Backstage Winnipeg Archives


Interview with Cindy Massey of Malice Cooper

By Kristie Allen

When I had heard that there was a tribute to my rock gawd Alice, I had to learn more. What's the most interesting fact to this little story is, Alice is a woman! From hits such as "Billion Dollar Babies" to "Lost in America", this girl can really belt out the tunes! I was impressed and amazed, that she could sing note per note, scream per scream and all the while not letting on her gender behind the leather and make-up. I recently had the pleasure to catch up with multi-talented musician, Cindy Massey from Winnipeg based Alice Cooper Tribute Act; Malice Cooper. Not only is she beautiful and charming, she's got a hard job, imitating a man!

BSW - What made you decide to form an Alice Cooper Tribute Act? Why didn't you pick something like Joan Jett or Heart?

CM - Well I've always gone against the grain. If I chose one of those two I would pigeon hole myself into those as being the only type of songs that I can sing. Secondly, female songs are too "soft" for me. Thirdly, I wanna Rock. So the obvious of choices would be Alice because he rocks. Also, he acts as well as sings and those are my 2 favorite things in the world. So I get to have it all my way!

BSW - As a woman, what would you say is the most difficult thing to do, to transform yourself into Alice?

CM - I have to stop myself from breaking out into girl dance. The sneer is also very difficult to reproduce vocally. Otherwise, it all comes pretty natural really.

BSW - Do you find it hard to try to sing like him?

CM - Not really, like I said the sneer is really the hardest part. The rest is pretty easy. He does change styles a lot so if there was any difficulty it would be in that regard. Once you know where the changes are though it just comes quite naturally.

BSW - How has the response been at your shows, when the audience finds out that you are a woman?

CM - Well for the most part there is shock. A lot of opened mouthed faces staring back at me. I think I kind of scare them because a woman in this position can be regarded as very powerful and I think that may creep the guys out a bit. I know that they really have a difficult time approaching me but once they see everyone else coming up and talking to me after the show they realize that I'm just a nice person.

BSW - Are there any plans for an original act?

CM - Sure I'd love to start writing/collaborating on more originals who wouldn't but I have to find my other musicians for this band so it is top priority. I always write songs on my own for mostly myself.

BSW - Obviously you are a talented lady to be able to pull off being Alice....what else can you do? Play guitar? Drums?

CM - I can play pretty much any instrument put in front of me. I can figure em all out. I'm a natural. I'm not great at any of them but I can play them. I've even played the tsimbale (forgive me if I misspelled this word) which is a Ukrainian instrument along the lines of string instruments. I have played Keyboards in bands before. My guitar/bass and drumming aren't the greatest or anything but I can hold my own if I have to.

BSW - What you would like to tell people to expect at your shows?

CM - Expect the unexpected! If you want to be pleasantly shock rocked beyond repair show up!

And you really can expect the unexpected! From the props to the stage performers, you really feel like you're seeing the Coop! So go check these cats out!

Interview with Todd Pledger of After All These Years

By Kristie Allen

I’m not normally into country music, hillbilly music or any musical style of that genre, but “After All These Years” may have just changed my “tune”. The shear simplicity of their songs, are honest and fun. I haven’t had the opportunity to see them live yet, but I look forward to it October 1st at The Pyramid.

BSW - I read that you have released your first c.d. called “Gravel Roads”. What can people expect to hear when they listen to it? And where can they buy it?

Todd - You can expect to hear some down home traditional country with a touch of bluegrass. We like to think that we're on the same road that Neil Young and Willie Nelson once travelled. The c.d. can be picked up exclusively through our website right now at

BSW - You guys recorded this in 30 hours! How the heck did you do that? I mean, you don’t normally hear of a band whipping off a c.d. so fast, and it sounding so good!

Todd - Well, the songs were well rehearsed which takes away a lot of the time when you're tracking a c.d. We tried to keep the sounds as raw and fresh as possible. From past experience of recording many albums with different bands, I've learned that to truly capture the feel of the music, you need to do it in just a few takes....and that's what we did. Most of the songs were one take recordings and the vocals were done without worrying about too many little mistakes. The c.d. was recorded with an 8 track ADAT machine and we did everything in my bedroom.

BSW - I must say that the pure rawness of this c.d. is fantastic! I almost feel like I’m somewhere in the deep south listening to the radio. My personal favorite is “Bottom Dollar”, what was your favorite song to record?

Todd - I think our favorite song to record was probably Bottom Dollar as well just because we whipped it off in about 20 minutes after two 24's of needless to say it was pretty funny... Our guitar player Brian Beernaerts was the one mixing the record and he was deathly ill that day so we needed to give him a little liquid incentive.

BSW - Any news on the tour plans?

