Meet SexTapes™ , the hot new rock band coming out of LA fronted by Guns N’ Roses member Chris Pitman.
A cross between Jane’s Addiction, Led Zeppelin and Queen, with a modern twist, the band has incorporated psychedelic sounds with alternative rock. The band was founded by co-writer Kelly Wheeler who is on guitars, and has Marko Fox on the bass, Ryan Brown on the drums and co-writer/producer Chris Pitman on, as aforementioned, lead vocals and guitar synth.
SexTapes™ originated out of sheer perverse amusement with a series of informal jams by Wheeler and Fox in a cluttered garage. There, amid a bewildering array of audio electronics in every conceivable state of condition, promising sonic experiments continued with slated vocalist Pitman’s enthusiastic blessings, even though he was about to embark on a mammoth tour as an integral part of Guns N’ Roses (GNR). What you may not know is that SexTapes™ front man, Chris Pitman is also a member of the legendary rock band. Between playing multiple instruments (for studio recording and live in concert), co-writing and co-producing for the new GNR album, “Chinese Democracy,” he is also a co-writer with front man Axl Rose on the song, “If The World”, in the new Warner Bros. Pictures and Ridley Scott film, “Body Of Lies”. The interrelated relationship between the two bands means that all in-store SexTapes™ will also be available along with GNR at stores near you. ToneRiot Records™ released the SexTapes™ debut album on November 11, 2008. The album is available through www.sextapesband.com, iTunes (worldwide), Best Buy stores, FYE, Borders Books, Wherehouse Records, www.amazon.com, and more.
LA’s the Place got to chat with Kelly Wheeler a bit…
LA’s the Place: Why’d you name the band SexTapes?
Kelly Wheeler: I thought it evoked the feeling you get when listening to great music. Exceptional artists pour everything into their craft and sometimes you come across a song, or whole album even, by an artist that’s so good and personal, it’s damn sexy! It’s like you’ve found this private thing that they didn’t care if one person or a million people hear. Finding this is rare, but when you do, listening to it is almost like watching sex! I always thought that it was a great analogy for high quality music.
LATP: What has Pitman’s relationship with GNR meant for you?
KW: It’s always a trip to hear about Chris’ journey with GNR. Obviously, we may get noticed a little more because of it, but at the end of the day, our music speaks for itself.
LATP: What is your favorite song on the album and why?
KW: Probably “Medicine Man.” I like the big eastern-hued riff propelled by that gigantic drumbeat! Sounds like something wicked this way comes. Ominous, but with the right melody-which sort of sums up the SexTapes sound.
LATP: You all have interesting backgrounds, tell us more about them.
KW: I’ve been playing in Los Angeles bands since back in the day after moving here from Santa Barbara. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with great musicians like Perry, Danny and Terri (Farrel of Jane’s Addiction, Carey of Tool, Nunn of Berlin, respectively), and now get to continue that with Chris, Marko and Ryan in SexTapes. I’m also an art director and graphic designer and create the SexTapes visual experiences. Since I enjoy being creative in a lot of different areas, SexTapes allows me freedom of expression in a wide range of mediums.
Marko has also played in bands since back in the day, and moved here from South Carolina to impose his own brand of Punk N Roll on an unsuspecting Los Angeles. Marko and I have been friends for years, but had never played together until SexTapes started. Ryan has been the bedrock beat for SexTapes since joining. He got his training from Indiana University and has recorded and toured the world with some of the biggest names in jazz, rock and pop. Chris knew him from the LA band, OWL and upon hearing the demo, Ryan was immediately inspired to play in SexTapes. Chris is a multi-instrumentalist who got his start as a vocalist/keyboard player in Kansas City bands after attending the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music. He’s been with Axl in Guns N’ Roses for about ten years and has played with Danny (Carey of Tool) and Marko in Zaum, and with Paul D’Amour (Tool) in Lusk. Chris & I have played on and off together for years, and have always wanted to do another project.
Finally our inspirations/schedules lined up and here we are.