An Interview with Jimmy D’Anda, Formerly of BulletBoys

Feature image credit: Jimmy D’Anda Facebook (official)

Image credit: Jimmy D’Anda Facebook (official)

For thirty-three years, Jimmy D’Anda enjoyed the best seat in the house behind the drum kit as a member of the BulletBoys.

Although D’Anda recently stepped away from his notoriously volatile flagship band for good, his presence will be forever remembered as the heartbeat of the multi-faceted hard rock act. A revered rock ‘n’ roll showman, D’Anda established himself as the consummate entertainer over the years with his high-octane energy, natural charisma, and sheer joy of performing.

The undisputed driving force behind a band that set itself apart from the rest of its contemporaries at the dawn of the 1980s, D’Anda’s thunderous power, tasteful fills, and innate sense of groove fueled the BulletBoys’ first three albums – BulletBoys (1988), Freakshow (1991), and Za-Za (1993) – before differences ultimately splintered the classic lineup.

As BulletBoys gradually fades in memory, D’Anda undertakes his next endeavor with steadfast purpose, most recently occupying the drum throne for George Lynch & The Electric Freedom. The eclectic drummer also has some fascinating projects in the pipeline, so be sure to follow along for updates on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter under Jimmy D’Anda.

In a recent career-spanning interview, I sat down with D’Anda to discuss his formative years as a drummer, his thirty-three-year career with BulletBoys, and everything in between.

Andrew:
I’m glad we were finally able to connect, Jimmy. Thanks for carving out some time. Let’s rewind back to the beginning. To the best of your recollection, what was your earliest introduction to music?

Jimmy:
Well, you know what’s really interesting, in my family – I was born and raised in Boyle Heights, it’s like the outskirts of East Los Angeles – we had Santana always blasting in the house in the late 60, and early 70s and we had a lot of Sly the Family Stone; of course, these were my parents playing these bands. For me, personally, like any child growing up in that era in the early 70s, I love the Monkees, I loved The Beatles, but the first 45 that I ever bought in 1974 or 1975, I think, was Fame from David Bowie. I remember taking that 45 around to friends’ houses and saying, “Hey, you guys gotta listen to this.” What’s crazy is I still do that right now with my friends; they get in my car and I go, “Dude, check this out,” and I play them some new shit. I still do that to this very day. Even though I didn’t fully understand why it was special, if you hear my solo music – not that I think that I sound like David Bowie at all – but you will definitely hear more of a similarity between my music and David Bowie than you would with me and anybody out of the 80s, that’s for sure.

Then I wanna say the next time there was a thing that happened that changed me was when Queen came out with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I remember that it transported me; it made me feel different just by listening to it. I had never had that experience with music. I mean, I love music – it makes you feel good, it makes you dance, it makes you jump around – but “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for whatever reason, when those first piano chords start and you hear Freddie’s voice begin, it’s like an audio movie is taking place. I remember sitting there, we would stare at the speakers, and almost let the imagination do what it does. I would say those two records really changed me. I couldn’t believe that music could do that to people.

Andrew:
What originally kindled your passion for drums?

Jimmy:
You know, it’s funny because I didn’t find the drums – and my wife always says this, which I find interesting – she says the drums found me. Just like music did; it found me. I tripped into drums; it wasn’t forethought. I was in PE in junior high school, I was just starting the eighth grade, and in the showers, guys were doing a lot of what the coaches called grab-ass. I remember I was really uncomfortable with it, and I went over to my guidance counselor, and I told her, “Listen, I’m not comfortable in PE.” She said, “You have to take an elective,” and I said, “Okay.” So, she gave me a piece of paper that had like four different classes on there, I believe – it was metal shop, it was wood, and I can’t think of the other ones – but band was on that list. I’ll never forget walking down the corridor of this long hallway, and the first thing you could hear as you’re walking down is the drums. It was more of a marching band cadence, and I remember I was like, “Oh, shit. I could play drums?!” And that was the first time I really went at it.

It’s funny, me and my brother – my brother is a guitar player – but me and my brother at the time, I was playing guitar. I really wasn’t that good at all, to be honest with you – I mean, I had to really practice the last ten or fifteen years to get good – but at the time, I had an acoustic guitar. I had taken a couple of guitar lessons, but I remember it wasn’t speaking to me. I wanted to kind of be Eddie Van Halen, but so did everybody at that time. My teacher couldn’t learn “Eruption,” so I stopped going to her and I ended up putting the guitar down and sat in the corner. Then I went to school and I joined band and ended up giving my brother my acoustic, which he ended up fucking taking to that thing like crazy; my brother is a phenomenal, phenomenal guitar player.

Anyways, as I said, that was in the eighth grade. I’m not really sure of the year; ‘81, ’82, something like that. As much as I love all the absolute gigantic – Joey Kramer from Aerosmith, Barry Brandt from Angel, Bonham, of course, and you got Alex Van Halen and Bun E. Carlos, Phil Rudd, Bill Ward – truthfully, the local bands at the time, they were the guys that influenced me the most. Like, Ratt was just coming up and they were still making their bones. Bobby Blotzer, I remember I saw him and he fuckin’ blew my mind. Of course, it’s so undeniable – ‘cause so many people have forgotten about Tommy Lee because he’s moved on with his life and he’s not just a drummer – but seeing Tommy Lee for the first time, locally at the Whisky in Hollywood, it changed my life. Literally, it made me obsess over drums, want to be a drummer, and be as good as Tom. But that was the thing about it, even my buddies – even the guys who I played local shows with – I dug those cats. To be honest, a lot of them were way better than I was. The difference was – and this isn’t a dig at them – I was obsessed with being successful at music.

I put myself in unhealthy situations. I played every venue I could play; I’m talking Monday through Thursday I was playing shit shows to nobody. We even went through that period where we were selling tickets to get people there, but it’s always your friends or family who help out, so it wasn’t a big deal. But again, a lot of the local bands, those guys really influenced me a lot. And when I saw somebody who I knew was a decent drummer make a real leap in their playing and got really good, I went to their house. I had no problem with that. I still don’t have a problem with that. I’ll open up your door and go, “Dude, how did you get so fuckin’ good? Seriously, like, what are you doing?” And they’d tell me, and I’d go, “I’m in! Show me.” I’m not real well as far as books, and percussion and reading and all that stuff, but where I excel is that I have no shame in my game; I will fuckin’ go to your house an hour or two hours away from here if you can show my a drum chop that I couldn’t learn on my own. And I did that most of my life. I believe that’s how I obtained what I have, by doing just that.

Andrew:
Are there any early bands you remember from your days as a budding musician?

