Interview and pictures by O.R. Bond (BOLD) with assistance and transcribe help from Andrea W. Answers by Kevin Donahue
FIRST THINGS FIRST, HOW IS YOUR HEATH?
(Kevin was diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago and has already outlived his doctors projection of longevity!!!)
It's fluctuating but I'm hanging in there!!!
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE THE PARIAHS BEEN AROUND?
The first inception of the pariahs was in 1996 and I can't say it"s been a continuous thing.There were some down years.Times where I was locked up, times I wasn't doing it cause there wasn't any players available,but its been on and off since 1996.
YOU'VE BEEN THRU A LOT OF MEMBERS IN THOSE YEARS,TELL ME WHY?
In all fairness, I gotta say I owe anybody who did anything for this project.Anybody who has been in a band knows that there is going to be some friction. It's almost impossible to avoid. There was something to be said for every line up. In my humble opinion, even at our most anept, I thought "I would listen to that."That's not me bragging,that's a fact!!!
I LIKE THAT ANSWER!!!WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE LINE UP?
It's difficult to say.The current one is really good.I get a lot of real favorable comments about the line up with Chris Surface and Mike Weinel in the late 90's.We practiced our asses off!!!It was like being in the Marines.
There was times when we doing shows at Sudsy's and I'd be loaded to the gills.We knew the songs so well I could be thinking about my finances for the month.It was like we could go on auto-pilot and do that stuff.We were well rehearsed. Then on the other hand there is something to be said for not taking it seriously. You don't want to get too obsessed when the bottom line is just having some fun.
SOME RECORDINGS EXSIST OF THAT LINE UP. YOU GUYS WERE FEATURED ON TWO DEARY ME RECORD COMPILATIONS?
The first one was the first line up. It's kind of confusing because the original guitarist was a guy named Steve O'neil. He was replaced by Mike Weinel.So the line up on that was a guy named Chris Martin, Zarlene on drums, Donough Cullen on guitar and Steve O'neil. I remember our first show was at Sudsy's on a Friday the 13th.(f13) in December of 96. I had a tempature of 102 that night and i could barely talk let alone sing. I couldn't talk for a week after our first show.Mike Wendel joined after the third show and that was the original line up.
WHO PLAYED ON THE DEARY ME RECORDING "I MUST BE MAD"?
"I must be mad" was the later outfit. The one with Chris Surface,Weinel and a drummer who was a friend of our later drummer Kirk but I cant remember his name.He really understood the dynamics of drumming, he didn't hog it up!!! Because in a band like that if one guy starts show boating and hot doggin', he fucks it up for everyone else.
WHAT WAS THE MOST SATISFYING SHOW YOU EVER PLAYED?
Without any doubt, opening for Dead Moon. I was giddy like a child. They were one of my idols. Fred Cole was sitting there grinning from ear to ear when we played!!!I had always heard that he could be a grump and he was very particular in the music he liked. So for him to dig us was very honorable!!!It was sad because I had to work the next morning so I wasn't able to stay and watch them play. His wife Toodie gave me a card for their record label/music store.He wanted to record us but two things happened. One, I lost that card. And two, I went to prison!!!
WHAT WAS THE MOST AWKWARD GIG YOU EVER DID?
In a recent line up, Weinel was playing with us and we had a running joke. When a gig felt uncomfortable, I would get a kick out of Mike lookin at me and saying: "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all!!!"We were playing a family block party in Newport K.Y. in 2013. They had one of those rubber room houses that kids play in and it was pretty family oriented. The neighbors had laid out covered dishes, that type of thing. The band before us had all these little girls out dancing to their music and when we took the stage those same girls became scared and ran away!!!
GIVE ME YOUR TOP FIVE ROCKERS OF ALL TIME.
There wouldn't have been a Pariahs without The Cramps!!!That's where I got the idea to do this type of music.The Cramps had their own way of learning a cover, they would unlearn them!!! That's where we got the approach of doing covers in our own style thus making the songs our own!!!So I owe a lot to Lux and The Cramps.
Well I cant go on without saying something about Roky Erickson!!!
WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD THE ELEVATORS?
It was in the 70's in the University of Dayton' s ghetto.The original Nuggets record couldn't be found in the Midwest at that time.The east coast kids had access to music we couldn't get our hands on.Before Nuggets was on Sire records it was on a cereal box. That is what the graphics were.So I'd say sometime in 1976. Bare in mind I was already familiar with most of those songs from my childhood. I knew The Electric Prunes. I knew The Chocolate Watchband. Nuggets had a major impact on me!!!I felt like I didn't have to apologize for being an intelligent kid from the suburbs. So much of punk up to that point was: "look at me I'm brainless". The punks would prove their moxy by bashing their heads against a wall!!!
