Pioneer Report: Scotty “Buttocks” Ledgerwood of Bam Bam Sets The Crown Straight On Grunge Queen TINA BELL


Tina Bell Photo by Cyndia Lavik
Bam Bam Photo By Photo by David Ledgerwood

When the late 80’s-90’s was invaded with a new Rock sub-genre that was dubbed as Grunge, it became synonymous with bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Hole. If you research further back to 1983 you will hear the beginning of that sound in the music by a band called Bam-Bam. They were fronted by Tina Bell, an electrifying woman of African descent. 

If Nirvana and Pearl Jam are inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then Bam Bam should be just as celebrated. In Brazilian publications such as Sopa Alternativa, Negras No Underground and Metaleiras Negras they have been paying homage to the depths of their legacy. Slowly but surely the same is unearthing in the USA. Here is my offering through this brilliant interview with Tina Bell’s bandmate and longtime friend Scotty “Buttocks” Ledgerwood. It will set the crown straight on their rightful place in history.

Years the band active:

Bam Bam was active 1983-1990 with Tina and for about two more years as an instrumental three piece. 

Samantha Hollins: What is your position in Bam-Bam?

Scotty Buttocks: I was an original member of Bam Bam; bass & vocals and I co-wrote most of Bam Bam’s music with Tommy & Tina. I was Tina Bell’s manager in her final years and all of Bam Bam’s music has been published through my company Buttocks Productions. My greatest honor in Bam Bam was being Tina’s friend for 30 years.   

Samantha Hollins: What’s the story behind your stage name Bam-Bam? I love it! It compliments your sound.

Scotty Buttocks: Bam Bam is an acronym of Tina Bell & Tommy Martin’s names; Bell & Martin-Bam Bam. Plus we liked the percussive sound of it! 

Speaking of names: It was Tina who dubbed me Scotty Buttocks. We were taping the “Ground Zero” video when the titles guy asked how my name was spelled. She immediately piped up: “B-U-T-T-O-…”. It stuck. Tommy used to say “it’s a happy name”! (ha ha) Yeah I ‘spose it is. Thank you Ms. Bell


Photo by David Ledgerwood

Samantha Hollins: How did Bam-Bam meet?

Scotty Buttocks: Tommy & Tina met when Tina needed a French tutor so she could sing C’est Si Bon win French; Eartha Kitt style for a Langston Hughes Theatre production she was in. She answered Tommy’s ad and love at 1st sight sparky eyed kinda stuff happened! They got married, had TJ and formed a band.. you know; typical American family stuff. 

I also answered one of Tommy’s ads in the Rocket: “forming new punk band; need bassist”. I guess the Rocket Magazine got the three of us together. 

Matt Cameron joined us later that summer when we stole him from a local cover band. (Mercenaries)! 

Samantha Hollins: What was the vibe like when you met Tina Bell for the first time?

Scotty Buttocks: Meeting Tina for the first time was a little intimidating, actually. Tommy let me in and we talked a bit before he led me back to the studio where she sat waiting. She was extremely confident but not at all arrogant and she looked soooo beautiful!  

She asked a couple questions, then sussed me up with a long look and just like that: I was in. We were like, instant old friends. We remained very close friends until her death. I’m still close with her family. 


Photo by David Ledgerwood

Samantha Hollins: I loved the music you shared with me in 2019 when I was gearing up for my exhibition in Philadelphia. I am curious to know more about your studio sessions. When Tina went in the booth to sing what was that process like for her and the band?

Scotty Buttocks: Tina loved performing live but hated the studio environment. She got restless hanging around. And she grew fast annoyed at having to do repeated takes!  

On our 1st day at Reciprocal Recording Studio with Chris Hanzsek, Tommy literally blew out the windows with his Marsha Marsha Marsha (Marshall amp) apparently cranked up to 11. It literally blew the glass out of the window frames like some dick movie from the 80s. 

It did not sit well with Chris (It was still sorta fucking funny,; though). We were kinda freaking: “oh..sorry Chris..” ..’had no idea man’.. while Tina was like: “Mmmpphhh! – No fucking way, Martin! Hahahahahahahaha”!! For some reason that amused her. I guess it made the studio environment more tolerable that day.    

Usually we had everything pretty much worked out before we’d go in. Budget constraints didn’t allow us to shag shit out while on the clock.

Still delays are inevitable. During the session for “Free Fall From Space“, they were having trouble dealing with her ‘dynamics’; changing mics and shit. After several false starts and a couple seemingly good takes not kept, Tinablew up at Tommy & producer Chris Hanzsek for her having to do so many takes of the “watch me FAAAALLLLLLL” part. Fun part was though they were standing right there, she turned to ME and screamed: “SCOTTY! How many times they gonna make me do this?! WHAT the fuck’s the matter with them”?! (hehheh) Yeah she didn’t like studios! 

That was a difficult song to record. On “Free Fall…” she goes from a sexy coo at the intro to a blood curdling wail on the “watch me FAAAALLLLL” part. Tina’s voice could stun with a whisper or a shriek. I still get shudders when I listen to her.  

Samantha Hollins: All the high energy I hear in your music makes me want to know what was a Bam-Bam rehearsal like? Did songs come out of of your  it? Where did they take place?} 

Scotty Buttocks: Bam Bam rehearsed and wrote most of our songs at Tommy’s home studio in Central Seattle. We did our “Bam Bam House Demo ’84” album there. From Spring thru all the Summer of ’83 we did nothing but write for hours on end, 5-6 full days a week. No social life. It’s ALL we did for months. 

Later we rehearsed (& wrote) out of a place called the Blue Room, where I think every other Seattle band from the Gits to Gas Huffer has worked. 

Bam Bam rehearsals could be anything from a lazy-hot afternoon-reggae dub jam to a vicious slash and burn punk metal rant. We usually focused on 1-2 specific tracks but always left room to just go off into some completely different (sometimes fucked up) direction. We’d do it to take a break from our main set list but occasionally it led to new material. 

Tommy & I usually did the riffs & rhythms (til we got a drummer) and Tina usually did the lyrics & melody, but each of us also did the other. 

When I was in Bam Bam, writing was a real group effort. We’d start with a basic riff (usually Tommy’s) then tweak & twist the shit around til it resembled music, while Tina’d stand there trying out melody lines & lyrics to see if they’d fit.  

The three of us having to play without a drummer for several months sucked ass but it also helped us to see potential shortcomings in songs we may have missed with Matt or Tom (Hendrickson) bashing away!   

I remember in the early days ending rehearsal with us all lying on the floor (for some reason) facing each other going over what we’d done that day, dicking with lyrics and reminding each other just how cool we were! (haha) So fucking innocent then…

Samantha Hollins: What was the inspiration that evoked the songwriting and over all sound of the Bam-Bam?

