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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2005.01.DD - Slam! - Interview with Johnny Kreis (Hollywood Rose)

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2005.01.DD - Slam! - Interview with Johnny Kreis (Hollywood Rose) Empty 2005.01.DD - Slam! - Interview with Johnny Kreis (Hollywood Rose)

Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:54 pm

By Moreno Lissoni
Hi Johnny, many people in Italy do not know you, would you like to introduce yourself to us?
Hi to all the Coolest Rockers In The World, which all live in The Beautiful Country of Italy!... and around the world My name is Johnny Kreis, and I was the very first drummer for Rose/Hollywood Rose! Greetings from California!
You were one of the founding members of the Hollywood Rose, what are your memories of that period?
...Well there were many, but one of the interesting ones was when we, HR played our first big gig and what was considered back then as one of the biggest venues in the Valley, The Country Club in Reseda, California and from the minute the curtain opened, all I see from my position behind the drums was bewildered faces! in the crowd!... in like..."What the Hell is This!".....As We Played a style of music that was so different, So Primal!....and So Down To Earth!... and The Glam Spiked Big Hair! and yet everyone can relate, because Axl and Iz, wrote their songs, which followed how they lived!... It was Streety Rock N Roll!... with a Raw Bluesy Edge!
It was How We All Felt Growing Up!....and We didn't care if you liked us or not!....but you'll hear us!... you see, back then most bands were on the 80's melodic trip playing hook oriented tunes that were very polished and clean!
well with us!...We Were Loud and Proud! the best way to describe our sound and style is like having a drag race between a Yugo and a F-14 Tomcat in Full AfterBurner! ...That gig was very cool!...little did that crowd know that soon some of the members would go ahead and become one of Rocks Icons!
Is there anything particularly bizarre or funny that is worthy to tell about those years?
Well, I don't know about funny, but there were times during rehearsal with Axl, Iz, Me and Chris at Chris's house crammed in his room when one minute we're working on writing parts of the songs!... then next minute! An All out Hockey Brawl Breaks Out!...
"The Roots of Guns ’n’ Roses" has been recently released through Deadline, what do you think of the remix by Gilby Clarke and Fred Coury?
The Fred Coury Mix, is Awesome! it is how I would want HR to sound as if we were still crankin today!...and with Clarke's Mixes, I liked the Tracii Guns cuts! fact back in the days, I knew Tracy well!... and really admired his guitar playing!..he's also a really cool person too!
What happened to you after the Hollywood Rose period?
Here's a interesting story for yaz, one day, back then after the band dissolved, (could've been a few years) and we all went separate ways, I was showing a friend from holland hollywood blvd, when all of a sudden, this guy and gal passed me, then I turned around and said... "Bill" ...and he turned around and No He Didn't Take a Swing at Me!... and he said and smiled "Johnny The Drum Machine!
and we chatted awhile then Axl said yea we got signed and Izzy's in the Studio doing his tracks!... so that was cool! for them! for me, I started playing with rock bands in the orange county area and played the rock clubs out there.
You have also been a member of the Shire together with Izzy. How did you know him? What can you tell us about him?
Yep!... OK! I got some more stuff to tell the world that the Main Stream Media never knew!
....there's a lot of truth they don't know!... but Now! It's my pleasure to say that SLAM is the first to know!... The Truth!... SLAM Rules!
I'm sure you heard stories about how HR found me in a throw-away magazine musicians classified section well it wasn't HR it was Izzy and Shire!....then after a while Izzy who wanted to do something more the style he liked and invited me to jam with HR and do a demo recording!
thus the HR roots CD you hear today is the product of those recordings, ...that's me on the drums!
(hmmmmmm! haven't seen a penny yet!... someone makin money off these things!) but hey! they are something I'm very proud of!... now about Izzy! Izzy back then was an absolute gentlemen, and he still is one of the most coolest people I have ever known even these days 20 years later!… in fact Izzy and I were reunited by email through a good friend… in Norway! …Thanks Jan!… and after 20 years and all the fame and the interesting stories it comes with, Izzy and I hooked up in May 2003 and jammed in a studio in West LA once more!… for fun! And it was amazing, as the musical Chemistry was still there, and after those sessions went out for lunch and talked about old times and how life was for him under the big lights of stardom, and ya know what!… he’s doing better than ever! Now! I’m very glad for him!
