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"Get the Fuck Out" - Exclusive Interview - March 2000

Jake's Manager Tim Heyne discusses the past, the present and the future. was privileged to interview Jake E. Lee's manager Tim Heyne via the Internet March 14th, 2000 to get the latest information about Wicked Alliance and Jake's future plans.

Tim Heyne, Jake's manager since 1997, is also a very good friend of Jakes over the last 10 years indirectly, and 4 years very well.

Tim has represented many other artists in the music industry, including:

DANGEROUS TOYS, THE SCREAM, KEEL, LEATHERWOLF, RATT, CINDERELLA, PAUL GILBERT, UNION, CHLORINE, OLEANDER, NICKELBACK, JOHN 5, JOHN CORABI, RACER X, JOHN GREGORY and SALIVA, among others. Firstly Tim, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. A lot of people are going to be interested in what you have to say. Mandy Lion is an unknown to a lot of Jake's fans, most have only heard of him from the WWIII and George Lynch albums previously. How did Jake and Mandy hook up to form Wicked Alliance in the beginning?

Tim Heyne: Honestly, I'm not sure. I first saw them together in WWIII when they were at Hollywood Records at the same time we were working THE SCREAM. It struck me kinda weird because WWIII was so different from BADLANDS. Ray (Gillen) was the consummate rock star...while Mandy was the friggen' Antichrist. After checking them out tho... there was an extraordinary chemistry between Jake and Mandy... and Jake, after considering many other vocalists, was eager to rekindle the relationship with Mandy. It will be intense... to say the least! Jake and Mandy originally toured back in 1994 around the USA as Wicked Alliance, after which hopes of a studio album where high. Nothing eventuated at that time and now 6 years later the first Wicked Alliance album (Twisted Beauty) is about to be completed and unleashed upon us. What happened back in 1994 to halt the project's momentum at that time?

Tim Heyne: Tough to say. I'm not sure whether the band had any real direction at the time and Hollywood Records really didn't know exactly how to market the thing given the music climate of the era. Quite frankly...I believe Wicked Alliance was very much ahead of their time and was doing shit back then that makes Manson look like the friggen' Backsteet Boys! Will the new album include songs written back in 1994, or does the album contain predominantly new material?

Tim Heyne: I believe some of the ideas were kickin' around in Jake's head in 94'... but the most of the stuff is new. One thing you can always count on from Jake... he'll always be pushin' the envelope and won't settle for anything without raising a few eyebrows. What effects has the Jake and Mandy hiatus had on the finishing of Twisted Beauty?

Tim Heyne: I dunno. Jake was really in a space were he did a bunch soul searching after the death of Ray (Gillen) and wrestled more than a few demons. He spent time with his daughter and family and put a bunch of personal items, that had been laying around festering for a bunch of years, back into order. All the while though, he was always writing, playing and staying on top of the technology revolution. I think that finally things just fell in place for him again and the contemporary music vibe finally caught up to where his headspace had been all along. He's in great spirits and is musically alive again. Jake revealed to me a while back that the original title for the Wicked Alliance project was "Exquisite Tenderness". He explained it was a medical term for the uppermost limit of physical pain, which could leave you with the impression that at the time the band was formed there was a lot of anger or agony. Would that be a fair description of the mood and tone of the forth-coming release?

Tim Heyne: Hmmmmm... Sounds like something Jake would say. Jake has an extraordinary and intelligent sense of humor, and if you don't know him well, I don't think you can appreciate it or even recognize it. Much of the "Exquisite Tenderness" type stuff really stems from nothing more than Jake's "curiosity of life" - or - his "big time tongue in cheek" humor. This one is probably in the middle somewhere. Did the treatment BADLANDS received from a number of "professional" organizations/companies contribute to the direction the Wicked Alliance project initially went in?

Tim Heyne: Probably. Jake was definitely lashing out a bit. But Wicked Alliance was Jake pushin' the envelope, as I mentioned earlier. I'm not sure it was anything more than that. In retrospect, I think that BADLANDS was a bit safe knowing Jake now, but it was a very, very good band... and Ray was, and will always be, awesome! I've been told that ex-Phantom Blue vocalist Gigi Hangach sings background vocals on "Mr. Sinister" one of the new tracks, are there any other guest vocalists or musicians appearing on the new album?

Tim Heyne: As of yet, I'm not sure how the stuff will finish or with who. Jake is experimenting for sure and has worked, on and off, with Gigi a bit on stuff in the past. To be honest, he'll only play me bits and pieces of stuff when he feels it appropriate... and he keeps his fingers tightly around his work and ideas until he's ready to deem it appropriate. The big question even one reading this wants to know is when can we hope to see the new album? Given that we've had a few false starts (courtesy the record label), maybe an easier way to ask this question is to ask how much of the album is complete?

Tim Heyne: Jake's attitude is that the world is not on edge waiting for a Jake E Lee record, and even if it were, he wouldn't give a shit. He's going to make the album he wants to make---on his own timetable. Not because he's being a dick, but because he feels that his music is all he really has... and he won't compromise it for the sake of grabbing some dough. When the album is done... Jake will deliver it. Until then... no matter how much the label (or me) tries to push him... they won't get it. That being said, Jake is making noise that the album may be delivered in early to mid-April. Has any of the artwork for the album been finalized?