Jimmy:
Oh, abso-freakin-lutely. So, like I said, I was in a band with my brother up until I was around eighteen years old. So, from twelve or thirteen years old up until eighteen or so, I was in a band with my brother. The first band we were ever in, my mom named us. It’s funny because, at the time, we were like, “Okay, cool!” She named the band Wild Rose. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you see a wild rose somewhere out in the real world, it’s like, “Wow, look at this rose, it’s so beautiful, and it’s strong, and it’s resilient, and it can’t be killed! Literally, you could chop it down and then go through the seasons and it’ll be back there next season! It’s an amazing plant.” But looking back, I was like, “Well, we could have had a much more metal name,” because we were into Judas Priest and Saxon. So, that was the first band, Wild Rose, then we ended up changing the name after that. A singer came along, which is the bass player from Styper’s little brother, and he had the name Prisoner. And Prisoner was where I went out and I played all the cool places.

Again, I was probably like, fourteen or fifteen years old, and we were playing places that we weren’t old enough to get into! All of us, actually, but it was a much more lenient time period in the early 80s. Then we would go on; we were always the opening band. So, like I said, it was Wild Rose, Prisoner, and then we became Nasty Habit; which was funny because there were literally twenty-five Nasty Habit’s around America. I would say those were the bands that I really went out there and started to understand what the music scene was about and how close we were to actually being successful at it. Like I said, at the time, we had seen Mötley Crüe, Ratt, and Quiet Riot all in the clubs, and then they’re on MTV, selling millions of albums, and now they’re being called the next biggest rock stars in the world. So, for us, we knew that it wasn’t a far-fetched idea; if we just got better, the chances of us actually doing something could come to be. So, those were the early years, and they were great years, man; it was such a great time for rock ‘n’ roll. We’ll never experience it ever again, but I’m glad I got to have my time there.

Image credit: Jimmy D’Anda Facebook (official)

Andrew:
So, was Nasty Habit the band you were in prior to joining BulletBoys?

Jimmy:
No, so that was I band that I put together. I had an idea that I wanted to do, ‘cause I was really into hip-hop at the time, which nobody was into rap at the time in my community; I loved Houdini and I loved the first Run DMC record which came out in ’83-‘84 and I played that all day and all night, but it wasn’t until I had seen the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy that I really thought, “I wanna do a Van Halen-style rock, but with a guy that raps.” And that was where that band was going. I had this guitar player who was a freak of nature and ended up becoming a heavy-duty big dog in the production world, where he’s an amazing producer, mixer, and engineer. I don’t know if you know who Steve Albini is – Steve Albini produced the Nirvana records – and the guitar player ended up becoming one of his right-hand men in his career. His name is Manny Nieto. Manny, his guitar playing, he could make his guitar almost sound like it was dying sometimes. We had just a great thing between him and me, and so we were looking for a rapper, a guy who was kinda raspy, Steven Tyler-ish. That kind of stuff. That was ’87, so we struggled the whole year. But we did some shows, and we didn’t have the right singers, but guys came in and helped us out. God bless ‘em.

At the end of the year, I had known the singer for BulletBoys from when we were kids because he used to give my brother guitar lessons when my brother was like fifteen or something. BulletBoys was already in existence, they’d already done, I think, like four or five shows, and then Marq [Torien] had called me and said to come audition for BulletBoys. Honestly, I didn’t wanna, because I thought I had [something] – which, go figure – what my idea was ended up being what Rage Against the Machine was. I’m not politically driven – not that I’m opposed to it, but it wasn’t in my forethought – but that’s the sound I had. When I listened to that first record, I was like, “Holy shit! This is kinda what I had!” You know, big guitar, but a guy who raps and has a scream. I was like, “Oh my God.” But of course, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that thought of putting that peanut butter and jelly together. That’s why I hesitated to join BulletBoys because I thought I had a really good idea.

The manager for BulletBoys, who is still my manager today, Dave Kaplan, he saw me, and he read me real quick and he figured out how to get me to join BulletBoys within a two-minute conversation. I was like, “Nope, nope, nope,” and then he came at me and he goes, “Jimmy, how would you like free drums and free cymbals?” And I was like, “I’ll take it! I’m in!”

Andrew:
Are there any vivid memories associated with your BulletBoys audition?

Jimmy:
Of course. It’s funny because – and we’ll talk about that in a minute – but listen, I just closed the chapter on Bulletboys after thirty-three years. We were a band for seven years, and I think I played a couple of shows in ’99 with them, and then I played one show in 2010 with them, and we just did a two-year – I’m gonna call it a two-year stint. I left the band and I’m done for good, but I think with anything in life when you’re closing a chapter on something that was so large in your life and it really affected your life in such a deep way, you kind of have to go back. I did, and I remembered a lot about the first audition. This is funny because I didn’t even realize I auditioned without even knowing it.

Marq had called me to go play at a backyard party with the guys in BulletBoys — they were still kind of King Cobra at the time — and then Marq called me up to play “Misty Mountain Hop” from Led Zeppelin. I didn’t know at the time that they were already checking me out. So, I played “Misty Mountain Hop,” I think I blew up the snare drum or something happened, like the head just exploded, and I remember that was when they were thinking, “Okay, we should get Jimmy.” But then they ended up getting somebody else for a while. Then when I went into the audition, that was when Dave Kaplan, the manager, offered me the free drums and cymbals. That audition, I played well, but honestly, I wasn’t trying to blow the doors off. Marq asked me to please come in as a favor to him and I did. But to me, I really didn’t kill it, but I played the parts, ‘cause that’s what I do for my living. I learned the songs spot-on and then I played them either with big grooves, John Bonham-style, and went with my own little thing in there. And I remember they asked me if I would join the band and I said, “No,” in the rehearsal room. The bass player, Lonnie [Vencent], got so pissed off he threw his bass down, and he goes, “Hey man, then why the fuck am I coming up here wasting my time, dude?” And he left. I was like, “Oh, shit. I’m in trouble,” because remember, I’m nineteen at the time. I remember I walked outside, and the manager had already talked to Lonnie, and then he pulled me aside and said, “Jimmy, can I talk to you for a few minutes?” I said, “Sure.” And after we talked, he goes, “How would like to have free drums and free cymbals?” I go, “I would love that.” He said, “Join the band, you’ll get ‘em.” And I go, “I’m in.” That’s how simple I was. I remember years later he told me, “Jimmy, if you had said no to the free drums and free cymbals, I was willing to get you a large advancement of money.” [Laughs].

Andrew:
Can you remember your first gig as a member of the band?

