mutant Renegade Home Page