Hi Johnny, many people in Italy
do not know you, would you like to introduce yourself
Hi to all the Coolest Rockers
In The World, which all live in The Beautiful Country
of Italy!... and around the world My name is Johnny
Kreis, and I was the very first drummer for Rose/Hollywood
Rose! Greetings from California!
You were one of the founding
members of the Hollywood Rose, what
are your memories of that period?
...Well there were many, but one
of the interesting ones was when we, HR played our
first big gig and what was considered back then as
one of the biggest venues in the Valley, The Country
Club in Reseda, California and from the minute the
curtain opened, all I see from my position behind
the drums was bewildered faces! in the crowd!... in
like..."What the Hell is This!".....As We
Played a style of music that was so different, So
Primal!....and So Down To Earth!... and The Glam Spiked
Big Hair! and yet everyone can relate, because Axl
and Iz, wrote their songs, which followed how they
lived!... It was Streety Rock N Roll!... with a Raw
It was How We All Felt Growing Up!....and We didn't
care if you liked us or not!....but you'll hear us!...
you see, back then most bands were on the 80's melodic
trip playing hook oriented tunes that were very polished
well with us!...We Were Loud and Proud! the best way
to describe our sound and style is like having a drag
race between a Yugo and a F-14 Tomcat in Full AfterBurner!
...That gig was very cool!...little did that crowd
know that soon some of the members would go ahead
and become one of Rocks Icons!
Is there anything particularly
bizarre or funny that is worthy to tell about those
Well, I don't know about funny,
but there were times during rehearsal with Axl, Iz,
Me and Chris at Chris's house crammed in his room
when one minute we're working on writing parts of
the songs!... then next minute! An All out Hockey
Brawl Breaks Out!...
"The Roots of Guns’n’Roses"
has been recently released through Deadline, what
do you think of the remix by Gilby Clarke
and Fred Coury?
The Fred Coury Mix, is Awesome! it
is how I would want HR to sound as if we were still
crankin today!...and with Clarke's
Mixes, I liked the Tracii Guns cuts!..infact
back in the days, I knew Tracy well!... and really
admired his guitar playing!..he's also a really cool
What happened to you after the
Hollywood Rose period?
Here's a interesting story for
yaz, one day, back then after the band dissolved,
(could've been a few years) and we all went separate
ways, I was showing a friend from holland hollywood
blvd, when all of a sudden, this guy and gal passed
me, then I turned around and said... "Bill"
...and he turned around and No He Didn't Take a Swing
at Me!... and he said and smiled "Johnny The
and we chatted awhile then Axl said yea we got signed
and Izzy's in the Studio doing his tracks!... so that
was cool! for them!
for me, I started playing with rock bands in the orange
county area and played the rock clubs out there.
You have also been a member
of the Shire together with Izzy. How did you know
him? What can you tell us about him?
Yep!... OK! I got some more stuff
to tell the world that the Main Stream Media never
....there's alot of truth they don't know!... but
Now! It's my pleasure to say that SLAM is the first
The Truth!... SLAM Rules!
I'm sure you heard stories about how HR found me in
a throw-away magazine musicians classified section
well it wasn't HR it was Izzy and Shire!....then after
awhile Izzy who wanted to do somthing more the style
he liked and invited me to jam with HR and do a demo
thus the HR roots CD you hear today is the product
of those recordings, ...that's me on the drums!
(hmmmmmm! haven't seen a penny yet!...someone makin
money off these things!) but hey! they are
something I'm very proud of!... now about Izzy! Izzy
back then was an absolute gentlemen, and he still
is one of the most coolest people I have ever known
even these days 20 years later!… infact Izzy
and I were reunited by email
through a good friend… in Norway! …Thanks
Jan!… and after 20 years and all the fame and
the interesting stories it comes with, Izzy and I
up in May 2003 and jammed in a studio in West LA once
more!… for fun! And it was amazing, as the musicalChemistry
was still there, and after those sessions went out
for lunch and talked about old times and how life
was for him under the big lights of stardom, and ya
know what!… he’s doing better than ever!
Now! I’m very glad for him!
When did you last see Andre
Roxx, Chris Weber,
Izzy and Axl? Do you still
keep in touch with them?
