Idol isnít unlike the Incredible Hulk in that
he refers to himself in the third person. Of
course when youíre a cultural icon you can do
that sort of thing. Idol helped millions of
girls and boys bridge the gap between
pre-puberty and puberty with his sexually
charged concerts, music and music videos. Now he
hopes to do that with a whole new generation of
people with his latest album, Devilís
Billy Idol: Nothing much, Iím about to smoke a
joint before you so rudely interrupted me
DRE: Is usually the time you spark
BI: Yes, usually as soon as I can.
DRE: Iím doing this interview for SuicideGirls
and I heard that you sang to some of the girls.
BI: Yeah some of them came to my video. It was
magic. I think there was an open call on the
DRE: Is that the kind of girls youíre into?
BI: Not too far off. Is there an LA chapter?
DRE: Yes there is.
BI: Iíd like to go around and meet them.
DRE: So is the world a Devilís Playground to
BI: Kind of, yeah.
DRE: Why did it take so long for you to get a
new album out?
BI: It wasnít really out of choice. It was
more of the way things happened. So many weird
things came about. I refused to work for the
conglomerate America of the 90ís and it took me
until 2004 to find an alternative record
company. Also I had to wait five years for
Capitol to throw me out because I wouldnít do
DRE: What was the problem with Capitol?
BI: They didnít know why they had Billy Idol.
They had me but they didnít know what to do
with me. Itís really weird because I knew what
to do with me but they wouldnít listen. If you
donít listen to me then you will never know
what to do with Billy Idol, that was the fucking
problem they had. I know what to do with Billy
Idol and Iíve just done with this Sanctuary
Record. I hope I piss off everyone at Sanctuary;
one guy is dead of cancer so heís already out
of the picture. He was in The Zombies and I
always hated that band and I hate them even more
now. Fucking Zombies get cancer. Rock and roll
reaches into the grave, motherfucker. How many
bands are you going to stop now? How many times
is he going to stop Billy Idol now? Never again,
heís over, done with, finito! Alright thatís
DRE: How do you think you fit in now? Are you
still a rebel?
BI: Rebel? Well at least Iím fucking trying.
Itís pretty rebellious to even try and do rock
and roll at this age. I should be a blues artist
[laughs]. Itís more like people expect you to
give or you donít care anymore but I have a
passion for the music and I have a great band
Iíve put together. We put out a greatest hits
record in 2001 and we really forged a great band
in the crucible of the greatest hits gigs. When
we did it we could stand right up against bands
like Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and The Music.
We werenít just a retro band because we were
playing a new band. When you can stand right up
against these others, that proves you are still
a rebel. That was really important because even
though people are playing much heavier than they
used to, so you have to have more power in your
band which my drummer provides. We toured for
years with that and we played rocker Billy Idol,
punk Billy Idol, Danzig Billy Idol, metal Billy
Idol and every style of Billy Idol music there
is. That helped everyone really see the range
that you could have. Fuck me we could go
anywhere!!! You could go from Black Sabbath to
Velvet Underground to Iggy Pop to Kraftwerk. It
was just narrowing it down to what we wanted to
do with the record. I really wanted to make a
guitar rock record.
DRE: Youíre turning 50 this year, right?
BI: Yeah but donít tell anyone else. That
makes this my 30th year in rock.
DRE: With all the things youíve done in your
life, did you think you would make it to 50?
BI: No I didnít, well actually it's not that I
didnít know if I would make it to 50, but I
didnít know I would still be playing music. I
thought I might be alive. When I used to take a
taxi home from rehearsals the cab driver would
say ďHey man, I used to be in The
DRE: Is it as easy to get as pissed off?
BI: Itís probably easier. There are just as
many things now to piss people off as there has
ever been. This political situation must be
pissing everyone off because we are almost in a
worse situation than we were in the Cold War.
DRE: When you tour are you going to have an
BI: We may have one. Weíre going to be at
South by Southwest with The Donnas.
DRE: What do you think of The Donnas?
BI: I think they are really good. They do a
really great version of Dancing with Myself
which is not an easy song to play. It sounds
easy but it isnít.
DRE: A lot of movies recently are playing some
of your 80ís hits.
BI: Yeah itís been great.
DRE: Are any new songs going to get into any
BI: Weíve got some other songs which didnít
end up on this album they may well use.
Obviously people doing films can have this album
so they can use it.
DRE: How did you find the guys that make up the
BI: [Drummer] Brian [Tichy] was part of
Slashís Snakepit so heís always been part of
the hard rock scene. Derek [Sherinian] was in a
prog rock group called Dream Theater. Stephen
McGrath, the bass player, is a motorcycling
friend of mine and he happens to also play the
bass. Steve Stevens has been with me for 20
DRE: Are the words 'more mature' the right ones
to use when describing Devilís Playground?
BI: I think it does sound more mature. Just the
fact that my voice got a bit deeper changes
things. Itís the passage of time. Youíre
listening the past 12 years when you play the
album and the fact that Iíve had a life to
live. Thatís a weighty piece of life. Before
that all we had tours, chicks and records which
isnít bad but life was giving us different
DRE: How have the girls changed?
BI: I have to admit there is that wider range of
ages because with that greatest hits tour we
pulled in a whole load of young followers. What
Iím looking at isnít much different from
what Iíve always looked at. Hey Granny, take
your teeth out! YEAH!