Bulletboys have worn many labels since hitting the scene in 1988, most unfairly. Comparisons to Van Halen, and just hair metal in general, really missed the mark, when it came to describing this hard working band. They have so many elements, from Rock, to Blues, with some Funk thrown in. Guitars in the forefront with great writing and an all-round fun attitude would be more an accurate assessment for the uninitiated. They recently released “From Out of The Skies” and on the eve of their first ever Australian tour we chat with founder, lead guitarist and vocalist Marq Torien.
H2Z: Hi Marq, Andrew from Hear2Zen Magazine in Australia, thank for your time today, how are you?
MT: I am fantastic thank you, and no thank you for your time!
H2Z: First off, I want to congratulate you on your new album “From Out of The Skies”, it’s a really great rock record, do you have any favourite songs now you have lived with it for a while?
MT: Thank you for saying that about our record, I really love that. We are so excited by the fact that people are really gravitating towards it, and really loving on it, but, you know what, I am so close to every song, I love them all, so it’s hard for me to say which one is my favourite, it changes every day. But today, for today the song would be “P.R.A.B”
H2Z: You also have Jesse Hughes from “The Eagles of Death Metal” appearing on the album, how did that come about?
MT: We had a mutual friend that introduced us, and we also mutually respected and loved each other’s bands, and when I had the chance to meet him, I played him the final cut we had for the track “D-Evil”, and asked him if he wanted to sing on the choruses, and he was all about it, and he came in and gave his beautiful voice to the song, and we had a great collaboration man. It was rad, a magical and wonderful experience.
H2Z: I noticed that you recorded it in Dave Grohl’s studio. What was that experience like, as old school studios like that must be rare?
MT: There are a lot of studios that have 2-inch tape, or work to a hard drive in LA, but 606 is a complete rarity and anomaly. It was an amazing experience to be in the studio and cut our record in there, and to get the love from Dave Grohl and the band. It truly was an amazing experience, and we came out with something, that was able to take our music to a higher level.
H2Z: I agree, and while there wasn’t anything wrong with your previous stuff, this album also comes with its own vibe which lifts it
MT: Yes, yes, it’s very very vibe-y. Definitely. You called it.
H2Z: Well, you are headed our way soon, tell the fans what they can expect from a live Bulletboys show?
MT: A lot of love, a lot of dancing, get ready to sweat. It’s all about the performance for us, and myself, I am a total performer and I am passionate about what we do. It’s our first time in Australia, and we are really ecstatic, and we cannot wait to go and love on all you guys.
H2Z: Bulletboys, in the past, has almost been a springboard for members to go on to big things. You have had Jason Hook from “5 Finger Death Punch” in the band, you have had Brent Fitz from “Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators” in the band. What is it that you look for when bringing someone new into the fold?
MT: You know what, first and foremost it’s the character of the person, regardless of their musical ability. That’s one of the first things that I, try to look for. I also look for a friendship and a mutual respect for each other and the music and wanting to take it to a different level. I have been lucky that I have experienced that with a lot of the guys I have worked with over the years. We have been lucky to have people like Brent, and Jason, and even Steven Adler who played with us for a bit too. I just love Brent so much, so f@#king hard, he is such a great guy. Amazing drummer and amazing person. I still talk with Jason quite often, Same and love him and Jeremy (Spencer) from Death Punch. What an amazing band, I just love their music. I am so proud of what Jason did. He really took the bull by the horns, when the chips were down, and went headfirst into this new kind of music, and his hard work paid off. I f@#king love the mighty 5 Finger Death Punch, they rule!
H2Z: So, tell us about your band mates in Bulletboys?
MT: Of course, you have myself (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Nick Rozz (Guitar) and Chad McDonald (Bass), we have been together 8 almost 9 years now. And joining us on drums is Anthony “Tiny” Buiso, who played with TSOL, and The Dickies, just an amazing drummer. We are very, very fortunate that he has joined the band, he brings a lot of love, and also his social media expertise to the band, which as you know is so important these days. Above all that he is a great humanitarian and great human, which is needed in this band, as the 3 of us just want to spread love and positivity and we finally have someone in the band that feels the same way, and that helps take the music to another level.
