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Interview with Jake Starr and Kevin Hoffman in MustafaZine #2 - January 2002

Adam West interviewed on 14 September 2001 at Tantogården, Stockholm, Sweden
Adam West got started in the early nineties because singer and frontman Jake Starr wanted to have a garage band. The band has had about ten different configurations during the years, but the current one, besides Jake, consists of Steve on bass, Kevin Hoffman on guitar, and Ben Brower behind the drums. Jake seems to have a special preference for the Scandinavian rock scene and from his record company, Fandango Records, releases 7" punkrock left and right.

Below you'll find one hell of a screwy interview, we were hung over, tired, effed up, and totally unprepared, so we didn't say a hell of a lot, but Jake didn't seem to mind. He yacked away quite well at any rate.

Why is it that you dance like a girl on stage?

J: Because I'm a woman. I do what comes naturally and if that means I need to shake my butt, I shake my butt. Both guys and girls like it, so I attract everybody.

You believe that?

J: I know it and I can demonstrate that particularly tonight, but we won't go into that.

So you own Fandango Records?

J: Yup.

Do you have any bands in the works?

J: I have a record in the works. I'm working with a Flaming Sideburns (FS) live single. I've promised them that. It's been a little tight with money right now because we had a big outlay for this tour. I actually wanted to release FS before I traveled in August, but didn't have the time. I have released Nick Royale solo single . . . he sent me two songs and it's sold out. Now I'm going to do a second pressing. When I return in Ocober, I'm going to release FS and then maybe I'll do a Gluecifer single. They promised me a couple of songs a few years ago and now I'm waiting for them to get their shit together and send me a few songs. Besides that I think I'm going to take it easy, I don't have the time any more. Adam West has been signed and we tour. That keeps me really busy, so I don't have time any more to release a whole lot of records like I used to do. But I'm damn happy about the records I've released like the Hellacopters and such. All are sold out and have gotten me recognized all over the world. Especially here in Sweden only for the folks I know.

It's perhaps only because all the bands are from here, Scandinavian rock-n-roll?

J: Exactly, because in the States there aren't that many bands who play this sort of music. When I first heard the Hellacopters many years I go, I thought, oh my God, here's a band who likes the same music I do. And when we met Nick and Kenny and all those guys, we were like brothers. We stayed up all night in New York and talked about MC5, Scott Morgan, The Dictators and all that. We fell in love with each other and had one big gay affair. After that they've been my best friends, and they asked me if I wanted to go with them on tour back in 1999. They toured with the Powder Monkeys, Nomads and Wayne Kramer and I was with them in the tour bus during the entire tour. That's when I met the guys in Gluecifer, Turpentines, Nomads, and all. But I'm really glad this time that I got to meet Pelle from The Hives, I haven't met him before and The Hives are one of my fave bands right now. It was cool to meet him. We're going to have sex later.

You perhaps know that he also dances like a girl?

J: Yes, hahaha . . . I've never seen them, but I've listened to "Vini, Vidi, Vicious" and thought that this guy shakes his butt the same way I do.

Do you prefer girls or cars?

J: Girls, absolutely. I had a really bad-ass van, a kind of 70s pimp van. It had shag rugs inside and psychedelic artwrk and zebra and leopard all over and an eight-ball transmission and shit. It broke. It was so neat on the outside, but the engine was like a squirrel running around. I spent a lot of money on the engine, but finally could not afford it, so I gave it away. So I say, fuck cars, I've bought myself a Mazda so now I don't have to worry about the car breaking. So, fuck cars, fuck them . . . it's all about girls now. I'm not spending my money on some damn cars.

And your gay friends?

J: It's not exactly homosexual what happens with these Swedish guys. You know, we see each other, we get naked, talk about The Stooges, and shake our butts. It's not really gay, not like Union Carbide. It's not at all like all these Union Carbide stories, they used to butt-fuck each other. That's not how it is.

(The thought of Ebbott butt-fucking makes us laugh a lot).

J: Oh my God, when Ebbott reads this, he'll kill me. Well, anyway, our new record is coming out soon on . . . People Like You records in Germany. It's called "Right On!" and it's 12 all new songs and we do also a bonus track for the European issue, a Saints cover "Erotic Neurotic."

(The Denimzine-kid goes by and Krille yells: "Yeah! We interviewed Jake years ago, years ago. You are way off, way off.")

J: Yeah, they had sex with me a few years ago.

(Robbing the cradle, or what?/ Ed.)

So where is it most fun to tour?


J: We toured Europe last year in June and did three gigs in Slovenia of all places and it was really fantastic. We played for 300-400 people. Folks were like crazy, they were so happy to have an American band come over. They really appreciated it. In Göteborg yesterday it was super. The line outside went along the whole block and folks waited for hours. That was like stupid. We played before 600 people in Munich, that was unbelievable. 600 German poodleheads like Urrghh . . . right in front of the stage and the girls stood somewhere in the back. So then I took the mike and said, "Get out of here . . . the girls tried to come up front bu they couldn't because the German-heavy-metal-assholes with their poodlehair stood up closest."

Will you calm down? . . . Jeez the way you're jumping around, are you on speed?

J: No, I wish I were. The bad thing for me is that I have to sing every night. When I'm touring, it's like being in rehab. I don't drink, I don't do drugs. It sucks. I do a lot of drugs before going on tour and after I get home. We played in Belgium, I went backstage and there was a table with food and drink. They moved away the food and then put on 10 lines of speed. I thought, "Should I or not?" I thought about my voice and, "Nah . . . I won't."

J: This is Kevin. He plays guitar.

What's your fave drug?

J: My fave drug . . .?

K: Pussy.

J: Swedish: Mutta?! I like to get high on Rock-n-Roll.

That was original.

J: And gay love.

(Jake fills Kevin in on what we've talked about, that he dances like a girl.)

K: Yeah, he sticks a ferret in his pants. You know, a little animal like that.

We know what a ferret is.

K: Okay . . . I don't know how much English you speak. You can write in your magazine, or that's what this is about, right? Yes, you can write that I'm an idiot. You can quote me there. "He was an asshole."

Yes . . . we won't write "Kevin," we'll write "asshole."

K: . . . and then the asshole says do you know what a ferret is? F-e-r-r-e-t?

Haha . . . yes, we can put in a picture too . . .

J: Perfect!

-Dölly and Shmäk, MustafaZine, Issue #2, January 2002


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