Rockin' maestros in and out of the ring
Jeff Hardy and Saliva both love to take risks and let it all hang out. Hardy has been a daredevil in WWE for years, performing death-defying feats in the ring that made fans gasp, jeopardized his body and provided fodder for WWE highlight reels.
Saliva has become a WWE mainstay, writing and performing theme songs for several WWE pay-per-views and Superstars over the years, most notably Batista. Somehow, The Animal's fiery entrance would not seem the same without the raging vocals of "I Walk Alone."
Saliva is the only band to provide the theme songs for two WrestleManias, with "Always" for WrestleMania X8 and "Ladies and Gentlemen" for WrestleMania 23 this year. (LISTEN)
In this week's edition of Superstar to Superstar, Saliva frontman Josey Scott and Hardy share some music insight and WrestleMania memories:
Hardy: What's up, man?
Scott: What's up?
Hardy: Not much, man. Where're you at, man?
Scott: We're in Greenville, S.C.
Hardy: Oh, you're just about four hours from North Carolina, from where I live…. We just got back from Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Panama City. It was a pretty crazy tour.
Scott: How was Guatemala?
Hardy: Dude, It was GREAT! Apparently, it was the first time we had been there. It was packed.
Scott: I got the baby [here]. We had a baby last St. Patrick's Day , his name is Justice.
Hardy: Yeah, I think I saw him briefly. We were out in L.A, he had the headphones on.
Scott: [Laughs] Yeah, that was him…. You were doing some acrobatic s***t that night. I was like, ‘Damn, man, that guy is just sacrificing his body.'
Hardy: Yeah, WrestleMania should be pretty good. We have another Ladder Match this year. It should be pretty entertaining…. So, how does it feel, man, to have a kid?
Scott: It's my second. I had one when I was about 18. My son is 15-16 years old. Back then, you don't know what you're doing because you're a kid yourself. Then to be 35 and having one -- and they let me deliver him, which was a trip. I pulled him from my wife's body, which was awesome.
Hardy: That's cool as hell, man. And Justice is a badass name.
Scott: Well, I wanted to give him a strong name, you know? That way, if he wants to be an entertainer, he could. If he doesn't, that's fine, too.
Hardy: Well, your new CD, Blood Stained Love Story, sounds great. "Ladies and Gentlemen" is a great theme for WrestleMania 23.
Scott: It ["Ladies and Gentlemen"] was premeditated. I wrote that song for professional sports. I wrote it for people who sacrifice their bodies for a living.
Hardy: Well, we just want to thank you for all the songs you've provided us over the years. How do you feel about being such a big part of WWE and WrestleMania?
Scott: It's an honor. Over the years, we've developed quite a relationship with WrestleMania, WWE, the McMahon family, [and] all of the wrestlers. I got to party with you at WrestleMania in Toronto. I got to get up close and personal with you guys…. It's a dream come true. I come from Memphis, Tenn., and while I was growing up, the three most important things to me were Jesus, Elvis and Jerry Lawler.
Hardy: What are your thoughts on "The King's" upcoming induction into the WWE Hall of Fame?
Scott: I can't think of a man more deserving of being in the Hall of Fame. He's had such an extraordinary effect on so many different lives. He's one of the cornerstones of sports-entertainment. I can't say enough good things about him. I'd love to come and say something when he gets inducted. That would be the s***t.
Hardy: [Laughs] Right on.... "Always" was also the theme for WrestleMania X8, where you also performed live in front of the crowd. What was it like performing live in front of WWE fans on sports-entertainment's greatest stage? And how does it feel to be the only band to have created theme songs for two WrestleManias?
Scott: Unbelievable. It's been like lightning striking twice. I think we've been real lucky, We've just been real blessed. We just always seem to be in the right place at the right time, you know? WrestleMania X8 was really special because not only did we get to play in front of the sold-out SkyDome, to play in front of the pay-per-view audience -- I had friends from all over the United States calling me and telling me they saw me at WrestleMania. Another big deal that night was that was the last time I got to see [lead singer] David [Williams] from Drowning Pool. I had just met him that night, and we had talked on the phone before. All singers in this business, we're like the wrestlers: We're like our own little fraternity. We're kind of like colleagues -- you know the deal. We talk to each other on the phone, sort of lift each other up when we're not doing so well. That was the last time I got to see him. It broke my heart when he died.
Hardy: I was down at an Ozzfest with Nick [Catanese] from Black Label [Society], Zakk Wylde and them and I got to meet him briefly. I never got to see him again. It's some sad s***t, man.
Scott: Yeah, man.
Hardy: Your track "I Walk Alone" is Batista's entrance theme music and you wrote and sang "King of My World" for Chris Jericho. I, too, am an artist -- what do you look for when you write music for a Superstar? Tell me about the creative process.