I met Chris again after 20years,
earlier this year at The Whiskey in Hollywood at one
of his bands gigs, he’s doing well!… but
I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Andre
Troxx, as his name came up in a conversation
…..I will truly miss him, as we were so close
to meeting once again….. as he too was part
of this Musical Journey of HR, (Hats off to you my
friend) also another fact that before Andre there
was a bassist by the name of Rick
Marrs, awesome player and gent, who also played with
Shire, we did talk briefly by email a few years ago!
Axl, I haven’t seen since the 80’s….but
hopefully one day!….
you have played with Bad Boys, ShowDown
and Striker. What kind of
music did you play? Is it still possible to find their
The Musicial Styles, were hard rock, melodic metal,
and I don’t think you’ll find much out
Axl: what can
you tell about him?
Axl… atleast from my point
of view back then, he always treated me very well,
he was very clever,
and motivated to succeed in the industry, never took
a swing at me or threw me off a ten story high building!
After lighting me on fire!… nope! none of that!…
he was very business savy!… but there were differences
in personal chemistry with the other guys in the band!
What is your opinion about the
new Guns ‘n’Roses and
VR’s pretty cool!…
I’m glad their out there doing it!…
Adler has recently
formed the Adler’s Appetite.
Have you ever thought to dig out the old Hollywood
Rose for some gigs?
It would be cool to jam the old HR stuff!… t’s
Real Rock N Roll!… but it can’t be done
with only a few of the original
members, you see HR was an Emotion, an Attitude, a
Fustration with Strings, Violence, Love, Love Gone
it’s about Ciggarettes with Wine!… It’s
The Street!... it’s something you Feel!…
and cannot be replicated! Even if you tried!
How did you react when you were
said that Guns ‘n’Roses
were about to come back again but you were not part
of it? Considering what GNR actually got, do you have
any regrets of having been excluded?
No! not really!… if it was
meant to be!… .be it will!… but it wasn’t…
and everything has it’s reasons!
…but I do wonder sometimes!… how life
would’ve been on the other side of the stage!
I know that you have been on
stage with China Cat and Suzy
Sunless not long ago. Tell us about that
That was fun!… to be in
another part of the world, and have the pleasure to
crank the metal in Hellsinki,
Finland, with other talented musicians, such as Mertsa
Arramo (CC) and Jundes (Suzy)
of which I’d like to say hi to Marie
Arramo who is an excellent Rock show promoter
and good friend and watch her put all of it together!…
Kittos!... (Thank You)
Marie and thanks again...
It was interesting for me to see that the Rock Scene
in Finland is still going stronger than ever, though
I can do without all that snow!… but the finnish
are a Loud and Proud People!… and will fight
through a snow storm to see a rock show!
Any project you are busy with
Oh Yes!… these days I have teamed up with a
fellow dutch-indo guitarist by the name of Randy
Jacobs and bassist Johnny Vaca,
and I would say that this band will turn heads when
we go live.
This Band’s Style combines the sound of Steve
Vai/Satriani Meets The Energy of Metallica
with the fun of Van Halen, checkout
our website at: http://www.randy-jacobs.com.
Alex Van Halen is one of your favourite drummers if
I’m not wrong. Is it true that your dad used
to play in a polka band together with Alex’s
Yes, my pops Richard Kreis played bass in a polka
band with Alex’s pops Jan Van Halen
on clarinet and another person on accordian and yep,
a young Alex V on drums. Infact it was my dad who
turned me on to a VH album, and after listening to
it!… life as I know it changed!
Tell us about the typical day
of Johnny Kreis...
…if it’s not playing
drums!… (which I Love and Come Alive) then usually
the typical day is pretty boring, going to work yadayadaya!
Ok Johnny, this is the end,
the last words are for you…
Well, I just want to give a Very Special Thank You!
to my friend Moreno Lissoni and all
the staff of SLAM Magazine!
For giving me this very special opportunity to tell
the world that there is a person behind those drums
Roots of HR CD, that really nobody knows until now!…
and that I’ve been there and done that! Played
in the very beginning with a few Hollywood Kids that
became RockStars, and allowing me to share my story
A Untold View From The Inside Of HR from the very
….And to all drummers and musicians
around the world!
….It’s Time To SLAM!