Stereomud’s John Fattoruso

Stereomud’s John Fattoruso

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Money, ego, drugs and booze…
it was all there.

Juliet Huddy: Lets talk about your relationship with metal
music? How did it become such a force in your life?
John Fattoruso: KISS in 1977. I was 4 years old.
How did you even know about KISS at that age?
A family friend who was 6
years old got his hands on a
KISS record. I swear I don’t
know how. He showed my
brother and I the cover of
the album and we played
the record. That was it.
Everything was KISS after
that.
Music became such an
important part of your life.
Did you have any other
interest or was it always all
about music?
I was a good student until
around 16 years old. I just got
lazy. I wanted to get out of
school and go to California
and become a rock star.
Fast forward to the New
York studio where you
began to seriously come
into your own as a musician.
What impact did that studio
have on you?
It was an important studio
for everybody. The music
building. If anyone knows
Metalica, Anthrax, Tone Loc…
everybody. This place spawned everybody. Metalica lived
there. Anthrax lived there. It was basically like a drug den
turned into a building that rented space to bands. You could
do whatever you wanted to do in this place. There were no
rules. People where shooting dope and shooting each other.
We had to get escorted to our car. But a lot of careers started
out of this place and one of them being the biggest metal
band in the world.

In the late 1990s you had the most important audition in
your life. Tell me about that.
I was 24 years old I think. I got a phone call from a friend
saying Machine Head had an opening and I should try out.
They were my favorite band so I said, “Why not?”. I reached
out and got the audition.
Apparently about 50 guys
tried out and I was one of
the two they liked best.
However, I got the word
from the lead singer they
went with another guy. I was
devastated, but ended up
going to California anyway
and a lot of doors where
opened for me because of
those guys.
That was your defining
moment as a metal star.
That’s when people started
to take you seriously as a
force in metal. Agree?
They took me under
their wing. We got along
personally and I ended up
moving to California. They’re
still friends of mine and have
been since day one.
In the late 90s you
got hooked up with a
Long Island/ATL based
band called Stereomud.
Where you the Jason
Newsted (Bassiest for
Metalica) of the band?
Any band I ever was a part of I considered myself the Jason
Newsted of the band.
Why is that?
I like everyone to be on the same page and everyone to get
along. I want everyone to leave their egos at the door. It’s
hard because everyone has an ego. I like stress in the band when it’s creative stress. I don’t like people talking behind
peoples backs.
Well it worked because Stereomud ended up getting really
big.
We played everywhere. You name it we played there. Timing
is everything. We came together at the right time. All 5 of us
just meshed at the right time. If the 5 of us got together today
it would be like we never separated. That’s how well we got
along and played together.
So why did it fall apart?
You can have all the money in the world thrown at you and
have every manager running your band and we had the
best of the best. But at that time we were the band to that
everyone wanted to see. Even the other band’s would stand
on the side of the stage to watch us
perform. The other band’s would say,
“What the fuck, we have to go on
next?!”
But?
But somewhere someone didn’t
do their job. We had management
pulling 5 guys five different ways.
Money, ego, drugs and booze… it was
all there. So it didn’t just work out.
Egos got too inflated and that was it.
So since I’m now your wife this
might be an important question to
ask. What about groupies?
What about groupies?
Are there any around I should know
about?
No groupies.
Good answer.
Listen, the road is what you make of it. If you want to carry
yourself like that you can, but if you don’t want to be that guy
you won’t be that guy.
What about drugs?
What about drugs?
Take any?
No hard drugs. But do I like weed? Sure. I love weed. I think
everybody should love weed. I don’t drink anymore, but back
in the day I drank too much alcohol. That was a problem.
You’ve had success in other bands like Black Water Rising.
But you just seemed to stop while Stereomud was at the
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time of the game. Why?
I had to get my head together. We weren’t giant, but we were
on our way. It was a lot going on and my band mates started
to turn on each other. I just burned out. I missed family and
home. The band started to not like each other. We loved each
other, but we didn’t like each other. I just needed a break. I
wanted nothing everything to do with it and nothing to do
with it all at the same time. I wanted out of the band and the
band back the way it was all at the same time. So I got a job
and that was that.
So looking back what has been the hardest part about not
touring?
When I see a band that used to open for me and they
aren’t as good as your own band, but yet they are still
around… that hurts. I think, “What the fuck happened?”
But I give those bands credit. They
stuck it out and yet they are still
playing those shit hole dive clubs.
I’m happy they are still doing it, but
I don’t know how or why. If that
makes sense. Nobody is selling
records anymore.
Looking back at your music career
what thoughts come to mind?
Trust me I have a great book in me.
But I played with all of my heroes.
Some became great friends of mine,
some just give a nod and some don’t
know who the fuck I am. But that’s
okay. How many people can say
they blew flames out of their ass in a
Jersey bar with James Hetfield?
I really don’t know.
Not many.
Now you’re putting together your own band. Tell me
about it.
I’m working with my drummer from Zars War and the bass
player from Black Water Rising in a band we’re calling The
Deceived. So I’m working.
Just for the record if any floozy comes near you on tour I’ll
kill her.
Noted.
Last question. How important to your profession have
I been?
(Long pause) Honestly, if I hadn’t met you I don’t even think
I’d be playing.
Boom Boo!

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