Classic Rock

Watch Rockstars Walk Out On Offensive and Crazy Interviews

todayMarch 15, 2024 1

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Rockstars and interviews: a match made in music promotion heaven, right? After all, these chats with the press are all about selling out shows and getting fans hyped for new albums. But the path to rock n’ roll glory isn’t always smooth sailing.

Interviews, while typically tame affairs, can occasionally careen off the rails, leaving everyone involved bewildered.  These aren’t the epic meltdowns that make rock history headlines, but rather gloriously awkward moments that have us all wondering, “wait, what just happened there?”

From Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee’s laser focus being challenged by a flirtatious friend to Slipknot’s Chris Fehn calling it quits on Nardwuar’s interview antics, the world of rock n’ roll interviews has seen its fair share of cringe-worthy moments.

Thankfully, none of these were career-ending interview disasters, so at least these rockers had a chance to redeem themselves with the media (and maybe even their bandmates) later on.

Brian May’s Not-So-Gentle Exit

Queen’s Brian May isn’t exactly known for rocking out or causing trouble like Axl Rose or Mötley Crüe. He’s more the reserved, gentlemanly type – especially in interviews. But even the nicest guys have their limits.

In a past interview with Dutch program TweeVandaag, it was clear May wasn’t happy to be there. He seemed visibly uncomfortable throughout and finally interrupted to ask if they’d discuss the show or keep showing clips. 

The guitarist apologized, said the show was his priority that night, and left.  In a surprising turn, he returned, apologized to the camera, and sat back down – only to walk out again!

Avenged Sevenfold’s Awkward Encounter with a YouTuber

Back in 2010, BryanStars was a rising YouTube star known for interviewing rock legends. While most chats went smoothly, his interview with Avenged Sevenfold guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates was a disaster.

BryanStars, then just 18, met the band backstage at a concert. He started with generic questions before quickly diving into the meaning behind their music. As Gates began to answer, Vengeance vanished.

BryanStars, clearly flustered, tried to make light of the situation, but the interview was derailed. Years later, reflecting on the incident, BryanStars admitted his lack of experience and inadequate preparation resulted in a “very bad interview.” He took some blame but also acknowledged the band’s potential frustration.

Vince Neil’s Abrupt Exit

Mötley Crüe isn’t known for shying away from drama, and their interviews can be just as explosive. One infamous exchange involved frontman Vince Neil on Tanner in the Morning back in 2015.

Neil was there to promote what was then believed to be the band’s final tour. The conversation took a sharp turn when the host brought up a social media spat between Mötley Crüe’s drummer and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich.

Neil denied any bad blood, but things escalated when the interviewer mentioned accusations of Mötley Crüe lip-syncing, specifically aimed at Neil. Clearly frustrated, Neil shut down the claims, insisting he sings live. He then abruptly ended the interview by hanging up on the host, leaving everyone on-air scratching their heads.

Chris Fehn was Uncomfortable at the Nardwuar Show

Nardwuar, a music interviewer known for his over-the-top enthusiasm and deep dives into artists’ past, can be a lot to handle.  Most musicians seem to enjoy the ride, but not former Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn (known as #3).

In a 2005 interview, Nardwuar bombarded Fehn and bandmate Shawn Crahan with his signature rapid-fire questions. While Crahan played along, Fehn seemed increasingly uncomfortable throughout.

After just three minutes, Fehn had enough. He simply raised a finger, walked off camera, and left the interview. A bewildered Nardwuar called after him, but Fehn wasn’t coming back.

Marilyn Manson Can’t Take The Heat

In the wake of Evan Rachel Wood’s abuse allegations against Marilyn Manson in 2021, whispers had already begun circulating for years. Wood hadn’t explicitly named Manson, but timelines fueled speculation.

Seizing the opportunity, Metal Hammer‘s Dave Everley secured a phone interview with Manson in September 2020 to promote his album We Are Chaos. The magazine reported that Manson abruptly ended the call when the conversation shifted towards Wood and the recent allegations. 

Metal Hammer attempted to arrange a follow-up interview for Manson to address the situation, but those efforts were unsuccessful. The magazine sent Manson’s U.K. PR team 10 questions, which were ultimately answered by the PR team itself, stating Manson wouldn’t be making any further comments.

