Free St. Patrick's Day Patch With Every Order! X CLOSE

Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 42 - ACEY SLADE

THE MISFITS - ACEY SLADE

"I just love it. It's an adventure. It's very much a pirate kind of existence." - Acey Slade, guitarist, bassist - The Misfits, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Dope

PREVIEW:

ON EPISODE 42 - A PIRATE EXISTENCE:

It's episode 42 so D-Man and The Incredible Jeff discuss the famous joke from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Then, on Science, the hosts talk about the Cassini spacecraft and its final mission, and all the incredible discoveries it beamed back to Earth from Saturn. The idea of doing what you love and believing in yourself is What Fuels You this week. Also news about the next mug release from the World's Strongest Coffee. Plus podcast shoutouts, secret codes, and a lot more fun.

ABOUT ACEY SLADE:

INTERVIEW STARTS AT 37:30

Acey Slade is a talented multi-instrumental musician who has had an impressive career with no signs of slowing down. He has played guitar or bass for the bands Dope, The Murderdolls, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and Acey Slade and The Dark Party. Currently, he is the touring guitarist for horror-punk icons The Misfits. Acey talks about his career, how he started playing with The Misfits, and what keeps him going. Plus he reveals how he was 'scanned' into the video game Rock Band 2 and shares some stories from the road.

TRANSCRIPT:

Dustin: We know you a lot from playing guitar in Acey Slade & the Dark Party and Dope and Murderdolls, and the Misfits, but we've also seen you play bass for Joan Jett. So my first question is wondering, which instrument did you start on?

Acey: Actually, I started singing when I was in the church choir as a kid. And I guess just not enough people like my voice enough to pay to hear it, so I had to improvise to other things.

Jeff: That's awesome. So, okay, so you started to sing, and where did that ... When did you kind of gravitate towards an instrument, then, after that?

Acey: Well, I was in the church choir and it was kind of boring, but then we ended up doing a thing called the Passion Play, which is basically the reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. And my favorite part of the whole thing was when they crucified Christ, not because I have any sort of aversion to Christianity, but they have these fake spears that spewed blood everywhere, and the crown of thorns spewed blood, and when they whip him he had fake skin. They really did a good job on it. And I was like, "This is fucking awesome!" I'm like, "Check this out!" And I think I'd just seen Dario Argento's Suspiria on late night TV around that time, too, so I was like, "This is fucking cool, man! This is way better than the whole Easter egg part of it. I dig this." 'Cause it's the whole Easter resurrection thing or whatever.
So, and then shortly after that I went to see Alice Cooper play, and he was doing the whole decapitation thing and electric chair, and I connected the two. I was like, "Wow, man, this is just like at church." So, me and my friends, we wanted to start a band after seeing Alice Cooper. And, well, I started on guitar, and myself and my friend, we were both guitar in a small town in Pennsylvania and we couldn't find a singer so we were splitting the vocal duties. I was kinda better singer than him so he kicked me out and I was like, "Well, I'm just gonna try singing." And really as soon as I could put together three chords, I was off and running.
I wanted to create. I was more into the creative side of it and I'm like that with everything. It's like even with photography. I don't really take the time to learn a whole lot. As soon as I can figure it out the exposure triangle, I was like, "Okay. Now I'm off and running and taking photos." So, that's kind of it in a nutshell. If you put me on a wood block and a cool band needs a wood block player, I'm gonna play a wood block.

Jeff: I'll remember that. I think you had to be one of the first people I ever heard who went to an Alice Cooper concert and was like, "This reminds me of church." Yeah, I think that's pretty great.

Dustin: But to be fair, it sounds like your church was very brutal.

Jeff: Yeah.

Acey: There's a reason I didn't like going.

Jeff: So fast forwarding a little bit, you're playing in a band now. Was kinda your track always like, "Okay, I want to do this as a living"? Or was where a moment where that kinda hit you? Like, "I wanna pursue this as a career"?

Acey: Yeah, I mean, to be honest with you, I always thought that I could accomplish it and I never had intentions to do anything else but this. But I also ... You know when I was growing up, the music business was a lot different and I always thought, "Okay, maybe I can get to be in a band as big as The Dead Kennedys" or something like that who really in the grand scheme of the music business aren't very big bands. And so for me, my expectations were low but I knew I could do it.
And boy did ... how lucky am I? I mean, I've played in two of the most influential bands in punk rock. So, I never in a million years would have guessed that. So ...

