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Whether you call it hard rock, cock rock, melodic rock, pop-metal, glam or sleaze, Auckland based SHOTGUN ALLEY have quickly made their mark on the New Zealand Rock scene since forming in early 2009. The band suppored ALICE COOPER in Auckland as part of his ‘Theatre Of Death’ tour and as also performed live in LA with Glam Metal outfit STEEL PANTHER.

SHOTGUN ALLEY are also preparing to hit the stage at the second G-Taranaki guitar festival in New Plymouth supporting some big names in the guitar world! NZRock caught up with the band’s drummer Scotty Rocker to find out more…

NZRock: It’s almost August and that means G-Taranaki time. On August 14th you guys will be opening for the likes of Vinnie Moore and Slash. How stoked are you to be playing this gig?

SR: Oh so stoked. For me it’s a dream. My first show was GnR in ’92’ and I have listened to GUNS N ROSES ever since. And not like “hey I love Sweet Child Of Mine” but really love all their songs. Think About You, So Fine, Breakdown and most of all Estranged… I have “Estranged” tattooed on my throat. Everything after Guns I love too like SLASH’s SNAKEPIT, Velvet Revolver etc. I got to meet him and Duff when we were in Hollywood.

NZRock: So how’d you come to land a spot on the G-Taranaki line-up?

SR: SHOTGUN ALLEY has a lot to do with the mighty Musicworks. I am playing Tama Drums and the boys are also endorsed by Schecter Guitars. So when G-Taranaki came up we got asked to play.

NZRock: Did anyone in the band make it down to the first G-Taranaki in 2008?

SR: Yeah our Guitarist Davie went down to that one and also ran some Guitar clinics.

NZRock: Which musos would you most like to meet when you play this gig and why?

SR: IN DREAD RESPONSE cos they are our mates haha. I am hoping to meet Slash again also. We have a close mutual friend so may have a good chance.

NZRock: SHOTGUN ALLEY supported ALICE COOPER when he played in Auckland, what was that experience like and did you get a chance to meet the man himself?

SR: Oh that was more than epic. I think ‘Trash’ was the second cassette tape I had after GUNS N ROSES ‘Appetite For Destruction’. Alice arrived just before he went on stage. After the show he walked off stage and gave us boys a smile and jumped into his car. His daughter watched our set and in between getting her throat cut and hanging Alice she was talking to us side of stage.

NZRock: You guys shared the stage with STEEL PANTHER over in the US. How was the response to SHOTGUN ALLEY over there?

SR: Yeah we played a show with them and a friends band JUKE KARTEL at the Key Club just before they moved the show to The House Of Blues. It was a real trip. We had real good feedback and people liking it but like anywhere I think ya just really need to keep playing around the same place to make a dent. We had a show the next night at the Viper Room also.

NZRock: The music of SHOTGUN ALLEY is quite a departure from what you were doing in COLD BY WINTER and STREETWISE SCARLET. Has this been your favourite musical endeavor so far in terms of the style of music you’re playing?

SR: Heaps of people ask me that. It’s all so different though ya know? COLD BY WINTER was amazing for me. We started that band and at the time the style was not so liked among the Metal/Hardcore scene. I feel we really made it our own and out of that a whole new scene emerged. Touring Europe was one of the best things ever. STREETWISE SCARLET was four mates just having fun and taking the piss out of each other and other people. The band was also great for my playing. Even though the music was simple I learnt to drum to click tracks and backing tracks etc. making my playing a lot more solid. As for SHOTGUN ALLEY, I think of this as my baby. Davie and I spent time writing a lot of the songs before we picked our band. I have done a bit of song writing for this band (I have not done any in the past) and also the style is something I have wanted to do since I first heard rock. I grew up with the sound. The others are a bit younger than myself and singer Rj… well lots younger than us so we have a real new school rock sound with heavy 80s influence.

NZRock: You’ve been in a ton of bands now, travelled overseas and seen a good deal of the Rock World. So what have been some of the most Rock N Roll moments in the life of Scotty Rocker to date?

