By Andy Thunders, Rock N Roll Gypsy
Nadir D’Priest is the lead singer of Legendary LA glam band London, who founder Lizzie Grey even nicknamed the ‘training camp for future rockstars’ in The Decline of Western Civilaztion Part 2. A set of extraordinary heavy metal god like pipes as heard on songs such as Werewolves In London and Russian Winter, London has regrouped in 2019 with a brand new album Call That Girl. I sat down with D”Priest and discussed the beginning of his tenure in the band and Londons future.
When did you decide you wanted to sing in a rock n roll band?
When I was a little kid I was a drummer so I basically started as a drummer and moved onto singing early in life.
Who were you early influences?
Black sabbath Led Zeppelin Three Dog Night YES Dio 1st album Deep Purple James Brown Sinatra and many more.
Tell me about your early groups and early experiences.
Bands I’ve been in? I started in a band called assassin in Pasadena California which move me on to a couple other little local bands in Pasadena. I ended up hooking up with a bunch of older dudes in a band called thunderbolt from Santa Maria California I believe living in Orange County. That didn’t last more than a year then I was approached by London via Lizzie Grey And some in between people during this time. I’ve been in London since 1984. I never really bounced around in bands I stuck with London and I have been since then and I’m still here. I also did a solo album in Spanish which is coming out this year NADIR en español. In 1994 I became the project director of the Rolling Stones VooDoo lounge cd ROM. Not many people know about this I was on the cover of multimedia producer magazine as producer of the Rolling Stones voodoo lounge I was also on Billboard magazine and many many other trade magazines. I worked for them for two years the Rolling Stones are the most well oiled machine in the world.
I have a lot of respect for them and became huge fan once I started working and embedded myself deep with the band during this time
When did you join London, how did it come about, and who else was in the band at the time?
I joined LONDON Because London approached me I was already in a band so apparently somebody must’ve put a good word in and I was basically asked to audition by the end of it I ended up in the band. The lineup at the time when I joined was,
Bobby Marks Isenberg
Additional transitional drummer Steven Adler
Then added Tony Richards (Wasp) then Bobby Amato (Lita Ford) to mention a few.
What was it like working with Izzy? He has always had an aura of mystery.
He and I hung out quite a bit we hung out wit Joe Perry for a few weeks or less. We didn’t have a whole lot at the time so eating was not as important and having alcohol and a place to sleep usually was sketchy.He was very quiet but had some fun his music taste was not mine so the song we worked on was “My Way Your Way Anything Goes Tonight” I sang that 1st but you won’t hear it from any of them.
Tell me about recording London’s first record Non Stop Rock in 1985 and how was the reception to it?
My believe is that the Europeans, Japanese some in the US where the ones who supported NSR. Got a remember that not everyone was able to do albums back down so when it any band put something out people would want to have that music. People would share to Satz lyrics flyers all kinds of stuff back then it was a lot more personable and fun.
You then released a second album Don’t Cry Wolf,was this experience different to recording Non Stop Rock?
The experience was great working with Kim Fowley. At that point we had more money that nonstop rock and we were able to go into a place called track record recording studios in Glendale which was owned by Prince. We spent a lot of time working on guitars and drums and things were a lot easier at that point because we had budgets to do what we needed to do. We were very happy to have had the opportunity do you work with such a great bunch of people back then.
What was it like working with Kim Fowley?
Very interesting crazy awkward and expensive. London basically produced the album I think that Kim at the time just basically helped us put together a plan to record don’t cry wolf. We were able to work with Gene Métis who was working at the time with Van Halen as an assistant engineer at sunset sound Studios. With that said he ended up with all this great experience recording guitar bass drums.We were able to get a great sound out of our second album and we were really stoked about that. Kim was a character and in less she knew him and he liked you then he could be your best friend but if he didn’t oh man. There was a little dark side to him. Kim was a character that is for sure.
You appeared in Decline of Western Civilization part 2 in 1988 with Lizzie Grey, did that film help or hinder the band?