When did you last see Andre Roxx, Chris Weber, Izzy and Axl? Do you still keep in touch with them?
I met Chris again after 20years, earlier this year at The Whiskey in Hollywood at one of his bands gigs, he’s doing well!… but I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Andre Troxx, as his name came up in a conversation …..I will truly miss him, as we were so close to meeting once again….. as he too was part of this Musical Journey of HR, (Hats off to you my friend) also another fact that before Andre there was a bassist by the name of Rick Marrs, awesome player and gent, who also played with Shire, we did talk briefly by email a few years ago! Axl, I haven’t seen since the 80’s….but hopefully one day!….
Besides Shire, you have played with Bad Boys, ShowDown and Striker. What kind of music did you play? Is it still possible to find their merchandise?
The Musicial Styles, were hard rock, melodic metal, and I don’t think you’ll find much out there.
Axl: what can you tell about him?
Axl… at least from my point of view back then, he always treated me very well, he was very clever,
and motivated to succeed in the industry, never took a swing at me or threw me off a ten story high building! After lighting me on fire!… nope! none of that!… he was very business savy!… but there were differences in personal chemistry with the other guys in the band!
What is your opinion about the new Guns ‘n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver?
VR’s pretty cool!… I’m glad their out there doing it!…
Adler has recently formed the Adler’s Appetite. Have you ever thought to dig out the old Hollywood Rose for some gigs?
It would be cool to jam the old HR stuff!… It’s Real Rock N Roll!… but it can’t be done with only a few of the original members, you see HR was an Emotion, an Attitude, a Fustration with Strings, Violence, Love, Love Gone Bad!….. it’s about Ciggarettes with Wine!… It’s The Street!... it’s something you Feel!… and cannot be replicated! Even if you tried!
How did you react when you were said that Guns ‘n’ Roses were about to come back again but you were not part of it? Considering what GNR actually got, do you have any regrets of having been excluded?
No! not really!… if it was meant to be!… .be it will!… but it wasn’t… and everything has it’s reasons!
…but I do wonder sometimes!… how life would’ve been on the other side of the stage! Looking Down!
I know that you have been on stage with China Cat and Suzy Sunless not long ago. Tell us about that experience.
That was fun!… to be in another part of the world, and have the pleasure to crank the metal in Hellsinki, Finland, with other talented musicians, such as Mertsa Arramo (CC) and Jundes (Suzy) of which I’d like to say hi to Marie Arramo who is an excellent Rock show promoter and good friend and watch her put all of it together!… Kittos!... (Thank You) ...Putu Marie and thanks again... It was interesting for me to see that the Rock Scene in Finland is still going stronger than ever, though I can do without all that snow!… but the finnish are a Loud and Proud People!… and will fight through a snow storm to see a rock show!
Any project you are busy with at present?
Oh Yes!… these days I have teamed up with a fellow dutch-indo guitarist by the name of Randy Jacobs and bassist Johnny Vaca, and I would say that this band will turn heads when we go live.
This Band’s Style combines the sound of Steve Vai/Satriani Meets The Energy of Metallica with the fun of Van Halen, checkout our website at:
Alex Van Halen is one of your favourite drummers if I’m not wrong. Is it true that your dad used to play in a polka band together with Alex’s one?
Yes, my pops Richard Kreis played bass in a polka band with Alex’s pops Jan Van Halen on clarinet and another person on accordian and yep, a young Alex V on drums. Infact it was my dad who turned me on to a VH album, and after listening to it!… life as I know it changed!
Tell us about the typical day of Johnny Kreis...
…if it’s not playing drums!… (which I Love and Come Alive) then usually the typical day is pretty boring, going to work yadayadaya!
Ok Johnny, this is the end, the last words are for you…
Well, I just want to give a Very Special Thank You! to my friend Moreno Lissoni and all the staff of SLAM Magazine! For giving me this very special opportunity to tell the world that there is a person behind those drums on the Roots of HR CD, that really nobody knows until now!… and that I’ve been there and done that! Played drums in the very beginning with a few Hollywood Kids that became RockStars, and allowing me to share my story as A Untold View From The Inside Of HR from the very beginning!…
….And to all drummers and musicians around the world!
….It’s Time To SLAM!
Tot Ziens!

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