Scotty Buttocks: Life. 

Heinz 57” was Tina’s revenge toward racist shit-brained kids who used the term to taunt her in school for being mixed race. 

Ground Zero” was about living across Puget Sound from Bangor US Navy submarine base. 

Stress” is about just making it day to day. 

Villains (also wear white)” is about rape & abuse. 

Swing Set” is simple flirting. 

A lot of Bam Bam songs were rooted in real life experiences. Not always but often. 

Like a lot of people back then, we felt there was something missing in music. We hated Pop & the arena bands but Punk wasn’t enough. We wanted music with energy and real subjects but we also wanted it from people who actually knew how to play. 

Yeah we liked Punk, but we also liked Reggae, 70s Prog Rock, BOC 1st 3 albums, R&B, Glam, Surf, 60s stuff like JanisYardbirdsLoveHendrix.. 

I still can’t easily describe Bam Bam’s sound. Tina hated being asked about what kind of music we played. She’d say “I don’t know. I’m just the singer; ask the band”! 


Photo by Cyndia Lavik

Samantha Hollins: As I look at old footage of your shows back in the day I am captivated by the band’s invigorating connection and sound. What were those gig days like?

Scotty Buttocks: Playing live with Tina Bell was one of my life’s greatest pleasures and honors. She was an absolute joy to work with. She’d help bring out my best particularly when we’d be working on our vocals together. I learned a lot from her.   

Tina’s on stage presence was Rock-Royalty raging; as regal as she was riotous! She didn’t like to plan shit out; she preferred to be spontaneous on stage. Even we didn’t know what she’d do one night to the next! 

On the rare occasion the crowd kinda sucked, she’d take it as a challenge and lead us on more fiercely than ever. She could recharge me in the middle of a set with just a sexy sideways smirk! I’d lose it and we’d laugh our asses off. She had a wicked sense of humor that’d surprise some people. 

When I watch the old vids I can see we definitely had a lot of fun interacting on stage. We used to crack up years later talking about some of the shit she’d pulled. She was brilliant, she was beautiful and she was a brat! I miss her every fucking day. 

Photo by Cyndia Lavik

Samantha HollinsTina’s voice was so rich and full of layers. Who were her influences?

Scotty Buttocks: Tina’s influences are all over the map: the Doors, Metallica, Frank Sinatra, Hendrix, Aretha, the Vandals, Janis Joplin, Bowie, Johnny Cash, DKs, Motorhead, Iggy, Bad Brains, Dionne Warwick, X-Ray Spex, Chrissy Amphlett, Marvin Gaye, Black Uhuru, Patty Smith, X, Napalm Beach, Screamin Jay Hawkins, Chrissie Hynde, Curtis Mayfield.. And LOTS of gospel; she grew up singing in the choir of Seattle’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  

Samantha Hollins: How much do you think sexism and racism played in your band not getting the recognition and credit deserved?

Scotty Buttocks: Misogyny & racism played a huge role in holding back Tina Bell and Bam Bam. The fact we’re even having this conversation supports that opinion. 

People back then expected a Black girl to be Hip-Hop, a Soul diva, or Pop singer. Fronting a Hard Rock band was inconceivable to many in the general public it seemed, despite how brilliant she was (and she was)! 

In addition to ‘quiet’ racism, Tina experienced the not so subtle kind too. In Seattle and in San Francisco Tina was openly taunted on stage. In Seattle though, she seriously bashed two Nazi fucks when they called her ‘n’. She grabbed the mic stand, swung it around several times, then smashed both of them in the head; one pretty badly. It makes me shake with rage to this day. In fairness to Seattle, the rest of the crowd immediately pounced on those wanks & tossed them. Worthless, flaccid dicks…

Tina didn’t seek pity for her & Bam Bam’s relative lack of recognition. She just sought an understanding as to why people hadn’t fully accepted her despite her contributions and accomplishments. 

She didn’t want to believe race and gender played a big role in holding her back…but it did. It may not be the only reason she remains conspicuously obscure, but it had a big fucking part in it.   

Samantha Hollins: When Tina became a mom was she still active in music? If so how did she balance being a mother and artist through your eyes?

Scotty Buttocks: 3 out of the 4 of us in Bam Bam were parents. Tina & Tommy’s son TJ and my son Ryan saw a lot more studios and green rooms than most toddlers do! Our kids were with us most of the time. Our roadies (often poor ol’ Bob D) would baby sit too. It must not have done too much harm. TJ’s an Academy Award winning director, Ryan’s Called In Sic’s bassist and my co-writer for over 15 years. 

Samantha Hollins: How are you bringing Bam-Bam’s legacy to the forefront of Grunge, Rock-n-Roll and your hometown music history?

Scotty Buttocks: I promised Tina years ago that I wouldn’t rest til her place in music history was secured. I want her & Bam Bam’s role in the story of Seattle’s early scene told. 


Photo by Buttocks Productions

Tina had a big part in the creation of a sound later called Grunge and she never got credit for her contribution. She was fronting & writing music for a Hard Punk-Grunge band at a time when it was simply not the norm for Women of Color to do that in the US. In the early/mid 80s, she was the only one. In 1984 she & her band Bam Bam did the first Grunge record released in Seattle: “Villains (also wear white)”. She’s earned her place and then some.   

I’ve been archiving articles, pics, posters, reviews, interviews, videos…anything showing Tina Bell & Bam Bam’spresence on a scene that has overlooked or pushed aside what she and her band accomplished. 

Granted it didn’t help that for years the only Bam Bam music had been the “Villains (also wear white)” ep and the “Ground Zero” single; both released in 1984 and long out of print.  

That changed when we found our old master tapes a few years ago. We remixed them with Bam Bam’s original producer Chris Hanzsek and digitally released them on Buttocks Productions. Did pretty good in Brazil; c’mon ‘Merica! 

We’ve just started working with Jack Endino on a 12″ vinyl re-issue of “Villains (also wear white)”, to be released later this year on Bric-a-Brac Records. Been a long time since we done any vinyl! 

And it’s way past time for Bam Bam & Tina Bell Wikipedia pages ya’ll. For God’s sake; enough’s enough already! Give it up for Bam Bam & the ‘Bell’!! 

Samantha Hollins: How do you think Tina would want to be remembered?

Scotty Buttocks: I think Tina would want to be remembered simply for what she was: A dedicated musician who was a major player on Seattle’s developing music scene. A sweet generous person who lived and breathed Rock & Roll and treasured her family. 


Photo by Michael Patnode

Born Feb 5, 1958 in Seattle-Died Oct 10, 2012 in Las Vegas.

Rest in Ancestral Power Tina Bell! Much gratitude to you for your profound contribution to Rock-n-Roll, women in music and Black women in Rock! All hail the Queen of Grunge!

