The Luchagors body-slammed their way through Newcastle during their second UK tour (wrestling pun unintended, well, okay, maybe a little…) and we were lucky enough to get a chat with them all. We got talking about: touring the UK, the pros and cons of their front woman being former WWE Diva Lita, plans for their next album, ice factories, and more.
Faye: Can you say your names and what you do in the band?
Amy: I am Amy Dumas, I sing.
Jay: I’m Jay Heburg, I play bass.
Racci: I’m Racci Shay, yeah! I play drums.
Shane: And I’m Shane Morton, I play guitar.
Faye: How did you all meet?
Amy: We met when I would skip high school, and he [Shane] was working at a t-shirt shop that sold punk rock t-shirts, he was in a local band at the time, and I’d go see all his shows, so that’s how I knew Shane. Then I moved back to Atlanta about 3-and-a-half years ago and we reconnected then. Jay, Racci and Shane have all been friends forever.
George: Racci, you used to play for Dope and Wednesday 13, and have just joined The Luchagors, how did you get involved?
Racci: I got involved because these people have been my best friends forever.
Amy: Alice Cooper didn’t call, so, he was like, “Damn…”. [laughs]
Racci: He actually did, but I turned him down because I knew that Shane Morton was a guitar God. [laughs]
Shane: I’ve wanted to play with Racci for 15-years and he wasn’t doing anything right then at that moment…
Racci: And now I am.
Faye: You play a rather old-school style of pop-punk, what attracted you to that style and scene?
Amy: That’s what I grew up on, I went to my first show in like ’88 or ’89 at 12-years-old and that’s where I fit, so that was naturally the kind of band that I wanted to be in.
Faye: What was your first punk rock show?
Amy: My first punk rock show was 7Seconds and Circle Jerks.
Jay: Which I opened for. [laughs]
Amy: Yeah, Jay’s band opened for 7Seconds and Circle Jerks back then.
Jay: But we didn’t know each other.
Faye: You first came over to the UK last summer, how was that?
Amy: Ten times better than what I thought it would be.
Jay: For being a new and outside band, we did really, really well.
Faye: Is that why you came back to the UK so soon?
Shane: It wasn’t soon enough!
Amy: Yeah, we were supposed to come back in March, but we were switching drummers and we hadn’t convinced Racci yet to play for us, so we were drummerless at that moment, so we had our shows pushed to now and here we are.
Racci: We do want to come back even sooner, though.
Amy: Yeah, we’re coming back in November.
George: Do you find that there’s more punk fans or wrestling fans that attend your shows?
Amy: I’ve found that it’s starting to evolve, because that novelty factor has worn off. On our first tour, people are curious and people who aren’t fans of our style of music, they’re just going to come that one time to get all their action figures signed and they’re not going to come back, and that’s fine.
Shane: Then we proved ourselves to all the punk rockers, because they didn’t know that she was a punk rocker before she was a wrestler, then they’re like, “Oh, shit, it’s a real band with real people doing real stuff.” and like us.
Amy: Yeah, it’s not like this produced, hired-band behind me, which I think a lot of people think it is. You can see within a couple minutes of seeing us walk around the club that it’s not that.
Racci: We’re at the bar drinking with the locals having a good time, raising hell, and we just kind of blend in because we want to be here. It’s the same reason that they want to be here, because we want to watch bands, have a good time and just enjoy ourselves.
Shane: You can tell by our giant, air-conditioned tour bus that we mean business… [laughs]
Amy: Our tour manager is bitching about us cutting on the van. [laughs] No, we love it!
Faye: Do you find that you’ve introduced a lot of wrestling fans to new music and converted them into fans?
Amy: Totally, it’s pretty awesome, because sometimes people in punk rock can be a elitist, like they were born listening to punk rock and it’s like who’s more punk than who, but it’s like, who cares? It’s about your mind, your soul, your heart, and why you live life, that’s what punk rock is. I wrote a book a few years ago and I talked a lot about my upbringing and punk rock and stuff, which exposed some people to it. I also have a radio show in Atlanta, it’s an hour punk show and that exposes people to it. I think it’s really cool, you can tell there’s people that get it, like I’ll get these emails saying, “Woah, I never knew about this!” and they’re so honest, they’re not like, “Oh, well, I kinda knew about punk rock”, y’know? People can put up this front, but they’re like, “Wow, I never knew about it, these lyrics speak to me, and it’s changed my life.” And I can totally relate to that because during my first punk show, when I went with my friend from the bus stop, to 7Seconds and Circle Jerks, I was like, “This is changing my life, this is where I belong.” To get emails from other people and I know what they’re feeling is awesome.
George: You’re known to take a very DIY-approach with the way you tour, play shows and such, is it important for you to work your way up the ranks the hard way?
Amy: Yeah, the thing is, when I left the WWE, we were already playing in a band, it could have been really easy, we had offers to kind-of coattail our ride like, “We wanna put you in this studio in L.A. and have these producers working with you.” But then it’s like these other people’s fingers are in this project and you can get influenced by other people, and I definitely didn’t want that. It was really important for me not only prove the doubters wrong, I know we have a million doubters and we always will and that’s fine, but to also, for us, as a band, to figure out what we were going to be and what we want to be, as opposed to have someone tell us what to be. For the album that we’re going to put out next, we are going to demo it and shop it around to some labels that we want to be on, but it was important to put out the first one like we did, so we could figure out what we wanted to do instead of having someone else influencing it. Now that we’ve done four U.S. tours and two U.K. tours, we’re like “Okay, we can listen to someone else’s perspective.” and be like, “We can try that, sure.” or “Ugh, no, we kind of already went that way, but don’t want to now.”
