Bulletboys’ Marq Torien talks about the vitality of rock n roll with Metal Riot

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 12:03 PM (PST)


We’re this anomaly. We’re in the now, not just the past. We dropped this
massive new record and are receiving accolades from all over the world. It’s
unbelievable and very, very humbling. I wake up every morning and I’m like
,”Wow, I get to talk to you today, bro!” It’s humbling. We worked extremely
hard on Elefante. – Marq Torien

I’m a huge fan of classic hard rock/hair metal in all variations. I love that
Eddie Trunk and That Metal Show (who employ my drummer as their sound guy,
incidentally) support Doro and Kiss and Bulletboys, Krokus and Black
Veil…bands who really give a shit about their hard rock.

Bulletboys were always on the side of the more real 80′s bands like Motley,
Skid Row and Guns who were more focused on hitting the stage hard then the
more superficial aspects of that scene back then. Bulletboys never even really
wrote a ballad. Did you know Marq Torien was even on Motown? Put that one in
your pipe for a little bit. It was an experience Torien said was a huge honor and which shaped him to never take anything for granted.

New record Elefante is everything great and long lasting about this band. Do
you ever wonder why people still pay to see acts like Trixter, Skid Row or Def
Leppard after their “Heydey”? Well, I don’t wonder. Because they are still
great rock n roll bands. Whatever line up you like of Guns or Bulletboys or
Van Halen, those bands fuckin’ own what they do.

Read my chat with Torien below.

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It’s so good to talk to you, Marq. Glad we could schedule. I’ve been so busy.

Marq: I’ll tell you what, busy is good. I’m beyond words right now how this
record’s taken off. It’s all good.

It’s great you have the support and the die hards as well. They love hard rock
and that this is sticking around through you guys or Lillian Axe, bands who
stay the course.

M: We’re this anomaly. We’re in the now, not just the past. We dropped this
massive new record and are receiving accolades from all over the world. It’s
unbelievable and very, very humbling. I wake up every morning and I’m like
,”Wow, I get to talk to you today, bro!” It’s humbling. We worked extremely
hard on Elefante. To be having this Comeuppance with this little band called
The Bullet Boys is really outstanding, man.

How did it feel working with the guys on this one? I love the whole flow. A
good chunk of music.

M: Thank you so much. We really challenged ourselves on this one to come up
with a body of work to hopefully supercede what we’ve done on other records.
You’ve got to take your game to another level. We took a big risk and put out
something top to bottom all killa, no filler. There’s a lot of negativity out
there to thwart your dreams. “Don’t do this” or “No one’s gonna care about

I’ve gone through so many changes in my personal life. It was just time for me
to step up and write something hopefully at a high level. I think we achieved
that. I’m really proud of the boys, Nick, Chad…everyone. My close
compatriots and my brothers. To get us all to believe in a body of work when
others didn’t believe in us as a band or believe in our music. I can’t even
explain it. I feel really, really blessed. I get to work with incredible
musicians who are believing what we’re trying to achieve as a band.

It’s cool you can have keyboard cowboys and people see trolls but it doesn’t
necessarilly represent the truth of quality or even potential popularity or
actual draw.

M: It’s true. You have social media people on Snapchat or Vine , whatever.
Twitter. Some groups have thousands of followers but they can’t get arrested
(laughing). They can’t fill a room. So for who we have on our outlets, they
aren’t paid for. Real fans.

They pay to see you! (laughing)

M: We’re not here to throw shade on fans who are paying money. We’re a working
class band. We always have been. None of us come from financial means. Band
after band achieve monetary greatness but we’re not that band right now. I
take out my lunchpail and put my hard hat on every day for this business.

Totally. Man, I remember my friend Troy who was a bouncer at a punk bar I used
to work at called The Basement in Kingston, NY…he’s like this 100 ft tall
black dude and hysterical. My friend. We’d blast “For The Love Of Money” so
loud in the bar every day around lunchtime. I always tease him and his brother
Don that they are the only black dudes who listen to Stryper.

M: (laughing) That’s awesome.

People would come in for a lunchtime beer and I’m this skinny white dude with
tats and this huge black dude and we’re air drumming and shit, scaring
customers. (laughing)

M: Hahahaha. “What the fuck are you guys doing in here?”, right?

Exactly. It’s just cool you are doing relevent stuff now as well as coming
from a golden era of hard rock.

M: Thanks, man. Well…you’re East Coast. It was always an East Coast/West
Coast thing. Skid Row to me were like the BulletBoys of the East Coast. You
got these guys and L.A. Guns and GnR on our side.

