«Jack White was too happy he had to play before us!» – Frank Meyer

Por Rockberto.


In a few weeks you will return to Spain to start a THE STREETWALKIN’ CHEETAHS tour. What do you expect from these shows and in which cities and dates will you play?

FRANK: It’s been a long time since the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs have been to Spain and we are very excited to be returning! The band always did great in Spain so it will be a blast to come back and kick ass. It will also be a thrill to see all of our fans and friends again!

It’s been more than 20 years since your last show in Spain. How do you remember the reaction of the people at those shows?

FRANK: The Spanish audience has always been good to us. I recall the first tour we did of Spain in 2002 that we had some wild shows. Our Madrid gig was at El Sol, where I once saw the Dictators with my old friend Kike Turmix of the Pleasure Fuckers. Legendary venue. We played a cool spot called Magic in Barcelona with the Schizophrenic Spacers that was a ton of fun. And all the Basque Country shows were out of control fun.

In March you are going to publish a single and an ep. I have been able to listen to them and they sound fantastic. What can you tell us about its recording, what it contains and where we can get it?

FRANK: Ghost Highway Recordings out of Madrid is releasing a 10” called Crazy Operator that has three other songs on it, including a cover of Pete Shelley’s “Homosapien.” Also, Heavy Medication Records out of Poland is releasing the Call The Dogs 10” EP, which has more all-new songs. Both are out in March in time for the tour, and both are a mix of punk, hard rock and power pop. That’s pretty much our sound.

What is the current band lineup?

FRANK: It’s original members Dino Everett on bass, Mike Sessa on drums, and myself on guitar and lead vocals, plus guitarist Bruce Duff, who has been in the band since we reunited back in 2014. He also plays in the Jesters of Destiny, and was in the ADZ, Jeff Dahl, and 45 Grave, among others.

Your music transmits an overflowing energy, so I suppose your live shows will be very intense. I’m right? With what words would you define your show?

FRANK: The Cheetahs live shows are super high energy, completely relentless, and with lots of audience participation. We go out in the crowd, the crowd comes up on stage or plays my guitar, and there’s lots of singing and dancing. It’s like a big, wild party. It’s a lot like going to rock ’n’ roll church, like a high-voltage gospel!

In the band’s beginning decade, the 90’s, the music became much more eclectic than in previous decades. Thus, at this time the so-called Grunge swept through, but they coexisted with other styles such as punk, for example. What did you think of the rock music scene at that time?

FRANK: I liked a lot of the early grunge stuff on Sub Pop. Mudhoney, early Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Green River, Melvins, that stuff was all amazing. As the scene blew up after Nirvana hit, then you started to get a lot of imitators and it became more of a corporate thing. But at first that scene out of Seattle was pretty punk rock. I dug it. 

You have shared stages with such important bands as The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Turbonegro, Reverend Horton Heat or Fishbone. Has it been beneficial for you to work on the same stage as these bands? Which of them would you repeat with?

FRANK: It’s always fun to play with bigger, pro bands. It gives me an opportunity to see how others do it, and maybe pick up a thing or two. We did some early US dates with Turbonegro around Apocalypse Dudes and I loved their theatrics. We stayed friends and later Hank invited us to open his first L.A. solo show, about a year before he passed away. Supersuckers are a band we’ve toured with off and on since the ‘90s and are still real friendly with. In fact, I made an album with Eddie Spaghetti a few years back called Motherfuckin’ Rock ’N’ Roll. We’re old pals. Fishbone took us out on our first tour ever back in 1996. We’ve known those guys forever, and I was a huge fan before that. Still am. The White Stripes opened for us Ince night at Detroit when we were on tour with Wayne Kramer. Jack White was too happy he had to play before us!

You combine The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs with Trading Aces. When you’re composing, how do you know if you’re writing for a song for the Cheetahs or the Aces?

FRANK: Each band has a different sound. Cheetahs is generally a mix of fast, punky rock ’n’ roll with power-pop hooks. Occasionally it gets a little metal or hard rock, but generally it stay in that Motorhead meets Cheap Trick territory. Whereas Trading Aces is much more AC/DC meets Guns ’N’ Roses style sleaze metal. So for that band I’m writing more ‘80s style and big arena rock kinda material to some extent. But mainly I just write rock songs without thinking too much about it and figure out later which ones go where.

Frank, I would like to know if before Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs you had other bands in which you played/sung?

FRANK: When I was a teenager in high school I had a band called Broken Toyz that was kinda glam-punk. That band morphed into a hard rock band called 502 later in high school, and by college that band became Highway 61. Highway 61 was the first band I was in that did shows on the road. It was more of a blues rock thing and in the early ‘90s we played a lot of biker rallies, blue festivals, and bar gigs. That was where I really cut my teeth. In fact, Highway 61 recently reunited and made an album called Driving South on Run Bar Records (vinyl on Sioux Records).

The band began its activity in 1995. Since then the world of music has changed radically. How do you see the current music scene with the Internet, both in its good and bad aspects?

FRANK: The internet is great in terms of all the ways you can promote, social media, Youtube and getting music so easily through Spotify, Apple Music, and so on. The artists has always gotten screwed by the business side, so that’s nothing new. But streaming rights and royalties has become much tougher to track and get paid on. With Bandcamp you can make more money on your music, but it’s not as widely popular or well-known. I’s still a challenge to navigate the business and distribution side of music and technology, so you have to stay up to date and make sure you are doing all the different ways you can to try to monetize your music.

Next year you will celebrate 30 years since your formation. Do you plan to do something special to celebrate it?

FRANK: We have a vinyl reissue of our album Waiting For Death of My Generation coming out on Sioux Vinyl, plus a vinyl version of All The Covers (And More) coming out on Heavy Medication. I’m hoping to get a reissue of Live on KXLU happening too, as that has never been released on vinyl.

Imagine that you are the director of a large festival with no budget limit. What bands, both living and not, would you like to sign?

FRANK: My dream festival lineup would be Iggy and the Stooges, Van Halen with David Lee Roth, Jason and the Scorchers, Wildhearts, Hanoi Rocks, Lords of the New Church, The Unforgiven, Sex Pistols, and Life Sex and Death (with Stanley, of course).

Do you want to comment something else?

FRANK: I just joined the legendary L.A. punk band Fear and will be touring the world with them for the next few years. Of course, I will still be doing the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and Trading Aces. So hopefully see you out there on the road!



Jueves 21 de marzo
MADRID – Gruta 77

Viernes 22 de marzo
BARCELONA – Sala Upload

Sábado 23 de marzo
VITORIA – Hell Dorado

Lunes 25 de marzo
LEÓN – Babylon

Viernes 29 de marzo
A CORUÑA – Mardi Gras

Martes 02 de abril
TOLEDO – La Divergente

Jueves 04 de abril
JEREZ – La Guarida del Ángel

Viernes 05 de abril
BENALMADENA (Málaga) – Sala Bonzo

Sábado 06 de abril
COX (Alicante) – TNT Blues

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