Jimmy:
Yes and no, because here’s the thing about this – we’d only played like six or seven shows as BulletBoys with me, and then we got signed and made the record with all the Van Halen people, Ted Templeman and all his staff from Warner Bros. It was the same people who worked the fuckin’ last Van Halen record with David Lee Roth in 1984. Here we are in ’88, it’s only four years prior. So, we had done seven shows, and most of them were showcases. They weren’t even gig-gigs, they were showcases for labels; for Geffen; for CBS; of course, Warner Bros. I just remember there were a couple of shows that we played that there was nobody there. We’re talkin’ about like a Wednesday night at a club called the Waters Club out here, and maybe ten people – that’s including the actual people who work at the club! I’m considering them, too, in those ten people. I just remember thinking, “Wow, if it doesn’t get any better, I’m gonna have to break out,” you know? So, they weren’t really epic shows in the sense that a whole bunch of people were out there, but the manager, Dave Kaplan, knew he had something very special and didn’t want us to go out there and just bang our heads against the wall for five years like some bands did. Which, there’s nothing wrong with that, believe me.

Then we had a showcase at Gazzari’s for, I think, CBS Records. So, we soundchecked in the daytime, and we’re actually doing the showcase in the daytime, so we soundchecked at around two and we did the showcase around three or four. We’d had a great soundcheck, it sounded great, everyone was happy. Then I don’t know what this fucking soundman did – he might have been deliberately trying to sabotage us because maybe he didn’t like Marq or something – but he put a gigantic reverb on the snare drum that was so big that when I hit it one time it went on and it recycled. It was like, “What the hell is happening right now?” I just remember Marq having to stop, and he’s trying to talk over this never-ending loop of a snare hit, and he’s talking to the guys like they’re fans – and these are the A&R guys from CBS – and he’s going, “Hey, man, listen. I know you guys wanna see a great rock ‘n’ roll performance, but right now, this soundman needs to get this shit together. So, we’re back in ten minutes when he fixes it.” And we ran off stage. I remember I was like, “Okay, that’s kinda cool.” And then we came back, and they did sign us for a demo deal. So, we did the demo with a guy named Garth Richardson, and Garth went on to produce all the Rage Against the Machine Records, as you know, and a bunch of other great stuff. Garth’s an amazing producer. Anyways, he demoed the stuff for us with CBS, and then CBS came back and said, “We’re gonna pass on you because there’s a band named Warrant that we want even more.”

We get passed on by CBS and then we actually have a showcase for Warner Bros. that following Thursday, and that was it. Roberta Peterson, who was the head of A&R there at Warner Bros – she signed Jane’s Addiction and Flaming Lips – she came down and she goes, “I like you guys. Not for me, but my brother I think would dig you guys.” She goes, “I’m gonna call my brother.” Nobody had any idea who her brother was; her brother was fuckin’ Ted Templeman of Van Halen, Doobie Brothers, Montrose; he did Aerosmith; he did Cheap Trick. I mean, this is one of the biggest producers in the world. He literally drove down there and we played him seven songs, which we were so lucky because we only had eight songs, and then he held his hand up to stop and he goes, “Come sit down.” We sat down on the floor while he was in his chair, and then he begins to say these words: “Here’s why you guys should sign to Warner Bros. Records…” I remember we looked at each other like, “Bring the contract out, we’ll sign it right now!”

At that time, it was just such a magical experience, because you always heard about these bands that struggle, they’re all kinda making ends meet, one guy is living on credits, the other guy is getting ready to move back east because he can’t afford to live out here anymore. I mean, that was literally us. I still lived with my mom at the time, but Mick [Sweda] was getting ready to move back to upstate New York because that’s where he’s from. I know Lonnie was literally rubbing two pennies together to fuckin’ get some heat in his house, and Marq still lived at home with his mom and dad as well at the time. But there was that moment of like, “If it doesn’t happen here, you guys, this is all going away.” And so, when Ted Templeman says, “Here’s the offer,” and then you start hearing, “Half a million-dollar recording contract,” it’s crazy. It’s just like, “Wow, it’s actually happening,” you know?

Andrew:
What’s interesting is that the late 1980s was such a booming time for rock music, but the great Ted Templeman essentially championed BulletBoys. From your vantage point, Jimmy, what was it about the band that he gravitated to?

Jimmy:
Well, I’m gonna be honest with you, because that’s the one thing that I’m learning to be better at in my older age. [Ted] said to me one time — and this was all honesty because he’ll compliment, but then he’ll be honest, even when it’s a little hurtful — on the Freakshow record, Marq had lost his voice. He had gotten nodules from screaming, smoking cigarettes, weed, and doing cocaine. He ruined his voice. So, Ted had said, “Jimmy, the reason I signed BulletBoys was because of Marq’s voice.” He said, “You guys are great musicians, and the songs are fun and they’re playful, and it’s rock ‘n’ roll at its best, but I signed this band because of Marq.” He goes, “I had a thoroughbred on the first BulletBoys album, and right now, I have a donkey.” You know, in that instance – because I had never heard those words, that he had signed the band because of Marq’s voice, and then hearing about how he felt about Marq losing his voice – it was a difficult time because we weren’t getting along with [Marq]. The three members weren’t getting along with Marq, and there was talk of maybe trying to get Sebastian Bach to leave Skid Row, and there was talk of bringing somebody else to the table.

But I remember just so vividly thinking, “I’m gonna be a part of that Van Halen lineage,” because Van Halen is one of my all-time favorite bands. The same direction that Alex Van Halen got behind the glass, I’m gonna get from the same person. That, to me, I would sit there and just be in awe. And I had to keep it cool because you definitely wanna nerd-out, and you ask questions about the Van Halen’s and you wanna know about Roth and you wanna know about that stuff. And for the most part, he would tell me that stuff. He knew I was a kid; he knew I was nineteen years old, and he knew he was able to talk to me about something that he can’t just say in public. He liked that and I liked it, too. Again, for me, it was such a magical time.

Image credit: Jimmy D’Anda Facebook (official)

Andrew:
What was it like for you working under Ted’s direction for the debut album?

Jimmy:
Well, I didn’t know this, but after me and Ted had become closer throughout the years, he had said to me one time, “I have always had a connection with every drummer in every band that I’ve produced.” I don’t know if you know this, but Ted Templeman was a drummer in his band; he was a drummer growing up before he became a producer, so he always kind of had that understanding of what it means to be a drummer and be the guy in the background who doesn’t get a lot of attention. But if he doesn’t do his job, it doesn’t matter what the fuck is happening up in front; guitar player, singer, doesn’t matter; if your drummer sucks in your band, you’re not gonna have a fuckin’ good band. So, he goes, “Jimmy you’re my guy, so I need to get the inside with you sometimes. I might need you to kind of infiltrate for me. When I want something done, I’m gonna go through you, and you’re gonna help me get it done.” I’m like, “Absolutely.”