Jeff: And you have not only gone to play with some of those acts ... the different bands that you've played with and have toured with, it really runs the gamut of music in a sense. Because your time with bands like Dope and the Murderdolls that's gotta be a lot different than your time say, playing bass with Joan Jett, or now with you touring with the Misfits.
Is there a lot of difference in different tours that you've been on or do you kinda feel like it's always the same kinda deal?

Acey: Yes and no. With Joan, on one hand we were a lot more pampered. It was funny, I had basses that I wouldn't see except for when it was handed to me while I was walking on stage. And after six months I'd look at it and be like, "Hey, how'd this scratch get here? I don't even know how that got there because I haven't had to change the strings myself in six months" or whatever.
So, you take that and then you take a band like Dope, it's not playing the same size places Joan is, so the guarantees aren't quite as high, so you're doing a little bit more of the work on your own.
But the difference is that I find that the personalities of people are different. The Blackheart Camp is a bit more, let's just say, I don't know if professional would quite be the right word, but it is very dry. And I find that some of the bands where the success level is a little lower, almost a little more fun, which isn't to say unprofessional because it could sound that way. That's not the case at all. But I guess maybe sometimes when the stakes are higher, it makes people a little edgier maybe, I don't know.

Jeff: Yeah, I can totally understand that. You look at a band like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, like you're kinda getting at. It's a more polished kind of atmosphere. And when you're talking about fun, you have to be talking about being in the Murderdolls, right? That must have been incredibly fun. You guys looked like you were always having fun.

Acey: That was the most fun I've ever had in my life.

Jeff: Oh my gosh. And can we talk a little bit about that? That, to me, is an interesting era in music because now, like I said, you are touring as a rhythm guitar with an iconic horror punk band the Misfits. Who basically started the whole deal. But with the Murderdolls and even with Dope and ... it was that whole wave that Marilyn Manson was really bringing around at that time. And it's like ... What was that like being a part of that? 'Cause that kinda changed music in general at that moment.

Acey: Well it was really cool for me because at that time I had played with Dope and we had done our first record, which didn't perform quite as well as Sony had hoped. And then we did the second record, it was 9/11, the whole downloading thing had just started. Literally those two things together happened almost at the same time and so we found ourselves without a record deal and not knowing what the future was. And that was kind of where I thought I was gonna land. That was the bar I had kinda thought I was gonna fall on, meaning, I was like, "Okay, I know I can do this. I know I can get into a band with a record deal and tour and all that stuff."
So when Dope was kinda done I was like, "Well, I set out to do something and I did it and maybe this is it." So, when I got the call to play with the Murderdolls, and it was like, "Hey" ... Initially Joey's plan was like, "Okay, we've got a string of dates in the UK, in Europe, and then we have a string of dates in Japan opening for Guns N' Roses and that's it. Are you in?" And I was like, "Yeah!"
And he didn't ... There was no expectations to do anything beyond that. That was gonna be it. And I think there was a couple of U.S. shows too. And so I saw it as a second chance. So I was so grateful. I was like, "Oh my god, this is great. And who knows even ..." And again it was like, "And even if this just lasts a few weeks, hey, I can kinda go out on top." I mean, opening for Guns N' Roses in Japan.
And at that point I had never been to Japan or Europe, so we had very ... again it was like ... And also the record company in the United States, Roadrunner, told Joey, they're like, "Look, we think this record is terrible, this band is terrible, we're not gonna support this." I mean they just flat out, they told us, "We're not supporting this record. You're wasting your time. We're not gonna get behind it."
And so kinda the attitude was a little bit of, like a, I don't wanna say "Live for today" but it was like, "Well, fuck it! Let's just grab the bull by the horns and enjoy these few weeks." Everybody was out of their freaking mind.

Jeff: Oh my god.

Acey: Ben and Eric had never really toured before. I knew sort of what to expect because Dope had toured with Slipknot ... Excuse me ...
And at that time, you gotta remember, Slipknot hadn't unmasked themselves yet.

