September 1982 - Lightning's first interview
Lightning has just released its first album, F*** You, and are about to embark on their first tour of the States. I sat down with the band’s five members to get to know a little bit about them.
Interviewer: Hello guys, glad to meet you. Can you introduce yourselves to the world?
Kat: I’m Kat Williams, bass guitarist.
Ringo: I’m the drummer, Ringo Barber.
Dagger: Lead guitarist, Dagger Meyers.
Buzzy: (grins as he cracks his knuckles) My name’s Buzzy and I tinkle on the ivories.
(Laughter from all the guys…except one)
Interviewer: And you are…?
Bolt: Bolt Hall, leader of this band, singer and guitarist
Interviewer: I have to ask, why the album title? Flipping the finger and telling people to F*** off? Doesn’t sound very inviting.
Buzzy(points to Bolt): All his idea.
Interviewer: So what’s that all about?
Bolt: It’s a fucking punk rock album, what do you expect? And it’s telling all the people who didn’t believe in me…who weren’t there for me…who aren’t here for me now…to fuck off.
Interviewer: So this album and the songs are very personal for you?
(Bolt narrows his eyes and starts to answer, but Kat interrupts)
Kat: Dagger, Bolt, and me write the lyrics. So yeah, some songs are Bolt’s personal feelings, but others are ours.
Buzzy(nods in Ringo’s direction): They’re a lot angrier than us. We just want to play music.
Interviewer: What are you angry about?
Dagger: Lot of injustice in the world.
Interviewer: Can you give me an example?
Kat: We just got out of high school and you can see the stupidity of the hierarchy there. You got the jocks and the bitchy girls who are always most popular because they drive the fancy cars and wear the latest designer clothes. While the kids who might look a bit different or who don’t have much are nobody and treated like crap.
Interviewer: Speaking of high school, you’re all very young…
Buzzy (interrupts and points at Dagger): Except him…he’s like thirty.
Dagger (shakes head and groans): Don’t listen to this clown. I’m 20 because I failed two grades.
Ringo: He’s got dysentery or something.
Dagger (shakes head again): I’m dyslexic, but once I was diagnosed I was okay with school.
Interviewer: How did you get involved in music?
Ringo: There are five kids in my family. We all had to choose an instrument and learn to play. I chose drums. Buzzy was always hanging out at my house so he learned piano when my sister’s instructor would come over.
Kat: My dad’s a musician so we always had instruments around the house and he taught me.
Dagger: My dad was a huge fan of Hendrix and Clapton. He tried to teach himself to play guitar but was never that good. One day I just picked up his guitar and tried to play. I taught myself a few songs from the radio. So he let me have lessons.
(silence as everyone looks at Bolt)
Interviewer: And you Bolt?
Bolt (rolling his eyes): My mom taught me piano. My dad bought me a guitar when I was older and I taught myself to play.
Kat: Wasn’t your mom classically trained?
Bolt (sighs): Something like that.
Interviewer: You don’t seem to like talking about your family Bolt.
Bolt: Like the album says “Fuck you!”.
Interviewer: Is that a message to your parents
Bolt: Not my dad.
Buzzy (whispers): His dad died. We don’t discuss it.
Interviewer: Oh sorry. Let’s get back to how you formed the band. You met in high school?
Kat (points at Dagger, Ringo, and Buzzy): We all met first and created the band. I used to sing, but my voice isn’t that strong for a lead. Bolt transferred in and came strolling into class with a guitar case. He and I got to talking and I invited him to audition.
Ringo: Needless to say he made the cut. And he already had his nickname picked out, and it helped us with a band name.
Buzzy(throws arms up): The rest is history!
Dagger: When we were juniors, we won a battle of the bands contest and got hired to perform regularly at a club called The Haze. That’s where we really got going.
Interviewer: And how did you get discovered by StarNote?
(Everyone turns their attention to Bolt. He frowns and shakes his head)
Interviewer: Is this another thing you don't discuss?
Bolt: No. A scout from their company was at The Haze one night and heard us. He signed us on the spot because we’re that fucking good.
Ringo: He’s our manager now…George.
Interviewer: Well, I saw this morning that your first single is in the top 10. What are you hoping to accomplish in the future?
Buzzy (yawns and puts his head on Dagger's shoulder): A nap would be nice.
Kat (chuckles): Or a good night’s sleep. Since coming to California in June we've worked nonstop.
Dagger (smiles and pushes Buzzy away): But it’s the work we’ve always dreamed of.
Ringo: Yeah. It’s been amazing.
Kat: It’s starting to pay off now and once we get out on the road it will pay off even more.
Interviewer: Living the rock star life?
Kat: We’ll have fun but we’ll also invest and spend our money wisely so we don’t end up broke.
Dagger: We want to be set for life financially but the main goal is making good music. Our music. The way we want it to sound. I can’t wait for the tour. If it’s successful, which I’m sure it will be, they’ll be a world tour afterward. We’re all looking forward to travelling overseas.
Interviewer: Bolt, do those plans sound good to you?
Bolt: Of course. But I have another goal, too.
Kat (rolls eyes and whispers): Oh shit, here we go.
Bolt (leans back on sofa and places his legs on the coffee table): I plan to fuck as many women as possible.
Interviewer: That does seem to be a fringe benefit of being a musician.
Bolt: Women love rock stars and I plan to take full advantage of anyone offering up pussy to me.
Interviewer: You’re a ladies man then?
Ringo: He just likes fucking.
Bolt: Yeah, no drama. No bullshit. Just fucking.
Buzzy: But there was this one girl that he…
Bolt (sneers while he glares at Buzzy): There was what?
Buzzy: Oh yea, never mind that was Kat.
Interviewer: So, Kat has a girlfriend then?
Kat: No, none of us have had a serious girlfriend in a while. (Looks at Bolt, then at ground) We don’t have time. It’s been all about music. Rehearsing, writing new material, performing…and it’s all good. There’s always girls around. We just don’t let it get serious. (again looks at Bolt)
Interviewer: There’s a powerful love song on the album though. Burned by Love. I believe it’s one of yours, Bolt. Did someone break your heart in order for you to write such a poignant song?
(Bolt stamps his feet back to the ground, gets up and leaves)
Interviewer: Guess that answers my question
Bolt (shouts): Let’s go! We’re leaving!
Buzzy (whispers): There’s just some things he’s very sensitive about.
Interviewer: I see. Well, it’s been great talking to you guys. I wish you success with the album and tour. I’m sure I’ll see you again soon. Before we go, any last words?
Kat: Thanks to the fans for buying our record. We look forward to seeing you on the road.
Dagger: What he said.
Ringo: Yea, come out and see us. We’re even better live.
Buzzy (leaps to his feet): Hide your daughters! Bolt’s coming! In more ways than one!