To learn more about Tina Bell’s Her-Story with Bam the legendary Bam go to: https://buttocksproductions.com/

If you enjoyed this article, interviews and reviews feel free to contribute to our SuSu Connection. Funds will go towards building this Culture Rock Griot site and community/non-profit organizations.

https://theculturerockgriot.wordpress.com/2020/09/02/blog-community-builder-fund/

Pioneer Report: Revolve With Kenyan Anti-colonial Punk Rock Band CRYSTAL AXIS:


Photo By: William Kane

Kenya has a vast amount of hardcore music that has been tipping over their Rock Music stratosphere. Crystal Axis are truly pilots of that legacy that is thriving more than ever now. With an introduction to the music business at such a young age, they are pioneers in their own right. I had a chance to check out Crystal Axis’ virtual performance amidst the Decolonize Fest (that was live-streamed from London, England) September 3, 2019…and was blown into amplified bliss! There was a certain charisma gathered with intense conviction that plagued their brilliant creative energy. This interview was actually conducted in October of 2020, so I am extremely thrilled to finally share it. 

Crystal Axis band members:• Ahmed Bulhan• Douglas Kihoro• Fox Elijah• Djae Aroni

Samantha Hollins: Your band name is very intriguing? How did it come about?


Crystal Axis: Well, we picked it out when we were still kids and at the time we didn’t have a particularly deep meaning for it. We had a list of choices and that’s what we gravitated towards. Over time this has become my favorite least-favorite question because I wish I could give people a great and meaningful answer but that’s the truth of how our name came to be, haha!


Samantha Hollins: I loved your live stream show with Decolonize Fest (London, UK). I know Crystal Axis was supposed to be there in person (pre-Covid). In what manner did this global pandemic shift your 2020 plans?


Crystal Axis: Thank you a ton for tuning in! It means the world and we’re beyond grateful for all your support. Prior to the pandemic we were meant to be in London for Decolonize Fest and we were also trying to set up a bunch of shows around England and the EU and make the most of it. We had to pretty much postpone all of that and go back to the drawing board. As a band, live shows make up a large portion of our earnings. Without any income from that, 2020 has been pretty rough on us as a band; financially. We’ve been forced to re-evaluate a lot of things. We’re trying to treat it is a major learning experience and try to focus on the silver lining but even that can be difficult at times; given the toll 2020 has had on us all.


Samantha Hollins: How did you guys go from meeting as teens to forming a Punk band? Was it hard getting gigs?


Crystal Axis: It’s a bit of a funny story with layers to it: Djae started the band after he watched his first Rock’n’ Roll show in Kenya. At the time there was a hardcore band made of kids from a local school named Jack The Hammer and that inspired him to start the band (Crystal Axis). A couple of years later he found out that Fox was in fact the lead singer and guitarist in Jack The Hammer and he had interest in joining the band as we were looking for a guitarist. At the time they didn’t know each other so it was crazy seeing things come full circle. 

AB initially joined as a bassist when we were still in high school but as soon as we realized he could sing we stuck him in front of the mic and the rest is history. As for Doug, we met at live shows years back; turns out he used to sneak out from boarding school in a whole different city, catch a bus to Nairobi for the show and then head back to school before anyone was wise to it. He might be the bassist but he’s hands down the coolest member of this band for pulling that move and getting away with it.


Samantha Hollins: What was the reaction of your parents when they realized their teens were Punk Rockers?


Crystal Axis: I think it was initially one of shock and surprise given our backgrounds. We were all more or less raised in relatively conservavtive African households. Ahmed and Djae were both raised in conservative Muslim/African households and Fox is the son of missionaries. Rock and Metal has always been shroudded in this air of “drug, sex and Rock ‘n’ Roll” so obviously there was concern about how and why we gravitated towards this genre of music. Also many of the shows back in the day were in clubs, pubs, etc. and as a parent you’d be concerned about a bunch of kids in such an environment. With time they had to accept this was the path we’d chosen. It doesn’t mean they were particularly thrilled but they saw the work we put in and the passion we had.


Photo By: Pixel Peddler


Samantha Hollins: How did it feel to be the first Kenyan Rock band to garner the number one spot on the X-FM TRC top 25 countdown? Did it boost your demand?


Crystal Axis: Phenomenal! It was amazing for us because, at the time, Neel and Djae had literally just graduated high school and this was our first ever studio recording. We were a bunch of 15-18 year old kids with the number one Rock record in the country! It was insane! Our demand did shoot up. We had more booking requests than ever. The irony is that Djae was leaving the country for university and there wasn’t much we could do without him so things ‘took off’ and slowed down at the same time. It was a bit of a bummer but we’re here now, still killing it even 8 years later.


Samantha Hollins: I think it’s amazing how you guys took a break to pursue other endeavors. Tell us about those experiences and if you knew that the band would get back together?


Crystal Axis: Initially we went on hiatus so we could pursue unii and higher education. We were scattered all over the globe with members being in Mexico, UK and Kenya. When we were back in Kenya we would miss each other by days, or we would see each other for no more than a week at a time.

At the time having to step back from Crystal Axis was heartbreaking, I don’t think any of us wanted that. But since then we’ve all gone through so much, individually and collectively, and those experiences have directly influenced and shaped who we are today. So I probably wouldn’t change how things played out. All those experiences put things into perspective and really solidified the fact that we were put on Earth to do this. We studied a variety of things ranging from to music marketing but what has been made abundantly clear is that we are here to create art and music. This is our calling and you really can’t convince us otherwise…no matter how hard you try.

Samantha Hollins: I hear undertones of other musical vibes in your music. What genres outside of Punk do you find yourselves incorporating?


Crystal Axis: Musically speaking we all have a wide range of influences. Individually we listen to a lot of different music and we also create a ton of different music outside of Crystal Axis ranging from House Music to Trap, Reggaeton, Lo-Fi, Metal and even Bhangra. With time I’ve come to learn and accept that there are elements of all these different genres that will seep into Crystal Axis’ music and vice versa. Take The Throne has a beat switch at the outro that was influenced by our love for Hip-Hop and Trap whereas Leopold has influences of Bossa Nova and Ska, although it’s hard to tell unless you’re really trying to spot it. As artists we refuse to be boxed into a corner or be told we can only sound a certain way. We are Crystal Axis and we do what we want.


Samantha Hollins: Is there a Rock market in Kenya as far as the mainstream?


Crystal Axis: Not quite; no. Rock, and all its subgenres, is still very niche in Kenya. There was a dedicated-all-Rock station but with time they became commercial and played radio friendly Pop with a sprinkle of Rock. There are one or two dedicated-Rock shows on other stations which are great, but the simple fact is that it is not mainstream. Other than dedicated Rock and Metal shows, few promoters go out of their way to book Rock bands for gigs. There’s a massive divide and at times people simply just don’t acknowledge the existence of the Rock scene. It is frustrating but we aren’t giving up.  