Jeff: Right, yeah, they were all their still their persona. Even in interviews and everything else, yeah, yeah.

Acey: And it was pre-cellphone camera days too. So we would literally step off the bus and paparazzi would be there. And they would be taking pictures of me or any of the other guys in the band 'cause those guys really don't know shit anyway. But let alone it's like, they see a long haired guy and they're like, "He must be the Slipknot guy!" And there's pictures of me wearing a t-shirt that says, "No, I don't fucking play in Slipknot."

Jeff: That's excellent.

Acey: And it was solely for those paparazzi guys 'cause nobody knew.
So it was pretty crazy because people were really crazy about Joey and they were crazy about Slipknot and it was funny because we did the U.S. tour and when we toured the states, you would see the disappointment on people's faces. We would play and they'd be like, "Ugh, this doesn't sound anything like Slipknot."
But when we went to Europe and when we went to Japan, people were like, "Oh my god, this doesn't sound anything like Slipknot! This is great!"
So it was weird that the states did not like us and our record company did not like us for the same reason that everyone else loved us, so ...

Jeff: That's interesting. It was, like I was getting at, it was just such an interesting time of music because of bands like Murderdolls and Slipknot and everything. It was changing that whole genre and I'm ... It surprises me hearing about it, looking back on it, with Roadrunner dealing with it like they did. Because it's like, "Dummies" you know? I mean, come on. You guys were doing exactly what everyone should have been liking. It's weird when suits get involved I guess.

Acey: Well, you gotta remember too, that musically, we were tuned standard, it wasn't down tuning, Korn was still ... (coughs) Excuse me.
The nu-metal thing was still really at a fevered pitch. And we weren't down tuned, we had guitar solos, and it was very much the Misfits meet Motley Crue.
And I almost kind of credit the band more for starting bands like Black Veil Brides, New Years Day, a lot of the creepy kids that are around now. I kind of credit the Murderdolls for starting that more than anything.

Jeff: And I think, like I said, it's something that ... it's like that moment in time in musical history and it will always be there. And it's neat that you got to be a part of it.

Dustin: Speaking about a weird moment in music history that you were also a part of was the Rock Band video games. And we're taught to understand that you were part of the motion capture for one of the guitarist characters in Rock Band 2, is that correct?

Acey: Yeah, I was the guitar player for, if you picked the male rock guitar player, that's all me. And if you picked the male punk singer, that's all me.

Jeff: Alright, so, walk us back. How do you get ... Did you just wake up and get a phone call one day and they're like, "We need you in the green man suit." Or ... how do you get that gig?

Acey: My friend Joe Letz, who plays in the band Combichrist ... (coughs) ...Excuse me, my allergies are bad ... He is a mover and a shaker. He's always working an angle. And he tipped me off to it and I went down and I auditioned for it and I got it.

Jeff: What's that ... what's an audition like that ... what's that process like? Do they just look at you and go, "Yeah, you look like a rockstar. You're in, kid."

Acey: No. You have to actually air guitar to Van Helen's Panama with cardboard cutout guitar.

Jeff: Oh my god!

Acey: It's really funny.

Jeff: I really hope there's footage of this somewhere.

Acey: I really hope there isn't.

Jeff: I bet you do. Oh my god, okay, okay, so you down and audition and then you got it, you got the gig?

Acey: Yeah.

Jeff: So, what was it like, was it really like ... 'cause I'm trying to picture motion capture at that time. Was it all the little balls on, did you have to wear a suit with all the little balls on -

Acey: Yeah.

Jeff: Really? That's weird.

Acey: Yeah.

Jeff: That's so crazy. Wow.

Acey: Yep, had balls all over me. Balls were rubbing all over my body.

Jeff: Oh my gosh.

Acey: While I was in spandex.

Jeff: What a cool thing. We both D-mo and myself found this piece of information randomly on the Internet, and I was just like, "I gotta ask about that" 'cause it's just one of those random points in your life where you're like ... you must have been thinking, "How did I get here, how am I doing this?" It's pretty neat.

Acey: It's funny because that version of the band, of the game, sold over eight million copies.

Jeff: Oh my god.

