Interview with Shady Jeff: Finale

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This talk had been in the works between Jeffrey and I for a couple of months before we finally settled on a day to conduct the interview. This interview was finally done in July, 2016 over Skype. Here’s the final part of the over 90 minutes chat with Jeffrey Phillips, more known to Hollywood Undead fans as Shady Jeff. Catch up with the first two parts of the interview here and here.
– German Padilla


– So, you only had one verse in the “Scene for Dummies” song.  Who were all the people you were name dropping and shit?  What is all that?

Those were just friends of mine.  Like, that’s what was funny, that a lot of those things that, like,  Aron and Jorel- Jorel would like listen, those dudes didn’t go out really clubbing that much.  Jorel would like listen to me talking about what I did the night before, and he’d put it in a song.  All the stuff about, you know, Moscow, and all these clubs and shit.  No one knew what that shit meant at all.  A lot of those songs had like inside jokes, and information only we would know, and they still blew up.  That’s what was kind of strange, because in the beginning we were like “Oh, we gotta write about things people know about now, instead of all this shit that no one knows about,”

– There’s a bunch of people asking “Oh, Deuce is screaming in this part?” “No, it’s Shady Jeff,” “No, it’s Deuce,” “It sounds like this guy,” What songs did you contribute to vocally?

Uhhh…  “Knife”… I think “No. 5”, oh I only like said like one, like I only said a couple things in “No. 5”.  Wait, like what songs were I actually on?

– Yeah.

Those first eight, it must have been…  God, I couldn’t tell you right off the top of my head.  Most of those though, I mean “Knife”, and “Black Dahlia”, and uhh… “City”.

– You’re on “City”?

Yeah, I was on the original “City”.  Dude the original version of “City”!  Is it out there, do you know if that exists?

– Dude, I haven’t been able to find it, I was even going to ask you.

Oh my god it’s so gooood.  The original version of “City”.  Is.  Insane.  That song was so fucking good, I was blown away when that song came out, cause it was just like “Damn, that’s some epic shit,”.  It was on the Spiderman soundtrack…

– Really?

Yeah…

– The original version of it?

Could be…no… It would be out there if it was… I feel like it was like Spiderman 4 or something, or it was supposed to be.  I’m pretty sure it ended up being on that…”City” song.  I’m pretty sure it was the original version.  Man, I had all this shit.  I had “Black Dahlia” with my track on it.  I had all this stuff with my original shit on it that I didn’t end up holding on to.  It was like, I was on like 8 of the first 12 songs, basically.  At least my vocals were on, regardless whether they were tracks or screams, or whatever, I was on 8 of the first 12 songs, then they wiped me and pulled them off all that shit.  I think I put up the original version of the “No. 5” video, isn’t it up on YouTube?  I feel like I put that up at one point.

– I know it’s on Vimeo, it is on YouTube, but I think it was uploaded by fans.

I get out of the van and it’s like “Shady Jeff!”

– Yeah, that one’s on YouTube.

It wasn’t for a while.  They took it down and put up the other one.  It wasn’t forever, I put it up.

– They took down the version of “No. 5” that they remade too.

Yeah, it was horrible, I don’t know why they did that haha.

– Do you still have any of the original shit?

No, not a fucking thing, unfortunately.  Aron does!  Guaranteed they have everything.  Guaranteed.  Jorel has everything, I know he does, ask him for it.  No, Jorel has it, he’s got everything, and Aron does too, but good luck getting it from him.

– What would be the worst memory you have of being in the band?

Worst memory, aside from the ending?  Hmm…  Yeah, the ending.  The ending sucked pretty bad.  I lost a couple friends.  We were all good friends.  Like me and Matt, me and Matt were friends forever, way before HU.  Jorel’s my boy.  Dylan’s fucking dope, Jordan’s dope, Jorel’s dope, these dudes are cool.  I don’t see them as much as I used to, but its like, you know, they’re the kind of people when you’re around them it’s like nothing.  No time went by at all.  The ending was pretty bad, it was a bummer.  It just got too serious.  It was a joke, and it got way too fucking serious.  We were just messing around.  It’s funny, something I have noticed is they like to make it sound like we had very different beginnings than what actually happened, but that’s the awful part of being in Hollywood and all that shit.  We had a pretty humble upbringing.  There was like six dudes living at Jorel’s house, just like, partying like crazy.  It was nuts when that happened.

– Aron came out with his solo album, and started doing his own music, have you heard any of that stuff?

Yeah, yeah I did, I did. Hahaha.  Yeah, I saw some live footage and oh my gooooodddd haha.  That poor kid, he’s got heart, but man.  The whole starting another band with masks thing was just too funny, like what’re you gonna do, you just gonna do all of that again, but, without them?  It was really weird, really weird.  That video with all these naked girls.  

– Do you know any details as to why the band and him actually split?  There’s two sides, there’s Deuce saying he wrote all the songs and shit like that, and HU’s side is that he didn’t show up to a tour or something.  There’s not like an actual clear story as to why.