Samantha Hollins: What is the concept of Nyayo House? It’s so, so brilliant and lyrically vivid.


Crystal Axis: Nyayo House is a government building in Nairobi, Kenya. It is arguably one of the busiest buildings in Kenya and deals with all things concerning immigration, nationality, passports, visas, etc. It also housed torture chambers used by the Moi regime to silence the opposition; a fact that many people surprisingly did not know and that did not sit right with us. We felt like this part of Kenyan history was being swept under the rug, the same way King Leopold II’s bloody reign in the Congo was swept under the rug.

There are so many accounts of the vile things that took place in that building but nobody was ever held accountable. Some of the victims are still alive to this day and their accounts of the events that took place will just break your heart. Our music has always been about revising African history and Nyayo House was very much in line with that; using our voice and our platform as Africans to tell stories about our history as Africans.


Samantha Hollins: When was the first time you fell in love with Rock-n-Roll?


Crystal Axis: To be honest when we were all kids. The first time you hear it it just knocks you off your feet, and I don’t mean hearing it in passing, I mean the first time you actually listen to Rock’n’Roll. That feeling of confusion, excitement, euphoria; it was unlike anything else. Music had never made me feel that way before so I was hooked from the get go. It changed everything; literally. I think we all found Rock’n’Roll around the same time we were figuring out who we are as individuals. Those years are always extremely confusing as you’re growing up but the music definitely helped and played a major role in making us the people we are today.


Samantha Hollins: I would love to know: what’s on the agenda for Crystal Axis’ future?


Crystal Axis: We have a 7” titled Lunatic Express coming out next month so we’re very excited about that, given what the song means to us. We’re also working on our full length project. Though we haven’t set a date, I can confidently say we’re going to be dropping our debut album in 2021. We are also trying to get the ball rolling and start booking shows for 2021, so if you’d like to see us in a city near you sometime soon please let us know!

Photo By: Pixel Peddler

Samantha Hollins: I have to thank Crystal Axis for this very thought provoking interview. To learn more about their music, shows and merchandise check out the links below. 

Bandcamp: https://crystalaxis.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crystalaxis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrystalAxis/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crystalaxiske/?hl=en


If you enjoyed this article, interviews and reviews feel free to contribute to our SuSu Connection. Funds will go towards building this Culture Rock Griot site and community/non-profit organizations.

https://theculturerockgriot.wordpress.com/2020/09/02/blog-community-builder-fund/

Laidback Mike Photography: Remembering A Visual Culture Keeper


Laidback Mike Photography


The iris of Mike Brodie’s creativity zoomed in on the culture of Black Rock Artists with a nostalgic eye. His camera framed multitudes of Rock-Star memories that will forever be engraved in his DMV area. It wasn’t about the financial gain or popularity. His passion to preserve the underground scene with his photography is the wealth of his documented legacy. He had hopes of elevating unsung and unheard Rockers of African descent. 


Laidback Mike Photography captured this photo at my show at the Natural Hair Care Expo in Maryland in 2013

I remember when I had a show in Baltimore, MD for the Natural Hair Care Expo. Mike sent me a DM to let me know he would be there. I asked him to meet up with me so I could get him in with my band. He declined my offer because he wanted to support by paying his way in. Mike was there way before my band setting up front and center. He had a way of sculpturing angles of the atmosphere before showtime. He would glide almost unnoticeably capturing majestic history in the making. 


Laidback Mike Photography

Whenever Laidback Mike posted that he was going to a concert, I knew the end result would be a sprinkle of photographic magic uplifting our timeline. Mike was a pixel storyteller who painted with light and the soul’s true expressions.

Who would have thought a Facebook friend would evolve into a real life friend exchanging creative energy. Mike was always cheering for the DMV music community loud and proud. That eventually filtered beyond his hometown and pervaded across state-lines and boarder lines. When I wrote for a Rock/Metal publication called Unhinged-music in 2015-2017 he read every single article. Mike was a prominent advocate for me creating The Culture Rock Griot


Laidback Mike Photography

Laidback Mike’s humble, visual-griot stance silently uplifted bands that he considered great and iconic. It blew my mind when he reached out to sponsor my Culture Rock Tour in 2019 (that traveled to Botswana and London). He stayed adorned in band merchandise that he would order or get from the show. Him having the physical CD in the palm of his hands was a golden experience. 


Laidback Mike Photography

I honor my brother-friend and one of my biggest supporters Mike Brodie on his birthday November 19 2020. When his Aunt reached out to my husband/drummer Ronin Ali and I to let us know he passed away April 2020 (not Covid), the potent sting of such a heavy loss formed from the strong impression he left on us. Announcing his transition to the world showed how massive the lens of his soul expanded over space and time. Even though he is no longer here in the flesh, the spirit of his brilliant portraits are eternally engraved upon the culture of Rock. 

Legends are not always famous in the eyes of the mainstream. Many are icons masquerading as modest local heroes. They shift energy with divine purpose unknowingly making the world brighter, like brother Laidback Mike Photography


Eclectic Soul Media Photo of Mike Brodie in his Youth

Check out Laidback Mike Photography featuring underground bands from the DMV area, touring bands and legendary bands (Fishbone, Living Colour, Malina Moye, Eric Gales, Honeychild Coleman, A Band Called Death, Etc.) right here:

https://www.facebook.com/Laidback-Mike-Photography-1651057268470438/


Laidback Mike Photography

Job well done ancestor Mike Brodie/Laidback Mike R.I.P.

Special Edition: Hallow-Themes Of Rock-Horror Scenes

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: Nigerian Film-maker Evokes The Vision Of An Eldritch Horror


An Eldritch Horror short film (Sequel) crawls in with the Innis Brother song Saint or Sinner. The correlation of the opening scene spawns into the song like a fly in a spider’s web; tangled in a haunting mood of distress. The set snatches you in with the blood tone of illumination flickering in the mystery of uncertainty. As Saint or Sinner intensifies, tormented words are uttered from the hollow heart of a serial killer. 

As his ceremony of inner demons ensues, he comes to head with his personal hell wearing a veil of deception. Just when the vulnerability in his voice takes your mind away from his malice, a stench of internal chaos invites you to an uncanny awakening. 

Nigerian film-maker, Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye, created a brilliant life force of art that he will reveal more about through our interview. 

