Written by: Frank Iacono
With L.A. Guns, Stacey David Blades has shared the bill with Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, The Scorpions, Dokken, Skid Row, Warrant and more. He’s been around the world 10 times, done 4 albums with the legendary late producer Andy Johns and on the bill of many prestigious music festivals including M3, Rock Weekend (Sweden), Rockin The Rivers, Buffalo Chip and more! Stacey has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Metal Edge, and Premier Guitar Magazine to name a few. Stacey is proudly endorsed by ESP Guitars, Pig Hog Cables, Crafter Guitars and Crate Amplification.
Back in April of 2009, Stacey wrote and published a very revealing and often-humorous autobiography, “Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar.” The book received high marks from fans all over the world. In 2010, Stacey also released his first ever solo instrumental album, Symphonic Slam. It is a remarkable collection of rocked-out classical numbers by Strauss, Bach, Handel, Beethoven and more.
Blades has a vast Music Production Library with Jason Donnelly for Music by Design. They’re music can be heard on such TV hit shows as “Duck Dynasty,” “Shark Week,” “The Wahlburgers” and “Pitbull and Paroles” just to name a few. In the summer of 2016, Stacey did a very big successful tour with Bobby Blotzer’s RATT Experience, playing arena’s, amphitheaters and stopped over to play a sold-out London show and headlined “Hard Rock Hell” Festival in North Wales.
Stacey’s new active rock band Electric Radio Kings is taking the Nation by storm with the release of their album Purrr, produced by Metallica’s longtime engineer Mike Gillies.
Their single Back to Black hit the airwaves nationally last spring of 2019. ERK broke the top 30 at @28 on Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. ERK is in pre-production again with Mike Gillies to work on their highly anticipated follow-up album.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, we caught up with Stacey David Blades. where we talked about his musical influences, his songwriting and recording process, his experience in the music industry, his new band Electric Radio Kings as well as his short and long-term future plans.
The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you first realize that you wanted to be a musician and whom or what would you say inspired you?
Stacey David Blades: I started my musical career at a very young age. I was 9 when I began playing the piano with extensive lessons up until the age of 11. Then one Christmas, I got this little acoustic guitar and that was it!!! That guitar never left my hands. At the time, I was getting very good at piano so after a year of lessons on the guitar I got really good pretty quickly! After taking proper guitar lessons for three years, I purchased my first electric guitar. I am so grateful to have had a musical family and blessed to have been in a position to take lessons for all those years as a child.
TCS: What famous musical artists and/or bands were among your early influences and describe for us how they impacted and/or shaped your musical style?
SDB: Early on, I was really into bands like The Cars, Cheap Trick, Ozzy, Rush, Journey, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen. I was all about listening to different styles! With that, I was also very much into bands like U2, Missing Persons, The Motels and Duran Duran. Form that early new wave sound mixed in with Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, I think all of these bands impacted and shaped my musical style.
TCS: For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Stacey Blades or your musical career, please share with us how you first started out in Toronto, Ontario Canada and eventually became a well-known guitarist in popular bands like Roxx Gang, LA Guns and now Electric Radio Kings?
SDB: I had played the club circuit for quite a few years in Toronto. In 1992, I finally got my big break when I joined Virgin Recording artists Roxx Gang from St. Petersburg, Florida. I was in that band for 8 years then moved to Los Angeles, California. About a year after the move, I landed the gig with LA Guns. In 2017, I formed Electric Radio Kings (ERK), my dream band, with the goal of playing something a little alternative, punky and modern. I’m a huge Stone Temple Pilots (STP) fan so this is the band I have wanted ever since the mid 90’s.
TCS: Can you introduce to the Electric Radio Kings band lineup? And, how would you describe your overall sound and musical genre?