Johnny Rotten Angrily Walks Out on Check It Out

The Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten, aka John Lydon, was never one to mince words. This attitude followed him to his post-Pistols band, Public Image Ltd. (PiL). Lydon always thrived on confrontation, even during interviews.

In a 1979 appearance on Check It Out, things got heated when host Chris Cowley played footage of the punk band Angelic Upstarts criticizing PiL. Lydon fired back, dismissing their comments.

However, Cowley wouldn’t let it go, persistently pressing the issue. Lydon finally reached his limit. “I don’t have to explain myself,” he declared. He blasted the interview as a “cheapskate comedy interrogation” and stormed off the set, leaving Cowley speechless.

Prince Leaves The View After a Thirsty Comment

Prince wasn’t your typical interview subject. He commanded attention wherever he went, and his 2010 appearance on The View was no exception. The superstar dropped by unannounced to promote his upcoming concert at Madison Square Garden, sending the entire talk show panel into a frenzy.

Sherri Shepherd, clearly starstruck, sat beside Prince and even admitted to a lifelong crush. After some conversation and promotion, Prince seemed ready to leave. But things took a sharp turn when Shepherd blurted out, “I have wanted to make love to you my whole life!”

Prince, understandably startled, made a swift exit from the stage. Years later, Shepherd confessed she had no regrets, although Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t a fan of her outburst.

Tommy Lee Can’t Stay Still

Mötley Crüe wasn’t just known for their music – they were the epitome of rock and roll excess. This attitude extended to interviews, and in 2009, drummer Tommy Lee offered The Guardian‘s Tom Bryant an experience unlike any other.

Lee showed up with a female companion he’d just met that morning, boasting they were “going to have more fun than humans are allowed to have.” As Bryant attempted the interview, Lee’s focus became increasingly challenged. His companion bombarded him with suggestive gestures and innuendo, making it impossible for the interview to proceed.

Lee eventually succumbed to the distraction, calling it quits with a comment about his friend’s beauty. Thankfully for Bryant, Lee returned solo 10 minutes later, ready for a (presumably) more focused interview.

Sebastian Bach Was Not Here for the Glam Comparisons

Glam metal may have been a staple of the 80s, but not all artists cherish that association. In a 2000 interview with Much Music, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach stormed off after the reporter dared to compare his band to Poison.

The interview began smoothly. Bach chatted about his role in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway and even reminisced about Skid Row’s success. However, things went south when the interviewer mentioned a “glam rock tour” featuring Poison and other bands. Clearly sensing a question about a potential Skid Row reunion tour, Bach bristled.

He denied any similarities between his band and Poison, called the comparison insulting, and abruptly ended the interview. “I’m on Broadway,” he declared. “I don’t wanna talk about f***ing Poison.”

Beck Cuts Nardwuar Interview Short

Singer-songwriter Beck is known for his aloof demeanor in interviews, and his encounter with Nardwuar was no exception. While Nardwuar’s signature enthusiasm was on full display, Beck seemed unfazed, offering short replies and minimal engagement throughout.

Nardwuar pressed on with his usual rapid-fire questioning, even going as far as asking Beck why people should care about him. Beck’s response? A blunt “I have no idea.”

Nardwuar persisted, referencing elements of Beck’s music and image, but it proved too much for the musician. Annoyed, Beck ended the interview with a frustrated “Oh, just f*** off” before hanging up.

Ringo Starr Walks Off Live With Regis and Kelly Stage

Drama erupted on the set of Live With Regis and Kelly in 2008 when Ringo Starr, legendary drummer and occasional vocalist for The Beatles, stormed off before his scheduled appearance. This came as a surprise, considering the coup it was for the show to land both an interview and a performance with Starr alongside musician Dave Stewart.

The cause of the conflict? A disagreement over performance time. According to Starr’s publicist, the show informed them about shortening the set only the morning of the show. While Starr offered to compromise by trimming 45 seconds, producers insisted on a stricter three-minute limit.

Starr’s team even proposed reducing the interview segment or incorporating commercial breaks to accommodate the song, but negotiations fell through. The show, however, maintains that Starr’s team had been aware of the time constraints all along.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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