Scott: I think it's like most good detectives or forensics [psychologists]. I try to get inside people's minds. I try to get behind their eyes; I try to see what they see, sort of to vicariously live through them for a minute when I immerse myself in a song. Elvis said one time, "It's not from me, it's through me. I just have the best seat in the house." [laughs]
Hardy: Right on. Hell yeah…. You told WWE.com in January that you would like to create a song for Triple H. What other Superstar would you like to create music for?
Scott: Well, definitely The Hardys. I haven't gotten to do that.
Hardy: Yeah that would be sweet.
Scott: [Laughs] You're one of the only ones left we haven't gotten to write for…. Yeah, I wouldn't mind doing one for Triple H. I'd do one for the Undertaker. Anything that keeps up the relationship I've had with WWE going is fine with me. Anything that I can contribute, or enhance -- hopefully, our music has enhanced the excitement, especially a song like "I Walk Alone" or "Ladies and Gentlemen." As my Dad used to say, "When you hear a song like that, that's when the B.S. stops and the ass-kicking starts." I think as long as we could bring that to the table for WWE, I look forward to having a longstanding relationship with them for many years to come.
Hardy: What kind of music would you create for me? Maybe we could collaborate on new entrance music for me.
Scott: Hell yeah, dude! I'd love to do that. I'd probably get to hear some of your music.
Hardy: At ‘Mania I'll bring you a demo. Some of it is kind of s--y recording but the basic idea is there. But I'll definitely work on trying to get you a demo for ‘Mania.
Scott: Yeah, bring it with you.
Hardy: What kind of song would you create for my brother Matt?
Scott: It would have to be something brutal…. I'd want to spend some time with your brother, maybe ask him a few questions, like you're doing with me, and like I said before, get inside his head. You see, I love doing it because that's a challenge. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Devil's Advocate, where Al Pacino, when he's playing the devil, says, "When I squeeze some people, they focus, and others fold." I'm one of those people that likes to be backed into a corner because that's when I do my best work. I like to have a deadline and be challenged.
Hardy: That's awesome, the idea of seeing through somebody else's eyes and coming from their perspective. That's cool as hell…. I find inspiration for my works of art in my studio and in the squared circle from all sorts of places. What inspires you when you're making music?
Scott: Just life. Just going through life, you know? I took a couple of years off. I did a movie, I did Hustle & Flow. I did a series on TNT called Wanted, where I played an undercover cop. I just sort of wanted to stretch my legs and see if I could act. During those two years [off], we [Saliva] had everything that could possibly happen to us, happen to us. We had weddings, and we had funerals. Grandparents died, a band member quit, and a new band member came in -- everything wonderful and horrible about life.
Hardy: Ric Flair, The Freebirds and The Rockers were great influences in my decision to become a wrestler. Who are your influences? Who do you listen to and what's in your iPod now?
Scott: AC/DC. Motley Crue. Kiss was a big deal because when I was five years old I saw my first Kiss album cover, which was Destroyer -- and my mind was made up, dude. I didn't even know what they were, I just wanted to be that…. Def Leppard, definitely.
Hardy: In Guatemala, we were down in the bar and we were singing that song, it goes, "Red light, yellow light, green-a --light go!"
Scott: Oh! "Pour Some Sugar on Me"!
Hardy: Yeah! We were singing the hell out of that, man.
Scott: That's one of my favorite songs of all time.
Hardy: I take a lot of risks in the ring. What is the riskiest thing you've ever done musically in your career?
Scott: Oh, that's a good question. That's a good one, man. I'd say the riskiest thing I've done in my career in choosing a new producer for the third record, Survival of the Sickest. That was pretty risky. Like my daddy used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, it wasn't broke, and that was a mistake on my part. I mean, I wouldn't change it, but if I had a chance to do it over, Bob Marlette, our producer [on their latest CD Blood Stained Love Story], he's the Obi Wan Kenobi of rock 'n' roll. He is the sixth member of this band and an unbelievable producer. And in life, all that unprotected sex in the eighties and nineties probably was pretty risky.
Hardy: Sweet. Alright. Cool. Matt and I are both in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 23. If it comes down to me and Matt, who's going to win?
Scott: Dude, I can't answer that question…. I love both of you to death. I'd hate to see it come down to that. That would be pretty dramatic. Playing devil's advocate, that would be huge, dude.
Hardy: Are there more acting roles on the horizon?
Scott: Yeah, but I'm going to stick with movies, though. TV is too much work. I got a couple of movies coming up in ‘07 and maybe ‘08.
Hardy: What's next for Saliva?
Scott: Our video came out on MTV2, and it's being put in the major rotation. The album is selling real good. We're just going to tour, tour, tour, tour, tour all through the summer.