SR: Man… there are really too many. Everything from being naked on stage/on the autobahn in Germany, passing out in bathrooms before playing, sharing the stage with people like ALICE COOPER, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, FALL OUT BOY, UNDEROATH, ANTI FLAG, MUDVAYNE, THURSDAY, seeing different cultures and meeting life long friends. Buying vodka at petrol stations in the morning just to get you through the long road trip in some weird country… I could really go on for a long time. Playing music is one thing and then playing music and traveling is another. It’s something that not many people understand or get unless they have done it. It’s more than just an “O.E”

NZRock: SHOTGUN ALLEY started out under the name of SUICIDE BOULEVARD, what were the reasons behind the name change?

SR: Oh we never played under that name but it was changed more to the fact that it’s a name that some people really can’t deal with. Our country is a big one for suicide and we just didn’t think it would work… It’s now a name of a song haha!

NZRock: Congrats on winning the Juice TV award for ‘Best Rock Video’ this year! That’s a great achievement considering you were up against the likes of BLACK RIVER DRIVE, I AM GIANT and LUGER BOA. What did you guys do to celebrate your win?

SR: Oh thanks! Yeah it was a real trip. So cool because it was a people choice award too. Oh did you see the Awards? We celebrated before we won haha! I can’t remember much but I know our singer went on stage with no pants on to get the award and that I rubbed my face in his crutch on stuff.co.nz footage…. Oh dear.

NZRock: ‘Look At Me Now’ has that epic Glam Rock heaviness. Who was behind the engineering / production of that track and what was it like recording at Red Bull Studios?

SR: That track was done at the New Zealand Red Bull studios and we are really lucky so have Jimmy our keyboard player record everything for us. He was 17 at the time. Red Bull studios in L.A was epic as shit. They have artists there all year recording. The guy at the studio “Eric” had recorded GOOD CHARLOTTE, DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, ANTHRAX to JAMIE FOXX and MIA. Such an amazing but intense time.

NZRock: What was it like making the ‘Give It All Up For Rock’ video? Looks like every Rockers dream haha!

SR: Oh it was a fun Sunday on Krd! Haha! The day was great. The girls are friends of ours and the team at “Film Construction” were great. I just had the idea of a strip club with four dirty old men there and a few girls. No one really giving a shit that there was even a band playing. It happens sometime haha empty venue.

NZRock: Who was the Scottish guy you met on the street and asked to be in that video and how chuffed was he to feature in a music video with SHOTGUN ALLEY and strippers!?

SR: Oh that is a guy called Hugh. He was walking up my road and as soon as I saw him I had to ask. He came sat in my car to listen to the track. Before he heard it he asked what my band was called. When I said SHOTGUN ALLEY he was like “fuck off… look at me now?!?! He said it in a heavy Scottish accent haha! He listened to The Rock a bit. He was so cool and real pumped to be in the video. He didn’t even care about the girls he was more into the music.

NZRock: Out of all the bands you’ve played in, what is your favourite piece of music that you’ve written to date?

SR: Oh… I don’t know. When something is finished and recorded I always have favourites. But they change every few weeks haha! I think the song ‘Heart Like Glass’ is one of my favourites at the moment.

NZRock: You guys have an album coming out this year. Has it been recorded yet and if so where and who did you use for recording?

SR: Yeah we did the whole album in L.A with a guy called Eric and also Jimmy from our band. It’s sounding great and we can’t wait till we get it out.

NZRock: Any news on what the title will be or what tracks are going to be on it that we havent heard yet?

SR: Not sure on the name yet. The opening track called “Want This” is the next single. There are some goodies.

NZRock: Asides from the album, what are SHOTGUN ALLEY’s plans for the rest of the year and what are the ultimate goals you hope to achieve with this band?

SR: We have a mini tour starting in September. The dates are on www.myspace.com/shotgunalley or our Facebook SHOTGUN ALLEY page. We just getting that sorted and working on our live show. Ultimate goals for this band… That’s hard cos you can never really know. I hope to achieve as much as I can with this band.

NZRock: For those who havent had the chance to see SHOTGUN ALLEY play live yet, what can they expect from your live show at G-Taranaki?

SR: The show is just fun, high energy and big sound. A guy from Radio Hauraki said our live show was like seeing the real thing back in the 80s haha! That was pretty sweet.