Rotten was first bitten by the
music bug when he first heard Jimi Hendrix playing 'Star Spangled
Banner' on a recording.
The first band he joined was The Teddy Dildo Band. hailing from West Bromwich. Performing since 1978, playing songs as un-pc as they come. Rotten played guitar, and later did vocals under the name of Pervie Presley, but this came to a halt when the next chapter opened.
It was in 1998 when the character of ROTTEN JONNY was born, the SUSSEX PISTOLS were formed in the south coast of England. In three years, they took the British Isles by storm. They became the first UK based pistols tribute to break through to top venues and win accreditation from the original members themselves.
John Lydon of the Sex Pistols said of Rotten “it’s odd to listen to yourself imitated so well, at last someone has got somehow close to me... it’s creepy. It's a lot better than when Sid tried to copy me!" This was when they were played by him on his ROTTEN RADIO show, from L.A, on EYADA.COM.
After meeting Glen Matlock at a signing, Rotten sang along to Pretty Vacant . Matlock said "I heard you singing along, I thought you were very good...pretty damn close"
After the Sussex pistols broke up, a lot of cash was offered to Rotten from a guy wanting him to form a Pistols tribute in Derbyshire, which we named ESSEX PISTOLS, and which eventually was featured in a college thesis book on tribute bands.
Back in his home town, he was working with many named (and some not so named) punk bands. Many of which were his heroes of yester year, gaining pals from The Damned among others.
The Jinxed were formed in 2001, he played guitar and wrote many of the songs, either the music or lyrics. It was a fun hardcore band, but after a demo recording, he met Chris Hodgetts and his band REV LIMIT. Which he joined on guitar and vocals and sometimes bass. Utilizing many costume changes, he performed as Elvis, Izzy Osbourne, and of course Rotten Jonny, with his reputation for being outrageous and uncontrollable. Spreading to top Motorsport gigs, including a 3 year stretch at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, amongst other high profile shows.
After leaving Essex Pistols, and believing the Pistols tribute scene to be flooded with bands, He launched himself as a solo artist, under the name ROTTEN. With this, he feels, he can really make use of all of his influences, from rock n roll, punk, grunge, metal, and Anarcho-punk, to name a few.
So expect a lot coming your way soon....amusing variations on cover songs,and original material, the list is endless. He is currently in the process of hiring musicians in the Seattle area, as a move there is planned not only to help creative juices from such a hallowed place and scene, but for personal reasons too. At this time he is in a great spot, musically and personally......punk’s not dead.......it just smells a bit funny!
Q. Why did you do tribute bands and not start out with your own music?
The reason I took up with the much maligned Tribute Band / songs scene is simple... I wanted to show my appreciation and respect to the people that created that particular music....and I feel I have done that.
Q. How has music influenced your life?
Well, when I was young, I had so many bad experiences at the hands of bullies...at school and in private time, always being pushed around.
But seeing John Lydon singing Pretty Vacant on TV, I saw another Ginger guy who looked cool, who couldn’t sing, but he was up there making a point. I thought, “If he could do it, why couldn’t I?”
The bullying soon got less, as the rocker kids took me in, and introduced me to many bands of the time, like Nirvana, Fear Factory, and other heavy bands that became influences of differing relevance
Q. What’s it like meeting the people you cover and hearing what they say about you?
It's awesome to get feedback, but when it comes from these people I respect so much for the music they gave me...well.....there's no better feeling, to have Lydon say what he did, it was just immense. Making friends with people like Captain Sensible too who wandered in to a Sussex Pistols gig in Brighton, was an honor and a privilege. I have met many good people through music and Punk, even my fiancée, hehehe, so you could say Punk gave it all to me and I give it back.
Q I know you were born with health problems how does that affect your performance?
Every performance is riddled with pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis and a concave chest amongst others, but the feeling of seeing the happiness and excitement on peoples faces on a night out to see a band they enjoy is the thing that makes me push on through it all, I have never let any audience down, and I never will, people pay money to see a great show, not someone moan about how it hurts unless its in a song, ha-ha
Q I have heard you do charity work also
Yes, my mother is sadly going through cancer right now, so I always do work for Cancer Research, I also like to help many charities, like children's charities and animal charities. This work is extremely important to me. Finally, I would like to thank the people that have helped me to get this far, it's been a great ride so far, here's to more.......
Check out his MySpace page at: 1RottenBand
Interviewed by Giovanni
HTML bt Sharla Cartner