Aron was the producer, he made most of the music and did all the vocal harmonies and shit.  That was the hookie shit that really made the music, that made the music like listenable because he had very poppy, boy-band-ish kind of singing that worked for people that is a known thing that works that young people and old people like or whatever.  He became impossible to deal with.

Yes, he did a lot of stuff for the band, but he was the weakest link in a live show.  The kid sang to a backtrack!  He didn’t do his own vocals!  Do people still talk about that at all?  I told everyone about that, and I feel like it got around a little bit, but do you know that?  Do you know that he toured with a fucking backtrack playing, he didn’t sing live?  He didn’t have the stamina to, he whisper sings, he goes “La la lalala!” and he’d like do it at home into a mic, but once you’re on stage, jumping around, it’s a whole fucking different story.  It was hard to perform, like what I was saying when I went and saw HU’s first show, they were fucking horrible, all of them.  Halfway through the first song all of them lost their voices, and that’s what happens, it’s hard.  You have to get through those growing pains, but Aron couldn’t ever do it.  When you’re the biggest pain in the ass in the band, you’re the weakest live performer in the band, you’re just impossible to be around.  He was threatening to have those dudes like killed and shit.  Who does shit like that?  He was like “I’m gonna get my people to fucking,” you know.  Dude’s insane.  He’s insane, super funny.  When you’re in a band with someone who’s impossible to be around anymore they have to go.  Obviously, he wasn’t pulling his weight in many ways, and they have been doing well without him.  

Danny with them is way better, I know that’s like some big controversy, but, like, I mean Aron’s the original singer so obviously it’s not going to be the seven of us, or was it eight?  Was there eight of us?  No, it was seven.  It’s not going to be that original lineup, ever again, it never was.  Obviously, die hards are going to like Aron’s vocals more because they’re the original vocals, but Dan’s a thousand times better vocalist and contributes a lot to the creative side of making music and everything in general.  You know, they’re all good at making stuff, but writing music is hard sometimes.  They sound way different, I’ve heard a couple of their songs, and recent stuff, I can’t even recognize their voices.  Someone played some recently and I was just like, I didn’t know it was them because I was like “damn this kinda sounds like HU,” but it didn’t sound like any of them, and I was just like damn, they’re really producing it now, and their sound is very poppy I guess, overproduced?

– Do you think they went soft?

I don’t know if they were ever hard haha.

– You know what I mean right, like, sound wise.

Uh, yeah, I guess so.  I heard that one song that was on KROQ a couple thousand times.  That was an okay track.  That was a track that we started.  We started that track way long before when I was in the band we started doing that song, and must have shelved it forever, because we couldn’t get the right scream in there, it just didn’t sound right.  I don’t think my screams were that good, but they worked because they were the ones that…worked.  The screams and stuff were supposed to be on there, so you know, they were never able to reproduce them so I guess they eventually did.  For a while though they didn’t play certain songs live because my part.  Who does my like…do they play “Knife Called Lust” live, who does my vocals in that song cause I’m all over that track?

– I know they’ve done “Black Dahlia” live, were you on “Pain”?

No.  I think that song had a different name, I think I was on it and they took me off and changed the name, I’d have to listen to it.  “Knife Called Lust”, I’m all over that song, so I can’t imagine they’d do it live.  I recall they didn’t used to do it either.  In my opinion it was one of the best songs, that song was dope.  All the first songs.

Yeah, Aron asked for it, you know.  There’s no way he can be like “Oh, I’m the victim,” in that situation, the guy is annoying as fuck.  He was bad when I was in the band, and I know he got a lot worse after.

– What kind of shit did he do to just become impossible to work with?

Well, his ego just got insane, and he only cared about feeding his ego and competing and talking shit.  He was just annoying.  You know, we were all like that back then, we were in Hollywood going to clubs, in the club scene, back when there were girls and all kinds of crap and we were all assholes back then.  Aron was a cool kid, he was a way mellow kid and he just turned into a freaking weirdo.  You got way too overboard with hip hop and I get it, you know?  I get it, you’re in a hip hop group, but you don’t have to turn into a fucking gangsta and be like that.  That kid was like paying black people to hang out with him, have you ever seen any of those videos?  That shit was funnyyy man.  Out in the street, they were like “Oh Deuce!  What’s up Deuce!  Let’s hang out Deuce!”. Goofy kid man, that kid is such a weirdo.  Those interviews he used to do, fuck.  You know they were Scientologists right hahaha, the Hollywood Undead.  That was a big issue.

– Did you hear about the supposed fight they had where Deuce got his ass kicked in front of a night club?

I don’t think that was real, was it real…  I remember hearing about it, someone wrote an article or something, it was really badly written, “Oh, Hollywood Undead beat the shit out of Deuce”, I feel like I don’t think it happened.  

– The article online says he filed a lawsuit against Dylan and Jorel supposedly they were the ones who did it.

I read something about it, but I don’t think they would have actually done that.  I don’t know, they were like old friends, like, no matter how bad it gets I don’t think that, but Dylan and Jorel is that who did it?  If Dylan and Jorel jumped Aron, Aron would be dead.  Aron weighs 80 fucking pounds. He’s a little skinny dude, Jorel’s a big dude, and Geor- Dylan is a fucking big dude.  They weren’t really fighters.  I got a story.  