Samantha Hollins: You are over-brewing with talent. When did film-making call you? When was the first time you fell in love with the horror genre? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: A while back, I think it was in 2012/13, I wrote a series of horror stories and I knew they were all so good. I fantasized about turning them into movies but at the time they all looked like an expensive dream. Fast forward to 2018, my ex at the time (who happens to be a good friend) suggested turning one of my stories into a movie (she’s studied film in school) and it seemed like an interesting idea. So I started learning how to shoot movies with an iPhone and it took me 6 months to prepare.

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: First time I fell in love with horrors in 1993. A year after that…Rock music. 

Samantha Hollins: That Blues-Rock music walked hand and hand with the opening of An Eldritch Horror| A Short Horror Movie Sequel. What drew you to that song? How did the lyric intertwine with your storyline? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: So, when I cut the movie up the intro seemed like a hassle. I was done but I hated it. But I was already a long way into the movie and I didn’t want to cut/edit the intro again. Then came a dm from a band here in Nigeria called Ignis Brothers. I knew one of the members well, Ruka, but I got the dm from the other band member, Dwin. He far out told me “we have a song and it should be in your movie.” I was in. But I hadn’t heard the song yet. When I did I heard it 7 times. I went back to the movie and knew exactly where I wanted the song to be. When I did it I showed it to my ex and she lost it. Show it to a couple of people and they lost it. I knew I had something then.

Samantha Hollins: Did you have An Eldritch Horror| A Short Horror Movie Sequel in mind when you created Red Room released in 2019? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: I absolutely did not. Red Room was a story I wrote when I was in a pretty dark place and it wasn’t meant to even be a movie. But after I turned it to a script, shot it and saw the reception it got. I figured I could make more. Truth is, Red Room is a part of a massive universe I created in my old stories. An Eldritch Horror happened out of some form of necessity. It wasn’t supposed to happen…but I’m glad I made it.

Samantha Hollins: Something about the red lighting that navigates it’s own story. What does it represent? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: While being in a pretty dark place (when I wrote the short story Red Room) I tried to illustrate the an idea of what a serial killer’s mind must seem like: red. Not signifying blood but chaos. The red tint in the first movie, Red Room, was mainly to signify the chaotic mind of an unhinged killer traumatized by his actions. For An Eldritch Horror, it was more of an aesthetic choice. 

Samantha Hollins: Culturally speaking are there any metaphors in your films that are connected to your personal beliefs? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: In a way. Yes. I’ve always believed there’s something much bigger out there than us. I’m not talking supernatural or religious. What it is hasn’t been clearly defined in my head even; living or not. But I deeply feel there’s something out there bigger than everything we hold dear or close. I find that, humbling. The entity in An Eldritch Horror represents that. The mannequin head represents the man’s connection to that a indescribable “bigger thing” out there. 

Samantha Hollins: With real life horrors taking place in Nigeria right now, in which way does your art imitate life? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: Nigeria is an interesting country. I don’t say that in a gratifying way. The people here constantly face varying levels of uncertainty. Not truly knowing what’s coming next. Over the run time of An Eldritch Horror, there was always an aura of uncertainty with the man…’til it finally hit him. I believe we as a people here are like that. Our moment of clarity is getting closer. 

Samantha Hollins: I am on the edge of my curiosity wondering ‘WHAT’S NEXT”!? Are there any new films in the making? 

Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye: Yes…but before that I’ll be working on a Surreal/Dark humor web series. I’m done with the scripts, got some actors already and I’ll be making it again with the help of my iPhone and some other cameras too. 

BUT, I will say yes, there is a follow up to An Eldritch Horror. This will also be a short movie and it’s a lot more ambitious. The title of this will be,’A Friendly Conversation’. It’s a story I wrote around the same time I wrote Red Room. You MIGHT be able to find the story online some place. I think anyone curious about what I’ve done won’t have a hard time finding it. It’ll blow minds, I think.

Samantha Hollins: Thank you Cheyi “AxlPif” Okoaye for your phenomenal offering to the Horror Film world!

An Eldritch Horror Premiered Sep 1, 2020. Check it out here: 

Writer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Director: Cheyi Okoaye

CAST: 

Man – Cheyi Okoaye  

Wife (VO) – Bukky Richards 

Yig-Shogg – Cheyi Okoaye

Music: Saint or Sinner by Ignis Brothers. Stream and download their album from this link here – https://fanlink.to/TCOOL 

Synopsis: A serial killer completes a long-lost ritual to summon a cosmic entity as he was ‘instructed.’ Face to face with the entity, things take a turn for the worse when he realizes things from beyond operate on different terms.

An Eldritch Horror is a sequel to the movie, Red Room – https://youtu.be/SD_bjdHFiDw 

Social Media – 

@AxlPif (Twitter and Instagram)

@adankhouse (Twitter and Instagram)


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Special Edition: Hallow-Themes Of Rock-Horror Scenes

Terror Fúnebre: A Horror Punk Rock Story In Brazil 


Understanding the culture of a genre is exceedingly vital in order to appreciate the vastness of the scene. When I initially heard the term Horror Punk I had idea of what I envisioned it to be. When I learned about Terror Fúnebre, a Horror Punk Band from Natal – Rio Grande Do Norte, I wanted to dig deeper into their enlightenment. Here is my interview with Terror Fúnebre guitarist Diana (Storm)

Terror Fúnebre band members: 

Diana (Storm) – Guitarist  

André Aciole – Guitarist  

Rose Psycho – Vocalist  

Lucas – Bassist  

Rizinger Drummer – Drummer  

Samantha Hollins: I love anything Horror and I love Punk, but I didn’t realize until recently that there was actually a genre with both words as one. What is your definition of Horror Punk?  

Diana (Storm): Horror Punk is a lifestyle. It is a way of expressing feelings and opinions about everything that happens to us and the world. The way we find to shout, protest and even show affection.  

Samantha Hollins: How long has Terror Fúnebre been on the Brazilian Rock scene?  

Diana (Storm): Terror Fúnebre has been active since 2016. 

Samantha Hollins: How did your band name summon you? How does it represent your musical journey?  

Diana (Storm): I met Terror Fúnebre through the guitarist (André), who is also my boyfriend. When he found out I was a musician, he called me into the band. From then on my life on the Rock path changed completely. I can say that Terror Fúnebre was the door I needed to open to start my life on stage.  

Samantha Hollins: When was the first time you fell in love with Rock-n-Roll? How did you get attracted to the Horror Rock genre?  

Diana (Storm): My first influence on Rock was guitarist Slash, from the band Guns ‘n Roses. I fell in love at first sight with that man and soon started listening to bands like AC / DCLinkin ParkSkid Row, among others. From there, I got to know new bands until I got to Horror Punk, where I have the band Zumbis do Espaço as my biggest influence in this style.  

Samantha Hollins: Is there a Horror Punk scene within the Punk community or is it interwoven?  