H2Z: You also had Phil Varone (Saigon Kick/Skid Row/Red Dragon Cartel) appear in your film clip, how did that come about?
MT: That was so great. Tiny was unavailable on the day we had to do the clip and we had very limited time to do it, so Phil came in and did such an amazing job helping us out. I love Phil Varone so much, I cannot say enough nice things about him. He has been a great champion for the band and loves the new music we have been putting out, and is completely blown away with our latest record, “From Out of The Skies”. He is an amazing friend, and an amazing talent and definitely go listen to his radio show “Un-Philtered” it’s really rad. He also got to fill in and do a few shows with us, and for what it’s worth, was going to between him and Tiny, and Phil couldn’t commit on the level it was needed due to prior commitments (Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel), and he agreed Tiny was the better man and graciously stepped aside, which is so classy of him, but that’s because he is a great guy. I just love Phil Varone to death man.
H2Z: I need you to bust a rumour for me. Did you actually audition for Kiss?
MT: Yeah, I did audition with Kiss. We got together a couple of times with Gene, Paul and Eric. I have known Gene and Paul for quite a long time, since I was a teenager. They are two amazing individuals and I was very, very blessed to be able to come in and jam with them a few times.
H2Z: That was after Ace left, yeah? Creatures of The Night era?
MT: Yeah, yeah. Creatures era, while they were recording the album actually.
H2Z: I don’t think people realise how great a lead player you are, so you would have fit in the band quite well in that period I think.
MT: Wow man! Thank you! I think it would have been great too, I think that Gene and Paul felt I was too young. I don’t know about the politics of it all, but I just love them to death for giving me that opportunity and getting called in those few times was f@#king amazing
H2Z: So, this year is the 30th Anniversary of your debut album, did you in 88 you would still be doing what you love today?
MT: You know what, yeah, I did. I have been in the business since I was 7 years old. I come from a musical background, my family has a musical background. It’s something I have done my whole life. The lord gave me a gift to write, sing and play guitar. I didn’t know I was going to be doing it like this, but I knew I would be doing it for a while. And while it’s not the easiest business in the world, it comes with a lot of different pitfalls, but I get so much enjoyment of being able to perform for our fans, friends and family around the world. But just to be able to put out new music for people’s eyes and ears, I feel is really important, as I don’t believe in living off your past. In the last four or five years we have put out two new records. The first one was “Elefante”, and now we have “From Out of The Skies”. We are going to be touring on this record all this year and next year, and we are just so stoked that people are loving the record. Life goes by so quickly, and peoples time is so precious between work and family, so for them to take the time to listen to our music in this day and age is really very, very rad.
H2Z: You seem very forwardly focused Marq?
MT: Thank You, yes, I am. I learnt that early on from being signed to Motown at such a young age, then being signed to Warner. There was always this underlying talk, that you have to reinvent yourself, and to never be afraid of new music, or putting out something that would be considered different or risky for you, so I just keep moving on.
H2Z: Any final words for the fans in Australia Marq?
MT: We love you, we cannot wait to see you, and party and go nuts with you guys. It’s our first time out there and we are really looking forward to the shows Andrew, and to bring our Southern California Rock N Roll vibe to you. Expect the hits, and stuff from our new records. It will also be nice to just sit and chat with you all and take some photos and get to exchange stories. Maybe let’s hit up a beach and sit around a fire pit and chat like we do here!
H2Z: (laughs)While it’s not the beach, I have one in my front yard.
MT: (laughs) Hell yeah, I love you! That’s what it’s all about out here in So Cal. The beach, friends, a few drinks. A lot of fun.
H2Z: Thanks so much for your time Marq. Look forward to catching up in Brisbane
MT: Thank you Andrew, see you real soon!
Thanks again to Marq for his time. Bulletboys are here very soon, don’t miss out, get your tickets now and show them how great the Australian Rock fans are!
Thursday, May 3: Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Saturday, May 5: Fowlers Live, Adelaide (Lic AA)
Sunday, May 6: Frankies Pizza, Sydney