SDB: We have the awesome Peter Ross on Lead Vocals, me on Lead Guitar, David Harris on Second Guitar, Carl Raether on Bass Guitar and we’ll be announcing our new drummer in July. This is the dream team lineup. I’m the only original member left from the earlier lineup. When we started, we had a very Velvet Revolver vibe but now I’d say the band has morphed into more organic sound similar to bands like Rival Sons, STP and a little White Stripes. Our new album will absolutely bleed those sounds. Every song on the new album is a little different. You may also hear early sounds from The Cult, Soundgarden or even legendry David Bowie.
TCS: Personally, one of my favorite songs from your album Purrr is the track called “Back to Black,” so could you describe the history behind the song as well as the music video concept?
SDB: “Back to Black” was actually a remake of Amy Winehouse’s 2006 song. It was our old lead singer Paul Christiana’s decision to record it. Mike Gillies, longtime Metallica engineer-extraordinaire, did an amazing job crafting that into a masterpiece! Nationally, we did quite well with that track scoring #28 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts last year and got over 1,100 spins Nationally on Active Rock Radio. This was our second time working with the great “Mason Wright,” who directed and shot the music video. We also had our friend Cassiopee’ play the ghost girl in the video. We think it turned out fantastic.
TCS: As an established musician with an interesting career background, how has the coronavirus pandemic affected you both personally and professionally? Have you had to cancel or postpone any tour dates or festival appearances or delay an album release?
SDB: Well everything has been on pause and it really sucks for musicians. We halted production on recording and postponed shows as well as cancelled a big PR campaign we had planned. However, over the last 3 months we’ve been on such a creative high that we totally wrote the new record.
TCS: What effect do you think shutting down music venues across the country has had on our culture? And, what do you think we’ve learned as a result of this pandemic?
SDB: I think that we’ve learned how life can truly change on a dime. People are starving for live music, so I think we will ultimately come out of this for the better on all avenues but businesses, like music venues, are really suffering right now.
TCS: What inspired you to write your first book entitled “Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rockstar?”
SDB: I thought I had a very interesting story to tell and once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. The book chronicles my childhood, early exposure to music up to when I replaced the legendary Tracii Guns in LA Guns. Along the way, you’ll read how I discovered the Sunset Strip music scene, handled relocation to join Roxx Gang, experienced drama amidst stalkers and strippers and so much more.
TCS: Describe for us the song writing process and video concept behind the single entitled “Jack Black Flower”?
SDB: I think “Jack Black Flower” was actually one of the very first songs I wrote for the band. I thought Paul did a great job with the vocal melody and lyrics. This track turned out so great in the studio that we decided to release it as the second single. Additionally, we also produced a music video too. It’s just a live video spattered with some images from different decades in L.A. It’s about the pitfalls and vices of moving to that city to make it as an actor or musician.
TCS: As a recording artist, how have you embraced social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to market your songs, albums, merchandise and/or appearances?
SDB: Absolutely. As a recording artist, you either embrace social media or you drown.
To stay connected, please join us on the following:
- Electric Radio Kings Website
- Electric Radio Kings Facebook
- Electric Radio Kings Instagram
- Electric Radio Kings ReverbNation
- Electric Radio Kings Twitter
- Electric Radio Kings YouTube
TCS: Tell us about the background behind another favorite entitled “Sympathy For Me”?
SDB: “Sympathy For Me” was one of the first ERK songs written. The music video was a ton of fun to shoot. I thought the recording, which was produced and engineered by Alister James, also turned out quite good too.
TCS: If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you see yourself doing instead?
SDB: At the age of 11, I started playing golf. By the time I was 17, I was a really good golfer. By 20, music had turned into my main passion and became a full-time thing, so I stopped playing. If I hadn’t had music in my life, I would have probably pursued a golfing career.
TCS: What does the short and long-term future look like for you and Electric Radio Kings?
SDB: For Electric Radio Kings, we are totally focused on recording our follow-up to Purrr. Once again, we’ve employed the services of producer Mike Gillies. We feel this record is going to be MONSTROUS! With that, our goal is to become the biggest new rock band of 2021. Unfortunately, 2020 has been cancelled.
About Frank Iacono
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.
Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.