Ladies and gentlemen… a moment or two with Mr. Keith Robert
1. What were you listening to as you were growing up?
Music was the first and most important thing in my household as a child.. My earliest memory is KISS. I mean c’mon, my crib was underneath the KISS Spirit of 76′ poster!! But my dad had me listening to Billy Joel and Bad Company along with the Beatles. Mom had me wrapped up in Air Supply and Michael Bolton. Brothers would bring the Queen, Crüe and RATT in. But I was head over heels for KISS. just non stop!! Right down to me doing impressions of them all in my bedroom and air guitar!!
2. I know you are an Ace Frehley fan, and also Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister. What other players had an influence on you and your playing?
Oh man!!! Always the toughest question. I get influenced every day I listen to music. But truly let’s start at the top, Jimmy Page! The dirtiest motha trucker ever on guitar. I truly model my sound and feel along Page’s guide book. He was great at being sloppy and it totally turned me on to the style I love today. But let’s not forget about Brian Forsythe, The Young Brothers, EVH (mainly for his choice of clothes) And honestly I swear on my guitar, John Bonham is one of my biggest influences. His rhythms are insane and patterns like his, get my creative juices flowing.
3. Was there someone outside of your influences that opened you up to or pushed you into a musical direction?
Yes! All the assholes who told me I wouldn’t ever be able to play!! Like the bullies in school, what pricks!!! On a positive note, people like teachers in my past schooling where very cool. Always pushing me to go further in life. But on a daily basis I get influenced by the most basic things, such as conversations with people I hardly know. As much as I can come off strange and spaced to a lot of people, I’m very open minded and I listen to everyone’s story. Which influences me on all levels.
4. The first time I saw you play was with your former band Wildstreet, and I thought to myself, and I know I’ve said it several times since then. “That dude is what ya want in a guitar player”. Not only the technical skills that you possess but the way you worked the stage and the crowd. You have fun when you play. Sucking up a little I know. The question is… How do you see yourself as a guitar player?
Your the best, I’m so humbled to hear that from you. You know what the truth is man? I love to entertain on stage. KISS was and still is my main drive on putting on a show… Gene & Paul understood that, Mick Jagger understands it, KIX GETS IT!! Dude there is something so great about entertaining. I know where I stand as a guitarist. I wish upon a star I could fly up the neck like EVH or Steve Vai, but I just don’t! I play for the song, I play for the band, I play the shit right on guitar and then I focus on grabbing people’s attention from stage and making them feel they spent their money accordingly. What a waste of time when musicians stand still or don’t let loose. Even the band Phish are entertainers! Have you ever seen Trey run around on stage? Brilliant!! When i’m in a great rock band, all I wanna do is give 100% to the music and the crowd. Nothing is better then seeing people smile and enjoying the moment.
5. The decision on leaving Wildstreet. Was it a difficult one to make? What tipped it over the edge” so to speak?
It was a easy decision. I have never publicly spoken about it until now. Look, I loved that band more than any band I ever played with. But the fire died. . . And it killed me. They (Eric, Jimmie, Ali and Beck) gave me a new lease on life. And it was the best time of my life, musically. I believed WS had all the potential in the world. But when money starts affecting every single move we made, it forced me away. I’ve been honest about the business side of music my whole life. Don’t be fooled, I’m in this for the money not for anything else. I get self satisfaction in other ways. Playing my instrument is fun, but I don’t do it for free. Along with money issues, when Jimmie left, WS was over. Him and Eric created it. Without him, rubbish. Yeah we fought, yeah we disagreed, yeah I was a maniac… But when we played to 4 (which we did) or 4000 people, it felt fucking GREAT. I wish we played to 100,000 people, cause I believe the original WS deserved it. It’s a time in my life I can never dismiss.
6. What are your thoughts on it today? Regrets, closure, relief?
If we qualified for it and someone offered the original WS a shit load of money, I’d be the first one at rehearsal. I have no regrets, it was a great time and I learned a lot from them musically. The best part of it all, was leading me to meeting my future wife. I do have relief though since, now I can afford things.