Acey: And it's so funny because they animate over top of you so it doesn't look anything like you. And I was at some sort of family thing around that time and these kids were ... it was like a family picnic thing and there were kids there I didn't even know and they're playing the video game and I look in and I'm like, "Holy shit" and I look in and I'm like, "Yo, what's up guys? You know that's me there, right?" And they look at me and they look at the TV and they shrug their shoulders and they keep playing. They weren't impressed at all, they didn't care.

Dustin: Ungrateful little shits.

Jeff: That's, well, I'm impressed. I think that's pretty rad. I think -

Dustin: Just curious, how many hours of work did that take to get all that?

Acey: Well the funny thing was is it was one day they do the guitar stuff, one day they do the vocal stuff, and they paid me a grand a day and I was like, "Fuck yeah!" This is awesome, easiest money I've ever made, right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Acey: And I had lunch every day with the guy who owned it. And so we would talk, making small talk, and he was like, "Yeah, I want to buy a guitar" and I'm thinking, "Oh, he sounds like an upstart[inaudible 00:16:03] type guy"
and so when the first week sales on that thing were so high, that they gave that guy a twenty-four million dollar bonus. And now all of a sudden I'm like, "Wait, how come I only got a grand?!"

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Dustin: Perspective's a funny thing.

Acey: I'm getting ripped off!

Jeff: Oh man, that's ridiculous. That's funny though.
Okay, so, we kinda touched upon this earlier with what you're doing now, which is you are touring with this current incarnation of the Misfits. And kinda going back on the audition process, was that the same kinda thing? Did you have to audition for that or did you kinda know people to know people? Or, how did you get that gig?

Acey: Yeah, well Glen I had known ... Glen had asked me to do the Samhain reunion that he had done. And I couldn't do it because of my obligations with Joan.
Jerry, I'd known since the Murderdoll days and we'd stayed in touch over time and I ... When the Joan thing ran its course, I went to lunch with Jerry and he had gotten a new guitar player because Dez from Black Flag wasn't in the band anymore. And he had gotten another and I was like, "That's the wrong guy. I'm the right guy. I'm the guy."
Jeff: Nice.

Acey: And I'm like, "I'm going home and I am learning your set and I'm gonna audition and I'm gonna be in your band because you got the wrong guy." And Jerry, being the stand-up guy that he is, he's like, "You have a great attitude but I did just hire this guy, I can't really do that."
And ... So, when they were doing the incarnation when they were figuring out their plan, the whole thing was that anybody new who was brought in had to have no previous history with either Danzig or the Misfits. And I qualified for both so I guess when my name came up it was, Glen was like, "Yeah, I know him" and Jerry was like, "Yeah, I know him too."
So ... And I also had friends in my corner too, like my friend Kevin Wilson, he's a photographer, he was putting bugs in people's ears and Randy Blithe from Lamb of God, he had put a bug in their ear too, so that I had a good little cheering section there too. So ...

Jeff: Awesome.

Acey: Yeah.

Jeff: So how's it been touring with them now? I mean, they're ... It's crazy that titans of punk rock are back in full force. Is it ... What is it like to be a part of that, I guess is my question.

Acey: Well, it's amazing. I mean, it's ... We're still waiting to see what's gonna happen for the future shows at this point, but the shows that we did were very ...Literally I was on stage, and I'm watching, and I'm watching Doyle, who's just amazing, and Dave Lombardo from Slayer, and Glen and Jerry, and I'm watching and all of a sudden I look down and I got a guitar around my neck and I'm playing too. And it's like,-

Jeff: Gotta be surreal.

Acey: "Hold on a second, this is amazing", you know?

Jeff: That's so cool.

Acey: And the crowd, man. The crowd was bananas.

Jeff: I mean, as well it should be because again, you want to talk about musical history, especially with punk rock, Misfits are where it's at.

Dustin: Yeah, I mean, Jeff and I actually went out to Riot Fest when the Misfits were playing -

Jeff: In Chicago.

Dustin: I feel like everybody was there specifically to see the reincarnation of Misfits. It was really an incredible turnout, it was nuts. Tons of people.