Todd - As far as we know the plan is to travel out to Montreal in April hopefully with The Swifty's from Edmonton, who by the way are an excellent band and super cool guys. After that we come back for a month or so and then we'll be heading out to the West Coast for a 2 week tour. Right now we are in the studio working on our second c.d. titled "Hector's Place" which we hope to be released in December this year. That will probably take up most of the fall but we will be doing lots of gigs in Manitoba throughout the Winter.

BSW - Any upcoming gigs you’d like to tell us about?

Todd - Right now we have a few things lined up. September 28, The Big Breakfast on the "A" Channel. October 1, The Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg with Joel Kroeker and The Cedars. October 7 at Shannon's Irish Pub in Winnipeg as well.

BSW - On a personal note, I noticed that you all have VERY different tastes in foods! I mean, Darrell and his spaghetti sandwich? Brian and his burger and fries from Headingley Correctional Institute? Is that the secret to your success? Should we be starting a cook book on “Foods to Survive the Road”?

Todd - Yeah man! My personal contribution for your first issue will be my famous "Rip out your colon chicken wings"......recipe to follow.

BSW - Anything else you would like to add?

Todd - Just a couple things. On September 18 we went into the University of Winnipeg radio station CKUW 95.9 f.m. to do a live interview and play a few tunes on the "Beer for Breakfast" show. I wanted to let everyone out there know that this is an awesome little gig and the guys that run the show were super cool to us so big thanks goes out to them. Besides that we hope you come out and check out some live shows and support the new c.d.

BSW -“Rip out your colon chicken wings”…hmmm…..sounds tasty yet painful!!! I think we may have something here Todd!!!!

Interview with Dave from AMF

By Kristie Allen

The first time I seen these young men play was at Club Genesys while working with Darwin Foster of Screemin Chix Productions. When they hit the stage, I was mezmorized. David Ryan De Vries vocals, Chad Hagen keyboards, Ryan Glays rip roaring guitar playing, Jan Slavicek bass playing and Peter Haverstock drumming was just so…..right. It had been a long time since I seen a band who turned my head, but let me tell ya, these boys rocked my world! Not only are they talented, they are just about the nicest group of people I have met. Very approachable and I personally think one of the next biggest things to happen in Winnipeg. Okay, enough of that, let’s get right to the interview.

BSW - I think I read somewhere that you boys were going back into the that true? And if so, how is that going?

Dave - Well we are planning on heading back into the studio but haven’t yet. Unfortunately it's due to a lack of money and the amount of other things we've needed to spend our money on. We did record one song at Unison Studios a little while ago; it’s called "Buried Alive" and is available for download off of our website We will be heading into the studio soon though and hope to have the EP done for May of 2005, just in time for some Summer Touring.

BSW - What can people expect to hear with this new E.P.? And how do you think it differs from your 1st c.d.?

Dave - Well People can expect a Solid AMF disc. Our sound has definitely evolved and has become a lot more mature. This one is gonna be 6 songs that will just kick the shit out of everybody out there. Really Driving, Melodic and Huge sounding stuff. We're really looking forward to getting this one out. As far as different from "Breaking Point" well, like I said our sound has matured since that disc.Breaking Point is a really Solid disc with some great songs, but with what we're writing now we have Amplified our already HUGE sound and created some really Amazing this day I haven’t heard another Winnipeg disc or, I'd even go as far as to say indicant disc that compares in overall Quality to Breaking Point. But with our new stuff we are definitely Upping the bar....

BSW - You went on your 1st tour this past summer, right? How did that go? How were the crowds, were they receptive?

Dave - Yeah we did head out this summer.. Twice to be exact. We went out 2 weeks in June and for 4 days in August. We were supposed to head out East in July but didn’t get the chance because of some extenuating circumstances. But the western parts were Fuckin' Awesome. The Crowds were amazing, everywhere we went they loved us, whether we were playing in front of 5 people of 300. We had some really good turnouts and some disappointing turnouts but the crowds got to see what we are all about and that’s all that matters, getting the name out there. We can't wait to do it again, just on a bigger scale.

BSW - Any funny road stories you wish to share with us?

Dave - Ha ha… what happens on the road stays on the road. (DUH! I KNEW THAT! I don’t know why I asked it! My bad!)

Dave - Some funny shit happened, but everyone will be able to experience that for themselves when Our AMF road trip DVD comes out... A mix of poorly recorded live shows and some funny shit…It'll be available at live shows in the next few months.

BSW - Any plans on more road trips? And if so, where would you like to go next time?

Dave - For sure, we’ll be heading out in the New Year.. We have to try and catch up on all of the other things the band has going on first. When we do go we're looking to head out across Canada East and West this time. All the way hitting all of the Major cities, smaller cities and towns too. Really make ourselves known across the country. We're also looking into booking a few tours down through the U.S..Try and start a full out North American Invasion.