What do you think? Because of the decline of the western civilization part two the metal years London was put on the map. The metal years basically created a perpetual spot for the band to where it was able to get in and continues to get lots of exposure. The metal years recently released the four DVD Blu-ray box set with me on the cover and many others. I’m also narrating in the movie right alongside with Penelope Spheeris, Dave Grohl. Till this day the movie continues to gather new fans worldwide. Couple years ago the movie was entered into the Academy of film in Los Angeles or as they call it LACMA. It is now considered a classic film.
Tell me about the Playa Del Rock album, and the confusion over the bands name at the time.
The band name was changed by the record company not by me not much of a confusion. If it created a confusion I never knew about it it was a easy transition of anything I created two different pressings of the album with two different names which are now worth a lot of money. Shit happens and that’s just the way the business goes.
The band ended in 1991,what did you do after the band ended prior to reforming?
The band never ended. The lineup imploded on tour by getting screwed by our manager back then so we went on with our lives. We continue to talk to each other we just do not play for 20 years we all had family businesses children to tend to and live basically. In 2012 I decided to put it back together as far as for an album which we ended up recording in Nashville Tennessee live. We ended up with two new studio tracks recorded in Santa Barbara California at PLAYBACK recording studios. And from then on I decided it was time to get back on the saddle and ride.
You just released the first album from London in years called Call That Girl, what was that process like all these years later?
The new album was a very special experience for us all everyone involved from the band to our guest players it was a process that would open up a whole other wave of things. Call that girl took about three years to record we did the drums in Las Vegas Nevada at Desert Moon production studios which is owned by Danny the “Count”Koker. You have all seen Danny on television at counting cars television show. From then on I build the studio at home which gave me the freedom to record as much as I wanted whenever I wanted with no limitations or anyone’s finger on it. The process was long but at the end of it all it was worth every minute of it and you can tell by the production value of the record. Dennis Ward mixed and mastered the album in Germany.
What is the most outrageous thing you’ve witnessed being a rock singer?
Yes phoenix Arizona 1991 at sound check at the Mason jar bar. A guy runs into the tour of us wanting to buy a Dpriest T-shirt we sell him a shirt he leaves and we get onto Soundcheck. During our sound check I was in the back of the bar area when a squad of FBI agents fully armed with Automatic weapons Uzi’s are looking for me Nadir Dpriest. And my loyal bandmates and my road crew immediately pointed her finger at me and said yes that’s him LOL. So we were being held by FBI at gun point and they kept asking me where is the money? And I said what money? Do you know what money where is the money in the meantime I have this thing shoved into my ribs with 30 rounds of bullets in it thinking what the fuck is going on here. Soon after that question he pulls out a black and white Polaroid 4 x 5 with a guy at a bank pointing a gun at the cashier wearing my Dpriest shirt that he had just purchased four hours prior from us at sound check. I have a very old video of it which was found by one of our bodyguards with an old camera which you can even hear the motor of the camera on the filming with the FBI agent in full suit like men in black ready to smoke somebody for arm robbery at a bank. Oh and the reason on how they found me they said what we saw your name on the billboard out front of the bar and that’s how we caught up with you.
What’s next for London?
What’s next? Promoted London the new album call that girl try to get some shows and maybe we can now bring it on to y’all out there in the world in person live how supposed to be. We are a self generated band meaning that we have no agents no managers and basically are limited to shows because of that so if you get a chance to catch us don’t miss it. London will be playing live on April 14, 2019 at the Rainbow Bar and grill 47th anniversary party in the parking lot. LONDON will be performing with Bullet Boys Dizzy Reed (G&R) Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate)
And many others. LONDON goes on at 4 PM sharp it is a free show all ages open air.
Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Yes please go and get your London call that girl album and also get your re-release of London’s nonstop rock album available now on did you pack on eBay after all these years. Please visit us on Twitter or Instagram some FM under in the Nadir D’priest and LONDON.
I want to thank you for having me on your show/interview and I guess we will see you on the road.