Jeff: Yeah, it was nuts. I don't think I've ever been in a crowd with that many people before. It was -

Acey: And the funny thing was is that there were people that are diehard fans of the band that didn't go because they were like, "It's really not gonna happen. You guys are all suckers for going. It's not happening." And then they're like, "Oh my god, it really happened."

Jeff: It really happened.

Dustin: Yeah, it was -

Acey: They kept everything so tight-lipped, everything was kept so mum, you know?

Jeff: Yeah, totally.
A question I wanted to ask because you've had such an incredible career ... And you have had a career of being the hired gun, the guy who, like you did with Jerry, you're like, "I'm the guy you need" kinda thing.
But you've also had a career as your own front man. Acey Slade and the Dark Party. Do you prefer one or the other? Do you prefer an instrument over the other? Or are you just, do you just love it all?

Acey: I love it all. If I could wave a magic wand I would love for my own music to have the success that the people that I have worked for has had. But that's ... Either way it's not a bad situation, so ...

Jeff: So with everything you've done, all the bands you been in, all the tours you've been on, everything that you've accomplished, what fuels you to keep getting out there, getting on stage, and kicking ass? What keeps you going?

Acey: I just love it.

Jeff: Yeah?

Acey: Yeah. It's just the adventure of it. It's very much a pirate kind of existence.

Jeff: Work on that a little bit, what do you mean by a pirate existence? I love the sound of that.

Acey: We go into towns and places we've been before or places you have been before, and you fuck shit up, and you leave.

Dustin: Not to mention that you guys look kinda like pirates.

Acey: Yeah, exactly.

Jeff: Yeah that's true, that's awesome.

Dustin: And maybe from time to time go, "Arg!"

Jeff: I love that analogy, that's great.
Do you have any places that you like playing over others? Like either venues or cities or countries or anything?

Acey: I like going to places that I haven't been before.

Jeff: Those have got to be getting few and far between at this point in your career, though.

Acey: Yeah, the only places I haven't played, that I feel like I really want to play is maybe some place like India. Haven't played China yet. But besides that, shit, we played a place called Cosmo Bar Russia.

Dustin: Wow.

Acey: It's like, where the hell is that?

Jeff: Right.

Dustin: Where the hell is that?

Acey: In Russia.

Jeff: Yeah, it's somewhere.

Dustin: Oh man.

Jeff: It was that awesome, though? Playing out there?

Acey: You know, that's the fun of it. Is you never kinda know what's going to happen so playing there ... that was ... I wish I would have had more time there because, and I don't mean to speak poorly if anyone from Cosmo Bar is listening to this podcast, but it is a weird place. There ... It was like a time capsule.

Jeff: Oh weird.

Acey: And I'm also into photography and I would have loved to have taken the day and just photographed that city because it is, it was a weird place.
When we got off of the plane, and we were waiting for our ride, it was almost like scene in Superman where, what do you call it, the three guys from Krypton or whatever are walking into the town and they're all dressed in black and everyone's like, "Oh my god." That's what we were like in Cosmo Bar.

Jeff: Oh weird.

Acey: And, yeah ... But that was weird. Like I said, it's always weird.
So we get there, we check into the hotel, we go to the gig, we were all sick and they gave us the antibiotics. I don't know what they were -

Jeff: Oh no.

Acey: But these ... They must have had radiation in them or something because you literally could feel yourself getting better. It was almost like I felt a superhero in a movie where they get shot, and they can see their wound healing before their eyes.

Dustin: Wow.

Jeff: Oh my god, maybe there's Kryptonite in there.

Acey: It felt like that.

Dustin: Yeah, I was about to say -

Acey: Yeah, it might have been.

Dustin: ...steroids and Kryptonite.

Jeff: Oh my goodness! That's crazy what a crazy experience.

Acey: And then we get to the ... And the venue smelled like kerosene.

Dustin: Uh-oh.

Jeff: Goodness.

Acey: Like it was just, it was weird. We were kinda getting nauseous and headaches. So, you're getting better from the flu but then you're getting these headaches.
And ... But the venue was sick. So, it's like, that's what I mean. It's like this weird roll of the dice. It's like, you're backstage, it smells like kerosene, you're getting nauseous and headachy, you've got the flu, you got out and the venue is state of the art, it's banging, why can't you figure out this kerosene problem, guys?

Jeff: Weird.

