Ted Nugent spoke to the press in Sweden Rock and here's an overall report of what was said and done.
Nugent arrives a few minutes late and shouts "Bullshit!" It is obvious that he has come to do a show for the press and quite a show it turned out to be.
Ted: You have to talk loud, I don't hear too good.
Press: Why's that?
Ted: A lot of 44 Magnums. I bring greetings from all of America where the attitude is alive and well. I want you to make a note, my bass players name is Marco Mendoza and…
Press: The ex-Twisted Sister?
Ted: No no, I have real musicians. Marco is the worlds' greatest bass player and he's got the soul. And my drummer is a 21 year old miracle from Detroit, his name is Tommy Clefettos , who may be the only drummer in the world who is actually capable of not only filling the shoes of Tommy Aldridge but actually bringing something different and powerful onto himself.
Press: What happened to Tommy Aldridge?
Ted: He had a terrible shoulder injury after playing about 170 concerts. We toured with Kiss in the year 2000 and when they had nights off, because they needed nights off…I refuse to have nights off so when I tour I like to play every night because I still think I'm young.
Press: Tell us about your new album.
Ted: It's called Crave Man because I don't just love rock 'n' roll I crave it. You understand the word "crave", it means YOU MUST HAVE IT! I crave the creative process with the musicians; I've always had the world's greatest musicians. The reason that my guitar has a life of its own is really not only because of my attitude and my work ethic and my musical dreams but probably equally if not more importantly than that is the musicians that I've surrounded myself with. And the same craving is for the music orgy is alive with Marco Mendoza and Tommy Clefettos and it's very inspiring to me because when I come out of the woods every year after hunting for six months and killing many animals I feel very alive because I have done the good thing. I have balanced the heard caused thribing biodiversity. If you don't understand that, this is for you (wipes his ass with his middle finger and sticks it to the crowd). And I feel very good being one with nature but after all the peaceful time in the woods hunting with my bow arrow and being very in tune with my surroundings I wanna use that heightened level of awareness to pick up on the musical creativity of Marco Mendoza's and Tommy Clefetto's. So the music just goes fucking bezerk. But Crave Man, all the songs are a celebration of independence, and black music, the rhythm and blues, and the James Brown attitude, the Chuck Berry is alive and well in my music today because I get quiet for six months, kind of, so I wanna be very loud for the other six months. Crave Man is without question the most intense record I've ever made, it's the noisiest record I've ever made, the Gibson guitar has just gotten more offensive over the years. It won't be out until late August but I'm very proud of it.
Press: What's the show going to be like today?
Ted: It'll be offensive, it's piss you off. If you think animals have rights you'll shit blood. My music is fun. If you don't have fun with Ted Nugent you're a fucking idiot! If you don't have fun with me tonight go see a spiritual healer 'cause you've got big fucking problems.
Press: Are you going to tour more in Europe?
Ted: I would like to tour more in Europe but you ain't got enough euro pasos to pay my boys. I have the best technicians in the world. I surround myself with not just the best musicians but the most expensive musicians. Turning the key in my truck cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not euro pesos, real money. So I gotta go where I can have the best presentation which is why we held off coming here for so many years. Today I have everything there should be for a Ted Nugent concert so I promise you, you're heads will be ripped off and it will be me shitting down your neck… and you'll still love me.
Press: Are you still black?