There were moments when he had a lot of magic; I’m not gonna lie to you. He would come up with ideas, and we would be like, “Holy shit! That’s great!” He personally, himself – because we’d had the cover idea for doing the O’Jays “For The Love Of Money” track – he was the guy that goes, “No, no. Here’s how we’re gonna play it.” And he dissected it, gave everybody their parts, and then we played it. So, that kind of stuff is like, “Wow.” I mean, he had it all in his head; he could figure that stuff out.

On the first day of recording, I started doing the first song, which is a song on the record called “Kissin’ Kitty.” I didn’t know what was happening, of course, you get that rush, you’re looking at that whole painted glass window and you see Ted Templeman there – and of course Jeff Hendrickson; when Don Lanning left Ted Templeman, Ted got the best engineer he could find, and that’s Jeff Hendrickson. So, they go, “Okay, ready. Rolling!” You hear that, and then you start playing. Then Ted hit the talkback button and said, “Stop, stop, stop,” so we stop – and I’m full-throttle playing drums – and then I stopped, and you could see them talking. Then Ted goes, “Hold on. We’re going again.” Then he goes, “Okay, rolling!” And then, of course, they do their whole, “Take two!” I start playing again, and then Ted stops again. He hits the talkback, which cuts out every bit of sound everywhere else and all you hear is his voice in your headphones, and it’s like God’s talking to you. I look over at him, he looks at me, and then he’s looking at Jeff and they’re talking. You can’t hear, because it’s just silence. Then he hits the talkback and he goes, “Hey, Jimmy. How ya feeling today?” And I was like, “Oh, shit, this is about me,” and then I go, “Uh, I’m fine. Is everything okay?” He goes, “Yeah, let’s try one more. Here we go.” Then I start playing, and he hits the talkback … “Hold on!” And I’m like, “Oh, shit. Something’s wrong and I don’t know what it is, but it’s me.” Then on the talkback, he says, “Hey, guys. Why don’t you guys take ten. I’m gonna go talk to Jimmy.” I feel like I’m gonna poop and throw up at the same time, it’s like, “Oh my God. Oh, fuck. They’re replacing me. Fuck, he’s gonna replace me.” I’m freaking out. Then he comes out to the drum room, and a piano is kind of behind me with a piano bench right there, and he gets it and he pulls it up next to me a little bit, and I turn around but I’m on my drum throne. I go, “Hey, Ted. Is everything okay?” He goes, “Yeah, I just wanna come out and talk to you for a minute.” And he had asked one of the runners to go grab a couple of Heineken beers, and it’s not even lunchtime yet; it’s like, maybe, 10:45. So, he sits next to me, and the guy runs out with a couple Heinekens. Ted pops open one and he hands me one, he clinks cheers, and he just started talking to me. He goes, “So, where are you from?” I said, “I’m from Boyle Heights, right down the way.” He said, “Oh, cool. I live up in blah blah blah…” And I go, “Oh, great.” And he said, “Do you have family…” So, we started talking and we finished the beer, and then he goes, “Okay, how do you feel?” And I go, “I feel fine.” He goes, “Okay. Let’s go.” The guys come back in, they do their thing … “Okay, rolling!” I start playing the song and then we get the song done. The song ends, and Ted had this thing – you can ask any Van Halen guy, any Montrose guy, anybody that’s ever worked with Ted Templeman – when the take is the take, he stands up and puts his finger up to tell you to be quiet. It’s quite visible; it’s not like, “Is he telling me to be quiet?” You know he’s saying, “Shhh!” And I remember he did that. We were like little kids; it was like “Tag, you’re it. Nobody can move.” Nobody even was breathing.

So, now, fast-forward to later on, I walk in there and there’s a moment there between [Ted] and I. I go, “Hey, Ted, what was that whole thing about earlier?” He goes, “Jimmy, you were so nervous. Your tempo was completely shot. Your tempo was out the window. I could see you looking at me like somebody you idolize, and I needed to take that away.” So, he came out, and basically, we became friends right then. So, it wasn’t this little kid from Boyle Heights with the Van Halen producer; it was a producer and his drummer. He just kind of took all the scariness out of it, and I didn’t even see it happen, it just kind of happened from that experience. So, when I think about Templeman, I think about that story right there.

Andrew:
The lead single from the album, “Smooth Up In Ya,” is still in regular rotation to this day. Do you have any recollection of that video shoot?

Jimmy:
Two things I’ll never forget. I’ll see the video every now and again because they replay it on Metal Mayhem. One is that Lonnie either lost his bass or his bass was stolen, and he had to use somebody else’s bass and they had to run to Guitar Center to buy a strap. The guy that bought Lonnie his strap didn’t know that straps come in different lengths. So, if you see Lonnie on the “For The Love of Money” video and see how low he plays his bass, that’s Lonnie’s bass and that’s Lonnie’s bass strap. If you look at the ”Smooth Up” video, you’ll be like, “That’s like a metal bass, almost,” and then the strap is really high. I remember every time he turned around and he would play to me, I would be playing the drums and looking at him and go, “What the fuck are you wearing?!”

The other one – because I had never done a video before – it was with Nigel Dick. He did the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” video; the guy was one of the biggest directors of the time. I remember he worked us to the bone. I think, if I’m not mistaken, we shot either fourteen hours or seventeen hours on that video. What you see right there, is the culmination of at least fourteen or seventeen-hour days. I remember when I got home, my hands were destroyed. I mean, it was like I’d just run cheese graters over my hands. It was serious business. But at the same time, you look at the video now, and you go, “That’s an epic fuckin’ video, man. It looks great.” So, I don’t blame him.

Andrew:
The band elected to go in a different direction for the follow-up album, Freakshow, adopting a far more bluesy sound. What inspired the musical shift?

Jimmy:
I think what [Ted Templeman and Jeff Hendrickson] definitely didn’t want to do was recapture a moment. Of course, when we did that first record, we were only a band for like four, six months; something like that. Whereas now, we were a band for a few years now. I think in that instance, you’re playing style – at least mine – changed dramatically. If you listen to the first BulletBoys album, I think in two or three songs I had toms in there. I don’t use them at all; “Smooth Up” has no toms; “For The Love of Money” has no toms in them, and it’s just kick drum, snare, and hi-hat. But the second record, the album opens up with more toms than toms. The Freakshow album has a lot of toms, cymbal work, accents, and stuff. So, for me, personally, I got to travel down the percussive road a little bit. And the bluesiness, I think, came from the jamming on stage, because we used to do a lot of jamming on stage. We would get the crux of the song out for the audience, and then we would stop and go, “Alright, let’s do something that makes us happy now.” Then we would do some fun stuff, and I think that’s what kind of turned into the songwriting process. For me, I always say this – and people don’t agree with me, and that’s okay – but I feel like BulletBoys’ sound was more of Freakshow than it was the first album. I think that that’s when we became BulletBoys. That was who we were all along, we just hadn’t arrived yet. When I hear “Good Girl” or when I hear “Thrill That Kills,” I’m like, “That is BulletBoys right there.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s all BulletBoys, but at the same time, I just feel like that’s when we calmed down a little bit. We let the grooves be the grooves.

