Sometimes music is not only about “listening” or “playing” music. Sometimes it’s also about the look, the lifestyle, and… the fun! “Metal Babe Mayhem” is a clothing line born for the female metal and rock lovers. We’ll talk about it with its creator, the lovely Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen herself.
Q. Please introduce yourself, and tell us about your latest projects.
A. I am Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen, and everything I do is for my love of music. I have been living and breathing rock n’ roll since I went to my first rock concert at age 11. Things have really taken off the past few years and I am so happy to have had so much success with both my journalism career and my clothing line (Metal Babe Mayhem). I work 24/7, but it is definitely worth it! I have published over 80 music reviews/interviews, which can be seen on my blog site, the most recent being an interview with Mark Slaughter, Lit Soul Press Release, Bios for The Roadkill/Morten St. Elmo, and a review of the ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO. Please visit http://metalbabemayhemcom.mystagingwebsite.com/ to see my articles and hear this month’s playlist. (I update it monthly with 15 songs, mostly from unsigned bands.) I am also a staff writer for All Access Magazine, Rock N Roll Industries, and Rock Over America.
As for Metal Babe Mayhem, I am really excited about my brand new Metal Babe bikinis. I put a lot of time and effort into making these swim suits and currently have seven different designs available. All bikinis are black, and have different variations of the white or red lips/bone logo. Some even come with matching guitar picks on the sides! Also, I just received the first prototype of my brand new embroidered baseball caps and they look amazing! We are working out the exact specifications at this time, and I can’t wait until they are available on my website. Please visit metalbabemayhem.com to see my full product line.
Q. When did the clothing line Metal Babe Mayhem start?
A. Metal Babe Mayhem first began in 2005 (originally called Metal Babe Productions) as a partnership. Together we created a rock n’ roll game show for television (which I still hope to get out there someday) and a lips/bone logo. We went our separate ways shortly after that, but I have worked day and night for the past eight years to establish a name for myself and recognition for the Metal Babe Mayhem logo.
Q. How would you describe its style?
A. Metal Babe Mayhem currently has 17 different designs and 100 products available. Most items are based on the original lips/bone logo and everything is geared towards music fans and people who love rock n’ roll. Although MBM primarily appeals to women, I have several items that appeal to men including designs with skulls and guitar picks. My designs are all offered on tank tops, baby dolls, and men’s t-shirts, and most of them come in red, white, or black. I also carry canvas tote bags, dresses, baby onsies, and a variety of jewelry, including hand-made guitar pick necklaces and earrings.
Q. You are also a journalist. Do you like to be considered more for your clothing line or as a journalist?
A. That’s a really good question. When people ask what I do, I say “I am a rock journalist with a clothing line.” I think the two go hand in hand, and there are positives and negatives to both. Ideally, we all want to do something that we enjoy and can make a living at it. Aside from my recent ‘Bio Venture,’ (I am currently writing bio’s for musicians and adding them to my blog for $30.) I haven’t made any money being a rock journalist. I do it all for the love of music, and have been very fortunate to have had the chance to interview/review so many musicians of my choice. However, the clothing line actually brings in some money! So if I have to pick one, I would pick the clothing line.
Q. What are your favorite types of music and what are your top 5 bands and albums?
A. I’m an 80’s rock girl. My first concert was Bon Jovi when I was eleven years old, and I grew up listening to bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue, and Skid Row. I also LOVE prog metal, and my number one favorite band of all time is Savatage. I got into goth music for a while and still love bands like Bella Morte and The Cruxshadows, and I really like punk too. I’m a die-hard Ramones fan, and love listening to 70’s punk and glam. It was really hard for me to narrow it down to just five of my favorite bands/CDs, but this is what I came up with:
- Bon Jovi
- Motley Crue
- Wednesday 13
- Bon Jovi – “7800 Fahrenheit”
- Motley Crue – “Too Fast for Love”
- Savatage – “Streets: A Rock Opera”
- Tesla – “Bust a Nut”
- Queensryche – “Operation Mindcrime
Q. What is the hardest thing for you to do as a female, in such a manly world as Metal?
A. The hardest thing, honestly, is being respected. I work extremely hard to always carry myself with class. I work really hard to show my intelligence and that I am a businesswoman. Sure, I like compliments on my looks as much as the next person, but my primary focus is my journalism career and clothing line, and I want to be recognized for those.
