Hot on the heels of our last award winning interview comes this spine bustin whammy-an interview with Azriel Mordecai & Carmen Giocondo! These two have formed a very tight rhythm section thru out the years and it’s only fitting that we interview them together. As always, CB.NET does not edit these interviews-except in the case of atrocious spelling errors. What you see is what was said! So grab some cheesy poofs & enjoy!
[A Note to the reader: The Giocondo is a man of few words. We were able to catch up with him in his secret sanctuary lair after much henpecking and bother and were able to procure a short five minute interview time, after which we were informed that The Nuch was getting up and leaving the room, finished or not. We met Father Nuchie in the dungeon of his lair, surrounded by all manner of strange things which we were too afraid to inquire about. What follows is a transcript of that interview.]
CB.NET-Tell us some background info on yourselves-we wanna get to know ya better!
AZRIEL-Then you must be bored… I’m the bass player. No one is EVER interested in getting to know the bass player better. Well, you asked for it. I’m a writer, artist and horror film fan currently writing a book, in addition to my duties with Caroline Blue and Zadoc… and the Nightmare. I do what I do because of people like Nikki Sixx, Cliff Burton, and Geezer Butler. If you’ve ever seen me perform, you have seen me given a lotta respect to these guys. I’m from Omaha, where I was raised on a stuffed animal farm sewing up holes in mistreated Wookiees…Later I drove a Vasaline truck through the Virgin Islands and ended up settling in Syracuse because, more than anything, I hate living in a place that actually has four seasons.
CARMEN-Well, I’ve been a drummer on and off for most of my life. I guess you could say I was influenced by drummers like Neal Pert. I’ve been drumming with a couple of bands pretty consistently for the past handful of years. Before joining Zadoc… and the Nightmare around 2003, I had drummed with the Late Prophets and Meatball Soup. Since then, I have also joined 6lb. Bucket (formerly known as Cliff Diver and the 6lb. Bucket).
CB.NET-How did you 1st cross paths w/ CAROLINE BLUE & how did you end up playing shows w/ the band?
AZRIEL-Well, I met Wayne and Co. way back in October of 04 when his Caroline Kiss project and Zadoc were booked for a Halloween masquerade with Dogs on Mars at Bleachers. After that, we shared a bill several more times and hit it off well. In both of our camps, we knew that a show with our groups booked was going to be a lot of fun. In 2005, though, I was called up to substitute for Billy Pierce, a great bassist and nice guy, too. That was for the Boilermaker in Utica, which was really flying by the seat of our pants and yet, it managed to impress Wayne enough that when Billy finally left the band a few months later, he called me up.
CARMEN– We’d played a bunch of shows with Caroline Blue and Zadoc… and the Nightmare during the 2004-2005 period and Wayne had already stolen my bass player. 🙂
CB.NET-What’s it like working w/ Wayne? We’ve heard he can be egotistical & at times difficult to work with. Give us some dirt!
AZRIEL-Wayne is one of the most arrogant and self-absorbed people I have ever worked with. Not only did he Spend 45 minutes before each rehearsal looking into the mirror and telling himself how gorgeous he was (think Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs), but when it came to practice, we quit early two or three times because he broke a nail. Seriously, Wayne is a genuinely nice guy, despite what some former band mates might say to cover up for their own inadequacies. He is always the first one to deluge you with Caroline Blue information, but never did he advertise himself before the band, which to me is the most important sign of someone whose head is in the right place in regards to giving credit where it’s due. Since I started working with Wayne, we never had a disagreement, never butted heads on things, and we’ve always gotten along well. When I joined, I was under the mistaken impression that I had more in common with ex-“drummer” Jay Morey, only to find out that Wayne and I were far more alike in the way we approached our craft, not to mention one hundred times more professional than the aforementioned “Drummer”.
CARMEN– Nah. Wayne’s a nice guy. I’m pretty busy with things and if he weren’t a nice guy, I wouldn’t have really gone through the effort. Sorry to disappoint you people looking for dirt, but truth is, Wayne’s a nice guy.
CB.NET-Any thoughts about past CAROLINE BLUE bassists/drummers?
AZRIEL-Can of Worms. As I said earlier, I have a great deal of respect for Billy Pierce and Ham, who are both excellent players. I think Wayne’s had the shaft as far as drummers went for the past year or more. Some people are only good in their own minds.
CARMEN– I don’t really like to judge people. I liked the old bassist [Billy Pierce], who was in the band the first time I saw them doing their stuff and not the Kiss tribute. Monster Mike was easily the best drummer I’ve seen Wayne perform with.
CB.NET–During the show on 4/22/06, you guys became-for one song-“Zadoc & the Zadettes”. What’s the story behind that?
AZRIEL-Damn, that was funny. It came up at rehearsal the week before the show to play this little joke on Zadoc, who was joining us on a cover of the KISS classic God of Thunder. We wanted to see if we could make Zadoc laugh and most certainly we did. It got the biggest applause of the night, the audience, who all got the joke before Zadoc ever noticed, was livid with enjoyment. It was a great little stunt.
CARMEN– Yeah, that was funny, wasn’t it? I don’t remember whose idea it was, but we were at rehearsal and it just came up. Next thing I know, this joke is something we are actually going to be doing. It was really funny, but you really had to be there.
CB.NET-How have you felt about the shows you’ve played with CAROLINE BLUE so far? Outside of the event in the last question, anything stand out-good or bad?
AZRIEL-Well, I learned how unprofessional drummers can be. Most of the shows I did with the band were sub par, in my opinion. When Carmen Giocondo, my rhythm twin from ZATN joined us to complete the bookings that we had left after Morey quit, the shows became much better. It’s amazing what having a solid and reliable drummer can do for the quality of a song.
CARMEN– Not really. I thought the shows were decent and a lot of fun. We seamlessly covered over the lineup change and I think we did the material justice. I was happy with the shows considering the time that went into them and the reactions we got from the audience.
CB.NET-How do you feel about CAROLINE BLUE’s music? What’s your favorite/least favorite song? How about the few covers that the band performs-your fav / least fav?
AZRIEL– I found a new respect for these songs after learning them because there’s a lot of great riffs and fun stuff going on there. I loved playing “Stay” live, since it was one of those songs that let me go back to my roots and play a bit like John Entwhistle did on “Behind Blue Eyes”. As for the covers, I wasn’t too big on the KISS stuff but became a big advocate of “All American Man”, which is a great, fun rock riff to play.
CARMEN– I definitely thought it was fun to play, and pretty different from the other stuff I have been doing. I enjoyed the change of pace.
CB.NET-What does the future hold for you guys?
AZRIEL-The future is constantly in motion. I’m working on a lot of different stuff right now, from the Zadoc LP and video to a few side projects like my Motley Crue tribute London Christmas and possibly a project alongside ex-Haunted By Angels vocalist Jane Evil. What the future holds, I don’t know, but it’s certainly going to be a hell of a ride.
CARMEN– Fu…ture? What Mean This?
CB.NET-Anything you’d like to tell all the people in cyber land who are reading this?
AZRIEL-Hmmm… Katie Couric is a hottie MILF. And my current favorite bands are the 69 Eyes and Wicked Wisdom. Also, I look forward to meeting you all at the shows. Mention this article and you’ll get a free handshake!
CARMEN– I drink Molson and Labatt Blue (if a Pearl endorsement falls through, I’m gonna seriously look into becoming the first drummer endorsed by a beer company). OK? 4:58, 59… and you’re done. You can see yourselves out.