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Keff Ratcliffe Q & A

Pretty Boy Floyd (Steve Summers on vocals, Kristy Majors on guitars, Vinnie Chas on bass, and Kari Kane on drums) burst out of Hollywood’s rock scene in 1989 with youthful exuberance and a desire to be the next Motley Crue or Poison. Their debut album “Leather Boys With Electric Toys” (on MCA Records) is packed full of rock anthems, sleazy stories of the benefits of being young, and heart felt power ballads. Unfortunately, that would be the last we would hear from this great band until 1997
Pretty Boy Floyd took a hiatus from rock & roll after laying down demo tracks for what would have been their second MCA Records release. The band disbanded and went their separate ways. They briefly got back together in 1994 to record the demo track “Saturday Night”. The track was meant to be released in Japan, but sat for four years until it was re-recorded by current band members Steve Summers (vocals), Kerri Kelli (guitars), Kristy Majors (guitars), Kari Kane (drums) & Keff Ratcliffe (bass), and released on Delinguent Records goth & glam compilation: The Pink & The Black. Pretty Boy Floyd then released a five song E.P. (A Tale Of Sex, Designer Drugs, and the Death Of Rock & Roll) in 1999 marking their full throttle return to rock and the fans who missed them. They are soon releasing their 2nd full length studio album “Porn Stars”. I recently interviewed Keff about the new album, how he came to be in PBF, and more. Here is what he had to say.

1. Keff before we begin, please allow me to say thank you for doing this interview. I appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to answer my questions. Being one of the newest members of PBF there isn’t a lot of information on you. Were you in any previous bands before joining PBF?

I have been in several bands previous to PBF, first off in England, then in New York, all before moving to Hollywood, These bands however never became anything more than the underground scene.

2. How did you come to be in PBF?

That was just pure chance I guess… I had been a big fan of PBF back in ’89, ’90 !I had moved to New York and been playing around as a guitarist for hire kind of thing, but it just wasn’t feeling right to me. I made up my mind one afternoon to just leave n’ head out to Hollywood. Quit my job, and left the next day.. had a couple of my friends at the time take over my lease, and take care of my furniture ( they still have it ! haha). All I brought was one huge rucksack of clothes and my Les Paul guitar.. as that was all I could carry on my motorcycle. I took me four and a half days to reach L.A., I had been in Hollywood for several months before I met the Floyd guys, and was not to fond of Hollywood at the time. I met them totally by chance.. they just happened to be having a meet n’ greet thing at a bar I been drinking at all morning ( The Cat n’ Fiddle).. I hadn’t heard about them in like 8 years.. Me n’ Keri Kelli n’ Kari Kane became good friends n’ that was it really, They knew of me, and asked me if I would be interested in replacing there current Bass Player..

3. For you, what was it like recording with guys that had been on the rock scene in the 80’s and who are older than you (Keff was born on 5-17-74 in England)?

It was killer, just playing those songs, n’ being in there watching the rest of the guys record.

4. Now that you’ve been in the band for awhile now, which do you prefer, being in the studio or performing live?

Both are great fun.. I love playing live more than anything, and have had the opportunity to play with so many guys who I looked up to when I was younger. And made good friends with them… I still get a buzz when people who I admire musically call on me. It’s so weird having people you class as rock stars, the people that everyone had posters of on there walls a few years back ( me included ) just call on ya to go drinking or to do a show, it blows my mind sometimes. I can remember the first few times I played with PBF, during the show I would fuck up , ‘cause I would look across the stage and think to myself ‘ wow .. that’s Pretty Boy Floyd’. at the time it was really strange It would like fuck me up, I would lose concentration on what I was doing, and then realize I was onstage to. I think my biggest Buzz has been playing the Philip Lewis shows… Phil being a huge inspiration to me as an English guy who could make it out here in Hollywood….

5. The new album was supposed to be out in in March. Why has it been delayed?

The album was delayed as we had problems with the cover art.. It’s hard to get five guys as ugly as us to look great all at once. … Now the Album is in the hands of the record company ( been with them for over a month now ), we are just waiting on there decision on when to release it.

6. In your best salesman pitch describe “Pornstars” as if you were talking to someone who has never heard of Pretty Boy Floyd.

My best sales pitch…hmmm… I’m on it what more do you need to know !!!! hahaha!!!More Shock, Rock, Pop, from the guys who epitomized the glam style n’ sound.

7. Do you think the PBF fans will like it as much as the previous albums?

I think the fans will love the new album.. The first ( LBWET) has become kind of a cult CD, which makes it hard to follow, but Porn Stars will make everyone get that glam feeling back !