Q. How would you describe the music scene in your country? Do you think bands have the space they need to come out?
A. I can’t speak on behalf of the entire United States… However, I have been a music fan my entire life, and it seems like the rock music scene has definitely gone through a variety of phases, and is still ever changing. There is a three-part documentary that is coming out soon that breaks down the hard rock music scene in L.A. into three distinct time periods, which may be able to shed some additional light on the subject. (Inside L.A. Metal)
What I currently see in Los Angeles is a ton of bands, both local and national, who are still working as hard as they can to get out there, play, and be seen. There are open jam nights popping up all over town with all-star line-ups, and also those that allow players to come onstage from all walks of life. The Sunset Strip has been going through some changes lately, and some of the clubs have closed and/or are no longer booking rock bands. However, the Rainbow Bar & Grill is still going strong, and The Whisky is booking more than a dozen household names monthly.
In addition, ‘rock fests’ are popping up all year long in various parts of the country, and there also seems to be a new popularity of rock cruises, like 70,000 Tons of Metal, Monsters of Rock, and this fall’s MotorBoat Cruise. As far as newer bands are concerned, it is definitely tough. But with the Internet and Social Media it is easy for bands to get out there and be heard with just the click of a button. I don’t think location is truly that important in this day and age. If you work hard enough you will be seen (and heard).
Q. Do you have any weird metal-related stories about your life?
A. I do have a story that would fit this question perfectly. From 1997 to 2000 I toured throughout the United States as an official vendor for Ozzfest with Glad Rags Rock n’ Roll Clothing Store. Although I have many ‘road stories,’ the weirdest one took place when we were passing through my hometown. I was working the tent, when one of our team members came back from break in tears, explaining that she was getting beat up in the parking lot and that Motorhead ‘jumped off their bus and saved her.’ She said they wanted to meet me and to come with her right away. We headed to their tour bus and walked in to see Lemmy and Mikkey Dee sitting at the front table. We joined them as they all filled me in on what had happened. Apparently Lemmy and Mikkey saw her getting beat up and jumped off their bus to stop the fight. They took her on the bus to take care of her, and make sure that she was okay. Ironically, I ended up in line for food with Mikkey Dee recently at NAMM and told him the story. Even though it had been over 14 years since that had happened, he remembered it like it was yesterday!
Q. What are the most important musicians and artists you have met and known, and can you tell us some funny story about them?
A. That’s a really tough question, since I have met so many musicians, and continue to meet more on a daily basis. A funny story that comes to mind took place when I was 15 years old, and was with two friends waiting for a ride outside the backstage gate after an amphitheater show with Enuff Z’Nuff/Nelson. The gate was patrolled by a security guard who was walking back and forth to make sure no one got back there who shouldn’t. One of my friends dared me to sneak past her and go backstage. Of course, I couldn’t turn down a dare, (Laughs) so I did!
I remember walking down this long road, seeing people carrying kegs in and out, and not being able to believe no one was following me or chasing me down. I kept walking until I saw a tour bus and a group of people sitting down. (A guy and three girls.) Keep in mind, at this point I didn’t know anything about Enuff Z’ Nuff and was only at this show because I got a free ticket. The guy walked up to me and handed me a bass guitar pick, and said, “Hi, I’m Chip Z’nuff, would you like to join us?” I sat down with them and we all started talking. The next thing I knew, Vikki Foxx (who was the super cute drummer) walked off the bus holding a stack of posters and said, “Who wants one?” As Chip and Vikki were signing posters for us all, a security guard drove up on a golf cart and said that a girl had snuck backstage and asked if we had seen her. Chip said, “No, we are all supposed to be there.” (How cool is that?!?)
We all hung out for another 15 or 20 minutes until I heard my friend’s voice yelling, “There she is!” She was on the back of the security cart this time, so I really had to go. However, during my time with Chip, I promised him that I would order both of the EZN cassettes right away. (Yes, this was back when we had cassettes.) I kept my word, ordering both of them the next day, and ended up becoming a really big fan of the band. I have everything that they have released to date and still keep in touch with Chip Z’Nuff…. All because of a dare!
Q. I will let you close the interview as you like.
A. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to interview me for your website. I am truly honored. And second, thank you to everyone reading this, my friends, my fans, my family, and those who continue to support me. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Please visit www.metalbabemayhem.com for my rock n’ roll clothing line and spend some time on my blog, reading my articles and listening to my monthly playlist athttp://metalbabemayhemcom.mystagingwebsite.com/.
***Interview written by A2aThoT and originally posted at: http://www.a2athot.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=280%3Aalison-cohen-from-metalbabe-mayhem-clothing-line-june-2014&catid=19&Itemid=124