Like I said, it was unfortunate because we did the whole record without Marq. We wrote the whole record without Marq completely. It was a tough one, and it wasn’t because we wanted to, it was because [Marq] had lost his voice, and he was in rehab for drug addiction, and he was also in rehab for having surgery to his throat. So, we had to write the whole record. It was a tough experience in that instance, but I’m so proud of that record. To me, that record really does show, I think, more of the personality of the members of this band than the record prior or even the record after.

Andrew:
Was the band under any pressure from the record label to follow up the enormous success of the debut?

Jimmy:
Yes and no. That was the great thing about having Dave Kaplan as the manager; he understood that rock bands are animalistic, and they should be. You wanna muzzle him so he doesn’t hurt anybody, but you don’t wanna tame him because that’s what makes you love this particular animal. I think Dave really kind of said to them, “Guys, BulletBoys is something that is very unique and special.” I always thought we were more of a throwback to the 70s than we were to our contemporaries. I don’t think we sounded like anybody that was out during our time period. But at the same time, we loved AC/DC, and we loved Led Zeppelin, and Van Halen, and Cheap Trick, and KISS, and [Black] Sabbath, and all that stuff. And you’ll hear some of it every now and again, especially the Van Halen stuff; you could hear the influence from time to time. But for me, I think that a lot of how we got to where we got to was just spending time together. And I think that once a label starts telling you, “No, no, no. Now go act like you did when you were first in a band together. Go write like when you guys were first in a band together…” I think that’s a disservice from any label. Well, labels don’t do that anymore, but it was a disservice to tell somebody, “Go feel the feelings you had back then before you had all these other experiences.” Really that’s unrealistic, but of course, a label wants to get their pay. They’re not doing this because they love us; they’re in this for money. I did hear, “We don’t hear a ‘Smooth Up.’”“Yeah, and you’re not going to hear a ‘Smooth Up’ because we didn’t write another ‘Smooth Up.’” I remember that was a thing. Even Templeman had to tell them, “Van Halen didn’t re-write ‘Jamie’s Cryin.’ Van Halen didn’t re-write ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ on the second record. But they built them up and they became this fucking behemoth of a band.” And I think that that’s kind of where we were hopefully headed, to be a band that just writes great rock music and doesn’t think about it. Just lives it.

Andrew:
You waited for Marq, but given that Freakshow wasn’t released until 1991 – three years after the first record – do you feel that the band missed its window of opportunity?

Jimmy:
Well, honestly, we toured for almost two years on that first record. So, it wasn’t like we were sitting around; we were touring for a really, really long time. And that probably wasn’t good for Marq’s voice as well; I’m sure it didn’t help. I don’t think we missed the window in that sense, I just think that the way the industry was – and I got shit for this, too – and the way our genre was, there were fewer of the bands from that era that had integrity than in the earlier part of the 80s. I think that labels thought, get a blonde singer, get a ballad, and package it and send it out. And they stopped trying to find bands that had the flavor of that fun party rock as Van Halen gave us, and they went for this image. They went for a power ballad, and I think that is where I personally was like, “Oh, well, this is over, because it’s literally got no substance anymore.” At least you had a couple of bands in there that were keeping it kind of fun, but were real musicians; they weren’t just focused on their looks, I guess that is what I’m trying to say.

Then, of course, when you get Nirvana and Alice in Chains, and you get Soundgarden, then it’s like, “Oh, shit, that’s right. There’s real music out there that tells real stories.” It was dark; it was an answer back to the fuckin’ party that would never end. It was a different view, and I think it was completely necessary. I wish we’d have come out a year earlier. If we’re gonna make wishes happen, I wish BulletBoys would have come out in August of ’87, this way we would have had a couple of good years. But remember, we didn’t do a ballad. Down the line, that was to our detriment, because every band that did a ballad ended up doing a million albums out of the box. But we didn’t. On the third record, people call it a ballad – I don’t think it’s a ballad – but there’s a song on the third record that has kind of a more Journey feel to it, but I don’t think it’s a ballad. But we were adamant against forcing out a ballad. I mean, if something happened organically and it was cool, like a Journey track, like Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song,” I would have been fuckin’ all over it. Everyone would have. But I think we tried like ten different ballads – I have the demos of them – and if I played them for you, you’d go, “You know, I see what you guys are trying to do, but I also see that you guys are missing your mark.” And that’s what it was at the end of the day. It was like, “We’re forcing the issue, so let’s not do it.”

Andrew:
What was the creative dynamic like within the band for those first two records?

Jimmy:
Well, remember, the first BulletBoys album was already, for the most part, done. I remember hearing Mick’s demo for “Hard as A Rock,” that was done; almost identical to what you hear on the record. I think he added on to the lead. And I think the same with “Kissin’ Kitty.” But other songs, we had put together as a band. Remember, Lonnie wrote, “Smooth Up.” So, the melodies come from those instruments, not so much from the drums. But I did have a couple of ideas on that record where I told Lonnie, “I want to do this walking bass line. I have this idea,” which ended up becoming the song “Shoot The Preacher Down.” But the song “Freakshow,” I had written that riff, essentially, and it was called “Friction.” And I had that from before. By the second record, it was really all of us, and it was nice, because it really felt like I was collaborating with Mick and Lonnie at different times, and then we all got together in a room. Don’t get me wrong, if somebody’s got a great idea and they play it from top to bottom, and you go “Dude, that’s done. Let’s just cut it,” but if somebody just has just a great riff but the bridge isn’t so hot and then there’s this section that limps along instead of gallops, let us rework it and let us figure out if we can make it better. I’m of the mindset that an idea for a song will live or die on its own accord. You can play it ten times over, and if it didn’t hit you the first time, it ain’t gonna hit you the tenth time. It’s just not gonna happen.

So, by the time we got to Freakshow, everybody was bringing in ideas, everybody was really kind of sitting down at the table together. And I loved that; we’d actually sit down with pads and pens, the four of us, and write lyrics together. Somebody would have a line, and we’d go, “Oh, what’s that line?” Then that one guy would say it and we’d all write it down and we moved on. I really felt like, from that point on, done a lot better stuff. But, like I said, drugs, and we didn’t get along with Marq for the most part; it was a really difficult period for that. But again, I think that Freakshow is a definite sign of what we were to come to.

Andrew:
In 1993, Bulletboys released the third album of the three-year deal, Za-Za. What was the support like from Warner Brothers by that point, given the drastic changes to the musical landscape?