I was downtown, we were in Hollywood with George, Dylan, everyone.  I was with Rosie and someone else.  Rosie was in a magazine shoot, she’s a model, she’s like on the front of those magazines, and she bought it, and she was like walking and all stoked and she bumped into some girls and the girls jumped her.  I was across the street, and I see these girls jump all over my fucking, kind-of girlfriend.  I go “what!”, so I run across the street and dive into them and just pull Rosie out of them, it was vicious right, they like scratched up her face and shit, she’s a fucking model you know?  So, one of the girls hauled off and punched me in the face, and I like pushed her, and then these dudes show up and start hitting me with skateboards.  All the HU kids are there, and they’re not like doing anything, they’re just sitting there while I’m getting my ass kicked by a bunch of dudes hitting me with skateboards because these chicks were fucking beating Rosie’s ass.  That shit pissed me off, those kids didn’t even fucking do anything.  

Not that it really has anything to do with THAT, but they were lifelong friends.  I don’t think they would actually beat his ass, if they did beat his ass he would be hurt.  He filed a lawsuit cause he’s a little bitch.  He thinks he’s owed something, or more, cause he was fucking in Hollywood Undead.  He burnt all the bridges and pissed everyone off.  He tried to sue, he called everyone and said he was going to sue everyone “I’m gonna fucking sue you!”.  He was expecting to be picked up by the label, and the label was like “naww,” haha, fucking pissed him off.  He was trying to sue.  He called the label guy and screamed at him and told him he was going to sue him.  That’s not how you do business dude.  You going to intimidate the guy into putting your album out, then you think he’s actually going to put it out and actually promote it after you fucking screamo?  It was just ego, crazy ego, crazy, crazy ego.

– For the people that don’t know, can you tell me again what happened at that one party where you supposedly pulled a gun on him or some shit like that?

He showed up, there was a birthday party.  He just showed up being a fucking hot head.  He had some kids with him I didn’t fucking know.  He was just being an asshole, and like being loud and fucking breaking shit and just being fucking obnoxious and talking shit.  I actually told him to leave and he didn’t.  I didn’t know who his friends were and I didn’t know what was going on, but I got my family and friends there and shit, so I asked him a couple more times to leave and he said “fuck you”.  I didn’t like stick it in his face or anything and I just said hey, get the fuck out.  You know.  Get. Out.  He figured it out.  I mean obviously he’s crying about it in the lawsuit years later.  Super funny after he threatened everyone’s lives in the band, it’s real gangster move to go to a newspaper and sound like a little bitch.  If you read that article he just sounds like a little bitch, I mean if you just want to admit that you’re a little bitch to the world, get a reporter, make up a stupid story, and put it in the news.  Haha, it was so weird though.  I was really pissed off, cause I was like, fuck man, do I have to like sell all my guns and shit because cops are coming after me because this idiot is telling stories?  He used to wear stupidest shit, and I used to always have to put him into my clothes because he fucking dressed like crap, it was such a nightmare, that kid.

– When you guys were recording songs and shit, like the first eight, was he ever difficult to work with, did he ever piss you off during that?

No, no, then again he was cool.  He was pretty easy to record with in the beginning because you know we were just messing around.  It’s always kind of hard when you’re with a bunch of people making music because everybody wants their way of making it.  There were several songs that were started that weren’t finished, or certain people that were on tracks that we changed the tracks on, but that’s just how things are.  Aron was cool, he was nice, then he turned into a fucking weirdo.

– Have you seen the Shady Fizz videos?

Yeah, that’s stupid, hehe.  

 

– Were you mad about that?  Were they about you?

No, it’s dumb.  If it was something smart, I would have been mad about it.  It was dumb and they were just trying to poke fun at me and it wasn’t really that funny.  I don’t know, I don’t know what they were thinking.  They were trying to make it seem like I wasn’t there.  After I left that’s what they did, everything possible that they could do to make it seem like I was never there.  It used to get so annoying when people would ask them in interviews “Oh Shady Jeff?! Blahblahblah…”. Hahaha.  It was funny shit.  What was the question?  Oh yeah, Shady Fizz, yeah it was dumb.  

– Did you ever see something about you that was complete bullshit, that would make you mad?

People think I’m Jeffree Star.  It’s like what?  People thought that I dressed up like him occasionally, and that that’s who he was. The whole Aron thing, that pissed me off, that I read about.  I don’t like search the Internet for shit.  

– Is there anything you want to clear up, or misconceptions about you?

There was a bunch of rumors, there was some stuff, but, you know…

– I think we’re done!

Cool, alright man.

– Again, thank you for letting me do this, thank you for giving me your time.

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German Padilla
German became a hardcore Hollywood Undead fan following the release of American Tragedy. His involvement in the fanbase spiked significantly in 2014 with the start of the @undeadpridehu Instagram account, which now boasts over 5,000 followers and is known for its quality HU-related content.
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