Interview by John Bush, Edited by Bob Nalbandian
MIKE PIAZZA is the slugging catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a devoted heavy metal fan. JOHN "Bukowski" BUSH is the fueled vocalist for ANTHRAX, as well as a dedicated baseball fan, a legendary party monger, and contributing editor for SHOCKWAVES. Although I have known the Bushman for years, I just recently became acquainted with Piazza and had the pleasure to hang with him at various shows including Lemmy of Motorhead's 50th birthday bash at the Whisky a Go-Go. Whenever they have a break in their grueling tour schedules, the Italian duo spend a great deal of their time partying together - whether it be at a Lakers game, the Super Bowl, or a Slayer concert. So, with that in mind, I came up with the idea of setting up the following interview between the National League's 1993 Rookie of the Year and the former Armored Saint frontman, mano a mano, without a moderator. The wide range of topics covered by this mutual admiration society is sure to titillate, intrigue and entertain, so read on!
BUSH: I'm looking forward to checking out the Dodgers in action when I come back from touring.
PIAZZA: Let me know when and I'll set you up.
BUSH: I promise to be good this time... Plus, now that Offerman is gone... we won't be able to bust his balls like we did in San Diego last year!
PIAZZA: (Laughs) You mentioned something about that! What in the Hell did you say to him?
BUSH: Scott (Ian) and his friends and I went down to San Diego to check out your game at Jack Murphy Stadium. We didn't realize that the tickets you gave us were in the wives' section. Everytime Offerman would make an error, one of Scott's drunk friends would yell, "Hey Offerman, it's pretty hot in Albuquerque this time of the year!" (referring to the Dodgers' minor league Triple A team). Little did we know that Offerman's wife and two kids were sitting right in front of us! And we were busting on him the whole game. The following game he ended up making three errors in one inning. Poor guy, I still feel bad about that.
PIAZZA: You shouldn't.
BUSH: (laughs) Why do you say that, because he's at Kansas City now?!
PIAZZA: He is a great guy and he's got talent. But business is business, if you can't do the job you got to get somebody in there who can.
BUSH: Baseball has gone through the shitter over the past few years, with the strike and the contract disputes.... does that still leave a bad taste in people's mouths?
PIAZZA: You know how it is.... The way sports is changing and evolving, a lot of people get turned off - they see the money, they see the greed.... And there's no question that it's out there - I think it's always been there, but it just hasn't been this magnified. I can't stand when people come up to me and say, "I'm never going back to another baseball game, I'm bitter about baseball!". I mean.....why can't you just let it go, what is the point? Why deprive yourself of something you enjoy? It's the same thing as in politics.... But after Watergate, did you say to yourself, "I'm never going to go out and vote again?" No, that doesn't stop you from voting.
BUSH: It must be tough being a player caught in the middle of it, but like you say, it's business, and it's really nobody's business but your business.
PIAZZA: Actually, I'm very pro-union, but I'm also pro-business. You live in a society where you get what you can get. Whether someone is willing to pay you 5 million, or $100,000, if it's out there and you can get it, then get it!
BUSH: In the music business, if there were to be a salary cap saying that a band can only make a certain amount of money for a live concert, no matter how many kids pay to see the show, there would be a lot of pissed off bands!
PIAZZA: A prime example is with football. The Super Bowl a couple of year's back had one of the nastiest labor confrontations ever. But eventually it's all forgotten.
BUSH: You take a lot of time out from your schedule to play for charity events like the MTV ROCK n JOCK game....
PIAZZA: It's a lot of fun, although it's not really a softball game. There's a lot of acts and stuff but it comes off pretty cute.
BUSH: So is Idalis gonna play this year?
PIAZZA: She was last year so I imagine she will be. Why? Do you have the hots for her, Bush?
BUSH: Yeah. I even told my friend Karen at MTV that I had the hots for Idalis. So Karen had Idalis make this video for me. It's great, she's looking really sexy, running her hands up her legs and everything! And then, all of the sudden, she starts busting my chops! It's hilarious! It came off really cool.
PIAZZA: Did the video fulfill your every fantasy?
BUSH: (Laughing) I think I left it on our tour bus actually. So it's probably fulfilling somebody else's fantasy as we speak!
PIAZZA: So, what's going on with ANTHRAX.
BUSH: We're touring a lot overseas...Europe, Japan, Australia, we're also hitting Hungary, Poland, South America....A lot of places I've never visited.
Piazza and Bush Page 2