While the band made their way through Billings, Montana last month, metal.de writer Jeanette Gronecke-Preuss gave Johnny 3 Tears a call and the two discussed touring, the various styles of masks the band has employed, the music industry, and more.
We’ve provided a rough Google Translate version of the interview in English for our readers below:
HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD can be stylistically difficult to put into a drawer. This, however, does not prevent them from continuing their great steps. This week is their fifth album “V” on the market. And again, it’s a mix of Nu Metal, Hip Hop, Pop and Electro. A mixture of everything somehow. I wanted to have a look behind the masks of HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD and got “Johnny 3 Tears” for a phone call. Why I should get a Hello Kitty HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD mask at the end of the conversation this year and what Johnny has to say about Metal and the scene. Well, all this is explained in the following:
Hey Johnny. How are you? What are you doing now, if not metal.de calls and disturb your morning routine?
Haha. So right now we are in the middle of our “Hollywood Undead North America Tour 2017”. We are in Billings, Montana. It’s like an old western. Many horses, many mountains. Very, very, very, very much scenery here. Haha.
Are you ready for a few questions?
More than ready. Tell me.
Ok, of course we have to talk about your new album “V”. How does it feel for you to be able to swim in this great ocean of music business after all that long time?
Damn good question. The scene changes practically every day. What is “yesterday” yesterday, is today already totally “out”. A constant up and down, so it is really great that we can still be there. It’s totally exciting to be a part of it. And I am really curious, where it will still lead us and what still awaits us. I am really proud that we have come so far.
So is it still the best time of your life or are you sometimes pissed off by the Biz?
Actually, it is like any other job. You always have good and bad days. I love to write music and share it. So I take the bullshit, if it happens, around me not so seriously, and concentrate on the good moments. Of course it is a difference whether you are on the road at the age of 21 or at 31 years. We do not become younger and therefore it is of course more strenuous. But our fans, the people in front of the stage, make a lot of good again. I love our fans and the connection we have to each other. It is still a cool feeling to know that there are people who are interested in our songs. Also the whole promotion stuff, which disrupts me. I really enjoy talking to people about HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD. I like to talk. Haha.
Perfect, then tell me once, whether you have the new album easily gone from the hand?
I think recording is a learning process. When you pick up your first things, it can really frustrate you if you do not match everything. Meanwhile, however, we have something like routine and know that sometimes it can take some time until everything is round. What really makes things a lot easier is that we are a bunch of friends who can get together and work on new things. It then has more of a jam session with the passage, rather than work.
What is your personal favorite on “V”?
Oh. Definitely “Pray (put em in the dirt)”. The song is somehow very special. Very progressive with industrial elements. I really love the very much.
The song “California Dreaming” has the line “we never sleep”. What has brought you to sleep?
Hahahahah (laughs out loud). Oh shit. This happened to me only recently. If you’re celebrating too hard, you can keep it up for a few days. Hahaha.
Of course, we need to sort things out. In the last few days Matty has left “Da Kurlzz” Busek HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD. Do you like to tell me something?
Yes. Stupid subject. But OK. We parted in the good of Matty. We’ve been the best friends for many years, and he just did not feel comfortable about one hundred per cent and needed a change. I would never force anyone to do something he does not want to do anymore. Therefore, the decision that Matty leaves us, then also ok for us. We are now going on without him and want to replace him. I hope it fits so well from the sound. I do not blame Matty. He has to go his way, and I totally understand that. I support people who want and want to change.
If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?
I know I’m going to be totally hackneyed now, but it would be great if people did not always make life so difficult. Life is hard enough anyway. You do not have to make things worse with this whole thing. It would be much cooler if everyone could do his thing and not have to worry about all this talk, lying and anything else. Life is hard enough anyway. So be nice to each other.
HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD have these beautiful masks on stage. Actually they are always updated for each new album. What does your mask look like? Maybe with a few Hello Kitty buttons?
Very good. Haha exactly. Masks with Hello Kitty, Spongebob, My little pony.
And unicorns. Do not forget the unicorns.
Oh yes man Ey, but without shit. These are excellent ideas from you. I must remember that. If I can do it, I’ll make you a Hello Kitty HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD mask. Promised. Our masks are made by Jerry Constantine according to our specifications. Jerry is a very well known special effects make-up artist in Hollywood (also responsible for the masks of the band GHOST). We regularly get together with him and adapt the masks. But he does not always give completely new ones. Our design is always the same. It is just experimenting with individual elements. I’m currently wearing my well-known blue mask with a three for “Johnny 3 Tears” and a butterfly on it. I find butterflies full. But I have more masks, so I can always change something.
And why this masks junk?
I like the artful. There is something special, something artistic. We wanted to create something for the stage which made everything visually even more special for the fans.
A visual gift to the fans. What was the last gift you got and what was the last gift you made?
Awww. I give my little daughter almost every day a present. I know I spoil her. But hey, I just can not help it. So the last thing I bought for her were dolls clothes she wanted to have and I could not say “no” again. Haha. The last gift, what I got myself? Oh difficult. I rarely get anything for free. But you know what is really nice: our fans write us real letters. So handwritten Fanbriefe with self-painted pictures. This is really magical, I tell you. I think this can also be called small gifts, which I get. And I find it very nice when they talk to us and you suddenly get told that our music has helped them in difficult phases. Great feeling. Better than any gift.
Very good. We have it. Do you still have last sentences that you want to get rid of?
I just have to say “thank you”. I am totally aware that HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD is not really Metalare. And I am so grateful to every metal fan who supports us. We are really not a traditional metal band. We certainly have some fragments in our songs, but we do not make pure metal. I would just like to thank all the Metalians that they accept us and accept the different kind of music we make. Honestly, when people ask me: What kind of band is HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, I really do not know what to answer. Someone described it with “Gangster Metal”. We are heavy, but also easy and poppy. Yes it is difficult to put us somewhere in a drawer. I never wanted to make music that only goes in one direction. We wanted to leave open all style possibilities. We do not want to make a single mash but deliver many different tracks. I really have to say, when it comes to what is Metal and what is Metal is not. Metal is for me a life setting, a kind of lifestyle. I am happy that I can live with HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD and is grateful to everyone with on board.
I thank you for the conversation. Have fun on tour.
Hey, thank you. And really. I’m trying to let you build a Hello Kitty mask. Without shit. It’s christmas soon. Just call me “Santa Claus”. Hahahaha.
Goodbye “Johnny 3 Tears Santa Claus” by HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD. I’m going to wait for my mask.