Ted: I'm blacker than a big nigger. And let me tell a you a little something, and you foreigners might not understand this 'cause you have to be free to understand this shit… (laughs) In 1963 me and my band won the Michigan Battle the bands. We played black music. That was our inspiration. All my musicians, we adored, we revered, James Brown and Bo Didley and Chuck Berry, you had to know every lyric, every bass line, you had to know all the black stuff because it was just more moving than the white shit. That was our spiritual musical inspiration. We were on stage at Cobo Hall, brand new concert facility, and I'm jamming on my little Fender guitar and the Motown Orchestra was right next to me. Now I don't know if you can understand this, I don't even know how to compare this to your lives, but when the Motown funk brothers are your gods of musical expression and their right next to you you're about shitting blood. And when we got there jamming and I was playing, didn't play that good then but I had that thing, I could play that nigger shit, and this huge black man from the Funk Brothers, THE FUNK BROTHERS, universally respected as the gods of R&B, he walked over me because he was watching us rehearse and I went oh my god! And when he came over to me he put his hand on his shoulder and looked down on me and he said: "Boy, you keep playing guitar like that you're gonna be a nigger when you grow up". So when ever someone tries to claim that I'm a racist because I use the word nigger, the word nigger is a badge of honour where I come from.
Press: What's your opinion about this movement of the eighties, fast guitar licks, classical moods…
Ted: I love anybody who puts their heart and soul to their music. I love all kinds of music except rap and… what do you call it… hip hop. That's like parole soundtrack or something. That's like music to commit crimes by, I mean it's just heartless stuff. The real music comes from someones soul. Soul as a word means the human application of ones best effort. It's not just an isolated abstract term, it has a meaning. And it's about being the best that you can be respecting Gods gifts. Not putting heroin in to that, not beating your wife…I don't like bad people, not even if they make a hit record, but as far as guitar styles I think anyone that really applies himself… I'd rather have the mobility and musicality as delivered by the soul of Eddie Van Halen who still has Chuck in there. If you're playing all these clever things but there ain't no Chuck, I ain't dancing. The bottom line: you watch a girls' ass. If the girls' ass is moving you've got music. Unless it's huge and on parole. Then you've got rap and I don't want any of that shit. So I love all forms. If a person puts his heart and soul into it, I don't care what it is. I mean Paul McCartney probably hates me and he hates my hunting but I think he's a genius on musical terms, I think he's probably a great human being and if he'd want a salad I would make him a salad. But for him to condemn me for my choices in life when I do us much charity work if not more than he does and I try to be a good citizen and a good person. For him to condemn me because I eat meat is just pathetically sick… and I think if I took that much LSD I'd probably think that way too.
Press: What's you story with Skynard and Purple…?
Ted: I love Skynard and Purple I love all those guys… I mean I've been very fortunate, I've got to jam with all the world's greatest artists (he names a lot of artists like Ray Vaughn, Eddie Van Halen, Kiss, Hendrix, Aerosmith etc..). You can just name everybody I've jammed with everybody. I'n so lucky. So when I jam and I watch Aerosmith go down and come back up I feel good, when I see Lynard Skynard get stoned and almost die and then come back up I feel good, when I see Deep Purple get fat, stupid then come back up and play good it makes me feel good. So I watch everybody else take a roller coaster while I just keep shooting for the skies.
Press: What about a full tour?
Ted: What about 100-150 concerts every year. But in Europe we're talking about coming back in September that's close to the hunting season. And I love you but not that much. I would love to do more but I repeat what I said your euro pesos suck. You gotta come up with a whole lotta cash. I still make a lot of cash in America so I can pay for the worlds best so we can give the ultimate show. And you can ask anybody who's been to any one of my concerts and their response will be: FUCK! Because every one of my concerts is out of fucking control. We scare people.
Press: What would you do if you were the president of USA?
Ted: I would make a list of all the people who attack America, not just attack us violently, but attack us with words and I'd stop giving them gifts. Because America is the only nation in the world that keeps giving trillions of dollars on everyone and then they spit on us after we help them. So I have a new policy called kiss my fucking ass. And if you want help, at least be polite.
Press: Will you be running for president?
Ted: I will not be running for president. Guitar players get 6 months of for hunt, presidents don't.
Ted also talked about his charity work which he does a lot. He has Ted Nugent camp for kids and he does also other kinds of charity work. He's very enthusiastic about his hunting and he talked about it a lot. He's great, maybe a bit controversial character but definitely adds his spice to the world of rock music.
Interview & Photos by Petri Kautto,