Dustin: Have you ever had any scary moments on the road that are like, "Oh my god, do we die today?"

Acey: When I was in Croatia, I was in Zagreb, Croatia. And I went for a walk, I went for a wander. And this is years ago so this is before navigation on cell phones, and I went for a walk and I am usually pretty confident in my sense of direction. And I went for a walk and I got turned around, I got a little lost, and it seemed like I was getting into a sketchy area. So, I went into a door way and I pulled my map out. I didn't want to stand in the middle of everybody with a map. And I was looking and I'm like, "Okay, where am I? Okay, I think I figured it out."
Well, two guys saw me do it, I guess, and as I walked out they came up on either side of me and they're like, "My friend, where are you going?" And I'm like, "I know where I'm going." And the one guy grabbed my arm, he's like, "No, you're coming with us." And I'm like, "No, I don't think so." And I started to panic a little. I was like, "Okay, I'm just gonna sit like a girl and pounding my fists and screaming if that's what I gotta do." [crosstalk 00:26:11]
And I kinda fooled myself. Yeah, what is they call that with kids? There's a technique they call that for kids like, "This is not my mommy!" Or -

Jeff: Oh yeah, yep, yeah, exactly. Yeah, wow.

Acey: So I was about to do that and I pulled away and then ... There's another time in Copenhagen, Denmark where I got off the bus and I looked and there, it looked like everything was laid out like a grid, and I saw something that looked kind of interesting. I, my thing, of course, first thing in the morning, seek out coffee, you know?

Jeff: Yep.

Acey: So, I got off the bus, I looked, and I'm like, "Alright, let me, I think I got this." So, I walk down the street, and I'm just kind of exploring Copenhagen and checking it out. Get to the end of the street and I'm like, "Okay, so if I make a left, and then another left, and then another left, I'll circle back around to the bus, you know?

Jeff: Mm-hmm.

Acey: I make the left, make the next left, well that street all of a sudden gets all dog-legged and crazy and stuff like that. And all of a sudden I'm looking at my watch, and it's getting close to time for sound check, and I'm like, "Shit, man, I'm lost."
And I'm like, "Let me get a cup of coffee and sort it out." I go to get a cup of coffee and a pastry, my credit card doesn't work because it's in Copenhagen and I'm like, "Ah, shit." And this is pre-cell phone days.
So now I'm totally lost and as I tried to get un-lost I got even more lost.

Jeff: Oh no.

Acey: So I'm walking around, and I can't remember the name of the venue, and so I'm like, "Oh, man." So now I'm kinda starting to freak out and I'm really starting to panic. Five minutes after soundcheck time and I'm standing there and I'm trying to get somebody to help me, nobody speaks English. And I see a poster for the gig and so I'm standing there and I'm like, "Alright, perfect."
So, I'm standing there next to the poster, "Excuse me, do you know where this is? Do you know where this is?" Finally, someone's like, "Are you looking for this event? What do you want to know?" I said, "Where is this venue?" And they're like ... I'm having a heart attack, cold sweats, you know? And I'm like, "Where is this venue?" And they're like, "The venue on the poster?" I said, "Yeah" and they're like, "You're standing right behind it. You're here. You fucking idiot."

Jeff: Oh, that's awesome. Well, at least you weren't super late, then.

Acey: No, no. Then, of course, I walk in like, "Yeah, I'm alright, I'm cool."

Jeff: Oh that's funny.

Dustin: No sweat.

Jeff: Oh my gosh.

Acey: No panic.

Jeff: So, you said, you mentioned that outside of being a world-touring musician, you enjoy photography. What got you into taking pictures?

Acey: Well when I was touring with Joan, we would play a lot of what they call "flyover states" or tertiary markets, so to speak.
And we played a place called Wendover, Nevada. Which, you fly into Salt Lake City and drive about an hour and a half across nothing but salt flats to where there's a cluster of five casinos.
And we played there once, and I know you guys know this, I'm sober and I'm sitting there in this casino hotel and I'm like, "It's the most depressing place ever." And I'm like, "Oh my god, the only thing to do here is get wasted and forget that you're here," you know?

Jeff: Right.