Jimmy:
Well remember now, we’re talking about not only that but the tide shifting. So, I think everybody, for the most part, was starting to kind of look the other way. I think that the label definitely was not seeing a re-signing with the band; it was coming to an end regardless. Again, this is all because of Dave Kaplan, the manager, who would go in there and say, “The guys need an additional fifty grand to do this one thing. And it’s gotta be done the right way…” And they’d be like, “Dave…” And he’s like, “No, this has to be done. Please, let’s make this work.” Then they’d come to some agreement. So, if it wasn’t for Dave, I think that the band really wouldn’t even have got the third record out. I think we would have been bought out. I think we would have been put to sleep.

And of course, like I said, the band really wasn’t a band anymore. I mean, we really kind of weren’t ever, in the traditional sense. To me, when you’re a band-band, you start out together from nothing; all of you guys go to the same high school, or at least you’re all in the same city and you start. Like, Armored Saint, to me, is like that; they’re one of the few bands that all grew up in the same city. And Van Halen – they grew up in the same city and they fuckin’ went to the top! You know, Mick was in King Kobra; Lonnie [joined], and then got Marq in. These were all kind of the third-string players of that band, and then they leave to do this other band. They have another drummer that starts out, then I come in. So, to me, it’s not the same chemistry. At the same time, there was some camaraderie; there was definitely some fun and we had connections, all four of us. But by the end, after Za-Za, literally nobody was talking to each other on the phone. There was no hanging out. There was no, “Hey, let’s go to the Rainbow, and let’s get some pizzas and some beers.” There was none of that happening anymore. That’s when I quit the band the first time. I was like, “I am so unhappy. I can’t deal with Marq anymore. I just gotta be gone.” And I quit, then Mick quit shortly after. And that happened again just recently.

Andrew:
During that three-album run, BulletBoys toured with the likes of Cheap Trick, Tesla, Ozzy, and many others. What are some of your most memorable moments on tour?

Jimmy:
There were a couple of experiences that were amazing. Playing a Pay-Per-View show with Ozzy, that he only did one time, who can say that? Nobody else can say that. We were the only band in the world who can say, “Yeah, we did a Pay-Per-View special with Ozzy. He did it one time. That was it.” Even though we got booed to hell – which is great – because look, nobody that opens for Ozzy, except for Metallica, didn’t get booed. They all got booed. So, we were just in a long line of those great bands. That was a great experience, opening for Ozzy.

We opened for Bon Jovi in ’89, and I remember feeling really special because we got to open up to the full amount of people there. Jon actually played less than us because, by the time he hit the stage, the 80,000 people were dwindled down to just a mere 65,000 people. At least that’s what I was told by somebody after the show had happened. But for the most part, all these cats out there, they’re cool cats, man.

I will say that I had a really funny, great experience because it made me and Bun E. Carlos become friends. We were playing some arena with Cheap Trick, and I had ordered – because Tommy Lee used to have these really deep snare drum that was like a marching snare drum – so I ordered one. I endorsed Pearl drums at the time, and they made me a foot-deep snare drum. I had never played a foot-deep snare drum before! So, I ordered it and it shows up at the arena and I’m like, “Oh, my God, this is great!” So, my drum tech puts it on the snare stand, and then I go sit on it. Right when I do that, behind the drum riser, I smell cigarette smoke. I turn around, and it’s Bun E. Carlos. He looks at me and he takes a drag of his cigarette, you could see smoke in his eyes, and he goes, “Can you play that thing?” And I go, “Hell, yeah!” I go to do a drum roll, but because the snare drum only goes so low — but it’s way higher than it should be; it’s in the middle of my chest, almost – I go to do a drum roll and I fuckin’ just hit nothing but rim; the sticks fly out of my hands, it sounds like shit, and it was an embarrassment. Then I went to turn around to laugh, and as I turn around, [Bun E. Carlos] is already walking away with smoke just kind of coming out of him. He’s just exhaling smoke. So, I tried to impress Bun E. Carlos with a new snare drum and failed miserably. So, that’s one of my favorite memories.

Andrew:
Later, you worked with the late Jani Lane and Mike Starr on other music ventures. Could you tell us how you became involved with those respective projects?

Jimmy:
A lot of people don’t know this, but Alice In Chains was the local support for BulletBoys when we toured throughout Seattle in ’89. They were just a local band that was still making it happen. So, we became friends during that period. I was actually closer to Jerry [Cantrell] for the most part when they moved out here. Me and Jerry would always get together and go write songs and just get loaded. But we were close for a minute there. So, I reconnected with Mike, oddly enough through my son. My son was doing something with this music school called “School of Rock,” and Mike happened to be a part of something that was being filmed somewhere. I remember my son had gone over and met him and then came back. I didn’t even know Mike was there. My son comes over and he goes, “Dad, didn’t you say you knew the guys in Alice In Chains?” I go, “Yeah.” And then he goes, “Do you know the bass player?” And I go, “I don’t know the new guy. I know the original guy.” He goes, “Yeah, Mike.” And I go, “Yeah, Mike Starr.” And then he goes, “Isn’t that him?” And I looked over and I was like, “Holy shit.” I walked over and I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and took him a second, and he goes, “Jimmy fuckin’ D’Anda.” And I go, “Dude, what the fuck?” It was all hugs and kisses. Immediately, right there, he goes, “Jimmy D, you’re my fuckin’ drummer, bro! Let’s fuckin’ do this! Let’s go fuckin’ tour!” And I go, “Let’s do it, Mike.”

Little by little, we were getting together. He had a guitar player out of New York that was really great and could do all the parts that he needed. Then he had this singer – oh, my God, Mike Starr had found a singer named Travis Bracht that lived in Seattle – and this guy is Layne Staley on steroids. Dude, it’s so fucked up, when he sings Alice In Chains shit, it gave me chills. If I held my arm up, you would see the hair on my arms stand up. That’s how fuckin’ intense it was. We had a lot of big things planned, but it was tough because Mike was struggling with his drug addiction. I had been clean for a while and I was kind of partially sponsoring him; my wife was helping where she could with him. It was tough because I knew he was not maintaining his sobriety; I knew that he was still doing that stuff. But it wasn’t until one day he called me up and he goes, “Jimmy, I’m gonna go hang out with the singer from Days of the New. He’s got this project and he wants me to play bass on it.” I was like, “Mike, you really shouldn’t go, dude.” And he goes, “No, no, no dude. I’ll just go for ten days, make a record and come back.” Then, of course, I got a call from his sister, like literally five, six days later that he had passed away. It was so heartbreaking because this guy was given a second chance at life, but for some of us, it’s just not meant to be. So, that happens, but this was after I played with Jani Lane.