Faye: So, do you feel that being an already known figure has definitely been an advantage for the band?
Amy: I feel like it has sucked, actually. [laughs] It’s a Catch-22 because people have a pre-conceived notion. However, I don’t think our booking agent would have approached us, an unsigned band, without a label, being like, “Hey, do you want me to book you shows over here? I can book you a month of shows”, had I not had previous notoriety, so for that instance, it’s been good. So, yeah, we are going to shop our stuff to labels in the future, but it’s a Catch-22 really. Yeah, we get to tour off the bat because I have a little bit of notoriety, but at the same time we get booked at a lot of pool halls that wrestling fans come to get their trading cards signed.
Shane: Especially, in the States, we’ve played some questionable places. [laughs]
Jay: We’ve been way more accepted in the UK, than over there.
Faye: Are you looking to go back to wrestling any time in the near future?
Amy: No, not at all.
Racci: She beat me just yesterday!
Amy: I did, it was just the case of the worms, though! The worms started when I toured with Fifteen, in the nineties, it’s like when it’s about 45-minutes or so before you get to the venue, where you’re just like, “I’ve got to get out of this van!” and you just want to tackle somebody and roll around and scream and stick your head out of the window. [laughs] But, yeah, my priority is definitely not wrestling, and that’s not to say I don’t appreciate where I came from or that I don’t love the experiences that I had on the road or that I don’t love a lot of people on the roster, it’s just that it’s not where my head is, it’s not where my heart is right now.
Faye: Were you invited to take part in the 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania 25, this year? If so, why did you turn it down?
Amy: Did you see that match?!
Faye: Yeah, it was so bad!
Amy: Right, that’s why I turned it down. [laughs] I did watch it, though. I was dying laughing, I was in stitches, rolling on the couch, thinking, “Thank God, I’m not there, because that is nothing I need to be a part of.” No, first of all, let me tell you this, because Kid Rock was playing for like forever, right? I was like, “Get out of the way, what is this guy doing?! Come on! I didn’t know this guy still sang!” and then, these girls started coming out and I’m thinking they’re like his hoes, his hired dancers, about to break out into some choreographed Beyoncé-shit, but then I realised and was like, “Oh my God!” I can only imagine them being like, “So, what we’re wanting you to do is: grab Kid Rock’s leg, start grinding up on it, then go into the ring and do a drop toehold.” I’d be like, “Absolutely not, under no circumstances.” So, yeah, that is why I did not do that match.
George: You released your self-titled in 2007, how will your next album differ from it?
Amy: It’s going to be a totally different thing because me and Shane wrote the first whole record together, on an acoustic guitar just sitting on my couch. I was still a bit in my shell, exploring song writing, but now that I have a little more confidence and experience and these guys have been doing it forever. We’re going to be writing the whole record together, it’s going to have a different feel to it. It’ll still sound like the same band, for sure, I can’t say it’s going to be one of those records that you don’t recognise the band from one record to the next, but I think you’ll be able to tell that it’s a whole band collaborative effort. I’m excited about it.
Faye: Do you have any idea when it’ll be out?
Amy: I don’t know, probably not before we’re back here in November, but we’re going to be working on it before November.
Faye: What are you getting up to after this tour?
Amy: We’re going to go home, take a shower, we need to hold some ‘benefit for UK plane ticket shows’ to get back over here in November. They tried to get us back in October, but October is Shane’s month because he does a lot of stuff to do with all-things horror and myself, too.
Shane: Basically, we’re horror whores.
Amy: Racci gets pulled into it sometimes by default, but myself, Shane, and Jay do this thing at the last Saturday of every month called the Silver Scream Spook Show, Shane can tell you about it.
Shane: Yeah, it’s like an old spook show thing, where we have dancing girls, live comedy, a magic show and a classic monster movie on the big screen. It’s pretty huge, you should check it out at silverscreamspookshow.com and it’s really awesome.
Faye: What is it about horror that you like?
Shane: I was just raised on it, I love it, I do special effects for movies and stuff.
Amy: That’s his punk rock.
George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Shane: I would say The Riverboat Gamblers and Valient Thorr right now are the two you should be listening to.
Amy: The Bronx, too. I love H2O, I think their Nothing To Prove album was album of the year, I think it’s awesome.
Shane: But my personal favourite right now is The Riverboat Gamblers, no one knows about them and they’re great, so good.
Amy: They’re on tour right now with Rancid and Rise Against, so hopefully they’ll get on the road and get some recognition, because they’re great. Oh, and One-Eyed Doll, they’re friends of ours from Austin, Texas, they’re awesome and nobody knows about them. Those are bands where you’ll be like, “How did I not know about them? They’re awesome!”
Shane: And, of course, us!
Racci: If you ever get bored, just bust out Alice Cooper – Killer, you can never lose with that.
George: Is there anything you want to add?
Racci: I will, I think I’m going to open a company over here that just distributes ice throughout the country. I’m going to make billions of dollars doing that.
Shane: Yeah, why are there not ice machines all over? We’re dying, it’s fucking hot, do you not like ice in your drinks?
Racci: I mean, in the States, we can go to a convenient store and buy huge bags of ice for like $2 dollars.
Shane: Everybody loves ice.
Racci: So, in closing, we’re going to open an ice factory in Newcastle, you can count on that.
Amy: That’s going to fund our next UK tour.
Shane: Actually, we’re going to pump up all your refrigerators, so your drinks are actually cold here, they’re like, “Cold drinks, right here!” and I’m like, “Pfft, what?!”
Racci: We’re not being wankers, we’re just trying to tell you that ice is great and you’re going to love it when we do it.
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