Diana (Storm): Yes, and that is a very delicate matter to deal with, because one thing led to another, including Thrash Metal. Horror Punk would not exist without Trash Metal and Punk Rock. Nowadays this idea is passed from one person to another in a very distorted way, even causing fights between people.  

Samantha Hollins: Does your culture ever creep into your sound? If so, how does it shift your sound?  

Diana (Storm): Yes. As I said, Horror Punk is a way of expressing feelings, so we always put problems and thoughts in our songs. We usually face drought, hunger and violence in our region. So they end up becoming a subject for the lyrics. There are also good things, cultures and personal customs we follow thatalso influence the lyrics.  

Samantha Hollins: Lyrically how does your content speak to your audience?  

Diana (Storm): The instrumental is usually aggressive and the voice also has greater power. We want to show the world our cry and feelings.  

Samantha Hollins: What is your mission as creatives in Rock present and future?  

Diana (Storm): Influence people to see what happens around the world and help people. Many people from other countries see Brazil as something different from reality and we don’t want that. We will always show the truth through our lyrics and make people empathize with each other.  

Samantha Hollins: Thank you for sharing your dynamic creative energy. Best wishes to you and your band. 

Treat yourself to the captivating essence of Terror Fúnebre by going to these links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrorfunebre

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVzhNcW45snS0wZMRo4cAlQ

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/terrorfunebre_horrorpunk/

Special Edition: Hallow-Themes Of Rock-Horror Scenes

Issielle “ICE” Johnson: We Kill At Dawn 


We Kill At Dawn descends on its prey ready; to execute a massive attack. Issielle “ICE” Johnson’s flawless momentum triggers the fret board like a symphonic Metal horizon. She slays every moment with precision and empowerment. This San Francisco, CA native’s story behind this song is distinctly intriguing. 

Name of Album/EP: Solitary

Genre: Metal

Composer: Issielle “ICE” Johnson 

Producer: Ice/Kris Xenopoulos

Musicians: Guitars- Ice Drums & Bass- Kris

Date released: September 20th, 2020

Samantha Hollins: In one word what are the sinister emotions around your chord progression? 

ICE: Environment

Samantha Hollins: This song unapologetically rocks to the core. What are the scars that spawned the story behind We Kill At Dawn

ICE: The LIFE of a snow leopard.

Samantha Hollins: You play intricate things with such ease. How does that translate into the heavy weapon you unleashed on We Kill At Dawn

ICE: It’s all in the mind. I envisioned myself as a snow leopard; living an isolated yet dangerous life. You’re at risk everyday to feed your family and to survive. One slip, you’ll end up injured or dead. So I pictured myself jumping from rock to rock on high altitudes; unexpected enemies or prey. 

Samantha Hollins: How does the whole album connect to this song?  

ICE: Solitary is a statement of power and dominance yet being invisible but your presence is felt. We Kill At Dawn is that presence being felt. 

You can check out and purchase this song on these platforms. Also Ice has a very lively YouTube Channel. Join her there for skilled guitar tips and more.

Spotify, Apple, Deezer, Napster, Amazon music (most music streaming sites)

Website/Social Media Links: http://www.instagram.com/colorice09

                                              http://www.youtube.com/iceofficial1

                                              http://www.facebook.com/colorice09

http://www.iceofficial.com

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Culture Rock Song Of The Week:

Under The Gaze Of Eternity By Powerslide


Nairobi, Kenya’s award winning Punk Rock unit Powerslide unveiled their new song entitled “Under The Gaze Of Eternity” (October 18, 2020). This first single from their forthcoming album is indulging in an Indie Rock sound. The nostalgic vibe enters a zone of a free spirited affirmation. It pervades an atmosphere of tranquility as the melodic chords glides in. The collision of a heavy bass line into a pulsating drum haven makes it a dance for the hardcore. Waves of liberation overflows as the guitars layer a splash of head banging gestures. The solacing voice of empowering lyrics unify Generation Now.

Under The Gaze Of Eternity is a timeless song that could easily shift through multiple eras of Rock. I found myself raising my Rock’n’Roll fingers and singing along with Under The Gaze Of Eternity, as if I were front row center. 

Go here to experience and purchase Powerslide’s new single “Under The Gaze Of Eternity”. https://powerslideband.bandcamp.com/track/under-the-gaze-of-eternity

Written by: Willy Ojiro and Timothy ‘Qreed’ Wafula

Vocals: Willy Ojiro, Maggie Nekesa

Guitar, Bass and programming: Willy Ojiro

Produced by: Willy Ojiro

Mixed by: Willy Ojiro and Wilson Muia

Mastered by: Wilson Muia

Powerslide Unit: 

Vocals/Guitar- Willy Ojiro

Drums- Timothy Qreed Wafula

Bass- George Zuko 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/powerslide/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/powerslideband

Twitter

@powerslideband

Powerslide Discography:

https://powerslideband.bandcamp.com/music

The Young Rockers Enjoying Powerslide: “Under The Gaze Of Eternity”

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She-tar Column

CLAY: The Alternative Crown Of A Nigerian Rock Goddess


Photo By: Anny Robert

My diaspora research for Rockers of African descent landed upon Nigeria in 2017 on Instagram. Her intriguing vibrato captured me. Her enthralling riffs moved me. Her vivid lyrics captivated me and her lively presence made me want to know more. Who is this force of nature rockin’ out culturally; all the way on the other side of the world? As I dug deeper I unveiled how bright the crown of CLAY’s extraordinary music career shines. She is like a shooting star adorning her place in Rock-n-Roll history. 


Photo By: Anny Robert


Samantha Hollins: What is your native tongue? How does your language intertwine with your music?

CLAY: My native languages are Igbo and Yoruba (this I speak more fluently). These languages are part of the three major tribes (there are over 300 tribes and 500 languages spoken) in Nigeria. It’s a natural thing for me to infuse Nigerian elements in my music, be it subtle drums or my dialect . It’s who I am. I’m Nigerian.

Samantha Hollins: When was the first time you fell in love with Rock-n-Roll?

CLAY: I don’t think I remember the exact time. My Dad listened to a lot of the classics when I was a child and in my early teens. When I could barely afford to buy CDs, I would go scouting for Soft Rock, Grunge, Punk and Power Pop music.


Photo By: Anny Robert

Samantha Hollins: Most parents in general are not as welcoming to the rebellious nature of what their children are listening to and wearing. Culturally speaking, how did your family respond to the first time they saw your alternative attire?

CLAY: LOL! My mom is a sweetheart. She supports us; no matter what we decide to do. I don’t remember her complaining or anything. She just makes jokes about how I’m always dressed as if I’m going to a war front, lmao!

My Dad initially didn’t like it. I remember my first discussion with him on my style. He didn’t sound too ecstatic (although in retrospect, I believe he was a little proud on the inside 😂) . He’s all for it now. Encourages me and proudly tells everyone ‘Clay is my first daughter’ (how embarrassing 🤦).