I get this call from Kevin Baldes the bass player from the band Lit. He calls me and he goes, “Jimmy, you gotta play with me and Jani. Dude, the drummer they got is completely train-wrecking everything.” And I go, “Dude, just let me know. Tell Jani to call me.” So, Jani called me and it was just a good talk. I go, “Give me the songs,” and I learned the songs; it was all good. I went to rehearsal, we played, and I remember everybody in the band looking back at me going, “Fuck, yeah!” Everybody was really happy, and that makes me happy. Then we started playing shows and it was great. His manager at the time and his booking agent said, “Jimmy, this is the best we’ve ever seen Jani since back in ’88 or ’89 when Jani was Jani!” I was like, “That’s really cool. That makes me happy.” Then every now and again, we’d see him go to a dark place, and it was heartbreaking – again – because you could see the car crash coming and there was nothing we could do about it. I would talk to him on the phone about going to meetings and just trying to be a support system for him. He wanted it sometimes, and sometimes he didn’t. Again, you get the call from somebody, and they go, “Dude, did you hear yet?” And you’re like, “What?”“Jani…” I’m like, “Ah, motherfucker, dude.”

We had a long joke about it because I wasn’t a fan of Warrant at all back then – I kind of despised them because CBS chose them over us – so I was like, “I can’t like those guys.” But at that timeframe, when I was playing with him, I got to know him really well; he was a really sweet, sweet guy. That was really heartbreaking, too, so I started to feel a little like, “Maybe it’s me.” Maybe I’m bad luck for these guys. Maybe I shouldn’t fuckin’ be in a band with people who are addicts. Maybe that’s not a good idea. So, it was a real dark period with Jani, and of course, after that, it was Mike. It was brutal, man.

Andrew:
Your relationship with legendary six-stringer George Lynch, which began when you joined Lynch Mob in 2000, is another interesting aspect of your journey. How did you end up on George’s radar?

Jimmy:

You know, that’s another really funny thing. I was working a day gig – to be specific, I was working at a Guitar Center in Brea, California – and it’s funny because I was really kind of giving up on drums as a way to make money. Again, this is crazy – I owe Kevin Baldes so much money – Kevin lived down the block from George Lynch at the time. They were talking, and me and Kevin had just met a year or two before, and George tells him he’s looking for a drummer. And Kevin says, “You should get that guy Jimmy D’Anda from BulletBoys.” And George tells Kevin, “Dude, I’ve been looking for that drummer for like five, six years now because I loved BulletBoys and their groove. Is he available? Can he play drums for me?” And [Kevin] goes, “Yeah, he’s working at Guitar Center in Brea, California.” When they do my movie, this will be one of the world’s big laughs.

I’m at the drum counter at the Guitar Center and I’m helping a woman – she’s buying a snare drum for her kid or something – and I got all these young kids that were below me who were my superiors because I was there for maybe a year. At thirty-one years old, I’m the old guy there. The phone’s always ringing, and then over the intercom, somebody goes, “Jimmy, George Lynch is on line one for you.” All the crew guys, they walked out and they’re looking at me, and I’m looking at everybody like, “I don’t even know him!” So, I pass the sale along to the manager, and I went over to the corner and I took the call. I go, “Hello…” And he goes, “Jimmy?” And I go, “This is Jimmy.” And he goes, “This is George Lynch.” And I went, “Hi, George Lynch.” Then he goes, “Hey, you wanna go on tour with me?” I go, “Yeah, but I have a job.” And he goes, “I guarantee you I’ll pay you double whatever they’re paying you.” And I go, “Okay. Give me your number and I’ll call you back.” Then I went home and talked to my wife. I said, “Honey, George Lynch called.” She was like, “What?!” And I go, “Yeah, he wants me to go on tour.” And that was it. I took two years off at one point, but then we started playing again in 2011, and we’ve been playing together ever since. It’s kind of crazy how these relationships come out of nowhere. George is the shit, man; you gotta love George Lynch.

I’m tellin’ ya, working with George, we’ve done two records, like demoed, but did all the drums here. It’s just he and I for the most part. He just plays riffs and I come up with drum beats to them, and then we’ll listen back to like two hours of a jam … “Oh, this section right here, that’s cool. Clip that. Save that in the ‘Parts of a song file’, and then let’s move on.” And then at the end of like a week, we’ll have twenty-seven little jam ideas and then we’ll take those ideas and we’ll start working on those ideas. For me, that’s really kind of a cool way to build the foundation. It’s been really fun with him. I have literally forty-five-minute jams with just him and me on a couple of my hard drives. We start, and our eyes are closed, and I start playing the beat, he plays guitar, then it breaks down and maybe it will stop then start back up. And that’s all it is for forty-five-minutes; just jamming.

Andrew:
Most recently, you guested on George’s first instrumental album, Seamless, which was released in August and met with rave reviews. How did you become involved?

Jimmy:
Well, initially, it was going to be a Lynch Mob record. Then George and Oni [Logan] decided to part ways, and then there was talk of getting a different singer to come in and do a Lynch Mob record. And I totally understood where George was coming from, he said, “You know what, Jimmy? I’m sick of constantly changing out that thing. I’m thinking about taking a break from it and maybe just doing a solo guitar record.” I go, “That’s great, do that. Let me know if you need me. If you don’t, no worries. You have a lot of great drummers you use.” He uses Ray Luzier; he uses Brian Tichy. Then he called me, I don’t know, like two weeks later. He goes, “Dude, I wanna do it. I wanna do it at your place. Can we do it for the same fee we did the Brotherhood record?” I go, “Yeah, absolutely.” Then he comes in with four different amps, and we set up and he gets happy where he’s at, and we just start putting the mics in. We have a good time, we break for lunch, come back, we laugh and act silly like little kids. Then at about four o’clock, he goes, “Okay, I’m out!” We’ll have had maybe ten decent ideas that day, so at the end of five days, we have a nice little bank to go back and look at and go, “Oh, this was good.” “Oh, this was really cool!” So, it’s really nice working with him like that.

Andrew:
How did you go about recording your drums parts for the album amid the pandemic?

Jimmy:
Well, for me, I don’t like overdubbing a lot; I don’t like editing too much. [George] will demo the guitar parts, but I would say for the most part – maybe ninety-five percent of the time – he takes the session and he goes to Steakhouse [Studios] around where he’s at and then he tracks guitars in a big room, full blast. But at least then he’s playing to my live drum tracks; he’s not playing to an edited section; he’s not playing to quantizing drums or a mini-program. He’s actually playing to Jimmy’s drum parts. So, he keeps that vibe still and it feels like two guys jamming together. He likes to keep it as fresh as possible, which I do, too. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know that there are all these new programs that make your drums sound spectacular. At the same time, I like to maintain that there’s still a human being somewhere in that production. That’s why I’ll say, “Put some sound replacement in, but let’s not kill it, please.”