8. What are some of your favorite tracks from the album?

Can’t divulge any of that info, hahaha… I love them all !!!

9. When will you be on the road to support the album?

That all depends on the Record Company… When it is released we should be out on our own as well as on a package tour with some big bands !

10. Of the bands you have toured with already, who was the best? The worst?

The best. And the worst…. PBF (hahahaha), Nah, all the bands I have toured with have been great, I have to say the Bang Tango guys where the greatest guys to be out with.. but everyone we have played with has been a great experience, from Warrant, & Ratt ( our guitarist Keri Kelli just left PBF to join Ratt for this summers big tour), to Philip Lewis n’ his guys.

11. What has PBF got planned for next year?

We don’t plan that far ahead.. In this industry you are lucky if you can plan for the next month, nevermind the next year !! I just wanna be playing more, I love being on the road..

12. Some of your influences are the Beatles, The Wannadies, Motley Crue, Poison, and Bon Jovi. What are your favorite albums by each of these artists, and how did they influence you?

The Beatles : I grew up with these guys being very popular with my parents along with Queen and Thin Lizzy, They had the rock n’ roll dream, I don’t have one single favorite album by them.
The Wannadies: these guys never got the break they deserved, they have three killer albums out ( quite hard to get now thou’) they were only together from ’93 to ’97 I think, but there work is amazing, Favorite album: -'Be a Girl’ .. favorite song – ‘Might Be Stars’ ( it’s such a glam anthem ).
Motley Crue: these fuckers gave me the attitude I have, not only great music but taught me to take what I want out of life !! favorite Album: Dr Feelgood
Poison: These guys influenced me in the style of glam much like Hanoi, the fact that music can be fun, and get you off your ass. Favorite album: Songs ( Open up and say Arrhhh !!) lyrics and melodies ( Flesh n’ blood).
Bon Jovi: They have just been my biggest influence throughout, I love everything about this band and every album, shit, I have seen them eleven times so I must be some kind of fan !

13. What are some of your other favorite bands?

Thin Lizzy, La Guns, Faster Pussycat, The Newlydeads, Philip Lewis n’ the Liberators, Superficials, Tal Bachman, Menswear, Wank… god, so many bands that I just think were and are really good.

14. Is there any new bands out that you like?

New bands yeah, Tal Bachman, Philip Lewis and the Liberators, Wank, Superficials, Lit,

15. You were born in England. Where?

I was actually born in Wales, but lived on the border of England n’ Wales until I was 18 in a city called ‘Chester’.

16. When did you come over to the United States?

My parent first brought me here for holidays as a kid, places like Disneyworld n’ kid stuff… I moved over here on my own when I was 18. Big move alone for a little bonehead rockstar wannabe at that point… everyone thought I was insane, but all say they knew I would do it and be happy here !!

17. Your a single guy. Are you currently looking for a “good girl gone bad”? Or are you looking for a more “respectable” type of woman?

Hahaha.. respectable women into rock n’ roll.. you must be joking, show me one and I’ll never drink Southern Comfort again.. hahahaha… There are some things that I really can’t get enough of in this world next to Music, money n’ GIRLS… It kills me when I see a beautiful girl.. and fuck, there are so many.. finding that good girl is so hard, especially in Hollyweird, as all my heroes have made the good girls go bad, ( not just in a bitchy way either )!

18. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I guess I’m expected to say something like ‘Fuck, drink, n’ do drugs !!!", right ??? I do all kinds of stuff, I love playing ( guitar, Bass, piano ).. I do that a lot, with several bands, so I don’t have much spare time… I love to take long rides on my motorcycle along the coast, when I can!!! But mostly it is of the utmost importance that I am having fun.. I am exceptionally lucky to have great friends n’ be able to do what I want when I want most of the time.

19. What is the coolest gift a fan has given you? The strangest?

The coolest gift is their friendship. The strangest was a plane ticket from L.A. to go visit a chick in Texas !!

20. One last question, Keff. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans (old and new) that have found solice in the fact that PBF is back and rocking harder than ever?

Thanx for all the support, I know that it is Steve, Kari & Kristy that started this thing, and that is why I am here as well as the fans… I am just extremely grateful to have had the chance to meet a lot of you( the fans)!!! All I can say is Thanx, Thanx and more thanx, without you (the fans), PBF would not have gotten back together and I wouldn’t be able to do this for you !!

cheers, Keff

Once again, many thanks to Keff for doing the interview, and for answering all my questions. He really was great about it!

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