Keith Richards. He's just an iconic figure. He's got his r&b thing down!!!
WHAT ABOUT MONO MAN?(OF THE LYRES)
He's definitely top ten material!!!
Arthur Lee. If they ever invent time travel , I'd give my eye tooth to see one of those shows on the Sunset Strip back then. I mean you had Jagger,Richards and Sal Mineo all waiting in line to see Love!!!It was sad he ended up a virtual unknown though he did have a cult following.
WHO WAS THE FIRST ROCKER YOU EVER HEARD? ELVIS? CHUCK?
If I heard any of that it really didn't stick out.My favorite band as a child was The Beatles. I remember being four years old and seeing them on Ed Sullivan like everyone else did. It was a huge media event and it blew me away!!! It wasn't hype , they were actually good musicians. I think George Harrison is one of the great guitarists!!! I never dug Paul McCartneys solo stuff but he was a great bass player. John Lennon was very smart and Ringo Starr kept a really good beat.I can't just say one person, just The Beatles!!!
I'LL PUT THEM DOWN AS NUMBER FIVE, HOW'S THAT SOUND?
SO WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CINCINNATI BANDS?
The Customs!!!The Aubenaires!!!There was a band called El Kabong.They were named after a Warner Brothers cartoon that was similar to QuickDrawMcGraw. In the 80's not too many people knew about garage around here.It was kind of like a secret society. I have to mention Doc and The Pods. They were a jangly Paisley Underground sounding band.
WHAT ABOUT THE SLOBS?
The Slobs were cool. I used to go see their shows all the time.
WHAT ABOUT BILLY CATFISH?
He's very cool!!! A lot of people have never seen me drunk. Every rumour about me from the 80"s is true!!! I was probably worse than the story you heard!!! There were alot of shows that I was at in just physical presence. I have to name The Nicklesons!!! It was one of Doug Milburns bands. They reminded me alot of the great DMZ. A perfect blend of 60's and 70's punk!!!It was reved up garage. I almost call myself a protege of Dougs!!! He really inspired me.
FAVORITE CINCINNATI VENUE?
Many people didn't like it but I always loved Top Cats!!! I thought Bobby(r.i.p) and Vicki were wonderful people. They used to open up the back patio in the middle of winter so The Pariahs could smoke pot!!! It was hard to get people to come down the street from Sudsy's. But I loved Top Cats.I loved the room and definitely loved the management!!!
FOR THE RECORD MY FIRST PARIAHS SHOW WAS AT TOP CATS AND VICKI DESERVES A LOT OF LOVE.SHE DID A LOT OF GOOD THINGS FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. NEXT QUESTION:YOU ARE ORIGINALLY FROM DAYTON, HOW DID YOU END UP IN CINCINNATI?
Well it's dirty laundry time!!! Let's put it this way, I was arrested on felony drug charges. This was during the Carter Presidencey and it was lenient times.I was a first time offender and they gave me treatment in leiu of conviction. So I had an uncle who lived here in Cincinnati and he was high up in the Catholic archdiocese(sp?). He agreed to take a supervisory role in my probation. So that's how I ended up here, it was a legal reason...and downtown was totally different back then.I mean the punks hung out on fountain square during the day but at night it was mostly me and my black friends smoking and selling pot!!!We were downtown rats!!! I was young and it was so much fun back then.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SIDE PROJECT FLESH AND THE DEVILS?
Well there are three guys named Kevin in the band!!! Hennesey, Apgar and me Donahue. Also in the band is Sean Morrissey and Stace Keeney. It's probably the only band in rock-n-roll history where the singer was recruited in an oncology unit!!! I was asked to join the band and I had tubes in my lungs,tubes down my throat, etc.and these guys come and ask me to be in their band!!! I was really honored!!! I think Sean and Stace wrote some really good music. The only problem was I wasn't familiar with the lyrics and one of the effects of my chemo is I've lost alot of my short term memory. We managed to pull off a show at MOTR where I had to read the lyrics off of cue cards but nobody noticed!!! What was very symbolic was as I was coming out of chemo, Stacey was coming out of the maternity ward after having his first child!!! So it was like one fading and one starting life!!!I love that band. I just wish the record would have done better.(Flesh and The Devils 45rpm record is available at local record stores and was issued on Granada Records/I suggest getting a copy as it's very groovy!!!)
WE DID TIME IN THE SAME PRISON(NOBLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY).CAN YOU GIVE ME A PRISON STORY?
