Jake E Lee’s singer felt hated at poor show
The frontman of Jake E Lee’s new band Red Dragon Cartel has spoken of the “cruelty” he faced as a result of the band’s debut show last week.
Darren James Smith admits he delivered a poor performance as a result of a hectic rehearsal schedule, too little sleep, a throat infection and taking one drink too many before hitting the stage at LA’s Whisky A Go Go.
He tells Mitch Lafon in the video interview below: “They gave me some medicine – I didn’t know it was prescription – and I had one last shot before walking on. Everybody in the band did one together. It kicked in midstream.
“I’ve been playing the bar scene for quite some time: I’m the entertainer, I’m a jokester, I’m a ham. I thought they wanted Ozzy — old, party-drunk Ozzy. Boy, was I wrong!
“At the same time, no one told me how to be in the band. No one said, ‘You should act like this. You should do this. You should do that.’ They just said, ‘Do what you do, Darren.’
“So all the haters came out and they told me what they thought. They judged me on that, and that’s all they really have to go by, to judge me on it.”
Smith continues: “I don’t think it was necessary to be so cruel. It was borderline racism at some points. I’ve never been hated to that degree.”
Meanwhile, former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist Lee agrees that the public outcry against Smith was “brutal”, but he’s taken the responsibility upon himself.
He tells BraveWords: “I blame myself; we were under-rehearsed. The show just kind of popped up so we didn’t have time to prepare. I always wanted to rehearse the band two to three weeks; we ended up having five days to rehearse.
“We would rehearse for eight hours straight, wake up, come in, rehearse for eight hours. You do that for five nights in a row and then have a show the next day, you get a little burnt out. That’s not the way I want to do the first show.
“But I can guarantee you: that particular performance will never happen again. Nobody is going to beat themselves up worse than Darren did, even though there were a lot of attempts on the web.”
Lee says of Red Dragon Cartel’s first show, which has already been superseded by better shows: “There were mistakes, but they were ‘glorious mistakes’ – they were mistakes made with a rock’n'roll attitude.”
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