I just like filling in all the gaps. It’s amazing how many cool RATT b sides
there are that should’ve been singles.

M: Yeah, totally. I know!

I think you guys made great choices for singles. And the guitar work in
“For The Love Of Money”, it’s up there with, like, “Yankee Rose” in phrasing
and interplay with the vocals. You always had that playfulness down.

M: It’s something we tred to do and achieve back in the day. It’s funny you
say “For The Love Of Money.” I had a chance to talk to Flava Flav one time. I
was blessed to recieve a Vegas Rocks! award and met Flava a few months ago.
He’s like ,” Marq Torien, man. You guys are the only ones to come out with a
joint as sick as “For The Love Of Money” on your first record. It was cool.

I am a huge Public Enemy fan, that’s awesome.

M: yeah, Chuck and Flava just followed us on Twitter. It was awesome. All
these cats are comin’ to the party! It’s dumbfounding! I can’t even explain
how it feels, all these people showing love. Some movie and tv people and rock
stars too. It’s touched people. That’s what I wanetd to achieve. Do a body of
work that’d really touch people. Guys in my genre, there’s some kind of fear
factor for going in and getting dirty and getting new songs going. I really
revere songwriting. I love to write. I write everyday. Some bands are like
,”man, I gotta go write a record.” I never feel like that. They always think they have to be better than their last or biggest body of work. I don’t think that’s necesarilly true. You have to write for your friends and fans and people you love. Do a good piece of work. Write from what you feel. When you do that, you get up there and play. Believe in your music and show it. Live is a really big thing. We don’t run loops. We play. Real backgrounds and singing. Mistakes and all. That’s what makes rock n roll a thing called rock n roll.

I love how the new Soundgarden, they came back and just wrote new stuff. The real fans get it. You guys too. It’s just a different part of the career. Nothing against Dee Snider, he didn’t want to write new Twisted stuff and now A.J. is gone. It’s a drag.

M: Totally. I love that guy. Everytime I hear him talking Dee speaks his mind. He’s extremely intelligent and has been in this business longer than (laughing) all of us. I’d love to hear a new record from him! So here we are Bulletboys putting on our cape and trying to have no fear. Putting out some positive music in a rock market that, for all intensive purposes, people are saying is dead. It’s not dead. It’s alive and growing. Gigantically right now. Look at all the great metal bands. Slipknot drawing 80,000 people to their show and I witnessed it! Knotfest. Cats like that. Other groups trying. An amazing band like Rival Sons just killing it. I have a lot of different musical tastes. Some of it is not people’s cup of juice, but…I love and revere Volbeat. An amazing band. Rise Against. QOTSA or my favorite dude who inspired me to write this new record, Dave Grohl. I mention Foo Fighters in every single interview I do because I can’t thank a person I don’t know enough. His music and lyrics and fight, the way he started after Nirvana to do something…it made me want to do something at a very different level. When you have bands like that carrying the torch for rock n roll and sticking to their guns…I love him and that band. It makes you want to take it to your own next best level.

What are gonna be the memories when kids look back on their era? People are so hung up on first week numbers. Like the charts matter anymore.

M: It’t the hare or the tortoise. It really is. I wont mention the badn but they had number one Billboard. Do you know what they paid to get that? Let’s let it go and let the people decide.

Yeah, put that into your own tour! I don’t know. Maybe number one on the charts helps the draw, but I don’t know how much it correlates anymore. Unless you’re Avenged Sevenfold, in which case you don’t have to worry anyway.

M: Yeah, right. I love those guys. They worked hard. Bands that are the real deal who have worked that hard, I love them. I can’t sit here and hate. I’m not trying to do that. Just work hard and let’s see what happens. Thank you for getting it. When I’m on stage I take no prisoners. It’s all about our fans, friends and family. It’s all about them not the doubters. I was just reading this article on Coverdale and he was talking about how people are making fun of them for being back. He is like ,” I’m in my sixties and I’m gonna do what I want.” He doesn’t have time for haters and negators. I applaud him so much for saying that. I applaud Skid Row for telling their fans to get off the site if they don’t like what the band are doing. Tony is the singer, this is what’s up. Hat’s off to Tony. Kudos to him. He’s a great singer. I love Sebastian too. Hillarious and doing his thing. Still roars on stage. That’s a hard gig for Tony Harnell to take but he’s a great singer and been in this forever. Motorhead also. Anyone who has a new body of work and record. This is what I say to people who want to talk a bunch of shit. “Where’s your new record?”

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