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Spotlight Band: Rockets To Ruin

August 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Spotlight Bands

 After over a year long breakup the bad boys from Atlanta are back. Rockets to Ruin are known best for their in your face style of heavy rock, and explosive live shows. I got a chance to separate the toxic twins in the group Cleve Willis and Chris Taylor who both agree to disagree on many things, but music is the one thing that unites them. With an album coming out called Mutual Disrespect the guys talked about the new tunes, what inspires them, and the antics that the road brings. Everything from fights with roadies to groupies in bathrooms, this band is as rock n roll as they come.

Interviewed by:  Amanda Sixx

How did you guys first come together as a band and tell us a little about your band’s history?
Cleve: Myself and Mike Grimmitt started playing together with a couple other Atlanta folks. Chris came to jam with us and I dug him right away. He had a cool look and he was in a buddy’s band called Supermatic, an amazing band. We needed a drummer so we got one, then we got the right one – Rob Hammersmith. We started playing and getting gigs and we made enough noise that Rachel Bolan (of Skid Row) wanted to work with us. He opened a ton of doors for us and the rest just kind of happened.

Chris: I met Cleve and Mike through a mutual friend. I really liked the direction they were going. I liked the fact they were wanting to do their own thing and not trying to follow a trend. We really worked our asses off to turn the band into what it became. We played everywhere and with everyone we could to build our fan base. Rachel Bolan caught a show one night and liked the band and produced our first CD “Love Drugs Rebellion”. He really helped us a lot by taking us on the road and getting us on some good shows. We got to a point about a year and a half ago that we just weren’t getting along and we seemed to have a different idea on what we wanted to do, so we split up for a while. In January of this year we were made an offer by Jan Nerud with Unzipped Records for us to get back together. We sat down and worked out some of our previous issues with each other, and realized how much we missed playing in RTR. During this process Rob got an offer to play full time in Skid Row so he took that, and we knew Mike wouldn’t be interested, so I asked a longtime friend of mine, Keith Horne, to play guitar.


What is it like to be in a band recovering from addiction, when some member’s of your band still party?
Cleve: I do my thing, other’s do theirs. What they do is not my concern and they respect my position.


Sex, drugs, or rock n roll?

Cleve - Rockets To Ruin

Cleve: Sure, it’s part of it just not as much these days, I’m kind of more about taking care of business and kickin ass on stage – we are a pro band!!!!
 Chris: Rock n Roll. I love sex and I’ve done my share of experimenting with drugs, but I’m not a big drug user. I prefer alcohol. Rock n Roll is it for me now.


Who is your biggest influence?
Cleve: The Cult!
Chris: Nikki Sixx is my biggest influence. To me, he is the epitome of what a Rock Star should be. He does what he wants, and how he wants, and says fuck you to anyone who doesn’t like it. Rock is supposed to go against the grain, and he has lived his life that way.
 How would you describe you music?
Cleve: Straight ahead and now a bit more in your face heavy rock.
Chris: We are a straight up rock band with a fuck you attitude. Not trying to be anything else, not trying to please everyone, we’re just doing what feels right to us.

If you had to describe your band by just one song what would it be and why?
Chris: I assume you mean one of our songs. It would be “Another Hero, Another Heroine”. The chorus is “Another drink, Another fight, Another town, Another night”. When we tour, there are a lot of assholes that like to talk shit because of the way we look or the music we play and sometimes shit happens.

Cleve: Black Cloud (a new tune). This band has had an uphill battle to get to where we are and hopefully we are still climbing but others have thankfully stepped in management label etc. and we’ll see what’s next.

So now that you guys are signed to a record label, how have things changed, and what are your plans?
Cleve: It’s amazing to have our manager Jan do things when we either don’t know how or we used to argue about how to do it. Now with the label we are recording an amazing record and we can kind of just let someone take charge and I am all about that. People always say you don’t really need a label. We’ll I am inclined to disagree because a label helps support the band and has contacts with booking agents for tours. With a label behind you there are so many more doors open.

Chris: We’re really happy to have someone like Jan who gets us and didn’t want to change who we are. Right now we are just doing some one off shows here and there and trying to get the CD finished. Jan has some things in the works for us for the future, but I can’t really say right now.

 What is it you love about music?
Cleve: I love how it makes me feel and how it makes others feel, the energy of it all is just perfect….

Chris: Music means everything to me. When I listen to it, it takes me away from the day to day bullshit for those few minutes. Playing it is one of the few things that helps keep me sane.  It’s my outlet to say and do what I want.


Chris - Rockets To Ruin

So you guys are notorious for getting into trouble on the road, what exactly happened on the Cinderella tour?
Cleve: No biggie things are misunderstood or taken out of context, the show was amazing thanks to Cinderella, The Revolution Live and Jan our manager.

Chris: Yeah, I hear rumors about us sometimes. That entire thing was blown so far out of proportion that it’s comical. Long story short, there were some “fuck yous” said to each other (me and one Cinderella’s roadie’s after Cinderella’s performance was done and they had finished loading all their gear on the bus) and I was thrown out. The next day our manager got an e-mail from their management saying that we couldn’t play with them in two days in Winston-Salem because of it. Unfortunately for us, they (Cinderella’s management) only know his (roadie’s) version of things. Cinderella and the rest of their crew was great to us, it was just one person. Oh well, life goes on.


So when can we expect a new album?
Chris: We don’t have a release date yet, but it is almost finished. The name of it is going to be Mutual Disrespect and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Cleve: A bit heavier, faster, amazing modern production and a bit more catchy we hope. Just up to date, where we belong. We always got put in a category that was 15 years our elder. I am grateful people want rock because that’s what we do-no apology, but we are now a fresh and energetic young unit, ready to take over with our label and manager.
Parting words:
Chris: We really appreciate people still caring about the band after being gone for a year and a half. We’ve gotten some great feedback from people and it really means lot to us.


For more on Rockets to Ruin visit:
Their official Website

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9 Responses to “Spotlight Band: Rockets To Ruin”
  1. Nikki Sixx says:

    I like these guys and go fuck yourself if you don’t


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