Acey: And so we played there once. And then I was ... We were ... And then I saw it on the itinerary about nine months again later. And decided to figure out, "Okay with Joan, they have their markets where they always hit. So we're ... I'm gonna keep going to Wendover, Nevada type places."
So, my wife had a DSLR camera and it was a good starter camera with a good starter lens and so I took that with me there the next time. And I'm like, "Well, let me see what's there. I've always wanted to check out the desert." I grew up in Pennsylvania and then moved to New York City, I've never walked through the desert before, so let me check this out.
And I ended up finding out that Wendover, Nevada is where they did a lot of the testing for the Atom Bomb. There's all these abandoned salt flat racer cars -

Jeff: Oh cool.

Acey: There's just all this abandoned urban decay and it was awesome. It was so fucking cool. And then I was like, "Man, I can't wait to go back to Wendover next time because I want to retake this shot." It was just, I thought it was just like the coolest place.
So I went from a place that I was like, "This is where hope goes to die" to "This is the coolest place ever."

Jeff: That's really cool.

Acey: Photography did that, so ...

Jeff: That's awesome. And it's cool that you continue to do that. And I'm sure you've been able to pick up a lot of pointers from friends in the industry.
You mentioned Kevin Wilson who we all actually met down in the city just recently, too. What an incredible photographer he is.

Acey: Yeah.

Jeff: So I'm sure you've been able to pick the brains of some of your friends, and that makes it even more fun.

Acey: Yeah, between Kevin and Randy and our one friend, Doug, who's a New York Firefighter, it seems like we keep leap-frogging each other in our different areas where we're making progress.
So it's kind of like you always have somebody to bounce ideas off of. Or your friend will look at your shots and go "Ah, you know, you should've done this" or they might call me up and say "Hey, what do you think about that or the other thing?" So yeah, it's become a cool thing.

Jeff: That's really really awesome. So where can people follow Acey Slade? Where can our listeners find you on the Internet?

Acey: Well, Aceyslademusic is my website. Right now, it's just a merch store, but we're gonna be relaunching that soon.

Jeff: Cool.

Acey: So hopefully that'll be by the time this podcast goes. But Aceyslademusic.com, or my Instagram is Acey Slade, Facebook, any of the usual offenders.

Jeff: Easy. Musically, what's coming up next for you?

Acey: You know, that's like the million-dollar question right now. I'm trying to sort out what the Fall's gonna look like. It will be busy.

Jeff: Yeah.

Acey: It's just a matter of figuring out which things make the most amount of sense.
I'm producing a band right up until early September, and then the Fall and Winter are looking like they're gonna be busy, but I kind of have the attitude of, "Well, until I have an airline ticket booked and in my hand, nothing's 100 percent." So we'll see. I hate to be vague, but I don't know.

Dustin: It seems like you do a really good job of keeping your expectations managed, which ... I mean, you were talking earlier that ... It sounded like it was your career's rock bottom, but it was your top expectations of when you started on your journey, and I think that's kind of a healthy outlook, I guess, because the only surprises are pleasant ones for you.

Acey: Yeah. That's true. I'm also really grateful, too.

Dustin: Yeah, that helps.

Acey: I'm always very grateful for anything from a person hiring me to work for them to the people who come to the show. I never take for granted that there's a guy that's walking into Guitar Center today that was out framing a house all day, or doing whatever it is that they do, or working at Guitar Center. They're looking at the wall of guitars and they can't afford the one that they want and they've got to buy the cheaper one. And that guy would really ... I'm not that guy, and I feel very grateful for that. Then that guy comes to the shows and says "Man, I wish I was doing that." Well, that guy can do it, too.

Dustin: Yeah. Well, we're incredibly grateful for-

Acey: Or a girl.

Dustin: Or a girl, yes. We're incredibly grateful to have you on, man, and it's really cool to get to talk to people with your solid mind frame and all your experience, all your awesome rock stardom, all your crazy stories about almost getting murdered in foreign countries.

Jeff: Like I said, we'll obviously make sure that all of our listeners can follow you. When you do make all of whatever decisions you're going to make, which is a good problem to have, you've got a bunch of things that are possibilities, and when they actually become realities, we'll be right there with you.

Acey: Awesome.

Jeff: So, thanks again, man, for being on the show.