Samantha Hollins: Your guitar tone is very enchanting and edgy at the same time. What was the defining moment that made you yearn for the six string instrument?

CLAY: OMG. I had to read that again. I mean, I couldn’t hold a candle to you when it comes to playing the guitar. Thank you ☺. To be honest, I initially picked up the guitar a few years ago out of necessity. I couldn’t afford to pay a guitarist everytime I had a gig ( and God forbid, I perform with a backing track 🤢) . The very first time I performed with a guitar, was at a charity event for orphaned kids. My playing was absolutely terrible. I don’t think anyone really noticed (I mean, I hope they didn’t 😂). Now, I’m grateful I started to learn to play. It’s such a beautiful thing: the guitar.

Samantha Hollins: I love your band (The Misfits). What is the environment like being the only female amongst your male counterparts? What’s a typical rehearsal like? Please introduce us to them all (names and what they play).

CLAY: Thank you! Aaarrgh! It can be pretty hectic. Human management is such a chore! But we get along and get by eventually. We all have some mutual respect for each other and absolutely love to play together. Once the music starts playing, all negativity is let go.

Every rehearsal starts with them coming late 😂. I try not to scream, I really try 🤦. It’s always ends on a high note and every one is happy.

CLAY AND THE MISFITS PERFORMING OGADISINMA AT CLAYROCKSULIVE ’17

@Jheri_jay – Drums

@beststrings_musiq – Rhythm and lead

@orange_naijarockstar – Lead

@D_groovy2unes – Bass

@isonil – Electric Violins


Photo By: Anny Robert

Samantha Hollins: You are full of upbeat energy when you perform. What gets your mood amped for a show? What’s a typical meal before or after a show?

CLAY: I’m mostly nervous and antsy before any show. I’m prayerful and hopeful too. I try not to eat before performing. Maybe a fruit and lots of water. Of course, I gorge down everything I lay my hands on right after performing. The better the performance, the more I eat to, you know, celebrate.

Samantha Hollins: You play as astonishingly as you sing and sing as astonishingly as you play. Do you have any rituals to stay sharp as a singer/songwriter/guitarist?

CLAY: Thank you, again. I try to vocal exercise every single day. Sometimes 10mins, other times 40mins…BUT I try to do it everyday. I am constantly on the look out for ways to improve my voice and performance.

Samantha Hollins: Your lyrics are very emotionally expressive, so are you speaking from experience?

CLAY: Yes! I’m mostly writing from something I’ve experienced, want to experience; thoughts I’ve had or stuff I’ve seen happen.

Samantha Hollins: I saw a BBC piece that captured you very well. How does it feel to know your passion for Rock is traveling the world virtually? Will you ever do an international tour?

CLAY: It feels great everytime an international/foreign news company wants to share my love for my music. I just can’t get over it. Very grateful. Of course, how can I not do international tours? If I died before I did several, I would have to get my dead self up and get to it 😂.

Samantha Hollins: Is there a market for Rock artists like yourself to thrive in Lagos? How do you create your audience?

CLAY: Sincerely, there’s little market here. We have tiny communities here and there. There’s also a thriving expatriate community in Lagos. Between this and that, we get an audience. However small, the joy is in the music.


Photo By: Anny Robert

Samantha Hollins: I love your rock star attitude! What is next for Clay? Where can we hear your music and witness your amazing video’s?

CLAY: Rraaaaaghhh! 🤘

Currently gearing up to drop a new single.

Working on a long long awaited album.

Samantha Hollins: Thank you very much, I truly appreciate your amazing presence in The Culture Rock Griot!

CLAY: Find my music on all streaming sites by searching ‘clayrocksu’ , same as YouTube and social media.

Soundcloud.com/clayrocksu

YouTube.com/clayrocksu

On all streaming sites search ‘clayrocksu’

Instagram, twitter, tiktok, facebook -@clayrocksu

Samantha Hollins: Thank you very much CLAY for sharing the narrative of your phenomenal Rock destiny. I love it and you are truly Rock Her-Story!

DESTINY (remix) feat KEL – Clay

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The Culture Rock Hall Of Fame Chronicles:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Mother Of Rock-n-Roll Philadelphia Her-Story Up Above My Head


Photo By: Samantha Hollins

I’m remembering Sister Rosetta Tharpe 47 years after she passed away in my hometown Philadelphia (born March 20, 1915 in Cotton Plain, Ak-October 9, 1973). In 1957 the prominent Gospel scene in Philadelphia was buzzing with the likes of the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Ward Singers. That is what allured Rosetta and her husband, Russell Morrison, to move to the City of Brotherly Love. They ended up residing in the Yorktown area on 11th and Master St.. The fifteen years of her creative life behind that door intrigues me whenever I am near. A historical maker is now standing outside of their modest brick home. 


Photo By: Samantha Hollins

I grew up merely five blocks away on 16th and Master St., so I knew her footsteps in the neighborhood very well when I visited the locality. A quick stroll from her home to N. 12th St. would lead you to the Bright Hope Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member. 

Photo By: Samantha Hollins

Rosetta recorded some of her most notable music while in Philadelphia, including “Sister On Tour” and “The Gospel Truth” on Verve Records. She toured extensively overseas with the likes of Blues greats Muddy WatersSonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. When she returned to Philly after falling ill, things changed when she had her leg amputated (in 1971) due to diabetic complications. It may have slowed her down, but it did not stop her spirit. Rosetta continued to perform in 1971 and in 1972. 

The year when Rosetta Tharpe was scheduled to record a new album with Savoy Records, she passed away at Temple University Hospital. October 9, 1973 Rock Royalty ascended to another plain, leaving her flame of Rock-n-Roll flickering on the North Philly streets. Her celebration of life was sung by her dynamic partner in song, Marie Knight and Gospel Star Marion Williams at her Bright Hope Baptist Church home. 


Photo By: Samantha Hollins

When Rosetta was buried at Northwood Cemetery her grave was unmarked. On January 11, 2008 a fundraiser that was held at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA (on the outskirts of Philadelphia) ignited an overflow of support. Full circle friendship prevailed through the Dixie Hummingbirds and Marie Knight who were performing at the fundraiser. With the help of the Memphis Blues Foundationthe Philadelphia Rhyme & Blues foundation and a good friend, enough funds were gathered to bestow a beautiful rose-shaded headstone for the Mother of Rock-n-Roll. That day was also declared Sister Rosetta Tharpe day in Pennsylvania. Time shifting in to 2017, she was inducted in the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame. 