Tim Heyne: Not that I know of. Jake has a bunch of ideas...but none that he has shared with me. When the album is finished... we'll plow into the nuts & bolts of the thing. Is a tour going to follow the release of the album? If so, can you give us any indication where the tour may start and how far a field the tour may go?

Tim Heyne: At this point, I will definitely be prodding Jake to tour Southeast Asia shortly after the release of his album there. As far as the US... we'll have to see what label licenses the album and how it develops. But generally speaking, yes, Jake wants to tour again. How do Mandy and Jake feel about performing old material form their back catalogues?

Tim Heyne: I dunno. Hasn't come up yet. Knowing Jake, if he feels the stuff has any vitality or blood left in it today, they'll play it. If not, R.I.P. Those that where lucky enough to catch the 1994 tour where treated to a number of tracks like "Time For Terror" (WWIII), "The Ultimate Sin" (Ozzy Osbourne) and "Walkin' Attitude" (Badlands) would Jake and Mandy consider letting the fans maybe choice a song from each era?

Tim Heyne: Perhaps...I'll ask em'. While we are talking live performances, would or has Jake ever considered releasing a live recording?

Tim Heyne: Not so far as I know. I'm not sure tracks exist that he would feel are of quality enough to do so. I wish he would though, I miss some of the old live stuff! It's such a pity that nothing has ever been released from the BADLANDS days. Do audio and especially videotapes exist where such a release could be possible?

Tim Heyne: Jake is very, very careful about the BADLANDS stuff. He wanted to release the BADLANDS "Dusk" recordings more to Ray's memory than anything else... and was incredibly protective that the labels associated could not take advantage of Ray's death to market the project. I know that stuff does exist, but it would be up to Jake to decide when and why it would be assembled or released. While we are taking Badlands, the third album "Dusk" has just been released in Europe through "Z Records". It is essentially the same as the 1999 Japanese "Pony Canyon" release - except for different album cover coloring. Are "Pony Canyon" in Japan and "Z Records" in Europe going to be releasing Twisted Beauty simultaneously?

Tim Heyne: Pony Canyon will get about a 60 day jump on any other labels due to contractual conditions. It's been rumored for some time now that there is at least one as of yet un-released track from the BADLANDS "Dusk" sessions titled "Let It Bleed". Can you confirm the existence of this track? And if it does exist, is it possible that this track may some day be released - maybe as a bonus track?

Tim Heyne: Got me...I dunno...I'll ask Jake. A number of people ask about the memorial concert for Ray Gillen a few years back. It was noticeable that Jake and the other members of Badlands where conspicuous by their absence. What was the story with that?

Tim Heyne: As I mentioned, Jake and Ray were extremely close and Jake is very, very protective of Ray's memory. He will not be a part of anything that he feels is in any way exploitive to that memory. I'm not saying that was the reason for Jake's, Greg's and Jeff's absence, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. Moving on, anyone I have ever played "A Fine Pink Mist" to has just been amazed that an album with that much to offer has essentially been missed by so many. The album is just as good if not better than anything Vai or Satriani have released, why didn't it get any real publicity in the English speaking world?

Tim Heyne: Hmmmm. Yeah, I agree, its a great album. I'm not sure that the "shirts & ties" in the US music industry really see Jake in the same light as Vai or Joe though. I think most of em' still see him as "that guitar player of the bat eater". People who really know Jake's work will put him ahead of either Joe or Steve from a music creation point of view, and close - if not equal - from a playing point of view. I think that "A Fine Pink Mist" is terrific exploratory work and definitely says much about Jake musically. We have intentionally not licensed the album here in the US until Jake makes enough noise here again that a label will actually make some sort of decent commitment to work the record like they give a shit about it. I'd personally like to see Jake do another instrumental album to follow up to this album, is another solo album a possibility in the near future?

Tim Heyne: Jake loves the instrumental stuff and I'm sure another one is in his not too distant future. This question is sort of out there by it's self, but so many people have asked me this question I thought I'd better take the opportunity to ask you your thoughts on the topic. A lot of fans have expressed that they just can't afford the $35 for Japanese imports, has any consideration been given to perhaps releasing Jake's work in the USA on an Indie label?

Tim Heyne: Yeah... but not until a label makes a commitment to the stuff. If we just put it out there and it lays there... it really does nobody any good. I know, the diehard fans would be able to get it... and Jake would give it to em' free if I'd let him... but this is an area where I stick my big nose in the mix and advise him just to hang in there until we get a look at the new album and what it's prospect might be here in the US. Perhaps we'll make a deal for the two of them and have some commitment from somebody across the board. So, I'm the bad guy on this one. One last question for you. Jake's really been busy on those "Tribute" albums again lately, and later in the year he is appearing on his friend Rob Rock's "Rage of Creation" CD. Are there any other projects in works?

Tim Heyne: Not that I know of. He just gets off playin' on em' and it keeps his name out there a bit. I don't know how seriously he takes them anyway... he just hammers away at them. Thank you for your time, Tim. It was really great! I really hope we can do this all again in the near future?

Tim Heyne: Anytime!