7. Was Wildstreet the first band you were in?
Fuck no! Does a KISS tribute band qualify?! LOL well that was my first real touring act. Then I played with MTV’s Jesse Camp, remember that?? Man we toured with Alice Cooper and N’SYNC!!! I also played with the Flames, ZäNKT and had a killer brush on stage with Frank Dimino from ANGEL. However, WS was the first real band I considered to be contenders.
8. Moving on to the present. Say you want to start a new band. What is the first piece of the puzzle you want to put into place?
DRUMMER!!! Screw everything else!! If he don’t play like John Bohnam, then I stay home and pet my cat. I’ve been trying so hard to find the right elements but its truly a puzzle. Ya know… It’s got just be right, dudes need to really wanna rock. I have always had good success when a drummer and I click and can arrange songs. I admire great drummers. A solid bassist and an egotistical frontman is the American dream a solid 4 piece rhythm exploration is all I ask for.
9. What does the future hold for you? New band, writing, more touring etc…?
I honestly wish I knew. I want nothing more than a band of brothers to call my own. But if it doesn’t just have the right dudes then it ain’t worth shit. As of current, I am trying to just take a back seat and let it all set in and just happen. Been working, tech’n for bands and just staying close to the scene. I realized I can not force it anymore. If if happens, it happens. “Que sera, sera” – Johnny Thunders.
10. You mentioned to me recently that you have been “Trying to let the music pan out right now. It’s been so uninspiring”. Would you care to elaborate that?
You know, I hit L.A. pretty hard hard in its face when I arrived. I got my self into a touring act and after the Ted Nugent tour I basically wanted to throw up in my mouth and spit it on people’s faces. I am kinda disgusted with “finding an act” it just seems so silly, going back and fourth into bands to get paid us such a drag. That’s not what music really is to me. Music is about being yourself with others being themselves thus for creating a unique brand of look and sound!! WHERE THE FUCK has that gone in the music business? Van Halen was a unique band. They were punk ass kids from Pasadena who had a plan, partied, played their asses off and DID NOT TAKE THIS SHIT SO SERIOUSLY, Fucking A!!! Have I lost your attention in my ramblings!?
11. How do you feel about where the music industry is currently and where it is headed?
Transition. And just like I always say, I was born in the wrong time period. Well once again I’m in the wrong time wrong place. Currently it’s a mess! No ones really sure how to sell records. (I am, publish vinyl records and sell em only that way so people have no choice but to buy a record, listen to the record. The entire record! Not this EP shit!!)
Where is it headed? Up shits creek with out a paddle! If your lucky to have a unique band who can tour, then you can make money. But the money is in touring and live events.
12. In your opinion what will it take for a band, especially a Rock band, to have a generous amount of success today?
I think a lot of bands today have “generous” success. What I don’t see today is SUPERGROUPS. it’s just too wide open to have Rock Super Group success anymore. Back in the 70’s it was meat and potatoes. Now it’s, vegan, vegetarian, meat, salads and fast food. Anyone hungry by the way!??
13. I snagged your iPod… What am I gonna hear? Any surprises?
What the hell is an iPod!!!!??? Is that that thing you wear over a busted eye? How about my vinyl collection? Notice how I rearrange your own questions?
Well my vinyl collection is small but, Zeppelin, old blues albums, Hanoi Rocks, Clapton, Aerosmith. But my iPod changes all the time. I ain’t got much room on my iPod so most of the time I switch it out with whatever I need to learn on guitar or what I absolutely have to have which is … TWISTED SISTER LIVE AT THE HAMMERSMITH!! Dee rules.
14. Last but not least, This one is all you bro. Tell us anything & everything you want us to know.
I’m working on a bitchin’ Vegas style cover band called The Luv Guns!! Featuring Dani Luv, Troy Patrick Farrel and Scotti Griffin, gonna be a blast!
I am totally head over heals for poker and I have been kicking ass too!! Yes, I wanna be a poker superstar.
I love my girl, I love my cat, I love poker, I love panda express and I love pot!
I also love you and the bleach bitches!!
You guys have been fucking awesome to me and my friends and I am glad to have buds like ya’ll
And I thank you For your time and words! Cheers!