Photo By: Samantha Hollins

Rosetta’s presence is embedded in my hometown Philadelphia. Her sound is still echoing here and I believe I caught the tail end of the wave of it as a Rock singer/songwriter/guitarist. Sister Rosetta Tharpe will forever be a monumental Rock-Shero that melodically thrived in and lived in my neighborhood. I hereby induct Sister Rosetta Tharpe in The Culture Rock Hall Of Fame. Rise In Power Ancestral energy! RISE “Up Above My Head”!

Video By: Samantha Hollins

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She-tar Column

Starr Cullars: Nobody Funks With The Amazon Rock Queendom


When I started interviewing Starr Cullars for an exhibition I was curating (in our hometown Philadelphia last year), she was in motion to attend the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony with Parliament-Funkadelic on May 11, 2019. 

Somewhere in Philly, when I first started out on the music scene (it had to be between 2000-2004), I was invited to witness magic. With the allure of a dungeon-deep bass line accompanied by a hardcore vocal roar, I was like “Wow who is this”? Someone said “you don’t know about Starr”? Right away I thought “well I know now”! She WAS the show and she dominated her male counterparts with grace and grit. At the time I didn’t know how much I needed to see that. She rendered me with  inspiration as a Black Woman in Rock! Starr Cullars has kicked down many enormous doors and has pulled down a legacy of glass ceilings; creating windows of opportunity for women in Rock. 

Samantha Hollins: When was the 1st time you fell in love with Rock’n’Roll? and what ignited your interest in playing bass (guitar)?

Starr CulIars: I asked for a guitar when I was 5 years old. My Dad brought back a little Roy Rodgers’ plastic guitar. I strummed it, looked at it, and gave it back saying “Dad, I want a REAL guitar!” So my Father brought me a little Yamaha nylon stringed guitar. I strummed it, smiled and kept going. While I was singled out of music classes to solo acoustic guitar instructional, I started hearing and playing bass notes and parts on the guitar. Then my Dad brought me a Jazz copy heavy-thick Bass. And I started playing in the better neighborhood R&B/Funk bands. By college I had gone on to PRINCE and became his disciple; a few years before I was hired by The P-Funk.

Samantha Hollins: Please tell the Culture Rock Griot readers about your connection with Prince? 

Starr Cullars: This is my full Prince encounter, and mentorship into the professional industry:

Starr Cullar reign with Prince on the Old Guys Talk Metal And Sometimes Punk Podcast

Samantha Hollins: What year was your band established? 

Starr Cullars: My band, The Starr Cullars Crew (The SCC), was established in 2001. I am the only female-musician-member from George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic; and I began opening for the P-Funk with my band in 2001.

Samantha Hollins: Were you signed to any record labels, management deals or agencies?

Starr Cullars: I was under a production deal with George Clinton. And I had 2 different deals under that production; recordings owned by Clinton

Samantha Hollins: What was your debut song, hit song or the song that your core fans will identify you with? 

Starr Cullars: Among some of them: Red Alert, Femme Fatale, I’ll Kick Your Muthafunkin Ass!

Samantha Hollins: I love that you are taking charge of your own career. What drove you to start Cosmic Nation Productions?

Starr CulIars: So many factors were involved with my starting Cosmic Nation Productions. Among them were: 1) Lack of ANY kind of company that endorses REAL Women Musicians 2) The complete misogynistic, macho abuse and sabotage 3) The complete ABSENCE of any endorsement and support for BLACK WOMEN in ROCK MUSIC. I wanted to be The Boss; the one who is completely in power and in charge of my career: the vision, the direction, the philosophy, the creativity. And only I would be capable to guide the company ship the best way. I also obtained my MBA (Masters of Business) degree to fortify my position. 

Starr Cullars CD “Living Galaxy” on her Cosmic Nation Production Company.


Samantha Hollins: Name any prominent venues or events your band played?

Starr Cullars: The Robin Hood Dell East, The Mann Music Center, The Electric Factory (just in Philly). The BB Kings Club, The Wetlands, Tramps (in NYC). The House of Blues, The BB Kings Club, The Nokia (in Los Angeles). 

Samantha Hollins: What is the game changing role your band impacted in the Rock genre/sub Rock genre?

Starr Cullars: Without question the game-changing role has been and is: The Bass-Player/Lead-Singer/Songwriter! Who happens to be a Black-Native-Indian-WOMAN; who is the only female-musician-member from P-Funk…Who is a TRUE-Hard-Progressive-Rocker!

Samantha Hollins: You are like a super Shero powerhouse bassist. Who and what inspires you?

Starr CulIars: Thank you, Duchess Samantha! There are a few male influences, but they have all gotten far too much exposure throughout the centuries! So I am reserving this to the WOMEN who have inspired me. From being a child and teenager, I always was directly inspired by Wonder Woman and The Amazons! I knew I was the Wonder Woman in every part of my life. More specifically I was and am Wonder Woman’s Black Twin Sister, Nubia: the 1st & true Wonder Woman! Then although we are in different music genres; I was majorly influenced by Janice Marie Johnson, lead-singer/bass-player of Taste of Honey. By the way Janice and I are friends now (mentor & disiciple). She has interviewed me on her cable-tv show, “Women Behind The Beat”. And finally I would have to say as a business mogul inspiration: Oprah Winfrey. And let’s give a shout-out notice to YOU, Duchess Samantha, for being Music Goddess and MAMA of your little ones!

Starr Cullars (Bassist) – Ladies Behind the Beat.TV – Interview/Performance

Samantha Hollins: Inject your sage wisdom into the new generation of Rockers?

Starr Cullars: For any aspiring musicians or singers; I would say first, be authentic to your true self. Explore and discover, first, to see if being a serious contender in this business is for you. And for any women who might be interested in this…PLEASE, for yourself and my sanity…ESTABLISH IF YOU ARE REALLY A TRUE MUSICIAN, PLAYER OR SINGER. Then truly…seriously learn, practice, play hard…and continue to do that throughout your life! Then you will establishing a true path for yourself in this business of music.

Samantha Hollins: Your career is what longevity is all about. What’s next for you?

Starr Cullars: 

  1. Powerfully and gracefully moving forward!
  2. I will be further establishing and growing my company to thriving progress. 
  3. Performing tours and events that Cosmic Nation is commanding and/or working in collaboration with Live Nation. 
  4. Producing the documentary films and videos that produce successful profits and establish respect in the industry
  5. …and being a parental Auntie to my nephews and nieces 
  6. …and expanding my whole Goddess-Priestess-Self for my most positive world. 

Thank you, Goddess Samantha!

Samantha Hollins: Thank you for your world famous Star that shines so humbly, while kicking hardcore legendary ass! 


Go here to take flight upon Starr Cullars Cosmic Nation Productions:

https://cosmicnationproductions.com

Purchase Starr’s Cullars Living Galaxy CD here:


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