We were sitting in the dayroom one time.This was when I was just hitting my stride.Coming into the joint, I was a little nervous. I'd never been to prison before.Once i got my footing I knew I could handle it!!!It was a matter of knowing how to act. Anyways, there was this guy who really had it in for me.He was a real punk. I thought he was jealous because I had a lot of friends and he wasn"t that popular. So one time we are all in the day room, about 25 guys, and he says:"hey Donahue, how come you ain't got no tattoos? Are you scared?" I looked at him and said:" You know I always considered myself to be a non-conformist!!!" Everyone in the room was laughing at his ass saying:"Hell na Donahue you a raw piece!!" That guy didn't even know what conformist meant!!! He vaguely knew he'd been put down. My last week there I spent all my time next to my bunk because I watched a buddy of mine get punched in the yard ,get cuffed and almost got taken to the hole.That was a reality check, they could of kept him past his out date!!! But I made it through without having anything stolen from me or having a single fight!!!! There is a code in the joint, the old school factor. Nobody really fucked with me because I was older. I didn't have to fight to live like a lot of young bucks in there.
WE HAVE BOTH HAD OUR UPS AND DOWNS WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE. ANY WORDS FOR THE KIDS OUT THERE ABOUT THE DANGERS OF DRUGS?
I'm going to sound like a total hypocrite or like the mean dad like"do as I say not as I do" but, I say stay the fuck away from drugs!!!Waste of time and money!!!
YOU ONCE TOLD ME THAT DOING COCAINE WAS LIKE DRINKING A POT OF COFFEE AND SETTING YOUR MONEY ON FIRE!!! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ELEVATORS SONG?
A tie between "slip inside this house" and "levitation"
ANY REGRETS?MUSICALLY WITH THE PARIAHS?
Yea you brought up my drug issues and I think I put some people through some unnecessary stuff.I could be a snide bitch!!!Especially when I was high I could be very abrasive.The hours getting late for me and if I ever hurt anyone I humbly apologize.As I stated before I owe a great deal to anyone who was ever part of The Pariahs.
OKAY SO GETTING DOWN TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE PARIAHS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. I'M GOING TO TRY AND LIST THEM ALL AND WHEN I SAY THEIR NAMES I'D LIKE YOU TO DESCRIBE THEM IN ONE WORD!!!
STEVE ONEIL : UNIQUE
CHRIS MARTIN: DEDICATED
MIKE WEINEL: BRILLIANT
JEFF HOFFMAN: SKILLED
SCOTT HAGGERTEY: SKILLED!!!
THE GOOCH(BRIAN MANN): HARD
ANDY JODY: PERCUSSIONIST SUPREME
DONAUGH CULLEN: FRIEND!!!
|Photo: Granado Records|
Flesh and The Devils 7" Still Available.
I GOT TO TAKE SOMETIME OUT FOR DONAHUE .HE WAS THE CO FOUNDER OF THE BAND. IT WAS SAD THINGS DIDN'T WORK OUT. NEVER COULD HAVE PULLED IT OFF WITHOUT HIM!!! THOSE WERE SOME OF THE MOST FUN TIMES.IT STARTED WITH JUST US TWO HANGING IN A BASEMENT,SMOKING POT, BANGING OUT OUR FAVORITE SONGS ON A OLD WOODEN GUITAR AND I WOULD SING.
JERRY WELLS: FLUID
BILL WEBBER: ROCK-N-ROLL
TOM JORN: BRILLIANT
MIKE STOKS: HARD
CHRIS SURFACE: GOOD
JOHN BLACKBURN: FLUID
KEVIN DONAHUE?: SINCERE!!!
AND THAT CONCLUDES MY INTERVIEW WITH "TROY PAYNE" AKA KEVIN DONAHUE!!!
P.S. KEVIN REALLY WANTED TO THANK DAVE TAYLOR OF GAS LIGHT PROPERTIES WHO HAS HELPED HIM GREATLY THROUGH THE YEARS. EVEN GOING AS FAR AS SENDING HIM MONEY IN PRISON AND HAVING A PLACE FOR HIM TO LIVE...SO THANKS DAVE TAYLOR...HE ALSO WANTED TO THANK HIS SISTER BRIDGET DONAHUE AND HIS NEPHEW BRANDON DONAHUE. AND WE WOULD BOTH LIKE TO THANK SHAWN ABNOXIOUS FOR ALL HIS HELP. AND IF YOU WERE A MEMBER OF THE PARIAHS AND WE FORGOT YOU, WE ARE TRULY SORRY.PLEASE GET HOLD OF ONE OF US AND WE WILL EDIT YOU IN...
F13 FOR LIFE
AND MOST OF ALL....
AND THE CINCINNATI SUDS PLAY LIVE
FRIDAY OCTOBER 31, HALLOWEEN NIGHT
AT THE COMET
ADDENDUM by Chris Surface
"Brian Williamson played drums with us on "I Must Be Mad", filling in for Kirk who had somehow broken his arm at the time we were set to record. Also, Dan Leonard served as drummer for a brief spell as well. Again, loved the interview! Thanks!"