BSW - October 30th, you are playing with 4 bands at the Charleswood Hotel, how did that come about? I mean, it's pretty unusual to have so many bands playing in one night.

Dave - Actually we’re putting on a Festival "HALLOWEEN HELLFEST". October 30th and 31st at Isaac Brock C.C. , 9 bands, 2 Nights, 1 venue, ALL AGES and only $5 a night. Originally it was only October 30th that was going to be at Isaac Brock and the 31st was gonna be at the Charleswood. But due to MLCC rules we had to change the venue.. So now both shows are at Isaac Brock. We decided to do it because there are never any Good All Ages shows that happen and we want to expand our fan base to that age group.. Plus it’s Gate Night and Halloween, two of the best nights of the year.. Who doesn’t expect great Metal shows to happen on those Nights. The Lineup is full of great Winnipeg Talent. October 30th is Us, Dreadnaut, Suiciety, Damascus and Blown Up Friend. October 31st is Us, Infraction, Pretty Train Crash, Mandatory Death and Shades Of None. We're the only band that is doing both nights.

BSW - Is this your 1st all ages show?

Dave - No, we've done a few other All Ages shows but none of them have been as big as this one…HELLFEST should be an amazing Show..

BSW - What can a person expect when going to your show the 1st time?

Dave - A really Active, Intense, energetic Show. We give 100% to every performance. We move around a lot and interact with the crowd, really make you feel like we're playing just for you. I hate bands that just stand in one place and just play the music…After all it is a show, you’re not just showcasing the music you’re putting across an image. Add the fact that you can really feel the music. We pack our shows full of Pure ROCK AND ROLL attitude. We make the shows Look Great and Sound Great so it's Definitely A good time for everyone.

BW - What's after the Charlie? Any more shows we should know about?

Dave - After "HELLFEST" we're planning on some other shows and maybe a small western tour. But nothing that is 100%. We'll probably start in the studio before December..As far as other shows..October 15th @ the Zoo w/ Drivenation, Needlefish and Industry H. $5 at the door.. It’s 18+ and it's gonna KICK MAJOR ASS. Everyone and there dog will be there.

BSW - Where could one buy your c.d.?

Dave - Online from our website or at Or in Winnipeg at Music Trader in Osborne Village, Planet of sound or any CD Plus Location.

BSW - Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dave - Make sure to go check out our website @ for news, shows and more.

Interview with Lead Singer, Chris from Devoid

By Kristie Allen

BSW - First off, why don’t you tell me a little about yourselves. I know that Chris played in the band “Acid Splash”, are the other guys rock veterans as well?

Chris - We are all vets here; this is no band of kids. Trevor and I go back 10 years to our first touring project “GUILTY AS SIN”, Ed played in many local acts “SOUL SCATTER” being his largest and Steve has many years under his belt in cover bands.

BSW - How long have you been together as a band, and how did you meet?

Chris - We've been jamming for well over a year now, and as for meeting it’s a typical band story. After Acid (Splash) I took some time off, I wanted to play again in a not so serious project, without all the drama of a band trying to "make it”. I called the people that I most wanted to play with; good friends, good musicians, and I got em all.

BSW - Who are your musical influences famous or not famous? And how has this impacted your music career?

Chris - I don't think any of our influences come through in our music, that’s what makes us a little different. Steve and I love the "shredder" guitarists of the late 80's early 90's yet we don't do that in our tunes. I love vocalist like Mudvayne , Slipknot etc. but I don't sing like that. we are what we are.

BSW - What are your thoughts on music today? I personally haven’t heard anything in a long time on the radio that has made me want to go out and purchase c.d.’s. I feel that there is so much hidden talent in our own city that is just waiting to be discovered.

Chris – (I) Don't listen to the radio, its filled with nothing but commercial garbage, (I) go to the clubs, go to the record stores, that’s where the music is. Winnipeg has the best local talent of any city I’ve played in hands down.

BSW - Any plans for a c.d.? And if so, when can we expect to hear it?

Chris - We are hitting the studio in mid October. We’re going to come out with 3 songs, wait ,do another 3 and probably release them as an E.P. By waiting, we are hoping to keep the songs on the disc current and our absolute best material.

BSW - Any plans for travel?

Chris - We are planning a tour for either spring or fall of 2005, nothing concrete.

BSW - When and were can we see you boys play?

Chris - Next show is at the Charleswood Inn, October 16th. We are playing with our good friends “NEEDLEFISH” and the headliners “HUNDRED FOLD”.

BSW - Is there anything you want to add? Any advice you want to give?

Chris - Ya, support your local talent, like you guys are with this site.

Check Devoid out Saturday, October 16th at the Charlie!




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This issue Interviews with:

Malice Cooper

After All These Years





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