Image credit: Jimmy D’Anda Facebook (official)

Andrew:
It would be remiss of me not to mention the elephant in the room before we wrap up. Earlier this year, you and Mick Sweda split from BulletBoys for good. Mick has spoken out on the matter, but I’d like to hear what led to your decision.

Jimmy:
It’s really a tough thing. First thing’s first; nobody didn’t think that this was gonna go up in a ball of flames. I mean, everybody knew it; everyone knew that it was gonna end badly. What I was hoping for was that it wouldn’t end horrifically, and hopefully, we can go out there and make some money and possibly have some dialogue or communication, so that even if it does go away, it isn’t a “Fuck you, motherfucker!” You know, maybe it’s from time to time we get together and we go do shows. Maybe every now and again there’s a really nice offer from Mötley Crüe to open up … “Fuck, yeah! Let’s go do it.” I was hoping for that kind of stuff. But again, like I said, the reason I left in the early years was there was a lot of negative energy. I don’t think I need to point any fingers because everyone knows who it’s about.

But there comes a time in everyone’s life when people start saying shit about you, and you’re like, “I’m in a band with you, dude.” And someone is trying to get you kicked out of the band to replace you with another drummer because he’ll play during COVID but I won’t play. There’s so much fuckin’ bullshit; I didn’t sign on for this. I really don’t need to be here; for that matter, I don’t need to be anywhere. Because you know what? I swear to God, I’ll tell you right now, I’ll go back and work at fuckin’ Guitar Center and be happy. I don’t need to have stress and anxiety in my life. I did it when I was in BulletBoys when I was a kid; I was nineteen or twenty years old. I was put through fuckin’ hell during that time because I was a kid. I got hazed all the time by these guys. By all of ‘em. Mick, maybe not as much, but definitely Marq and Lonnie. I went through a lot of shit. I hoped that people were in a better place, and there was a while there I thought that maybe everybody was, but then you start hearing people, “Oh, you know he said this about you,” or, “You know, he’s doing this now…” After a while, it’s like, “Wait. Hold up, hold up, hold up.”

And here’s what’s funny – nobody knows this – I quit the band in September and then I called the manager and said, “Larry, I think you should keep going on with BulletBoys.”  He goes, “Jimmy, I’m gonna try.” I go, “Yeah. I’ll even help you guys find a drummer,” because I wanted to try to leave them in a better place than I found them. Then little by little, I’m starting to hear other comments and other things are being said. Then COVID, of course, during that time period is just running rampant and there’s too much other nonsense going on. It should be much easier; it shouldn’t be this hard. And so, by the time the last two shows were coming around, it was emotional. When I played that last show with them at Monsters on the Mountain, I walked off stage and I literally exhaled really large because I realized thirty-three years of my life with this band had come to an end. It’s over. There’s no doubt in my mind. Because there was always a question mark over the last ten or fifteen years; maybe I could do it; maybe we could go back; maybe we could actually be friends a little bit, enough to actually have a career, make some good money, and make music. I know that’s not gonna happen now.

So, Larry asked me to stay on for the last three or four shows, and I did. And then during that time, it just became such a fiasco and there’s so many negative things that are happening. It’s such a bummer. It’s like, “You know what? I didn’t want this to end like this, but apparently, this is how it’s gonna end now.” So, then I quit, and then the Whisky show rolls around and there was more drama. And then Larry, the manager, quit. Then Mick called me, and he goes, “Dude, I did not sign on for this. This is just way too much fuckin’ bullshit.” He couldn’t deal with it, so then he quit. I’ve only heard through the grapevine that Lonnie quit; I haven’t talked to him yet, but I heard he was like, “Dude, there’s no way I’m going back. Just me and Marq is not gonna happen.”

Again, listen, I’m sad for the fans, too. I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to go out and show people, “This is what I was known for.” Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with George, but going out and playing songs I was known for was gonna be a nice little treat. Listen, there’s a reason why people get divorced from their wives and their husbands. I left one wife, which is George, to go back to an ex-wife and then realized, “Oh, no. Wrong one. Sorry!” Listen, man, honestly, I wish everybody the best. Everybody go out there and live your best lives. Stop being a fuckin’ dick, go work your ass off, make money, come home to your family, and be a good person. There it is.

Andrew:
Lastly, I would like to give you the opportunity to plug whatever you want and share what’s coming up.

Jimmy:
Well, the first thing I would say is my music page, Jimmy D’Anda, on Facebook; right now, it’s under Jimmy D’Anda. I’ll be releasing a slew of things finally. I had mentioned earlier in the conversation a singer named Travis Bracht that’s phenomenal. We wrote a handful of songs together and we’re gonna put out a little EP. That’s gonna be coming out, and of course, my solo stuff will be coming out as well. I haven’t determined whether it’s gonna be under Jimmy D’Anda or an actual band name. So, that’s why you should go follow me and like my stuff; I’m on Instagram; I’m on Twitter. I also sit in from time to time with the glorious, amazing Gilby Clarke. When his drummer can’t make it, I go play with him. We just did something for him; I played on his record that’s coming out as well. I did a thing with him and Warren DeMartini; we did a cover of “Cowboy Song” from Thin Lizzy. And honestly, having this recording studio here, I’m gonna start actually start producing bands once COVID starts to get a little easier. I’m gonna have bands come in, they can write me if they’re local, or if they wanted to send me tracks, I can cut tracks from here on my drums and send them back to them and all that good stuff. I really don’t have a lot to sell, I just want people to come out and check me out when I have something new with George, and I’ll have a lot of new stuff with George coming up as well.

Interested in learning more about Jimmy D’Anda? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full archives of Shredful Compositions, by Andrew DiCecco, here: https://vwmusicrocks.com/shredful-compositions-archives/

About Post Author

Andrew DiCecco

Predominantly known for his NFL coverage, Andrew DiCecco is a Pennsylvania-based journalist with a profound passion for Rock music and its illustrious history. What initially began as a childhood hobby collecting CDs eventually evolved into a full-blown absorption into the world of Rock and Roll. An aspiring rock historian, Andrew seeks out every autobiography and documentary on Rock artists imaginable to further his knowledge to go along with a growing collection of vintage albums and magazines. Andrew’s musical preferences include, but are not limited to, Def Leppard, Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Foreigner, and Journey. An innate appreciation for guitar heroes, Andrew cites Vito Bratta, Eddie Van Halen, John Sykes, George Lynch, Dave Meniketti, and Neal Schon as some of his personal favorite players. Andrew is also a regular listener to SiriusXM’s <i>Trunk Nation</i> with Eddie Trunk, his primary source of inspiration.
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